Ways to Market Yourself As a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on passing the state licensing exam and getting placed with an agency! Now it’s time to find your clients – and to have them find you. Some agencies will provide assistance for marketing, but they might not give you all the tips you need. Read on to learn more about tips to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Your new agency may give you some leads to get started with. But those are not going to expand your business very well. You can also start with marketing to your so-called warm market – your friends and family. It’s the least expensive type of marketing, and you know that your audience will be receptive, or at least polite and hear your message. They can also give people they know a referral to you, and that kind of marketing is both free and invaluable. Your warm market paired with your agency’s leads will be a solid place to start.

Adding on to that, there are traditional types of marketing like newspaper ads and local city magazines. But in today’s digital age, these marketing formats don’t yield very strong results. Here is where you can let your creative talents shine. Think of ways to make digital videos that not only make your clients’ home look dazzling, but get you noticed.

Viral videos can take off and get people watching them for reasons other than their original purpose. Even if 90% of people viewing your clip are doing so for reasons other than buying a home, your name is getting out in front of all of them. One clever agent in Northern California did a parody of “YMCA” and garnered so much business, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate agent in the country.

You should also have a robust website that invites people to click and contact you. Use those clicks to collect e-mails for your newsletter that you can also use when you get a new property to sell. Having good topics like ways to get stubborn grease off of your range hood or quick fixes for a leaky toilet will keep people coming back for what you have to say and build loyalty to you.

Keep up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. These are the two most popular social media sites. If you have the time, you should maintain Google+ and Instagram accounts as well to broaden your horizons.

Lastly, know your market and use that knowledge to your greatest ability. There are all kinds of things people from out of the area need to know about schools, traffic patterns, and shopping, just to name a few things. Your local market guide will be a great asset to them – and lead to you getting more business. People want an agent who knows his or her stuff about the area. Your market guide shows potential clients that you are that expert.

Remember, a comprehensive marketing plan is not inexpensive. You will have already paid for your license and your testing fees, so be sure to factor marketing into your starting budget. While your agency might give you some tools like a set of personalized postcards or business cards, you will still need to have your own personal marketing set of tools as well.

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want You To Know-Part 1

MONEY MATTERS

Are you planning on buying or selling a home? Maybe refinancing? Perhaps you’d just like to pick up a few tips on home buying, selling and mortgage borrowing-if so you may want keep track of Money Matters in the months ahead as I will be giving out all kinds of tips and insights as we approach the home buying-selling season. I will be discussing a wide variety of real estate and mortgage financing issues you should know (Things real estate agents don’t want you to know). Well, good agents won’t have a problem with you knowing this information but the part-timers and less ethical operators would certainly prefer you not know what I am going to share with you!

You see, buying or selling a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most people and it is a BIG business deal…a transaction composed people, emotions, contracts and cash…all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don’t know what you are doing. Real estate agents earn a commission when a home is sold whether they are the listing agent, the selling agent or both. Real estate agents typically (and legally) represent sellers in a real estate transaction and not buyers. Yet, every day, homebuyers refer to the real estate agent as “my real estate agent”…they are not your real estate agent…they are the home seller’s agent and agents have a legal duty to get the best selling price for the seller. Further, anything you tell them can and probably will be used against you to extract a higher selling price out of the deal. Sellers on the other hand are often manipulated into signing long term listing contracts for up to a year by an agent who will simply throw the listing into the multiple listing service (MLS) and hope another agent sells the property for them.

For agents, the name of the game is to get listing contracts…a common slogan amongst real estate agents is: “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. Once an agent gets a listing contract from a home seller, they will get the bulk of the commission when the house is sold whether they sell it or another agent sells the home. Not many sellers know this fact and many are swooned into long term listing agreements with hopeful promise of selling their homes at the highest possible price only to find out they don’t. Agents will say and do most anything to get a listing contract shy of breaking the law. And the big question for home sellers is are you working with a part time or full time agent? What is their background in marketing and sales? Do you really want to sign a long term listing agreement with a part timer that has one toe in the tub and no business background? Were talking about a business deal right?

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home you should be clearly aware that you will enter into legally binding contracts and relying on mortgage lenders to provide financing for the project. The question then becomes; how much do you know about contract law and mortgage financing? What are the most important elements of a contract and how does that impact you as a buyer or seller? This series of articles is generally drawn from my E-Report (101 Real Estate Tips for homebuyers, sellers and money borrowers). The report is designed as a crash course to provide you the information you need to know to protect your legal and financial interests whether you are a homebuyer or seller. This series of articles will touch upon the information you should know to keep from making blatantly stupid mistakes that could hurt you legally and financially and we’ll try to have some fun in the process…

Which reminds me! If you would like to receive a FREE copy of my E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers, go to smart Books website, send us an email and requesting a copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free-Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Don’t forget to say you saw it at Ezine! Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

All Rights reserved

Tips For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

If you are buying a home, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. A good real estate agent can help ensure that you are notified of homes that meet all your criteria. A good agent will also answer your questions and will walk you through the buying process, which is an invaluable service for first-time homebuyers. Despite all this, most buyers choose their agent in a completely haphazard way, simply falling into a relationship with the first real estate agent they encounter. A much better strategy is to do some sleuthing to uncover the agent who will truly help you find that perfect property. You can find the right professional by:

1) Interviewing candidates. It may seem like a lot of work, but comparing different real estate agents from different agencies can quickly show you which agents you respond best to and which ones seem to offer the best service. Interviews also allow you to assess experience, education, and other factors important in a good real estate agent.

2) Checking qualifications and sales. Look for a real estate agent who has some experience and has been on the job long enough to have expertise in the area. Ideally, you want someone who has worked as an agent for years in the same area and has an impressive sales record. In every community, you will generally find a few agents who perform very well because they know what they are doing and are good at what they do. Look for these agents and check to make sure that no complaints have been filed about them with the State Board of Realtors.

3) Lining up personalities. Buying real estate is highly emotional, so it is important to find someone you are compatible with. Look for a real estate agent you can really communicate with. If your personalities do not match, you may feel that your real estate agent is not doing enough for you and your real estate agent may get frustrated that you are not placing any bids. Find someone that registers a high comfort level with you and you can avoid these problems.

4) Making sure that your real estate agent is creative. Your agent will use the Multiple Listing Service (M.L.S.) to find homes, but he or she should also use their knowledge, contacts and experience to find homes that match your needs. You don’t want someone who can simply run simplistic searches you can run yourself from home.

5) Ensuring that your agent knows the area. A real estate agent who knows the area where you hope to buy can help you understand what is available and at what prices.

6) Checking customer service before you enter into a relationship. Real estate agents are busy people, but they should still be able to offer you good care. Your phone calls should be returned, your concerns should be addressed and you should be able to contact your real estate agent when you need to. If your agent uses an assistant, you need to ensure that it is the real estate agent themselves who will handle all work with contracts as well as the closing. That is what you are paying your real estate agent for. Stay away from agents who seem distracted, disorganized, and are not able to interact with you personally. You may find that your home buying experience suffers with these sort of agents.

The good news is that there are plenty of terrific, highly qualified real estate agents out there. Now that you know what to look for, you can hunt them up and have superlative help when it is time for you to buy property.

Are You A New Real Estate Agent? Tips to Keep You Growing

Beginning a new career as a real estate agent can be stressful, overwhelming and sometimes even intimidating. There are so many things that happen all at once; brokerage classes, preparing marketing materials, drawing up a business plan, selecting vendors and more. Here a few real estate agent tips to help guide new agents like yourself through the beginning steps of becoming a successful agent.

1. It’s OK to Start Small.

When you’re new to any project, it’s tempting to daydream about what your future successful business will look like. Then you’ll want to spend thousands of dollars to get a high end website and blog, all the glossy advertising you can manage and any other costly gimmick you think will benefit your business. The trouble is hard work and advertising alone won’t make you successful. Just like any other business, cash flow is the most critical component to success in the start up years. 

Plan for success to take longer than you expect and give yourself a margin of error. Consider the less expensive options for your start up needs and gradually work your way up to the premium items you would like further down the road. Resist the urge to overextend your finances or you may find that all the great real estate tips on the web are no help as your brand new business sinks in red ink. 

2. Hire a Coach or Find a Knowledgeable Mentor.

Nothing can replace the value of actual hands on experience gained from sitting in on a listing presentation with a successful veteran. Watching and learning from an experienced agent is one of the most valuable real estate agent tips you can get if you re just starting out. Consider working as an assistant to someone you respect and admire. And learn how to model your own practice on theirs. This will save you countless hours of missteps and years of bad decisions made in ignorance.

It would be foolish for your first experience with a listing presentation to be one in which you are the presenter. Those opportunities are too scarce and far too competitive to waste on your inexperience. Find a reputable and longstanding professional and follow their lead.

3. Be Doing From Day One.

This is the most practical of today’s real estate agent tips. It’s so easy in the early phase to plan and dream of success rather than actually doing anything. But if you jump in and get hands on experience as soon as possible you will fair much better. Call your friends and family members and let them know you’re in the real estate business. They’ll want to work with you because of the relationship that already exists, and they can be a wealth of referrals. 

The fact is that calling is hard–even to people you know. The sooner you start making calls, the faster you’ll become comfortable with them.

Hopefully these top three real estate agent tips for new agents are helpful. There is much more in depth information out there, but keeping these three at the top of your priorities will certainly help guide you along the way.

Letters to Potential Clients From a Real Estate Agent – Tips for Writing Marketing Letters

Introducing yourself in person is pretty easy. You make eye contact, smile, and shake hands. You tell the other person your name, and he tells you his name. Pretty easy, right? But what if you need to introduce yourself and you can’t see the other person? One way you can tackle this problem is by writing a marketing letter.

Whether you are new to real estate or just new to the area, you’ll want to send out some letters and let everyone know you are in the area and ready to sell. You can also use marketing letters to entice people who had listings expire to relist with you.

You can trick people into opening your letter and not just tossing it straight into the recycling bin by using a key word. “Free”. As a late-night ad used to say, “Free is a very good price.” So let everyone know you have something free inside. It might be a fridge magnet, or a set of free energy-saving tips, or a pocket calendar.

Now that you have their attention, you need to give your reader an introduction to you. Tell her who you are, and why you are the home expert she should trust. Give some tips or useful information in your letter that will be of use to your reader. Perhaps this might be a fall-cleanup checklist or winter weatherization tips. If you are targeting an up and coming area, you might want to give a list of local merchants for people to get started frequenting.

If you get completely stuck and have the worst case of writer’s block, you can download free templates from the internet. They can be introduction letters, prospecting letters, expired listings letters, or new agent letters, just to name a few. These are useful to help you get started and trigger a thought trail. They’re also good if writing is not your strong suit, but you are great at the verbal deal. (Some of these sites offer templates to help you with your listings, too.)

Keep the letter simple. Overcomplicated or technical newsletters will just confuse your readers and make them toss it. That also means your name is not the one they will tuck in their dream home folder for when the time comes to buy.

It might seem obvious, but be sure you use a good spell checking program and a grammar checker if you are not strong in either. It only damages your reputation if you have errors that can be easily fixed by these programs.

Last, close with a call to action. It could be asking the reader to visit your website for more information or to subscribe to your newsletter or podcast. It might be a link to your Facebook page on which you have a coupon to a local merchant. Or you may have some DIY tips on your YouTube channel. Whatever it is, you want it to be a good reason to follow up, something that will be worth your reader’s time. And time these days is more valuable than ever.