How to Become a Great Communicator

The best agents establish a communication plan that will help them bond with clients, establish loyalty and build a relationship that lasts. Some agents underestimate the powerful effect that a reliable communication plan can have on a relationship.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the steps required to build the foundation of a communication plan that will keep clients happy and keep you top of mind for all things real estate long after the transaction is completed.

A solid communication plan includes the following four elements:

  1. Regular and predictable contact. Set clear expectations around how and when you’ll communicate with your client, and then do what you’ve said you’ll do. There are many ways to do this, but the goal here is to win your client’s trust. Maybe you’ll check in every Tuesday morning, or every other Saturday afternoon. Find out when they want to hear from you, and always follow through.
  2. Flexibility. Some people like to talk on the phone, and some only want to communicate via email. A great communication plan takes the needs and preferences of each individual client into account. By accommodating your clients, you show them that you know them well and respect their choices.
  3. A method for clients to give you feedback and initiate communication with you. An important aspect of maintaining effective communication is giving your clients a way to get in touch with you and ask you questions. Make sure they have an easy way to give you feedback, and be ready to alter your plan to their preferences at any time.
  4. Written documentation of all communication. Even if your client prefers to conduct all discussions verbally, write a summary email after each call to make sure everyone’s on the same page. You are the client’s only agent, but the client is one of many for you. Having things in writing will help you keep track of important details.

Your next step is to create a communication calendar. One easy way to do this is to create a free Google calendar dedicated to your clients. Include birthdays, holidays and special occasions, as well as your marketing schedule. The calendar will help you stay on top of both your tasks and your client communications. Your brokerage may also offer software options to help you stay in touch, and there are a number of products out there you can use to set up your system.

  1. Have a plan of action. Prepare anything you’ll need before contacting the client, and have all details related to their sale or purchase at hand. Also, be ready to update your client on what you’ve done since you last communicated, and what you plan to do next.
  2. Don’t just check in. Share news they can use. The more you explain what’s happening, the less they will have to guess. If you don’t have anything to share, it’s still better to check in then to let your client wait.
  3. Give as much detail as possible. Let the client know what you’ve done since you last spoke and what your next steps will be. Even if you have a regular call set up, end each communication with a reminder of when you’ll be in touch again, and always ask if the client has any questions.

Remember, communication works two ways: Let your clients know that they can contact you anytime. When they do, be responsive and get back to them quickly. If you miss a call, always offer some kind of a response so they know you’ve received their message. If you don’t, they’ll be left wondering.

For more details about how to build a comprehensive client communication plan, sign up for a free seven-day trial of AgentEDU. You can watch the full video here: https://bit.ly/2yK7cef  

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How to Connect with First Time Homebuyers in 2018

For the first time in over a decade, there seems to be an influx of first-time home buyers entering the marketplace. But is it more than just anecdotal? Are more first time buyers actually in a position to purchase, and if so, what does it mean for agents?

In 2017, more than 2 million new or existing homes were purchased by first-time homebuyers, according to the First-Time Homebuyer Market Report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. The report, which measured data from the fourth quarter of 2017, revealed the number of homes purchased by first-time buyers increased nearly 7 percent from the same time in 2016, making last year the best for the first-time homebuyer market since 2006.

“The first-time homebuyer segment had one of its strongest years on record, and we expect it to continue growing in market share and driving the purchase market in 2018,” says Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Since 2014, the segment has accounted for 82 percent of home purchases, but is still facing many headwinds.”

First-time homebuyers are a unique group — one  that has its own set of needs that you as an agent must be prepare to address and . That’s why we created the two-part training course, “How to Find the Perfect Home for Your Clients.”

The most common complaint that buyers will about their agents is that they were shown homes that did not fit their needs. Knowing how to find the right home for each client’s situation is a core skill that every buyer’s agent must possess.

Whether your client is a first-time homebuyer or an empty nester who is looking to downsize, you need to be prepared to understand the market — as well as how to set expectations, how to interpret the clues your client is giving you and how to eventually close the deal.

By guiding a first-time homebuyer through the sales process successfully, not only have you completed a sale and earned your commission, you may have landed a lifelong client.

Don’t miss your opportunity. Sign up for AgentEDU and learn how to find the perfect home for your clients.

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The Tech Every Real Estate Assistant Needs To Connect With Clients

How Real Estate Assistants Utilize Tech to Grow Business

It can be extremely difficult to find time to manage all the daily communications required to be a successful real estate agent. Technology has opened up new avenues of communication, and a good assistant can step in and help you stay connected with your clients in many ways.

  • Text messaging is growing in popularity among both salespeople and clients. According to an Ellie Mae survey of both consumers and sales professionals, 76 percent of respondents say they are confident in a text message’s potential to improve the buying experience by speeding up key processes. They also reported being just as comfortable texting with businesses they have a relationship with as they are with colleagues.
  • Meanwhile, 63 percent of all homebuyers surveyed in the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report said it is important that agents send property information and communicate through text message. Unsurprisingly, younger generations are more likely to prefer this method: Sixty-nine percent of those ages 37 or younger consider it important, compared with 61 percent of those ages 38 to 51.
  • Even with the explosion of text usage between client and customer, email remains king. A recent survey by NAR found that 96 percent of its membership uses email either daily or nearly every day, making it the most used form of communication by Realtors

But many agents simply don’t have the time to dedicate to using these technologies to grow their business. Nor do they have the time to properly train an assistant.

That’s why AgentEDU has released a new Assistants track, with courses specifically designed to train an assistant in the technologies needed to support a successful agent. “How to Use Technology to Support Agent Success,” “A Real Estate Assistant’s Role in Social Media” and “Technology for Real Estate” are 10-minute videos designed to train an assistant on how to stay engaged with clients and contacts, organize tasks, manage your digital presence and more.

Don’t let another client slip through the cracks. AgentEDU’s new Assistants track will train your assistant in the skills needed to support your business on a daily basis.

Click here to explore the entire Assistants track at AgentEDU. 

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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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The 5 Lead Generation Basics Real Estate Agents Can’t Afford to Mess Up

To make a living selling real estate, you need clients.

The life cycle of your leads – how you acquire them, convert them into paying clients, and handle the purchase and closing process – will define your business, but many new agents mishandle opportunities when they’re starting out, missing out on countless commissions.

The best agents – the top producers who sell millions of dollars in real estate every year – are lead generation experts. They’ve built their networks from the bottom up, and many of them enjoy lucrative referral business, which is key to running a sustainable real estate business.

Do you know how to not only find clients, but also make them so happy with your service that they’ll enthusiastically refer you to their friends and family? (more…)

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