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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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Selling your Own Home vs Using a Seller’s Agent

If you have ever thought about selling your home yourself, I’m sure you have wondered what the positive and negatives points are compared to a real estate agent selling your home for you.

First let’s go over the positive reasons for selling a home on your own.

1.  You will not be giving a sellers agent a commission.

2.  You will meet any potential buyers yourself.  I’m not sure if this is a positive reason, but it might mean a lot to some home owners.

3.  You are in control of the entire process.  For those of you who like to have their hands in the entire process from meeting buyers to the negotiation process directly with those buyers, this might be a plus.

4.  You decide when to show the home and will be present for those showings.

Now, let’s go over the negative aspects of selling your own home.

1.  You pay for any advertising.  On top of that, you will not have access to the MLS which all agents have access to.  That means that instead of agents emailing their clients your home information when it appears on the MLS, you have to find the interested buyers yourself.  Agents are also more adept at only showing clients who have a definite interest in the features of your home.  You could have people looking at your home that aren’t pre-approved, are just window shopping or truly are not looking for what your home has to offer.

2.  You will need to understand all of the paperwork needed to sell your home.  It is also highly recommended that you hire an attorney to write-up the paperwork and make sure everything is included.  An attorney might be more expensive to use.  Another consideration is that an attorney doesn’t typically write-up paperwork to sell  homes as part of their job and might miss something along the way.

3.  If you aren’t available to show your home, your home won’t be shown if you sell it on your own.  When you work with an agent, it doesn’t matter if you are on vacation.  The home can still be viewed and an offer can still be made.

4.  Knowing what to price your home at.  Why waste your time if you price your home to high?  You also have to worry about what an appraisal will decide your home is worth.  You could get an interested buyer who is willing to pay the price you are offering.  If the appraisal comes back and is lower, the bank will not finance the buyer at that price.

5.  When a buyer knows you are selling a home yourself, they know you aren’t paying a sellers commission.  Because of that, the buyer will typically bid extra low to cover the difference.  Meaning you might still be out the same amount of money or more.

6.  If you don’t offer a buyer’s agent a commission, many real estate agents won’t be enthusiastic about showing your home verse a home that is similar with a commission included.  (Although this is ethically wrong, it has been known to happen quite frequently).

7.  It will take much longer to sell your home on your own.  This is because of the amount of advertising needed. Also, the less you are available to show your home, the longer it will take to sell.

8.  When you take into account fees for advertising and the lawyer, you might end up paying more money, than if you used an agent.

9.  You will have to make sure you understand the laws.  You aren’t exempt from getting in trouble for lack of knowledge.  You must understand the laws regarding who you decide to sell to and why.  You will need to understand how to get a clear title before the closing of the home can occur.  Some cities require a city inspector to view your home and there is a fee.  You must also understand that any defects in the home must be disclosed to anyone who views your home.  Not mentioning that there was a flood in the basement several years ago, for instance can result in a lawsuit if the buyer finds out after purchasing your home.

Many people try to sell their home themselves.  A good majority of these same people end up using a realtor after a lot of frustration and money spent.  If you decide to go it alone, make sure you truly understand what you are getting into before putting up a sign in your yard.

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her 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 January 27, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to, real estate

 

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Real Estate Agents are not Salespeople. We are Consultants.

When I decided to get into real estate, I figured that my background would be a perfect fit.  I have a strong history in the sales field.  I was really good in my field, and truly enjoyed the social aspect of a sales job.

When I took the classes and worked with a mentor, sales was what was discussed.  There were strategies and outlines.  There were even scripts you could use.  It wasn’t until I really got off the ground that I realized that sales has nothing to do with being a good real estate agent.

I’m sure there are agents out there that will argue that this is a sales job, but let me tell you why I think it’s not. My feeling is that if you are a good agent, you are not a salesperson but a consultant.  This is one of the few jobs where it doesn’t matter how hard you might try to sell someone on a home.  Buying a home is incredibly emotional.  It is also one of the biggest expenses you will have in a lifetime.  I don’t know anyone who is casual enough to allow a salesperson to come in and twist their arm to buy a home that might not be right for them.  Let me state it another way.  I could never be that person who puts pressure on a client.

My personal feeling is that if you are a good real estate agent, you will treat your client like you would treat a good friend.  There is respect, understanding and help in figuring out what type of home might suit that particular client best.

As a real estate agent, you are there to guide your client.  You must be knowledgeable and able to teach them the steps in home ownership.  You are the person that a client will go to for consultation.  Maybe the time is right for a customer to buy, and maybe it’s not.  The goal is not to sell a home, but to help a customer decide what’s right for them.

If you go about your job in this manner, the rewards will come.  A customer might use you later down the road because of your honesty and integrity.  You will gain a good reputation, and yes, you will sell homes and make a good living.

It’s all perspective.  I know that I would be turned off by an agent who felt like a salesperson.  On the other hand, an agent that acted as a consultant would impress me and leave a lasting good impression.

For those of you just starting out in real estate, this way of looking at your job might be of enormous benefit to you.  If you are an agent, how do you approach your job?  Are you a salesperson or a consultant?

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in advice, career, houses for sale, real estate

 

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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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The Best and Worst Part of Having a Career in Real Estate

I have often been asked what the best and worst part of a career in real estate is.  There are so many people who are thinking of a career in this field.  I thought it would be great to give a general breakdown of my personal feelings about what is good and bad about a career in this field.  Hopefully it will shed some light on if a career in real estate is right for you.

Best part of being a realtor:

1.  Working with people.  Helping them to find that perfect home.

2.  Setting my own schedule.

3.  Being in charge of how successful I become.

4.  Endless possibilities in the amount of money I can make.

5.  Having a family life.

6.  Being able to network by doing the things I love.

7.  I meet some great people.

Worst part of being a realtor:

1.  Deals that go bad because of situations I can’t control.

2.  Seeing a client not end up with the home they fell in love with.

3.  The climb to make a decent living.

4.  Keeping records of expenses, mileage etc…

5.  Hearing stories of people losing homes or having trouble being approved for one.

Really that is all I could come up with.  ultimately, I love my career.  I wake up each day excited to work.  I feel so lucky to have found a career that makes me feel so good.

I hope that this article puts some of the ups and downs of being a realtor in better perspective if you are trying to decide if real estate is the right career for you.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in career, real estate

 

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An Independent Contractor

Being a real estate agent means being an independent contractor.  What that means is that you work for yourself.  You rent a space at an office and sometimes pay an additional fee to have some perks like advertising  and paperwork done for you by a secretary.

To be a real estate agent, you have to work for a broker who is essentially in charge of you.  Lines have an ability to get blurred rather easily.

Here is where the confusion comes into play.  You work for your self and state that on your taxes.  Even if you don’t work out of the office, there is usually a desk fee for renting space.  Meetings are offered at the offices of real estate agents.  It is preferrable (read mandatory) for you to attend these meetings.  If you do choose to work out of your home, there is a possibility that you will be labelled as someone who isn’t working hard (unless you have been in the business for many years and have already proven yourself time and time again).

Why am I bringing this up?  I have seen some people where I work stumble from taking their status as an independent contractor for granted.  They seem to think that everyone is on the same page and that they have control over how they run their business.

I have some advice for you if you are just starting out in this business.  Go to work.  I know you got into the business partially to have a flexible schedule and to compliment your family life.  Even so, the way you present yourself the first year in is crucial to the way you will end up working as well as how others will see you.

You might be working on your own, but it still is important to have a good rapport with your colleagues. Making sure to be at the office often will help you get acclimated to your new career.  You will pick up advice from others and feel your way through the process at a quicker clip.

As you begin to fall into a routine and business picks up, you will be too busy to think about how often you might be in and out of the office.  You will just have too much going on.  That’s when your life as an independent contractor will truly begin.  In the meantime, make sure that you are available to gather all the knowledge you can.  Give yourself the opportunity to be available at work. Take some floor calls when another agent is suddenly too busy to take the call.  Be around so that other agents will offer a referral when they are slammed with clients and can’t possibly find room for another at the moment.  Believe me, these moments will occur and you will want to be there to take advantage of them.

So instead of focusing on the “independent contractor” designation you have been assigned, give in to the office until you are up on your feet and well on your way.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in advice, career

 

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A Key Ingredient For Success

When looking into a possible career in real estate, there is one thing that needs to be understood.  To be a real estate agent is to have a sales job.  I have met several people over the last few months who heard what I did and said that they were thinking of quitting their job and becoming an agent.  These were people who were social or liked to look at pretty homes or were just burnt out and looking for something different.

Real estate is all about sales.  How you present yourself to a potential client.  What tools you use to successfully sell a home.  Being able to negotiate any offers that come in.  It’s all presentation.  Sales is one of those areas where you have it or you don’t.  To be successful, you need drive and ambition.  You also need confidence in your own abilities and an understanding of what style works well for you.  Cultivate that style and you have an excellent chance of doing well in a sales career.

So what do you do when there are well-meaning people surrounding you who go beyond giving advice?  Have you experienced working with someone who insisted that you forget your own methods and concentrate on their way of doing things?  I have had many jobs unrelated to real estate where there was a supervisor, manager, team leader or co-worker who insisted that the only way to accomplish something was to do it their way.

I find this to be short-sighted and rather unnerving.  It’s one thing to have an open mind and try out a variety of ways to get from point A to point B.  Sure someone else may know best.  When someone else dictates your form though, especially in sales, problems will inevitably occur.

Everyone has their own style.  The way to achieve greatness is to take the tried and true ways to gain business and approach it from your own personal style.  Without mixing in a persons personal form, you will come across as robotic, unpolished and inadequate.

Look I have tried some methods that have been completely against what is comfortable for me.  What I truly understand is some methods of going after business I balk at because they aren’t within my ethical code.  I will not promise people things I can’t deliver.  I won’t call people and then, call them again and again when they have told me they aren’t interested.  I won’t abuse my friends and family by constantly harping on them to find me business or overload them with a bunch of real estate information they aren’t interested in.  Basically, anything that screams of being like a used car salesman is not something I am willing to do.

So the key to success in a career in sales is to find your own voice and be proud of it.  Listen to the advice of others, sure.  Take what works and discard the rest.  Most importantly, no matter how much someone is in your ear trying to make you handle yourself in a manner that isn’t what you are about, stay true to yourself.  Block out their voice and concentrate on your own.  In the long run it is you that you have to count on.  Others won’t be supporting you so trusting in yourself is imperative in reaching the success you are after.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in advice, career, life, lifestyle, opinion, personal

 

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