Is the Open House on its Way Out? |

Is the open house on its way out? No – here’s why

With new real estate technologies now saturating the market, are open houses still effective home-selling tools?

Real estate technology has grown rapidly over the past few years with the introduction of interactive walk-through programs, drone footage and virtual reality tours. While these technologies allow consumers a quick and convenient way to view a home, online property viewing isn’t the same as seeing a property in real time. According to the Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate report by the National Association of Realtors® and Google, 90 percent of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. So, is the open house on its way out?


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5 lead generation tricks to test out today

In real estate, lead generation is an essential and never-ending task. If you’re looking for new tactics to add into your bag of lead generation tricks, here are five lead generation tricks you can test out today:

  1. Add social sharing buttons to your email newsletter – Sending out a newsletter on a regular basis can be a great way to drum up a steady stream of leads, but why not go a step further by adding social buttons? Your subscribers can use those buttons to share your newsletter with their network. This move not only has the power to grow your social media audience, but it can also lead to new email subscribers.
  2. Create a promo video – A quick and easy way for your clients and potential homebuyers to get to know you is through a short introduction video. In this video, tell viewers who you are, why you love being a real estate agent and why you’re the right agent for the job based on your skills, experience and expertise. At the end of the video you can add a call to action for interested viewers to click through to a landing page where they can submit their email for a consultation. You can create this call to action with YouTube’s cards feature, which places a clickable pop-up box at any point in the video. This video should be featured on your website’s homepage and shared in your newsletter and across your social media accounts.
  3. Display testimonials and reviews – Another great way to communicate to potential clients that you’re the right agent for the job is through positive testimonials from past clients. After every closing, reach out to your clients and ask them if they’re willing to provide a short testimonial that you can share on your website and in future advertising. These testimonials can be placed on landing pages, in newsletter emails, etc. where potential clients will easily see them.
  4.  Buy targeted Facebook ads – Facebook advertising is a great tool for creating targeted advertising campaigns that reach your demographic. Facebook Ad Manager allows you to target your audience by age, income, location and other criteria, including behavioral criteria such as “likely to move.” You can use these Facebook ads to prompt potential clients to visit your website, a landing page or a listing where they can provide their email address for more information.
  5. Optimize your blog – Most agents already know that blogging can help them simultaneously drive traffic to their website and demonstrate their knowledge of the market and the latest industry news, but simply publishing blog posts isn’t enough. At the end of every blog post, you should include a lead capture element, such as a form where readers can sign up for your mailing list, an place to submit information to receive a downloadable asset, etc. Adding this element is the extra step needed to take your blog posts from informative marketing pieces to actionable lead generation tools.

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A Marketing Plan That Will Rev Up Your Income

Possibly the most important part of your business plan is how you will market yourself to potential clients. If you are unable to demonstrate to buyers and sellers why you are the right agent to represent them, the rest of your business plan means nothing. Watch our video below to learn how to successfully market yourself to potential clients and grow your income.

For more on marketing your business, sign up for our selection of marketing-focused courses.

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A luxury home sitting room with chandelier, brocade sofa and marble floors.

The 4 things all successful luxury agents do

All agents strive to reach high levels of production, so we’ve put together four tips for making your way in luxury real estate.



1. Capitalize on a Unique Skill Set – Many luxury agents did not start their professional careers in real estate. Some worked in investment banking; others were appraisers; and some worked in the corporate business world. But regardless of one’s background, there is one constant – they all bring something unique to their business. So even if you did not work in corporate America for 10 years, you should still consider what distinguished skill set you can bring to your luxury business and advertise to differentiate yourself. Failing to advertise your unique skill sets means you’ll get lost in the crowd of agents and lose potential clients who might look elsewhere for their home-buying and selling needs.



2. Complement the Lifestyle – Sure, luxury homebuyers want premium finishes and top-notch appliances, but more importantly, they want a home that complements their lifestyle. For instance, if your buyer is a fitness freak, look into luxury new construction developments in your area with state-of-the-art fitness centers and amenities like yoga rooms and juice bars. Perhaps the buyer is a gourmand, and loves sampling different cuisines? Target homes with top-notch custom kitchens or areas known for their culinary offerings. You’ll need to understand your clients’ lifestyle standards as well as you know your local market to find the perfect home for them, so make sure your market research is up to date and you know what to ask in your initial meetings with prospective clients.



3. Know the Financing Pitfalls – Most lenders set $3 million as their maximum loan amount, and jumbo loans require multiple appraisals. As a luxury agent, you’ll need to be well-versed in the particulars of financing high-end home purchases, especially for international clients who may not have the same access to conventional financing as American consumers. Clients turn to you as the expert – don’t fall short of their expectations or guide them in the wrong direction because your knowledge of the financing process is incomplete.



4. Market Outside the Box – Remember what we said earlier about a luxury home complementing the lifestyle of the client? That is similarly true for the buying and selling process. Your typical listing photos and open houses won’t cut it with luxury properties. If you want to impress your clients and draw in potential buyer, you’ll need to use marketing materials that are similarly consistent with the luxury brand and lifestyle. Whether it be high-quality glossy pamphlets, drone video or an elegant, professionally designed website featuring high-definition photography, you should be prepared to think big, invest and meet high standards with your marketing efforts.

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The 3 Counter-offer Strategies All Agents Must Master

After your clients have received an offer on their home, they’ll need your professional advice when deciding how to counter the offer. The best agents have an understanding of the buyer’s situation and will know how to strategize accordingly. Watch our video below for possible strategies you can use when countering a real estate offer.

For more on working with seller clients, sign up for our selection of seller-focused courses.

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Why You Can’t Afford to Skimp on Your Real Estate Business Plan

Although it’s tempting to skip business planning altogether, or just to skip the (important) step of writing it down, most successful agents say that the initial step of writing out a business plan started them on their path to success. Watch our video below to learn how to write a business plan that will set you on the path to profit.



For more on building a business plan like the pros, sign up for our selection of business planning courses.

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3 Pricing Mistakes That Can Doom Your Listings

Agents have many factors to consider when pricing a listing. Along with the obvious market conditions, they also have their seller’s needs to consider: they need to help their client receive the highest possible return on their investment.

Given all those demands, it is important that agents understand how to price a listing strategically. Here are three common pricing mistakes to avoid:

1. Inadequate Research – We’ll start with the most obvious pricing mistake, which is not conducting the proper research before listing the property on the market. Sure, any agent can log into the MLS, run a couple searches and see what nearby properties sold for, but that hardly provides the full story behind a home’s value. In addition, you should be diving into the particulars: at what price did homes of a similar square footage sell? How did the number of bedrooms and bathrooms affect price? And what about certain architectural details? All should be carefully considered before settling on a price.

2. Home Improvement Pricing – Many people think that home improvement projects always add to a listing’s value, but the research, courtesy of Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” report, shows that this isn’t always the case. For instance, while fiberglass attic insulation adds $1,482 value to a home (above its $1,268 cost), a basement remodel only recoups 70.4 percent of its average $68,490 price tag. Similarly, major kitchen remodels recoup 64.9 percent of their $59,999 price, and bathroom remodels are not much better at 65.7 percent of their $17,908 cost.

Home improvement does not automatically equal a higher sales price, and it is essential that your clients understand that reality.

3. Unconventional Pricing – There are many homes out there for sale, and all agents are trying to distinguish their own listings. Pricing a home on unconventional terms, however, is not a good way to stand out, especially in the modern age of syndication sites. Love them or hate them, millions of consumers use the Trulia and Zillow websites on a daily basis, and listings should be priced to show up in those searches. For instance, why price a listing at $305,000 when Trulia’s price range stops at $300,000? That extra $5,000 may seem like a nice cushion, but it could prevent your listing from being seen by many potential buyers.

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11 Tips For Sellers That Can’t Afford A Stager

Home staging is crucial to the home-selling process and increasing a property’s appeal to potential buyers. But what are your options if your sellers can’t afford a home stager? Watch our video below for 11 tips on how you can stage your client’s home on a budget.

For in-depth instruction on everything you need to know when handling seller clients, sign up for our selection of seller-focused courses.

11 Tips For Sellers That Can't Afford A Stager

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