10 Questions Every Agent Must Answer to Determine Quality Leads

Now that you’ve spread the word about your real estate skills, you’re going to get a number of inquiries. While it’s great to have folks contact you and increase your database of leads, the real goal is to convert these leads into clients.

Before you invest too much time and energy into a lead, there are a few things you should find out about them. If you’re a TL,DR agent, then click here to start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Converting Real Estate Leads.”

First, you need to know if they are qualified leads. Do they really plan to buy? Can they afford it?  Can you help them? Here are 10 great questions to get the conversation going, and also help you find out how likely it is that this lead will turn into something more.

Question 1: Name?

The first thing you need to know is their full name. Take note of this information so that you can properly store it in your CRM system.

 

Question 2: Email address?

Email is a really great – and free – way to keep in touch. Keep your lead’s email address handy for future communications.

 

Question 3: How long have you been looking for a home?

This question can help you determine a lot about the buyer. If they’ve been looking for a couple of years, they may never be willing to move. If they just started their search, they may not be serious about acting soon, either.

 

Question 4: How soon do you need to move?

If they need to move immediately, then you’ve got a high-priority client on your hands. If they want to move in the next few years, you’ll want to take note of that as well.

 

Question 5: Do you need to sell your current home before you can buy?

Most sellers can’t buy a home because they have to sell their current one first. This also means you can potentially help them with more than one transaction.

 

Question 6: What type of home are you looking for? Condo? Single-family? Etc.

Find out what they’re looking for and why. File this information for future use.

 

Question 7: What is your comfort zone in terms of price?

Be sure to ask about their comfort zone, rather than just their price range. They may be able to afford more, but are only feel comfortable looking in a specific range. This information will be helpful if you move forward.

 

Question 8:  Are you working with another agent?

Find out early if you’re the only agent in the running for their business.

 

Question 9: Have you met with a lender yet?

This is the best way to get the ball rolling in terms of finding out if they’re pre-approved or not, which makes them a more viable client.

 

Question 10: Have you been pre-qualified or pre-approved?

If they haven’t been pre-approved yet, see if you can help them with the process. Ask them the following: “If I call a lender who has an opening available tomorrow or the next day, would you consider taking an appointment?” That way, not only will they get prequalified and you’ll know that they can afford to buy a home, but you can get them to meet with your favorite lender. This will help solidify the relationship.

To learn more about how to vet leads and to sell yourself to potential clients, click here to start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, ‘Converting Real Estate Leads.”

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8 Tips for a Great Headshot

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. First impressions are extremely important for real estate agents, because when people see your ads, business cards or your website, what’s going to draw their eye first is your smiling face.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the nine tips every agent needs to use when creating and deciding on a headshot. If you’re one of those TL,DR agents, click here to start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the video course, “Developing Your Professional Image.”

Tip 1: No selfies

Most selfies look unprofessional. Leave those on your personal Instagram where they belong.

Tip 2: Style matters

Keep your look simple.

  • No clothing that distracts
  • No glamour shots
  • No pictures taken at a wedding or event
  • No sold signs, no phones, no cars, no props
  • No thumbs up or high fives

Tip 3: Practice your pose

You are posing, not performing. Practice your facial expressions and poses in the mirror before your photo session. The way you look best may not be the way that feels best. It’s the look you’re trying to get right, even if the pose isn’t totally comfortable.

Carol Collins, Broker Associate at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, has a great pose in her headshot.

Tip 4: Vertical vs. horizontal

You’re better off using a vertical shot than a horizontal shot. Have the shot taken with several angles. Keep in mind that if the angle is slightly high, it will make you look slimmer and accentuate your eyes, which should be the focal point.

Tip 5: Pose on an angle

Ever wonder why people gain 10 pounds in front of the camera? It’s because we cut out their entire environment around them, forcing them to take up more room in the frame. Instead, do a two-thirds turn away from the camera. Turn your head slightly to show more depth, and don’t look squarely at the camera.

Many people will have the natural instinct to lean backwards in a photo. By bringing your chin down, you can open your eyes up.

Tip 6: Lighting matters

Position yourself so that the light goes across you instead of right at you. This is important so that the viewer sees depth and texture. Crossed arms or hands in pockets can help create texture.

Tip 7: Cropping

Cropping can help a photo by allowing you to select the focal point of the picture. Have your photographer show you several crops to see which one you think looks best.

Kelly Angelopoulos, the Vice President of Sales at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, has a great example of a well-cropped headshot.

Tip 8: Size for print and web

You’ll need copies of the photos for printing your business cards and other materials. The size requirement online is different from what it is in print. Make sure your photographer sends you 300 dpi for print and 72 dpi for web. If it’s not right, you’ll end up with grainy photos in print, or pictures that are too big to upload to your website.

A good headshot is only part of the image you will want to build for yourself, and once your headshot draws someone in, it’s your bio that will tell prospects about you. To learn more about how to develop your professional image, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Developing Your Professional Image.”

We also want to give a shout-out to our cover models in this week’s blog. Thanks to Michael Bencks, Senior Mortgage Banker of Neighborhood Loans, David Porter of the Porter Group and Heather Lange of Lange Property Partners for allowing us to highlight their fantastic headshots in our cover photo.

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7 Steps for Becoming an Expert on Your Real Estate Market

As an agent, learning your market is an ongoing process. So how do you go about making it happen? By following these seven steps to getting all the information you need.

If you’re one of those TL,DR agents, click here to start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU and watch our two-part series, “Learning Your Real Estate Market.”

 

#1 – Research and sign up.

Thanks to the internet, real estate agents have much of the info they need right at their fingertips, with info on the local real estate market, jobs, community growth, schools, taxes and more.

#2 – Interview an agent

A great real estate agent is going to be in the know about what’s happening in the community. Find an agent currently working in the area and propose a lunch or coffee meeting. Ask the agent to share his or her perspective on the current market and who else you need to know. Making a new friend of a successful agent could be the best thing to happen in your career.

#3 – Befriend a lender

Another great way to learn about your market is to befriend a lender. Talk to a local mortgage broker, and if you don’t know one, ask around for a referral. Pose the following questions:

  • What are your thoughts on the market?
  • What challenges are homebuyers facing?
  •  How do agents combat these challenges?
  • What else should I know about the market?
  •  Is there anyone else I should meet and can you make the introduction?

#4 – Go to open houses

You’ve likely seen open house signs around your neighborhood, but special open houses just for agent viewing can be found using the MLS. These are called broker opens. Walk the home and meet the agent running the open house so you can learn more about the market.

#5 – Talk to friends and family about the market

Your family and friends will often valuable information about what’s going on in the neighborhood. Most people love to talk about who is moving on their block, how much homes sold for, and other local gossip. They will know if a neighbor had a great kitchen or if there was a flood and remodeling had to be done. Ask them if prices are rising or stabilizing. How are taxes in the area? These questions can provide important insight.

#6 – Attend local events

It’s the people of a community that make it all happen. Attend community events and and spend time meeting local community members. Hang out at the area hot spots, like restaurants, parks and other places of leisure. In order to be successful, you’ll need to be familiar with the places that locals want to go.

#7 – Organize your info

Now that you’ve collected all this information, what are you going to do with it? It could be overwhelming to anyone, but organize it from the start so there’s nothing lost as you learn. Keep all your notes and records from your favorite websites and publications.

To learn more about how you can become an expert in your local market, start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU and watch our two-part series, “Learning Your Real Estate Market.”

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