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Best Ways to Get More Real Estate Clients

This is the perfect time of year to review your last year as a real estate agent.  While the weather is cold and the client’s aren’t coming out of the woodwork, you should be organizing your papers, planning new advertising strategies and finding new ways to increase your prospects.

I like to go through my social media sites and make sure all of my information is correct and freshened up.  This is also a great time to take a few classes and get them out of the way before the season really goes into high gear.

What I like to concentrate the most on is how to get more clients.  I do a lot of research on the internet, read books, get involved with different networking groups and talk with other realtors.

While doing some browsing on the internet, I found a few sites that I feel might be of value to you as an agent.  there are several things you can do to increase your client base.  I’m sure some of what you read will be information you have heard before.  I’m also sure that there will be some information that will come in handy.

Take a look through the links.  I hope this year brings you twice the success of the year before. 🙂

http://www.realestatesalesleads.net/marketing/39-ways-to-generate-new-real-estate-sales-leads/

http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-1700.html

http://realestate.about.com/od/marketingforrealestate/Marketing_for_the_Agent_Brokerage_and_Client_Properties.htm

http://neilschwartz.net/

If you are interested in buying or selling a home, you can contact Wendy McCance at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in advice, business, career, how to

 

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What you Need to Know if you Decide to Rent out your Home

The economy has changed the way people are handling their homes.  Most specifically, many people have not been able to sell due to an upside down mortgage so they rent out their home and wait it out.  People often decide to rent out their home until they have enough equity in the home to sell.

In general this can be a great way of making sure you have money coming in and aren’t at risk of losing your home.  It seems like every other person these days is renting out their home and honestly, rental homes are in huge demand these days due to people having poor credit or not enough money to buy a home.

An ideal situation is when you can get a tenant who would like to sign a rent to own deal.  You are renting the home out, but the possibility of those same people buying your home after a certain length of time increases due to the lease you put together.  If the renters decide not to buy, you get an amount of money that is non-refundable because the renters changed their mind.  It’s more of a win-win situation.

The problem arises when you have a renter sign a long-term lease (say for two years) and then want to sell the home before the lease is up.  Sure you might be able to sell the home depending on the way the lease is written up, but the renters can still stay in the home until their lease is up (unless you wrote something in the lease to the contrary).  This means that any potential buyer has to agree to be a landlord for a particular amount of time before they can take over the property.

There are times when this might not be a bad solution.  If you have a starter home that would make a great investment property, having a renter occupying the home might be a plus.  If you have a bigger home though, you won’t attract the investors and most buyers will look elsewhere.

I encourage you to always contact an attorney and have them write out a lease if you decide to rent out your property at any time.  Make sure you understand all of the issues that could arise if you want to sell at some point down the line.  Just because every other person is becoming a landlord these days doesn’t mean they understand all of the implications of what they are doing.

Research as much as you can.  Get expert opinions and make sure you fully understand what you are about to undertake before you decide to rent out your home.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in business, how to, rental property

 

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Real Estate is a Numbers Game

So it’s January and I am starting to see some movement again.  People are looking towards the future and planning moves for the spring (once it gets a little warmer).  Mixed in with clients who are serious about looking at buying a new home are the dreamers.  These are the people who wish to move, but because of any number of personal issues, now is just not the right time for them.

Being a real estate agent, it is important to know who is serious and who will just spin your wheels.  I have had some back to back situations recently where I began working with some people who were in no way able to seriously consider moving.

How do you know when a person is not a good client to take on?  Below is a quick list of signs that might give you pause in deciding to work with someone.

1.  The customer is unwilling or continuously puts off getting their pre-approval or credit report.

Serious buyers will make sure everything is in place before they begin to look.  They know that if they find their dream home, they will want to put in an offer right away.  The market is moving quickly.  Homes won’t last until you have been pre-approved.

2.  You only get an email or a phone number, but not both.  

I have found that these are people who really just want some quick information, but aren’t serious about looking for a home.

3.  The customer’s list of expectations in a home isn’t reasonable.

I have spoken with people who want a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home in an upscale neighborhood for less than half the price of what any home in that neighborhood would go for.  I have also dealt with the people who think they can pick up a foreclosure at a rock bottom price in perfect move in condition.

4.  There is no time line and they are incredibly vague,

They don’t know what they will do with their current residence, how much they are able/willing to spend and what area they are interested in looking at.

5.  They are working with a realtor, their family is full of realtors or their friend is a realtor.

I have been surprised when during the course of a conversation, I am able to find out they already have a realtor.  I will hear the excuses that the realtor is dragging their feet or they just want to look at this one property.  If you have a realtor, I will not be able to help you.

I also get the customers who let me know how many realtors they know.  They won’t say why they won’t work with them, but they tend to challenge what information you give them and after finding out about a specific question (how much their home is worth, or just wanting to check one property) they end up with the realtor they already know.

I was talking with one of the agents at work about the cycle of real estate.  It seems that I will have a dry spell, then get a bunch of potential clients that fall into the above range and then finally get a group of serious buyers. The agent I spoke with put it this way, real estate is a numbers game.  Expect to go through 12 customers before you hit on the serious buyer.

As someone who is used to traditional sales where each person lost is money lost, I have had to change my perspective.  I can’t look at each interaction that falls through as money lost, but instead I must look at it as each lost person brings me closer to the serious client.

For anyone out there who is just starting out in real estate, I hope this information is not only helpful, but will help to take some of the pressure off of you.  I would also like to mention that for every example above, there are clients that will pan out.  The important thing is to be able to ask valuable questions and really pay attention to not only the words, but also the actions of the potential client.  It doesn’t matter if they are serious or not, people will reveal themselves.  The tips above just might move the process along faster for you.

Here’s another great article you might like:

http://www.trulia.com/email/anews/pro.truliablog.com/sellers/7-psychological-red-flags-to-sellers-that-will-cost-you-money

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in advice, business, career planning

 

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If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

I got a phone call last night.  The person on the other end of the phone offered me an opportunity to sign up to get names and numbers of potential buyers/sellers for a small fee for each lead.  Although as I type this, it sounds ridiculous, the person on the other end of the phone was quite convincing.

The deal was that each time someone called this company interested in buying/selling a home, I would receive an email with all of the contact information and what the buyer/seller was looking to do.  I would pick my territory ahead of time and would only get leads for the area I was working in.  I would then have a certain amount of days to decide if this lead was legitimate.  If it wasn’t, I could call and replace the lead with a new one.  Each lead would cost me $25.00 and I would keep 100% of the commission.  The person on the other end of the phone spoke quite a bit about how important it was to get agents who would call the contact right away and were serious about making more money and handling themselves professionally.

After I had spoken with this person for a few moments, I asked them how they got my name.  They said they had pulled it from Realtor.com (which I do have a profile on).

The person calling me then tried to close the deal.  I said that I would like to see a website to read over all of the information before committing.  This was the smartest thing I could have done.  I needed to read over information and absorb what they were offering.  I also wanted to check them out for consumer complaints.  Basically, I needed to pull myself away from the sales tactics and look at everything rationally. I decided I would talk with my manager before signing up if I was convinced the program sounded good.  I knew my manager would be able to give me some good advice about what I should do.

I received a website address and was told that to finish signing up I would need to call them back.  I got off the phone and began to look over all of the information on the website.  The website mentioned that those leads could be handed out to up to 4 different agents.  I was never told that.  Right there, it was a deal breaker.  I read on and realized that much of what I read made little sense to me.

After reading the website, I looked for customer complaints.  I found pages of complaints.  Every person said the same thing, that the program was a scam and that they had lost hundreds of dollars.  Apparently you must give a credit card number for them to charge when you receive a lead.  People were complaining that they signed up for a couple of days and then quit.  They were still charged enormous fees.  Someone wrote that one of their supposed contacts was for someone who had been dead for 8 years (they found this out when a relative answered the phone).  Other people complained that when they contacted someone, the person said they had never heard of the company and weren’t looking to buy/sell a home.

The bottom line here is that as a newer realtor, I am still learning how to gain additional leads (it’s what the business is all about).  Being a newer agent makes me a prime target to get solicited from some not so honest companies.

I am writing this as a warning for any other new agent.  Please be cautious before you sign up for anything.  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  I don’t think there is a perfect system out there to generate endless leads (who knows I could be wrong, but I don’t think so).  Make sure you pull yourself out of the conversation.  Say you’ll call back if you are interested, but do your homework and research the company.  Above all else, if there is someone at work who has been in the business for a long time, ask them for advice.  They are sure to have had the same experiences and can tell a good deal from a bad one.

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in advice, business, career planning

 

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The Highs and Lows of Being a Real Estate Agent

The last two days have been a whirlwind.  I have been juggling a few different clients and quite a lot has happened in such a small span of time.  To break it down, the last two days have been the greatest of moments and the worst of moments.

I have been working with a great couple.  They are wonderful to deal with and make my job really enjoyable.  They have trusted my opinions on what will help the house look its best and what price would be appropriate to list the home for.  We’ve had great communication with each other and the whole process has just been extremely pleasant.

I listed the home on Monday.  I had just finished the paperwork and put the information on the MLS to advertise it was for sale.  Within ten minutes of the home being placed online, a call came in from a realtor looking to schedule an appointment for later that day.  A few moments later, another call came in to view the property.  It felt good to hear that there was an immediate interest in the home.

Three hours after putting the listing online, an offer came in.  It was a cash offer and $5,000 over listing price.  It was the craziest experience I have had so far.  I called the owners and they were thrilled.  Needless to say, papers were signed, there is an inspection scheduled, and we should be closing in two weeks.  It was incredible.

During this same time frame, I had a client looking to rent a home.  They had submitted their information, and the owner agreed to lease to them.

To backtrack a moment, I have had an uneasy feeling about this client from the beginning.  They were 25 minutes late to their first appointment.  The second time I took them out, they were 15 minutes late to the first home.  We went to another home afterwards which was 5 minutes away, and it took them 20 minutes to get there.  Apparently they got lost.

When they found the home they wanted to lease, they dragged their feet getting all of the paperwork in.  I got 14 emails in an hour span dissecting the lease and making complaints such as that they had to pay a fee for a cashier’s check.  They were originally going to sign the lease within a day after they had someone look over the lease.  Then it was stalled with them stating they would sign at the end of the week (6 days later).

I explained that there wasn’t a contract in place yet and that the owner could go with another renter if they were slow to act.  I got an email back stating that the lease would be signed and handed in the next day.  Two hours later, I received an email stating they weren’t interested after all.

When you are in real estate, you will have the amazing moments and the annoying ones.  In the case of the lease, I felt horrible for the other realtor as though I had been the one jerking them around.  I felt even worse for the homeowner who had trusted the process and pulled the listing from the market.

This is what working as a real estate agent is really like.  Some moments will be really great, and some moments will make you want to pull your hair out.  You really do have to be a people person to enjoy this career.  You also have to have a thick skin.  This is the part I am still working on.  I’ll put my heart and soul into helping someone out, and if the deal goes bad, I take it personally.  I know it’s just business and that you never can tell what situations a person might be experiencing to react in the manner in which they do.

I truly believe that this is a great career for character building, patience and learning to roll with the punches.  I honestly am willing to endure a few bad moments, because the good moments tend to happen more often and it really is so worthwhile to invest in.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in business, career planning, personal

 

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