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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4 Ways To Harness The Selling Power Of Direct Mail

In an age where we can order groceries through Amazon and watch Wolf Blitzer via hologram, it seems a little old hat for real estate agents to include direct mail in their marketing campaigns. But it’s not.

While the idea of paper ads may feel outdated, the reality is that direct mail is still very effective. In fact, it remains a favored method for many agents.

According to the CMO Council, a peer network of chief marketing officers, nearly 80 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent who act on email. The Direct Marketing Association reported that more than half of consumers consider print marketing the most trustworthy. And in a direct rebut to the “it’s too old fashioned” argument, AlphaGraphics claimed that 92 percent of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.

For agents the question then becomes: how do I use direct mail effectively? Here are four ground rules:

1. Use it to reinforce your brand – One of the primary benefits of direct mail is that it provides potential clients with something tangible. It’s the perfect opportunity to literally put your brand directly into their hands.

2. Create urgency with calls to action – Direct mail isn’t interactive like online ads, so it needs a visible call to action that gives the recipient an easy next step to take. A QR code is one option for taking that step from page to screen – but that is a bit outdated. More effective would be a phone number, email or a short, easy-to-remember URL the recipient can refer to when he or she is ready to start the buying or selling process.

3. Define and speak to your target audience – When composing a direct mailing list, carefully consider who you are sending to and what message you want to convey. Direct mail allows you to hyper-target your message. If you’re speaking to Millennials, the message could address entry-level homes or common financing questions. If you’re targeting older homeowners, perhaps the angle is the resale process or downsizing.

4. Integrate direct mail with other channels – A benefit of digital advertising is that it’s easy to manage campaigns across multiple platforms and mediums. The same approach should be taken with direct mail. Agents can fold their direct mail messages into other marketing campaigns and materials (like brochures and e-blasts) to maximize its effectiveness, or cast a wider net by sending multiple mailers delivering separate but related messages to different audiences.

4 Ways To Harness The Selling Power Of Direct Mail

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Land The Listing: 5 Steps To A Killer Listing Presentation

With so much at stake for your client, how can you prove you’re up to the challenge of selling their home? Your best bet is blowing them away with your listing presentation. In our video below, you’ll learn the five basic steps to a killer presentation that will land you the listing you’ve worked hard to get.



Be prepared every time you meet with potential clients with our selection of listing presentation courses.

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Rookie Agents Need A Client Base – Here Are 4 Ways To Build It

Top real estate agents get to the top and stay there because they have a book of business sustained by robust referral networks. But that business wasn’t handed to them, and rookie agents should never assume it will be for them, either.

If rookie agents want to eventually reach those upper echelons, they need to start laying the foundations of their client base on day one.

Here’s how:

  1. Prospect – Even though leads may sometimes fall into your lap, you have to put in the work to turn them into paying clients. Effective prospecting is a skill that sets the future top producers from the part timers. You’ll need to make phone calls and send emails, network anywhere and everywhere, and adopt a persona that’s “all agent, all the time.” An article from RealtyTimes, featured in the National Association of Realtors’ “Field Guide to Farming and Prospecting,” suggests you should choose a selling strategy that works for you. Some find following sales scripts and being pushy can make them feel “icky.” If that’s you, don’t do it. Find a strategy you can be excited about; prospective clients will pick up on your passion and enthusiasm.
  2. Know your stuff – Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t have experience? Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t know their business? Being a rookie agent doesn’t give you license to parade the fact that you’re new at this. It’s not like being a server, where you tell someone “I’m new” so they’ll forgive a forgotten refill. Homebuyers and sellers want to entrust this process to a professional, and being a professional means knowing your stuff and proving it – whether that’s your local inventory, or trends in price and sales, etc. Cultivate that sense of authority early on to impress your clients and instill in them the confidence that you can handle their business.
  3. Network…at yard sales – When you network in public places, there is never a guarantee that the person you’re meeting is looking to buy or sell a house. Networking at a community event like a yard sale is a different story. When a person tosses their belongings on to a driveway for pennies on the dollar and says, “please buy this,” the subtext is limited: either they’re cleaning or they’re moving. Never dismiss an opportunity to interact with homeowners on their home turf: after all, even if they’re simply shedding a few unwanted belongings at a garage sale, they may remember you and call you when the time comes to buy or sell.
  4. Become a team’s buyer agent – Joining a solid team as a buyer’s agent will not be a glamorous position and you won’t be making the big bucks, but it is an effective way to quickly gain experience and start building a referral network. Clients will be hand-delivered in many cases, and for an agent with limited experience and knowledge, it’s an ideal scenario to learn the business.



Build a Lucrative Real Estate Referral Network

4 Ways Rookie Agents Can Build A Better Real Estate Client Base

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