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 four ways you can make the credit score topic more understandable to your clients.

#1. 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.

#2. 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.

#3. 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.

#4. 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.

#5. Bring It All Together

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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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.

How to Determine Your Advertising Needs

Many successful agents reach a point in their careers where they need more sophisticated marketing and advertising strategies. Though many brokerages offer this kind of support, top agents often outgrow typical offerings and want to take brand marketing into their own hands. If this is where you find yourself, or you just want to stand out from your competition, you may want to consider tailoring your relationship with your in-house department or using an outside marketing firm that can offer you something different.

In this blog you’ll learn the pros and cons of working with in-house personnel vs. outside firms and how to determine what you really need from your marketing campaigns.

Cost

For many agents, the cost of working with a professional agency is the most important consideration in deciding who will handle marketing and advertising efforts. While you investigate whether or not your brokerage can do the job for you, consider these questions.

Can you get discounts for media placement? If your brokerage already has an advertising contract with a particular media outlet, you may be able to benefit from their frequency discount. Many media outlets offer lower rates on advertising space based on the number of placements purchased. If your brokerage secures a substantial media buy, and in return offers you discounted pricing for the space, you may see a significant savings when compared to buying media placement on your own or through an outside agency.

Brokerage Support

Does your brokerage offer opportunities to include your listing in ads that advertise multiple listings? What does it cost to be included? This opportunity may give you access to media space you couldn’t afford to purchase on your own.

Do the research, because there may be considerable cost advantages to using brokerage resources. When you work with your in-house marketing department, you may be offered different payment options. You may pay for time, per project or creative services may be a free perk for top producers. It’s up to you to negotiate your own marketing package. You can compare the services offered in-house to those of an outside agency. However, keep in mind that most brokerages are less inclined to help you build a significant brand outside of the brokerage. You’ll need an outside agent if you want to secure a higher level of attention to your own brand.

Available Resources

Let’s talk about the resources available to you. You’ll have to know what your options are before you can plan. Is there a skilled in-house marketing department that can provide the creative services you need? Is there a strategist on the team? Is there a graphic designer who will execute your direction? Are there professional copywriters?

Building effective ad campaigns and branded marketing is a highly creative pursuit, and quality may be subjective. As most agents have real estate expertise but are not trained creative artists, there may be a tendency to underestimate the value of quality design and to misunderstand how messaging can help or hurt marketing efforts. While agents may not recognize low-quality design or copy, many consumers do see the difference. Once you get a feel for it, you will see why some brands outperform other brands even when the actual products are very similar. It may seem too costly to hire professionals, but it will cost you even more to spend your ad budgets on ineffective designs and messaging.

Qualities to Look For

The qualifications of the people you hire to execute this creative work can vary greatly. When reviewing candidates, look for artful attention to detail and an understanding of how to connect with audiences. Seek out creative people who know the principles of design, messaging, effective calls to action and brand standards. Ask for portfolios and past work and have them explain their process to you to see if you’ll work well together.

As in the real estate business, you may find your best candidates through referrals. Ask your colleagues if they have recommendations for marketing professionals or teams. Interview several candidates and get a feel for who would be a good fit. These people will be a part of your extended team, helping you identify your vision and meet your goals.

Don’t be intimidated. Some very good ad agencies are small shops while others are huge companies. If you are unsure if a particular agency is appropriate for the budget you have in mind, just ask.

To learn more about how to determine the marketing needs of your real estate business, as well as how to develop an advertising campaign that works, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and start with the advertising track.

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.

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.”

AgentEDU Releases Comprehensive Training Courses Designed to Train Assistants in the Business of Real Estate

March 16th, 2018 CHICAGO – AgentEDU.com, a division of Agent Publishing, today announced the release of their latest course specifically designed to train assistants for the unique demands of the real estate industry.

A well trained real estate assistant can be invaluable when it comes to marketing, branding and time management, but an agent’s schedule may prevent them from being able to invest the time needed to properly train one. AgentEDU’s exclusive eight-course Assistants track was created to provide agents with an effective training platform that educates assistants on the regulations of the real estate industry as well as the day-to-day responsibilities when working with a real estate agent.

“With more than 20 years experience as a real estate agent I know how valuable a well trained assistant can be to growing your business. I also know how difficult it is to find the time and resources to properly train an assistant,”said Marci Sepulveda, AgentEDU’s managing partner. “We created the Assistants track to provide agents nationwide with easily accessible, but in-depth courses that will produce productive assistants and valuable additions to any real estate team.”

 

About AgentEDU

AgentEDU is an online video training platform designed to help real estate agents at every level advance their skill set, expand their industry knowledge and become better agents. Each 10-minute course focuses on the best practices for every situation. From daily core skills to high-level negotiations and everything in between, AgentEDU helps agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth.

 

About Agent Publishing

With nearly 15 years in publication and covering Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Boston, Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital and events. Online and offline, Agent Publishing delivers quality content that residential real estate professionals trust. Learn more at www.AgentPublishing.com

Central Wisconsin Board of REALTORS® to provide agent training for all members with AgentEDU

CHICAGO — March 12, 2018 — AgentEDU.com, a division of Agent Publishing, has signed an agreement to provide online training to the Central Wisconsin Board of REALTORS®. Founded in 1994, the association has more than 650 members and is one of the largest associations in central Wisconsin.

 

AgentEDU will provide online video training courses from basic core skills to advanced courses that include negotiation, lead generation, marketing, technology and beyond.

“We are incredibly happy to offer this great additional benefit to our members,” said Paula Hall, CWBR Executive Officer. “AgentEDU offers a unique opportunity for all of our members—both new and more established agents—to grow their skills and become top producers.

“As an innovator in agent training, AgentEDU is well positioned to enhance the CWBR mission to support member growth,” said Marci Sepulveda, AgentEDU’s managing partner. “Our company will provide the CWBR with the curriculum and training that will enhance every member’s career.”

 

About AgentEDU

AgentEDU is an online video training platform designed to help real estate agents at every level advance their skill set, expand their industry knowledge and become better agents. Each 10-minute course focuses on the best practices for every situation. From daily core skills to high-level negotiations and everything in between, AgentEDU helps agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth.

 

About Agent Publishing

With nearly 15 years in publication and covering Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Boston, Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital and events. Online and offline, Agent Publishing delivers quality content that residential real estate professionals trust. Learn more at www.AgentPublishing.com