3 Habits Successful Agents Use for Peak Productivity

One of the biggest struggles for real estate professionals can be maintaining peak productivity when the nature of the real estate business can have you pulled in a million directions. Being frazzled or appearing unorganized could, at best, detract from your professional image. At worst, it could cause you to miss valuable opportunities to grow your business. 

Let’s look at some of the ways you can plan your day for peak productivity and some real-life examples of how you can implement these strategies in your real estate business. 

#1. Identify the times when you are most focused

Some people feel most productive early in the day, while others feel the most productive over lunch, or even on Friday evenings. Spend some time paying attention to how you naturally work and when you feel the most alert. Then, once you know when you work at your best, block out this time on your calendar each day to work on the tasks that most impact your real estate business. 

You’ll never be able to gauge when and where your clients will need you next, but blocking out your “most focused” hours for lead gen or marketing duties can mean you’re knocking those items off your to-do list quickly. 

Pro Tip: Lead follow-up is one of the most important aspects of the real estate business. Use your most focused hours on personal follow-up. This is a great time to also make sure your CRM is up-to-date with your latest client touch-points. 

#2. Create routines — and stick to them

One of the best habits an agent can adopt to increase their productivity is to establish set routines — and then stick with them. Develop a solid morning and evening routine that you can easily repeat each day, and you will naturally see your productivity increase. 

Morning routine habits, such as catching up on current events or a good workout, can set you up for success for the rest of the day. Likewise, a solid evening routine will help you wind down for the day and get on the right track for the next day. Reflect on the day, thinking of what you did well — and what you’d like to accomplish tomorrow. Lastly, make time to do something that you enjoy each evening, whether it’s connecting with family or friends, or a personal hobby.

Pro Tip: To maximize your productivity, consider creating a to-do list each night for the next morning. Then, prioritize those tasks to keep your day flowing. When you do this the night before, it sets the stage for peak productivity. 

#3. Don’t forget to ask for help  

Seasoned real estate professionals know that — even at peak productivity — you can’t do everything alone. Whether you hire an administrative assistant, a closing coordinator or a buyer’s agent, sometimes operating at peak productivity means seeking help for the things that don’t make it to the top of your personal to-do list. 

Pro Tip: Hire help in the areas where you’re the weakest or don’t have the time to give your full attention (examples: your website, social media, CRM management, lead qualification). This will free up your time to focus on the other (more strategic) areas of your business. 

How do you prioritize your time? 

By understanding when you’re most productive, sticking to your key routines, and outsourcing when possible, you’ll quickly see your productivity increase. To learn more about designing your day for peak productivity and developing your professional image, sign up for our AgentEDU course Developing Your Professional Real Estate Image today.

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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 almost 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.

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4 Places to Find Local Market Data (Where Your Competitors Aren’t Looking)

As with any industry, a big part of a real estate agent’s success means keeping up with market trends and conditions and knowing the ins and outs of your community. But, outside of the data and statistics that you (and every other agent) can gain from your local MLS, where can you find valuable information to set you apart from the pack? 

Knowing that you’re only as good as the information you have and share, it’s important that you know where to look for trusted and reliable market data. 

Here are a few sources of market data that you may have not considered: 

#1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to find out more about the median or average income in your local area, as well as how strong your local labor force is and more. This information can be very valuable when advising your seller clients whether it’s a good time to sell — or not. You may also learn of new companies that are coming into your market, which could be a good source for new buyer leads. 

Pro Tip: The BLS puts out local area unemployment statistics that you can sort on an interactive map linked here. You can use this map to drill down to your local market-level statistics. 

#2. Builder Associations

Local builder associations can provide pertinent information on how many new builds were started in your local market recently, or what the building growth is year-over-year. This can be helpful in determining the overall strength of your market. 

You can also use this resource to find out which finishes and features are popular with home buyers in your area. This can be great information to guide your seller clients in updating their house before listing.

Pro Tip: The National Association of Home Builders website is a great resource for monitoring national trends, as well as their Housing Market Index, which takes the pulse of the single-family housing market. 

#3. The Board of Education 

Information gathered from the local boards of education can help you become somewhat of an expert on local school zones, school ratings, and more. The Washington Post reports that good schools are one of the top deciding factors for home buyers with children, so being able to confidently give your clients through local school zoning information can give you a competitive advantage in the local market. 

It should be noted that the Fair Housing Act prevents agents from “influencing a buyer’s choice of communities based upon the buyer’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin.” It is best to point your clients to resources on schooling rather than giving your personal opinion, but having these tools ready for buyers can set you apart!

Pro Tip: Create a section of your website that’s dedicated to school resources and tools for your prospective buyer clients. GreatSchools.org and your local school board websites are a great place to start. 

#4. Utility Companies

Another question that is often asked by prospective home buyers is about typical utility bills. And, while individuals’ billing will vary greatly depending on personal levels of usage, local utility companies can be a great place to turn to get information on average bills or local connection information. 

Pro Tip: Some utility companies will provide you with an average bill estimate (based on past historic data) if you just call them and give them the address. UtilityScore.com is another great resource for estimating. 

Finding Resources that Make You Stand Out 

As you can see, local market data isn’t always just sales numbers. Rather, you can use these unexpected sources — and more — to help build and foster a better understanding of your community. To find out about more unexpected sources of local market data, sign up for our AgentEDU course Learning Your Real Estate Market today.

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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 18 years, 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. 

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3 Cautions Before Joining a Real Estate Team

Traditionally, real estate was thought to be an individual venture. While some boutique brokerages did have teams that operated with the broker as the head, most real estate professionals acted as individual agents. 

However, the industry has begun to see a shift, with many professionals choosing to work in real estate teams instead, with each team member working in the positions that play to his or her individual strengths, such as a listing agent or a buyer’s agent. 

While there are no concrete procedures that all real estate teams follow, the basic principles of working within a team still apply. For instance, in a real estate team, all members pitch in to help move toward the common goal. What’s more, the team format is also helpful to clients, with someone on the team always being available to help out when the need arises. 

But before you join a real estate team, it is important to understand the ways in which real estate teams work are fundamentally different from the ways individual agents work. Before you join a real estate team, here are a few things you should consider:

Structure and Responsibilities

Before joining a real estate team, it’s important to understand the structure of the team as well as the role that members play. Does the team have role-specific buying agents and listing agents, or do agents handle both roles? Perhaps there’s a transaction manager or a marketing person? Teams often increase role options as a way to scale the tasks involved in transactions.

Think about your strengths and your personality. Are there parts of your job that you love and excel at? Are there parts you’d rather give up, or tasks that you would prefer to be handled by someone else? Many agents report that their talents and abilities seem to naturally align one way or the other. If you feel this way, working as part of a real estate team may be a natural fit for you. 

Ask for a breakdown of the team structure, as well as who reports to whom and what the business goals are.

Financials

While it can be uncomfortable to talk about money, anyone in sales can tell you that it’s a huge part of their job. When interviewing or considering joining a real estate team, don’t shy away from the topic! After all, financial structures and compensation models are often the biggest deciding factor when choosing a real estate team, so it’s important that you are informed in order to make the best decision.

Ask about the compensation. Is the team based on commission only, salary and bonuses, or a hybrid structure? Is there a cap on commissions? And, if the pay is commission-based, what are the commission splits? Also, be sure to ask about any training or franchise fees, as well as brokerage fees.

Keep in mind that some teams receive the commission split that the team leader has negotiated with the larger brokerage — if this is the case, it can be attractive to new agents who may otherwise have a lower split. 

Technology

As with all other industries, technology is crucial to the real estate industry, which is rapidly changing and always adapting to new technologies. Those that embrace technology are more likely to thrive, so it’s important to understand how technology fits into the real estate team and how it is implemented on a day to day basis. 

Ask about the team’s advertising model, as well as their social media presence. Does the team have a CRM in place and, if so, is it optimized to be used on the go or in the field? Who handles the cost of the CRM? Ideally, the right real estate team will have a good system in place. They know how important technology is, and they know how to use it to their advantage. 

It should be noted that teams historically present some challenges for data and production reporting. Be sure to have a thorough understanding of how sales will be recorded in the MLS. 

Is a Real Estate Team Right for You? 

When it comes down to it, your personality and your personal goals are two of the biggest factors when deciding to work with a real estate team or go solo. One of the benefits of working with a real estate team is the team mentality — a “one for all and all for one” mentality. A solid real estate team can provide a huge source of support, but you need to be prepared to pull your own weight. It’s often said that a team is only as good as its weakest link. If you feel like someone on the team may slow you down, it may be best to strike it on your own. 

To learn more, sign up for our AgentEDU course Are You Ready to Join or Start a Real Estate Team? today. 

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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 18 years, 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. 

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4 Ways a Polished Listing Presentation Changes the Game

Whether you’re a brand new real estate agent or a seasoned professional, your listing presentation can be the key to successfully converting leads into seller clients. And, we all know that listings are not only an opportunity to sell a home — they’re an opportunity to grow your business. Having a bank of great listings will help you interact with more active home buyers, which can turn into additional business. 

With that said, let’s dive deeper into why you need a polished listing presentation and how it can help you grow your business. 

#1. Showcase Your Skills

Creating a quality listing presentation gives agents the opportunity to showcase their skills. It’s the perfect opportunity to go beyond your designations and certifications to highlight your sales successes, unique marketing skills, and neighborhood prowess. In fact, according to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, marketing homes (20%), pricing homes competitively (20%), selling homes within a specific timeframe (19%), and finding buyers (14%) are among the top tasks that sellers place a high priority on. 

Speak directly to these tasks! Your listing presentation is the perfect way to highlight how your unique skills benefit sellers in these areas. 

#2. Build a Connection 

NAR’s 2018 Profile of Buyers and Sellers also indicates that the reputation of the real estate agent was by far the most important factor when sellers selected an agent to market their home. Knowing that statistic, you can utilize your listing presentation to build trust and establish a connection with potential home sellers. 

To do this, you can include reviews and recommendations, any professional awards or achievements you’ve earned, and any community organizations you’re a part of. If you plan on presenting your listing presentation digitally, a quick video testimonial is a great addition! 

#3. Stand Out from the Crowd

How are you different from other agents? Do you create a custom website for each listing? Do you hire aerial photographers or create 3D tours? Is your list-to-sale statistic in the top 5% of all agents in your market? Maybe you’ve sold more homes in a particular neighborhood than any other agent. 

Your listing presentation is the ideal opportunity to highlight some of your sales statistics, as well as the unique skill set that sets you apart from the crowd. 

#4. Exhibit Your Professionalism 

Another reason to have a polished and professional listing presentation is to exhibit your professionalism. Potential sellers want to have confidence that you’ll represent them (and their home) with the utmost professionalism and care. 

When you show up to a listing appointment with a tailored listing presentation — you’re showing that you took the time and effort to prepare, that you will work to earn their business, and that you’re a real professional. Setting this tone early in the process is vital not only to a successful client-agent relationship — but also to your professional reputation. 

Upgrade Your Listing Presentation Today 

It’s time to take a proactive approach to win over potential clients. Having a strong listing presentation will be an invaluable asset in your agent toolbelt — coming in handy time and time again. 

To learn more on how to create an unparalleled listing presentation, sign up today for our AgentEDU course on How to Give a Great Listing Presentation

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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.

 AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For 18 years, 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. 

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The 10 steps to a successful sale

Every real estate agent has his or her own methods for getting to know clients and moving them through the homebuying process. But there are some tried-and-true steps that every agent should follow:

1. Greet the client and develop rapport – Help the client get comfortable with you. Build trust through authentic interactions.

2. Ask qualifying questions – Ask about what the client is looking for, their financial situation, buying motivation, and timeframe.

3. Set expectations – Lay out the procedure for the client: how to prepare their lender paperwork, timing for making a decision, preview of a blank contract if it’s a resale, and review new construction contracts. Walk them through what happens after deciding on a home.

4. Present their options – Talk about homes on the market that fit their criteria. Present your plan for picking the best one or extending the search.

5. Demonstrate the homes – Show the homes, going over every detail and focusing on the home’s features and benefits. Keep client motivations and desires in mind at all times. (Though it’s really the listing agent’s job, this important step is often left to the buyer’s agent.)

6. Narrow it down to one home – Narrow down the options until the client is left with one home that meets their needs and that they’re able to buy.

7. Overcome objections – Anticipate objections and remove them before they even come up. When objections do arise, be prepared to address them.

8. Close the sale – You may know the saying “ABC” (Always Be Closing), which means that good closers keep closing in mind throughout the whole process, and use every opportunity to move the buying process forward.

9. Make sure the steps between sale and closing go smoothly – Stay on top of the lender, inspector, and appraiser. Assist with arranging movers or other tasks to help the client transition into their new home.

10. Follow up and get referrals – Seek client feedback via phone calls or a survey. Agents can ask for ways to help clients with any of their post-close suggestions and put them on a long-term referral plan.

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A laptop, smartphone, cup of coffee, and notebooks on a wood table.

The 10 qualifying questions that lead to a sale

Below are just a few of the questions agents need to ask to assess potential clients’ current situation, motivation, and timeline.

1. How long have you been looking for a new home? How soon do you hope to move?

2. Have you been working with another agent?

3. What have you seen so far? What do you think of the homes you’ve seen?

4. Tell me about your family. What size place to you think you need? What about schools?

5. Do you own your current home? Do you need to sell it before you can buy a new home?

6. Are you interested in new construction, resale, or both?

7. What is your price range? Has a lender prequalified you for that amount?

8. Do you want a single-family home, townhome, or condo? How many bedrooms and baths do you need?

9. When do you want to start looking at properties? When will you be ready to buy?

10. Do you prefer to be contacted by phone call, text, or email?

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