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How to Become a Top-Producing Agent in Your Office

Sep 20, 2019 by

So, you want to be a top-producing agent? The most successful agents surely didn’t land there by chance. Instead, it takes drive, dedication and planning. Below are several areas to focus on in order to become the master in your office.

Tip-Top Transaction Knowledge

To rise to top producer status, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of every aspect of real estate transactions. Educational courses and additional designations can help with this, such as the GRI or CRS designation.

Superior Online Presence

This means professional, original, heartfelt and consistent. Don’t just bombard your Facebook page with listings. Instead, pepper in articles you think your sphere will enjoy, updates about areas of interest in your life, and don’t forget to engage with anyone interacting with your posts and pages.

Market Mastery

As a top producer, you’ll need to be on top of the shifts in your marketplace, from the average price in various neighborhoods to the cost of local HOA fees, and more.

Smart Systems

Without the proper systems in place, it’s nearly impossible to rise to the top. Luckily, technology has made this much easier for single agents, and their teams. From automated lead gen to an easy-to-access contact pool, CRM systems, social media management, and more, there are a myriad of tools and platforms you can choose from.

Social Skills

No, not just online. As an agent, your sales skills depend on your ease in social situations, how you connect with your clients and navigate conversation. This takes time and practice, but fully dedicating to improving your social interactions will surely help your sales.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

 

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Buy or Sell Without an Agent? No Thanks!

Aug 27, 2019 by

Although the vast majority of U.S. home sales involve real estate agents, the notion in the industry that consumers would be fine buying or selling a home without one is not really a new one. After all, the for-sale-by-owner route has been an option forever, and other industries have shifted to a “buy-it-now” mentality that some suggest will fit real estate, too.

But with all due respect to consumers who try to go it alone—and those in the industry who encourage consumers to go it alone—it’s a terrible idea.

DIY real estate is on par with DIY surgery or DIY legal defense. When so much is at stake, it’s always best to have a professional on your side. Period. That certainly applies to the largest financial transaction of a person’s life.

The good news is that most buyers and sellers agree.

Most People Agree
The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report notes that 87 percent of the buyers in the survey used an agent or broker, while another 6 percent purchased directly from a builder or builder’s agent. That leaves only 7 percent who made their purchase without the guidance of a professional.

The figure on the selling side is similar: 91 percent of the surveyed sellers worked with an agent. For-sale-by-owner properties accounted for just 7 percent—the lowest share since the annual study began in 1981.

Gen Z Weighs In
It’s worth noting that the value of an agent crosses generational lines. A recent Homes.com survey of more than 1,000 adult Gen Zers (aged 18-24) showed that nine in 10 plan to use an agent when the time comes to house-hunt. It’s telling that this group—the most digitally inclined generation yet—understands that buying a house isn’t as simple as purchasing a commodity, arranging a ride or planning a trip. The risks are exponentially higher.

The fact is, there’s much more to a successful transaction than meets the eye. It can all seem so simple, especially with online home search being what it is today, but there’s a big difference between seeing a great home online and walking in the front door as its new owner. An expert real estate agent can provide guidance an app can’t touch—and, at the same time, provide all the value and data that can be found on the app.

In the Right Hands
Technology provides all sorts of advantages, but in the end, it’s a tool. Technology in the hands of an expert agent, though, becomes much more. That’s when data meets real-life instinct, insight and local knowledge. That’s when agents deliver their irreplaceable value by negotiating, working through contingencies, being a voice of reason and guiding clients through a long, complicated process.

The real estate industry is clearly targeted for disruption, and we should all celebrate innovation that elevates the customer experience and raises the standard. At the same time, make no mistake—nothing in practice or on the horizon matches the value delivered by a great agent who’s armed with great technology. That remains an unbeatable combo. 

Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, please visit www.remax.com.

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7 Tips to Help You Choose a Great Real Estate Agent

Aug 9, 2019 by

Before choosing a real estate agent, take these characteristics into consideration…

Track Record

Your agent should have a proven record that meets your needs. 

Digital Presence

Agents must show their online strategy for reaching targeted buyers so that sellers gets results.

Network

A successful agent is plugged into the market on local and global levels.

Communication and Service

Agents should save time, demonstrate integrity and respect your privacy while providing personalized service. 

Staging and Design

Whether hosting an event to attract buyers or staging for photography, an agent’s job is to beautify your home.

Market Insight

Your agent needs to have a pulse on the local market and keep you informed of all activity.

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Agent Teams: The Good, the Bad, and the Challenge

Jul 15, 2019 by

This month’s National Association of REALTORS® Power Broker Roundtable discusses real estate teams, and how brokerages are embracing the model.  

Moderator

Jim Imhoff, Chairman, First Weber Real Estate, Madison, Wis., Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 

Panelists 

Vince Leisey, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, Omaha, Neb.

Pat Riley, President/CEO, Allen Tate Companies, Charlotte, N.C.

 

Corina Jones, Founder/Broker, Your Home Team, Greenwood, Ind.

 

Jennifer Ames, Broker/License Partner, Ames Group Chicago, Engel & Vӧlkers International Real Estate, Chicago, Ill.

Tim Milam, President, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, Wilmington, N.C.

 

Jim Imhoff: Every brokerage has its rainmakers—the inspired, charismatic, hard-working dynamos who bring more than their share of business to the company. But what happens—and it almost always does happen—when agent superstars decide to team up, move on, take their career to a whole new level? It brings financial concerns, technical issues, space considerations…even concerns that a successful team may decide to strike out on their own. As brokers, we have options: Support the team concept. Advise against it. Maybe make it a centerpiece of the company culture we’ve worked so hard to build. Today, we’ll talk with a few brokers who land on the side of the latter. Let’s begin with you, Vince, because I know you’ve been cited by the TV series “World’s Greatest” as having one of the “World’s Greatest Company Cultures.” 

Vince Leisey: We have, Jim, and we’re proud of that. We want our people to be glad to come to work every day—and whether or not it’s coincidental, teams do make up some 65 percent of our company. I not only embrace the team concept, but in my view, teams are the future of real estate. For one thing, the millennials now coming into the business are all about collaboration and teamwork—and the sharing and mentorship that come with teaming makes every team member stronger. 

Pat Riley: Millennial or not, when I became successful enough to build my own company, I needed people to help me—so I still see any form of partnering as the best of all possible worlds. Every agent has strengths and weaknesses. In teaming, you can specialize, you can mentor or be mentored, you can rise to meet your best potential, and let the company worry about the tools and technology—even the physical workspace. 

Jennifer Ames: That’s something I considered when I was ready to move up after many years as a successful team leader. I wanted new challenges, better control, and the chance to recruit like-minded people and help them build careers. But I chose to do it with an internationally branded company behind me—a premier European company that aligns closely with my values. Our team launched our Chicago office last January, our flagship offices opened officially on June 27, and we’re confident we made the right decision. 

Corina Jones: For us, going out on our own a little over a year ago was an opportunity to take control of our destiny. Building our brand is a commitment to unexcelled customer service, and that’s what we’re all about. And being responsible for our own financial health means recruiting carefully, sharing the load, and ultimately doing more deals. We knew we’d have to struggle, but it was a challenge we welcomed, and we’re looking ahead, not back.

JI: It’s a valid concern for some brokers that successful team leaders will take their teams and fly the nest. So, in our company, we embrace teaming, but we are careful about having contracts in place, and business plans that speak to the “divorce” aspect of teams.

Tom Milam: That works for us, too. It’s like a financial “prenup,” so that everyone knows what happens in the event of a break-up. But look, good teams have an amazing work ethic. They are great mentors. They have a balanced quality of life, because there is always someone to cover for them—which is also a boon for our customers. And while teams may take a higher split, they also close more transactions.

PR: One solution that works for us is “brandchising” our successful teams. The captains continue to build their teams but with our brand behind them. We continue to provide the tools. They pay us a fee. It really is a win-win for all.

VL: It’s vital to have transparency and a lot of idea-sharing between the teams in our organization, so that there’s a balance of lead generators, coaches and less-experienced agents who will grow as a result of their mentorship.

CJ: That’s always been key for a team leader, and it’s one of the things I like best about heading up our own operation. It’s my effort, my perceptions, and my decisions that will establish our brand in the marketplace, with the confidence that the team we build and manage will win us our share of that market.

JA: Of course, it’s all about marketshare, and however you choose to manage your team—within an established brand or as an independent—the bottom line must be more successful agents and an improved customer experience.

TM: There’s no question that teams and team captains add a lot of value to our companies. They also offer a great way for our companies to grow organically. If Vince is right, and he may be, if teaming is the future of a younger real estate workforce, then it’s only a matter of us, as company leaders, figuring how best to make it work.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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