Warmer weather, longer days, and increased home sales. Summer is upon us, and many real estate agents find that this season is the most ideal for selling a home. Here are just some of the many advantages of selling your home during the months of warmer weather:

Landscaping Appeal

You could also call this feature “curb appeal.” Warmer weather during the summer means that flowers are in bloom and lush green lawns are present. When it comes to first impressions, a buyer makes theirs based on their first sight of the home, which is going to be the front yard and most present features of the outside of the home.  Upkept landscaping will allow potential buyers to make a good first impression of the home and will enter the home with a positive outlook. Use the summer sun to highlight the inside and outside of the homes you are selling.

Increased Sales

During the summer, buyer numbers tend to increase. This means more showings, more (and better) offers, and top-dollar selling prices.

Longer Days

Since there are more daylight hours in the summer, there is better visibility for real estate. As a real estate agent, it’s likely you will only show homes during the day, so more daylight means more showings. Potential buyers are also more likely to notice your For Sale sign on the bright green lawn during the summer.

School’s Out

During the summer months more families are likely to buy a home so that they can settle into a new spot before the chaos of a new school year begins in the fall. If the home you are listing is in a popular, positively known school district, you’ll be sure to see families with children becoming more aggressive with their offers on a home in the area.

Building a career as a real estate agent is an exciting path to take. You are beginning a journey of essentially having your own business and working as a self-employed salesperson. But in order to succeed, you should have a quality business plan in place. At REDX we provide real estate agents with the tools and instructions you need for success, so here are some tips for building a business plan that will help you stick to the goal of long term success on the road ahead.

You want your business plan to show who you are as an individual real estate agent. You can make an extensive, elaborate presentation or It can be a simple one with a simple presentation quality. But in order to reach your goals, you must have a plan.

To Include In Your Plan
Start your business plan with an executive summary. This is where you will describe your mission, goals and achievements that are significant to your purpose as a real estate agent. Take your time on this part. Make sure the summary focuses on your unique qualities that will help you stand out in the real estate profession and catch the eye of your clients. Your executive summary can also include information about your work space, equipment and any other employees you work with, such as an assistant.

Your business plan should most certainly include a competitive analysis. Identify how you and other real estate agents are similar and different in all aspects of your job, including target market and marketing strategies. This will help you set your business apart from the others.

You want to outline both your personal and business expenses of your budget outline, including the gross income that is required to meet these expenses. Once you outline the basics of the money you need, identify how you will generate that income by showing analytics of how many transactions you will need to complete in order to achieve this required income. Further into this description should be your breakdown of how many prospects you will need to connect you to each transaction. Once you become familiar with the formulas, this process can be quite easy and become one of the most efficient ways for you to budget.

Once you know what your budget is, create a marketing calendar outlining which strategies you want to use that will work best for your needs, and date when you will be implementing them. With this budget you will also want to provide financial details surrounding your business, stating current cash and assets along with liabilities and other expenses.

A market analysis in your business plan will define the people who will buy or list their home through you. Identify your market demographics (i.e. age, gender, status, etc.) as well as their status as home owners (are the first time buyers or are they downsizing?).

Also include in your business plan the various media outlets you plan on using to promote your services. Identify how you will use these outlets and the different marketing strategies you have in place (i.e advertising, workshops or seminars, social networking, etc.).

An appendix for supplemental documents is not included in the main part of your business plan, but is a relevant section to have. Include in here a copy of your real estate license and other certifications, as well as documentation regarding your broker, brochures and other materials.

Your business plan is not a document that is completed once and then put in a file. Make sure it is an accessible document that can be changed as needed in order to help you stay consistent with building a profitable career as a real estate agent.

 

REDX helps Real Estate Professionals list more homes with Expired, FSBO, and Pre-foreclosure leads. We are trusted because of our verified High Octane™ data quality. Leads are delivered through the REDX Lead Manager, which allows you to dynamically sort, search, and systematize your leads to fit your prospecting style and niches. Visit us today at http://www.theredx.com/ for more information.

REDXBack in  February, we interviewed REDX power user Craig Reger for one of our Tele-Seminars. If you haven’t listened to the interview, I’d recommend giving it a listen. We also did a post highlighting some of the key points that you can peruse. But something that I think deserved a little more attention was (enough so for its own post) was the way he approaches old expireds.

Craig works in Portland, OR, a market that is through and through a seller’s market at this point in time. Since the downturn of 2008, the average house in Craig’s market has appreciated by $50,000. This appreciation is largely due to the overwhelming demand for homes in Craig’s market. There is hardly any inventory on the MLS and most sellers are getting multiple offers. In a market like this it’s hard to work new expireds because most everything is selling. However, these conditions are perfect for working old expireds.

Craig’s market is very similar to many markets around the country. Low inventory, improved equity, and appreciation is getting to be pretty common. The people who may benefit most from the climate of this market are homeowners who gave up trying to sell years ago. Using REDX, Craig has pulled data for expireds all the way back from 2007 in some cases. In our interview with him, our very own Michelle Holt roll played with Craig to help listeners get a taste of what he’d say to owners who haven’t had their home on the market for years:

Agent: Hi this is Craig Reger with Keller Williams Realty, how are you?

Owner: Good.

Agent: Great, I saw your house expired from our Multiple Listing Service way back in 2008, did you ever sell that home?

Owner: No

Agent: Yeah most people didn’t, NAME. The market was really bad back then. You know, here’s the good news, I saw your house came off at about $250k. That’s the number you failed to get for your house. This isn’t exact but houses in your neighborhood right now are selling on average for above 300k. So may I ask you, have you thought about selling your house in this hot real estate market?

Owner: Not really.

Agent: No problem, Would you be interested in knowing your home’s value in this market?

Owner: Sure

Agent: Let me get your email, because I already have your contact info, and all your pics from when you were on MLS 6 years ago. If I can get your email, I can some quick numbers and I’ll send you an email and then I’ll call you back tonight when you’re not as busy and we could talk about what your value is today. Would that be ok?

Owner: Yes

At the end of his roleplay, Craig said that he’d usually try to push for a face to face appointment but the email is pretty good especially since he could put that email into one of his drip campaigns.

Hopefully this messaging helps. How much success you have working old expireds will depend on your market. Portland maybe an unusually good market but are there many places where houses are worth less now than they were back in 2008?

Desperate Times

June 3, 2014

in REDX

By Mark Leck

It’s been said, “Desperate times call for desperate measure.” For many agents, the idea of knocking a door seems like just that: desperate. And yet, for seasoned prospecting agents, this tried and true method is a secret weapon for capitalizing on an untapped source of new business.

Think about this:

1. Not every homeowner is identifiable by a reliable telephone number or email address, putting them out of reach of the majority of phone-only prospectors.

2. Since mailers are the lowest barrier to entry contact method, every expired should expect to get barraged with letters and postcards when their listing expires on the MLS.

So how will you cut through the clutter and differentiate yourself? KNOCK ON THEIR DOOR.

Here’s are 6 tips to help you succeed:

1. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!
Your dress and appearance should be professional and impeccable. This is your opportunity to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a good one. Don’t let anything in your appearance detract from your message.

2. Use a Script.
Just like prospecting from the phone, knowing what you are going to say is the best way to feel confident at the door. Remember to be well practiced — so you don’t sound rehearsed. A good script is direct and too the point — but should adaptable enough to allow you to ask questions and build a relationship of trust with the prospective client.

3. Use Body Language
The ability to use body language in your presentation is one of the best part of door knocking. Studies have shown that only 7% of our communication are the actual words we use. 38% is tone of voice and a whopping 55% is body language. While phone prospectors have only tone and words to use, you on the other hand have the full breadth of human communication to help you connect with the homeowner in person.

4. Slow Down
Though body language should give you an advantage in prospecting, it can also be a liability if conveyed poorly. Here’s a key pointer: slow down. Talk at a calm, comfortable pace. Use smooth, non-jerky movements when explaining how you can help. For example, when you talk about other homes in the area that are for sale or have recently sold, use a slow smooth hand movement to motion to the homes around you.

5. Always leave them with something.
I’m not talking about a fruit basket, but a market snapshot is great. Remember, their listing expired. The main reason for this has got to be price. Give them a list of all the homes that have sold in their area in the last 3 months. This data will be useful in helping you handle price objections later.

6.  Smile.
Smiles are contagious. Don’t knock doors without one.

Remember, if your business needs a jolt, it’s time to be bold. Find yourself 20 homes to visit over the next week and knock their doors. You’ll be amazed at the result!

Mark-Headshot2.pngMark Leck is the Founder and CEO of REDX (Real Estate Data X-Change).

 

JenniferpipinHere we are, back with another Tele-Seminar. We’re hope you’re enjoying them. Recently we interviewed Jennifer Pipin whose an agent using REDX in the Atlanta, Georgia area. For the whole call, feel free to click here, but below we’ll go over some of the calls highlights.

Jennifer has been an agent since 2005 and currently works in the Atlanta market. Last year she was involved in 26 transactions, 14 of which were sellers and 12 buyers. Before her real estate days, she’d held down customer service jobs and cut her teeth talking to customers while waiting tables. During these jobs she honed an attitude that good business focuses around the customer. Everytime Jennifer prospects, does an appointment, goes into a consultation, she has this mindset in her head: “What Can I Contribute?”

So what does that mean? It means she’s always asking herself what is the right thing to do for this client and how can I help them most. By adopting this mantra, she has found that when she contributes to her clients and potential clients, they always contribute back and sometimes 100 fold. At REDX, we would call this dedication of customer contribution a core value, a principle that guides her in all her business efforts. Whether you’re an agent or business, it’s important to have values such as these to not only help give direction but also as something that distinguishes you from others in your market.

Jennifer’s market is like many at this time. There are far less houses for sale than there are buyers. In this seller’s market she’s saying that it’s not uncommon for houses to have 8 offers on them. So again we see low inventory. Can you still work expireds in low inventory areas? Of course. Jennifer does it 5 days a week. 4 mornings a week she calls from 9am-11am and 1 day a week she calls during the afternoons. During these 2 hour blocks, she calls old and new expired leads. But these aren’t the only leads she works. Jennifer spends most of her time on the phone working with repeat business and referrals. She says that she can usually find 1 interested lead for every 50 expired cold calls she makes, but she’ll find 2 interested contacts for ever 12 people she talks to out of her sphere. With numbers like this, why spend time on expireds at all? Well, according to Darlene, it’s for the practice.

When Darlene first got into the industry she found herself hesitant to call her friends about her recent career change. Worried that she would mess up selling a house for someone she knew, she decided to get some transactions under her belt by prospecting people she didn’t know from Adam. She said this experience and the experience of continually calling expireds and FSBOs even today, helps her hone her skills and objection handling so she’s perfected her approach by the time she goes after her sphere of influence.

One last point she made in the call that I thought was worth noting was her ability to prospect to everyone. Using REDX, do to some mix up with the tax records, she once called someone who wasn’t actually the home owner. The person had been getting several calls about a property they no longer owned. Sensing that the prospect was at their wits end with the amount of phone calls, Jennifer went out of her way to contact REDX to make sure we took the number off our list. Jennifer called back later to let her know what she had done. Lightheartedly she said “Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but I’m an awesome agent, and I know you have awesome friends, do you know anyone looking to buying or sell?” At that point the person gave her the name and phone number of her best friend that was sitting down to plan her move that night. It just goes to show that you never know what can happen if you just ask.

Craig Reger and the Old Expired Goldmine: Highlights from our February 2014 Tele-Seminar

05.26.2014 REDX

On the REDX blog, we want to get back to the tradition of summarizing the Tele-seminars. If you’re not familiar with what that is, REDX regularly interviews its top users to get insight on how they are leveraging our services to achieve the goals in their business. In February (I know, we’re a little late), [...]

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Breaking Down Some FSBO Statistics

05.21.2014 REDX

Recently, I stumbled onto some FSBOs statistics as published by National Association of REALTORS®. According to their research, the following is a breakdown of why sellers did NOT use an agent to get their house sold: Did not want to pay commission fee: 46% Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 24% Buyers [...]

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Sphere of Influence (Part 2)

05.09.2014 Leads

Continued from Part 1 Have a Plan for Contact Now that you have sent out your initial hello, establish a way to organize how often you want to contact your potential clients. Some people in your sphere will require more frequent contact than others, but always be sure to follow up with everyone. Don’t leave [...]

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5 Tips for Overcoming Prospecting Fears

05.03.2014 Prospecting

By Mark Leck Picking up the phone for the first time to prospect to Expireds, FSBOs, or even pre-foreclosures can be a daunting experience. If you’ve ever felt this way, you are not alone. The Pros, agents with years of prospecting under their belt, have already overcome the fears that stop so many novice prospectors [...]

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Sphere of Influence (Part 1)

04.17.2014 Industry Insights

A sphere of influence is something every real estate agent has or should have. Whether it be friends, family, former business associates or classmates, or others that you know through some aspect of your life, these are people that know you and have gained some sort of influence from you, even if just a small [...]

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