Author Archive

What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2015?

December 29, 2014

2015_real_estate_marketThis has been a great year for the Georgia real estate industry. Prices throughout metro Atlanta are up and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers has more top producers than ever before. In some areas, the median sales price has met and exceeded pre-recession levels. This was another rebuilding year, but there’s still a lot farther our market has to go to truly recover. (more…)

Texting and Driving a True Danger in Our Industry

September 15, 2014

texting_and_drivingI 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. (more…)

The Importance of Going Paperless

April 21, 2014

going_paperlessEarth Day is tomorrow and it reinforces how important it is to be eco-conscious. While going green can help save our environment, it can also save companies money and make their processes more efficient. Being eco-friendly is no longer a trendy choice, it’s the best option.

In a real estate transaction, everyone involved is required to print countless documents, forms and contracts. It’s not uncommon that additional copies are required for each member of the party. With mortgage lenders, closing attorneys, office managers and brokers all involved, the pieces of paper start to pile up.

Now, imagine that hundreds of transactions are taking place on a daily basis, each one requiring numerous printed documents. That’s a lot of paper. (more…)

New Report Lists Safest Cities in Georgia

March 31, 2014

safest_citiesThroughout my more than 30 years in real estate, housing trends have come and gone. Pastel paint, wallpaper and borders around rooms, and glass top tables are all features that have gone the way of the dodo, but there’s one home trend that has stayed constant over the years: Safety.

I spoke to thousands of families about their home buying concerns when I was a full-time selling agent, and one of their first questions was always “How safe is this neighborhood?” With that in mind, I found a great report titled “50 Safest Cities in Georgia” published by SafeWise, a safety and home security news source.

Although it lists 50 cities in the article, I’d like to cover the top 5 here. Some of the cities are well known for being safe, but others will surprise you. (more…)

Real Estate in 2013: Year in Review

December 30, 2013

2013_year_in_reviewAs a member of the real estate industry for more than 30 years, I’ve never seen the market bounce back as well as it did in 2013. It was a great year for the real estate industry including agents, sellers and buyers. (more…)

Preparing Your Business for 2014

November 18, 2013

2014_planSo far, 2013 has been gratifying for most of the real estate industry. Phones are ringing, buyers are bidding and new homes are starting to spring up everywhere you look. The easiest course of action is to just sit back, get comfortable and wait for the phone to ring, but it won’t get you to the next step in your career.

Now is the time to start planning how you’re going to grow your business in 2014. How can you do better next year? What is my position in the market and how can it grow? What changes do you foresee in the market? Who will your customers be? (more…)

It’s Time for Homeowners to List!

August 26, 2013

kevin_levent_blogNo more waiting. It’s time to get your home on the market!

Here are some notable facts from a recent report provided by our state association, Georgia Realtors®: (more…)

Why Veterans Make Great Real Estate Agents

July 1, 2013

MilitaryRealtorEarlier this year, we introduced a new program specifically for members of the armed forces. Titled “Veterans to Real Estate Professionals (REP)”, the program is aimed at helping members of the military transition to civilian life by giving them a great career path. It’s available for National Guard and Reserve members in addition to veterans.

Why did we start this program? We found that many of our most successful sales associates were previously part of the armed forces in one way or another. We knew that developing a veterans program would be a great way to give back to those who have sacrificed for our country, and help them build a new, successful career.

It’s no surprise that veterans make such good real estate agents. Their military training has prepared them to succeed in this industry. Here are just some of the qualities that can turn a soldier into a top-producing agent: (more…)

Succeed in 2012 by Setting Realistic Expectations

January 9, 2012

When entering the New Year, it’s common to set goals for yourself. In real estate, those goals are translated into more clients, more listings and, most importantly, more closings. Just remember to not go overboard.

Sometimes, I hear agents say that their goal is 50 or even 100 transactions. Even a team of agents would have trouble meeting these numbers, and I hear this from a single real estate agent. If that wasn’t bad enough, they only completed 10 transactions the prior year.

Setting lofty goals is a good practice, but it’s also important to set goals that can be reached. When your ambition is too high, it can begin to look daunting and unattainable, which could end up setting you back.

Here are some realistic goals that will help you get on the right track in 2012: (more…)

Lowest in History??

July 26, 2010

How many times have we heard this about real estate loans?  But guess what…it is TRUE.

Today, Metro Brokers Financial rates are 4.25% for 30-year fixed, and 3.75% for 15-year fixed. 

Rates are the lowest in history, or at least as long as I have been in the business (28 years).  In fact, both 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages are at the lowest levels since Freddie Mac even began keeping track.

Home shoppers who missed the April 30 deadline for a housing tax credit might have the last laugh. They are likely to end up saving more than the $8,000 they could have received from the tax refund. A mere 1.5% rate differential on a $200,000 loan is $3,000 per year.  The average homeowner keeps the property for 8 years.  That means a savings of $24,000 just because of low rates! 

Folks who know this, are taking action. Mortgage applications rose 3.4 percent last week compared to the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey.

Real estate agents, share these numbers…it’s your duty!

Metro Brokers Runs Dual Brands…………………… Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and Coldwell Banker Commercial

December 11, 2009

A new chapter has begun for Metro Brokers and it’s turned the Atlanta real estate market on it’s heels. We are the first real estate broker to run dual brands. As of this week, our brand name has changed. For the residential brand, we are now Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. For our commercial brand, we are now Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro Brokers.

I weighed many options and this was the best decision for the company, our agents and our customers.

It’s been an exciting week for Metro Brokers. We made the announcement on Monday and acquired approximately 150 agents immediately. We launched a new, faster, easier to use website that the agents love. And now, we’re working through the process of swapping out all of our yard signs, business cards, name tags, brochures, flyers, and hundreds of other marketing items with newly branded items.

(more…)

Happy Anniversary to Us!

May 26, 2009

anniversaryToday marks the one month anniversary of the Metro Brokers blog, so I thought I’d find out from you (our readers) just how you think we’re fairing.

I want this blog to remain interesting, educational and more importantly – informative. My hope is that everyone who reads this blog will share it with others (friends, family, clients, and colleagues). I also want visitors to feel compelled to leave comments – send us a question, expand upon the topic with your own experiences, give advice others may be able to use or let us know you’d like to see more written on a particular topic. You may even disagree with us from time-to-time, but we welcome constructive criticism.

(more…)

Embarking on a New Journey into Blogging

April 26, 2009

Hello and welcome to Metro Brokers’ blog! This is our first post and I’m thrilled to say that Metro Brokers is moving full-speed ahead into Web 2.0. In fact, we’re the first full-service real estate company in Atlanta to have a blog that serves both consumers and Realtors.

Here’s where you’ll find the latest and greatest news on everything real estate related – from home buying and selling tips, to marketing ideas, to technology trends. You can expect posts at least twice a week and probably even more (we have a lot to share).

Most of the posts will come from key staff members, all of whom have many years of experience and knowledge to share (yes, there are many wildly interesting people here…starting with me of course). Check out our profiles and connect with us on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Profiles.

We plan to make this blog informative and interesting to read. You’ll be able to search for posts by category, date, keyword and by contributor. Plus, we want comments from you on our posts. I encourage you to comment when you have something you’d like to add, something you’d like to see featured, or even if you just want to let us know you found the info useful or interesting.

So bookmark this blog, email it to a friend/colleague/client or add our RSS feed to your favorite reader (i.e., iGoogle, etc.) and stay tuned for more news at Metro Brokers. We want you to keep coming back for an abundance of information you can use.

Here’s a quick look at a few topics you can expect in the coming weeks:
• Diving into Social Networking
• Your Online Personal Brand
• Saving your Home from Foreclosure
• The Ins and Outs of ARMs
• What People Look for in a Realtor
• Marketing Your Agent Website

Stay Tuned,

Kevin Levent
President and CEO

Your Happy Broker!