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- Organize your paperwork. Mail and other paperwork has a way of accumulating for even the most organized people. The next thing you know, you have drawers and piles of it everywhere, and the first thought that comes to mind is to just throw it all away. Take a deep breath and deal with this the only way you can – with patience. Once you begin going through your paperwork you will discover that much of it is no longer relevant and can be discarded. Shred any documents with sensitive information and recycle the rest.
- For documents that you need to keep, consider buying boxes specifically for that purpose. Label them with as much detail as you can so you know where to find important documents later. Keep in mind that not all documents that appear important actually are. Supporting documents for your tax returns – like your W-2s and similar documents – only need to be kept for three years. If you run a business, the supporting tax documents must be retained for six years. When it’s time for you move, make sure to pack these in a place where you will be able to easily access them, especially if there is anything concerning the sale of your house.
- Clean out your closet. Clothes are another category that tends to accumulate over time. There is no reason to haul all your unused and unwanted clothing to your next house though, so take a few hours to clear out your closet. Those outfits you loved in 1997 need to find their way to the local thrift store, and the pants that stopped fitting eight years ago should probably go as well. The less you have to move the better (and all that extra closet space is a fun excuse to go shopping). A great way to discard unwanted clothing is to visit the nearest Goodwill. Goodwill is a non-profit organization specifically set up to help those in need of life’s necessities. Not only will your donation help make your home look better, it will undoubtedly help someone who is less fortunate. A win-win for everyone!
- Gather your home improvement records. When going through all of your documents, be sure to collect your home improvement records and receipts. These can come in handy when you are selling your current home and provide a nice history for those who eventually purchase the house. This way they know when things were done and by whom. Making a list of home improvements that will help sell a home is a great marketing idea. Buyers love to see what you have done to your property and when. Providing them a list as part of the real estate marketing brochure or on your single property website is something they will love!
- Donate old electronics and appliances. Everyone has an old computer, appliance or other bit of electronic gear sticking around. Whether it’s in the garage, the basement or a closet, you probably imagined one day you would get around to fixing it, or that it would make a great backup when the new one broke. While your intentions were good, the fact is that these items are just extra things to move – things that will probably sit in a similar place unused in your new home. Where you donate these items will depend on your area and what donation organizations accept. Make sure to call ahead and verify that the place you are planning to take the item actually accepts it. It shouldn’t be necessary to stick it in a landfill, but it may take some searching to find someone who can actually use your particular item.
- Clear out the cupboards and the freezer. Stockpiling food is very easy to do. Between your cupboards and your freezer you may have a good deal of food items that are past their expiration date or food you never really plan to eat. Check all of the expiration dates and discard all food that is no longer good. For your freezer, expiration dates are not the only concern. Food that remains in the freezer for more than three months often degrades in quality. Discard anything you think is old enough to no longer taste good. You may also have items that are still within their expiration date, but you just don’t see yourself eating them. These you can take to the local food bank so others can get use out of them.
- Dispose of unused hazardous materials. If you have paint cans or other toxic home improvement or cleaning materials, some of these may need to be discarded before your move. Materials like this that have not been used within the past year may not even perform well anymore, and hauling already opened containers of things like paint risks unpleasant and possibly hazardous spills. This is something you should consult with your REALTOR® to find out local best practices. Some buyers love to have the old paint for touch up purposes while others plan to completely change the home’s color scheme and have no use for old paint. Contact your local hazardous waste disposal organization to find out where and how to discard these items.
- Finish the de-cluttering process as early as possible. Moving is a real pain… even when everything goes perfectly. By starting your de-cluttering process early you can ensure that everything is ready to go by the time moving day hits. In fact, take a look at this helpful guide on how to prepare for moving. You will find tips that will make your move far less stressful than just winging it. The advice will help with considerations before and during your move. More than likely things you have not even thought about. Most people are surprised at just how much time it takes to go through all of their things.
- Look over the home carefully. Lastly while you are going through your home doing the necessary cleaning and organizing, make sure you also give your home a once over looking for any necessary repairs. A buyer will almost certainly be doing a home inspection. A good home inspector will find common home inspection issues very easily. As homeowners we often forget to really look at our homes through the eyes of a buyer. We get used to our surroundings and don’t realize we have problems until they become a major issue. Home inspections are the #1 reason homes come back on the market. Don’t let this phase of the real estate transaction stop your sale cold in its tracks! By getting your home to look its absolute best, you stand a much better chance of getting top dollar and sitting at a closing table sooner than you expected.
- Early Warnings – Signals shot up for the digital consumer transition back in 2011. Morgan Stanley released a rich and detailed report that mobile web searches will reign supreme in 2015. Also in 2011, Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman noted that mobile searches influence how REALTORS® should market their listings. REALTORS will compete for prospects looking for houses via Google Maps.
- Research – To layer onto the argument, Google and the National Association of REALTORS® co-developed a study – Digital House Hunt – that measured “Google real estate searches on mobile devices grew 120%…from 2011-2012.”
- The Social Sell – Before taking the social leap, consider your core client base. Do they tweet or skim Facebook? To ensure you’re crafting the right digital strategy to reach your prospects and clients, survey their habits. Likewise, guide your own research using this detailed social media channel comparison infographic from Leverage.
- Mobile Business – We’re busy people. Unfortunately, our schedules often bar us from physically travelling to home viewings or for agent office visits. In fact, REALTOR® and real estate thought leader, Lawrence Brown, reveals that he has a client for whom he’s sold many homes, but hasn’t yet met in person. Like with social media, it is vital to match the prospects or clients’ habits to guarantee a sustainable business.
- 3 proven strategies to persuade sellers to price their properties appropriately
- 9 common objections and how to respond to win the listing
- How to defend your commission by emphasizing your value
- Online resources you can use when negotiating the sale price
- Why you should never ask “why?” in a negotiation
- How to agree, counter and close to easily overcome objections
- When to use presumptive closing statements and alternative closing statements
- How to close buyers using emotions, not features
- Overcome those seller objections before they even ASK
- Stop winging it and start NAILING it with more confidence, ease and real results
- Learn what you need to work into your presentation to obliterate their concerns before they object
- Acheive more when faced with objections – you’ll know exactly to say and when
- Get price reductions more easily to get more properties sold
- How to write copy that resonates with the core values and preferences of your target market
- Which communication channels work best to attract, engage, connect and convert prospects
- How to fine tune your marketing to gather more responses and receive a greater return on your time investment – both online and offline
- How to “narrow-cast” instead of “broad-cast” your marketing messages to become the celebrity authority in your marketplace
It’s hard to figure out why there are still real estate agents who don’t include social media objectives in their business plans. There are so many benefits for real estate agents who use social media (which is an article all in itself).
Some real estate agents make using social media look like solving a Rubik’s cube. It doesn’t have to be like that! There are hundreds and thousands of tips on how to use social media, like these easy Twitter tips for agents.
Nobody wants to read thousands of tips though, so here are the 3 tips that, if followed, will lead to your success in social media as a real estate agent.
Create Epic Real Estate Content
The first tip to social media success for real estate agents is to create epic real estate content. You’re asking: what is epic real estate content? Epic real estate content is something written by a professional that even a 30 year real estate veteran would learn something from or find value in.
Creating epic real estate content is not something that can be pieced together in 15 minutes. The effort it takes to create epic real estate content can be seen from a mile away. Writing epic real estate content isn’t only about the content either. Creating high quality graphics to compliment the content is extremely important. This is especially true if you plan on being successful on Pinterest as a real estate agent.
Taking the time to write epic real estate content pays off big time. Creating sub-par content will lead to frustration and the belief that social media doesn’t work for real estate agents, which is false.
Realize It’s Not All About You
Probably the biggest “pet peeve” of other top influencers who know how to use social media is when a real estate agent constantly blasts social media with posts about themselves and their products (or listings). Social media is about building relationships, sharing and creating epic content, and showing the general consumer that you have strong knowledge of the real estate industry.
Hate to say it, but your local buyers and sellers are not going to their Twitter feed to look for a real estate agent. Same can most likely be said about them looking for local real estate listings. It’s possible though that they could be scrolling through their Facebook and click through to a great article you may have recently written debunking common real estate myths. The chances of them seeing value in a high-quality real estate article you wrote and calling you is much greater than them stumbling across that 3 bedroom ranch you just listed in xyz neighborhood and picking up their phone to call you.
Bottom line, don’t consistently be blasting your social media channels with your newest listing or that you are currently looking for new listings. Everyone already knows that you want to sell your listings and get more. Avoid this and other social media no-no’s for real estate agents at all costs.
Share & Recognize Other Epic Real Estate Content
This third and final tip is where many agents fall short in social media. Sharing only your epic real estate content does not work. It’s great that you’ve created a quality real estate article, but it does no good if it’s only able to be read by your limited group of followers. If it’s shared though by other top real estate professionals, the potential reach is much greater.
For example, if you have 500 Twitter followers that you share your article with and it gets no retweets, the potential reach is about 500 followers. Now let’s say you’ve built some nice relationships with some other top notch real estate professionals on Twitter, and you get a retweet from a professional who has over 20,000 followers. The potential reach has now just grown from 500 to 20,500. That’s a huge difference!
A good rule of thumb is to share other epic real estate content 5-6 times for every piece of your own content.
Another excellent way to recognize other epic real estate content is by including links to other real estate bloggers’ articles within your own content. This can lead to tremendous success for several reasons. First of all, the probability that your article gets shared by the professional whose article you linked increases exponentially. This can lead to more exposure for your piece of content. I recently published an article of the Top Real Estate Blog Articles from 2014 and included links to several top real estate bloggers. The article has been a huge success, is being shared all over social media, and is ranking very well in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).
Secondly, the possibility that a link to one of your pieces of epic content gets included into one of their future articles also increases. This will lead to more traffic to your blog which should lead to more success in the SERPS.
If you’re not utilizing social media in your business plan, you need to be. Follow the above tips, and you will see some nice results from social media.
Kyle Hiscock is a top producing Irondequoit, NY real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors, based out of Rochester, NY. Kyle has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in and out of the Greater Rochester, NY area. In addition to his vast real estate knowledge, Kyle runs a very active real estate blog and is active on many different social media websites.
Today we have a guest post from Bill Gassett, a popular real estate blogger who shares his tips and tricks with buyers, sellers and other agents. This article is an excellent resource to pass on to your clients and prospects.
So you have decided to leave your old home behind and move into a house better suited to your current lifestyle. The initial excitement you feel after making this decision is pretty invigorating, but there is still a lot of work to be done to transition from one home to another. Depending on how long you have been in your current home you may have a great deal of clutter to go through – stuff you have no reason to bring to your new home. Getting rid of all of the “stuff” you no longer need can be a monumental task if you are not well prepared in advance.
We asked Bill Gassett, a top Realtor in Bellingham Massachusetts to share his best tips on ways to clean the clutter before selling a home. Bill has been selling real estate for nearly thirty years so he has seen it all when it comes to the showing condition of homes. Using Bill’s tips for de-cluttering your home will more than likely increase your chances for a quicker sale while also keeping your life more manageable.
Ways to De-Clutter Prior to Moving
A lot of decisions must be made when you are selling your home. Start early so you can be ready when the moving truck arrives. There is nothing that will take the stress out of a move more than being fully prepared for what lies ahead. Best of luck with your sale!
The New Reality
Digital and mobile platforms serve as a key foundation for today’s consumer market based on ease of use and convenience of finding the right home. Erase the notion of this as a trend. Consumer behavior has already pushed this mainstream.
Today, your prospects are only a click-away from finding the right home, but they lean on you to guide them through the negotiations, legalities and paperwork. Imagine this scenario: a prospect happily finds their dream home online, but the happiness sours when faced with the barrage of physical paperwork and emotional red tape. If you’re not digital, then why should they consider your business?
Thriving in the Digital Market
Our market overcrowds prospects with potential REALTORS®. Communicate and work with your prospects via digital methods like they do. By matching their efforts, you’ll proudly boast a successful real estate business that leaves clients fulfilled with the property that speaks to their dreams and matches their reality.
So be sure you are serving your customers on their terms and where they want to interact with you. Given consumer trends, they’re probably already waiting for you at the other end of that wireless connection on their mobile device.
This post was written by Michael Presnall as part of a post exchange with DocuSign. To see our contribution to their blog, click here.
About DocuSign Inc.
DocuSign®, The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management™, helps organizations of every size, industry and geography accelerate transactions for dramatic ROI, increased security and compliance, and enhanced customer experiences. DocuSign’s DTM platform delivers the easiest, fastest, most trusted and secure global network for sending, signing, tracking, and storing documents in the cloud.
Since there’s no shortage in online tools for agents – but choosing the most useful ones is not always an easy task – here’s a great resource for your real estate needs: PropertyShark.com.
With a wide-ranging customer roster that includes agents from companies like Douglas Elliman, Stribling & Associates and The Corcoran Group, PropertyShark has positioned itself as a real estate data powerhouse due to the vast amount of property information it offers. While initially developed as a New York-centric service, PropertyShark has gradually expanded its coverage to the entire US, with a rapidly growing user base in states such as California, Massachusetts and Florida.
PropertyShark’s main purpose is that of easing the work of real estate agents throughout the US by providing access to complete and reliable property information – ranging from property characteristics (square footage, number of stories, year built, zoning, you name it) to sales and mortgage history, property taxes and even building photos.
In addition, it gives you both the name of the property owner and his or her contact details with phone number, where available. Tools are also provided for those who want to dig up more information on the owner of a property – giving pointers on how to identify the name of the owner (or his/her representative) even when hidden behind an LLC. Find all this information and more in each property’s report!
Tip: To add the ‘wow’ factor, print a property report with your name and photo or company logo on it! Through its branded reports feature, PropertyShark allows agents to add a customized header to any property report, so that when you present it to clients, they will naturally assume that you have invested a great deal of time and effort into preparing such an elaborate report.
And since they have all this ownership information, why not offer a lead generation tool to go with it? PropertyShark’s Leads section can help you boost your direct mail efforts with relevant mailing lists and ready-to-download mailing labels – with owners’ name and addresses. If you’re a residential broker looking for potential home sellers, you’re going to love this feature!
Let’s say you’re interested in finding single family homes that have been sold quite a few years ago and that might be headed back on the market sometime soon. Simply insert your criteria and build a list – complete with owner’s names and contact details. Download the list and start contacting potential clients.
A nicely put-together comparables tool will help out with the property estimation process. Their comps section allows you to narrow down your search for recently sold properties in a certain area by applying a wide array of filters meant to help you choose only the most relevant properties – returning a much more accurate result than many other websites do.
If you have not yet had the chance to check out PropertyShark data and services, why not take it for a spin? Setting up a free PropertyShark account only takes a couple of minutes. But if you’d prefer reading some extra reviews beforehand, check out what other real estate professionals had to say:
“PropertyShark is an indispensable tool that helps us perform our due diligence efficiently and effectively when we are helping our development clients understand an acquisition opportunity. We also use PropertyShark to reach out to prospective townhome clients using the mailing list feature. It is a great custom solution that fits well with our personal brand of service.” – Donald Brennan, Principal and Licensed Broker for Brennan Realty Services
“PropertyShark has helped me in evaluating and collecting property information around the tri-state area. It has enabled me to find property history, comparables and ownership information, as well as many other types of real estate information that would normally take days to research through other services. PropertyShark is a one-stop real estate online search engine. No other online real estate service comes close.” – Robert S. Klein, Senior Director for Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, Inc.
Have you used PropertyShark to help a client (or yourself) before?
Disclaimer: Both PropertyShark and Point2 are part of the Yardi family of companies.
If you haven’t already entered our Google Authorship contest, it’s not too late to do it. You are guaranteed to win a free featured agent ad on Point2 Homes. Additionally, one lucky contest participant will win a one-year subscription to Point2 Agent Professional.
Dozens of Point2 Agent subscribers have entered the contest, and results are already showing up.
Let’s try a general real estate related search on Google, like “port elgin real estate.” As you can see, jasonsteele.ca is showing up with an enhanced result:
Or let’s try “north okanagan real estate:”
These are all enhanced results made possible by a proper authorship implementation. This means more traffic to the agents’ websites, as they stand out from regular search results. It is estimated that the click-through rate of search results that show a person’s photo next to the link – as shown above – can be increased by 30% or more! Looking for other ways to use Google+? Check out our beginner’s guide for real estate agents.
Ready to jump in? Just leave a comment at the end of the blog post announcing the contest before October 31st. We will announce the grand prize winner on Monday, November 4th.
What if we could show you a way to get more listings more easily? And get them without more work, money or effort?
Get the secrets of what a defined marketing program with your strategic partners will do for you!
Our favorite hostess Terri Murphy teams up with expert loan coach Michael White to share what listing activities and strategies you and your partner lender can deliver that provide exceptional market differentiation. Learn how to pack the WOW you need to create more listings that, when marketed well, will lead to more sales!
This 36 minute coaching call delivers the full scoop on what agents need to win more listings, more easily.
You will learn:
– How mortgage professionals & REALTORS® can work together to secure more listings
– The step-by-step action plans you need to get more listings
– About the best new mortgages & refinance opportunities that can help your buyers & sellers
– To create real differentiation in your service model
Why this webinar will change your bottom line?
Terri listed and sold over 100 properties a year for over 20 years. She knows just how strategic partnerships can help get more listings that sell. This is her proven system that works!
What: Success Series Webinar ft. Terri Murphy & Mike White
When: Thursday, May 9th
Time: 10:00 AM Pacific/ 12:00 PM Central/ 1:00 PM Eastern
Who can attend?
– REALTORS® are invited to invite their mortgage professionals
– Guests of your REALTORS®
Terri and Mike offer the key activities that agents and their loan partners can do to make more sales, more easily!
Success Series Webinar with Bernice Ross, Part 2: Recap
“Will you reduce your commission?”
That’s about the last question you want to hear from potential home sellers after a killer listing presentation, right? But no matter how stellar of an agent you are, it’s probably happened to you. Buyers, sellers, everyone wants a deal. It’s up to you to convince them that they are already getting a deal… by choosing you to be their agent who helps them get the best possible price for their home.
To do that, you’ll need tools that will help you stay confident and in control in the face of even the most notorious seller objections. Enter the real estate script: game changing negotiation dialogue that is professional, straightforward and, most importantly, effective.
Our most recent Success Series webinar with real estate author and coach Bernice Ross taught participants how to use scripts to dig deeply into price objection and establish a solid commission defense. Bernice shared:
After you watch the webinar, visit Point2 University to take our free e-learning course, Overcome the Toughest Seller Objections & Close More Sales. You can revisit the scripts from Bernice’s presentation, learn how to address additional seller objections and print out the course materials for future reference.
Success Series Webinar with Bernice Ross: Recap
We really like this house, but we want to keep looking.
We want a better area.
It’s cheaper for me to rent.
Now what if you knew how to respond to those common buyer objections in a way that would help you close the sale while still allowing the buyer to feel in control?
It’s possible. We promise. Renown real estate coach Bernice Ross showed us how to do exactly that in yesterday’s webinar. In less than an hour we learned:
Are you ready to watch the recording? Click here.
You’ll quickly discover that questions are the secret to controlling client negotiations. Bernice has also included 8 helpful closing scripts that will guide you through many buyer transactions.
Register now for the second webinar in this series: Overcoming Seller Objections. Bernice will be back with us on Thursday, April 18th to share great scripts that will help you land more listings. You won’t want to miss this!
Do questions from prospects and clients sometimes leave you tongue-tied? Real estate coach, author and trainer Bernice Ross gives you the winning edge on how best to respond to those buyer and seller objections that cost you money!
Join Point2 and Bernice Ross for our April webinar focus: Scripts for Success!
Real estate scripts provide a way of being prepared for any situation. They give you effective language that will express your goal. Knowing the right thing to say at the right time will help you get the results you want and close more sales.
Mark your calendar for April 4th and April 18th when Bernice shares sales-boosting script tips:
No more off the cuff, stumbling around when presented with a push back. Join Bernice and she will share how you can script your way to more sales and more success!
Click here to register for Thursday’s webinar now to learn game-changing scripts for buyer interactions. Space is limited.
What: Success Series Webinar ft. Bernice Ross
When: Tursday, April 4th
Time: 10:00 AM Pacific/ 12:00 PM Central/ 1:00 PM Eastern
Stay a step ahead of the pack, register now for Bernice’s April 18th webinar, too, to discover script dialogue that will help you work with sellers!
Did you know there are four generational consumer groups in our marketplace right now? And that each one of these groups responds to your marketing and communication differently? Point2 has the scoop for you!
Terri Murphy, real estate communication specialist, will share her expert marketing tips with you. See more returns on your marketing investment when you learn communication strategies that zap the generation gap.
You will learn:
Get ready to maximize your selling potential by making easy tweaks to your client communications. Click here to register now.
What: Success Series Webinar ft. Terri Murphy
When: Thursday, March 21st
The webinar is now over.