A Beginner’s Guide To Becoming A Successful Real Estate Agent

As a real estate agent, you wear many different hats. You play the role of a salesperson, an analyst, a consultant, a negotiator, and a marketer. There are many other responsibilities you must also take charge of, including accommodating your clients and meeting their needs on their time, anytime they need assistance.

Even when the market is slow, there is always a high demand for real estate agents. Before you decide to take the plunge into this career, there are some things you must consider and prepare for in order to be a successful, dependable real estate agent.

Be Flexible
Being a real estate agent comes with a lot of responsibility and requires real time commitment. Be prepared to be flexible with time. Your hours will be inconsistent and long, and will often include evenings and weekends. You also need to be able to make time for your clients, often at a minute’s notice.

Treat Real Estate As a Business, Not a Hobby
If you treat your job as a real estate agent more as a hobby than a business, you may tend to be more careless about it. Real estate is a business to be taken seriously. After all, it’s about money, and when you’re careless with something that involves money, you tend to lose it. Being a real estate agent makes you an independent contractor, and it’s up to you to manage your own business and set your own business model. Remain professional in order to achieve success and remain in a positive light for your current and potential clients.

Know The Importance of Relationships
Real estate is all about who knows you, and who you know. Real people are the ones who keep your business afloat, and it’s easy to get distracted by technology and paperwork. Put down the iPad and get out there to maximize your relationships with people. Involve yourself and your business in the community to get the word out there about your services. Show that you are interested in your local surroundings by becoming a visible source that people can get to know personally and learn that they can rely on. Once you solidify relationships, however, you can’t stop there. It’s important to continually maintain these connections through follow-ups with clients that you may have sold or purchased a house for in the past, or even someone that you spoke to about potentially working with. Each connection has a value and can be one more step to business success.

Be Prepared to Dig Deep
Real estate isn’t just about finding a house that matches a client’s basic needs. You will need to dig deep and do your research to find a house that meets the specific and basic needs of your client. This research includes getting to know as much about your client as you can. Ask plenty of questions, simple and detailed, so you know about their personal preferences in what kind of place they would like to call home.

Becoming a real estate agent and paving your own road to success will take a lot of time, so it is important to be patient. If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

What Expireds Need to Hear

Woman-plugging-earsIf you’ve prospected to expired leads this January or in winters past, odds are you’ve heard something along these lines: “We’re going to wait until Spring.” It’s the quintessential winter objection an owner uses to get the agent off the line. What you need to help them realize is that now is the time to sell. Not just the proverbial “NOW,” but NOW as in January 2014. You may not have much time to do so, but this is what you need your potential clientele need to understand:

Supply and Demand
Welcome back to Economics 101. We’ve talked about supply and demand before on the REDX blog, but here we go again. For any product, the more available it is to consumers, the less value it has. This applies to houses just as much as anything else. As a market saturates with more and more homes going up for sale, the average price of those homes drops. Competition drives lower prices. The more scarce the houses are in a market, the more expensive they become.

So What?
So where are we going with this? How does this supply and demand stuff apply to January 2014 and the cranky expired lead telling you they’re going to wait? It applies because Spring 2014 is going to be a competition nightmare. It happens every year: the vast majority of sellers wait until the spring and summer to put their homes up on the market.

While you have them on the phone, you’ve got to help the expired leads understand that waiting is only positioning them to compete with far more houses than if they listed now. Competing with more houses in the spring will push down the price of their home and they will end up netting less money to use on their next purchase.

Winter is for Sellers
January is one of the best times to list because there is far less competition. Listing in winter also attracts far more committed buyers. If someone is purchasing a house in January, it’s usually because they have to. With motivated buyers and fewer houses, the sellers will have the upper hand once it comes time to negotiate price. Make sure your prospects know this now before they lose thousands by waiting till summer.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

Setting Smart Goals

smart goal setting conceptJanuary is a time for recommitment, a time for resolutions, and a time for goals. In any business, setting goals is crucial. Real estate is no exception. Even more crucial than setting goals, however, is setting the right goals.

It’s easy to say, “I want to do $250k in commissions this year.” The hard part is knowing all the little goals to set that will give yourself the best chance of accomplishing the bigger one. The key is setting SMART goals.

You may have heard of this type of goal setting before. Thousands of companies use the SMART model, including us at REDX. The concept of the SMART goal has been around since the 80’s, but the reason people are still talking about it today is because SMART goals are goals worth making, even for real estate agents.

As you may or may not know, SMART is an acronym for a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. More than likely, setting multiple SMART goals is needed to help you create a path to follow that will let reach your year’s overarching objective. With the end goal of $250k in mind, let’s break down this goal using the lens of the SMART concept:

  • Specific
    A SMART goal is specific. If your goal is to “be a better agent,” what does that really mean? What does it really require? How many different ways can that be interpreted? Setting a specific goal focuses you, gives you one destination to move toward instead of dividing your efforts inefficiently. So setting a goal of $250k is specific because it’s a hard, concrete, defined number. However, this goal is not specific when you consider “how” you’re supposed to get there. A more specific goal would be one that gets you on the path of $250k.  An example might be “go on three appointments per week.”
  • Measurable
    $250k is measurable. It isn’t vague or abstract like “get better at prospecting.” However when you set one measurable for the entire 12 monts, you don’t have much opportunity to evaluate your efforts as you move through the year. A more measurable goal would be to “talk to 25 new contacts per day.”
  • Attainable
    For many agents, $250k is very attainable. But whether you’re aiming for $250k or $100k, earning that money still has a measure of uncertainty that you yourself cannot control. Effort does not always equate to exact dollar results because, sadly, you can’t ultimately control whether people give you their listing. That’s why it’s important to set attainable goals. These goals are those that you can control with near complete exactness. A good attainable goal would be “calling for 90 minutes per prospecting session.”
  • Relevant
    SMART goals are relevant. To know if a goal is relevant, ask these questions about it:
    – Is this goal needed/worthwhile?
    – Does this goal take my business in the direction I want it to go?
    – Is now the right time to chase this goal?
    If you can answer yes to these, your aim is probably relevant. Maybe shooting for $250k isn’t relevant if you only did $60k last year. Maybe a goal of $100k would be more relevant this year, leaving $250k for later.
  • Time-Bound
    SMART goals are attached to a certain time frame. $250k this year is a time-bound goal, but an even better time bound goal are the ones that can be accomplished on a monthly, weekly, or even monthly basis. A good Time-Bound goal would be “devoting 5 mornings a week to prospecting.”

Hopefully these examples helped. Now it’s time to make your own goals. Remember to write them down, put them in a place where you and others can see them, and be accountable to people around you for not completing them. Go make 2014 an awesome year!

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us for the best real estate solutions and increased listings today.

Negotiating From a Position of Power

handshakeIn a recent blog post from Keeping Current Matters, the KCM crew enumerated the several negotiations an owner must go through if they plan on selling their home on their own. For Sale By Owners have a lot of hoops to jump through to get all these negotiations done on their own. Here’s the  list of whom  FSBOs they will need to be prepared to negotiate with:

1. The buyer who will be fighting tooth and tail to get the lowest price they can.

2. The buyer’s agent who will be fighting for the best deal for their client.

3. The buyer’s attorney (in some states).

4. The home inspectors the buyer has hired.

5. The pest control companies if needed.

6. The buyer’s lender in some special mortgage structures.

7. The appraiser if the price is challenged.

8. Sometimes title companies.

9. Sometimes city or municipality officials if there are permit issues.

10. The buyer’s buyer if there are hiccups in selling their home.

11. Your bank if you’re doing a short sale.

The list is pretty daunting. If an owner saw this, they might think twice about going the FSBO route. Most people don’t have experience negotiating deals like these. As a real estate agent, you eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff. When prospecting to FSBOs, it is imperative that you make sure you relay this to them. Your whole job is to navigate the many hurdles and negotiate the many deals that will certainly come your way while selling a home. Ask them who they want conducting these deal: Someone with no experience, or someone who does it to put food on their table?

This concept reminds me of post we did earlier in the year. It was an interview with one of our power users, Larry Farris. During his interview he focused on what he called “negotiating from a position of power.” What he means by this is that he actually has a network of attorneys, home inspectors, and other real estate professionals that will help him price a property right at the beginning and make it impossible for buyers to badger down the price during the escrow process. To hear him explain it himself, feel free to listen to the interview yourself by clicking here.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

Tips for Effective Time Management for Real Estate Agents

At REDX, we strive to provide real estate agents with the best real estate solutions. One of the biggest ways to succeed as a real estate agent is to know how to practice and perfect time management. Here are some tips for real estate agents on how they can maximize their time to make more money.

1. Start The Day With A Plan
Real estate is your business, so it is important that you start every day with a plan. Set long and mid-range goals for yourself and then extract from these the daily activities what you will need to do in order to reach your goals. Make a list each night of tasks you want to complete the following day. Write them down on a piece of paper or save a document on your computer or phone to help you keep track of what is coming up on your list. Cross things off as you go. Creating your list at night will leave you more room in the morning to get started on finishing things rather than using part of your morning making the list.

2. Minimize Distractions
Keep all distractions to a minimum in your workspace. More than likely you will have many different things going on, and while you’re multitasking, the last thing you want is more distractions. During the most productive hours of your day, shut down your email and turn off your phone ringer. This will allow you to get stuff done faster and make more room for other tasks and responsibilities that you hoped to get to as soon as possible.

3. Delegate Work
If there is an assistant or other source of administrative help in your department, utilize them. If there are any smaller tasks such as online tasks or other administrative functions, see if an assistant can complete them for you so you can focus on more money-making tasks.

4. Prioritize – Don’t Procrastinate
Getting your laundry done is not more important than following up with past clients, no matter what you might think. It’s easy to get into the habit of leaving the most dreaded or difficult tasks for last, but this isn’t always the best option, as it could lead to more procrastination on tasks that could be making you money quicker the sooner they are done. Get those dreaded tasks done first by making them priority and work from there. At the end of the day you will be glad you got the hard stuff out of the way and you will feel more accomplished than you would if they were still on your list.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us for the best real estate solutions and increased listings today.

5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate AgentsThe real estate profession is for social media marketing opportunity. Search engine optimization (SEO) and the world of social networking can be intimidating at first, but it’s not as complicated as one may think. When utilized correctly, social media marketing can result in a significant rise in website traffic, resulting in more clients and more profit for you. Here are some tips on how to effectively use social media for marketing purposes and broaden a connection with your local market.

1. Post About Your Neighborhood
Show off the listings in your local neighborhood through pictures and descriptions that will catch they eye and trigger engagement. This will market the area to prospective residents as well as show your passion and knowledge about the community, making you a trustworthy source for interested buyers. If there is a new community being constructed, post updates about the area and how it will improve the lifestyles of new and current residents.

2. Always Use Images
Attaching images to your updates will result in more views, likes and shares, as they are more likely to attract the eye than just blocks of text. Show off how beautiful the city surrounding your local market is through photographs and video.

3. Show That You Care About Your Clients
When you are face-to-face with your clients you show them that you care, so why not extend this courtesy to social media? On your Facebook page, nicely welcome your most recent new homeowners and include a photo of them in front of their new home. This shows that you engage with your clients and that you follow up with them.

4. Post Your Listings
MLS isn’t the only place to advertise property listings. 20 percent of your content should be about you and your product. When you post the listing, be sure to avoid making it seem like a print advertisement. Write about the home and it’s selling features, including the price. Be sure to keep this post engaging by asking questions about the property and seeing what people like about the home, the neighborhood and the community. Post about your scheduled open houses a few days before they happen.

5. Post About Events In Your Neighborhood
Show your current and potential clients how wonderful your neighborhood is and the different local events going on around town. If you are going to be attending an event, invite your followers to join you. Ask questions to spark engagement, such as what kind of events your followers would like to see happen in the area.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

3 Reasons to Work During the Holidays

christmasMany agents got into real estate to be their own bosses, set their own schedules, and work on their own terms. While these reasons are good, with them comes the temptation of kicking back, taking it easy, and not pushing through the slow times that supposedly accompany the holidays. Here are three reasons that the holidays are a great time to stay busy.

1. Motivated Customers
Sure, the market slows down in December. However, if someone is trying to buy or sell during this time of year, you know they’re serious about it. The flippant clients that are just testing the waters and shopping for options are not common in December. In most cases, people looking to buy or sell around the holidays are doing so because they have to, usually due to job changes or transfers. This puts some customers in desperate positions that allow you as the real estate agent come to their rescue.

2. Lazy Competition
Real estate agents are only human. When facing the choice between sipping some eggnog by the fire and prospecting more leads, many agents cave and go with the first. But with temptation comes opportunity. As most agents start hanging up their real estate cap for the year, competition gets softer and the potential business is divvied among a smaller pool of agents. If you keep working, that means more motivated customers for you.

3. New Year Means New Expireds
January 1st is the biggest expired day of the year. More leads will be hitting your MLS than you can probably get to. If there is one day you should commit yourself to calling expireds, this would be it. While your colleagues are sleeping in after New Years Eve, you should be pounding the phones picking up the deals they couldn’t make happen.

Some agents might shy away, saying they’d rather not contact people on a holiday. To them I’d say that they are likely not going to get an easier shot at them. Most sellers have the day off and will probably will be at home and close to a phone. Families will typically be together, meaning that you can probably get both decision makers on the phone at the same time. Sure you might get some grumpy people who are getting over their New Year’s Eve hangover, but on January 1st, the conditions for prospecting expireds will be as perfect as they get.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

Can’t I Get FSBOs For Free?

As you’ve probably gathered, REDX offers, among other things, for-sale-by-owner leads. To provide these leads, we search thousands of publications, websites, and databases to find homes being sold by owner as soon as they hit the market. Then we work a little algorithm magic to insure there are no duplicates, spammed leads, or agent advertisements. The leads are then funneled to a contact manager for you every morning with names, phone numbers, and any other useful details.

Working the phones here at REDX, I explain this process quite frequently. I’m still surprised how often I get people saying, “Well can’t I just go look those up for free?” The answer of course is YES, but how long do you want to spend doing it? To manually scour all the same websites and classified sources we check automatically, you could spend 30 to 40 minutes finding the ads that fit your area. Once you do find the number on these leads, you would then have to go crosscheck them against the do-not-call list and that adds about another 10 or 15 to the process.

By the time you’ve done all this research manually, you’re close to an hour taken out of your morning. How much is an hour worth to you? In 2012, the median gross income for a member of the National Association of Realtors® is $43,500 a year. After doing some quick math, this comes to about $20.91 an hour. Would you really spend $20.91 every day to look up FSBOs manually? Our FSBO service is $29.99 a month and the information is brought to you in seconds every morning. If you believe that time is money, it’s time to get REDX.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX.  He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

4 Reasons People Buy Real Estate

Recently, my boss shared with me a Harvard Business study that outlined four key reasons customers buy from the people they do. Consumers buy from businesses that:

1. Save Time

2. Provide Resources For Ideas

3. Provide Connections and Relationships

4. Stick With Them Through the Journey

My boss encouraged me to make sure to cover these bases in every sales call here I’m on with REDX clients. I would echo this invitation to you real estate agents. Try to cover all these bases in your calls to expireds and FSBOs.

1. How can you save a client time?

Let you know your prospect that you will save them time. The first way, an agent does this by assuming marketing responsibilities. The second is by showing them the network of appraisers, inspectors, and buyers you already have to get the ball rolling fast.

2. What new ideas can you bring to the table?

Especially when working with expireds, you have to show that you are able to bring something special to the table that agent before could not. Let the seller know what makes you different than the next agent in line. Let them know what you have up your sleeve that is going to get their house sold this go around. You have to have some unique selling point. Otherwise, your only selling point will be either lowering your commission or taking on listings priced too high.

3. Connections and Relationships

Buying anything these days is like joining a tribe. The same goes for an agent. You should treat customers in a way that makes them feel like they’re entering into a family. Some agents do this by renting out movie theaters and inviting all their clients for a client appreciation day. Others do this by throwing picnics, or taking families up in the REMAX Balloon. Come up with something that will connect your sellers together.

4. How can you share the client’s journey?

People tend to buy from companies that will be by their side step by step if needed, someone who will be with them to the finish line. As agent you can do this by being available to your clients. Agents are notorious for being elusive people to get ahold of. Make sure to let potential clients know that you won’t just grab the listing and disappear off the radar. You’re going to be the agent who gives them weekly updates, if not daily. You will explain your marketing efforts, report after showings, and show them you are accountable to them.

About Jefferson Snow
Jefferson Snow is a member of the Sales team at REDX and loves to help real estate agents find success with REDX. When you call REDX 800-731-7339 you should ask for Jeff. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Callie.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.

 

4 Habits of Successful Real Estate Agents

Successful real estate agents are ones that focus on the things that need to be done in order to get business and keep their sales growing. It may be easier said than done, but there are many traits that these real estate agents have in common that make them successful. Stay ahead of your competition to get the best sales and results by practicing some of these habits:

1. Patience
Real estate agents need to practice patience in all aspects of their career: patience with other agents, lenders, title companies, inspectors, appraisers, banks, and clients. The process of buying or selling homes is a long and often frustrating process. A patient real estate agent is one that can focus and deal with problems that are taking place in that moment, resulting in closing transactions more successfully and quickly.

2. Understand the Market
Knowledge is the biggest part of being a real estate agent. According to Seth Price at Placester Real Estate Marketing Academy, it’s important to know local real estate market flows and how the market looks outside of your focus as well by looking at the market internationally to see the comparisons of various markets. This will help a home seller set a price, and a homebuyer submit an offer. Knowledge of the real estate market includes understanding the schools, shopping, medical facilities, HOA rules and regulations and anything else that a potential buyer may need to know in order to make a decision on where they want their future home or business.

3. Understand Your Client
Your client should be your priority. Every individual is different, and you need to get to know your client to learn about their needs, wants and desires are. Understand their motivation for buying or selling, and become familiar with what they consider their ideal home. Your personal opinions may differ from theirs greatly, but you need to learn how to approach their needs and communicate with them how you can best meet their needs without letting your own decisions get in the way. At the same time, however, a successful real estate agent is there to give advice to their client when they ask for it.

4. Have A Structured Routine
Becoming a creature of habit will help keep you more organized, creating a more efficient workflow and thus, successful results. Having a structured system and following it routinely is critical to success. It shows that you have the ability to commit to a process no matter what challenges you may face. Consistency is key, and your clients will see that as a trustworthy trait.

If your goal is to be a successful real estate agent, look to REDX. We lead the industry with innovative data verification, lead generation products, unmatched data quality and original real estate solutions so you as an agent can make more money, work more productively, and help more homeowners in less time. Call us 800-731-7339 for the best in real estate solutions and increased listings today.