Have you noticed that most of what you hear and read about regarding real estate business is success stories? You pick up a Wall Street Journal and see the “Top 100 Agents.” You overhear an agent in your office talking about a big new client they met at an open house. You listen as the office manager interviews the new agent (who looks like he’s 12 years old) that just sold a $5 million house. Ok that’s great, but where are the people willing to get vulnerable? Who is willing to talk about all the difficult and downright boring parts of the business? Well I’ve found him, and his name is The Broke Agent. And he is hilarious.
Twitter just spent $86.6 million dollars and created the largest splash in social media since Myspace hit the scene in 2003. Earlier this year, Twitter bought a live-streaming video app called Periscope and officially launched it on March 26, 2015. This new app allows users to live broadcast themselves while interacting with viewers from all over the world. Will this trend last? Will this effect real estate? Should I, as a real estate agent, be “Periscoping?” The answers are yes, yes and yes! Here is why…
I’d love to portray a strong demeanor and say that nothing in my real estate practice phases me, but that would be a lie. Because of lost deals, mistakes made, and periods of months without a paycheck I have had some tough times. There are days that beat me down and make me question my career, my business strategies, even my personality and demeanor. Does any of this sound familiar? So how do we deal with these disappointments in real estate? How do we grow a strong practice while staying strong mentally and emotionally?
"Hey Dusty, my friend wants to sell their house and I told them you and your team are the people to talk to. Here is their number."
$19.6 million worth of my team's business this past year came from phone calls just like that. These deals didn't come as a result of a big advertising budget, a door knocking campaign, or cold calling; just a friendly phone call from an acquaintance. Connections, both local and nation-wide, create these types of phone calls. Are you connected?
“You is a very fluid concept right now. You bought the shoes. You look great in the shoes. That’s the you I’m talking about.” Alex Hitchens (Will Smith) spoke these famous lines to his awkward client who was trying to look good on a first date but was intimidated by his new fashionable shoes and questioned whether they were "him." The movie Hitch uses advice like this to communicate the truth that even though we all have our natural proclivities, we can make slight alterations in ourselves to reach our goals. Hitchens goes on to say, “She may not want the whole truth, but she does want the real you.” So how do we remain true to who we are while also making the necessary changes to reach our goals in real estate?
Did you know that 1 in 12 properties sold in the United States last year was an international transaction? That is over $92 billion dollars worth of foreign money coming into the U.S. and investing in residential real estate. This number increased 35% from the previous year and is continuing to grow. So my question is, did you work with any international buyers last year? If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Do you feel like just another number amidst the sea of realtors in your community? Often times I do.There are over 1,000 active real estate agents in my city of Santa Barbara, CA. In an area of only about 200,000 people, that is a lot of agents! I assume that many cities also "enjoy" this over-saturation of realtors. So, as a real estate professional, how do you differentiate yourself and get business?
Mega-mansions, celebrity clients, and over $1 billion of real estate transacted in 2014 alone. I really pulled out the big guns to talk about new technology in this article. This prestigious panel of fellow top-producing realtors is a group worth listening to! The topic of the hour is technology and real estate business "on the go." Which mobile apps are the top agents using to aid in their extraordinary success? Are apps really that important or popular?
As real estate professionals, our businesses center around helping our valued clients purchase and sell properties. So what happens when our sellers don't know the current value of their homes and think they are still underwater? What happens when our buyers assume they will never be able to afford a home in this market? The answer: nothing! Nothing happens when our clients and spheres of influence are not properly educated on pricing trends, new loan products, and the current market. If you want to grow your business and truly help those around you, education is key.
My team and I combined have sold over 1,200 homes in our careers. We have seen deals fall apart for every reason you can imagine; from horrific findings in home inspections to buyers passing away mid-escrow. The cause we find most frustrating though is deals cancelling due to lender issues. The reason lender issues fall into a different category of frustration is because most are avoidable by having a good lender involved from the beginning. Real estate transactions already have enough moving parts that can go wrong, we have to make sure we control every variable we can.
Studies consistently show that 90% of people report positive outcomes from having a mentor. Within corporate structures, studies show that employees with mentors were promoted 6 times more often than those not in a mentoring program. In addition to increased business, those with mentors also reported higher career satisfaction, career commitment, and positive job attitudes. So my question is, do you have a mentor?
As real estate agents, we sell so much more than houses; we sell a lifestyle. For my home town of Santa Barbara, buying a house represents a life of year-round 70 degree weather, beach fun, and more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the United States. For other cities it could be the rural feeling of a Texas ranch, the downtown buzz of New York City, or the beautiful seasons of Virginia. So why do we get caught up with bed & bath count? Why do we spend the majority of marketing showcasing a home’s square footage? Instead, focus on the emotional side and paint a picture of the potential lifestyle that the home offers.
The Sunday open house is a foundational pillar to any real estate practice. If you were to ask a hundred people what comes to mind when they hear to the word “realtor,” I would assume the majority would picture a well-dressed agent hosting a Sunday open house. So why can they be they be difficult and awkward at times? Why do some agents seem to cultivate a good deal of business from them while others never do? The answer is a combination of professionalism, friendliness, and the Golden Rule. Seems simple enough, right?
Although My Agent Advice is primarily focused on equipping active agents, the most frequent questions I get involve becoming an agent. “How do I become a real estate agent?” Clearly there is a need to connect the dots between the person dreaming of a career in real estate and the day-to-day of a successful realtor. Here are the 6 quick steps to becoming a licensed real estate agent in California:
Home buying is an extremely emotional process. More often than not, buyers’ hearts make decisions, not their minds. With this in mind, consider utilizing every possible resource available to establish an emotional connection between your listings and your targeted buyer. Creating aesthetically pleasing visuals is just one of many ways to do this. Since nearly every buyer will preview a home online before they step foot in the door, shouldn’t you focus primarily on what buyers see online? Pictures!
Real estate is not like other industries; people are not always in a position to be a client. My financial adviser has the ability to take on clients during virtually any stage of life, but people only buy or sell a home every 10 years or so. The question is, how can we maintain client/agent relationships during the 9 years when they aren’t thinking about real estate?
"I don't have time for social media."
This is what I commonly hear from real estate agents. But they may not know the severity of their words. According to Global Web Index, Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide, increasing its active users by 23% in the past 6 months. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion; you can assume they have big plans for it and it’s not going anywhere.