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But what's the smartest way to spend that money? Should you spring for ads in a homes magazine? Should you run weekly ads in the newspaper or on the radio or TV? Should you buy pens, notepads, and calendars imprinted with your name and hand them out? Should you sponsor a sports team at the local high school?
I believe you should spend a little of it on a well-written real estate agent bio.
You know you need a real estate website.
After all, the majority of consumers now go first to the web when they want to find a home or choose an agent. But when it comes to real estate websites, there are differences of opinion. Many agents create real estate sites that are all about the area, while others post custom copy that outlines the service that clients can expect. (Those are my favorites.)
Either way, because a good website is focused on the customer and his or her needs, the only places that a visitor can really learn anything that helps them "connect" with an agent is through their blog and their personal bio, or "about me" page. And even some blogs don't offer a clue, because they're all about new listings or the community.
The chance to "connect" is the reason why having a well written agent bio is so important.
Unfortunately, many agents use this space merely to list education and designations, and to repeat those tired old platitudes about "excellent customer service." I think that's a mistake - and a lost opportunity.
This is the spot where you have a chance to reveal the "real you." Here you can tie your past experiences and present passions into the service you provide.
Why does that matter? First, because your past experiences lend proof of why you're so good at what you do. Think how many of the traits of a top real estate agent were probably developed while pursuing earlier jobs or careers - or even while managing families. How about: active listening, patience, the ability to teach & explain, record keeping, organization, punctuality, mathematics, negotiation, and leadership.
And then there's knowledge you bring from past experiences - for instance, decorating or house construction.
Next, your present passions give insight into your personality and your value system.
Weaving your past and present experiences into your personal bio allows your prospects to consciously or subconsciously identify with you - and choose you because of that identification.
We humans tend to naturally trust people when we see them as somehow "like" us. And it doesn't take something dramatic to form that connection. For some, just learning that an agent gets up early to hit the golf course, work out at the gym, or go horseback riding before work could be the "I choose you" trigger. For others, it could be a shared interest in animal rescue, adult literacy, or feeding the hungry.
It could be something as simple as having children of a similar age or sharing an interest in gourmet cooking.
That connection will often be the deciding factor that draws clients to you - already predisposed to like and trust you.
That's almost as good as a personal referral.
In addition, once your bio is written, you'll use it on your website, on blogs like Active Rain or Real Estate Marbles, in your listing presentation, and on brochures. The best part of all, you pay for it one time, and keep using it until you have something to add.
For these reasons, investing in a well-written agent bio can be far more valuable than an ad in a homes magazine, or a series of 30-second spots on radio or TV - and it costs less, too!
Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries.
She'll help you with one letter, or an entire marketing plan. For Real Estate agents and brokers who are ready to get full value from their websites, she'll be happy to put together an entire package - from the web copy to the lead generation packages that make an agent's phone ring.
** The Family Friend Problem **
While it may make sense to work with a real estate professional who is a family friend, this may not actually be the case. You will run the risk of offending your friend at the onset by not engaging his services, but that can be ameliorated by a simple conversation. "I don't want a business problem to harm our friendship."
The conversation on the other end of the scenario is much harder and much less likely to have the desired effect. It is almost impossible to say to a friend, "Why in the heck hasn't our house sold? Do you have a clue what you're doing?" -- and not wind up with a very personal argument on your hands. Ask yourself in the beginning what means more to you, selling your house or keeping your friend.
** Make Sure You Understand the Situation **
If, however, you do find yourself in the situation of being at odds with your agent friend, make sure you really know what's going on before you start casting blame. Ask for a new market analysis on your home. Then, quietly ask two or three other real estate professionals to confidentially do the same thing.
Sit down by yourself with no outside influences and compare the multiple analyses. If the real estate market in your area is indeed in shambles, as is the case in much of the country at this time, the failure of your home to sell quickly is likely not your friend's fault. At that stage, it makes more sense, and is much more peaceful to say, "What can we do to make the house more marketable?" or "Is there another strategy we can try?"
** Breaking Up is Hard to Do **
If the time has come, however, to "split the blanket" there are proper steps that must be taken, some of which are actual legal requirements. If your agent has listed your home for sale, you most likely signed a contract involving factors like list price, commission, and marketing strategies. The contract carries with it a specified length of representation.
If the contract contains a clause allowing it to be broken in writing by either party, there is no issue. Be aware, however, that some amount of commission may still be owed to the agent if you do then sell your home within a given period. If the contract stipulates a specified period before which it may not be voided, you are bound to honor that date by virtue of having signed the document.
** Do Your Reading First **
Obviously the potential of having to terminate your professional relationship with your agent is something you should consider before you sign the contract. Don't ever be uncomfortable about asking questions. Before you sign anything ask, "How can this contract be broken?" Verify anything you are told by carefully reading the fine print yourself. Make notes in the margin. Do not rely on your memory, and make sure you have a copy of any and all documents you sign.
** Try to Avoid Personality Clashes **
Many acrimonious relationships with agents boil down to personality clashes. Most of us have a small, still inner sense that tells us pretty quickly if we're going to get along with someone. If you have any reservations or negative feelings about your agent's personality and demeanor, don't work with that person! You should always choose your Realtor carefully. This is a professional with whom you are going to be working closely -- possibly for several months. As petty as it sounds, if the person's voice drives you up the wall, get another agent. Better that than actually pushing someone off that wall in a fit of annoyance!
** Talk With Your Agent Before Deciding to Fire Him **
In the vast majority of cases an honest conversation can resolve most conflicts between sellers and agents. Lack of information and a failure to communicate usually lie at the heart of these professional problems. As a seller, you are nervous and anxious to get a buyer and get your money. This is especially true for homeowners who have already purchased a new residence and are responsible for two mortgages.
Impatience and frustration often masquerade as real "fixable" problems and let's face it, your agent is your most convenient scapegoat. Who else are you going to blame when the sale doesn't go exactly as you envisioned? However, for your own peace of mind, make sure there truly is a problem before you fire your agent. There's not a real estate professional working today who would not fix this current market if it were in their power to do so.
REALTOR is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors.
For many years, property agents have been able to keep a fixed income by selling commercial and non commercial properties. In many cities across the nation, the rate is around 6 percent. This of course is split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent.
It is a difficult thing to explain economically how these rates have stayed steady for such a long period of time. It is a possibility that some agents band together and black list other ones, but this notion is not a certainty. There are a wide range of factors that can affect an agent's salary. Whether an agent uses his license to make his own deals is one factor, another is whether or not an agent serves as a manager in a brokerage.
Also an agent will make a bigger salary if he is involved in a sales role as opposed to just a management position. A regular broker usually acts as an agent that sells. They also employ other people as well. An agent's work ethic also plays a key role in a real estate agent's salary. Some agents only work part-time on the weekend, while many agents are employed in the commercial realm.
To be successful in real estate business it is important to work efficiently and consistently. It is even possible to earn a six figure salary if you apply yourself to the profession. It is important to note that many real estate agents also work as contractors while receiving pay for closing deals. It is also harder to get started as a commercial agent than as a residential one but if you are a hard worker then you can really excel as an agent, in this field.
If you take some time to research your options online, you can find the best options available to you when it comes to the world of real estate. There are many possibilities available to you to make a good living selling real estate if you apply yourself and work hard at it.
The listing presentation is your moment to show a prospective client all that you are worth. Every agent has their individuality on what works when presenting their listing presentation to a prospective seller. What makes for an effective 'listing presentation'?
Let us discuss the Listing Presentation when you go out on the appointment, one of the following will almost always happen:
a) You will be out priced by the competition, which happens all the time
b) You will be out-commissioned by the competition,
c) You will be out-bonded by the competition,
d) You will be out-advertised by the competition
e) You decide you do not want to take the listing.
It is critical when you walk out of the appointment to carefully look at these issues. You must look at these to determine which one actually took place, and note that the only one you have absolute control over is deciding not to take the listing.
It is important to devise a plan that will help you cut the length of your listing presentation.
Another way to cut the length of your presentation is to have a pre-listing package. Also, before you arrive at the appointment, remind yourself as you walk up to the door what your purpose is. Your purpose is to either take the listing, or turn it down in a short period of time.
While on the presentation, it is critical to spend more time discussing price, and less time discussing everything else. If we are in a price sensitive economy, then why do we spend so much time talking about the things that are not related to the price? Remember the old-fashioned training? Hide the price from the customer and never tell the customer the price until the absolute last minute. We cannot do that. We have to make sure that we bring the price up-front. Why? What does the seller want to discuss first? The price! They want to know how much they're going to get so they can continue making future plans.
If you want things to go smoothly, you should be careful when choosing your real estate agent. Your agent has influence on losing or gaining a significant amount of money on your home transaction. You must be diligent when choosing a real estate agent -- first, you have to look for a real estate agent that has experience.
Never go to a novice for advice. Many people simply choose their friends or acquaintences as their realtor, but something as important as buying or selling a home shouldn't simply be handed over to a friend. Referrals from friends/family are an important consideration, but not the only one.
Choose an agent that has at least two years of experience in both the submarket you're in, as well as the specific property type you're dealing with. If you want to buy a home in the suburbs, a realtor that focuses on downtown properties won't be the best match for you, even if they're the best realtor downtown. Similarly if you want to sell your single family home, don't use an apartment broker --- there are ins and outs of the home sale that an apartment broker won't always be familiar with.
Also ensure that your agent is a licensed realtor. Licensing helps weed out some of the people that talk a good game, but can't back it up with all the appropriate rules and regulations.
You should interview several real estate agents. This is imperative. In the interview, you will be able to discuss things such as fees, how the agent recommend the transaction happen, commissions and much more. Interviewing the agent will help you learn a little bit about their commitment, experience and responsiveness.
There are many horror stories about picking the wrong agent. Agents that did little/no work, yet still expected a big commission. Or worse, agents that made errors that cost people money, and then still expected a big commission check.
Help protect yourself from this type of situation by doing some upfront due diligence in picking your agent, and save yourself some heartache and money. Be patient when choosing and don't go running to the first real estate agent that comes your way. Good luck in finding the right real estate agent and good luck in getting the best deal you can get!
We live in a big, wide world where our eyes can't even see over the edge of the next building much less the horizon. We can know so little of the location we are living even if we have lived there for a long time. It might be for lack of interest or maybe just lack of chance to explore. Finding the right home would be far easier and time consuming if we didn't have to scour the city ourselves to find just the perfect one. The need to hire a professional home finder or a real estate agent would be the ways to go.
It is not for lack of trust in ourselves that we ask help from others, but it is because of the simple idea that we can be much more efficient if people work together. A real estate agent's job is to find homes for sale for their clients. Homes that are either ones that are already built or find the perfect real estate property to build one on. We go to property estate agents because they are the ones who know of the places that are for sale or for lease or in any other way it is set. Some of these might not even be readily available to the public without the choice help from real estate agents.
Property estate agents don't always work alone, but they work with a realty group or company. These are places where people choose to give out information on the homes or estate property they wish to sell or to be done away with. Finding the right real estate agent would almost be as effective as finding the right agency.
Closing the deal would even be far easier if you have hired a real property agent, because they will be the one to be in charge of taking care of all the papers that concerns the change of ownership of a property. A rather daunting task for others, but with the help of a real agent, it would just be as simple as saying "Thank you." All you might even think about more is where to put your favorite couch in or where the twin's rooms will be. Licensed property agents are invaluable for all such transactions as these.
2. Check out ratings and reviews - Before seeing all the potential estate agents in person, it can be really useful and will save you time to check out online ratings and reviews. While these ratings are never 100% accurate, if an agency has consistently negative reviews for example, it is better to avoid them.
3. Referrals - Most people still find estate agencies through recommendations from family, friends or co-workers. Ask the people around you if they know a good estate agent, and about their experiences with other local agents. You can almost always rely on a recommendation from a person you trust, and you'll find out more information about the estate agency about how they treat their customers, and how reliable and professional they really are.
4. Contact more estate agents - Contacting more than one estate agent is essential to find the one that you can most rely on. Especially if the real estate transaction involves ongoing contact with the estate agency, it is important to choose an agency that you communicate with and that you can trust. You'll find it much easier to choose once you go and see the estate agents in person.
5. Know what questions to ask when you meet the agent - Depending on why you need an estate agent, to sell or rent a house for example, think beforehand about what questions to ask from the agents and compare their answers. Try to get to know as much as possible about how their business operates, how many deals they have per month, and pay close attention to their attitude to your requests and needs. If your agent seems rushed or doesn't seem to be interested in your specific expectations, it is better to choose another one, as you'll certainly have long term problems communicating with such an agent.
Finding an honest, hard working and effective real estate agent to buy or sell your house for you is very important. Using an agent that does not do their job effectively can end up costing you large amounts of money and wasted time. Many agents require their clients to sign a contract to work with them and no one else for 6 months. So, once you commit to working with a realtor, you really want to be sure that they will be able to do everything for you that you are expecting them to.
Why You Need To Read Reviews - Reading many reviews from realtors past clients will give you a good idea of what it's like to work with your prospective realtor, without the risk.
The Review Site You Use Matters - It does make a difference which review site you do your research from. Not all review sites are the same. Many of them are easily manipulated by the real estate agents themselves.You want to find a site that either has a high amount of traffic and therefore, lots of reviews or one with reviews that are monitored by a staff to prevent against manipulation of the reviews.
The Best Review Sites Are Usually Membership Sites - With a membership review site, the site owners have the ability to better monitor the reviews. There are many ways people can manipulate their own reviews, by posting from different email addresses and other ways. With a better managed review site, the quality and honesty of the reviews should be much more accurate.
At the centre of the relationship selling process, will always be prospecting and cold calling. Without that momentum at the top of your sales pipeline, the business simply does not produce the results you desire and deserve.
So what is relationship selling and how can you use it in your commercial property career? First and foremost let's look at the people that you must get to know. Consistently and successfully you must connect with:
Property Service professionals such as solicitors, financiers, and accountants
So the list is probably quite logical to you, but it does require a business model and strategy. That is where relationship selling becomes foundational to generating opportunity in and through your local area.
Your ultimate target in relationships selling should be to generate quality listings as a commercial real estate agent. The agent or salesperson that controls the quality stock in the local area will always be the agent of choice. Those listings will give your database momentum and value, providing you keep the constant contact process underway. Those listings will also give you better signboard penetration and market dominance; the agent with the most signboards on the better properties will be the agent that gets the enquiry.
Commercial real estate is an expensive and complex level of investment. Knowledge will always need to be your partner in generating leads and opportunities. The people that we talk to and interact with are astute and knowledgeable when it comes to strategies and facts within commercial and retail real estate. The more local knowledge that you have regards the property market, the better value you are to your clients and they will have more reason to listen to you. Relevance is the key. Everyone needs to know about the changes and dynamics of the local property market; accumulate the facts and use them in your dialogue or sales pitch.
There are four distinct stages to the relationship selling process. Every prospect and contact should be taken through these distinct stages. It takes time but the rewards are significant.
Establishing good levels of trust with your prospects will be foundational to longer term relations. Most property transactions take months if not years to bring to culmination. The levels of trust allow this to occur. Constant contact with relevant information is the key to successful communication and connection.
Good levels of trust will eventually allow you to understand the property needs of the client. Those needs can be immediate or long-term and will be relevant to their business operations and investment needs. As part of this you will need to understand the types of property and location that best suits each client.
Many commercial property transactions are facilitated off market; presenting solutions is part of the process. These off market deals occur because an alert and high performing salesperson has put together the needs and opportunities of two different parties. Your database will allow you to do this providing you take personal ownership of its integrity and accuracy.
Constant contact with a wide variety of property owners, tenants, investors, and business leaders will keep your pipeline of opportunity moving. This is a daily process and forms the fourth and final part of the relationship selling model. Regrettably many salespeople in the industry struggle with an ongoing contact model and database maintenance. Discipline is the key.
These 4 facts will create significant opportunity in 2012 when acted upon and implemented as part of a successful property salespersons business model. They get more referrals and resales and move to the top of their field.