Are Open Houses Still King?

Open houses can act as a door opener for generating new leads. It gives the opportunity to showcase the property and network closely with potential buyers, among other benefits. Although some argue that open houses are a waste of time, only you can make that decision. Here’s a breakdown on whether an open house is essential for your listing and your business. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Open Houses.”

 

On the upside

Positive aspects of open houses are that, nationwide, homes that had an open house sold for more than $9,000 more and spent fewer days on the market than homes that had no open house. This comes from a recent study of open houses in major metro areas by Redfin. For example, homes for sale in Miami that featured an open house within the first week of listing sold 11 days sooner than those without an open house. One caveat to keep in mind is that these successes in open houses may stem more from the appeal of the home itself and the marketing associated with it rather than the sole event.

 

Not so fast

Still, the data might not tell the whole story. First of all, it’s a small dataset: In 2018, only 24 percent of listings nationally featured an open house within the first week. Also, in some markets open houses are associated with more days on the market rather than less. Examples of such markets include New Orleans and Nashville, where homes featuring an open house spend eight more days on the market. Although this does not apply to all areas, it is something to watch if you’re selling in those areas and are thinking of conducting open houses. But in the end, days on market is more a factor of the appeal of the property, state of the local market and the price of the home.

 

Do’s and Don’ts

Orchestrating an open houses takes various steps, all with an ultimate goal of finding a buyer for the listing. However, secondary purposes for the open house may arise that get in the way of the original purpose. Some agents host open houses to market themselves and make the event more of a social one, where the focus is taken away from the house and put onto the agent. That is a path to avoid; focusing on the aspects of the house and giving valuable information to these prospects will make you come off as a trustworthy and knowledgeable agent.

According to the study from Redfin, timing is key. Try to conduct an open house within the first week of listing. The first week a home is listed is crucial, as you can capitalize on the freshness or “just listed” aspect of the property.

In all, open houses can be a useful tool when done correctly. Whether or not to conduct an open house is a call that you and the seller make together, and in that conversation, mentioning both the benefits and possible drawbacks is key. For more best practices when it comes to open houses, check out our AgentEDU course “Open Houses.” You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the full “Open Houses” course today.

 

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How to correctly use Facebook as a marketing tool

A marketing plan is key in both generating more leads as well as increasing exposure for your business. Given that the technology landscape is ever-changing, it also comes with its fair share of scrutiny and controversy at times. Here are a few best practices in utilizing Facebook as a marketing tool.

If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch our dedicated advertising track.

To mention Facebook is to also mention some of its downfalls. More recently in March, Facebook was charged with violating the Fair Housing Act by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the suit, Facebook is accused of restricting who can view a housing-related ad, since Facebook allows users to customize ad campaigns to target certain people and locations.

 

Teachable moment

The dispute with HUD and Facebook has created an opportunity for agents to adjust their marketing plans and educate their clients on the rules and regulations that come with marketing a listing. This means that when clients are asking for more social media engagement and bold ideas to get their property to sell, mentioning fair housing is key to being on the same page and clearing any confusion. This also calls for agents to check their marketing plans; if you use a third-party vendor it’s best to follow up on their alignment with the Fair Housing Act.

 

Make it personal

It’s more than likely you’re active on some social media platform. Whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube, you have the opportunity to reach out and create a brand image. With that in mind, creating content for your business profile doesn’t need to be pure real estate all the time. Adding in a personal touch — such as posting about what you do on your free time, with family, or on nights out with co-workers or fellow agents — creates more connectivity with your clients. It allows prospects to see you as a person, rather than just a business owner.

 

Engage

Another key component of any marketing plan is to be engaging with your clients through social media channels. Along with making it personal, this is another great way to connect with your followers and clients. Allocate some time, or even hire an intern to assist you, to write back to people who comment on your posts and take time to comment and like their posts as well.

 

Being a dependable source

With social media at everyone’s disposal, the issue of misleading information and confusion is also a problem. As an agent, building trust is an area you should always be working on, and this also means making Facebook a part of those efforts. Creating content that counters false information is a great way to become a dependable source. This can go hand-in-hand with educating your sellers in regards to the Fair Housing Act, but also it can be incorporated in marketing, such as showcasing your recent sales figures or the current state of the market.

 

In all, Facebook is a fundamental platform and needs to be a part of any marketing strategy you have. Incorporating Facebook in your business activities allows for more growth and exposure. However, as explained here, there are rules and regulations to follow and be aware of.

For more tips on how to create effective marketing, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to the fundamental advertising track.

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5 Ways to Help Buyers Understand Credit Scores

The homebuying process can be an overwhelming ride for buyers, particularly first-timers. Add in the aspect of understanding credit scores and your clients can become even more perplexed. While most homebuyers will require a loan, a fundamental step in acquiring that loan will be an adequate credit score.

This blog breaks down the five ways you can make the credit score topic more understandable to your clients. If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing buyers.”

 

 

Understand your buyers

One of the crucial first steps is to create dialogue with your clients on their understanding of credit. Start this off by asking some general questions, as it’ll set the stage for clearing any confusion. Do they have any student loan debt? Do they know what their credit score is? Have they owned a property before? Knowing where your clients are financially and their knowledge level will help you to tailor the information you give them in a more relevant manner during the buying process.

 

Avoid technical language

In your daily life as an agent you may use terminology that the average non-agent individual may have no clue on. Using terms like LLPAs, PITI and loan-to-value won’t impress your audience, it’ll just add complexity. Financial jargon may be useful when it comes down to understanding the paperwork, but creating explanations that your clients will understand is key in keeping focus.

 

Explain the typical timeline

Walk buyers through the entire process, from the purchase and credit line decisions that could impact their credit score to prequalification and preapproval to the process of applying for a mortgage. Many don’t understand the process after they’re approved but before they close. This time period is critical in terms of keeping the financial of the deal intact, so don’t end the timeline prematurely.

 

Utilize visual aids

Many people are visual learners and they understand topics better if they can see what they’re trying to comprehend for the first time. Touch base with lenders and mortgage brokers that you frequently work with and ask if they have infographics or charts that’ll help breakdown the complex loan process visually.

The process of homebuying has many complex stages. From perfecting the home search for your clients to walking them through the mortgage process, credit scores are another area that can cause confusion. Utilizing the five ways explained in this blog can create a simpler and better understanding of credit scores. To learn more about guiding your clients through these processes, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our fundamental “Representing Buyers” video course.

 

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How to Deliver Better Service to Gen Z Buyers

Agents need to better understand the particular needs and aspirations that buyers have when it comes to homebuying in order for the process to be smooth. That may be even more true when you’re dealing with younger clients, specifically those in the Gen Z demographic (born mid-1990s to mid-2000s).

This blog entry lays out the homebuying concerns that Gen Zs have, as well as how they stack up against other age demographics like Generation X. We’ll also provide tips on how to better serve this age group effectively. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch our dedicated track, “Representing Buyers.”

 

Gen Z’s homebuying obstacles

In a recent survey by PropertyShark, 83 percent of Gen Z respondents said they see themselves entering the real estate market within the next five years. This comes on the heels of approximately 100,000 Gen Z homebuyers. That figure is only posed to increase; however, it doesn’t come without some potential roadblocks. A notable takeaway from the survey is that Gen Z sees student debt as their biggest obstacle, with almost a third (32 percent) stating it’s their biggest obstacle to buying a home. This is a significant contrast to the only 7 percent of Gen Xers who reported the same issue.

The second largest obstacle for Gen Zs is coming up with a down payment for their home. This is an area that many age demographics agree is a roadblock, as 31 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of millennials reported the same. Interestingly, unlike Gen Xers and millennials, Gen Z does not see increasing home prices as a significant obstacle in buying a home. While 14 percent of Gen Xers and 13 percent of millennials see this as a potential roadblock, only 5 percent of Gen Z reported the same.

Another brighter side for Gen Z is that only 1.2 percent of Gen Z homeowners are more than 60 days late on mortgage payments. This compares to the 1.6 percent of baby boomers and millennials and 2.3 percent of Gen Xers.

 

Gen Z aspire to different things

Gen Zs have a different aspirational lifestyle compared to millennials. One area of difference is the amount of space they want; where Gen Z wants their homes to be 2,081 square feet on average, that’s 200 feet more than millennials.

Other areas in a home search that Gen Z value are: location, parking spaces, lifestyle amenities, smart appliances and smart homes. The report went onto state, “Considering the youth of Gen Z, the importance of smart systems is likely to increase as more of their cohort enters the housing market.”

One area that may spell bad news for smaller, rural markets, is the urban lifestyle that Gen Z aspires to. In a similar response to millennials, 30 percent of Gen Z say they want to live in large metro areas whereas 60 percent want to live in suburban areas, leaving only 10 percent for rural markets. Living at home is still what’s most practical for many millennials and Gen Zers;  they’re doing so while also saving money to afford their own home. The report found that 40 percent of Gen Z respondents said the biggest reason they stay home is to save up money.

In all, Gen Z is considered the most optimistic about owning a home while also getting the lifestyle they want. Although they’re coming into the homebuying process with extra baggage, and specific desires, as an agent you can adapt to every buyer’s needs. Moreover, communication is key in not only establishing common ground with your Gen Z buyer but also helping them keeping their options open with flexibility.

Understanding their obstacles and formatting your services to better assist a Gen Z buyer can make the process much smoother, which can also lead to future contacts via recommendation. To learn more about better representing your buyers and best practices for any situation, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our essential, “Representing Buyers” track.

 

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4 Ways an Assistant Markets a Listing

Attracting qualified buyers to purchase properties is one of the most important skills that sellers expect from their agents. An assistant can be very useful in helping to reach the right customers. In this blog you’ll learn more about 4 ways an assistant can help marketing listings to sell a home.

If you’re one of those TL:DR types, then start your 7-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, ‘An Assistant’s Role in Marketing Real Estate Listings’.

 

Traditional advertising

Although all this may seem like a lot for an assistant to handle, there is still much to do in traditional advertising. In many cases, traditional media is still very effective for the real estate business. Your agent may be getting great results from direct mail postcards and advertising in print and online. Using postcards to let neighbors know what an agent just listed or just sold works because it offers market information, plus exposure for listings and the agent. Make sure the photos look great, the message and the call to action are clear and that the brand is properly reflected. Advertising in print is effective in certain markets, not in others. Online advertising allows potential clients to click through the ad to the agent’s website or email. And don’t forget to look into marketing opportunities on syndication sites like Zillow. These can help with lead generation. Ultimately, advertising works best when you know who your target market is and how to best reach them.

 

Social media

With social media’s important role in marketing, most real estate agents maintain at least one social media account for their business. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are among the most popular, but additional networks may emerge and you’ll need to be ready. The idea is to keep your company relevant and useful. If you can find a specific angle that can bolster your brand, all the better. Create an editorial calendar going three months out so that you can map out a strategy and use any analytics that are available to optimize and refine your message. Social media holds a varying level of importance, depending on your target market, but no agent should ever appear to be technologically challenged. Be mindful of keeping the agents you work for up to date.

 

Surveys, testimonials and reviews

And there is much more marketing that you can help with as an assistant. A completed transaction is not the end of the relationship. There is still marketing work to do! Start with surveys, testimonials and reviews. It’s a good idea to send a survey to clients after a transaction is finished to let them share the pros and cons of their experience with the agent. This information is useful to agents so they can make improvements to their systems and services. It’s also a low-pressure tactic used to ask for a testimonial and an online review. There are third party survey services that are simple and inexpensive to put into practice. This should be part of your operating procedure at the close of every sale. And getting testimonials and reviews on sites like Yelp can really help an agent get new clients and stand out from the competition.

 

Participate in the neighborhood

Lastly, one of the best ways to market the business is by simply being top of mind when it comes to real estate in your neighborhood. The simplest and most effective way to do this is by actually spending time participating in the neighborhood. Have a presence at festivals and town meetings. Consider volunteering at the local school. Suggest that your agent sponsor neighborhood events, or simply make sure to get a table at them. You may want to keep track of event opportunities for your agent and maybe even attend yourself. Seek out opportunities to put your agent in front of the right target market.

No one likes someone who only talks business, but there’s nothing wrong with being helpful and relevant. If you keep your ears open and participate with people, you will find organic ways to help market the company that makes businesses and residents truly feel like the company is part of the neighborhood.

All in all, it’s important to remember that selling homes is just one part of your business. It’s just as imperative to ensure that your business has a future flow of potential customers and that your brand and reputation is being managed in the best way for your company. To learn more about an assistant’s role working with an agent, start your free 7-day trial of AgentEDU today explore our 8-course track, dedicated entirely to training assistants in the unique needs and demands of the real estate industry.

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Do You Know Who Your Buyers are and What Challenges They Face?

While honing your craft as a real estate agent is important, it’s also vital that you understand the demographics that are driving today’s market. This blog will explain who is dominating the current housing market, offering tips on how to be the best agent for any situation. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing Buyers.”

 

Who’s buying

The National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that married couples continue to make up the majority of buyers at roughly 63 percent. The next largest chunk are single females, making up 18 percent of the market. This is on par with their 2017 report. Some trends shifted from 2017, however. For example, single male buyers made some traction by going up from 7 percent to 8 percent of all buyers. Another slight shift was that first-time home buyers fell from 34 percent to 33 percent in this latest report.

When it comes to buying the actual home, single males tend to spend more on homes than single females. Unmarried men clocked in with a median home sale price of $215,000, while single women buyers had a median home sale price of $189,000.

 

Challenges for buyers

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated, “With the lower end of the housing market – smaller, moderately priced homes – seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford,” adding that this inventory shortage of creates a challenge for first-time home buyers. “Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices.”

Another challenge for many buyers is significant student loan debt. Thirteen percent of buyers said they’re having difficulty saving for a down payment, with half of those respondents stating student loans as the primary reason. First-time homebuyers are specifically struggling with this issue, as 40 percent have some student loan debt with median debt totaling $30,000. Student loans hit both younger homebuyers and singles harder. Younger buyers are either freshly out of school or struggling to prioritize student loans with saving for a down payment. Single people don’t have the support that married couples have as they’re working to pay off their student loans.

 

Trending upside

Overall, the outlook is trending positive, according to Yun: “Existing home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market.”

Such improvements may even be showing up in the numbers already. The 2018 NAR report found buyers put a median 13 percent down on their home purchases, up from 10 percent last year and the highest amount since 2005.

Knowing the relationship and financial status of your buyer is key in setting up the home search process for them. To learn more about how to appropriately and efficiently represent your buyers, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to the “Representing Buyers” course.

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Mortgage Rates and the Market

Mortgage rates are a factor for both buyers and sellers, which means agents need to be aware of what they’re doing on any given week. However, focusing too much on what economists or the news media say can throw you off track.

This blog explains the impact that lower mortgage rates have in fueling housing market optimism.

 

Solid ground

One of the factors of there being such optimism for the 2019 year in regard to the market is the fact that mortgage rates are at their lowest levels in 10 months. This comes even as many economists and mortgage lenders were warning of higher interest rates in 2019. With the recent downtrend in rates and extra inventory opening up, the spring homebuying market will have an extra push. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater stated that “the U.S. economy remains on solid ground, inflation is contained and the threat of higher short-term rates is fading from view, which has allowed mortgage rates to drift down.” Mortgage rates stood at an average APR of 4.41 percent on the standard 30-year fixed-rate loan, just 0.09 above last years’ levels, according to a February report by Freddie Mac.

Khater goes on to mention that today’s buyers have a larger selection of homes on the market as well as more consumer bargaining power than they’ve had in the last few years. Couple that with these low mortgage rates and there could be an early rally for the spring housing market.

 

Economists eye the Fed

A key component in the market is what actions the Federal Reserve will make. In late 2018 there were signs that the Fed was going to continue raising rates, and some economists estimated at least three rate increases for 2019. However, economic data gave Fed chair Jerome Powell cause to rethink that idea. Now a recent survey of economists done by the Wall Street Journal shows that most don’t expect a rate hike before June. Furthermore, most economist agree that there will likely only one more rate hike, probably in late 2019. This will effectively keep borrowing costs much lower than previously anticipated through 2019 and 2020.

Borrowing costs hinge on forward-looking indicators such as Fed meeting minutes and the consensus of economists, so reduced expectations on rate hikes for 2019 may keep mortgages more affordable for the first half of the year. However, there is a good deal of uncertainty baked into every economic forecast, so even expert consensus may not be a reality.

 

Keeping focus

Given the uncertainty, it’s key to be a levelheaded. It’s never a good idea to rely 100 percent on what an economist says MAY happen in the future is a good move. Being informed but also taking the information given with a grain of salt will put you more at ease and allow you to properly respond to the housing market.

 The real estate market has many indicators to look at and factors that play a role. Being in the know and taking note of the trends is key in planning the road ahead. For more valuable tips and tactics on mortgage rates check out our AgentEDU course dedicated to Mortgage rates. You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the “Real Estate Mortgage Basics” course.

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How to Deliver Better Service to Sellers with Children

Being a listing agent requires cooperation and communication, especially when sellers have children. Adding children into the mix can lead to different wants and needs from the seller, which can make your job more difficult. From wanting a faster sell time to needing help fixing up their current home, sellers with children often demand more from their agents. You as their agent need to be prepared to serve them with a more focused approach.

This post touches on the expectations that sellers with children have for their agents and offers tips on working with them in an efficient way. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the valuable course, “Representing Sellers.”

 

Seller-specific wants

One of the top things on the must-have list for sellers is that their agents sell their home in a specific timeframe. A report from the National Association of Realtors found that 22 percent of sellers with children wanted to sell their home within a specific timeframe and 26 percent of those sellers said that their need to sell was “very urgent.”

Another top want from sellers with children is for agents to be able to help them get their homes ready for market. 19 Nineteen percent of sellers with children said they wanted their agents to help them find ways to fix up their homes in order to sell them for more. Agents should plan on having a contact list of renovators, interior designers, contractors, plumbers, electricians and other personnel who can help fix up a home. Moreover, having a strategy for making a listing visible is key, such as social media promotions and quality photographs of the property to catch buyer’s attention.

Nearly 25 percent of sellers with children were selling because their current homes were too small, meaning they were looking to expand and upgrade. Another 18 percent of these sellers with children cited the top reason for listing their homes was a job relocation.

 

Sellers without children

No two sellers are alike. This statement is even more true when you factor children into a sale. Sellers with and without children have different expectations of their agents. Studies found that while nearly 20 percent of sellers with children wanted help of agents to fix up their current houses, only 12 percent of sellers without children felt this way.

Only 13 percent of sellers without children were selling their home because they thought their home was too small, compared to nearly a fourth of those with kids.

 

Plan ahead

It seems that having children causes sellers have more specific wants and needs from their agents. Although there are differences when it comes to sellers with and without children, what is not different is the desire to sell the home. You must come to the first meeting with your seller ready to communicate about what is expected from you as well as how you are able to better serve them. If you’re prepared and willing to fulfill their expectations you’ll find the selling process is much smoother.

For more tips on effectively serving your sellers and ways to make the selling process less of a hassle, head on over to our AgentEDU video learning platform. You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the “Representing Sellers” course.

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Don’t Let the Market Keep You Up at Night

The real estate market is one that needs a level-headed approach. There are a lot of outside forces that make predictions about the market’s performance for the next quarter, year or decade. However, as we saw in the previous quarter, while economists warned about rocketing interest rates, remarks from the Federal Reserve seemed to calm those worries. In any case, you as an agent ought to be adaptable to the market, both if and when it cycles.

This blog will explain how to avoid the relentless stress and nerves that come from various market predictions. You’ll see what the real estate professionals at Baird & Warner predict for the future market, as well as their tips on drowning out the noise and being an agent who can adapt with the market. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Learning Your Real Estate Market.”

 

What’s around the corner

Baird & Warner President and CEO Steve Baird stated in a video exclusive to Chicago Agent magazine that 2019 will be a good year for the market. He used rising wages, low unemployment and the economy to bolster his prediction. Baird & Warner President of Residential Sales Laura Ellis made similar positive predictions for 2019. Ellis mentioned, “When I look into my crystal ball, I’m very optimistic for 2019. With unemployment low, with rising wages and the market coming into more of a balance, they both saw the coming of a “very favorable environment.” The situation gives perspective homebuyers an advantage; higher wages and a good economy may place them on good footing.

Although Baird notes that 2019 will face a bit more headwind than the previous year, he blames this on interest rates; as they went up roughly half a percent in the last year. However, he mentions that slow incremental increases to the rates won’t affect the market as much.

 

It’s when, not if

Both Ellis and Baird noted that the will market shift, albeit in a slow manner. One thing that every agent needs to be able to do is adapt to inevitable market changes. Ellis explained that change is on the horizon and real estate offices and agents will need to be prepared to adapt. “Even when the market cycles – it’s not an if, it’s a when. We just have to be paying attention and we need to be able to shift how we’re doing business, how we’re dealing with those changes,” Ellis stated in the video.

A recent whiff of a possible shift is evident in the fact that the Illinois Association of Realtors reported home sales in January were down 22.9 percent year-over-year, however, they also noted the continuing list price increases, as well as a three percent increase in inventory over last year. The association mentions the rough weather and government shutdown as possible factors, but others still worry if this will be a continuing trend.

 

Food for thought

With factors like rising wages and low unemployment, there is little to worry about regarding the near future. Nonetheless, both Ellis and Baird note that market cycles are inevitable and factors like interest rates could play a role in the future. They state that agents and real estate brokers must pay attention to the indicators and be ready to adapt to the market. Wage growth, unemployment levels, list prices, inventory levels, interest rates and other indicators are key factors in being prepared. Failing to be prepared can cause confusion and unease; both for you, as an agent, or for your brokerage. It’s better to be ready.

To learn more about becoming an expert on your market and understanding market indicators, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our “Learning Your Real Estate Market” course.

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How to Create Accurate Job Descriptions

As you plan to bring on new people, evaluate which job responsibilities you should delegate, share and keep in your care. It’s best to start slow, adding one role at a time, while learning what you really need operationally and financially. In this blog, we will review three of the most common team member titles, job descriptions, and compensation models. This is to help you compare your needs with the current industry standards and hire appropriately.

If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today to access the entire team building track and watch the full course, “Team Members Job Description and Compensation.”

 

Team assistant role and compensation

This administrative position will help you organize, track, manage and coordinate any area of your business. Your assistant can be licensed or unlicensed, depending on your needs. A licensed assistant can answer questions for clients and even show homes. An assistant is often suggested as a good first hire because they can free up the time you currently spend on administrative work, allowing you to focus more on profit-building tasks. A team assistant will not directly generate income for your business but may indirectly help you grow by allowing you to serve more clients.

A full-time assistant will require an hourly wage or salary, plus benefits, and will require a larger investment than . Real estate assistants often make between $30,000-$45,000 a year, plus bonuses and benefits, depending on your market. You’ll need to withhold income tax, state taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes. These payments can add up to 15 percent or more to the cost of their total salary. You’ll also have to report all of this to the IRS. Additionally, you may need to provide office space, workers’ compensation, errors and omission insurance and health care benefits. You may be required to include them on your auto insurance policy.

 

Buyer’s agent role and compensation

Some agents prefer to focus their own work on listings, and need help representing buyers. Since buyers often require more of your time and attention than sellers, hiring someone to manage the buyer side of your business could make a lot of sense. Buyer’s agents show houses to clients and convert showings to sales on properties of interest to the buyer. A buyer’s agent will also understand the current marketplace and financial implications of investing in various neighborhoods. They will help buyers narrow their search based on needs and lifestyles and can bring new perspectives to your clients. And though the buyer’s agent only focuses on buyers, the right hire can bring a more diverse understanding to your business as a whole. He or she can serve as an advisor to you and other agents.

A buyer’s agent is typically paid a small salary plus commission. The commission for buyer’s agents is typically up to 50 percent, after expenses are paid. Splits may be adjusted to differentiate between team-generated leads, which may generate a 40/60 split, and agent-generated leads, which could be a 60/40 split. The selling point for this position is that a buyer’s agent is more likely to make more money in a team setting while handling the side of the transaction that they prefer.

In order for a buyer’s agent to be successful on a team, the team must have a high-producing buyer’s agent. Buyer’s agents should show properties and close deals, with the help of the team’s lead generating marketing efforts and administrative assistance. Your compensation models should hold agents accountable for their productivity.

 

Listing specialist role and compensation

A listing specialist can either bring in the listing or step in once the listing agreement has been signed. A listing specialist will represent the seller and oversees all aspects of the seller’s transactions, from initial contact through closing.

The listing specialist may prepare all materials and documents for the listing as well, including marketing materials, listing agreements, disclosure statements, market analyses and online property profiles. The specialist will also conduct the necessary research to advise on the sale price of the property, and work with the sellers to take photos, stage the property and make repairs.

Like a buyer’s agent, listing specialists may be paid a small salary, but the role is largely based on commission, up to 40 percent of the net profit. Base salaries for your listing specialist should depend on the experience level of the agent and your local market. Salary compensation should be strategic to inspire productivity. Like the buyer’s agent, generating their own leads and closing deals is a main priority. They should be held accountable for their productivity and compensated appropriately.

Plan to start slow as you hire new team members, and grow your team by one position at a time. Pay your team members competitively and based on their productivity to retain them and support your financial success. To learn more about how to fill out your roster and create accurate and useful job descriptions, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Team Members Job Description and Compensation.”

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