Author Archive

Working with a Relocation Management Company

February 2, 2015

blog 2At some point in your career, you’ll probably be requested by a corporate transferee to assist them either in a home purchase or home sale transaction. You might be wondering what that means to you. Corporate transferees are customers who have been directed by their employers to make a job transfer. For the most part, they wait until their human resources director tells them what steps they need to make and when, but sometimes the transferees jump the gun and makes decisions on their own that can affect how their employer helps them financially. What does this mean to you and to the customer?

You as the associate and service provider always want to protect the transferee’s benefits, so here are some rules and strategies to make sure you don’t make mistakes that jeopardize their benefits and your commission. (more…)

Holiday Card Time!

December 8, 2014

holiday_cardsThis is the best time of year to touch base with all of your past customers. This includes your client base that has relocated to another part of the United States. “Out of sight, out of mind” shouldn’t be your philosophy now. Often those previous clients who moved to Kansas, California, Texas or wherever may still need your assistance and should be on your holiday card radar.

There are lots of ways you can reach out to your customers across the country. If you keep in touch via newsletter, create a holiday theme and offer decorating advice or share a recipe. In your newsletter, let them know what’s happening in the real estate market currently and, oh by the way, if they are looking to make a lifestyle change or move again, you’re still their Realtor® and you can help them anywhere in the country as you work all markets nationwide.

(more…)

What Would a Veteran Do?

September 22, 2014

veterans_usaa_navyfederalAs 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: (more…)

The Power of Referrals in Your Business Plan

July 28, 2014

referral_techniquesReal 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. (more…)

Real Estate’s Most Valuable Asset

May 12, 2014

real_estate_agentThe 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.  (more…)

Is Real Estate Your Hobby?

December 9, 2013

bad_voice_mailYou may be unwittingly giving your customers this impression. I often call agents to discuss real estate business and get voice mail messages that tell me they aren’t interested in doing business. And if I think you aren’t interesting in doing business, then you know that potential clients are probably feeling the same.

Here are a few examples of voice mails that turn customers OFF:  (more…)

Go Higher on Your “Higher and Best” Offer!

October 14, 2013

best offerNot long ago, I was at a backyard barbeque, sipping my drink and idly listening to the various conversations surrounding me. Along with the typical discussions surrounding the NFL, college football and baseball, I overheard an overwrought voice above the fray stating, “We offered full price! And, we didn’t get the house!”

Obviously, my interest was piqued! I stood up on my toes to find who owned that voice. I made my way towards her, frantically trying to place in my mind from where I knew her. By the time I got over there, I realized that it was Janice, who lives across the street from my friend. I had noticed that the sign in her yard was sporting a jaunty under contract sign on it. I had intended to congratulate her on that accomplishment sometime during the barbeque.

I took a deep breath, had another sip, and casually insinuated myself into this conversation. “Go on,” I encouraged, “Tell me what happened!” (more…)

What Does it Mean to be a USAA Movers Advantage & Navy Federal Realty Plus Preferred Broker?

August 12, 2013

usaa_movers_advantageOnly a select group of top brokers nationwide can assist members of both USAA and Navy Federal with their real estate needs using either USAA’s Movers Advantage Program or Navy Federal’s Realty Plus Program.

Preferred Brokers are chosen based on their real estate experience and knowledge, and must consistently provide excellent customer service. Agents who work with USAA Movers Advantage and Navy Federal Realty must complete training requirements that ensure they provide superior service and can meet the unique needs of these programs. (more…)

Can We Talk?

June 24, 2013

can_we_talk

That’s actually a great question in the age of instant messaging. I think the art of conversation may be falling by the wayside. It has become so easy for all of us to email, text and tweet. I think email and texting has given us a comfort zone that may be detrimental to the agent/customer relationship. As Realtors®, we need to ask ourselves whether we’re doing what’s best for the customer or what’s convenient and comfortable for us. (more…)

What Happened To My Dream Home?

April 22, 2013

mb_billboard_photoIt’s absolutely true that the housing inventory is very low in the Metro Atlanta. Some areas and price points are tighter than others. Not only is this true in Atlanta but in most major markets throughout the U.S.

In a market like this, buyers need to understand that multiple offer situations are common in sought after communities. The current market conditions are especially critical for transferees moving into Atlanta for two reasons.

First, they are armed with a long list of properties they think will be possibilities for them and, of course, when they get here homes have either been sold or they were not what they really needed.

Second, because they are only here for a short period of time to look for a home, it’s especially frustrating because they only have the inventory that’s still on the market once they arrive here and even those properties sometimes have offers pending as they fly or drive into Atlanta.

WOW! (more…)

Entertaining Home Inspection Photos!

February 4, 2013

Over my many years of experience in both relocation and foreclosure assistance, I’ve come into contact with a long list of home inspectors and have seen my fair share of home inspection photos. I recently came across an entertaining article about home inspection photos on the Zillow Blog, and I just had to share!

Bent Outlet Cover

inspection1

Well, I guess this is an interesting solution for when the cover plate just won’t fit in the allotted space! (more…)

Take Advantage of a Hot Housing Market!

November 26, 2012

It’s hard to believe that just four years ago there were more than 100,000 listings in Metro Atlanta.  Now there are fewer than 40,000. What does this mean to the ever-changing housing market? Just remember your basic laws of economics of supply and demand.

From our perch here in relocation, we’re seeing a definite surge in demand for homes throughout our market area. The low inventory has become a problem for transferees moving into the Atlanta market because they might find a home they like, but there’s already an offer on it.  (more…)

Keeping Up with the Joneses? Not as Important as Keeping Up with Trends

June 25, 2012

Never before in the history of real estate has our market been so volatile. What is happening at this very moment may be totally different than it was six months ago, and it will be totally different again in all likelihood in another 6 months. Are we in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

Whatever your guess is, it might be right but it could change again very soon. That’s why it’s critically important for agents and the public to be aware of the current trends and monitor changes on a monthly (if not weekly) basis.

It’s not difficult to back up your findings to your buyers and sellers by using the information available to you. We all know that in the state of Georgia, most homeowners who have a mortgage are underwater. It’s still hard for the sellers to grapple with this, so the more data you have to support the facts, the easier your job will be to help the seller understand what their options are. (more…)

Shake Hands, Don’t Shake Down

March 12, 2012

Do you remember when Julia Roberts dressed in her “street” clothes and shopped on Rodeo Drive, and she was snubbed? Then, she came back looking like “money” and they were all over themselves trying to get her business. She reminded them of her past treatment and said “HUGE MISTAKE, HUGE”. I have actually heard similar stories from customers recently who were very upset that their agent talked about money before they even had an opportunity to talk to the customer about their wants and needs. I agree with Julia: Huge mistake.

I think two things come into play here. First, we’ve been conditioned from real estate birth to find out if our prospect qualifies to purchase. Today’s customer is really quite offended by the money conversation right out of the gate. Today’s buyer wants to know if their agent cares about them and can give them the level of service they expect. There’s nothing wrong with having them qualified by a mortgage company, in fact it’s beneficial to everyone, but only after you’ve established a relationship with the customer. Give them a chance to see if the relationship is a good fit for them and for you. (more…)

Navigating the Purchase of a Foreclosure

February 13, 2012

Typically foreclosures – or real estate owned (REO) properties – are a very good buy. They’re priced to sell, and buyers are likely to get a great deal IF you and your real estate agent are knowledgeable about the procedures and pitfalls you’re likely to face.

It happens all too often. Buyers aren’t aware of how different REO’s are from typical homeowner re-sales. Here are some things to keep in mind: (more…)