Haters Gonna Hate No More: Changing the Perception of "Realtor"

“I am a Realtor.”

Y’all, you should be proud of these words. Proud to claim your profession. Especially if you’ve put in the long hours and diligent work to be the best Realtor you can be! Of course, your identity is far greater than your profession alone (we hope!). But to outsiders, your profession is one of the first (and few) identifiers off of which to judge. For that...I am sorry.

Wait, what! Why?

Realtors don’t usually have the best “rep.” In fact, a survey on the Perceptions of Real Estate Agents by CoreLogic in Australia claims that only 9% of people rank real estate agents as “high” or “very high” in ethics and honesty. You may be thinking, “Well, yeah, there are some slimy agents out there, but I’m not one of them.” We know. At Village Realty, we want to change this perception. But how can we expect to change the mindset of a multitude without understanding the claims in which their mindset is rooted?

Exactly. I present to you, “6 Things People Hate About Realtors.” My hope is that through reading each critique, you wouldn’t be discouraged, but rather, fueled to prove the haters wrong. Here’s a list of Accusations accompanied by plans of friendly Attack (to get you started). Don’t let a few bad apples tear down what YOU’ve built. Realtors can be exceptional, service-oriented people and professionals. Reclaim your profession with pride. 

 

6 Things People Hate About Realtors

#1

Accusation: Being a Realtor is a backup career plan.

“Many are misfits. People who don't fit into any other kind of profession. People who buck tradition and are rebels. People who mistrust authority.”

Attack: Communicate Motivation & Qualification

Communicate why you became a real estate agent, why you still are a real estate agent, and why you are qualified to be their real estate agent. Honest and clear communication is key. Don’t be defensive, but do be conspicuous. Although it is easy to “toot your own horn” when discussing this topic, be humble without being too modest. Your attitude and posture when communicating your motivation and qualifications are essential. Don’t over-exaggerate or lie, but also, don’t cut yourself short.

#2

Accusation: Realtors are often unprofessional.

“A fair assessment is about 75% of the agents, or 3 out of every 4 agents, don't have enough experience and will probably never gain enough experience to develop themselves into the professionals they should become.”

Attack: Conduct Yourself Professionally, Always. Focus on Growth.

If this is your side gig 1) it probably shouldn’t be and 2) don’t act like it is. Clients want to know that you are 100% invested in your career because your investment will translate into how well and how hard you will work to sell and/or find them a home. Despite your experience level, take advantage of opportunities for professional growth. Not only will you better yourself, but you’ll be better equipped to serve your clients. You’ll feel more professional, act more professional, and eventually, become a professional. All experiences matter, communicate how past experiences (large or little) mattered to you.

#3

Accusation: Realtors never have enough experience.

“Real estate is a business in which the newly minted real estate agent is placed on the same level as an agent with 20 years or more of experience. Granted, there are some agents for whom each year is the same, so their experience level adds up to one year times 20, for example...There is value in experience.”

Attack: Adopt a Learning Mindset

Communicate how you’ve made the most of your time as a real estate agent, highlighting certain experiences that have been tremendous to your professional growth. Also, younger agents, don’t be afraid to use “youth” to your advantage. Explain how your recent entry into the field is advantageous. Finally, keep in mind that every experience can be a learning, or career development, opportunity. Use the past to inform the present, but don’t be limited by “what was.” Challenges, failures, and best of all, successes keep life interesting. Embrace them. Learn from them. Use them to your professional advantage.

#4

Accusation: Being a Realtor is easy.

“To sell a home, some people think it means just stick a sign in the yard and post photographs online. Those two actions might bring a buyer but they don't necessarily sell a home. A lot can happen between signing the contract and closing.”

Attack: Explain What You Can Do For Them

Always make sure to outline and explain EVERYTHING you will do for your clients as their agent, and then, actually do it. Well. If you choose to go above and beyond, first ask clients what you can do to best SERVE them, specifically. Whether they bring up a task within your area of expertise that you overlooked (or forgot to mention), or reiterate a task you already mentioned, you’ll know what it takes to delight that particular client. No client is the same. Do for your clients what they couldn’t do themselves.

#5

Accusation: Realtors get paid too much for what they do.

“...it's the money that can originate from one transaction that sometimes sends outsiders into a tailspin. They think it's too much.”

Attack: Explain Commission & Value

Most people don’t know how commissions are split. Explain to sellers how the 6% (generally) is going to be split. People like to know where or to whom their money is going. I also encourage you to make a list entitled “Why 6%?” Have this list outline--in detail--how you provide value of 6% or greater to clients’ home buying or selling experience. 

#6

Accusation: Realtors don’t care about their clients, they just want their money.

Attack: Make Service Your #1 Priority

Show clients you care about them by connecting with them on a personal level.  Be prepared to offer advice often and perform kind and personalized gestures to relieve the stress of home buying and selling. Be empathetic, striving to ease the process to the best of your ability. After the real estate transaction is complete, don’t lose contact with clients. Stay in touch to maintain a positive reputation and an amiable relationship.

SURVEY

I encourage you to read this survey. It provides extensive insights on how to better serve your clients based on real-life feedback.

Takeaways:

Professionalism

Reliable, Honest, and Transparent Communication

Market Knowledge

Negotiation Skills

Client Loyalty

Friendly, Personable, and Thoughtful

Stay In Touch

Now say it again with gusto and a smile. “I AM a Realtor!”

Good. Much better.

Real Estate Closing Gift Ideas

Agents, the hard part is over. You have just finished selling your client their dream home and you officially crushed it as an agent. You have bonded with your clients over the past few months and you want to not only show them how much you’ve enjoyed being their agent, but also leave a lasting impression so they will refer you to their friends and family. Time to seal the deal. Give your client a closing gift! These are super simple and inexpensive, but will go miles with your client. You should think of these as more of housewarming gifts not “here is a frame with my face and advertising information on it”. If you make the gift more about you it will come off not genuine. They will think of you enough with any gesture you do! Here is a loaded list of ideas of closing gift ideas (get creative, put your own spin on them if you can):

Handwritten Card

Wine and Wine Glasses

Gift Cards to local restaurants, movies, etc.

One year subscriptions (a.k.a. the gift that keeps on giving for 12 months)

Champagne and champagne flutes

Return address stickers for new address

Coffee mugs with new home coordinates on it

Board games

Sporting event tickets

Flowers in a vase that they can keep

Monogrammed pool towels

Personalized bath robes

Framed picture of sketch of home

Historic decorative map of town

Fruit basket from local market

Personalized home gifts

Personalized coasters

Sweet treats

Welcome doormat

Personalized home decor sign with coordinates

Grill Kit

Pet treats and toys

Holiday themed gifts

Personalized decorative pillow

In the spirit of welcome home gifts, we would love to welcome you to find out more about who we are as a brokerage. Check us out! Village Realty

9 Content Ideas For Your Instagram

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Instagram is one of the top social media tools that can help build your brand, gain a large audience, and help you stay social with clients. In fact, Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users and 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. Sounds like the perfect place to post a listing, right? Here are 9 ways to implement this social network into your real estate business:

The Basic Listing Post
With the new update Instagram recently launched you can now share multiple photos. This is a quick way to show all that the listing has to offer. Be sure to post the link to the house listing either in your bio or in the caption itself. “For more information on this beautiful Buckhead home or to book a tour, click the link in my bio!”

Transformation Tuesday
Post a before and after picture of a recently renovated house, kitchen, living room, master bath, etc. Posting transformation photos will encourage your followers to improve their home or decide it is time to move.  

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Food Posts
Insta-worthy food posts that highlight your neighborhood or cities dining experience are a must. Posting food that will make your followers drool over is an effective way to show your followers why your city is so great!

Seasonal or Local Posts
This is another great way to show off your city. Post pictures of yourself at a Braves game, Hawks game, farmers market, etc. Show your followers all that the city has to offer!

Funny Real Estate Quotes or Gifs
Everyone loves a good laugh and a great way to do this is to make fun of yourself. A good idea for this is to post some of the weird things you go through daily as a real estate agent.

City Skyline
Capture the lifestyle of the city that you’re privileged to be apart of. Show off cute areas, neighborhoods or the city itself.

Tips and Tricks That Lead To Your Blog
Your followers are potential clients. By sharing tips and tricks it will show them that you are here to help. Post visual content of the title of your blog and post a link that will lead them to your blog. It’s a win-win! You get more traction to your blog and help your followers. For example, post an Instagram of vocab cheat sheet for first time home buyers, how to improve your home for summer, plants to grow in the summer, etc.

Client Photo
Ask your clients if you can post a picture of them in front of their new home. Show how happy your clients are when they find “the one” or when they’re leaving the closing table.

Short Video Tours of Properties
Society’s attention span is on the decline, so they probably aren’t interested in watching a five-minute video, slideshow or panoramic tour. Instagram allows you to share up to 60 seconds of video at a time, which is plenty of time for your audience to watch a video highlighting the home.

Instagram is more than just an app to post pictures of yourself with friends. It is a way to better market and brand yourself as a real estate agent. Be frequent and consistent in your posts and always remember to post things that will help your clients. For more ways to elevate your real estate business or find your next home check out Village Realty.

7 Habits Top Realtors Do Daily

Real estate agents don’t become top agents just by going through the motions. They prioritize and work hard daily to create fresh content, generate leads, please their clients, and stay up to date on real estate trends. By implementing these seven habits you are sure to make the most out of your day and week. You will be more efficient and your business will thank you.

Time Management

Real estate agents are essentially small business owners. You must maintain your business, find new clients, and be up to date on market trends. The only way you can do all that successfully, while setting and achieving goals is smart time management.

Plan your day before it starts

Every great real estate agent plans their day so they can achieve maximum productivity. Every Sunday night write in your calendar all the tasks and meetings you have for the week and specifically write an hour-by-hour schedule for your Monday. By doing this you are guaranteed to make the most out of your day. Being organized will allow you to prioritize and accomplish everything you need to get done.

Write for your blog DAILY

This does not mean you have to post a blog daily, but work on it every day. Brainstorm new content and try to put out a blog weekly.

Check all social media

Social media as an agent should be just as essential to you as your email. If you don’t check it daily you are missing out on leads and potential clients. Social media is the number one way to network in your community.

Put clients needs first

Putting the client's needs before your own is vital. By having open communication with clients they will develop a sense of trust with you which will turn into referrals. When you meet with the client for the first time explain the process and a few scenarios that could occur. Let the client know that you are negotiating for them and reply to them quickly.

Practice and study

Every day set aside time to read articles on real estate. Keep up with what is going on with real estate around the country and in your city. You should be up to date on the latest technologies and trends.

Learn more about the neighborhoods

Successful agents are always learning more about their area. They know all the crucial housing and demographic data as well as events going on. Top agents are also involved in the community because they know it’s a valuable method for networking.

By implementing these 7 habits you are sure to step your real estate game up to the next level. Check out Village Realty for more tips and tricks.

10 Things Every Great Real Estate Agent Has

You are a super star agent, I can already tell if you are reading this blog. Now let’s put it to the test! Do you have all of these things that every great agent should have?

Goals
Write down 5 things you want to accomplish in the next year, and 3 things you want to improve on as an agent. Goals are important to make sure you're always working toward something.

Database
The most important thing you need to have is a database. Once you start there, use this to streamline information to your contacts,and connect with them. Make sure you are always updating your database with potential leads.

Organization Plan
 An organization plan will help you compartmentalize all of the different tasks you are juggling. It would also benefit you to have a financial and marketing plan. You have a lot going on, do yourself a favor and organize, organize, organize.

Communication with Clients
Communication is one of the most powerful tools. This is a big moment for your client, they want to know you are there for them. Walk them through the process, they will appreciate you taking the time to be there.

Online Presence
92% of home buyers start their search online. I guarantee your client is looking at you online, and you need to make sure you have a strong online  presence. This means social media as well!

Listing Presentation
This is your chance to show your potential client why you should be their agent. Make sure you are doing your research and personalizing your report. This is your first in-person experiance with your clients.

An Accurate CMA
Real estate is not cheap. Having an accurate CMA assures your client and buyer that your price is the right price. Make sure they know that they are getting the most bang for their buck.

Buyers Packet
A good buyers packet answers a lot of questions for your client. It also illustrates who you are going to navigate them through this process. Make sure your buyers packet is geared toward your client and what you are going to do for them.

Knowledge of Neighborhood
Your client wants to know what it’s like to be a local in this area. It will help you sell your home if you can illustrate what events that go on in the area, best restaurants, and school reviews.

Your Own Flare
At the end of the day, your client chose you for a reason. You have what they were looking for in an agent. What made you different from other agents? Whatever it is, incorporate it into your client’s experience. Be yourself and put your own spin on the process. You are awesome, show them that!

 

Tech Tool of the Week: OmniFocus

If you are like me, you fight the threshold of just how much you can remember to do before caving and getting a day planner. If you already are one of those people who write every thing down on to do lists, all of us schedule jugglers tip our hats off to you. Whichever kind of planner you are, this daily task management app will keep you on track in this crazy hectic world we live in.

As an agent you are always on the go and are juggling multiple responsibilities. You may have many clients at once, with lots of different tasks you need to do for each. There are a lot of digital planners out there, so how does this one help you as a real estate agent? For starters, it lets you break your big projects into smaller, more manageable steps. It also gives you the ability to organize all of your tasks by different contexts, such as closing dates instead of calendar dates. Many say that this is the best productivity tool out there so lets take a look at what it offers.

Organization

OmniFocus puts an extra step into the organization process and goes beyond your 1-D to-do list. First, you can start out with simply creating tasks. Second, you have the option to subcategorize those tasks into smaller ones. For example, you have an open house, you are able to create that task and add all of the tasks you have to do to get the house ready into subcategories and add timelines to those. Next you are able to throw the tasks into larger groups. This can help you separate work tasks from personal tasks and other things you may need to get done.

Not ready to tackle projects just yet, but want to keep them in the back of your mind? You can create tasks and defer them until a later specific time. You can also create context to tasks and subtasks that remind you of the items you need to complete each task. For example, if a task is to send out database email for a listing you are promoting, you can make sure you have your database up to date first. There are plenty of other ways to organize all of your tasks in more in-depth ways, go take a look.

Features

One of the useful features that OmniFocus offers is the location awareness features. You can customize it so that if you have groceries on your to-do list it will alert you to pick them up when you pass a grocery store.  It also syncs with your phone or computer to show up on your notification center. So, even when you are not thinking about what you have to do, it will be there to remind you.

It is also connected with Siri, so you can tell her to add the task and she will do it for you automatically. What a gem! It also allows you to share tasks with others, spotlight projects, integrate with your calendar, and many more features.

Have you fallen in love with these time management features? If not no worries you can try it free for 14 days. If you do chose to buy it, it is $39.99. This is a good chunk of money, but isn’t it worth is if it can help you improve on the way you handle your daily and future tasks.

 

Now that you are the most organized agent in the game, do you want more tips on how to become the best agent in the game? Sign up to be on our e-mail list, we will keep you up to date on all of our posts!

 

 

The Listing Presentation

One of the most vital things an agent can do to succeed is master the listing presentation. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re building your listing presentation and it’s hard to know exactly what your prospective client is looking for. Luckily if you follow these Do’s and Don’ts you are sure to make your appointments turn into listings. But first, here’s why the listing presentation is so important:

1. You will make more money in less time

Top producing agents get 75% of their income from listings sold and 25% from buyers. Basically, you should be spending lots of time and effort to perfect your listing for your client.

2. With listings, you are in control of your career

He or she who holds the listings is in control of the marketplace. You will have less stress and more fun when you focus on building your listing inventory. When you go to the listings, even if you don’t get all the listings, you feel a sense of accomplishment because you know you’re a step closer to getting one.

 3. If you have listings you are immune to outside conditions

No matter what is going on in the economy around you, if you have a large inventory of listings, you are going to make a sale.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of the Listing Presentation

If you remember anything, let it be the Don’ts. If you DO any of these DON’TS your prospect will most likely go with your competitor, whether they were planning to interview other agents or not.  

 

DON’T:

Dress casually, leave your cell phone on, or show up late

Remember that this is basically a job interview. Keep your cell phone off, arrive 5-10 minutes early, and dress professionally.

Show up without comps

The number one question your potential client wants to know is, “How much can you sell my house for?” Do not show up without a price opinion, or a way to back up that opinion.  Another way to ensure that you won’t get the listing is to leave them with nothing. If you leave the sellers with nothing but your business card and lots of questions with nothing to reference back to you’re guaranteeing the listing goes to your competitor.

Say you have a buyer when you don’t

It is never good to start a relationship with a lie, plus there are better ways to show your client that you are capable of selling their house.  Instead, explain your value to your client by pointing out how many homes have sold in their neighborhood and show them your value.

 

DO:

CREATE THE BEST LISTING PRESENTATION, here’s how:

Show your value

Introduce yourself and explain how you will best serve them. Any prospect is going to need to see that you’re capable of doing what you say you can do.  And there’s no better way to prove that than to outline some success statistics from recent months/years.

Build Rapport

You want to connect with sellers at a deeper level. You do this by being present. Being present means that you are more focused on what the client is saying, not what you are going to say next.

Keep it simple

Show them your process and tell them how you will walk them through the presentation. Let them know they can ask you questions at any time, make sure they feel comfortable. Having a calm and direct style of communication shows maturity and professionalism. Your listing presentation template needs to include an outlined timeline of the home selling process. Stay on brand and include high quality photos.

Practice it

Get more eyes on your listing presentation. Be careful to share your listing presentation with other agents. Your listing presentation is what sets you apart from your competition and is the tool that you use to survive in this industry. With that being said, share your listing presentation with friends and family that have recently sold with an agent. Get honest feedback, and then practice it.

Now that you got the Listing Presentation down, get out there and kick some real estate butt! For more tips and tricks to step up your real estate game, check out Village Realty.

The Power & Profitability of Perspective: Buyers & Sellers

Hey, agents. I’m sure we’ve all been told to build a bridge and get over it. Kind of harsh, you think? So how about we—build a bridge and meet in the middle? It often seems there is a cavernous divide between buyers and sellers—and their respective agents—in real estate transactions. Both parties seem to forget the time(s) they played the opposing role. So, in order to be a GREAT real estate agent, it’s your responsibility to balance your client’s interests with those of the negotiating party. Become the bridge, because ultimately, meeting in the middle will help you prioritize your client. You’d be surprised how powerful and profitable a little empathy and psychological awareness can be!

Here are some important things to remember about each party in real estate.

·      Buyers can get caught up in the features of a house—open floor plan, expansive yard, square footage, etc. Features (like these) are great, and they should be highlighted by both the listing and buying agent, but how will these features add to or detract from the buyer’s overall happiness in that home? Listen to what buyers want, but also, realize what they need—don’t consider or market homes for your client based on a short (or long) list of features, alone. As the listing agent, describe homes’ location and/or community. These are important factors that buyers often overlook. And buyer’s agents, ensure these descriptions are realistic. Be prepared to back up or challenge seller’s claims.  

·      Buyers are making a big purchase. Probably the biggest purchase they’ve ever made. Yikes! And when expenses begin to pile up, it’s easy for buyers to compartmentalize their finances, because ahhh, they’re emptying their pocket book! Listing agents, don’t disguise features of a home that could become severe financial burdens for a buyer in the near future (roof replacement, electrical issues, pool maintenance, etc.). Buyer agents, help your clients look for expenses they may need to consider within the first year or two of purchasing a home (renovations, maintenance, furnishing, etc.).

·      People make investments for the return. So it’s only natural that current homeowners (sellers) are committed to making a profit from the sale of their home (loss aversion), and buyers are interested in purchasing a home for its long-run, payoff potential. These simple tendencies, however, can hinder sellers from selling their home and buyers from getting what they really want in a home. Listing agents, you are hired to sell homes…in a timely manner…at the best possible price. Consider both the financial needs and hopes of your client (seller), but remember, it’s your job to provide a realistic listing price. Always be prepared to back up this price suggestion—it better be well researched. Buyer’s agents, remind your clients that money isn’t happiness. Try showing them properties that meet their needs, wants, AND equity aspirations. All three factors are important in helping clients make the best and most-informed decision. Aside from the fact that ROI is uncertain, equity is also realized after the fact. It is important that clients are happy with a purchase for reasons other than a potentially hefty ROI. 

·      A house is a house. But to most sellers, the house they bought years ago is no longer “just a house.” It’s a home. Listing AND buyer’s agents. Be sensitive to this. A seller’s emotional history with their home is powerful in influencing every decision they make and every reaction to decisions you make. In fact, it may cause sellers to act in ways you consider irrational. Don’t belittle what your clients are feeling, or express frustration when they’re seemingly uncooperative. Do feel free to tell clients to check their emotions, but don’t be surprised, if they can’t or don’t.

·      Comparison. Comparison. Comparison. I mean, in real estate (on the listing side), we’ve got a word for it. “Comps.” Comparison in the buying realm, however, is also extremely common. In fact, it’s natural…House 1 has a two-car garage but House 2 has a three-car garage. Comparison is a green-eyed monster because buyers may not care that much about the features they are comparing. So, buyer’s agents, remember to begin all real estate searches by asking your client what is most valuable to them. This will help you keep your client’s perspective in line. Listing agents, your listing may be chock-full of features that would make many buyers swoon, but your most interested buyer is hung up on a comparison with another property. Don’t stop marketing these features of your listing just because one house has it better. Flaunt what you’ve got, and remind your sellers their house is still valuable!

Stay tuned for more psychological intuition.

But for now...peace & blessings, agents!

Love This Hood: How To Make A House A Home

You’ve probably heard it before that “home is where the heart is.” So agents, what if I told you there was a way to connect buyers and sellers at the “heart,” transforming houses into homes for potential buyers? It’s simple. Have your sellers create a list of the top ten reasons they love their neighborhood (using one of these templates), and watch buyers fall in love with properties on a whole new level. Although open floor plans and gleaming kitchens are impressive, these features are becoming more and more commonplace. Nowadays, it’s the activities and community around a property that bring it to life! So, make emotion a part of your selling equation today. Get printin’, and get your sellers thinkin’!

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