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.

Read More

This Week in Real Estate | AgentEDU.com

This Week In Real Estate: New NAR Vice President Named, A Revised MLS Policy And More

The National Association of Realtors was busy this week naming its 2016-2017 vice president and approving revisions to its Handbook on Multiple Listings Policy. Stay current on industry news with our weekly news roundup:

  • Single-family homebuilding is showing encouraging strength in 2016, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to analysis from Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist, single-family starts are up 13.1 percent in the last 12 months, compared to the same time period in April 2015.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 1776 and Free Enterprise recently released a joint analysis of the best cities in the country for startup companies. Find out if your city made the list here.
  • Illinois Realtor Mabèl Guzmàn will be a 2016-2017 NAR vice president, according to a new release from the Illinois Association of Realtors. Guzmàn, a broker for @properties in Chicago, will focus on association affairs, and will be part of NAR 2017 President Bill Brown’s cabinet. She will be joined by 2016 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, and another vice president, Kevin Sears of Springfield, Mass.
  • The National Association of Realtors board of directors approved revisions to its Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy that will henceforth require all members have the rights to any listing content entered into the MLS. Learn more about the policy update here.

Read More

This Week In Real Estate: REAL Trends 500, Best States For Working Moms and more

Do you work for one of the leading brokerages in the country or live in one of the most accommodating states for working moms? Learn this and more in our weekly news roundup:

  • Every year, REAL Trends, a leading source for industry analysis and information, publishes its 500 lists, which rank the country’s top residential brokerages by transaction sides and total sales volume. Did your residential brokerages make the REAL Trends 500? Find out here.
  • A recent study from WalletHub identified the states that are most accommodating to working moms. The study looked at cost, quality and availability of child care; the professional environment as it pertains to women (i.e. gender pay gap, ratio of female to male executives, median salary, female unemployment rate, etc.); and average afforded work-life balance, which weighed policies on parental leave, as well as the length of the average work week and commute.
  • RealtyTrac recently reported that 1.4 million loans were originated on U.S. residential properties in the first quarter of 2016 in its Q1 2016 U.S. Residential Property Loan Origination Report. Daren Blomquist, the senior vice president at RealtyTrac, commented on the 12 percent nationwide decline, “After a surprisingly strong 2015, the mortgage refinancing market started running out of steam in the first quarter of 2016, despite lower mortgage interest rates.” Learn more about RealtyTrac’s recent report here.
  • According to a new analysis from Zillow, more Millennials now live with their parents than at anytime in the last decade, as wages for Millennials have fallen across all industries since 2007, home prices have risen, student debt has skyrocketed and savings rates have plunged. Find out what percentage of your city’s Millennials have moved back in with their parents here.

Read More

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.

Read More

Representing sellers: use buying signs to seal the deal

When representing a seller, how well you know the potential buyer and the potential buyer’s agent is crucial to getting your client the most money. Making note of certain things, like a buyer’s behavior during a home showing, can give you insight into the buyer’s situation, which you can use as leverage when negotiating. Watch our video below to find out how to successfully represent a seller in a buyer’s market.



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


Read More

This Week In Real Estate: Luxury Housing Markets Decline, Inventory Shortage and more

This year is panning out to be a challenging one for both luxury and first-time homebuyers. Get the latest on the issues facing the real estate industry and consumers in our weekly news roundup:

  • A new analysis from Redfin reports luxury housing markets across the U.S. have seen declines in 2016. Redfin reports two major causes behind the declines in luxury housing – the fluctuations in the stock market and the strong U.S. dollar. Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson further explains the issue here.
  • First-time buyers may have a tough time buying homes this spring, as the supply of homes that they can afford continues to shrink. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, weighs in on how the inventory shortage is causing prices to rise in the lower price points here.
  • Facebook has launched a new messenger feature that will interact with your clients and potential clients on your behalf when you don’t have the time to interact with them yourself. The feature allows you to pre-program conversation points so that your Messenger can respond to client inquiries when you don’t have the time to. You can learn more about the feature here.
  • NeighborhoodScout recently released both its top 100 “safest” cities in America and top 100 “most dangerous” cities in America lists. The reports considers population and the rate of individual crime types per one thousand residents – including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault – for its rankings. Take a look to find out if your city is amongst the safest or most dangerous in the nation.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More