Saturday
October 21, 2017

YPN Lounge

Syndicate content
Updated: 41 min 29 sec ago

Mess-Free Social Media: Don’t Get Blocked

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:21

Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport

I’ve seen it before: accounts are blocked, business drys up, and worse yet, a job is lost, fines are imposed, or licenses are revoked—all from a social media post. That’s a mess…a hot mess. It’s no secret that social media can grow your business—or destroy it.

Keep social media from messing up your business so that orange does NOT have to be your new black. Check out this handy infographic below on “5 Dos and 5 Don’ts to Keep Your Social Media Mess-Free” when it comes to:

1. Fair Housing Laws
2. Real Estate Commissions
3. Real Estate Associations
4. Your Firm
5. Your Target Audience

By the way, I am excited to returning to Omaha on Oct. 17, 2017 (autumn is my favorite time of year to be in the Midwest) to share my newest class at NP Dodge’s MarTech17 conference: “Mess-Free Social Media: How to have a real estate social media presence without getting banned, blocked, fined, or jailed.” I would love for you to join us; Omaha is a relaxing place with great people. If you can’t make it, you can still watch this class on-demand or request it as a live class or webinar for your organization.

I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. Want more of the best practices from our nation’s top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality. And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win!, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Here’s to your success.

Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach who trains agents, teams, brokerages, and other business organizations on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Pros and Cons of a Real Estate Office

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 09:01

Ryan Fitzgerald

By Ryan Fitzgerald

Last month, Lee Nelson wrote a great article for REALTOR® Magazine on how to build office culture in a virtual world, and it made me wonder…is a physical real estate office still necessary in 2017?

So, I decided to dive into the pros and cons of having a physical real estate office.

Let’s Start With The Pros:

A Place To Meet
Consumers like (and somewhat expect) to have a place to meet—and a brick and mortar office gives agents a professional office space to do just that. This means less time spent commuting since you’re likely already working from the office, and it’s a safe space where clients will come meet you for an initial consultation. The nice part about having clients come to you is that you can weed out the tire kickers who “just want to see a home” without sacrificing much time.

Company Culture
Having physical space helps provide a natural venue for building a company culture and positive atmosphere. Creating a contagious, hard-working environment can be one of the largest benefits of any brokerage, especially when that brokerage cares about providing their agents with tools to be successful. But there can be cons to this point, too. What can be an opportunity for a positive environment can turn into a negative environment if you aren’t paying attention. The warning signs will be there, so if you’re a designated broker, make sure you mind the type of company culture your office is producing.

Foot Traffic
Think about how many offices you travel by daily: Which ones stand out and why? It’s not always easy to measure what type of ROI foot traffic can offer a real estate firm by having an office in a great location. But having people drive or walk past your office offers your business a “branding play.” The more you can engage the people who are traveling by your office, the better that strategy will be. Free events to the public are a great way to gain attention and create a feeling of reciprocity. If you’re able to host outdoor barbecues or host community events during busy traffic hours, people won’t just drive or walk by, they’ll start paying attention.

Cons of a Physical Real Estate Office:

Let’s start with the absolute killer, the number one reason why someone would not have a real estate office: the expense.

Expense
The expense of operating a physical real estate office will immediately become the largest expense you have as a broker-owner. The number one reason businesses fail is the overhead. In addition to the lease, don’t forget about the furniture, phone system, internet, utilities, etc., because a physical office requires much more than just that monthly leasing fee. And, if you’re going to jump into a several-year-long lease for an office, it’s going to limit your ability to grow in other ways and could even cause the business to fail if not managed correctly. Calculate your annual earnings minus your expenses, the result is your profit. By adding a real estate office to your expenses, you’re cutting into your profits, as well as cutting into your time and efforts.

Maintenance
If you have a physical office you’re going to have maintenance issues that come with it as well. You have to spend fixing things that are broken. You have to make sure the sign out front and the windows are clean. The office needs to be cleaned as well, likely by a janitorial staff, which isn’t cheap. There are also staff and maintenance people needed to operate an office who will constantly be knocking on your door to help them put out fires when you’re trying to finish your own projects.

ROI
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but does having a physical real estate office really offer you the ROI that online marketing can? This is one is hard to measure—like a billboard or a sign on a bus—though, instinctively you should be able to tell. When you spend 20 to 30 percent of your profits on a real estate office, this prevents you from being able to spend money on other things, such as online marketing. For instance, we are opening a real estate company in Charlotte, N.C. in 2018 using only a website. Right now, we have a template set up to let people know we are coming, and in the next few weeks we will be live. If we had a physical office, we couldn’t spend money on things like this because our expenses wouldn’t allow for it.

For a few dollars a day, you can reach thousands of people on social media. You can take this a step further and reach only the people who are likely to buy by tailoring your online ads through retargeting pixels. We use retargeting to send a powerful message about what our clients are saying about their experience with Raleigh Realty by using this “natural” video below:

What do you think? Are there other pros and cons to a physical real estate office? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ryan Fitzgerald is the owner of Raleigh Realty in Raleigh, N.C. Connect with him on Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

How to Win Your Buyers’ Dream Home

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:41

Drew Heasley

By Drew Heasley

If you’re a buyer’s agents in competitive markets like ours here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, then there are a lot of reasons you will need to be extra sharp to win your clients the home of their dreams. But your buyer’s dream home is probably identical to other buyers’ ideal home. The features that draw your client to a particular house are drawing other buyers, creating a competitive situation.  Another common factor, which is a current issue in my market, is low inventory. This issue is usually derived from local economic situations and always creates a challenge for buyers. The other possible scenario is that you are just in a market that is consistently super competitive. All of these scenarios usually result in multiple offer situations, which  requires a little extra from the buyer’s agent. Here’s what you can do:

Do Your Homework

When your buyer’s dream home hits the market, you need to be prepared. The most obvious is to have your buyers obtain a mortgage pre-approval and make sure they have other supporting documents ready to go. Go over the agreement of sale with your buyers ahead of time so they are comfortable enough to move fast when the time comes. If your buyer only has a broad idea of where they want to move, such as a school district or town, then scout the market even if nothing is for sale. Find the communities they want to target, focus on those, and be proactive. As the agent, you know the market and the comparable sales, but it’s important your buyers know the comps as well—so educate them.

Finding the Home

The first step is to find them their dream home. Sure, you can just sit and watch the MLS, but this won’t give you any advantage over the other agents. Yes, you absolutely should set yourself and your clients up on listing alerts direct from your MLS. Getting your clients in first can give you a big advantage, though it usually won’t guarantee you a non-competitive situation. The easiest way to do this is ask around your office to see who has listings coming up. Network with agents outside your office as well. Other agents will usually be more than willing to let you in early, and I have found some sellers are very excited to accept an offer pre-market with the bonus of avoiding the hassle of the home showing process. My area also has a Facebook group where agents share “coming soon” listings and this is a great resource. If your area doesn’t have one, then take the lead and start it up. Listing agents may also have off-market listings that other agents are not aware of and your clients would never be able to find. A common move is for agents to have no showings until the first open house. Going to these opens with your clients can pay dividends as the face-to-face you get with the listing agent can make the difference.

@freeGraphicToday, 2011. pixabay.com

Writing the Offer

They could pay cash, but most buyers don’t have the means to do that, so you need to go the extra mile. First, learn as much as possible about the sellers and their situation. Not the nosy questions your clients might ask, but information that’s pertinent to the sale, like their ideal closing date or requests and contingencies that are importance to them. If they have yet to find a new home, you can be flexible on closing date, assuming your buyers are in a position to do that. Also, this gives you a chance to inquire with the listing agent about the activity on the home.  When it comes time to write the offer, the more information you have the better your chances to win. The big decision will be how you want to write the offer. Most agents just write up best and final, and send it over. This will certainly win its fair share, but why not write it up for list price or something comparable and add an escalation clause to that best and final number. It has all the benefits of the best and final offer with the added bonus that your client will not overpay. It really helps to know your local market in order to know the best strategy. If your client is using a local lender, make sure to let the listing agent know, and if you share a lender with the listing agent you might consider using them. Other items your buyers might consider would be waiving the appraisal or home inspection contingency, but I try to use these as a last resort.  The last thing I can suggest, which I am sure you’ve heard, is that your clients can write a letter to the sellers letting them know what they love about the home and how they can see themselves living there. To be perfectly honest, I thought this was kind of corny, but I have had a few agents do this on my listings and I was shocked at how much it meant to the sellers. It won’t sway all sellers, but I’ve never seen it upset anyone so it’s worth a shot if your buyers are into it.

In conclusion, the most important thing you can do to prepare is know the market, write a smart offer, and try to appeal to the sellers and make their lives easier. Some deals will require you to think outside the box, get creative with inclusions, give flexible closing, do quick inspections, or give large escrow deposits. It’s important for clients on a budget to set a limit and stick with it, because things can move fast and people get excited. Be the hero, win your clients the home, and ask them to tell everyone they know. Good luck!

Drew Heasley is an agent with Keller Williams Exton/West Chester in Pennsylvania. Connect with him on Facebook: facebook.com/chestercountyrealtor, or through his website: searchchestercountyhomes.com.

Save

Save

Save

Save

How House Flipping Can Catapult Your Real Estate Business

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 14:54

James Vasquez

By James Vasquez

I successfully flip houses full-time; but I didn’t become a real estate professional seven years ago to start flipping houses. One of the main reasons I became a flipper early on in my career is because it gave me a huge leg up on my competitors. Also, like many young, aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, I struggled to make a living for my first few years in the business. The lure of being my own boss and large commission checks, was just that, a lure—so shiny and pretty. I found that flipping homes offered some stability.

I shifted my business model from listing houses to buying houses after reading Shift by Gary Keller. It was then that I started to see my business income begin to grow. Now, we buy houses in San Antonio from homeowners on a weekly basis.

Here are a few ways learning to flip houses can catapult your traditional real estate business.

Flipping Houses Will Force You Learn Your Market Quickly

Many think that flipping houses is risky business; far too much risk for most people to stomach. Having flipped more than 50 houses, I have never once lost money on a flip. God’s honest truth. I can just see the emails pouring in saying, “That’s impossible.” Flipping houses is supposed to be chalk full of risk—big rewards but big potential losses, too—right?  Well, kind of, sort of, but not really.

@ArtisticOperations, 2012. pixabay.com

In my opinion, a house flipper’s risk exposure is highly correlated to the extent of his or her knowledge of the local market. So, less local market knowledge equals more risk, period. My aversion to risk caused me to quickly learn what houses in various subdivisions across my entire market are worth, and more importantly, why. When you’ve got $30,000 or $40,000 on the line, and not just a $3,000 commission check, you’d better be right about the current value of the house. Because of this pressure of having to perform well on every deal, you will be forced to learn the local housing market very quickly, or fail.

Flipping Houses Will Force You To Learn To Market Creatively

It’s been said that “if you don’t have marketing, you don’t have a business.” So true, but let’s go deeper. I’ve found that the more competitive a niche, the more creatively one must market their services. The house flipping business is one of those highly competitive niches—and the competition is brutal. Worse than the Shark Tank, this business requires creative marketing that stands out from the crowd. It requires techniques like 100 percent real, handwritten postcards sent out to hand-selected mailing lists (not the same, tired lists that every other investor and agent are mailing to). This business might require you to dig deep and figure out how to find people who not only want to sell, but need to sell their house fast. Once you figure out how to effectively market to and find those homeowners, then securing a listing from those same leads is a walk in the proverbial park.

Flipping Houses Helped Me To Spot a Fear and Overcome It

I believe that what holds us back from accomplishing our hearts’ desires in all areas of our lives is fear. The same holds true in house flipping. As mentioned earlier, most people see flipping houses as risky; but why? Because of a deep-rooted fear that many have: the fear of loss. I’ll never forget my first $1,500 direct mail campaign. There I was, the sole provider for my family with less than $8,000 to my name, but I had 100 percent authentic faith. Long story short, I made $20,000 in two short weeks, just from that one mail-out. Looking back, I saw the fear of failure and loss, but I looked beyond it and saw what was possible.

I’ve been tested in a very competitive niche, stricken with big problems that require big, costly solutions, and I’ve found that it’s consistency about overcoming fears with faith. That’s what has helped me to succeed in this niche—that, and knowing the market like the back of my hand.

My faith has transcended into all areas of my real estate business, and life. I hope the same for you.

James Vasquez is the broker-owner of Done Deal Buyers in San Antonio, Texas, a real estate company that buys houses directly from home owners. Learn more at DoneDealBuyers.com

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Fall YPN Event Ideas

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:17

Autumn is upon us, and the changing of the seasons is a great time to put together creative YPN events that will get members excited to be involved. Here are five real-life ideas from YPN groups around the country.

1. Not Your Usual Cocktail Party. Lakes Area REALTORS® Association YPN will host a wine and paint networking event and activity next week. Fall is a great time to get out in your community and connect at season-friendly establishments.

2. Scary Good Meet-Ups. The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® YPN is getting ready for Halloween with it’s upcoming monster mash-themed appy hour next month. A fun twist on a tech event.

Save

Join YPN for a Monster Mash’d Appy Hour on October 24th! Register here: https://t.co/OvFiBp3Lu7 #SABOR #YPN #AppyHour #RealtorLife pic.twitter.com/R8O9T6ZR2A

— SABoard of REALTORS® (@SABoardREALTORS) September 14, 2017

3. Be the Bell of the Ball. Fall is the time of year most associations install their new leadership. The Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® has made the event a semi-formal masquerade ball complete with a silent auction of hand decorated masquerade face masks benefiting the Future of Housing Community Foundation.

FCBR’s Annual Installation Masquerade Ball is just days away!!

Get your tickets NOW before the EARLY BIRD… https://t.co/rVtZo2zHxL

— NoCo YPN (@FCBR_YPN) September 18, 2017

4. Local Flavor for a Good Cause. The Oregon Association of REALTORS® YPN just wrapped up their 10th annual Taste of Portland event featuring local food, drinks, and a silent auction benefiting the OAR HOME Foundation, which supports affordable housing in the state of Oregon.

5. A Little Friendly Competition. The Royal Palm Coast REALTORS® Association YPN gets their members moving at its annual fall event: The Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt. Team of four fulfill tasks and overcome obstacles in downtown Fort Myers in this interactive and exciting networking opportunity.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Design a Social Media Post in Less Than 5 Minutes

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:06

Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport

Don wrote: “I have no creative gene so it takes me literally hours to create snazzy social media posts. I can’t spend that much time as a ‘solo-preneur,’ but I know the importance of my business being on social media. Dr. Lee, help!”

Dr. Lee’s response: You are over-spending your time on creating social media posts for your business. I get it… it’s either waste too much time designing a flyer-post or just get the info out ugly. Don’t settle anymore. Watch this video to see how Adobe Spark Post can help you stylishly brand your business content in less than five minutes. By the way, the thumbnail image for this video was made in under five minutes following this advice and using the template from the video. Womp, womp! I use it, too.

Disclaimer: “Under the Sells-scope” and “Ask the Coach” reviews are my unbiased, unpaid opinion so that you get the real truth on the matter.

I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. Want more of the best practices from our nation’s top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality. And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win!, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Here’s to your success.

Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach who trains agents, teams, brokerages, and other business organizations on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.

 

Using Hashtags in Your Online Marketing

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 15:40

Lee Davenport

By Lee Davenport

When you need to look something up, what do you do?  Many of us will grab our phone, laptop, or computer and do a Google or Bing search. But, wait: You just realized that does not work on social media. Now what? Will you have to scroll through zillions of accounts, photos, and posts to find that something? No way! Who has time for that? Instead, all you have to do is a hashtag search.

It’s been 10 years this month since the hashtag first came on the scene. But, are you still clueless as to how to use it in your business? Then watch my video to find out how to:

1. Create and use hashtags.

2. Extend your branding with hashtags.

3. Search with a hashtag.

4. Fi​nd other relevant hashtags for your online marketing.

I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. Want more of the best practices from our nation’s top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality. And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win!, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Here’s to your success.

Dr. Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate coach who trains agents, teams, brokerages, and other business organizations on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save