Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want You To Know-Part 1


Are you planning on buying or selling a home? Maybe refinancing? Perhaps you’d just like to pick up a few tips on home buying, selling and mortgage borrowing-if so you may want keep track of Money Matters in the months ahead as I will be giving out all kinds of tips and insights as we approach the home buying-selling season. I will be discussing a wide variety of real estate and mortgage financing issues you should know (Things real estate agents don’t want you to know). Well, good agents won’t have a problem with you knowing this information but the part-timers and less ethical operators would certainly prefer you not know what I am going to share with you!

You see, buying or selling a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most people and it is a BIG business deal…a transaction composed people, emotions, contracts and cash…all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don’t know what you are doing. Real estate agents earn a commission when a home is sold whether they are the listing agent, the selling agent or both. Real estate agents typically (and legally) represent sellers in a real estate transaction and not buyers. Yet, every day, homebuyers refer to the real estate agent as “my real estate agent”…they are not your real estate agent…they are the home seller’s agent and agents have a legal duty to get the best selling price for the seller. Further, anything you tell them can and probably will be used against you to extract a higher selling price out of the deal. Sellers on the other hand are often manipulated into signing long term listing contracts for up to a year by an agent who will simply throw the listing into the multiple listing service (MLS) and hope another agent sells the property for them.

For agents, the name of the game is to get listing contracts…a common slogan amongst real estate agents is: “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. Once an agent gets a listing contract from a home seller, they will get the bulk of the commission when the house is sold whether they sell it or another agent sells the home. Not many sellers know this fact and many are swooned into long term listing agreements with hopeful promise of selling their homes at the highest possible price only to find out they don’t. Agents will say and do most anything to get a listing contract shy of breaking the law. And the big question for home sellers is are you working with a part time or full time agent? What is their background in marketing and sales? Do you really want to sign a long term listing agreement with a part timer that has one toe in the tub and no business background? Were talking about a business deal right?

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home you should be clearly aware that you will enter into legally binding contracts and relying on mortgage lenders to provide financing for the project. The question then becomes; how much do you know about contract law and mortgage financing? What are the most important elements of a contract and how does that impact you as a buyer or seller? This series of articles is generally drawn from my E-Report (101 Real Estate Tips for homebuyers, sellers and money borrowers). The report is designed as a crash course to provide you the information you need to know to protect your legal and financial interests whether you are a homebuyer or seller. This series of articles will touch upon the information you should know to keep from making blatantly stupid mistakes that could hurt you legally and financially and we’ll try to have some fun in the process…

Which reminds me! If you would like to receive a FREE copy of my E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers, go to smart Books website, send us an email and requesting a copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free-Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Don’t forget to say you saw it at Ezine! Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

All Rights reserved

Real Estate Agents: How Do You Determine Your STRATEGY?

Most real estate professionals, are well – intentioned, individuals, who hope to earn a quality living, while serving the needs, priorities and goals, of their clients and customers! However, the reality is, until/ unless, one proceeds, beyond merely having good intentions, and caring, and takes the time, and makes the effort, to perceive and conceive of, create, develop, implement, and utilize, a relevant, time – tested, meaningful STRATEGY. With this in mind, this article will briefly discuss, and examine, not only why this is important, but, how to determine, objectively (and introspectively), the best approach, to follow, and pursue.

1. Selling; sales features/ benefits: Do you understand the difference between selling and sales, and why both behaviors, are important and essential? While selling is a proactive behavior, which includes technique, and focus, there is no transaction (and, thus, nothing, of consequence, happens/ occurs), until there is a sale, based on a meeting, of the minds! An agent must recognize, and identify, the strengths and weaknesses, of properties, he represents, and, thus, must present these houses, with an emphasis on the significant, positive features, and potential benefits!

2. Time – tested; thorough: There is no reason, to reinvent, the wheel! Rather, one must commit to the relevant training, meaningful learning, and using the methods, and techniques, which have proven effective, and are time – tested! One’s representation must be thorough, and focused!

3. Right price; reasonable; realistic; relevant: Houses sell fasted, at the best possible price, and in the shortest period of time, when they are priced, right, from the start! The right price attracts qualified, motivated buyers, which is in the best interests of one’s client. Combine reasonable pricing, and quality marketing, using realistic approaches, and relevant solutions!

4. Attention to details; attitude; aptitude: Avoid taking shortcuts, and maintain a positive, can – do, attitude, with a well – developed, set of skills, which enhances your aptitude, and potential, in a relevant way, focused on your clients’ best interests!

5. Timely: Responsive agents make their clients and customers, feel more comfortable and secure, because they proceed, in a timely, well – considered manner! For example, since there is always competition, doesn’t it make sense, it is advantageous, to answer and respond, consistently, in a timely way?

6. Enlightened; energizing; excellence: It’s important to thoroughly understand options and possibilities, in order to proceed, in an enlightened way, focused on obtaining the best possible results. Quality agents must also be cheerleaders, who energize others, to focus on goals, etc! Never sacrifice your commitment to the highest degree of genuine excellence!

7. Get others involved; get their views: It’s important to listen effectively, and get the views of your clients! When agents encourage their clients, to work together with them, utilizing relevant teamwork, the best results occur!

8. You: Agents must assume personal responsibility, and know it’s important to proceed, with the attitude, where you believe, it’s always, up to you, and your actions, and how you personalize the way you do things (putting your unique stamp on it)!

When real estate agents proceed with a relevant, well – considered, STRATEGY, their clients are best served! Will you be a relevant, effective agent?

Real Estate Agent Slogans

Catchy taglines are everywhere in advertising. Whether they rhyme, or they inspire, or they create a memorable image, taglines are something every advertising agency works hard to craft. How many of us know, “Like a good neighbor” or “Just do it”? While you might not create a slogan as memorable as those, you should be able to come up with something that your local clients will always think of. Need a little inspiration to get started? Here are some suggestions for slogans and ways to get the creativity rolling.

When you do come up with a slogan, you need to use it throughout your advertising and on your website. That way, people will be faced with the association frequently and they will be better able to keep your name and the slogan together.

Your slogan should be short and sweet. Try your best to keep it under eight words. Anything longer will just deter people instead of drawing them in. It should also make sense for the brand you are creating.

One thing you can do is come up with a rhyming slogan. Case in point – a Realtor named Scott Geller tagged “The Home Seller” after his name and because it rolls off the tongue so smoothly, it has become all one phrase. And, that makes it easy to advertise. His word of mouth campaign keeps his advertising costs low.

Your slogan should make a tug on the heartstrings, too. You are taking part in one of the most important events in a person’s life. By letting your customers know what you can do in terms of customer service, your slogan will help quickly convey what you can do. Consider something like, “Jane Smith – Helping Your Family Make the Right Move”.

Avoid any slogans that are bland or generic. They won’t work to set you apart from your competition, and they might even work against you. If your slogan is generic, your potential clients might think you are, too, and that you won’t be the best agent they can find. Think about something like, “I’ll take the stress out of your home buying experience”, or “Call the Carson City condo specialist”.

You can also consider your location for your slogan. When you add in your place, it not only helps make you the personal expert for someone, you also boost your search engine ranking.

Creating an image in your potential client’s mind is an effective slogan, too. Assuring your client you can solve the mystery of home buying or be their personal navigator makes that slogan unique and memorable at the same time.

If creativity is still escaping you, you can contract this process out and hire a professional. Some will even blend the slogan into your total advertising plan, and not charge you too much for it.

Now, if you come up with a slogan and you test it on your friends and family but you receive a negative reaction, be ready to set that slogan aside and pick something else. You should also not take it personally. Try out another one and keep going until you do find one that is well received.

Why Do Real Estate Agents Require Websites?

During the past ten years, the Internet has changed the way people buy houses and the way real estate agents and brokers do business. The Internet makes it easy for home buyers to quickly to sort lists of available properties in their local area and provide them with a combination of written information, photos and virtual tours. Large national real estate firms such as Realtor.com and ReMax operate web sites that furnish access to real estate listings across the country.

A consumer in the market to purchase a new home can quickly search available properties, 24 hours a day from the comfort of their own home. No longer do potential buyers have to contact a real estate agent to see local homes that meet the buyers situation. Today, with a simple online search, home buyers can easily find a real estate listings for houses that meet their needs. In most situations home buyers can obtain specifics of the listing, view photographs of the home and in some case take a virtual tour online before they contact a real estate agent to arrange a viewing.

Based on a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, in 2007 nearly 84% of all home buyers utilized the Net while looking for real estate. This figure has virtually doubled since 2001 and is up considerably from the 2% of all home buyers who used the Internet in 1995. More important is the fact that almost 82% of these buyers used a real estate agent to complete their purchase.

These numbers show how necessary it is that real estate agents and brokers have be visible online. If future home buyer finds a property of interest on-line, it is important that they can quickly contact the listing agent through the same page or via the agents website.

One of the biggest on-line real estate resources is Realtor.com, this internet site is operated by the National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com provides over two million real estate listings. One of the features Realtor.com offers is the ability to provide contact information and a link to the listing agents website. Realtor.com is an excellent example of how the internet can be used as a well-formatted marketing and product presentation tool.

Online Marketing for Real Estate Agents

In today’s market place it is necessary that every real estate agent or broker have a personal internet site that at the very minimum provides a future client with the agents contact information. More sophisticated internet sites can often be easily set up to provide supplementary listing information and pictures of available properties. Every web site should include phone numbers, office address and email address for the agent. Remember, the key to any successful real estate website is to make it easy for the home buyer to contact the real estate agent.

Other outstanding way to promote any real estate business is a blog. Blog is short for “weblogs” and are one of most efficient online marketing tools. A blog allows you to discuss your local market or specific listings as well as providing a method to market yourself and share your thoughts on the real estate industry.

Social Networking or Web 2.0 sites is the latest online marketing phenomenon to have emerged in many areas of business today. Online social networking is rapidly gaining popularity within the real estate industry.

So what is Social Networking?

Online social networking is a internet based community that allows people with similar interests discuss, contact and interact with each other. Members of these social networks can send messages to other member, chat, post video, share files and post to blogs. Some of the most popular social networking sites include Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Real Estate Voices and Zolve

Hosting your website

Regardless of the marketing methods plan to use, you must have a professional, informative website that connects the buyer and real estate agent together. It is important for a realtor to consider the following when selecting a web hosting company.

What type of web site do you plan to develop? Are you planning a simple brochure site that just provides information, or one that offers listings and virtual tours or a blog. If you are planning to offer customers virtual tours of your property listings you should select a web host who understands the technology behind “virtual tours” and offers web hosting plans that provide the features and bandwidth that allows them to be included in the website.

When considering any web hosting company, the first thing you should look at is where you want your online business to be in the future. Look at things like, how much traffic do you expect? How many sites do you plan to build? What type of server software will you be using? Do you require a dedicated IP address? Once you have established your needs you can begin looking at web hosting companies.

Generally a successful real estate website will also provide potential buyers with more information on a property than is available through the national MLS listing. The realtor’s web site should be comprehensive, personable, and provide clients with as many options as possible.

Thinking of Being a Real Estate Agent?

A lot of people see successful real estate agents and start fantasising about how they can make the transition into the career for themselves. It’s an extremely understandable sentiment, as successful agents are capable of earning far more than the national average salary, however, it is important to remember that a lot of work goes into getting to that point.

If you are thinking of becoming a real estate agent, it is important that you are aware of what you need to do to not only become an agent in the first place, but to also ensure that you are successful when you do.

Be Aware Of How To Get Your Licence

Every state has slightly different requirements that you must meet before you are able to claim a real estate licence. This means that what works in one place may not be relevant in another. As such, the very first thing you should do is find out about the qualifications and training that you need to undertake in order to get your licence in the first place.

Most of this should be fairly easy to locate online and will provide you with the foundations of what you need to know to enter the business. The courses you will take will be very helpful when you are first starting out, but it is also important that you don’t assume that they will show you everything that you need to be a success.

Be Prepared To Take Work Home

If you are used to working a nine till five job, you are likely going to find your first few months in the real estate business to be almost overwhelming. The simple fact of the matter is that you need to be prepared to take work home with you, particularly if you are intending to work part-time.

It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest time management skills in the world, as the needs of your clients will often throw a spanner into your works. For example, you have to remember that many of your clients will also be working during the day, which means you may need to be flexible enough to attend viewings and communicate with them during the evening instead. As such, you need to understand the workload that you will be facing if you make the transition and be prepared to handle it.

Having the Right Character Traits

Honesty, confidence and a gift with speech are all going to be major factors in whether or not you achieve success as a real estate agent, so it is important to identify areas that you are weak in and start working on them early if you are seriously thinking about the career.

Luckily, honesty should hopefully come fairly naturally to most, and the rest can be worked on with the proper training. You could even try thinking outside the box and take public speaking or acting lessons to improve your skills. You may find that the added confidence becomes really important when you are handling tense negotiations.