Realtor Life

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way
In many areas the market is tight – low inventory, multiple offers, and rising interest rates
put the pressure on buyers, sellers, and agents. When the pressure is on it’s important to remember to remain calm and kind. No matter what the market conditions are bad behavior has no place in a real estate transaction.
 


As I reflect on the first quarter of 2018 and analyze its challenges a lack of kindness and respect stands out most. Everyone deserves both kindness and respect. Egos, attitudes, and demands do nothing but, raise tensions. They do not accomplish anything positive. Buying or selling a home is a marathon, not a sprint and it takes patience from all parties involved. I understand buyers and sellers getting stressed and acting emotionally but, I do not understand real estate agents that take that path. An agents emotions should never enter a real estate contract – NEVER.
 

There’s been a consistent flow of agents threatening, cursing, and making demands that aren’t reasonable. An example being submitting an offer on a listing and demanding my sellers respond within hours and accept the offer because they don’t want their buyer in a bidding war. On the opposite side when assisting buyers the listing agent who doesn’t return calls, texts, or emails can be a challenge as well. The current seller’s market won’t last forever but, the impression agents leave will. It’s a very small world and if there’s one thing we all remember it’s how people treat us. I often wonder if buyers and sellers know how their agent acts. Our clients deserve our absolute best at all times and that includes interaction with other agents.
 


 

Agent relationships are an important part of this business. That applies no matter what the market conditions are but, I think it makes an even bigger impact when the market is tight. A healthy and productive relationship with other agents only helps our clients. No one wants to work with a bully agent. While we represent different parties in the transaction we share the goal of getting both sides to closing with terms and conditions that are a win-win for the buyer and the seller.
 


 

As agents we can’t let stress get to us. No matter how much stress we’re feeling we should always treat others how we would like to be treated. A little kindness goes a long way.

 

Part Time Real Estate Agents, Do Not Give Part Time Service

Part Time Real Estate Agents – Do Not Give Part Time Service

Being a real estate agent comes with many challenges and if you’re part time if comes with even more challenges. I have no problem with an agent being part time but, what I do have a problem with is giving part-time service. Clients deserve full-time service – no exceptions. If you’re going to be in real estate part time you need to have the flexibility to be able to deliver full-time service and with that comes full-time availability.
 


I recently worked with a part-time agent on a transaction and it was disturbing to me how many times I heard something couldn’t be done for a couple days because of this agent’s full-time job or how often I was asked to do something because of her obligations at her day job. Everything revolved around what her schedule was for her full-time job. It made me wonder if her clients knew that her day job clearly came first. I got my answer the day they called and asked me how to order condo documents because she wasn’t available to guide them through it.
 


If I were buying or selling a home I’d want full-time representation, full-time commitment, and full-time expertise. Your clients deserve that and so does the agent you work with on a transaction. No client should have to contact the agent representing the other party in a transaction for guidance nor should the other agent you're working with have to complete tasks that are your responsibility because your day job prohibits you from doing them.

 

 

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam - Now What? Part I

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam … Now What? Part I

This might be a question you asked yourself when you first got into real estate and it’s definitely one new or soon to be new agents as me a lot. Real estate is unique in that studying for your real estate exam and then passing it teaches you nothing about actually running your real estate business. It teaches you enough to stay out of trouble and obey the laws but, beyond that you’re going to walk out feeling great that you passed your exam and feeling uncertain about what’s next.
 


If you haven’t already you’ll want to start interviewing brokers. Many of us, myself included just signed on with the first broker that we talked too and that’s a mistake. Meet with different brokers – by different I mean big, medium, and small officers along with companies that have different business models. A broker is an agent who has years of experience and has taken additional courses and tests to verify that experience. There’s a laundry list of different commission models available but, as a new agent don’t focus on the commission. It won’t matter if you never learn how to get a client. Focus on a broker and an office that can mentor you and teach you how to not only obtain clients but, how to properly service them and build your business. Ask questions about the office culture, mentoring, education, fees, and availability for support.
 


Brand name real estate brokerages may or may not be the route to go. There’s no right or wrong answer to this as each office varies. That’s why it’s important to meet with the broker and see if you connect with them. I’ve been with multiple big-name brokerages and never found it meant anything to my clients, they followed me wherever I went. What matters is how you treat your clients, treat them right and your name will spread. New agents need to focus on joining an office where there's access to the broker or a mentor when questions arise. As a new agent, you’re going to have a ton of questions, you’re swimming in the sea of unknowns and having someone you can always rely on to train and mentor you is priceless.
 


Another first step is to create a budget. You’re running your own business now and that requires a budget and a business plan. Your commission split is just one piece of the financial puzzle. You’ll have expenses to join your local association, MLS, E+O insurance, and lockbox access. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I recommend a new agent have at least 6 months of reserves. Real estate isn’t a job you get paid to show up for. In most cases, you won’t earn a paycheck until you close your first deal and in the meantime, you’ll be spending money on building your business in addition to your personal expenses. Having financial software such as Quickbooks is beneficial to create a budget and track expenses but, you can also create a spreadsheet to save on costs.
 


Stay tuned for part II of You Just Passed Your Real Estate Exam…Now What? We’ll be diving into what you need to do to start attracting clients.

 

 

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam ? Now What? Part II

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam – Now What? Part II

Last week we went over what first steps you should pursue after passing your real estate exam. For Part II of the series let’s assume you’ve selected a broker that has the values and culture you’re looking for, have a mentor, and that you’ve fine-tuned your budget. What’s next?
 


Real estate is not as easy as it looks. Making it through the exam to get your license is the easiest part. The next questions to ask yourself are how are you going to get clients and what type of client do you want to attract? It’s important to note that this is a two-part question. Take time to sit down and really think about who you are and what you want your brand to be. Do not be a jack of all trades and master of none. You can’t be everything to everyone and that means deciding on what type of client you want to market too. Maybe it’s military clients, relocation, or first-time buyers. Maybe you have a specific neighborhood you want to focus on. There are a lot of directions this can go in and that’s why it’s important to first look at yourself to then determine your branding.
 


Once you’ve determined your brand and who it targets you’ll need to create marketing material. Business cards being the first piece. Yes, they’re basic in terms of marketing avenues but, as a new agent, you’re going to want to hand one out to everyone you meet and be reaching out to your sphere to share that you’re now in real estate. Whatever you do, do not be a secret agent. Review your budget to determine how much you can spend on marketing material and then let that amount guide you on what pieces to create. Maybe you don’t have a lot of money to start out, you can easily create a market snapshot of a neighborhood you want to focus on and take that with you to go door knock. Maybe door knocking isn’t your thing. You could plan a mixer for your sphere, have it in your home to keep costs down and serve appetizers and refreshments. Again, the marketing goes back to knowing who you are, what your strengths are, and what clients you want to attract.
 


While you’re working on developing your marketing you’ll also need to be studying the market. Know what the latest trends are, what inventory levels look like, and learn the different neighborhoods in the area you want to serve. Studying the market is something you need to do for your entire real estate career. Become a walking talking local real estate encyclopedia. This prepares you to be able to share the market trends with anyone you come in contact with. You’re going to get the “how’s the market” question a lot. Be prepared to standout by knowing the figures and trends off the top of your head.
 


Last but, certainly not least remember that you are running your own business. Flexibility is touted over and over again but, the reality is it’s not as flexible as you might have been told. You will not be successful if you don’t commit to running your business. No one is going to tell you what to do every day or even tell you to show up. You get out what you put in and if you aren’t giving it your all day in and day out you’re going to struggle. Real estate is non-stop and it requires giving everything you have to become successful. You might not have the experience yet but, you can always be the hardest working person in the room!