May 1, 2017

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Comment on You Just Moved In…. Now What? 6 Immediate Yard Care To-Dos by Greg Davis

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:17

Important article!! Many disregard their drains and would not think to inspect it. Thanks for posting.

Comment on 10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months by Tom Gray

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 09:37

Great info for home and business owners. A lot of thing’s people don’t generally think about but invaluable in the long run

How to Compete With Top Agents, Even When You’re New

YPN Lounge - Tue, 04/04/2017 - 17:39

Alexis Craig

By Alexis Craig

My family hates playing board games with me. I’m really competitive. They like to say, “It’s just for fun,” but I’m not buying any of it. I play to win.

That mindset is present in every aspect of my life, especially real estate. I have this obsession with becoming the best — with developing unapologetic mastery in the real estate industry. Ambitious? Yep, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

As a result, one of my favorite things to do is to pull back the veil of top real estate agents and SHOW you how to compete with them. Today, I’m going to show some of the strategies I’ve used to compete with top agents. They work even if you’re brand new. Let’s dive in.

Stop Looking For The Magic Bullet

It’s not your fault. Our industry is plagued with marketers who understand the power of a magic bullet. That’s why we see headlines like, “THE NUMBER ONE MARKETING TACTIC YOU MUST DO!!!!”

Barf. I get these calls every single day. People promise to catapult my business by managing my social media, handling my SEO, or writing articles for me.

A lot of agents claim they want to be successful. They reach out to top agents and ask, “How do I become a top agent? Tell me the SECRET?” The truth is that there isn’t a secret. A ton of agents release content telling you EXACTLY how to do what they did.

But as soon as people find out a top agent had to make 35 cold calls every single day for a year or produced an article every single week for two years, they immediately make excuses.

  • “Oh, I could NEVER do that. I don’t have time.”
  • “I don’t know how to write. I failed English class.”
  • “You don’t understand. I have a family. Who could work that much?”

What do you honestly think top agents are going to say? “Oh well, it came down to this one social media post that I made?” Agents get extraordinary results from extraordinary actions.

We think there must be some secret because we’re looking for a magic bullet. But there isn’t one. There is NO MAGIC BULLET.

@OpenClipart-Vectors, 2016.

Be Original

When you’re the same, you get drowned out. And when a homeowner can’t see the difference between you and the Joe down the hall — who always has mustard stains on his shirt — they make their decision on price or number of homes sold.

You aren’t going to be able to compete against top agents by being the same as everyone else. Find a way to be unique and different in a way that your market loves.

To separate myself from every agent, I send all qualified leads a surprise package in the mail that includes information and a gourmet cookie. The package costs me about $12 to mail. At best, my competitors are sending thank-you cards.

Ask yourself, “How can I stand out in a way that makes me the clear winner?” A majority of the time it comes down to better follow up, better marketed services, being relatable, or building deeper relationships.

Start Small and Pick a Niche

The biggest mistake I made when I started real estate was trying to do too much too soon. I see agents take out Zillow ads, cold call every expired listing and FSBO, take out ads in publications, and attend every networking event.

Yes, you need to work hard and do a lot. But you also need to target your efforts. With limited time and money, you need to target a specific group of people.

You can drive all of your time and money into this group. Quickly becoming a dominant player in that market. You can beat out top agents who are spending their money across different groups.

Let me give you an example. One of the groups I targeted early on were foster parents. As a foster parent myself, I could easily reach this market. I went to support groups, a lot of my friends are foster parents, etc.

This was a market that few real estate agents could touch because they aren’t a foster parent and don’t understand the first thing about fostering.

Here’s a simple method I use to force other agents into picking a niche:

[Criteria 1] + [Criteria 2] who need to sell (or buy) a home.

For example:

  • Newlyweds in Grand Ledge who need to buy a home.
  • FSBOs whose homes are above $300,000 who need to sell a home.
  • First-time homebuyers with established credit score above 700 who need to buy a home.

The niche you pick should be a market you can serve. As a woman who got married at 18, I don’t have much in common with a 30 year-old bachelor. In fact, I try to structure my business to repel that market.

While I can’t say I don’t work with these people, I can control how much of those people come into my business by choosing NOT to market my services in certain media, the language I use, the services we offer, and the images on our websites.

Competing against top agents isn’t about finding a magic bullet. It’s putting in the consistent results. I know it’s not what most of us want to hear. That’s fine. But for those of who want to take action and are willing to put in the work, then I’ve created a cheat sheet for you that will help you pick your market.

The cheat sheet includes exact steps for finding a niche market so that you can compete against the top dogs. Learn how to target by qualities that are important to you and work with the type of customers you want. Get the FREE cheat sheet today.

Alexis Craig, founder of Mocha Homes, leads a team of real estate rebels in Lansing, Mich. Connect with her at or


Comment on 5 Ways to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster by Rosa Cole

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 08:15

Great informative post with some important tips to remember! Good for all home and business owners

Comment on The Hottest Outdoor Trends for 2014 by Brent Wells

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 03/31/2017 - 16:59

I stumbled on this post in 2017 and it is amazing how many of the 2014 top hits are still valid!

Comment on It’s Now Cool to Have Mismatched Fixtures by Jim

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 03/31/2017 - 07:38

This looks great and will fit right in with the trend of combining rustic with refined. Thanks for the article.

Commercial Campaign Commercial Headlines - Fri, 03/31/2017 - 02:00

The leg of the Consumer Advertising Campaign focusing on commercial real estate showcases to consumers the benefits of working with a REALTOR® when looking for a commercial space. The ads explain that the right commercial space is a competitive advantage and that having a REALTOR® by their side is the ultimate secret weapon when searching for that competitive advantage.

Media Partnerships Money and Fortune

NAR is partnering with Money and Fortune magazines to create a 10-part series of articles designed to showcase unique, out-of-the-box... Read More

Under the Sells-Scope: ChatFuel

YPN Lounge - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:31

By Lee Davenport

In the film Transformers, I love how Bumble Bee and the other Autobots come to the aid of humans in style (a yellow Camaro with racing stripes and whatnot). Well, bots are not just for the movies.

As a real estate pro, you probably understand the need to connect with potential leads instantly. But, unfortunately, instantly might mean at 2:30 a.m. when you are fast asleep. Or, when you’re in the middle of heated negotiations. Or, when you’re at a closing that just had an unexpected hiccup or delay. Or, when you’re simply trying to enjoy dinner with your loved ones. In such moments, how realistic is it to say you actually follow-up with leads in the idealized 15-minute time window purported by lead-conversion gurus and statistics, especially if those leads come from Facebook?

Well, ChatFuel is a bot service that claims to be the game-changing solution you need to start and keep the conversation going with leads from Facebook. But is ChatFuel the tool you’ve been looking for that won’t leave your leads hanging until the morning to respond? Will it ChatFuel help you respond while you are sleeping in the middle of the night?

I decided to take ChatFuel Under the Sells-Scope to see if these bots prove as helpful as the ones in the movies. Check out my review in the video below:

I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. 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.





Comment on 5 Ways to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster by Russell Craig

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 10:43

Good tip with knowing where the main water shut-off valve is. It is amazing the number of homeowners who do not know where this is located.

Research: Diverging Trends in Market Performance Commercial Headlines - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 09:00

With a slowdown in global economic activity, financial market volatility and a contentious presidential campaign, commercial real estate investors have taken a step back in the early months of 2016. The U.S. economy sputtered during the first quarter of 2016, with gross domestic product advancing at a weak 1.0 percent annual rate. The... Read More

4 Methods to Earn & Keep Investor Clients

YPN Lounge - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 13:22

Brandon Doyle

By Brandon Doyle

Tapping into the investor real estate business is a common goal among agents and brokers. While buying and selling residential property on behalf of individuals and families in search of their next home is typically an agent’s bread-and-butter, working with investor clients can open up a whole new stream of revenue and referrals. With that in mind, consider a few of the tips below as you seek out this desirable breed of real estate client and earn their trust for the long haul.

1. Prioritize Speedy Responses

Real estate investors do business on multiple properties per year, which could mean a steady stream of business for you and your office, too. First, you must prove to your client that you work with efficiency and stay accessible throughout all phases of a transaction. To investors, time is money, so forging a speedy and proficient reputation for yourself will go a long way to convince investor clients to partner with you, an agent who works hard and fast to deliver results.

@Unsplash, 2016.

2. Learn the Vocabulary

Because investors have different goals in mind when buying or selling property, it’s important to learn the different vocabulary involved when discussing investment transactions with a potential client. The first way to net an investment client is to signal to them that you understand the lingo, stakes, and special circumstances involved. Do your homework on terms and phrases like “capital gains,” and “hurdle rate,” to name a few. In order to be considered a viable real estate representative for an investment client, you must demonstrate a deeper, more specific understanding of the market you’re seeking to tap.

3. Be Organized

Organization goes hand in hand with working quickly and efficiently. Investors need to be able to make snap decisions in order to scoop up a great deal before the competition does. In those instances, an investor client will need to be able to quickly touch base with you on the property, other agents involved, the neighborhood, and the numbers, among other factors. By staying organized on a daily basis, you’ll be able to respond with key information, without additional delay—making you an invaluable asset to your investor client.

4. Go Where the Investors Are

While it’s worthwhile to screen potential investment clients to be sure they’re experienced and ready to take on the rigorous challenge ahead, first you must tap into the network of investors out there. Getting involved in community and professional organizations like the local Chamber of Commerce,  REALTOR® association, or local and state entrepreneurial organizations, can lead you to a wealth of investors seeking the help of an established agent with knowledge of property investments. Investors are always on the lookout for a fellow professional who can deliver results and make their business go smoothly. That someone could be you, as long you as position yourself in the right company.

With their multiple yearly transactions, investment clients can change the face of your business. Keep in mind some of the tactics above to hone your skills, meet potential investor clients, and tap into a game-changing market of clientele.

Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second-generation real estate pro with RE/MAX Results in the Twin Cities. He is also coauthor of the book M3Mindset, Methods & Metrics: Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent available now on Amazon. Learn more about Brandon at



2016 Q2 Commercial Real Estate Market Survey Commercial Headlines - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:00

The REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Market Trends measures quarterly activity in the commercial real estate markets, as reported in a national survey. The survey collects data from REALTORS® engaged in commercial real estate transactions. The survey is designed to provide an overview of market performance, sales and leasing transactions, along with information on current economic challenges and future expectations.

  • 66 percent of REALTORS® closed a commercial sale.
  • Sales volume rose 8.4 percent from a year ago.
  • ... Read More

Comment on The Essentials to Styling Your Home to Sell Quickly by Mike Shrader

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 05:18

You all are doing some really nice work! Keep it up.

Comment on 7 Ways to Decorate A Shabby Chic Shed by Mike Shrader

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 05:16

What a great artice. My wife would love this. Such great ideas. Thanks!

Comment on 10 Budget-Friendly Home Improvements for This Winter by Granite countertops @expresskitchen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:37

During winter season a home needs special attention or improvement so that it can withstand the winters. Thanks for sharing some great budget friendly home improvement tips that we can apply. Keep sharing such blogs.

Comment on Bathroom Trends for 2017 by Granite countertops @expresskitchen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:32

I really loved your blog. The way you have explained the bathroom trends is really great. Thanks for sharing these important tips.

Comment on 6 Tips for Planning Ahead for an Eye-Popping Spring Bulb Garden by Brett Cairns RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 17:06

Spring is just around the corner and I will be sharing these tips with my clients

3 Actions to Take After You Receive a Bogus Email

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:31

You may recall a previous post about Sue Dietz, an Iowa real estate agent whose identity was being used by scammers to send fraudulent emails to other real estate professionals all over the country. The emails, which were sent from an email address using Dietz’s name, offered a bogus client referral. Anyone who responded to the email was sent a Dropbox link, which, once opened, gave hackers access to the user’s passwords and other information.

This type of scam is spreading. Sam DeBord, managing broker at Coldwell Banker Danforth in Seattle, discovered last week that hackers are using his identity to launch a similar email scam. DeBord tells us that he’s received hundreds of phone calls, texts, and emails from practitioners who received a bogus email in his name. In the video above, he gives details about how he is getting a warning out to his colleagues about the scam and tips on what you should do if you receive this bogus email.

Money’s Available to Buy But Many Renters Don’t Know It

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:45

Millions of households are mortgage-ready but don’t try to buy because they can’t come up with a downpayment. And yet, hundreds of downpayment assistance programs around the country are available and go largely untapped.


To be sure, many households won’t qualify for downpayment assistance. They simply earn too much money. But more people than you might realize would qualify if they would only apply. Because in many markets, the allowable income level is pretty high, and we’re not just talking about high-cost markets like San Francisco, where the median home price is about $1 million.

There are more than a thousand downpayment assistance programs around the country. Each one is unique, with its own eligibility requirements, home-price limits, and resale restrictions. But these programs also share many features. The disconnect between the millions of households who could buy if they only had downpayment money and the availability of so many programs to help them creates an opportunity for you as a real estate professional. No one is in a better position to connect households with assistance programs than you are.

It’s because of this opportunity to expand your market that REALTOR® Magazine hosted a live webcast on April 20. The goal was to let you know how you can find out instantly what programs are available for households in your area.


Program experts were Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource in Atlanta, and Brenda Small, GRI, associate broker with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, D.C.

They walked real estate professionals through the programs available, what they have in common with one another, and how you and your customers can tap into resources in your market instantly. They debunked myths about the programs, too. And they answered questions in real time.

Watch the recorded version of the webcast now.