Posts Tagged as real estate broker

New Agent? Don’t Fall Prey to these Antiquated Misperceptions

Why You May Want to Become a Real Estate Broker

In real estate selling, there’s such a glut of titles that clientele are often confused over monikers. Agent, Realtor®, associate broker, and the most auspicious, broker. What’s in a name? And why might you wish to aspire to something greater?

Varied Benefits
While any agent or broker can be a Realtor®, subscribing to the NAR and bound by its ethics and rules, the benefits and drawbacks of agent/broker titles vary. To give real estate advice, agents must be licensed, such that jilted customers have a means of recompense. Though license requirements vary by state, all must work under a broker, presenting less responsibility, but less opportunity.

To earn a broker’s license, greater knowledge is necessary to pass the more rigorous exam. However this added investment could net you…

  • The ability to venture out on your own, or become a manager.
    Agents must work for brokers, but a broker can work by themselves, keeping all commissions earned, or hiring and managing/mentoring others who work beneath them for a percentage split.
  • Greater commissions.
    While additional career options are a plus, the majority of agents choose to become a broker simply to earn a higher income. The NAR’s 2015 Member Profile illustrates the pay scale difference per title quite effectively.
  • Better splits.
    For those who don’t wish to venture out on their own or take-on added responsibilities, the position of associate broker at an existing firm typically commands a higher commission split than the average agent.
  • Property management.
    Every property management business must have a licensed broker on staff by law, offering an additional revenue stream – or an alternative career option. A boon in today’s hot rental market.
  • Added marketing opportunities.
    Whether you’re competing for a new job or new client, those with the initiative to earn a broker’s license rise above.

Ready to up the ante? Boost your real estate selling career with the help of Properties Online today.

Single Property Websites Generate Leads

Leads are the lifeblood of any real estate business. Success comes from selling a listing. Listings come from finding a home seller who wants you as their real estate professional representative. You need leads to find and attract the right sellers, and later you need leads to find and attract the right buyers. Single property websites generate leads that cover both needs, in myriad ways.

Leads are the lifeblood of any real estate business. Success comes from selling a listing. Listings come from finding a home seller who wants you as their real estate professional representative. You need leads to find and attract the right sellers, and later you need leads to find and attract the right buyers. Single property websites generate leads that cover both needs, in myriad ways.

It will come as no surprise that Listings Unlimited is my favorite single property website engine. It is packed with lead generation tools that are designed to attract home sellers and home buyers, every step of the way. And, as one of our users recently told me in an email, “The major KEY is the sellers LIKE them … Thus more listings.” It all starts with the seller, does it not?

One of the newest lead generation tools is part of an exciting new partnership with Porch.com. Porch.com is dedicated to connecting home improvement professionals with home owners, buyer and sellers. This works well for us, because we are dedicated to connecting those home buyers and sellers with you, the real estate agent.

So, how does this partnership generate leads? It’s simple. Under the listing price on your Listings Unlimited single property websites, we now give visitors the option of clicking a link to be taken to Porch.com to view what is called a Home Report. In order to access the home report, they’ll need to enter a valid name and email address. Those contact details are passed on to the listing agent, meaning you gain access to every single potential buyer who shows enough interest in the home to request the Home Report.

What is a Home Report? It’s a comprehensive timeline history of a home and its repairs, created through tax and permit records. Porch’s research in this area is so extensive, that they have $2.5 trillion worth of tracked home improvement projects already in their system. Homeowners in 62% of U.S. cities and towns are using Porch. There are over 130 million projects and insights on Porch—including cost, history and more—making Porch’s Home Reports increasingly accurate and relevant. Now visitors to your single property websites can access them quickly and easily, and we’ve given you one more lead generation tool for your arsenal.

And don’t forget all the other lead generation possibilities with Listings Unlimited’s single property websites:

Free listing updates, which allows visitors to fill out a form to request email updates of new listings that match their specific criteria.

Viewing scheduling, which allows prospects to request a viewing of the property at a specific time and date, and the ability for website visitors to easily request additional information about your listing.

CRM, which allows you to view all your website leads, convert them to contacts, and export them to 3rd party software platforms like Outlook, Constant Contact and more.

Mobile Guestbook, including with every single property website as a lead capture form. This encourages the mobile visitor to leave their contact information so you can follow up with them directly.

Smart Lead Capture, which allows you to capture leads by offering your clients the ability to text for more information about a home listed for sale. Prospects get instant property details via text, and you get an instant lead.

Instant SMS Leads, which ensure all leads are sent instantly to a text enabled cell phone. This program, called Lead Alert, automatically converts any lead to SMS and transmits it to your cell phone so you can follow up immediately.

Real Estate Concierge: Should You Hire One?

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge.

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge. Without further ado …

Q: What is a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “When I think of a concierge I imagine being taken care of, someone I can go to for help when unfamiliar or overwhelmed. I coined the phrase Real Estate Concierge to evoke this feeling, as well as to showcase the versatility and breadth of services I provide to real estate professionals.”

Q: How can I find one?
A: “As far as I know, I am the only Real Estate Concierge there is, but I’m hoping that will change. One can find a virtual assistant through a variety of reputable online companies, but VAs typically do not have the real estate experience or the personal connection my company offers. For my local clients, I also provide in-depth knowledge of our area, which proves invaluable.”

Q: What do you get asked to do most?
A: “Most real estate agents and brokers need help in their marketing efforts, which generally ranges from brochures to social media, marketing packages, designing a website, optimizing a website and blogging. These are all important tools every real estate professional has to focus some of their energy on in order to properly market their listings. Unfortunately, most agents and brokers do not have the time to consistently maintain these marketing platforms.

“Preparing a home for a photo shoot and staging are also big on the list of needs. I have a long history in high end retail, interior design, and photography. I have a strong sense of what looks good in a shot and which image is going to be best for a brochure cover. There is a lot to be said for good photography in your marketing pieces. It is best to get it done right the first time!

“Overall, I can and do act as a silent licensed partner just waiting in the wings to take on whatever needs to be done. I represent my clients at property showings when they have conflicting appointments or are unavailable. This helps them meet the demands and expectations of their buyers and sellers. An agent can relax and be in two places at once, maximizing their time and money.”

Q: Who are your clients?
A: “Most of my clients are focused on residential sales, although I do represent a few clients that sell businesses, wineries and land.”

Q: Who can benefit most from using a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “Any realtor or broker who is looking to grow their business, someone who may be strong in all other aspects of their business but does not have an eye for reading a home for the market, someone who has a good client base but not enough hours in the day, or a realtor just starting out that needs a little help in marketing their services.”

Q: How is it cost effective?
A: “I think if you look at the overall cost of hiring a full time, licensed, assistant, and all the costs associated with one versus contracting me on an as needed basis you can see the cost effectiveness pretty easily. I think flexibility is important, and I offer my services by project, monthly retainer, or hourly. There are no commitments and no hidden costs.”

Q: What should I look for when hiring a Real Estate Concierge or VA?
A: “I think you need to make sure they are licensed, detailed, well informed, educated, meticulous, intelligent, know the region well, and have an obvious willingness to help you and your business grow. This is not just a job for me. I am personally invested in each and every one of my clients and work very hard to help them achieve their own success.”

Q: What questions should I ask?
A: “How long have you been licensed? What do you know about my location? What steps have you taken to educate yourself on my business? I would like to see a few samples of marketing packages you have done, brochures, blogs you have written and social media posts.”

Q: How do I know if I need a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “If you are not 100% happy with your income vs. workload, you should look into hiring a Real Estate Concierge (REC). RECs can help with your time burdens and increase your income at the same time. If you find yourself spending over 50% of your time in the office shuffling paperwork or learning how to post your latest sale on multiple platforms rather than out showing property, you can benefit from concierge services.”

Q: Does a Real Estate Concierge have to be local or can he/she be virtual?
A: “I think it depends on the project or scope of work the Realtor is looking for help with. Ideally, hiring an REC service professional in your area would be best because they would be familiar with some of the key professionals, events, advertising opportunities and real estate market. But a virtual REC service professional can accomplish quite a lot on marketing packages, brochures, websites, social media, blogging, mailings, etc. I think it ultimately depends on the services required at time of hire, and you’ll want to weigh that when looking for the right person. If it’s something that doesn’t require a local body, you’ve just opened yourself to a much wider base.”

Q: Where can I find out more information?
A: Check out: http://www.evansrealestateconcierge.com/

Do you know someone who would make a great interview for the Properties Online blog? Let me know; I’d love to talk to them!

Finding True Job Satisfaction in Real Estate

Real Estate is an entrepreneurial business. Each agent or broker who makes it, puts his or her heart, soul, spirit, effort, professional and personal self on the line every day. In some ways, this puts you a step ahead of the general population, because it’s unlikely you went into the risks of entrepreneurship for something you didn’t feel passionate about. Sure, some people are only in for the money, but, from experience, they don’t end up succeeding as well as those who do it for the love of the industry itself, the freedom of self-employment, and the ability to have just that little bit more control over their lives. With risk comes reward, and that reward is job satisfaction.

Real Estate is an entrepreneurial business. Each agent or broker who makes it, puts his or her heart, soul, spirit, effort, professional and personal self on the line every day. In some ways, this puts you a step ahead of the general population, because it’s unlikely you went into the risks of entrepreneurship for something you didn’t feel passionate about. Sure, some people are only in for the money, but, from experience, they don’t end up succeeding as well as those who do it for the love of the industry itself, the freedom of self-employment, and the ability to have just that little bit more control over their lives. With risk comes reward, and that reward is job satisfaction.

I recently saw a blog post on motivation by Chester Elton, co-author of What Motivates Me: Put Your Passions to Work, with Adrian Gostick, and it struck a chord. Elton wrote about his 20+ year career as a consultant, particularly the last 10 years, in which he and his team conducted three research studies on workplace trends, comprising more than 850,000 interviews. All those interviews, all that research, all that data answered some questions. More than that, it highlighted a “key difference in those people who are most energized on the job.”

So what is that key difference? Well, Elton says, “The happiest have aligned more of their work with their core motivations. As for those people who are most unhappy at work, as you might expect, their jobs are out of whack with what they are passionate about.”

One of the key findings is that most people who are unhappy and lack passion feel overwhelmed and powerless to change things, because many of them are waiting (without end) for a manager to step in and save things. But, guess what? As a real estate professional, chances are good that you are your manager. You can make changes and pursue your passion. You can do what you love every day and achieve true job satisfaction.

“In our research,” says Elton, “we have found that each individual is driven by a unique set, or blend, of internal and external drivers. Every person on this planet has a thumbprint-like makeup of what makes him or her most happy 9-to-5 (and in the rest of life); and those thumbprints vary considerably.”

Elton’s team of behavioral scientists mined a decade of data to identify 23 workplace motivators that ranged from creativity to impact, and developing others to money.

“The bottom line is this: If we want to be happily engaged in our work and performing at our fullest potential, we’ve got to look inside and understand a few of these specific motivators that drive us. All of us host a unique blend of motivations that should guide us in sculpting the work life that’s right for us,” Elton says.

Here’s the really great news: the happiest people interviewed didn’t make huge changes to their career paths, they didn’t up and quit; what they did was make strategic course corrections to the path they were already on. You’re on the right track. If you’re not totally satisfied, it may only require a little tweaking or modification. Elton and Gostick call this “job sculpting.”

“There are individuals and teams among us who are deeply fulfilled by their work, who are passionate about what they do, and are energized when Monday comes. So what’s their secret? In most cases, they have taken control of their careers. When our jobs give us the opportunity to do more of the kinds of things that satisfy our key motivations, we are naturally happier and more engaged.”

It’s not an easy process, but let’s face it – if you wanted easy you wouldn’t be self-employed; you wouldn’t have chosen a real estate profession. You make hard choices every day. It’s not too much to ask that you make decisions that put you on the path to real professional satisfaction. It will spill over into all areas of your life.

The Zillow-Trulia Merger & Your Real Estate Business

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will a Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will the Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

On July 28th, Zillow announced via a press release that “it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trulia, Inc. … in a stock-for-stock transaction. The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015.”

Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, stated: “Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information about homes and connect with the best local real estate professionals. Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web. This is a tremendous opportunity to combine our resources and achieve even more impressive innovation that will benefit consumers and the real estate industry.”

Pete Flint, Trulia’s CEO, then commented: “Trulia and Zillow have a shared mission and vision of empowering consumers while helping real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors benefit from technological innovation. By working together, we will be able to create even more value for home buyers, sellers, and renters, as well as create a robust marketing platform that will help our industry partners connect with potential clients and grow their businesses even more efficiently. Our two companies share complementary employee cultures with innovative, consumer-first philosophies and a deep commitment to create the best products and services for our industry partners.”

By the (self-reported) numbers:
• Zillow reported a record 83 million unique users across mobile and Web in June 2014.
• Trulia reported a record 54 million monthly unique users across its sites and mobile apps in June 2014.
• Approximately half of Trulia.com’s monthly visitors do not visit Zillow.com
• Approximately two-thirds of Zillow.com’s monthly visitors across all devices do not use Trulia.com.
• “Maintaining the two distinct consumer brands will allow the combined company to continue to offer differentiated products and user experiences, attract more users and maximize the distribution of free content across multiple platforms, apps and channels.”

The Zillow-Trulia merger might not create the “pricing power” juggernaut that many people fear. We’ve been reading comments by agents and brokers all over the web, and the fact is that many MLS boards and independent agents are starting to pull their listings – they simply don’t want to have to pay to advertise next to their own listings. There are also frequent rumblings about the data and Zestimates on Zillow being inaccurate.

Citron Research cites a deal struck between Realogy and Zillow/Trulia. Realogy—the world’s largest real estate agency, comprising Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, ERA, Century 21 and Better Homes—secured a lucrative deal for its agents that “prohibits all other agencies from advertising on their listings” at a cost of less than 95% what any other agency pays. What’s more, Realogy is aggressively pursuing their own online offering that will compete head-to-head with Zillow-Trulia in the consumer-focused online real estate space, with a new product expected sometime in 2015.

“We believe that there is a space in there that we can compete in. It will have features like Zillow and Trulia. It will have features that you wouldn’t put on a real estate brokerage website. An example of that would be Zestimate that Zillow uses. There are certain features that we believe we can effectively do and be able to cast a net outcome, a consumer-oriented facing website arena and be able to capture leads, reviewing [scrub then] as I described, and then put them in the hands of our sales associates so we create the business opportunity,” NRT CEO and President Bruce Zipf is quoted as saying on May 9th during a Realogy Investor Day Q&A.

Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, has been quoted as saying, “It ought to be quite clear to a listing agent or a broker that it behooves their seller to have their listing displayed on Zillow and Trulia or sites that Zillow powers.”

Indeed, Zillow powers some of the internet’s major property search engines, and together with Trulia will indeed have a massive reach. But for how long, with competitors like Realogy making such significant strides, technologically and on behalf of its agents at the bargaining table? And how long before Keller Williams, Remax, Berkshire Hathaway, or other agencies demand and negotiate the same deals Zillow-Trulia have granted Realogy?

Many real estate professionals feel a loss of power in the face of the deal, which cements a growing resentment at having to pay Zillow to advertise their listings. Online forums reveal many of these agents calling for boycotts, while still others agree there isn’t another viable option.

Inman News contributing writer Joseph Rand writes in his Op-ed “Why Zulia doesn’t mean checkmate,” that: “The bottom line is that Zillow needs listings more than listings need Zillow. Which means that Zillow needs the people (brokers and agents) who take those listings more than they need Zillow.” I’d venture that he is bang on with that assessment.

Where does your business fit in? Do you use Zillow to obtain leads? One thing I can say with certainty is that this isn’t over, and we’ll be talking about the Zillow-Trulia merger for some time to come. How do you feel about all of this? I’d love to hear your thoughts from the proverbial trenches.