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Communication Skills and Commissions

Sep 10, 2019 by

I believe part of the reason for so many disruptors in our markets is that we aren’t doing enough to promote the value that our services provide. To quote Judy LaDeur, real estate recruiting expert: “In the absence of value, money becomes the substitute.” In other words, if we can’t communicate value, then consumers will simply base their decisions on price.

I applaud the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for this year’s “That’s Who We R” campaign. In their explanation about the campaign, they say, “In this digital age, hyper-connected consumers often think they can do anything and everything with a click of the button, including buying a home. The current real estate landscape gives consumers false hope that the process is as simple as seeing your dream house online, selecting it and moving in. This is an idealized fantasy perpetuated by house hunting shows, easy apps and a DIY mentality.”

They’re right. This misperception is costing agents not only commissions, but also credibility. So, what can we do to change that?

  1. Make skill-building a priority. If you’re a leader of an organization, bring on the training. For the last few years, most organizations have made technology their training focus. I get it. The world and technology change at intense speeds, and they must keep up. However, just like many of us worry about the social and communication skills of teens buried in their phones, upgrading these skills for agents in the age of disruption is no longer a back-burner concern. Want to increase an agent’s success rate and reputation—and yours? Move communication training to the top of your to-do list in the next six months.
  1. Service over sales. I know the CFOs will cringe at that, but when we help agents make the shift from a sales mindset, where they’re constantly put into prospecting win/lose scenarios, to a service mindset, which allows them to build long- and short-term relationships and communicate value while making the prospecting process easier and more effective, everyone wins.
  1. Communication with connectivity. When I teach communication skills to audiences, I share the importance of using stories, metaphors and analogies when they’re phone-to-phone or face-to-face with sellers and buyers. Why? Because no one has to memorize a script or sound like a canned recording. That’s important because the more agents sound rehearsed and focused on a script, the less present they are with people, which decreases their perceived value. Using tools like metaphors and analogies increases relatability and shared experiences, keeping agents focused on the person in front of them. That increases both results and our value as service professionals.

Real estate agents can and do make a difference in the lives and best interests of consumers. As leaders in this industry, it’s our job to help them communicate that difference on the next level, for their sakes, and the sake of their customers.

Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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Social Skills: Is Rila Real Estate’s Version of Instagram?

Aug 30, 2019 by

It’s being promoted as the Instagram of real estate. But will it prove as successful?

A recently announced mobile app, Rila, is the latest in technology that is looking to shift the way agents market listings and consumers shop for homes. While the app is primarily used for lead-generating, making it more valuable for real estate agents, it is also targeted toward buyers, sellers, renters and property managers who are looking to either sell, rent or buy homes.

According to the company, the app can help agents promote their listings, generate leads and connect with buyers, sellers and renters.

Signing Up
The app went live in June and is currently free. When signing up, users can tailor their feed according to the types of listings they want to see. They can either choose “For Sale,” which is recommended for agents, buyers and sellers, or they can choose “For Rent,” which is meant for property reps and renters.

In the initial setup, users must state whether they are a real estate professional or a consumer. In order to verify their status, agents must submit information such as their real estate license number, state, brokerage name and website, work email and phone number.

Users can then choose to see content from specific markets by zoning in on locations within the app menu.

Interface
The app is, in fact, very similar to Instagram in that it is image-heavy, featuring a feed with single photos stacked on top of each other with a brief description directly beneath each one. Once users click on a photo, they have the ability to swipe sideways (similar to the Instagram Stories interface) to see more pictures and view a brief description of the property, which can include information such as square footage, property location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and more.

Users can then select the “See Details” button, which leads to a page that includes thumbnails of all included property photos and a map showing the location of the property. From here, users can share content, either on social or through their phone contacts and email.

Here’s where the value-add for agents comes through. Within this page, users will see an “Ask Me About This Listing” button. It gives them options for contacting the listing agent via phone call, text message or email.

Worth It?
Even though it’s free, is the effort worth it? Because the app is so new and hasn’t built enough of a consumer base, the marketing is essentially ineffective for the time being. With only 18 reviewers listed on the Apple App Store, and the platform not yet available to Android users, Rila is offering a very small market in a field where maximum exposure is key.

However, with time, the app could gain traction. Rila is taking steps toward increasing its agent base to start. Last month and through the beginning of August, agents could enter a giveaway which was targeted toward newly licensed salespersons. Agents who entered had a chance to win $ 10,000 and 12 free hours of mentorship from Rila Founder Ben Bacal, who is reportedly a top agent in Los Angeles and has earned over $ 2 billion in sales. In order to improve their chances of winning, agents could share a referral link with their network, which would also help the app in its efforts to widen its reach.

Additionally, while listings don’t have to be on the MLS to be posted, it drastically reduces exposure if they’re not. Consumers can also post their own listings, although they will not be shown as listed by a verified licensed salesperson, giving more credence to agents.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Liz your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com

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Social Skills: Marketing Through the Noise

Apr 9, 2019 by

A cocktail of fact, fiction and “noise” is plaguing social media, and brands and businesses are finding new and refined ways to resonate in response. In 2019, authenticity and influence will be the most potent strategies—and for real estate professionals, both are essential.

Authenticity
Brands and businesses are doing more now online than just peddling product; they’re recognizing that relatability is vital. Authenticity is key—and no more so in real estate, where genuineness leads to rapport and relationships.

Even though you aren’t face-to-face with your friends and followers, you can dialogue and engage as if you were with social media. Authentic content encourages that interaction naturally. A few ideas:

  • Advertise your knowledge of the local market. You’re an expert in buying and/or listing, but you’re also the expert on your town. You know the restaurants. You know the schools. You know the shops. Be the guide for your friends and followers on social media—you’ll begin building connections, and they’ll gain insider insights.
  • Display or link to your core values in your profiles. Add authenticity by communicating your core values to your friends and followers on social media. These are not only indicative of you, but also of the experience they can expect when working with you.
  • Showcase powerful—and real—stories. Are you assisting with a cleanup in your community? Captain of a fundraiser? Helping a military seller? Share those stories. You could benefit the cause, and relate to your sphere of influence.

Influence
Brands and businesses are also capitalizing on influencers (“influencer marketing”) who have pull (think celebrity endorsements on Instagram); however, anyone can be an influencer on social media. It has built-in reach.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), most REALTOR® business comes from clients (referrals or repeat). Ask your clients to influence for you with a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile or a review on your Facebook page. These not only give your friends and followers insight, but also inform their followers about you and your real estate services—a win-win.

Additionally, you can be the influencer. (Your brand is your business!) Consider the advantages you offer as a professional. Is it your knack for negotiating? Your pricing prowess? Differentiate yourself online with those same talents—become a fount of knowledge with regular posts and/or tweetsdevelop a YouTube series, or do a Q&A on Facebook Live. Your friends and followers will come to expect whatever you run with—and, in the future, remember you for your real estate savvy.

How will you be authentic and influential on social media this year?

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5 Ways to Expand Your Skills in 2019

Jan 5, 2019 by

It’s a new year, and now is an ideal time to invest in yourself. Take time to explore educational opportunities and expand your existing knowledge in a specialized area of real estate.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its affiliated organizations offer numerous programs and courses to gain skills to help yourself and your business thrive this year. Here’s a sampling for your consideration as we kick off 2019:

Military Relocations
When military staff and their families relocate, a real estate professional who understands their needs and timetables can make the transfer simpler, faster and less stressful. By earning the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification, you’ll gain an understanding of the processes and procedures of a military relocation, and how these policies impact housing choices.

The training also explores military benefits, such as VA financing, so you can help both current and former military service members take full advantage of the benefits they’ve earned. As an added benefit, you also have the opportunity to capture more business with expertise in this niche market.

Learn more at nar.realtor/education/designations-and-certifications/mrp.

Serving Seniors
Baby boomers represent the largest and wealthiest group of homebuyers and sellers in the U.S. today. Because they often face unique real estate needs, they tend to gravitate toward agents who offer specialized knowledge and solutions beyond the “typical” real estate professional.

The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation helps you build vital skills and understand what motivates this growing market. Over two days of training, learn how to counsel clients through selling their family home, buying rental property and moving to a senior community, plus many other related issues such as the implications of tax laws, probate and estate planning.

Learn more at nar.realtor/designations-and-certifications/sres.

Green and Sustainable Real Estate
Resource-efficient homes offer unique features that should be marketed differently than traditional homes. However, specialized training is required to understand and leverage those features.

NAR’s Green Designation teaches real estate professionals how to build business and gain a competitive edge by helping clients make informed choices about the resource efficiency and performance of the homes they live in, sell and buy.

It’s a two-day training program, with one day devoted to resource-efficient homes (retrofits, remodels, renovations and new-home construction) and another day for understanding how to represent buyers and sellers in the purchase or sale of a resource-efficient home.

Learn more at nar.realtor/education/designations-and-certifications/green.

Global Real Estate
Foreign buyers spent over $ 200 billion in U.S. real estate last year, proving that global real estate is more than a niche—it’s a mindset that paves the way to both residential and commercial opportunities in every market.

Whether you’re getting started in global business or looking to expand your network, there are several excellent ways to “go global.” Start by joining a Global Business Council at your state or local association.

For comprehensive instruction on the many important nuances of global real estate and access to powerful business-building resources, earn the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation, a five-day course.

Learn more at nar.realtor/global.

Commercial Real Estate
Buying, selling and leasing commercial real estate is extremely complex and differs from residential real estate. As a result, if you’d like to expand your business into commercial properties, you’ll need to invest considerable time and effort toward professional development. The best place to start is by exploring the coursework, online classes and conferences offered by the five commercial Institutes, Societies and Councils affiliated with NAR: the CCIM Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the REALTORS® Land Institute, the Counselors of Real Estate and the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®.

To explore options for gaining the knowledge and skills required to help investors and business owners with their commercial real estate needs, visit nar.realtor/commercial/courses-designations-and-events.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Article: 4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Skills

Nov 16, 2013 by

interviewAs an agent, your main focus is customer service. Whether you work for a brokerage or own your own real estate business, your reputation and interpersonal skills are the things that help you acquire and retain clients that keep your business alive. Social media tools play a major role in building your real estate brand and generating new customers, but you also want to adopt some best practices for all your interactions with prospects and clients.

What kind of mindset should you adopt as a business owner when interacting with prospects and clients? The main goal is fairly simple: to understand what home buyers and sellers are looking for in an agent and using your customer service skills to try and meet those expectations. Here are a few things we’ve noticed that resonate with real estate clients:

1. Understanding

Clients appreciate when a Realtor® understands their home buying or selling situation, especially if the sale is due to some stressful or sensitive matter.

2. Knowledge

Tagged: Service

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