September 22, 2014
As a proud USAA and Navy Federal preferred broker, Metro Brokers is expected to deliver a high level of service. Our agents are required to attend training classes to service these types of clients, and we preach giving the best service possible. But it occurred to me recently that maybe the best way to provide superior service is to think like a military veteran.
With that in mind, here are some examples on how to think and act like a veteran: Read the rest of this entry »
September 15, 2014
I know full well the importance of communication as a real estate agent. If you aren’t the first one to respond to a lead, or you aren’t responding quickly enough to a client, you can end up losing out on valuable business or souring a relationship.
It also doesn’t help that we’re on the road so often. Many times, it feels like we spend more time in our cars – driving around to different listings – than we spend in the office.
But it’s important to remember that safety comes first. ALWAYS. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8, 2014
The story is all too common. During your initial listing appointment, you agreed on a price with your sellers. You’ve worked tirelessly with that listing for several weeks (or months), had plenty of showings, put in the research, and you’ve found there’s only one problem: The price is too high. Your clients have already explained to you that they “need to get this amount out of the sale”, and you know that bringing up a price drop will probably cause some friction if not an outright “No!”
Before you start stressing out, remember that a price reduction in is in their best interest and you have a professional obligation to tell them what they need to do to get them home sold. With proper preparation and solid tactics, you’ll not only get the property priced to sell, but you’ll also gain lifelong clients that will truly appreciate you.
Here are 5 ways to properly handle a price drop:
- Set the stage: When you take the listing, tell the Seller that although you are comfortable with the price they have selected, the market constantly changes and it’s your job to monitor the market activity and let them know about any changes that affect the sale of their property. Explain that some changes could make it necessary for them to re-evaluate their pricing strategy.
- Stay in touch: Before you can even start suggesting a change in price, your clients need to be able to trust you and see you as a professional. The best way to accomplish this is by having regular contact with your clients, even when there’s nothing to actually report on the listing. I suggest calling them at least once a week to give them an update on their home. If you constantly keep them up-to-date with the latest developments, there’s a much better chance that they’ll understand the reasoning behind the needed price reduction. While they may be disappointed, they’ll know that you’ve been working hard and that this is the best option.
- Have an in-person meeting: The last thing you want to do is upset your clients, and there is a much higher probability of them being upset if you simply call, email or text them that they need to drop the price. Plan a get together at their home, a local coffee shop or your office. Face to face meetings are always more effective.
- Be prepared: Do your research. Be prepared to discuss the state of the market, recent transactions in the area, showings and feedback on their property. Properly presented, it should be clear why you are recommending a change in the pricing strategy.
- It’s a “price adjustment”, not a “price reduction”: A surefire way to upset your sellers is to bring a negative attitude and connotation to the pricing discussion. Instead, you should keep positive and upbeat about the situation, and concentrate on the fact that this will help them sell their home and move on to the next phase in their life. Also, using the word “adjustment” instead of “reduction” is a more neutral term.
- Listen and respond: Your clients will definitely have questions during the meeting, and if you aren’t listening to the true meaning behind each question, there’s a good chance you could end with an unhappy client and continue to have an overpriced listing. Listen carefully and be sure to respond to any objections you may hear, but don’t be defensive. Be understanding and mindful, and you’ll end up with happy clients.
What are your tips for price adjustments? Please comment below!
August 26, 2014
In the process of writing offers, there are several exhibits and addendums that seem to be more widely used than others. The purpose of exhibits and addendums is to formalize the process of accommodating various common reoccurring situations during the negotiations process. When combined with the standard purchase and sales agreement, the exhibits and addendums give additional definition and requirements to the transaction.
At a quick glance, the following are the most commonly used exhibits and addendums in today’s market. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28, 2014
Real estate professionals across the country recognize the value of referrals in their business planning. Whether referring across town or across the country, referral dollars can increase your bottom line.
Are you capturing referral dollars in your business plan?
As mid-year passes, now is a great time to evaluate your business plan and think about how referral dollars can keep you on track to your goal.
Let’s look at four ways you can increase your referral business. Read the rest of this entry »
July 21, 2014
The new FHA HAWK (Homeowners Armed With Knowledge) Program designed to give homebuyers a discount on the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) in exchange for them taking approved Homebuyer Education Classes has been getting a lot of attention and press. Real estate professionals and homebuyers are beginning to inquire about how to apply for the HAWK Program.
The most important major detail that many of the articles and news reports are not making very clear is that the HAWK Program has not yet landed its final approval status and IS NOT available!
HUD’s current estimate is that phase one of the four-year, four-phase program should roll out winter of 2014 or spring of 2015.
Below are the basic program details if the program rolls out without any changes to the current program proposal: Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2014
When a Broker represents both the buyer and seller in the same transaction, there is the potential for Dual Agency to exist. More specifically, dual agency is created based on the involvement of the affiliated licensees of the broker.
When the buyer and seller are represented by the same broker, but different licensees respectively, the relationship is known as a Designated Agency Relationship. In the event there’s only one sales associate involved in the transaction and the brokerage only represents one party, there’s no risk of dual or designated agency.
There’s a common misperception that exists in the industry: If I sell my own listing, it’s always dual agency. This is simply not always the case. You can sell your own listings and not be in a dual agency situation. When selling your own listing, a dual agency scenario is based on there being a BBA with the buyer (with you as the agent) in addition to the Sellers Listing agreement signed (with you as the agent). Read the rest of this entry »
July 7, 2014
Many homebuyers are seeking a loan with very little down payment. If they aren’t eligible for a 100% VA or USDA loan, they have two choices: FHA with 3.5% down payment or Conventional with 5% down payment. Determining which is best can be challenging. There are pros and cons to both loan types.
Most people have heard that FHA loans are good because they offer lower interest rates and are easier to qualify for than Conventional loans.
This is true, but if the buyer can qualify for the Conventional loan, it could be cheaper overall, even if the interest rate is a bit higher. Remember, there is more to a monthly mortgage payment than the principle and interest payment. The big factor that separates FHA and Conventional loan monthly payments is the Private Mortgage Insurance for each loan type.
Let’s break down each loan type: Read the rest of this entry »
June 30, 2014
Most real estate agents hope that their prospects won’t raise any objections. Instead, they should welcome them and see them as a gift! Anytime a prospect raises an objection, it provides an opportunity for the agent to earn their business.
Objections are a good sign because few prospects will bother to throw out an objection if they’re not interested in proceeding. When someone raises an objection, it simply means they have a concern and want or need to know more.
Depending upon the nature of the objection, objections can be dealt with in several different ways: Read the rest of this entry »
June 23, 2014
I recently helped a friend move into their new condo downtown, and one of the first things that I mentioned is that now would be the best time to start painting! When it comes to room design, a little color can go a long way, but many people hesitate when it comes to smaller spaces. They’re afraid that by adding color, they might make a room feel claustrophobic.
Color is one of the best ways to define a room, and a carefully chosen color can double a room’s apparent size! Here some of my tips for using color to create depth in small spaces. Read the rest of this entry »
June 16, 2014
Over the last few years, one of the buzz words in technology has been 3D printing. Using plastic, metal, nylon and other materials, the 3D printer takes a computer model and then “prints” an actual physical model of the design. This has been used to create a variety of items from small figurines to prototypes, aircraft engine parts and even prosthetics.
Amazingly, these 3D printers aren’t just limited to large manufacturers. MakerBot – one of the biggest names in 3D printing – currently has five different 3D printers available for personal use starting under $1,500.
There are also companies like Shapeways and Sculpteo that will let you create and share your creations online without needing your own 3D printer at home. You can simply upload your 3D file, select the material and order 3D prints. You can even open up a “shop” on Shapeways and start selling your creation.
So what does 3D printing have to do with the real estate industry? There are two distinct ways that 3D printing will change how we do business. Read the rest of this entry »
June 9, 2014
As real estate professionals, we’re in the service industry. We service the needs of buyer, sellers, tenants and landlords as we assist with their housing needs. There are numerous tools and technological advancements that have contributed greatly toward increasing our abilities to provide services to our consumers. In the process of embracing technology and the many tools available to us, don’t forget to actually service the customer. It’s imperative that we help the customer accomplish their goals.
A recent panel of buyers and sellers were invited to the RESTO conference to help further the education of real estate professionals. While each buyer and seller understood that they needed an agent, both sets of panels reported various areas where the agents could have done a better job. Here are some of the items consistently brought up by the panelists: Read the rest of this entry »
June 2, 2014
Did you know that more than 90% of buyers start their search on the internet? It’s more likely than ever for a buyer to contact you through the web, whether it’s from one of your listings or via your website.
So you’ve checked your email, and you have a shiny new message from an interested buyer. What do you do now? Preferably, you’re the one and only sales professional that they’ve contacted, but you know that’s not true. When that lead comes in, you need to bring your “A” game to ensure that you end up being their agent!
Are you ready for some great tips for converting internet leads? Let’s get down to it! Read the rest of this entry »
May 19, 2014
As an agent, is it a good time to list and sell businesses? It’s always a good time to be in the business of business brokerage, but you should remember these tips.
First, you need to have an understanding of the business industry. If you want to list a dry cleaning business, take the necessary time to familiarize yourself with the business culture and language. You should try to select an industry that you have worked in or have an interest in. Agents that fail to adequately prepare for listing appear less than confident and have trouble earning the business owner’s respect. Read the rest of this entry »
May 12, 2014
The perception that the public often has of Realtors® is not a good one. Consumer advocates, the media and self help authors will offer the public reasons why real estate agents are not working in the best interest of consumers. I believe many of these specialists do not understand what Realtors really do. They think all the agent does is unlock a door.
First of all, I still think that agents showing properties is very important. Agents have knowledge about houses themselves, which is an entire subject itself. Just for starters, most buyers don’t understand construction, floor plans or local design all of which can affect the re-sale value, not to mention community information, school information and commutes to and from various locations, which is why an agent is critical even in the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »