Setting the Price

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). The CMA will reflect the following:

  • houses in your price range and area that were sold within the last half-year
  • asking and selling prices of houses
  • current inventory of houses on the market
  • features of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will learn the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

What to Say When Clients Ask You to Cut Your Commission

Sellers often have three reasons for asking you to cut your commission:

1. They don’t have enough equity in the property. In that case, it is a real need because they can’t afford
to pay off the mortgage on the property, you and other costs.
2. They are just being savvy consumers, looking for the best deal that they can get. We all want a good
deal, and most clients feel it is at least worth a shot to see if they can save money.
3. They don’t see the full value you bring to the table.

While the first case is a bit out of your control, when it comes to the last two, it’s up to you to prove your
value to the client. So rather than act stunned or, worse, become angry, when a client asks you to lower your
rate, realize that it is part of the negotiation process. Additionally, every situation is different, and in some
situations, it may make business sense to cut your commission.
However, you don’t want to immediately volunteer to slash your rate. Doing so devalues your worth and when
you concede so quickly, clients are more likely to nitpick you through the entire process. After all, if you were
so quick to take less money for your services, clients may assume that you don’t know what you are doing.
Instead of immediately agreeing to work for less—or walking away—use these scripts to prove that you are
worth every penny you’ll earn:

Client’s Statement Your Response
“Is your commission negotiable?”

You can say firmly, “No, my commission is non-negotiable,” but you risk
losing the business. If you are OK with that, make this your go-to.
However, we suggest getting to the root of the issue first: “I will gladly talk
to you about my commission. Why do you ask?” You may find out that
clients don’t have equity, that they want to save money, or that they are
“just curious.” Regardless, it opens a conversation. Then you can explain
what your commission covers.

“This commission is really a marketing fee. It covers my earnings, certainly,
but it also covers the advertising and marketing costs for your property, and
the administrative support of my brokerage company. If I cut my rate, I will
have less money to market your property. That’s why I don’t reduce my rate.
I want to do what it takes to sell this property quickly.”

“We’ll work with you if you lower your commission.”
(The person doesn’t have a
financial need, but is merely
looking for a deal.)
“I’ve presented you with my premium marketing plan to sell  the house for
the highest amount in the quickest time. If you want to pay a lower
commission, I’m sure there are less experienced agents out there who will
work for less.”
“I work with sellers who want premium service, and my rate ensures that I
can help you sell your house quickly for the highest possible price. If you
want to lower the commission, I would be happy to refer you to an agent
who provides less service.”

“I don’t have enough money to close.”
This one is tough, but it is a good opportunity to talk about the realities of
the market, and the bigger question of whether it is realistic to sell at this
time. You might say “I understand your situation. Perhaps now is not the
best time to sell. Maybe we should wait until the market picks up a bit.”
Additionally, you could offer insight on other ways to find the money for
closing or even renting the property until the market rebounds. Ultimately,
the person may not be able to afford you, and you will have to decide if you
want to walk away or take less.

“The buyer is asking for
repairs or a price reduction.
I need more money from
the sale. Can you help by
cutting your commission?” “As we discussed during our first meeting, my commission is not part of the
negotiation. However, we can propose a counteroffer to the buyers, and see
if they will up their offer or back off on some of their requests. They may
withdraw their offer, but if that extra money is more important to you now
than selling quickly, I will follow your lead.”

“We’ve already lowered our
asking price by ________. It
seems only fair that you
lower your commission
given that you didn’t get the
price we originally asked
“Remember that my rate is based on a percentage of what the property
sales for, not what we originally listed it at. I have committed 100% of my
effort to selling your home quickly, with little hassle to you, and for the
highest price we could get. We didn’t hit the original asking price, but my
level of service didn’t change, and neither will my rate.”

“We need more money to
put down on our new
home, and we can’t afford
to pay your rate.”
“I understand where you are coming from, but this is the rate I charge all my
clients because of the level of service I provide. Fortunately for you, the
market is a buyers’ market, so you will likely get a great deal on a new
home.” This could also open a conversation about whether this is the right
time to sell.

“Another agent said he/she
would charge a lower
“That’s surprising to me, and I’d like you think about something: If he/she
won’t defend the hard-earned money that he/she uses to support him- or
herself, are you confident in his/her ability to go to battle for you and
negotiate on your behalf? What demands will he/she quickly give into?”
“I can understand if you want to go with a lower rate, but I’ve been in the
business for a long time, and agents who discount their fees are often
desperate for business. That means they have less to money to invest in
marketing your home or that they too quickly cut the price of your home
because they need to close the deal.”
“How do you think that will lower his/her service to you? Your home is your
largest asset, and I wouldn’t trust it with someone who won’t give you 100%.
Whether it is me or not, you should go with an agent who is going to offer
premium service.”

“I think ______ is too high
for what you are providing;
the house will basically sell
This one you can often avoid by laying out a clear marketing plan. Still, if a
potential client says it to you, respond with:
“Remember, I’m taking the risk, not you. I put in the money to market the
property. I spend hours working for you, and if the property doesn’t sell, I
don’t make money. I don’t take my job lightly and will commit 100% to
selling your property.”
“To prove my value to you, I’ve put together this 25-item list of the steps I’ll
take during the sales process. I handle all this, eliminating as much hassle for
you as possible. Not only that, but I know this market, so I know how to price
your home and position it so that we sell it as quickly as possible. In a market
like this one, I am worth every penny that you will pay me.

© Copyright McKissock. All Rights Reserved.

3 Must-Haves In Your Summer Real Estate Marketing Plan (And a Mistake to Avoid)

3 Must-Haves In Your Summer Real Estate Marketing Plan

Summertime is finally here and with it comes a new quarter and a chance to execute on your real estate marketing plan.

How do you make sure your real estate marketing plan moves you forward this quarter and brings your business to the next level? It starts with being strategic, setting goals and holding yourself accountable to executing those goals.

Here are three important elements to remember as you create your marketing plan this summer.

1. Set goals to accomplish by the end of the summer

The third quarter runs from July 1 to September 30 — which will take you right through the dog days of summer. How are your goals for this time period going to be different from your goals in quarter one? Here are some summer-specific questions to ask as you determine your focus.

Will you be taking any summer vacations that will impact your productivity or change your focus this quarter?
Is there any summer seasonality in your market? Do you have parents looking to move before school starts again? Is it harder to find new clients because so many people are taking vacations?
Will you focus any marketing around summer that you need to plan now? Do you need to make a plan for Labor Day? Are there any local summer festivals or events in your area that you need to be part of?
Follow your passion! Start a career in real estate now with our FREE Career Switch Kit.

2. Create a detailed marketing budget

Not setting aside some money for marketing will doom your plan before you get started. Even marketing strategies that are sometimes considered free such as social media marketing and SEO marketing have costs. Take a look at how you’re tracking annually, what the budget for your business is, and how much you can devote to marketing.

Here are some costs you might consider:

New photos for your listings if they were originally taken in the winter and the exterior has dramatically changed. This can help enhance your listing descriptions.
Sponsoring summer festivals, parades or community events. This could include providing raffle prizes or having a booth set up at local events.
Social media ads.
Hiring a college student or summer intern to help you create blog content to drive traffic to your website.

3. How can you uniquely help your clients this summer?

Instead of thinking about generic ways to make the most of summer for your real estate marketing plan, think of ways that your specific demographic needs help this summer. Do you mostly work in an outdoorsy area? Become the local expert on trails, parks and outdoor summer fun. Is your target demographic families? Think of ways to help parents on summer road trips or become a resource hub for summer camp and child-friendly activities. Whatever your demographic is, spend time thinking about how you’re going to help them this summer — building connections this way helps grow your business with organic referrals.

Don’t neglect to measure your real estate marketing
In order to know how impactful your efforts are over the summer, you’ll have to commit to measuring them throughout the summer and at the end of the quarter. You won’t want to continue the same strategies in the fourth quarter if they didn’t work in the third quarter.

Measure how much money you spent on each specific strategy. Ask new clients how they found you so you can determine how much each client cost.
Read your social media and website analytics. You’ll want to look at page views, time spent on page, engagement on social media and, most importantly, how many clients you were able to convert from these efforts. Lead generation is your ultimate metric. If you’re spending money on social media but not getting any conversions, it might be time to develop a more targeted approach by taking a continuing education course.

Create a plan and stick to it

The best way to gauge your success is to stick with your plan while making adjustments as you measure its success. Be careful not to get forgetful as summer vacations and warm weather tempt you. Following through with your real estate marketing plan will give you something to build on toward the end of the year. You’ll never know if your ideas are worth repeating (or mistakes you don’t want to try again) unless you get started now and follow through with your goals.

You love Real Estate, Do what you love

Click below to get started


5 Reasons Property Flippers Should Get a Real Estate License

New house flippers have a ton of questions about buying, selling, and renovating a home. A few weeks ago, Katie D. asked us this question on Facebook:

“I want to start a business flipping homes. Do you think having my real estate license would be a good asset to have for a business like that? Or do I allow other people to take care of that part for me?”

It’s a great and common question among people who buy homes to spruce up and sell a short time later. In 2016, the number of flipped homes (bought and sold within 12 months) reached 193,009 or 5.7% of all single-family homes and condos sales in the United States, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a property data group. That’s the biggest percentage since 2006, the market that preceded the Great Recession and housing crash.

Clearly, flipping is hot. But should a flipper invest time and money into becoming a real estate agent, too? We say yes, and here’s why.

1. Develop a solid foundation

When beginning a flipping career, it’s a good idea to be the most rather than the least prepared. Studying for a real estate license tests lays a “great foundation” for understanding for property flippers of all the details, vocabulary, and forms needed to buy and sell a home.

“Most states have several disclosure forms required by law,” says Bill Gallagher, a Charlotte, NC real estate agent who’s taught pre- and post-licensing courses for 25 years. “The national exam gives flippers confidence that they’ve mastered the material.”

That material includes information on disclosure forms, zoning challenges, financing details, and Home Owners Association regs, all of which is critical information attached to buying and selling homes.

“Everyone thinks that real estate is easy,” Gallagher says. “It’s the opposite. Having knowledge of what can go wrong—all the liability issues—can really help reduce your risk.”

2. A real estate license for property flippers means access to the MLS

When buying and selling a home, it’s all about the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the place to go for accurate information on properties for sale and properties sold.

Unlike some online listing sites, the MLS status data “is accurate and verifiable,” Gallagher says. “Other sites aren’t reliable 100% of the time. You always have to go back to the MLS.”

The catch is: You have to be a real estate agent and a member of a national, state, and local real estate associations to gain access to the MLS. If you’re not an agent, you’ll have to pay one—sometimes as much as $1,000—to list your property on the service.

If you flip several properties, those fees add up and eat into profit.

3. Receive brokerage support

A real estate license for property flippers means they can work in a brokerage, which has several advantages. First, brokers provide invaluable advice and support to newbie flippers.

“Say to the broker, ‘Help me. Lead me. Guide me.,’ ” Gallagher says. “It’s a great way to learn the business and get support.”

Also, brokerages come with a slew of agents who can bring buyers.

“Exposure is key,” Gallagher says. “Many brokers say, ‘Let’s try to sell it in the firm first.’” That could mean, allowing agents to bring clients during a “coming soon” period before the property officially is on the market.  It also could mean you’ll have advance notice of properties coming to market, which could be your next flip.

4. Pay yourself a commission

You’ll always have to pay the agent who shows up with a buyer a 2% to 3% commission. But a real estate license for property flippers means you can represent your own property; so you can either save the money or pay yourself a listing commission.

Some brokers—not all—will let their agents pay themselves or eliminate the listing commission on sales of agent-owner properties. In May, the median price of a home was $252,800, according to the National Association of Realtors; so if you act as your own listing agent, you’ll save $5,056 to $7,584, which could be the difference between making a profit, breaking even, or losing money on a flip.

5. Earn while you wait

Many months go by between identifying and buying a property, fixing it up, and selling it for a profit (hopefully). Real estate agent/flippers can earn money buying and selling other people’s properties while they’re working on their own. And since real estate agents often work nontraditional hours—nights and weekends when clients are available—they can manage a construction site that typically starts at 7 a.m. and knocks off at 3 p.m., and earn commissions on real estate deals during off hours.

Easier to Qualify for a Mortgage, Mistakes Buyers Must Avoid, Best Places to Live, and More

Easier to Qualify for a Mortgage, Mistakes Buyers Must Avoid, Best Places to Live, and More

As we gear up for Independence Day next week, we’ve got the latest in real estate news. This week’s stories cover why would-be buyers might just find it easier to qualify for a mortgage soon, what five mistakes buyers must avoid, best places to live in the United States, secrets of successful house flippers, and more. Happy Fourth!

It’s about to become easier to qualify for a mortgage—and here’s why

Aspiring homeowners might soon be getting a break when it comes to being able to qualify for a mortgage. Fannie Mae plans to raise the debt-to-income ratio from 45 percent to 50 percent. What does this mean for prospective buyers?

5 mistakes your buyers must avoid before purchasing a home

Today’s home market is tight. Demand is high, and supply is low; you cannot afford to let your buyers make any mistakes.

The best places to live in the U.S. for quality of life in 2017

Affordability, low crime rates, short commutes, and access to good healthcare are just a few of the elements that mean a high quality of life. Where does your city come on the list?

The critical first two weeks of marketing a home for sale

Don’t take chances with your listings. The first two weeks after a home is listed for sale are the most important when it comes to marketing. Make sure you are covering all the bases.

9 secrets of successful house flippers

Whether you or your buyers are hoping to get into the house-flipping business, there are tricks of the trade every flipper needs to know.

Now is a great time to launch a real estate career. Find out more by Contact us today to see if  a Real Estate Career Right is for You?

Generating Real Estate Leads With Zillow

Generating Real Estate Leads With Zillow

Generating leads is arguably the most important part of being a successful real estate agent. Whether you’re just starting out as a new agent or have been in the business for years, dedicating time each and every day to prospecting and gaining new clients is a must.

However, as real estate technology continues to evolve, there is more and more emphasis being placed on how to generate real estate leads online. This focus is not unwarranted. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 42 percent of recent buyers started their home search by looking online at properties. Are you capturing these potential clients?

An excellent way to ensure you’re reaching this demographic is to use the major search portals such as Zillow,®, and others. Here’s how a new agent can generate leads via these online platforms:

Maximize your profile to generate real estate leads

Nothing will stop a potential buyer from calling you more than an empty profile. To ensure your profile is inviting, optimize the fields you’re given. Most public search portals allow you to edit your name, contact information, “about” section, and more; take advantage of this.

All of your profiles online should be up-to-date, as they are most often the first thing potential clients will view, so check them regularly. Search yourself on Google. What shows up? It’s good practice to do this and update your profiles regularly.

Add reviews and testimonials

Zillow and other sites allow real estate professionals to add reviews and testimonials from past clients, which let potential prospects learn more about you and your services. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Zillow’s system allows you to “request a review” from past clients, which will send them an email asking for their feedback on the service you provided. Here’s a complete explanation of how this works.

This is also important because when potential buyers and sellers are searching for an agent on Zillow, the profiles show up with green stars under the name—indicating their rating—and the total number of reviews they’ve received.

Audit past sales and new listings

As a new agent, you may not have many past sales to add to Zillow, but it’s good practice always to double check your profile to ensure that past sales and new listings are showing up correctly.

In most cases, your past and current listings will automatically feed to Zillow via your MLS; however, they don’t always show up exactly as you envisioned. You’re able to edit some of these fields via your Zillow profile, so keep tabs on how things are publishing.

Zillow also offers agents the option to promote their listings to a higher spot in search results. Although there is a fee associated with this promotion, new agents (who many not have a lot of listings to promote) can often benefit from this added exposure.

Share Zillow’s content

Social media and content marketing are two of the biggest ways that new agents can reach a wider pool of potential buyers. But when you’re just starting out, finding the time to create your own original content can be hard to do. Zillow has a blog called Porchlight, where they regularly post content covering everything from celebrity homes to DIY and real estate advice.

You can use this content by sharing it on social media or by emailing it to your database. You’ll look like the real estate expert you are becoming, and you’ll be engaging with your sphere. It’s a win-win.

Answer questions

Zillow has an “Advice” section of its website where buyers and sellers can ask questions and real estate agents can answer them. This is an excellent way to stay active on Zillow and to help potential buyers and sellers who could become clients—thanks to your advice.

A note of caution: Always speak to your broker before giving public advice on an online forum. Your brokerage and/or state association could have specific guidelines you need to follow.

What steps will you take?

Generating online leads, whether through Zillow or your own website, takes time and dedication. Remember, follow-up is the key to converting these new leads, so have a strategy in place on how you’re going to keep the conversation going.

Still wondering if a real estate career is right for you? Find out more and get many of your questions answered by contact us at 561-801-3376

Building Your Real Estate Personal Brand as a New Agent

Building Your Real Estate Personal Brand as a New Agent

New real estate agents can often get caught up in the myriad of details that go into entering this profession. There are courses to take and tests to pass to become licensed. You need to decide on a broker or team to help you get your career off the ground. You need to make business decisions as far as building your website and setting up an office. You need to find clients.

But there is another important step that you’ll want to take early on in your new career: creating your personal real estate brand.

Your personal real estate brand is a reflection of you—your unique qualities and your values. It’s not just a matter of coming up with a color scheme or logo; it gives you an opportunity to convey a sense of who you are to your clients. It is uniquely you.

Start with your values

Think about what being in this profession means to you and why you want to help people. Dig a little deeper and think about who specifically you want to help and how you will do it differently from other agents. Focus on the niche you intend to serve; reflect on the demographics with which you will be working.

Because you are a new agent, you don’t have an established reputation or awards to fall back on, but you still have something to offer. Perhaps you have business experience that will help negotiate a good deal for your client. Maybe you have tech skills that will come in handy for reaching millennials. Even as a new agent, you have something special to offer your customers. Figure out what that is.

Create a visual representation of your real estate personal brand

Once you have figured out the words to use to describe yourself, the next step in building your real estate personal brand is to create a symbol or logo to represent it. Brand visualization will bring your brand to life through logos, images, and other marketing pieces.

Make sure it reflects the values you have determined are important to you—and that it will speak to your target audience. Get help from a graphic designer or art student; your website developer might also be able to create this for you. Brand visualization requires a lot of thought—and a healthy dose of creativity.

Exercise: Define your personal brand

Once you have spent some time thinking about how you want to represent yourself, complete this exercise to help you hone in on your personal brand.

  • Write down three accurate perceptions/qualities of who you are that differentiate you from other real estate agents.
  • Do you have the conviction to ensure that you are reflecting those perceptions/qualities on a consistent basis?
  • How have you done so today? In the past week?
  • Are you truly proud of those qualities? If not, why? If so, how do they make you more successful?

Whether or not you take the time to establish your personal real estate brand, there will be a message associated with your professional persona. Control that message by creating your own.

Online real estate education vs. classroom real estate education

Real estate school: online vs. classroom

The two most popular ways to complete the required courses are (1) online real estate classes and (2) in-classroom, in-person real estate classes. To help you decide which option is best for you, we’ll walk you through the general pros and cons of online vs. in-classroom options.

Why do students love online real estate courses?

  • Flexibility. People like online real estate courses for the same reason that they want to pursue a career in real estate: the flexible, self-made schedule. Most online courses are designed so that you can go through course material whenever you find some spare time, wherever you are—at home, at the office, waiting for your kid to get out of soccer practice, etc. Online education allows you to break the material up into smaller sections and spread it out over time instead of sitting in a classroom for 4+ hours at a time.
  • Save money and time. Online real estate courses tend to be much less expensive than in-classroom courses. On top of that, taking your courses online saves you the cost of traveling to the nearest classroom location, the time you’d have to take off work, and the cost of whatever else you might need to take courses in-person (snacks, a babysitter, coffee, and so forth).

But, alas, there are some drawbacks of taking online real estate courses:

  • Self-discipline. The greatest benefit of taking online courses—the ability to choose when and where you study—can also be the biggest obstacle. When you don’t have a set time to show up to the class session, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go through the course material.
  • Lack of interaction. When compared to classes taken in-person, online courses can lack opportunities for students to network with their peers or ask professors in-depth questions about the course material.

So, you’re good at prioritizing, you’re not a procrastinator, you’ve got a solid Internet connection, and you want to start your coursework now. Before you commit to a certain online education provider, ask these questions:

  • Are instructors available to answer questions while you read course material online? Are they only available by e-mail? Are they nowhere to be found?
  • Does the online course have end-of-chapter quizzes or reviews to help improve retention (and make the final exam that much easier)?
  • Is the online course flexible so that you can complete it any time and at your own pace?
  • Are course materials available in multiple formats (digital, print)? Is the course compatible with the operating system on your computer? Is it tablet or iPad friendly?
  • Is the course interface user-friendly and easy to navigate?
  • How long do you have to complete the online course?

Not convinced? Maybe taking courses in a classroom, in-person is for you.

Here’s why some students prefer to take their real estate classes in-person, in a classroom:

  • Social interaction. Attending real estate courses in a classroom gives you the ability to meet your professor, ask him/her questions, and take part in class discussions, which often go beyond the material in the course. You can ask an educated professional about his/her experiences, opinions, tricks, tips, horror stories, and big wins. The classroom is also a great place to network with peers in your chosen profession.
  • Face-to-face learning. Reading the computer screen isn’t for everyone, and in-person, on-site classes may better suit your learning style.
  • Scheduled meeting time. If the unstructured nature of online courses isn’t your thing, then having a set place and time to attend class might make it easier for you to complete your coursework and get that certification. Classes are usually offered in the day or evening and run between 4 to 8 hours per session.

Some drawbacks of in-classroom courses:

  • Lack of flexibility. Courses taken in the classroom don’t have the same anytime/anywhere freedom as online courses. You can’t complete coursework on your own time or on your comfy couch. And, rather than jumping online and getting started, you have to wait for your next scheduled classroom session.
  • Potential cost of travel and time. Depending on your location and your chosen real estate school’s offerings, you may have to make a lengthy commute to attend class. This will eat into your wallet and the time that you might otherwise spend working and turn a profit.

Online real estate education vs. classroom real estate education

online real estate school vs. classroom real estate school

Not all real estate schools are created equal

Okay. We’ve broken down the basic real estate course-delivery options for you: online and classroom. But you can’t enroll in a course with just any education provider because all schools and courses are not created equal. The quality of course material, availability of customer service, and general fun-factor varies greatly across education providers.

Ask these questions before you commit to a real estate school:

  • Does the school have high exam pass rates in your state?
  • Does the school offer real estate exam preparation?
  • What is the total cost? Note that the cost of your education may include tuition, exam preparation, course materials, travel expenses (for in-person courses), and a passing guarantee (if allowed in your state).
  • Does the real estate school offer payment plans?
  • Does the school offer additional career insights, coaching and education opportunities to get your career off to a strong start?

If you take the time to choose the right real estate school and course format for you, then you should come away more informed, more prepared for a successful career, and ready to pass the state exam.

Ready to get started in your real estate career? Real Estate Careers online school offers all of the conveniences of online courses as well as highly-rated, state-approved courses and pre-licensing exams. You can even get started today.

9 Ways to Turn Your Social Media Addiction Into a Successful Real Estate Career

9 Ways to Turn Your Social Media Addiction Into a Successful Real Estate Career


Before he had a successful real estate career, Steven David Elliot was running bookstores in Florida and North Carolina. These were the early days of social media, he filled downtime surfing Facebook and other sites, connecting with friends, reading articles, “killing the monotony.”

“If you’re playing around with your computer, customers think you’re doing work,” says Elliot, who back then counted 800 people as Facebook friends. “I found it entertaining, an opportunity to do something outside the four walls of a bricks-and-mortar business.”

Fast forward to 2016, and Elliot is now a Raleigh, North Carolina, real estate broker with more than 20,000 people in his “social media sphere,” whom he taps for leads, referrals, and as a guest list for monthly networking events he hosts to help area business people connect.

“I had 650 people at my Christmas party, and they all heard about it through my social media,” Elliot says, explaining how he turned his Facebook passion into a professional tool. Now, he helps other real estate professionals exploit social media through his Rockstar Connect company.

Facebook “is where all the magic happens,” Elliot says. “The payoff is enormous.”

It’s all about social to have a successful real estate career

Millennials, who grew up posting prom pictures on Facebook and modeling new outfits on Instagram, should be happy to know that real estate marketing is migrating from newspaper display ads to a wide range of Internet sites that buyers and sellers access through smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

“Millennials think of social media as an indispensable tool and want nothing more than the apps that make life easier, more productive, and more fun,” says an Urban Land Institute report on emerging trends in real estate. “That’s the trajectory ahead, and real estate companies that can harness the power of social media to manage and market property will gain an enormous advantage over laggards in this area.”

Consider these Spring/2016 stats gathered by Avex Designs, a New York City-based digital agency.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that even though most buyers start their search on the Internet, 88% use an agent to “bridge the gap” between browsing properties online and actually buying a home.

“Real estate professionals know that their customers are uber-connected and informed,” says The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, a joint study from the NAR and Google.

How to use social media to earn more in real estate

You’d think uploading video house tours to YouTube and posting open house invites on Facebook are the best ways to exploit social media to sell houses.

You’d be wrong. Real estate professionals say less talk about listings is more effective on social media posts.

Elliot writes daily, “uplifting” posts that promote other businesses more frequently than they tout his own. Ultimately, his online community returns the favor and sends referrals his way.

“People refer to people they trust, people who are not takers,” he says. “If you give without expectation, you will be rewarded with great abundance.”

Here are more ways to get the most out of your social media addiction as you embark on a successful real estate career.

Post consistently

To build a network, you must post early and post often. Daily is best, says Joselin Estevez, social media director of X Factor Media. Real estate agents should post helpful information for house hunters, like the latest mortgage rates or housing pricing trends.

Limit self-promotion

It’s better to position yourself as a resource and facilitator, than as a self-promoter who mostly brags about homes sold and dollars earned. When you pitch a home, cast the post as, “Here’s a way to help your neighbor by spreading the word about his great home for sale.” People are more likely to help a fellow homeowner than an agent.

Don’t underestimate free stuff

Run contests and offer gift cards and other perks to social media followers who spread the word about your listings.

Keep it upbeat

Save your rants and complaints for dinner with flesh and blood friends; but when it comes to Facebook posts, keep it positive and professional. Avoid politics and religion. Take down online pictures of college beer pong tournaments. Emphasize family and civic commitment. “Nobody likes a complainer,” in real or virtual life, Elliot says.

Use Instagram in real time

Set up a camera, video an open house, and stream it live on Instagram.

Don’t obsess over your real estate website

Agents can lose hours updating and fine-turning their websites, time better spent developing an online community that becomes a fount of referrals.

Track trends

Post about many different topics – neighborhood news, national real estate trends, great nearby restaurants – and track which posts your target audience responds to. “The more people who like your posts and comment on them, the more people who will see your posts,” says Mark Ferguson, a real estate agent and author of the InvestFourMore real estate blog.

Respond to responders

When a reader comments on your post, comment back. Social media is all about being social, and if you leave a commenter digitally hanging, he’ll be less likely to engage with your posts in the future.

Meet your followers

Create events like networking meet-and-greets that let you press flesh with friends and followers. Some venues will give you free space if you can promise to fill it with potential paying clients.

By Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Jeremy Burns: Finding Early Success in a Real Estate Career

Jeremy Burns: Finding Early Success in a Real Estate Career

early success in a real estate careerWith the broad range of career paths available to real estate professionals, each agent has a different story to tell. In this series, we bring you the stories of successful individuals who’ve taken their real estate careers in various directions. We sit down with each of them to talk about how they got started in the industry and the twists and turns they’ve taken along the way. Read on to learn about Jeremy Burns, and his experience finding early success in a real estate career while breaking into the red-hot Raleigh, North Carolina, real estate market.

Jeremy Burns has led an interesting life, to say the least. He ran security detail in Vegas, protecting the rich and famous, and made waves as a professional fisherman before taking the leap into real estate—and for him, there’s no looking back.

Burns, an agent with Fonville Morisey in Raleigh/Durham, N.C., has worked some thrilling jobs, but he says he experiences a similar adrenalin rush now in real estate. “I enjoy the ‘thrill of the chase’ when it comes to finding a home or listing a home for a client. I am fortunate enough to assist people with what is most likely the biggest purchase of their life, and they are putting all their trust in me to make it happen,” he says.

It’s perhaps that love of the “rush” that has helped the Michigan native thrive in the highly competitive Raleigh market. He weighs in on what’s it like to start a new career—and what he’s done to achieve early success.

Q: When you decided to become an agent, did you take baby steps; for example, selling real estate just part time, or did you jump in and make it your sole gig from the get-go?

A: I was very fortunate to be able to make real estate my sole profession from the time I started. I was involved with a commercial property that got bought for development, and I had the financial stability to give real estate 100% from Day 1.

Q: Raleigh is a hot market. What was toughest about starting your business there? It is competitive; how are you differentiating yourself?

A: I have a solid sphere of influence from family, friends and business associates, so I tapped that to get started. I was very grateful to a couple of friends who let me list their homes, and I was able to sell them quickly for 100% of list price. That said, I must compete to get business in this market because there are so many agents who have been doing it much longer than I have. However, what clients really want is to sell their home quickly, for top dollar and with few issues, so it’s my job to walk into a listing appointment and sell my abilities. Most important, I want to prove that we can be business partners in the transaction.

Q: How did you decide on a Fonville Morisey brokerage? What advice would you offer new agents who are looking for the right firm to work with?

A: Once you become licensed, your mailbox will be full of letters from every company in town. I took the time to research firms and felt that Fonville Morisey, Wake Forest office was the best fit for me. It is a fun environment, but you receive help when you need it too. My Broker in Charge, Sam Pyrtle, is also a pre-licensing instructor, so he is always willing to take the time to make sure new agents understand every aspect of the transaction. My advice? Find a firm that aligns with your business plan and will guide you as you are just getting started.

Q: You have a Certified Relocation Specialist designation. What does that involve? How is it helping you find buyer clients?

A: A certified Relocation Designation is obtained through a post license course, which teaches the processes that are involved when buyers are moving here from another city. Sixty-five people move to my area every single day, so I thought it was a smart designation to obtain. As far as gaining clients, I understand the relocation process and what things they will need to consider when moving here [so it eases the transition for them].

Q: How are you using technology to both capture potential clients’ attention and provide them better service?

A: I am more old school, so I have had to work hard to keep up with the digital world. I learned how to be my own web developer and manage my own website. I have improved since I started doing it, but I have to update it several times a week, so it takes some dedication to do it and do it right. If I don’t have the latest information on the site, it could potentially cost me business. Luckily, it’s easy to link my website to my social media accounts as well, so I don’t have to update all of them every time. It is just one expense that I can do myself without having to pay someone to do it for me. I also use social media. It is free, and so many people get their information through social media, I can’t imagine a new agent not using it and being successful.

That said, I am also a big believer in direct mail. That piece of mail in your hand with my name on it in big letters will be something you hopefully remember. Ninety percent or more might end up in the trash can, but if just 10 percent get filed, it is worth every penny I put into it.

Q: Describe your most successful day on the job so far. Why do you consider it a success?

A: I landed a listing on a property that was previously listed with another firm for almost three months. It took some convincing that I was the right person for the job, but the owners finally agreed that they would give me a chance after our listing presentation. I sold the home in two days for 100 percent of list price. That was my best day because I did something that’s difficult to do and completed the transaction for them during a very stressful situation.

Q: What was your worst day on the job, and what did you learn from that experience?

A: I always feel lucky to be in this business, so I don’t have a “worst” day, but I can think of a time when I wasn’t exactly happy. I went to a listing appointment and presented to a couple who were moving out of state. We agreed that it would be great to work together and that I would prepare the listing paperwork. Unfortunately, another agent contacted them and told them she would list the house for $20,000 higher. So, of course, I get the call letting me know they were going with her, but I stood firm on what I told them their home was valued at in the market. After sitting on the market for almost four months with two price decreases, they finally sold it for almost exactly what I originally told them.

That situation taught me so much about how I want to conduct business. I will never provide incorrect information—or lie—to get a client. I will be ethical and honest to everyone no matter the cost. Someone once told me that you can never go wrong by doing the right thing. I feel that even if I lose someone’s business, I will always do things the correct way. A paycheck is one thing, but your pride is more important.

Q: If you could offer a new agent one piece of advice, what would it be?

A: I would say be patient. I see many agents who come in and think they’re going to set the world on fire with sales numbers, but by month three they are ready to give up. They see the nice cars and lifestyles that some agents have and think they are going to have that in a year. For most agents, it takes two to three years before they start to see a strong and steady income. Make a business plan, trust the process, and hold yourself accountable to stay focused. This is a really easy business to get off track and not follow through with what you need to do. It is easy to take the day to go golfing or sit around and not make good use of your time. You need to make the decision on how much you will work and what you want out of it.

Free Book! Elevator to the Top  

This book is a “here’s what to do” manifesto more than it is a “here’s how it’s done” It’s like being personally coached by Ryan Stewman through the pages of this 15X best selling conglomeration of white pages.
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
  • How to effectively prospect and close people from posting on social media sites
  • How to relentlessly follow up with prospects until they buy, without pissing them off
  • How to build a bulletproof referral network of folks who send you ALL of their business