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Five Qualities Buyers are Looking for in an Agent

For home buyers, finding the ‘right’ agent can be a harrowing experience. As the largest investment most will ever make, today’s buyers are keenly aware that the wrong move here could land them in hot water. So those in the know are going to be extraordinarily picky about whom they team up with. Do you have what it takes to earn the business of today’s home buyers?

Five Real Estate Buyers’ Agent Tips for Standing-Out from the Competition

1. Know Your Market
By and large, market knowledge is priority #1 for home buyers. Knowledge not only of current home values, but schools, community stats, area amenities and recreational opportunities, and local ordinances will prove your experience and dedication to potential buyers.

2. Be Responsive
Agents with the fastest response times, up-to-date listings, and current blogs and social activity will move to the head of the pack in today’s digital, on-demand world.

3. Be Honest
Who do you think buyers will be more comfortable having on their side? An agent who glosses over home issues to snipe a sale, or one who points out possible concerns? A broker who is honest, ethical, and not emotionally-responsive is key to buyer comfort.

4. Be a Teacher, Not a Salesman
Home buyers are frequently overwhelmed by the buying process. It may be brand new – or it’s been decades since their last purchase. Being a willing resource and teacher throughout this process can help prove your worth, prevent problems, and reduce buyer stress that leads to last-minute sales snafus.

5. Actually Care
Potential buyers will be quick to leave false sincerities by the wayside in favor of those who take the time to listen to their wants and needs, follow-up promptly, keep their word, and take customer feedback to heart.

Looking for real estate buyers agent tips that pave the way for a smoother journey? Ensure the success of your real estate career with the help of Properties Online today.

Millenials Flock to Home Auctions

Moving Millennials Into the Home Buying Marketplace – Creating the Desire to Own

Will your neighbors’ millennial children (or your own) ever move out into their own homes? More than 76% of millennials report they’d like to buy a home, and real estate trends correspond with this, pointing to the high traffic volume on online real estate platforms. Millennials want to make a move, but why aren’t they opening the door? The answers are surprisingly simple.

No Dinero
Affordability is a major issue in the vast majority of U.S. cities. With a low to no affordable housing supply, demand has pushed prices into the ‘are you kidding me’ category for a generation who’s battling baby boomers for job positions. Underemployment and fickle freelancing, with its irregular cash flow, are rampant.

Give Me Some Credit
Getting credit for a home is likewise tough, and the country’s student loan debt crisis isn’t helping matters. Over 44 million borrowers owe $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans across the U.S. The average ‘Class of 2016’ student is graduating $37,172 in debt, a number which has risen over the past 5 years.

Could You Hand Me a Band-Aid?
In the long-term, builders (with some incentive from local government), could help heal affordability issues. Added federal programs: (1) may or may not increase access to financing; and (2) find creative ways of dealing with student loan debt. But how can you tap into this market now?

Let the Bidding Begin
More millennials are buying auction properties than any other age group, with market changes breaking down previous barriers to entry. Buyers under 35 are the most likely to purchase a home in foreclosure. Here, marketing such listings to the public via an online strategy can net you great results in the millennial market. With a good listing video, a total online purchase isn’t out of the question for this genre.

Go all-in on the latest real estate trends. Open-up to new opportunities with Properties Online today.

Keep Your Public Relations Good

Zillow Tries to Enforce Photo Copyright with Popular Blogger

In real estate news, it’s a case of David meets Goliath as a graduate student supporting herself via her website faces off against Internet giant, Zillow.

Meme Me in Court
Kate Wagner’s site, McMansionHell.com, spotlights large, architecturally-icky houses on her site, making memes out of home-listing photos to point out the less-than-stellar features of such ostentatious home fare.

The 23-year-old master’s student from Baltimore, working her way through a thesis in architectural acoustics, stated she was petrified when she received a letter from the real estate database giant just a few weeks ago, instructing her to cease-and-desist using the website’s photos. “It’s pretty terrifying when someone sends you such a letter.”

Tweet This
Wagner posted Zillow’s letter to her blog’s Twitter account, receiving enormous public support – and legal advice – from about 200 lawyers. She then retained Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to represent her, pro bono.

The following day, Zillow’s downtown Seattle headquarters was plastered with colorful signs denoting “MCMANSION HELL FOREVER.” Wagner has earned about $24,000 since her website’s inception a year ago. It’s been her primary source of income in her quest to pay rent, eat, and earn her master’s.

Bad Press is Not Necessarily Better than None
The PR backlash shocked Zillow, who had to perform damage-control on national and local news sites. Vice President Katie Curnutte, Zillow’s head public affairs guru, defended the company, noting that Zillow doesn’t own the rights to most of the photos it uses – it licenses those from other parties. Their exclusive access is allowed under a users’ agreement.

According to Zillow, if they allowed other sites to publish these photos, it would become difficult to obtain them from realtors. Their letter wasn’t intended to be personal and their lawsuit has since been dropped, with the agreement Zillow’s photos won’t be used going forward.

Real estate news a bit scary? Fight the big, bad uglies with the help of Properties Online.

How to Handle Hard to Answer Questions at Your Open House

Be Prepared to Field These Hard to Answer Questions at an Open House

Real estate marketing can sometimes leave you feeling a little hot under the collar – especially during open houses when negative aspects of a home are brought to light with a few creatively formulated (or intelligently devised) questions. How well-prepared are you for your showings?

How you handle these questions could make or break a sale:

How much interest have you seen?
Here, buyers may want to take part in (or avoid wasting time) on a home that could potentially undergo a bidding war, or be fishing for leverage. Longstanding listings offer a better chance at price negotiations, whereas a home with an offer (or multiples) indicates fierce competition and a need to act fast.

Any recent improvements?
Those fishing for improvement info or ‘the shape’ of the home are attempting to foretell potentially expensive maintenance and improvement needs. Keep in mind that some aspects of building condition will be part of disclosures and due-diligence, but buyers may use this as a litmus test for your ethics.

Could you tell me more?
Be careful what you mention first. Always keep in mind that what’s NOT said can indicate weaknesses. (Are you harping on a magnificent location to mask home condition?)

When do the sellers need to close?
A major sticking point in the buying process, you need to know this information. There’s no ‘right’ answer – but you need the honest truth.

What do utilities run?
Essential to avoiding budgeting pitfalls, this information can only be provided by the owner. If the numbers are good, bill copies (sans personal information) may be a great tool.

How’s the neighborhood?
The Fair Housing Act, prohibits discrimination based-on race, religion, sex, or family/economic status, making this one especially tricky. Point buyers to trusted realty search engines to decide if the home meets their personal demographic essentials.

Feeling the heat? Chill with some of the best real estate marketing tips in the business from PropertiesOnline.

Keep Your Public Relations Good

How to Create Your Own First Personal Promotion Video

Fill your website and online marketing venues with content that drives customers to your door with video usage in real estate marketing. A fast and effective way to make those emotional connections that cinch sales, personal promotional videos are a terrific way to break into video, showing potential clients why you rise above the competition.

Camera-Shy? Don’t Sweat It
You can be the star of the show with only a minor appearance, and here’s how:

Jot-down a quick story-board or outline
Expect to pop-up near the beginning, in a few quick shots throughout, and again at the end. Plan for your video to be 2-3 minutes (no longer). A lot can be said in a short-time with a well-planned video. Use these tips:

Look elsewhere
A person talking to the camera for 2 minutes is rarely engaging. Showcase your market (sights, neighborhoods, homes), giving insight into the values that set you apart from competitors and describing your ideal client. Be authentic – if you’re funny (or driven), let your personality shine.

Take a unique approach:

  • Start with a question or observation about your marketplace, such as why your clients love to call this area ‘home.’ Then introduce yourself after you’ve engaged the viewer with interesting/beautiful imagery.
  • Open with a montage of client testimonials, “I’m Jane Agent with Realty 101, and happy clients are what I love the most about my real estate business.”

Take great shots
No selfies please! Poor imagery deters potential clients and showings – hire help if you have to!

Call it!
Include a quick call-to-action at the end with a ‘thanks for watching,’ and you’re all set.

Make it Super Simple
Input your content into our new, fully-customizable video builder tool, free with any Properties Online product, cranking-out and syndicating high-quality video content in just minutes, and boosting the likelihood of page 1 Google rankings with video usage in real estate marketing. Discover more from Properties Online today.