Mind Shift: 4 Quick Tips to Jumpstart 2018

Dec 6, 2017 by

Can you believe it? It’s less than a few weeks until 2017 closes and 2018 launches. If you’re reviewing your numbers and aren’t exactly where you planned to be, let’s focus on how to jumpstart your 2018 with high production.

Many agents buy into limited thinking about the “slowing down of the market” due to the upcoming holidays, but nothing could be further from the truth. What really happens is serious buyers and sellers need the help of agents who are available to assist them right after the holidays end…so we need to be ready. Don’t miss the opportunity to maximize these last few weeks to jumpstart your income and productivity before the first quarter of 2018 ends.

Here are a few quick tips to ensure your income rocks into 2018:

Use holiday celebrations to connect. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with all your current and past clients/prospects and referral partners. Whether it’s hosting a simple open house during the week for holiday cheer or a full-blown event, make contact to let them know you appreciate the opportunity to work together. Double the effectiveness of the connection by adding a charity benefit element. Ask for a food donation for the local food bank or animal shelter, or a Toys for Tots contribution. Don’t miss the chance to reach out with a face-to-face meeting when possible.

Make a donation in the client’s name. If a face-to-face event isn’t an option, send buyers and sellers a handwritten note thanking them for their business and let them know you’ve made a donation in their name to a local charity. By making a donation to a client’s favorite charity (for example, if they’ve recently adopted a dog, make a small donation to the local animal shelter), you’re showing them that you’re interested in their lives. Save those donation receipts, as those are a tax deduction for you, as well.

Go through your 2017 closed transactions. Pull the names and addresses of both the buyer and seller of each transaction that closed. Make hard copies of the closing documents and include a letter scheduled to be mailed the first week of January. The letter should acknowledge that the holidays are over, and remind them that tax season is right around the corner. For their convenience, you’re sending an extra copy of their closing documents to help them prepare. Include an offer from your lender partner to contact them for a no-obligation, no-cost annual mortgage review and identity-theft screening. This sets the stage for your lender and you to connect with purpose every year as an ongoing consulting opportunity. For a complimentary tax letter, go to

Set up a quiet hour to lay out your business plan for 2018. Review where your business came from and inspect the return on your investment from lead-generation platforms you may be paying for to be sure they’re worth the cost and conversion of each lead. It’s also important to determine your four pillars of income for 2018. Need more builder business? Develop a marketing plan to connect with more builders. Want to convert more expired listings? Look at online platforms to systematize daily contacts. Inspect what you expect for more profitability with consistency and focus.

Real estate will always be a person-to-person business. Reach out and “touch” clients during the holidays in order to propel yourself to profits, and to purposefully plan for more sales in 2018.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or

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NREP Quick Survey

Dec 18, 2016 by

Thanks so much for being a subscriber to the National Real Estate Post.  From time to time we like to run a little survey so we can see our demographics.  So in lieu of a show today, if you have a quick second, could you please complete the survey below and let us know what you do?  We really appreciate it!  **After you make your selection, scroll down and click “Finish”.  Thanks!

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ABCs of Real Estate: Quick Guide To Common Terms

Mar 1, 2016 by

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Home-buying and selling is stressful – and with industry acronyms and real estate terms flying at you from all directions, you may feel overwhelmed navigating your new real estate reality. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer sifting through home for sale in Chicago, IL, or a seasoned investor, there’s always more to learn. Trulia’s quick guide to common real estate terms is a good place to start. Download the PDF here and find more helpful information in the articles below.



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6 Tips for a Quick Home Sale in 2016

Jan 2, 2016 by

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By Laura Agadoni

When it comes to timing your home sale, predicting the real estate market can seem impossible. Even psychics don’t always know what the future holds for real estate. But you can make some predictions based on what’s happened in past real estate cycles.

For starters, 2016 is an election year. There’s also talk of interest rates potentially rising even higher than the quarter-point hike that went into effect in December, the first such rate increase since 2006. Your strategies for selling, because of those issues and more, might differ this year.

Here are six clever tips to learn how to sell a house fast and to help your home sell quickly in 2016.

1. Price the home right.

If you ask two real estate agents whether you should underprice or overprice your home for sale, you might get opposite responses. The overprice camp believes you can get more money by asking for more money.

The underprice side believes you’ll pique the interest of more potential buyers by asking less than the price that comparable properties fetch. That could start a bidding war, which could drive the price back up.

“I am a huge proponent of underpricing just ever so slightly,” says Brett Miles, an agent with Douglas Elliman in New York. “Buyers are extremely savvy these days and watch the market like hawks. They are well aware of the bloated asking prices we are experiencing currently.”

Sellers have been “successfully pushing the envelope on ask for three-plus years,” says James Brune, also an agent with Douglas Elliman in New York. “But prices are plateauing now,” he says. “Sellers will need to be realistic and price at or below current market to get maximum interest [in their home].”

2. Finance the sale yourself.

Federal Reserve officials are calling for a gradual rate increase over time. The federal funds rate has been 0 percent for years. The recent December increase brings the rate to 0.25%. The next increase will bring it to 0.5 percent, and there could be more increases after that. “If mortgage rates [keep rising], this will begin to affect affordability across the board,” says Brune.

One way to help a potential buyer afford to buy your home if interest rates rise is to “offer to finance the purchase; be the bank,” says Miles. If you finance the deal, you can make the monthly payments work for your buyer by offering a lower interest rate than they could get from a traditional mortgage lender.

3. Stage your home.

It’s always a good idea to present your home in the best light possible before a sale, and doing so becomes even more important during a buyer’s market.

If buyers believe election results “will affect their pocketbooks directly, they may wait to buy,” says Miles. The same happens with increased interest rates. “People sit where they are [instead of buying],” says Jessica Dolan, a Pennsylvania home stager. “Therefore, it becomes a buyer’s market, and sellers will really need to make their properties shine through.”

Dolan suggests some tips and tricks, many of which won’t cost you anything, except a little elbow grease:

– Deep-clean from top to bottom.

Remove screens from windows to let in more light (make sure the glass is clean).

Clear all walkways throughout the house.

Make sure all doors, closets, and cabinets can open easily.

Put out fresh fruit on the kitchen table and fresh flowers on bathroom counters.

Display clean towels in bathrooms.

Hide all personal items in bathrooms, including trash cans.

Pull furniture away from walls to create social sitting areas.

Give each room a purpose, especially oddly shaped or random rooms.

Paint the ceilings white, especially in dark rooms, to reflect more light.

4. Prepare for El Niño.

The topic of weather is more than just small talk when it comes to selling your home. Extreme weather conditions, such as more rain from El Niño, for example, play a role. And El Niño is likely to be a factor during winter and early spring 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“It may seem strange that a weather event could have an impact on home sales, but knowing that weather is coming can be a deciding factor for purchasing older homes, fixer-uppers, and anything with a roofing, foundation, or plumbing problem,” says Alexander Ruggie of 911 Restoration.

But there are ways to make your home more marketable during El Niño conditions, says Ruggie:

For colder-climate homes: Add gutter heaters, which keep gutters and downspouts running free and clear. Doing so helps prevent ceiling leaks from overflows from increased snowfall.

For homes in warmer climates: Keep water at bay by adding weatherproofing tape and new window glazing.
For homes with basements: Purchase a sump pump.

You can also appeal to environmentally conscious buyers by installing a water catchment system to harvest rainwater from El Niño.

5. Time the sale.

Springtime and early summer are traditionally good times to put your house on the market for a quick sale. And this becomes even more important in 2016 since it’s an election year.

“Election years mean uncertainty to a housing market,” says Mike Minihan, a real estate agent in Atlanta. “If you are concerned that the election could potentially throw a wrench in the market, [spring and early summer] will be early enough in the year to get the house sold before wild speculation starts breeding fear in homebuyers.”

6. Target millennials.

It’s a safe bet that when you sell your home in 2016, your target market will be millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 34.

“Baby boomers will start to cash out of their houses, which will put more houses on the market,” says Sam Heskel, CEO of Nadlan Valuation, a New York City appraisal company. An increased inventory of homes combined with an improving job market “will enable more millennials to become homebuyers.”

Millennials tend to like backyard decks, gourmet kitchens, open floor plans, balconies with views, and vegetable gardens. If your home has any of those amenities, feature them in your marketing.


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3 Strategies for a Quick Home Sale

May 19, 2015 by

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By Brendon DeSimone

Most sellers have a specific goal when it comes to their transaction: a quick sale and top dollar. But sometimes fast action doesn’t align with achieving the highest and best value.

There are multiple schools of thought on this subject and the perspective varies not only with where you are in the country, but also by price point, neighborhood and even down to the block. When it comes to pricing and the search for a quick sale, it’s always best to get help from a local agent.

Here are some strategies you can use to get offers fast.

1. The Theory of Under-Pricing

Under-pricing means that you go to market with a list price that is just below what the comparable sales in your area support.

You can’t pinpoint the exact market value of a home until it sells. But before you list, there’s always a range. If you price your house at or below the bottom of the value range, you are under-pricing the home.

In many West Coast markets this strategy will work effectively. Take this San Francisco home, for example: priced at $ 1.1 million, it received 10 offers and sold for $ 1.425 million in less than a week.

Risk alert: If you price your home low, this plan could backfire — big time. If you don’t know your market and this strategy doesn’t work, you’d better be ready to accept that list price.

2. Staging and Market Presentation

Well-priced homes that also show well sell quickly. If you want a quick sale, you need to invest some serious time in getting the house ready.

Prepping the home means taking out large pieces of furniture and personal items, painting, replacing carpets, finishing floors and even doing some minor renovations.

Enlist the help of a home stager and take their advice, and you can be assured a quicker sale. The investment of time and money will pay itself back.

Risk alert: If you go overboard on staging or you don’t spend the time and money in the right places, it could be a waste. Don’t make staging decisions in a vacuum. Focus on kitchens and bathrooms, de-cluttering and cleaning. When in doubt, ask for help.

3. Disclose and Inspect Upfront

In most of the country, sellers complete real estate transfer disclosures and present them to the buyer, and the buyer simultaneously inspects the home — all once they are in escrow.

What often happens is that buyers discover things they don’t like, or uncover issues. When this happens, they may lose confidence in the home or the deal.

By presenting disclosures upfront, and even providing buyers with a copy of a recent inspection report, you can help them get more comfortable with the home. If you price the home to account for whatever work needs to be completed or for disclosure red flags, buyers will feel more confident, and may make an offer much more quickly.

Risk alert: There is little risk in disclosing and inspecting. If you try to hide something and the buyer discovers it later, you can expect the deal to fall apart — or maybe even face a lawsuit down the road.

Selling your home is a major undertaking. Spend time strategizing and preparing the home for the market. Pricing, staging, presentation and disclosure go hand in hand. If you want a quick sale, price it right, present it in its best possible light, and go out of your way to make buyers feel comfortable with all aspects of the home.


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