How to Deliver Better Service to Gen Z Buyers

Agents need to better understand the particular needs and aspirations that buyers have when it comes to homebuying in order for the process to be smooth. That may be even more true when you’re dealing with younger clients, specifically those in the Gen Z demographic (born mid-1990s to mid-2000s).

This blog entry lays out the homebuying concerns that Gen Zs have, as well as how they stack up against other age demographics like Generation X. We’ll also provide tips on how to better serve this age group effectively. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch our dedicated track, “Representing Buyers.”


Gen Z’s homebuying obstacles

In a recent survey by PropertyShark, 83 percent of Gen Z respondents said they see themselves entering the real estate market within the next five years. This comes on the heels of approximately 100,000 Gen Z homebuyers. That figure is only posed to increase; however, it doesn’t come without some potential roadblocks. A notable takeaway from the survey is that Gen Z sees student debt as their biggest obstacle, with almost a third (32 percent) stating it’s their biggest obstacle to buying a home. This is a significant contrast to the only 7 percent of Gen Xers who reported the same issue.

The second largest obstacle for Gen Zs is coming up with a down payment for their home. This is an area that many age demographics agree is a roadblock, as 31 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of millennials reported the same. Interestingly, unlike Gen Xers and millennials, Gen Z does not see increasing home prices as a significant obstacle in buying a home. While 14 percent of Gen Xers and 13 percent of millennials see this as a potential roadblock, only 5 percent of Gen Z reported the same.

Another brighter side for Gen Z is that only 1.2 percent of Gen Z homeowners are more than 60 days late on mortgage payments. This compares to the 1.6 percent of baby boomers and millennials and 2.3 percent of Gen Xers.


Gen Z aspire to different things

Gen Zs have a different aspirational lifestyle compared to millennials. One area of difference is the amount of space they want; where Gen Z wants their homes to be 2,081 square feet on average, that’s 200 feet more than millennials.

Other areas in a home search that Gen Z value are: location, parking spaces, lifestyle amenities, smart appliances and smart homes. The report went onto state, “Considering the youth of Gen Z, the importance of smart systems is likely to increase as more of their cohort enters the housing market.”

One area that may spell bad news for smaller, rural markets, is the urban lifestyle that Gen Z aspires to. In a similar response to millennials, 30 percent of Gen Z say they want to live in large metro areas whereas 60 percent want to live in suburban areas, leaving only 10 percent for rural markets. Living at home is still what’s most practical for many millennials and Gen Zers;  they’re doing so while also saving money to afford their own home. The report found that 40 percent of Gen Z respondents said the biggest reason they stay home is to save up money.

In all, Gen Z is considered the most optimistic about owning a home while also getting the lifestyle they want. Although they’re coming into the homebuying process with extra baggage, and specific desires, as an agent you can adapt to every buyer’s needs. Moreover, communication is key in not only establishing common ground with your Gen Z buyer but also helping them keeping their options open with flexibility.

Understanding their obstacles and formatting your services to better assist a Gen Z buyer can make the process much smoother, which can also lead to future contacts via recommendation. To learn more about better representing your buyers and best practices for any situation, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our essential, “Representing Buyers” track.


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4 Ways an Assistant Markets a Listing

Attracting qualified buyers to purchase properties is one of the most important skills that sellers expect from their agents. An assistant can be very useful in helping to reach the right customers. In this blog you’ll learn more about 4 ways an assistant can help marketing listings to sell a home.

If you’re one of those TL:DR types, then start your 7-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, ‘An Assistant’s Role in Marketing Real Estate Listings’.


Traditional advertising

Although all this may seem like a lot for an assistant to handle, there is still much to do in traditional advertising. In many cases, traditional media is still very effective for the real estate business. Your agent may be getting great results from direct mail postcards and advertising in print and online. Using postcards to let neighbors know what an agent just listed or just sold works because it offers market information, plus exposure for listings and the agent. Make sure the photos look great, the message and the call to action are clear and that the brand is properly reflected. Advertising in print is effective in certain markets, not in others. Online advertising allows potential clients to click through the ad to the agent’s website or email. And don’t forget to look into marketing opportunities on syndication sites like Zillow. These can help with lead generation. Ultimately, advertising works best when you know who your target market is and how to best reach them.


Social media

With social media’s important role in marketing, most real estate agents maintain at least one social media account for their business. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are among the most popular, but additional networks may emerge and you’ll need to be ready. The idea is to keep your company relevant and useful. If you can find a specific angle that can bolster your brand, all the better. Create an editorial calendar going three months out so that you can map out a strategy and use any analytics that are available to optimize and refine your message. Social media holds a varying level of importance, depending on your target market, but no agent should ever appear to be technologically challenged. Be mindful of keeping the agents you work for up to date.


Surveys, testimonials and reviews

And there is much more marketing that you can help with as an assistant. A completed transaction is not the end of the relationship. There is still marketing work to do! Start with surveys, testimonials and reviews. It’s a good idea to send a survey to clients after a transaction is finished to let them share the pros and cons of their experience with the agent. This information is useful to agents so they can make improvements to their systems and services. It’s also a low-pressure tactic used to ask for a testimonial and an online review. There are third party survey services that are simple and inexpensive to put into practice. This should be part of your operating procedure at the close of every sale. And getting testimonials and reviews on sites like Yelp can really help an agent get new clients and stand out from the competition.


Participate in the neighborhood

Lastly, one of the best ways to market the business is by simply being top of mind when it comes to real estate in your neighborhood. The simplest and most effective way to do this is by actually spending time participating in the neighborhood. Have a presence at festivals and town meetings. Consider volunteering at the local school. Suggest that your agent sponsor neighborhood events, or simply make sure to get a table at them. You may want to keep track of event opportunities for your agent and maybe even attend yourself. Seek out opportunities to put your agent in front of the right target market.

No one likes someone who only talks business, but there’s nothing wrong with being helpful and relevant. If you keep your ears open and participate with people, you will find organic ways to help market the company that makes businesses and residents truly feel like the company is part of the neighborhood.

All in all, it’s important to remember that selling homes is just one part of your business. It’s just as imperative to ensure that your business has a future flow of potential customers and that your brand and reputation is being managed in the best way for your company. To learn more about an assistant’s role working with an agent, start your free 7-day trial of AgentEDU today explore our 8-course track, dedicated entirely to training assistants in the unique needs and demands of the real estate industry.

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Do You Know Who Your Buyers are and What Challenges They Face?

While honing your craft as a real estate agent is important, it’s also vital that you understand the demographics that are driving today’s market. This blog will explain who is dominating the current housing market, offering tips on how to be the best agent for any situation. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing Buyers.”


Who’s buying

The National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that married couples continue to make up the majority of buyers at roughly 63 percent. The next largest chunk are single females, making up 18 percent of the market. This is on par with their 2017 report. Some trends shifted from 2017, however. For example, single male buyers made some traction by going up from 7 percent to 8 percent of all buyers. Another slight shift was that first-time home buyers fell from 34 percent to 33 percent in this latest report.

When it comes to buying the actual home, single males tend to spend more on homes than single females. Unmarried men clocked in with a median home sale price of $215,000, while single women buyers had a median home sale price of $189,000.


Challenges for buyers

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated, “With the lower end of the housing market – smaller, moderately priced homes – seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford,” adding that this inventory shortage of creates a challenge for first-time home buyers. “Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices.”

Another challenge for many buyers is significant student loan debt. Thirteen percent of buyers said they’re having difficulty saving for a down payment, with half of those respondents stating student loans as the primary reason. First-time homebuyers are specifically struggling with this issue, as 40 percent have some student loan debt with median debt totaling $30,000. Student loans hit both younger homebuyers and singles harder. Younger buyers are either freshly out of school or struggling to prioritize student loans with saving for a down payment. Single people don’t have the support that married couples have as they’re working to pay off their student loans.


Trending upside

Overall, the outlook is trending positive, according to Yun: “Existing home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market.”

Such improvements may even be showing up in the numbers already. The 2018 NAR report found buyers put a median 13 percent down on their home purchases, up from 10 percent last year and the highest amount since 2005.

Knowing the relationship and financial status of your buyer is key in setting up the home search process for them. To learn more about how to appropriately and efficiently represent your buyers, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to the “Representing Buyers” course.

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How to Recruit the Best Agents for Your Firm

Having a real estate brokerage that is both efficient and successful is essential in improving sales and generating leads. Recruiting top talent is one of the most helpful ways to both delegate work load in order to free up your own time, but also to build up your company’s reputation.

This blog will explain the best practices to take in recruiting agents to your firm. You’ll see report findings from Engel & Völkers on what agents like best about their brokerages as well as tips on how to make appropriate offers to your new talent. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Team Building.”


Mostly satisfied

In a survey done by Engel & Völkers Americas, agents expressed overall satisfaction in their current state of employment. The company’s State of Real Estate Recruiting report found that around 96 percent of agents are satisfied, with 94 percent stating that they would remain at their brokerage for another year. Furthermore, 90 percent of agents said they would recommend their brokerage to other agents.
However, even with satisfaction rates in the nineties, 35 percent of agents stated that they consider leaving their brokerage at least once a year. Some of the top reasons for leaving include searches for better commission splits, increased lead generation opportunities and greater benefits. Indeed, 38 percent of agents say they would leave their current brokerage for better commission splits. These are agents who are looking for a way out, and could possibly make a great addition to your own firm.


How to appeal

One of the first things a managing broker should do to recruit top talent is to conduct research on agents they want to target. This is key to attracting them as well as in sorting out any agents who do not fit your needs or may be underperforming. The Engel & Völkers report suggests brokers “thoroughly research these agents, and certainly before meeting with them have an understanding of their production level, style of doing business and reputation in the industry.”

Kelly Stephens, vice president and managing broker at Engel & Völkers Atlanta North Fulton and Engel & Völkers Buckhead Atlanta, found that the two main things agents are looking for are support and leads. Location also matters for agents, with 72 percent stating they prefer to work in a brokerage with a physical office space. The report also notes that it’s important for managing brokers to highlight some of the other benefits, aside from splits, that agents will receive or lose by switching.

Being both transparent and upfront about your offerings is key in appealing to the best agents for your team. The way that you personalize your recruiting efforts to match the profile of the agent you hope to attract is key. The report goes on to state, “Recruiting top talent is not something that will happen without a brokerage’s concerted effort into reaching prospects with the right message that will resonate.” The way that you reach out to these prospective agents will show them that you are doing in-depth research in the effort.

To learn more about building an efficient and successful team of real estate agents and other fundamental skills on running your business, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our “Team Building” course.

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Mortgage Rates and the Market

Mortgage rates are a factor for both buyers and sellers, which means agents need to be aware of what they’re doing on any given week. However, focusing too much on what economists or the news media say can throw you off track.

This blog explains the impact that lower mortgage rates have in fueling housing market optimism.


Solid ground

One of the factors of there being such optimism for the 2019 year in regard to the market is the fact that mortgage rates are at their lowest levels in 10 months. This comes even as many economists and mortgage lenders were warning of higher interest rates in 2019. With the recent downtrend in rates and extra inventory opening up, the spring homebuying market will have an extra push. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater stated that “the U.S. economy remains on solid ground, inflation is contained and the threat of higher short-term rates is fading from view, which has allowed mortgage rates to drift down.” Mortgage rates stood at an average APR of 4.41 percent on the standard 30-year fixed-rate loan, just 0.09 above last years’ levels, according to a February report by Freddie Mac.

Khater goes on to mention that today’s buyers have a larger selection of homes on the market as well as more consumer bargaining power than they’ve had in the last few years. Couple that with these low mortgage rates and there could be an early rally for the spring housing market.


Economists eye the Fed

A key component in the market is what actions the Federal Reserve will make. In late 2018 there were signs that the Fed was going to continue raising rates, and some economists estimated at least three rate increases for 2019. However, economic data gave Fed chair Jerome Powell cause to rethink that idea. Now a recent survey of economists done by the Wall Street Journal shows that most don’t expect a rate hike before June. Furthermore, most economist agree that there will likely only one more rate hike, probably in late 2019. This will effectively keep borrowing costs much lower than previously anticipated through 2019 and 2020.

Borrowing costs hinge on forward-looking indicators such as Fed meeting minutes and the consensus of economists, so reduced expectations on rate hikes for 2019 may keep mortgages more affordable for the first half of the year. However, there is a good deal of uncertainty baked into every economic forecast, so even expert consensus may not be a reality.


Keeping focus

Given the uncertainty, it’s key to be a levelheaded. It’s never a good idea to rely 100 percent on what an economist says MAY happen in the future is a good move. Being informed but also taking the information given with a grain of salt will put you more at ease and allow you to properly respond to the housing market.

 The real estate market has many indicators to look at and factors that play a role. Being in the know and taking note of the trends is key in planning the road ahead. For more valuable tips and tactics on mortgage rates check out our AgentEDU course dedicated to Mortgage rates. You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the “Real Estate Mortgage Basics” course.

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How to Deliver Better Service to Sellers with Children

Being a listing agent requires cooperation and communication, especially when sellers have children. Adding children into the mix can lead to different wants and needs from the seller, which can make your job more difficult. From wanting a faster sell time to needing help fixing up their current home, sellers with children often demand more from their agents. You as their agent need to be prepared to serve them with a more focused approach.

This post touches on the expectations that sellers with children have for their agents and offers tips on working with them in an efficient way. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the valuable course, “Representing Sellers.”


Seller-specific wants

One of the top things on the must-have list for sellers is that their agents sell their home in a specific timeframe. A report from the National Association of Realtors found that 22 percent of sellers with children wanted to sell their home within a specific timeframe and 26 percent of those sellers said that their need to sell was “very urgent.”

Another top want from sellers with children is for agents to be able to help them get their homes ready for market. 19 Nineteen percent of sellers with children said they wanted their agents to help them find ways to fix up their homes in order to sell them for more. Agents should plan on having a contact list of renovators, interior designers, contractors, plumbers, electricians and other personnel who can help fix up a home. Moreover, having a strategy for making a listing visible is key, such as social media promotions and quality photographs of the property to catch buyer’s attention.

Nearly 25 percent of sellers with children were selling because their current homes were too small, meaning they were looking to expand and upgrade. Another 18 percent of these sellers with children cited the top reason for listing their homes was a job relocation.


Sellers without children

No two sellers are alike. This statement is even more true when you factor children into a sale. Sellers with and without children have different expectations of their agents. Studies found that while nearly 20 percent of sellers with children wanted help of agents to fix up their current houses, only 12 percent of sellers without children felt this way.

Only 13 percent of sellers without children were selling their home because they thought their home was too small, compared to nearly a fourth of those with kids.


Plan ahead

It seems that having children causes sellers have more specific wants and needs from their agents. Although there are differences when it comes to sellers with and without children, what is not different is the desire to sell the home. You must come to the first meeting with your seller ready to communicate about what is expected from you as well as how you are able to better serve them. If you’re prepared and willing to fulfill their expectations you’ll find the selling process is much smoother.

For more tips on effectively serving your sellers and ways to make the selling process less of a hassle, head on over to our AgentEDU video learning platform. You can start with a seven-day free trial and gain access to the “Representing Sellers” course.

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Don’t Let the Market Keep You Up at Night

The real estate market is one that needs a level-headed approach. There are a lot of outside forces that make predictions about the market’s performance for the next quarter, year or decade. However, as we saw in the previous quarter, while economists warned about rocketing interest rates, remarks from the Federal Reserve seemed to calm those worries. In any case, you as an agent ought to be adaptable to the market, both if and when it cycles.

This blog will explain how to avoid the relentless stress and nerves that come from various market predictions. You’ll see what the real estate professionals at Baird & Warner predict for the future market, as well as their tips on drowning out the noise and being an agent who can adapt with the market. If you’re part of the TL; DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Learning Your Real Estate Market.”


What’s around the corner

Baird & Warner President and CEO Steve Baird stated in a video exclusive to Chicago Agent magazine that 2019 will be a good year for the market. He used rising wages, low unemployment and the economy to bolster his prediction. Baird & Warner President of Residential Sales Laura Ellis made similar positive predictions for 2019. Ellis mentioned, “When I look into my crystal ball, I’m very optimistic for 2019. With unemployment low, with rising wages and the market coming into more of a balance, they both saw the coming of a “very favorable environment.” The situation gives perspective homebuyers an advantage; higher wages and a good economy may place them on good footing.

Although Baird notes that 2019 will face a bit more headwind than the previous year, he blames this on interest rates; as they went up roughly half a percent in the last year. However, he mentions that slow incremental increases to the rates won’t affect the market as much.


It’s when, not if

Both Ellis and Baird noted that the will market shift, albeit in a slow manner. One thing that every agent needs to be able to do is adapt to inevitable market changes. Ellis explained that change is on the horizon and real estate offices and agents will need to be prepared to adapt. “Even when the market cycles – it’s not an if, it’s a when. We just have to be paying attention and we need to be able to shift how we’re doing business, how we’re dealing with those changes,” Ellis stated in the video.

A recent whiff of a possible shift is evident in the fact that the Illinois Association of Realtors reported home sales in January were down 22.9 percent year-over-year, however, they also noted the continuing list price increases, as well as a three percent increase in inventory over last year. The association mentions the rough weather and government shutdown as possible factors, but others still worry if this will be a continuing trend.


Food for thought

With factors like rising wages and low unemployment, there is little to worry about regarding the near future. Nonetheless, both Ellis and Baird note that market cycles are inevitable and factors like interest rates could play a role in the future. They state that agents and real estate brokers must pay attention to the indicators and be ready to adapt to the market. Wage growth, unemployment levels, list prices, inventory levels, interest rates and other indicators are key factors in being prepared. Failing to be prepared can cause confusion and unease; both for you, as an agent, or for your brokerage. It’s better to be ready.

To learn more about becoming an expert on your market and understanding market indicators, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our “Learning Your Real Estate Market” course.

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How to Help Your Frustrated Homebuyer

The home-buying process is one that requires patience and understanding of your clients’ needs. Also, a good agent keeps up with how their client is feeling. If a homebuyer is frustrated this can create some difficulty in the process. As an agent, you must properly assess the situation and provide guidance to your homebuyer to ease the frustration.

This blog will explain where this frustration stems from, has it changed and how you can create a better experience for your client. If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Representing buyers.”

In today’s technology-driven society, almost anything can be done on a smartphone. Therefore, it has been widely assumed that the process of home shopping is easier today that ever before. However, a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders finds that more Americans are frustrated in the process.


Homebuyer expectations

The NAHB polled nearly 17,000 people over two months, and of those polled, 13 percent considered themselves prospective homebuyers at the time. A majority of them were first-time buyers in the millennial demographic.

Seventy-two percent of these prospective buyers said they expected the ongoing home-search process to become “harder or about the same” in the months ahead. Only 19 percent said they thought it would get easier. One of the top frustrations for home buyers is the inability to find an affordable home. Fifty-two percent of millennial respondents, the largest prospective home-buyer demographic in the survey, cited price as the toughest barrier in buying. Price is key in any home search, which is why thorough communication with your client on this topic can create a smoother home search.


Obstacles for homebuyers

It is possible that price growth and inventory shortages are taking a toll on homebuyer confidence. When NAHB conducted this same survey last year, fewer prospective buyers (65 percent compared to this year’s 72) said they thought their home searching would get harder in the months ahead and 27 percent expected the search to get easier.

Price growth is one aspect that impacts both the buyer and seller. The buyer wants the best deal whereas the seller wants to make a profit. More than three-quarters of buyers surveyed said that at least half of the listings in their market were outside their price range. 49 percent of respondents stated that they could not find a home at a price they could afford. This is up from 42 percent a year ago.

The inventory storage is an obstacle that homebuyers with specific desires hits the most. In NAHB’s Housing Trends Report, 40 percent of active buyer respondents said they were specifically looking for an existing home rather than new construction. Appropriately negotiating price brackets and understanding homebuyers’ wish lists for their homes is key in creating a process where both parties can understand expectations.


Road ahead for buyers

Even with all the obstacles and frustration in the process, these prospective buyers generally planned to continue actively searching. When asked what their next steps would be if they could not find the “right” home in the next few months, 63 percent of respondents said they would simply “continue looking until the right home opens up in a preferred location.” Forty-four percent said they would expand their search area in response. This means that homebuyers may be frustrated, but they are dedicated to find their dream home even if it means opening search areas or spending longer times searching.

Home shopping has its obstacles, and recent inventory shortages in unison with price growth can amount to frustration. Those are aspects you cannot truly control. You can, however, guide your client into realities and make the home search process much less stressful. By discussing plans with your client and having an understanding of their concerns, you can alleviate some of that frustration. Check out our AgentEDU course dedicated to understanding buyers. If you start a seven-day free trial, you’ll have access to our “Representing Buyers” course.

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How to Create Accurate Job Descriptions

As you plan to bring on new people, evaluate which job responsibilities you should delegate, share and keep in your care. It’s best to start slow, adding one role at a time, while learning what you really need operationally and financially. In this blog, we will review three of the most common team member titles, job descriptions, and compensation models. This is to help you compare your needs with the current industry standards and hire appropriately.

If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today to access the entire team building track and watch the full course, “Team Members Job Description and Compensation.”


Team assistant role and compensation

This administrative position will help you organize, track, manage and coordinate any area of your business. Your assistant can be licensed or unlicensed, depending on your needs. A licensed assistant can answer questions for clients and even show homes. An assistant is often suggested as a good first hire because they can free up the time you currently spend on administrative work, allowing you to focus more on profit-building tasks. A team assistant will not directly generate income for your business but may indirectly help you grow by allowing you to serve more clients.

A full-time assistant will require an hourly wage or salary, plus benefits, and will require a larger investment than . Real estate assistants often make between $30,000-$45,000 a year, plus bonuses and benefits, depending on your market. You’ll need to withhold income tax, state taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes. These payments can add up to 15 percent or more to the cost of their total salary. You’ll also have to report all of this to the IRS. Additionally, you may need to provide office space, workers’ compensation, errors and omission insurance and health care benefits. You may be required to include them on your auto insurance policy.


Buyer’s agent role and compensation

Some agents prefer to focus their own work on listings, and need help representing buyers. Since buyers often require more of your time and attention than sellers, hiring someone to manage the buyer side of your business could make a lot of sense. Buyer’s agents show houses to clients and convert showings to sales on properties of interest to the buyer. A buyer’s agent will also understand the current marketplace and financial implications of investing in various neighborhoods. They will help buyers narrow their search based on needs and lifestyles and can bring new perspectives to your clients. And though the buyer’s agent only focuses on buyers, the right hire can bring a more diverse understanding to your business as a whole. He or she can serve as an advisor to you and other agents.

A buyer’s agent is typically paid a small salary plus commission. The commission for buyer’s agents is typically up to 50 percent, after expenses are paid. Splits may be adjusted to differentiate between team-generated leads, which may generate a 40/60 split, and agent-generated leads, which could be a 60/40 split. The selling point for this position is that a buyer’s agent is more likely to make more money in a team setting while handling the side of the transaction that they prefer.

In order for a buyer’s agent to be successful on a team, the team must have a high-producing buyer’s agent. Buyer’s agents should show properties and close deals, with the help of the team’s lead generating marketing efforts and administrative assistance. Your compensation models should hold agents accountable for their productivity.


Listing specialist role and compensation

A listing specialist can either bring in the listing or step in once the listing agreement has been signed. A listing specialist will represent the seller and oversees all aspects of the seller’s transactions, from initial contact through closing.

The listing specialist may prepare all materials and documents for the listing as well, including marketing materials, listing agreements, disclosure statements, market analyses and online property profiles. The specialist will also conduct the necessary research to advise on the sale price of the property, and work with the sellers to take photos, stage the property and make repairs.

Like a buyer’s agent, listing specialists may be paid a small salary, but the role is largely based on commission, up to 40 percent of the net profit. Base salaries for your listing specialist should depend on the experience level of the agent and your local market. Salary compensation should be strategic to inspire productivity. Like the buyer’s agent, generating their own leads and closing deals is a main priority. They should be held accountable for their productivity and compensated appropriately.

Plan to start slow as you hire new team members, and grow your team by one position at a time. Pay your team members competitively and based on their productivity to retain them and support your financial success. To learn more about how to fill out your roster and create accurate and useful job descriptions, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “Team Members Job Description and Compensation.”

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Opening your own brokerage in 3 steps

Increased earning potential, financial freedom and control over their vision of business are the main reasons real estate agents start their own brokerage. However, there are a lot of challenges associated with starting and running your own brokerage. It means more work for you, at least at first, and more risk. So, you have to be certain your reasons for hanging your own sign are the right ones.

But if you plan properly and employ the right business model, owning a brokerage may be right for you. In this blog you’ll learn how to determine if you’re ready to open your own brokerage. If you’re part of the TL;DR crowd then start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, ‘Are you ready to open your own brokerage?’

Before reviewing the steps of the planning and transition process, think about what you can confidently take on and where you may need some help. These are important things to consider before you decide to go out on your own.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you understand the financial and personal risks, and are you willing to accept them?
  • Do you feel confident that you can manage and run all aspects of your own business?
  • Have you put your financial plan together? Do you have enough capital to support your efforts?
  • Do you have the right people lined up to join your business? If not, do you have a recruiting plan?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you could be a good candidate to open your own brokerage. But there is a lot that you need to know before you do.


Have an exit plan

Make sure you account for potential practical, political and emotional issues when leaving your current business. You’ll still need a strong professional network once you open your brokerage, so make sure you don’t burn any bridges during the transition.

Think about these questions:

What will the process be? Who do you need to speak with, and when? How will your current brokerage react? How will you handle any sales that are currently in process? Does your brokerage have your database, and do they have the right to use it after you leave? What if other agents want to leave with you? Where will your new office be? Would your new office be in direct competition with your current office? What are your obligations to the brokerage, the managing broker and other agents in the office?

Along with an exit plan, you’ll need to write up your plan for the new business.


What will your business model look like?  

Begin by deciding on a business model. What specialties will you offer? How many agents will work with your brokerage? How will the brokerage support them?  Outline the roles you will play, as well as any additional responsibilities you’ll have to take on. Figure out which roles you need to hire for. Use technology to help fill in the services you lose by separating from your old brokerage. Draw up a transition plan for your team that details how workflow will continue through the changeover.


Become an expert on your financials

Nothing can happen until all the financial pieces are in place, so you’ll need to be an expert on your budget. Opening your own brokerage will require a financial investment. Can you fund the start-up costs on your own or will you need to borrow capital? What about investors?

Many businesses fail because they are under-capitalized. Make certain that you have enough capital to manage startup costs. Plan to cover operating expenses with savings for at least six months, including rent and utilities. You’ll need to budget for office equipment and marketing expenses. Make sure to include insurance costs for your business, fees for any online services you use, membership fees and other miscellaneous items.

To learn more about the financials needed to launch your own brokerage as well as your next steps, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course titled, ‘Are you ready to open your own brokerage?


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