Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en Lure Big Fish to Your Brokerage http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/07/lure-big-fish-your-brokerage <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how one Hawaii-based real estate company is attracting top producers and keeping them happy. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, July 2, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Take it from Paul Mayer: Big fish need a lot of room to swim. Several top producers have surfaced at his Maui, Hawaii-based brokerage, Elite Pacific Properties, and he gives them the freedom to explore oceans of opportunities to expand their business.</p> <p>One sales associate in particular, Greg Burns, hosted the Golf Channel&rsquo;s media crew at one of his listings during the PGA&rsquo;s Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the island of Maui this year. In exchange, the Golf Channel gave Burns a segment on a show in which he toured Kapalua-area luxury homes.</p> <p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="230" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/BxmELC/gc_embedplayer/select/jYgnY9rqXkaE?parentUrl=http%3A//www.golfchannel.com/media/hawaiian-paradise-kapalua-luxury-homes-tour/&amp;params=mbr%3Dtrue%26zone%3Dmedia_golfcentral&amp;originalReferrer=&amp;#playerurl=http%3A//www.golfchannel.com/media/hawaiian-paradise-kapalua-luxury-homes-tour/" style="border:0;padding:0;margin:0" width="350"></iframe></p> <p>Elite goes after high-producing agents and gives them a long leash to create the type of connections it takes to sell multimillion-dollar listings, says Mayer, the firm&rsquo;s managing partner.</p> <p>Mayer, who owns the largest luxury brokerage in Hawaii, opened up about his management prowess, offering insight on how to retain agents who want to soar.</p> <p><strong>How do you recruit, and why would an agent choose your brokerage?</strong></p> <p>The top producers want to be associated with a firm that&rsquo;s very selective; they want to know their reputation is safe. We&rsquo;re highly selective of all the agents at our firm. Everything at our company is about high standards, from the listings we take to our professional photography and the quality of our written contracts. It&rsquo;s in everything we do.</p> <p>To recruit top producers, you need to build a long-term relationship. Sending e-mail blasts or using traditional marketing doesn&rsquo;t work. Get to know agents as people, and gradually introduce them to the benefits of your brokerage. We usually attract top producers through their peers &mdash; the agents who currently work for us. The vast majority are experienced. Not all of our agents are top producers or sell luxury, but we&rsquo;re not interested in part-time or inexperienced agents.</p> <p>We have policies and practices that offer a tremendous amount of free support and free technology to all our agents. Successful agents spend 30 percent of their time on marketing and escrows, but we can probably get that down to 5 percent of their time. We have 20 support staffers for 110 agents. We have four full-time marketing staffers who help market every listing and do personal marketing for agents as well. We have three full-time staffers whose sole focus is transaction management. We have admin and tech support. We take away all the busy work, all the drudgery, and let agents do what they do best, which is selling.</p> <p><strong>How much room do you give your agents for big ideas like Greg Burns&rsquo; Golf Channel relationship? </strong></p> <p>Greg Burns is a really creative guy who comes up with phenomenal marketing ideas. It&rsquo;s my job to help agents leverage our resources. We make sure they comply with the state laws and help with logistical elements, but it&rsquo;s also my job to help support them and help expand on their ideas. And our marketing staff is there to help implement plans and make them successful. Teamwork and sharing of ideas is also part of our company culture.</p> <p><strong>How do you acknowledge your agents? </strong></p> <p>If we have a big announcement or want to celebrate an accomplishment, we congratulate people publicly at events and in press releases, which helps them get publicity. I have zero interest in taking credit for anything our agents do.</p> <p><strong>What types of support systems do top producers find most valuable?</strong></p> <p>Technology is a requirement. If you want to attract professional agents, you have to give them a full technology platform: a search engine optimized lead generating platform, a CRM, tools like DocuSign and zipForm, and transaction management software. And all of that is cheap once you have the infrastructure in place because at that point, it&rsquo;s only about adding licenses.</p> <p>Lucrative compensation is probably what most people think you need to attract top producers. The truth is, we compensate on a tiered commission split that grows with their volume each year and as they move up. All of our agents are on the same plan, and they all get exactly what they earn each year. It tops out for top producers to be extremely high, and they get credit for everything they&rsquo;ve closed that year even if they&rsquo;ve been with another company.</p> <p><strong>How do you build company loyalty?</strong></p> <p>Our top producers give input on things like company policies and office locations. Their ability to provide input is valuable because it helps them feel like they have a stake in the company. We meet once a quarter to go over business direction and strategic planning and to discuss recruiting, and we&rsquo;ll ask for opinions on who would be a good fit.</p> <p><strong>Looking to the future, how do you plan to grow your business while maintaining those standards that attract top producers? </strong></p> <p>We are going to focus on growing our market share in Hawaii over the next 10 years. Our sales last year were up 45 percent over 2013 and triple over 2012. Commercial real estate is a possibility for the future, but that requires a different level of support and knowledge. We do our due diligence; we&rsquo;re not a company that wants to do it part-way. We&rsquo;ll need to get the staff and support systems in place before we make that commitment. If we do decide to get into commercial, we&rsquo;ll do it in a bigger way.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how one Hawaii-based real estate company is attracting top producers and keeping them happy.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/07/music-buyers-ears">Music to Buyers’ Ears</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/09/8-tips-for-grooming-top-producers">8 Tips for Grooming Top Producers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/are-sales-contests-gone-for-good">Are Sales Contests Gone for Good?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/02/04/tips-and-tricks-from-top-producers">Tips and Tricks from Top Producers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/11/four-reasons-agents-dont-succeed">Four Reasons Agents Don&#039;t Succeed</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:35:40 +0000 echristoffer 19144 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Goal Setting Journey: Part 2 http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/goal-setting-journey-part-2 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> How do you keep from losing track of your goals? Broker-owner Mark Ferguson tackles that issue and more in part two of a four-part series on goal setting. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, June 30, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/mark-ferguson">Mark Ferguson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>This year has been good and bad for me so far. I&rsquo;m right on track with some of my goals but way off with others. The awesome part about writing this series is that it forces me to visit my goals often &mdash; which we, as brokers, should all be doing &mdash; and measure my progress.</p> <p>Just to refresh your memory, I&rsquo;ve been in real estate since 2001, and I now run my own nine-person team that includes six licensed agents. I also have a flipping business, own 13 rental properties, and operate InvestFourMore.com, a real estate investing and agent-focused blog. I manage to keep myself busy, so goals are a great way to stay focused on what&rsquo;s important.</p> <p>I previously wrote about <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/04/goal-setting-journey-part-1" target="_blank">my goals for 2015 and gave a first-quarter status report</a>, and I found that while some parts of my business are doing great, others are struggling. Now that the second quarter has come to a close, it&rsquo;s time to check in once again. Here are my 2015 goals and my mid-year status update for each one.</p> <p><strong>1. Sell at least 200 houses on our team.</strong><br /> Sometimes, goals help you re-evaluate your business. At the end of the first quarter, we had sold only 27 houses. This was due, in part, to the loss of two agents as well as a lower number of HUDs and REOs on the market than expected. As of the end of this quarter, we&rsquo;ve sold 49 homes. We&rsquo;re still way below my goal for this year and behind our sales pace compared to the last five years. However, we are in Greenly, Colo., one of the hottest real estate markets in the state, and our average sales price jumped from $195,000 in December to $225,000 in April. Our inventory is the lowest it has ever been, and REO and HUD sales are virtually nonexistent. On the near horizon, one of my agents has 10 closings scheduled in the next month. Even though we may end up selling fewer homes this year, we are doing more traditional sales with a higher average sales price.</p> <p><strong>2. Add at least three agents to our team.</strong><br /> Since the last quarter, we have added one agent to our team, and we&rsquo;re still looking for good candidates. And, I must add, our current agents are doing awesome.</p> <p><strong>3. Fix and flip 10 houses.</strong><br /> I flipped five houses in the first quarter alone, which put me on track to easily surpass my goal. I also have five flips in my inventory. As of the end of Q2, I have not sold any more flips, but I have one under contract, which is set to close this month. The renovations on two other homes should be done soon, and they will be ready to list in July. My biggest issue has been contractor timeliness, so a few weeks ago, I hired someone to manage my repair projects full-time. I expect this to improve project times and efficiencies. I also bought two more flips in the last quarter, and I have three more under contract (although two of those are short sales).</p> <p><strong>4. Buy six new rental properties. </strong><br /> As I previously mentioned, I have a huge goal to <a href="http://investfourmore.com/2013/05/my-plan-to-purchase-100-rental-properties-by-january-of-2023-part-one-of-two/" target="_blank">buy 100 by 2023</a>. To meet that goal, I have to start ramping up my purchases. I bought two new rentals in the first quarter, and I currently have one more under contract. I also recently moved my IRA into a self-directed IRA, and I plan to <a href="http://investfourmore.com/2014/01/how-to-invest-in-long-distance-turn-key-rental-properties/" target="_blank">buy a turn-key rental property</a> with that money.</p> <p><strong>5. Fulfill four major goals for my website, <a href="http://investfourmore.com" target="_blank">InvestFourMore.com</a>:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Reach 300,000 monthly views by the end of 2015.</strong> I topped 200,000 views in January, which was much higher than expected. And in May, I had more than 250,000 views, thanks to an increase in search engine hits from Google. This goal is definitely within sight.</li> <li><strong>Introduce a new product to help agents get started in the business.</strong> I accomplished this goal during the first quarter. It&rsquo;s not yet selling at the rate I had hoped, but I am learning a lot and plan to stick with it.</li> <li><strong>Develop rental property software.</strong> I have been working on this with my nephew, and the software will soon be ready.</li> <li><strong>Create a discussion forum on my site.</strong> I accomplished this goal in the first quarter and the <a href="http://investfourmore.com/community/" target="_blank">results have been fantastic</a> so far.</li> </ul> <p>Overall, the trend in the second quarter was very similar to the first quarter: We are not selling nearly as many houses as I hoped, but on the bright side, prices are going up. Also, my flipping business and the blog are doing much better than expected.</p> <p>I hope that adding a new agent and the continued progression of my current agents will keep increasing sales in the second half of the year, even when I am not selling as much myself. I think hiring someone to manage my renovations is going to make a huge difference in the flipping business.</p> <p>Check back in September when I offer more goal-setting insights and share my next progress report.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>How do you keep from losing track of your goals? Broker-owner Mark Ferguson tackles that issue and more in part two of a four-part series on goal setting.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/apr15_BB_goals_journey_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=63956">apr15_BB_goals_journey.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/apr15_BB_goals_journey_2.jpg?1435781920" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/apr15_LP_BB_goals_journey_0.jpg?1435781932" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/04/goal-setting-journey-part-1">Goal Setting Journey: Part 1</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/build-your-business/article/2011/02/business-toolbox-setting-and-reaching-your-goals-par">Business Toolbox: Setting and Reaching Your Goals, Part I</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/05/find-interpreter-who-speaks-your-goals">Find an Interpreter Who Speaks to Your Goals</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/go-beyond-training">Go Beyond Training</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2011/12/16-steps-your-best-business-plan">16 Steps to Your Best Business Plan</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:24:32 +0000 echristoffer 19130 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Screen-to-Screen Selling: 5 Ideas for Brokers http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-5-ideas-for-brokers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, July 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>From solving contract problems to answering agents&rsquo; questions in the field, screen-to-screen communication is a fast and easy way for broker-owners, managers, and team leaders to connect with agents and keep them on track.</p> <p>Here are five ways screen sharing and conferencing technology is being used at brokerages today:</p> <h4>1. Collaborative Meetings and Training</h4> <p>Marsha Stanley Mitchell, technology coach at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Houston, uses collaborative meeting platforms such as <a href="http://www.gotomeeting.com/start" target="_blank">GoToMeeting</a> to conduct presentations and trainings for 1,000 agents in 21 offices across eight counties.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>More on Screen-to-Screen Selling</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-how-it-works">How It Works</a><br /> Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-uses-in-field">Uses in the Field</a><br /> Here&rsquo;s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-tools-market">Tools on the Market</a><br /> Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Our last two trainings had about 80 agents &hellip; so it saved a lot of drive time,&rdquo; says Mitchell, who also likes <a href="https://www.join.me/?ReturnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.join.me%2Ffederated%2Floginsso.aspx&amp;TrackingUniqueId=3E93A903-D5B7-4006-B8C8-4D2C1627E1F3&amp;utm_source=joinme&amp;utm_medium=redirect&amp;utm_campaign=productredirect">Join.me</a> for quick one-on-one screen-share meetings.</p> <p>Stefanie Hahn, education director at Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS&reg;, outside of Philadelphia, also prefers GoToMeeting for larger classes when she needs a classic webinar and screen-sharing tool to reach more than 400 agents throughout 10 offices. Sometimes she uses the video features as well. &ldquo;We do a top-producer webinar that is just me and our top producer on webcams chatting about their rise to the top. I can broadcast it live to 1,000 people and record the interview,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>GoToMeeting, Join.me, <a href="http://zoom.us/" target="_blank">Zoom.us</a>, and other screen-sharing tools allow the user to video conference with individuals or groups, perfect for brokers or team leaders who want to have remote meetings with agents, role-play during coaching or sales meetings, provide vendors with specific examples, or review documents. These platforms run on PCs, Macs, or any mobile device. (GoToMeeting plans start at $24 per month for up to five participants and go to $49 per month for up to 100 participants.)</p> <h4>2. Mobile Mirroring and Streaming</h4> <p>Trainers and office leaders are also finding low-cost screen-to-screen tools that provide benefits even in face-to-face meetings.</p> <p>Instead of setting up a projection screen at your next office training session, use a TV (or computer screen for one-on-one training) with a media-streaming device such as <a href="https://www.apple.com/appletv/" target="_blank">Apple TV</a>, <a href="https://www.google.com/chrome/devices/chromecast/index.html" target="_blank">Google Chromecast</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fire-TV-streaming-media-player/dp/B00CX5P8FC" target="_blank">Amazon Fire TV</a>, or <a href="https://www.roku.com/" target="_blank">Roku</a>.</p> <p>Chromecast ($35) lets you &ldquo;mirror&rdquo; or live-stream exactly what you&rsquo;re doing on your smartphone or tablet by plugging a thumb stick into your TV&rsquo;s HDMI port. Roku actually offers a choice of four streaming devices; one is a stick ($39.99) similar to Chromecast that works with a library of apps such as YouTube and Netflix, controlled with your smartphone or tablet. If your agents are watching training or webinars via YouTube, this would work. Amazon Fire TV also has a stick version ($39) for mobile app streaming. Apple TV ($69) works similarly, but you can also use AirPlay from any iOS device or Mac computer to mirror what&rsquo;s on your display (like Chromecast).</p> <p>If you solely want to mirror from a mobile device to a computer screen during a sales meeting or one-on-one coaching, for instance, then <a href="http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/" target="_blank">Reflector 2</a> is a good option. Stream exactly what&rsquo;s on your device to your Apple or Windows computer: Share videos, photos, or presentations for a one-time cost of $14.99 for a single computer license. If you want to outfit your agents to use Reflector as a sales tool for listing presentations, five-computer licenses run $62.99; 20&ndash;74 licenses are $12 each; and higher volume pricing is available.</p> <h4>3. Video Broadcasting</h4> <p>Brokers or trainers who want to reach agents who can&rsquo;t attend a training session or meeting have another option: <a href="https://www.periscope.tv/" target="_blank">Periscope</a>. This free video-broadcasting app offered by Twitter lets the user publicly stream through the Periscope app and share to his or her Twitter profile. There&rsquo;s also the option to send private viewing invitations.</p> <p>Although not technically a screen-sharing tool, Periscope does fall under a similar genre of collaborative platforms. It could be used to live-stream speakers, panel presentations, interviews, and more. One of the most interactive features of Periscope allows viewers to leave comments, and the presenter and other users can respond in real time. This feature could help direct discussions and create an engaging conversation.</p> <h4>4. Troubleshoot Tech Issues</h4> <p>Sometimes it&rsquo;s handy for your IT folks or trainers to temporarily control agents&rsquo; screens to fix a problem or give a quick demonstration. There&rsquo;s <a href="https://secure.logmein.com/" target="_blank">LogMeIn</a> for that. This tool gives users the ability to access a PC or Mac remotely over the Web or from a mobile device.</p> <p>&ldquo;Depending on the tech level of the agent, I may use this for a wide variety of things, from helping them with Docusign to e-mail marketing and everything in between,&rdquo; says Hahn.</p> <p>LogMeIn could also be used by individuals to securely connect to their computer from an iPad or iPhone to retrieve files. A pro account for two computers is $99 annually; up to 10 computers is $449 annually.</p> <h4>5. Video Conferencing</h4> <p>Brokers are using free screen-to-screen tools such as FaceTime, Google Hangout, and Skype to video conference with clients in the field. Joe Schutt, broker-owner of virtual brokerage Unit Realty Group, has sold properties sight unseen in downtown Boston using these tools to show properties and communicate with buyers and sellers. &ldquo;It is about being as upfront, honest, and transparent as you would be if they were right in front of you,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Hahn says she&rsquo;ll use Google Hangout to do an initial interview when hiring for a staff position. Fair warning: This platform does have a nine-person limit per conference call.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s awesome for small groups. There is just something about seeing someone&rsquo;s face,&rdquo; Hahn says. &ldquo;Plus we can share screens, watch a YouTube video, and chat instant-messaging style all during the Hangout.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>For brokers, screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51216">jul15_PG_screen.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_2.jpg?1435851412" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_LP_PG_screen_0.jpg?1435851418" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Web Tools Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:22:13 +0000 gwood 19128 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Screen-to-Screen Selling: How It Works http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-how-it-works <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, July 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>When it comes to the nuances of a real estate transaction, sometimes it&rsquo;s easier to show customers rather than tell them. Unfortunately, schedules or distance can make those quick (or not-so-quick) face-to-face meetings unrealistic. That&rsquo;s where screen-to-screen technology comes in.</p> <p>Sharing your computer or mobile screen with clients via live video conferencing, mirroring, or screencasting is a convenient way to improve customer service and communicate more effectively. They see everything you&rsquo;re seeing on your screen no matter far apart you are.</p> <p>To help identify the right screen-sharing tools for your real estate business, first figure out what goal you want to accomplish or what issue you want to solve.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>More on Screen-to-Screen Selling</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-uses-in-field">Uses in the Field</a><br /> Here&rsquo;s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-5-ideas-for-brokers">5 Ideas for Brokers</a><br /> Screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-tools-market">Tools on the Market</a><br /> Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sales coach Doug Devitre, author of the upcoming <em>Screen to Screen Selling </em>(McGraw Hill, 2015), says it&rsquo;s important for practitioners to choose products that make sense for the different types of scenarios played out in real estate. Devitre has analyzed all the components of initiating an agent-client relationship to find ways screen sharing or mobile conferencing might improve the process. Here&rsquo;s what he found.</p> <h4>The Preparation</h4> <p>This is the period after you&rsquo;ve identified a potential client. Maybe they are an online lead or a referral. Either way, your first consideration should be to set a meeting. Sometimes a video conference call works well for an initial discussion.</p> <p>&ldquo;Use the technology that&rsquo;s easiest and more convenient for the customer, not necessarily the one you know how to use best,&rdquo; Devitre says.</p> <p>For instance, let&rsquo;s say you primarily use Skype, but your client is most familiar with Google Hangout. Don&rsquo;t force your not-yet-minted customer to create a profile and password just to have a conversation with you. &ldquo;Find out what the customer&rsquo;s preferred meeting tool is and be adaptable,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Devitre offers some tactics for making sure your potential client doesn&rsquo;t miss the meeting, such as sending an invite through both a text message and an e-mail. You don&rsquo;t want to lose your lead if your e-mail ends up in the dreaded junk folder.</p> <p>&ldquo;Your meeting notification has to prepare the individual with what the meeting is going to look like,&rdquo; Devitre says, so let them know what you plan to discuss up front.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re trying to sell your relocation services to a major company, Devitre says, learn its platform of choice. Keep in mind that corporations can have firewalls that prevent employees from opening a screen-to-screen or video streaming platform link. &ldquo;Always try to use their method to decrease the likelihood of tech issues,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s better to be safe than sorry, so have a meeting backup plan (and a backup to your backup). What if the sound from your client&rsquo;s built-in computer microphone is garbled during your Google Hangout session? If you&rsquo;re both iPhone users, call them using FaceTime. &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have a backup method, then your time and preparation was for nothing because you relied on a technology that didn&rsquo;t work,&rdquo; Devitre says.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t spend more than a couple minutes (if any) tinkering with technology during that initial call. If it&rsquo;s not working right, simply call them over the phone.</p> <h4>The Conversation</h4> <p>Discussions are nonlinear; they don&rsquo;t always follow a straight path. Conversations bounce, repeat, or come full circle. If a face-to-face meeting isn&rsquo;t possible but you don&rsquo;t want to lose agent-client engagement, try a screen-sharing platform such as <a href="https://www.join.me/?ReturnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.join.me%2Ffederated%2Floginsso.aspx&amp;TrackingUniqueId=3E93A903-D5B7-4006-B8C8-4D2C1627E1F3&amp;utm_source=joinme&amp;utm_medium=redirect&amp;utm_campaign=productredirect" target="_blank">Join.me</a>, <a href="http://www.gotomeeting.com/start" target="_blank">GoToMeeting</a>, or <a href="http://zoom.us/" target="_blank">Zoom.us</a>, which are great for reviewing a document, website, or presentation with your potential client. You can use screen-sharing tools to pull up <a href="http://www.realtor.com/" target="_blank">realtor.com&reg;</a>, <a href="http://www.realtor.org/topics/Realtors-Property-Resource" target="_blank">REALTORS Property Resource&reg;</a>, or MLS reports, or to connect with multiple decision makers at once.</p> <p>These platforms also offer whiteboard or drawing features for capturing ideas on the fly. This provides an opportunity to take notes, draw sketches, drop in images or charts, and collaborate in real time, making you look tech savvy and more responsive during the conversation with your soon-to-be clients. Skype also has a screen-sharing option, but you&rsquo;ll have to use a separate whiteboard application.</p> <p>&ldquo;Insert the visual or slide based on what the customer is saying or asking. Don&rsquo;t say, &lsquo;We&rsquo;ll get to that in a minute.&rsquo; Customers want their question or problem solved right away,&rdquo; Devitre says. &ldquo;Seeing the problem framed in a visual way gives them confidence.&rdquo;</p> <p>Devitre&rsquo;s favorite whiteboard tool is <a href="https://doceri.com/" target="_blank">Doceri</a>, commonly used by classroom teachers for writing and presenting lessons on projection screens. This could be used for homebuyer seminars, too.</p> <p>&ldquo;Think of it like today&rsquo;s napkin note,&rdquo; Devitre says. &ldquo;You have your prepared slides and the whiteboard, which can help you draw out answers to questions that arise. Even with chicken scratch, people will recognize it as expertise.&rdquo;</p> <p>Agents must also appreciate that there&rsquo;s a level of trust that sometimes has to be established before it&rsquo;s appropriate to ask for a screen-share meeting, Devitre says.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like a first date. You have to use a little judgment and know who your customer is,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;If they&rsquo;re not tech savvy or gave you a hint that it&rsquo;s not their thing, then explain why the screen share is beneficial to them.&rdquo;</p> <h4>The Follow-up</h4> <p>Have you ever gotten off the phone with someone and forgotten exactly what you decided? It happens to your clients, too. Even in face-to-face meetings, the customer can walk away and forget points that were discussed.</p> <p>Send the slides, the slide annotations, and your whiteboard notes to your potential clients directly after your screen-share meeting. &ldquo;Providing a visual summary with highlighted visual areas of a website or report that you covered is one of the most customer-focused experiences you can create besides hopping in your car,&rdquo; Devitre says.</p> <p>Screen-share meetings can also decrease risk in the transaction. Say your client is looking at a property with a damaged roof. Review the inspector report together in real time when discussing the costs associated with repairs. Most screen-sharing platforms provide a recording option. State laws vary, but it&rsquo;s always best practice to ask your clients for permission to record your conversation.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can take that prospective buyer or seller to the next level very quickly,&rdquo; Devitre says. &ldquo;It might take multiple meetings, but screen sharing will increase your productivity and shorten the length of a decision cycle.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51216">jul15_PG_screen.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_6.jpg?1435851690" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_LP_PG_screen_2.jpg?1435851696" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Web Tools Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:02:18 +0000 gwood 19126 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Screen-to-Screen Selling: Tools on the Market http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-tools-market <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, July 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><blockquote> <p><strong>More on Screen-to-Screen Selling</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-how-it-works">How It Works</a><br /> Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-uses-in-field">Uses in the Field</a><br /> Here&rsquo;s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-5-ideas-for-brokers">5 Ideas for Brokers</a><br /> Screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships.</p> </blockquote> <p>Screen-to-screen technology involves two main concepts: video conferencing or screen sharing and mirroring. There are many screen-to-screen platforms and apps on the market, but the key is to find what best fits your needs. We&rsquo;ve broken down 20 products into potential use categories and examined how they might be applicable to your real estate business.</p> <p>Some of them are all-encompassing solutions that also include a platform to host webinars and post links to signup forms on social media. These types of solutions may be best suited for larger brokers who want to host detailed training sessions for their agents. Other products cater to smaller-scale operations, allowing for video-conferencing with small groups, sending instant messages to other users, and arranging voice calls with multiple parties. These types of solutions may be better geared for small real estate teams for individual agents who want to add another level to the customer experience. Check out all the options in the charts below.</p> <h4>Screen Sharing and Video Conferencing</h4> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">What It Does</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.anymeeting.com/landing/buy/ChoosePlan.aspx" target="_blank">AnyMeeting</a></td> <td>Meeting Pro allows for up to 30 attendees at $18/month. Webinar Pro starts at $78/month for up to 100 viewers.</td> <td>Looking for an all-in-one video conferencing, screen sharing, and webinar hosting tool? AnyMeeting is a good option, not only for conducting meetings but for promoting them, too. Share through Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, sell tickets to your webinars via PayPal, and create custom registration forms. Free for up to four meeting attendees.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.beamyourscreen.com/" target="_blank">BeamYourScreen</a></td> <td>Plans start at $13 per month.</td> <td>&ldquo;Beam me up, Scotty.&rdquo; BeamYourScreen offers a way to &ldquo;beam&rdquo; or share your desktop screen to up to 25 people. Users can also get remote-control access to any other attendee&rsquo;s desktop as long as both parties agree. Share keyboard shortcuts with other participants and change presenters in mid-presentation. BeamYourScreen also includes recording options for later playback, whiteboard collaboration, and session scheduling.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.fring.com/" target="_blank">fring</a></td> <td>Free.</td> <td>Fring is a free mobile app for iOS or Android that offers instant messaging, voice calls, video calls, and up to four-way video conferencing. The fringOut feature also provides low-cost international calling.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.fuze.com/">Fuze</a></td> <td>Fuze is free for up to three users with 3 HD video streams; $20/month for 25 participants and 12 HD video streams; and $40 for up to 250 participants and 12 HD video steams. Custom packages are available.</td> <td>Get crystal-clear video and audio conferencing with Fuze&rsquo;s HD system. Connect with agents or customers across any device, share your screen, schedule Fuze meetings in your existing Outlook or Google calendar, and share content, files, and high-res images.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.gotomeeting.com/" target="_blank">GoToMeeting</a></td> <td>GoToMeeting starts at $39/month for up to 25 attendees; GoToWebinar starts at $79/month; and GoToTraining starts at $109/month.</td> <td>GoToMeeting is an all-in-one video conferencing, screen sharing, calendar-integrated, mobile-friendly meeting platform. Create personal meeting rooms with a custom URL. GoToWebinar offers audience interaction and feedback. Share your webinar on social media channels. GoToTraining is an online learning environment, something your office trainers can use. The platform includes small group breakout sessions and provides the user with detailed reports on attendance and more. GoTo&rsquo;s OpenVoice service also offers toll-free numbers and standalone audio conferencing starting at $0.08 per minute.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://plus.google.com/hangouts" target="_blank">Google Hangouts</a></td> <td>Free, but with a $5-per-month Google Apps for Work account, you can include up to 15 participants. (Participants can join a Hangout even if they don&rsquo;t have a Google Apps account.)</td> <td>Hangouts is Google&rsquo;s free video conferencing application. Chat one-on-one or invite up to nine other users for a group discussion. Conversations can be private or broadcast in a live feed. Add recorded Hangouts to your YouTube channel. Take audience Q&amp;As live. Screen share to conduct tutorials or customer presentations. Share files via Google Drive. Video and audio streams are encrypted. Chat with your team members through the Hangout messenger.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.join.me/" target="_blank">Join.me</a></td> <td>The basic account is free for up to 10 participants and four whiteboards. The enterprise plan allows up to 250 participants, unlimited whiteboards, and 100GB of cloud storage.</td> <td>Join.me is an all-in-one video/audio conferencing and screen-sharing tool with calendar-integrated invites, recording options, and more. Swap presenters and host up to 250 participants with the pro account. Set up your own custom meeting link with your company name. Mobile apps are available with the whiteboard collaboration tool for the iPad.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://meet.fm/" target="_blank">Meet.fm</a></td> <td>Plans range from $9.95 to $149/month.</td> <td>Create a channel on Meet.fm for you, your team, or your company where you can conduct virtual sales meetings with live video conferencing. Record meetings and share screens. Agents can use Meet.fm to make presentations to prospective clients.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.mikogo.com/" target="_blank">Mikogo</a></td> <td>The basic plan runs $13/month for a single user with up to three participants. The team plan might make the most sense for a small office: $35 per month with unlimited users and up to 25 participants per session.</td> <td>Mikogo is a browser-based screen-sharing platform with some fun features. You can transfer files (up to 200MB) to other participants during the online meeting, swap presenters mid-meeting, record your session, and use the whiteboard feature for collaborating on the fly. Voice conferencing is included through either your computer or with a free teleconference phone number. Users can also use the remote access tool to temporarily control another computer through the keyboard and mouse (think IT troubleshooting).</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.oovoo.com/" target="_blank">ooVoo</a></td> <td>Free. Upgrade to a premium account for $2.99 per month to ditch the ads and get 1,000 minutes of cloud storage.</td> <td>You can video conference for free with up to 12 people using ooVoo. Send an instant message to other participants, and record your video sessions for later playback.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://screenhero.com/" target="_blank">Screenhero</a></td> <td>Free.</td> <td>If you&rsquo;re familiar with Slack, a team communication/messaging platform that can be broken down into conferencing strings or rooms, then Screenhero might be a good option for you. Screenhero and Slack have joined platforms to offer collaborative screen sharing, voice chat, and more. Use this tool to go over contracts, draft documents, and even give a quick website tutorial. Secure encryption is also standard.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.screenleap.com/">ScreenLeap</a></td> <td>Free for one to two hours of use per day, up to eight viewers &mdash; but doesn&rsquo;t include audio conferencing. Paid plans run $15 to $39/month and include audio conferencing features as well as higher allotted share time and more viewers.</td> <td>Sometimes a full-screen share is a little intrusive. Maybe you don&rsquo;t need potential clients seeing your cluttered workspace set against a desktop photo of your dog. ScreenLeap has two options: Share your entire desktop screen, or just share a browser window. Browser-only viewing works by installing a browser extension available on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. (The viewer doesn&rsquo;t need to download anything.) ScreenLeap is compatible on any computer or device.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.skype.com/en/business/" target="_blank">Skype</a></td> <td>Skype is free, and business plans start at $2 per user per month.</td> <td>Voice calling and video conferencing is what Skype&rsquo;s all about. Skype-to-Skype calling is free; call mobile and landlines for low rates. Forward missed calls to another number. Gather your team for a virtual meeting &mdash; up to 25 people can join the conference. Message other participants, share photos and location, and share your screen. Integrate your Skype account with Facebook to instant-message your Facebook friends and check out your news feed. Opt for a Skype Business plan to video conference with up to 250 people.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.webex.com/" target="_blank">Webex</a></td> <td>Tech support starts at $99/month; meeting plans start at $24/month for up to eight people.</td> <td>You&rsquo;re probably familiar with WebEx as a webinar platform. But it does so much more than that. WebEx offers video conferencing and screen sharing with a whiteboard tool. Text or e-mail meeting invites. WebEx also has a platform specifically for conducting trainings, which includes private chat, instant polling, breakout sessions, and even a virtual assistant option to help you polish your presentation. And there&rsquo;s a tech support feature, well suited for brokers of any size company. Support computer networks and devices anywhere in the world, perform maintenance, and offer troubleshooting services for your agents.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.zoom.us/" target="_blank">Zoom.us</a></td> <td>Visit Zoom.us for plan pricing.</td> <td>For group collaboration, Zoom.us offers cloud HD video conferencing, group messaging, screen sharing, whiteboard collaboration, and communication encryption. For larger business functions, there&rsquo;s Zoom&rsquo;s Room Connector, which allows for up to 200 participants or 3,000 view-only attendees. Zoom Rooms includes calendar integration and a multiscreen video screen-sharing option that could be used to show the presenter, content, and the gallery view. A mobile screen sharing tool is also available.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Screencasting</h4> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">What It Does</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/" target="_blank">Screencast-o-matic</a></td> <td>The free version has a max 15-minute record time, but the pro version, which is $15/year, includes unlimited record time, draw and zoom features, and you avoid the Screen-o-matic watermark.</td> <td>Record presentations or tutorials on your computer or tablet with this free online tool. Just a quick plugin download and you&rsquo;re ready to record your screen and webcam. Choose your recorded file size and microphone input. It includes the option to download your screencast file to your computer, upload it for Screencast-o-matic to host, or publish to YouTube. It&rsquo;s perfect for building a library of how-to videos for your clients, staff, or agents. Screencast-o-matic will host files up to 15 minutes per upload.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Interactive Displays</h4> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">What It Does</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.windowagent.com/" target="_blank">WindowAgent</a></td> <td>Call for hardware and software pricing: 800-219-4295.</td> <td>Ideal for offices in areas with high foot traffic, WindowAgent&rsquo;s interactive storefront window display offers an integrated touchscreen behind glass with a full MLS integration updated daily. Offer a live property search, highlight popular searches, and brand your display. Manage your information online and see how users are searching and viewing properties with an analytics and statistics dashboard. Capture leads by getting notifications when customers e-mail or text listings to themselves. In addition to window displays, WindowAgent also offers in-store wall units, touch screen tables, and both indoor and outdoor standalone kiosks.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Remote Access</h4> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">What It Does</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="https://secure.logmein.com/" target="_blank">LogMeIn</a></td> <td>Pro runs $99 per year for access to two computers, and $449 a year for up to 10 computers; Rescue starts at $1,299 annually; Backup is $39.95 a year per PC with quantity pricing available.</td> <td>Have you ever left a file on your computer that you needed in the field? LogMeIn Pro lets you securely access your PC or Mac from another computer or mobile device. This is handy for individual use and for working with clients or agents. Conduct a quick tutorial or troubleshoot a technical problem. Transfer or share files. Larger brokerages may be interested in LogMeIn Rescue, a remote technical support product for IT staff to access computers and mobile devices. LogMeIn Backup provides secure backup storage that can be controlled remotely. And LogMeIn Meldium is a password manager for apps and websites.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>HDTV Streaming</h4> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">What It Does</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fire-TV-streaming-media-player/dp/B00CX5P8FC" target="_blank">Amazon Fire TV</a></td> <td>Fire TV: $99 Stick: $39</td> <td>Amazon Fire TV is a box &mdash; similar to Apple TV or Roku 3 &mdash; that you connect to your HDTV to stream apps, channels, music, and more. Includes voice search (which Chromecast and Apple TV are lacking) and mirroring capability from your smartphone or tablet to your TV. What sets Fire TV apart from the pack is its quad-core processor, so it&rsquo;s faster and its 2 GB of memory. Amazon also makes the Fire TV Stick, comparable to Chromecast and the Roku Stick, which is good for connecting to TVs in your office, clients&rsquo; homes, or hotel room when you&rsquo;re traveling.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.google.com/chrome/devices/chromecast/" target="_blank">Google Chromecast</a></td> <td>$35</td> <td>Chromecast is a thumb-sized media stick that you plug into an HDMI port in your TV to receive a signal from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. It allows you to share your screen, stream video, and look at websites, apps, and more on a TV or monitor. Use this tool during listing presentations to do a live CMA on your clients&rsquo; TV. Setup just takes a few minutes. Or skip the projector during group meetings and plug Chromecast in for a more seamless solution for presentations. Change the volume, fast forward, or rewind from your laptop or mobile device.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.apple.com/appletv/" target="_blank">Apple TV</a></td> <td>$69</td> <td>In addition to HD movies and apps, this media-streaming device lets you play content from your iOS device or laptop using AirPlay mirroring. So you (or any Apple user) can play content from your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac on an HDTV. Use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control. If your office isn&rsquo;t on the smart TV bandwagon yet and lacks an HDMI port, there is a component adapter available for purchase.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.roku.com/" target="_blank">Roku</a></td> <td>Streaming stick: $49.99 Roku 3: $99.99</td> <td>The latest version of this TV streaming system, Roku 3 includes voice control search and private listening. Just plug your headphones into the Roku remote to view without disturbing others. Stream YouTube from your mobile device, view your photos on the TV, watch your subscription services like Hulu or Netflix, and get other channels for free that may not come with your cable package, such as Crackle or the Smithsonian Channel. The device comes with Ethernet, USB, and microSD slots. Roku&rsquo;s compact stick, which operates like the Chromecast and Fire TV stick, is good for wall-mounted TVs and is ideal for on-the-go agents in the field.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51216">jul15_PG_screen.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_0.jpg?1435851286" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_LP_PG_screen.jpg?1435851291" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Web Tools Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:45:31 +0000 gwood 19129 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Screen-to-Screen Selling: Uses in the Field http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-uses-in-field <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Here’s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, July 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>How do you get buyers to sit down at your open house and talk to you for more than five minutes?</p> <p>Well, it happens to Shay Hata, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff in Chicago, nearly every weekend. Why? She&rsquo;s using Google&rsquo;s Chromecast, a small device that plugs into an HDMI port on a TV, to stream compelling visual aids and data for potential buyers.</p> <p>This $35 device allows Hata to show rotating pictures of the house and neighborhood, a top 10 list featuring reasons her sellers loved living in the home, the property&rsquo;s floor plan, and more directly from her smartphone or tablet. The presentation captivates buyers who are serious about the house and impresses those who might not buy that particular home but are in need of an agent.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>More on Screen-to-Screen Selling</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-how-it-works">How It Works</a><br /> Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-5-ideas-for-brokers">5 Ideas for Brokers</a><br /> Screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/web-tools/article/2015/07/screen-screen-selling-tools-market">Tools on the Market</a><br /> Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products.</p> </blockquote> <p>Hata also uses Chromecast during listing presentations to pull up the MLS and do a live CMA. &ldquo;They can see the real-time data and understand where I&rsquo;m pulling the comps for their property,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I find if you go through the process of doing a CMA in front of them, then they understand it better and will buy into your numbers. It&rsquo;s like seeing behind the curtain in &lsquo;The Wizard of Oz.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Real estate practitioners are finding it&rsquo;s not only convenient but also necessary to use screen-sharing technology to demonstrate the sales process to their clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sometimes they think we are only pulling certain data to skew the numbers,&rdquo; says Hata. &ldquo;A live CMA alleviates the mystery for them. They get realistic regarding the value of their home.&rdquo;</p> <p>Screen-to-screen selling is an integral part of Krista Clark&rsquo;s interactions with clients. Clark, an agent at Century 21 Signature Real Estate in Des Moines, Iowa, works with several out-of-state and international clients who buy investment properties without ever setting foot in the home or building.</p> <p>When Clark lands a new client, she always starts with a Google Hangout meeting to go over the transaction process. She also provides her clients with their own Google Drive folder, where they share property data sheets. Google Hangout is a free video conferencing and screen-sharing tool, which she also uses to go over paperwork as the transaction progresses.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m much better face-to-face than I am over the phone, even if it&rsquo;s through the computer,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Clark regularly uses Skype or FaceTime &mdash; both free video conferencing tools &mdash; to show clients homes and buildings. If they&rsquo;re unavailable to live-stream, whether due to schedule or time zone conflicts, she&rsquo;ll record a walk-through video and upload it as a private video on YouTube to send to her clients. She always asks for permission via the listing agent to take video inside properties and never shares the video publicly.</p> <p>&ldquo;With any type of technology, I only want something that builds relationships or solves an actual problem instead of creating more problems,&rdquo; Clark says. &ldquo;Video-calling allows me to get into properties as they come on the market and give my clients a leg-up before they end up in multiple-offer situations.&rdquo;</p> <p>Clark also responds to leads by taking a quick video letting them know she&rsquo;s a real person and that she&rsquo;s looking into their query or property of interest.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve found that people don&rsquo;t necessarily need to have an answer right away, but I do need to let them know that someone real is finding an answer,&rdquo; says Clark, who always records her Google Hangout meetings so she can go back and review what was discussed to thoroughly answer questions.</p> <p>Despite screen-sharing tools being simple and free, Clark says many agents still aren&rsquo;t using them, and it helps her differentiate herself from the pack.</p> <p>&ldquo;If a buyer has e-mailed three agents, they&rsquo;ll remember the one who replied with a video,&rdquo; she says.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Here&rsquo;s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51216">jul15_PG_screen.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_PG_screen_4.jpg?1435851480" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_LP_PG_screen_1.jpg?1435851486" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Web Tools Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:15:07 +0000 gwood 19127 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 6 Tech Edge Takeaways to Share With Agents http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/6-tech-edge-takeaways-share-agents <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Spice up your next sales meeting with these tips from the latest NAR technology summit. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 29, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The National Association of REALTORS&reg; is on a coast-to-coast tour this summer, featuring local real estate tech stars. This month, <a href="http://www.epronar.com/nar-tech-edge" target="_blank">Tech Edge</a> was in Minneapolis, where presenters discussed everything from data-driven marketing to virtual showings.</p> <p>Here are six takeaways from the event that brokers can share with their agents or put to use in their own business.</p> <h4>1. Articulate the hows and whys.</h4> <p>Two of the most common real estate questions asked online are &ldquo;What can I afford?&rdquo; and &ldquo;How&rsquo;s the market?&rdquo; Savvy brokers and agents can preemptively answer these questions on their website, on social media, and in blog posts for shoppers in their markets. The key is to give local context and data, says Nobu Hata, director of digital engagement for NAR. Also, don&rsquo;t be afraid of Zillow and Trulia; they provide fodder for communicating with consumers. A simple way to use Zillow&rsquo;s Zestiments when marketing to sellers: Include the data Zestimate in an e-mail or direct mailing, explain why it&rsquo;s wrong, and offer to do an updated comparative market analysis for free.</p> <h4>2. Check out the next big thing in 3-D home tours.</h4> <p>You&rsquo;ve probably heard of Matterport, a camera that assembles images to create a three-dimensional, immersive home-tour experience. But you probably haven&rsquo;t heard of Toursler &mdash; yet. Brandon Doyle, an agent with RE/MAX Results in Maple Grove, Minn., is a proponent of virtual selling technology. During his Tech Edge presentation, he admitted to recently trading in his Matterport camera for the services of a local pro photographer who offers Toursler. Like Matterport, Toursler is a 3-D system, but it also includes a navigation panel within the virtual tour player with a built-in floor-plan map. Toursler also offers high-res images of the listing, starting at $299 for the whole tour up to 1,200 square feet. Whatever system you use, 3-D tours offer potential buyer a sense of the texture and feel of a home before even stepping foot inside. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re looking for a point of differentiation, this will set you apart,&rdquo; says Doyle, who has seen a 700 percent increase in engagement with his listings that have 3-D tours as opposed to those that don&rsquo;t, with the average view time going from 12 seconds to 3 to 7 minutes. <a href="http://toursler.com/contact" target="_blank">Find out if Toursler is available in your area</a>.</p> <h4>3. Use benchmarking data.</h4> <p>Put your brand forward by using MLS or REALTORS Property Resource&reg; reports in marketing. David Arbit, research manager at the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS&reg;, laid out a simple four-step process for using data in marketing.</p> <ol> <li>Pick your area, be it a county, city, neighborhood or school district.</li> <li>Choose your metric, such as seller activity, active listings, closed activity, days on market, median sales price, or other factor..</li> <li>Select a variable like single-family homes, foreclosures, new construction, or condos.</li> <li>Select a time frame (month, year, or other duration).</li> </ol> <p>From there, create a report and compare the MLS data to your own personal sales data. If you&rsquo;re outperforming your market, that&rsquo;s a value point you need to be communicating to potential clients. Maybe your average days-on-market figure is shorter; maybe you&rsquo;re getting a higher sales price in a particular neighborhood. Agents and brokers can use their own benchmarking data on their website, direct mailings, or listing presentations.</p> <h4>4. Understand the psychology of social media.</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s time to start thinking about social media more in the realm of sociology and psychology than technology. So when it comes to your personal Facebook profile, be a person first and a salesperson second, says Gena Henrich, communication manager for Edina Realty in the Twin Cities. In a recent study by web.com, 83 percent of consumers said they are more likely to use a business with a strong social media presence. So leave comments on friends&rsquo; photos, share things you enjoy, be thoughtful with your words (spelling counts!), make sure what you&rsquo;re posing is accurate, and be the best version of yourself. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s real conversations and real relationships,&rdquo; Henrich says. Also, she advises against duplicating posts on all your networks so you don&rsquo;t spam your multiplatform followers.</p> <h4>5. Blog. It still works.</h4> <p>Teresa Boardman is a real estate agent in St. Paul, Minn., with one of the <a href="http://www.stpaulrealestateblog.com/" target="_blank">highest ranked blogs</a> in her local market. How does she do it? She&rsquo;s not SEO obsessed; she doesn&rsquo;t put the words &ldquo;St. Paul&rdquo; in every headline. She&rsquo;s just consistent and she writes about stuff that people in her niche neighborhoods care about. &ldquo;There is such a thing as attraction on the Internet,&rdquo; Boardman says. Her posts are short and photo-heavy and focus on a small area west of downtown St. Paul. Anyone conducting long-tail searches (three- to four-word phrases) about her market will likely stumble across her blog in the first page of Google&rsquo;s results. Her biggest piece of advice: &ldquo;small world domination.&rdquo; &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t try to cover it all,&rdquo; Boardman says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not always the big things that will get you clients. Keep it local.&rdquo;</p> <h4>6. Remind people.</h4> <p>Prospecting is important, but make sure your agents aren&rsquo;t overlooking people they already know &mdash; friends, family, and past clients. &ldquo;We spend more per month marketing to people we don&rsquo;t know than marketing to the people we&rsquo;ve spent months with,&rdquo; says Jeff Chalmers, the 2015 regional director of communications and technology for the Women&rsquo;s Council of REALTORS&reg;. Focus on community, he says, and remind people about what you do. Get involved with a local chamber of commerce. Chat with people at businesses you frequent. Forge partnership and then try new marketing tactics like paying your dry cleaner to let you put your logo on their hangers. &ldquo;You shop in the area; you go to the gym and grocery stores. Get to know [those business owners] and make sure they get to know you,&rdquo; Chalmers says.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Spice up your next sales meeting with these tips from the latest NAR technology summit.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_Tech.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=40023">jun15_BB_Tech.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_Tech_0.jpg?1435770422" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_tech.jpg?1435770443" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/slideshow/2015/01/7-tech-trends-revolutionize-your-office">7 Tech Trends to Revolutionize Your Office</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/09/3-d-listings-from-every-angle">3-D Listings From Every Angle</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/04/how-be-bruce-springsteen-real-estate">How to Be the Bruce Springsteen of Real Estate</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/09/generate-listings-home-valuation-tools">Generate Listings With Home Valuation Tools</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/help-agents-overcome-3-seller-objections">Help Agents Overcome 3 Seller Objections</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:36:45 +0000 echristoffer 19119 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Embrace (And Not Fear) Technology http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2015/07/how-embrace-and-not-fear-technology <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Are you (or someone you know) afraid of implementing new tools in your business? These simple steps will help you learn to stop worrying and love the tech. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, July 2, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/brenton-hayden">Brenton Hayden</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&rsquo;s no secret that technology is essential for real estate professionals today. Twenty-seven percent of agents spent <a href="http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics" target="_blank">between $501 and $2,000 on technology in the last 12 months</a>, according to NAR&rsquo;s 2013&ndash;2014 REALTOR&reg; Technology Survey. Most in the industry know the importance of investing in new technology&mdash;and you&rsquo;d be <a href="http://www.marketleader.com/blog/2014/01/29/a-portrait-of-the-agent-realtor-habit-survey/" target="_blank">hard-pressed to find an agent without a smartphone</a>.</p> <p>But these investments aren&rsquo;t just about acquiring a cool new gadget; they&rsquo;re for survival. And while many agents recognize the benefits, some are hesitant to implement new technology. After all, there are plenty of gimmicks out there, and it can be hard to know what&rsquo;s valuable and what&rsquo;s a waste of time.</p> <p>This can translate into the opposite of the so-called &ldquo;fear of missing out&rdquo; (colloquially known as FOMO on social media and elsewhere). It&rsquo;s a sort of &ldquo;fear of tech-ing up,&rdquo; wherein real estate professionals are missing out on business because they&rsquo;re paralyzed by the vast field of technology solutions out there to help&mdash;or sometimes hurt&mdash;them.</p> <h4>Fighting Fears</h4> <p>Fear of new tools is relatively common. <a href="http://phobias.about.com/od/phobiaslist/f/What-Is-The-Fear-Of-Technology.htm" target="_blank">Some psychologists believe</a> that most people have at least some amount of nervousness when confronted with new technology. It can be difficult to give up something that you&rsquo;re comfortable with in exchange for something that&rsquo;s relatively unknown. And in today&rsquo;s constantly changing world, it&rsquo;s easy to feel disconnected and out of touch. Unfortunately though, this fear of technology is exactly what&rsquo;s holding many of us back.</p> <p>Despite these fears, it&rsquo;s becoming increasingly necessary for real estate professionals to embrace technology to stay competitive. Consumers are increasingly self-informed, and that&rsquo;s influencing how they shop for real estate. With online listing portals at the ready, clients have easy access to information that was once exclusive to real estate pros. According to the National Association of REALTORS&reg;, <a href="http://www.wayneogloff.com/sellers_guide/selling_selling_yourself.php" target="_blank">89 percent of home buyers consulted the Internet in some way for their real estate transaction</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, with tech-savvy millennials joining the industry, there&rsquo;s even more competition. Decked out with supercharged phones and apps, they&rsquo;re able to provide clients with prompt and in-depth information on demand, enabling a faster and smoother transaction.</p> <p>&ldquo;Technology is one of the few tools that agents can use right now to differentiate themselves and be more productive,&rdquo; speaker and author Stephen Canale said <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SzGJ_x1zfk0C&amp;pg" target="_blank">in the Real Estate Agent&rsquo;s Field Guide</a>. &ldquo;Those who don&rsquo;t embrace technology tend to attract only consumers who are also not embracing technology. The agents don&rsquo;t realize that there are other consumers out there who might do business with them if they had other capabilities.&rdquo;</p> <h4>How to Overcome These Fears</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to fear what we don&rsquo;t understand. Investing the time to master new technology allows you to familiarize yourself with new tools or software, and will in turn help you to become more comfortable with that which you fear.</p> <p>First, it&rsquo;s important to focus on the benefits of new technology. While learning how to use new tools may seem daunting, you can make this easier by actively cultivating a fresh perspective. Think about what new technology can do for you or your clients. Don&rsquo;t let fear stop you from making a good investment in your business. See past short-term apprehension and look toward the long-term outcomes with the power of positive thinking.</p> <p>Next, immerse yourself in training. Take a class or attend a webinar on the new technology you understand the least. Search for tutorials on YouTube and follow a few technology-oriented blogs. The more you know about the technology you seek to implement, the less daunting it will be.</p> <h4>Figuring Out Which Technology to Use</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s no surprise that the tools that successful real estate professionals are drawn to tend to be the ones that help them to be more efficient, productive, and organized. Apps that enable them to respond to queries faster and keep them up-to-date with valuable information for clients are also popular.</p> <p>The key is to think of new technology as an opportunity to fix breakdowns in the real estate transaction process. To cover the bases, real estate pros should consider tech solutions for mobile communication, real estate data, information storage, relationship management, listing presentation and staging, and social media management. If you don&rsquo;t have a useful tool in each of those categories, you might want to look into what you&rsquo;re missing.</p> <p>While there&rsquo;s no shortage of new technology available to tackle these tasks, the challenge is finding ways to use these tools to help make customers&rsquo; lives easier and better. By putting yourself in your clients&rsquo; shoes, and looking for ways to provide them with the best experience possible, you&rsquo;ll stay competitive and current in this quickly changing digital age. I often find myself solving company and client problems with technology. The first thing I think to myself when we&rsquo;re facing a problem is &ldquo;OK, there has to be an app for that.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Are you (or someone you know) afraid of implementing new tools in your business? These simple steps will help you learn to stop worrying and love the tech.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_T_fear.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=41323">jul15_T_fear.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_T_fear_0.jpg?1435849616" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jul15_LP_T_fear.jpg?1435849638" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/08/all-or-nothing-why-you-should-go-100-mobile">All or Nothing: Why You Should Go 100% Mobile</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/09/3-d-listings-from-every-angle">3-D Listings From Every Angle</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2015/02/6-simple-steps-skyrocket-your-website">6 Simple Steps to Skyrocket Your Website</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/tablets-and-phones/article/2014/09/so-you-want-iphone-6">So You Want the iPhone 6…</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:45:53 +0000 mwhite 19112 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Successful Second-Home Summer Sales http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/successful-second-home-summer-sales <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Help agents make the most of this busy season by teaching them how to identify prospects, qualify buyers, and follow up. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, June 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/joan-allen">Joan Allen</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>If you&rsquo;ve set up shop in a desirable area that attracts summer visitors, chances are pretty good your busy season has arrived. With the worst of the Great Recession in the rearview mirror, many buyers are again considering a vacation home purchase.</p> <p>In second-home markets, clients and their needs will be different than traditional residential buyers, but the keys to success are the same. Here are a few tips to get your agents pointed in the right direction this summer.</p> <h4>Serious Buyers vs. Lookie-Loos</h4> <p>Many seasoned brokers think of real estate in vacation areas as being overrun by &ldquo;lookie-loos.&rdquo; But you&rsquo;ll be surprised to learn our anecdotal evidence at Windermere Stellar suggests roughly 20 percent of <a href="http://www.windermereoregoncoast.com/" target="_blank">Oregon Coast real estate</a> sales come from people walking in off the street.</p> <p>Yes, when time is at a premium for busy agents, there&rsquo;s nothing worse than serving as a tour guide for buyers who aren&rsquo;t really serious. So how do agents stay focused on the buyers who are serious? We teach our agents to ask the right questions so they can gain the buyer insight they need.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what your agents need to uncover when qualifying buyers (in any market):</p> <ul> <li>Capability: Does the customer have the financial ability to buy a second home?</li> <li>Motivation: How serious are they? How often do they visit the area on vacation? Are they familiar with area prices?</li> </ul> <p>The best sign a prospective buyer is serious about a search is when they&rsquo;ve contacted your office ahead of time. If details have been considered, like what they&rsquo;re looking for, their price range, and how they&rsquo;ll pay for their home, it&rsquo;s a good sign your agent has an interested buyer. If the prospect has been sent parameter-matching search results ahead of time, then you know they&rsquo;ve educated themselves somewhat before even making the trip to view the market.</p> <h4>Keep the Shelves Stocked</h4> <p>The key to maintaining a healthy office in a second home real estate market is to keep your inventory up. Have the shelves stocked, so to speak. If you have all the listings, your agents will be showing them and attracting more buyers because you control the market.</p> <h4>Follow Up</h4> <p>Staying in touch with potential buyers is critical. Compel your agents to create a plan for frequent communication. They can send them information about changes in the marketplace through e-mail and e-newsletters for example, or they can list the fun area activities in a mailed postcard.</p> <p>When people buy a second home, they are really buying the lifestyle that the home and location represent. Remembering lifestyle in all communications, follow-up contact, and marketing can be the key to success in a second-home market.</p> <h4>Sell With Confidence</h4> <p>Most second-home markets tend to lag behind primary-home markets. For example, our Oregon coast inventory is more robust than Portland&rsquo;s or Seattle&rsquo;s, and prices haven&rsquo;t caught up yet. Eventually our inventory will mimic the big cities and prices will inevitably rise &mdash; clear transitions into a seller&rsquo;s market.</p> <p>The good news is your agents can feel confident telling their clients that the time to buy a second home is right now in many markets. Especially since <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2015/05/higher-rates-soon-more-buyers-later" target="_blank">experts are forecasting interest rates to rise</a> over the next two years.</p> <p>While it may seem like success in a second-home market requires a special set of skills, attention to the basics &mdash; market knowledge, inventory management, frequent communication, and customer qualification &mdash; will help you leverage the summer season.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Help agents make the most of this busy season by teaching them how to identify prospects, qualify buyers, and follow up.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_second.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=77990">jun15_BB_second.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_second_0.jpg?1435352823" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_second.jpg?1435352842" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/05/keeping-up-rr-crowd">Keeping Up With the R&amp;R Crowd</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/05/power-great-logo">The Power of a Great Logo</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:09:27 +0000 echristoffer 19106 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Eliminate the Mosquitoes in Your Life http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2015/06/eliminate-mosquitoes-in-your-life <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Are you swatting at distractions all day? Get rid of them before they take you off the course of your success. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 22, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/jared-james">Jared James</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Have you ever been excited for a relaxing night with friends around a fire pit, roasting marshmallows? You wait until the sun goes down, but then you realize you forgot the bug spray. What was supposed to be a night of fun turns into an itch fest with everyone slapping their arms and legs. Mosquitoes have a way of ruining things.</p> <p>But they don&rsquo;t just exist to make your late-night campfire a bust. For too many of us, there are proverbial bugs in our daily lives that nag at us all day until they finally pull our attention away from whatever we should be focusing on at the moment.</p> <p>I get the opportunity to speak to and train tens of thousands of real estate professionals every year, and one common obstacle almost all of them share is the inability to stay focused and actually execute on the strategies they&rsquo;ve learned.</p> <p>So how does this happen? Many times, it&rsquo;s because they have allowed into their lives mosquitoes that masquerade as friends and colleagues, new tech tools that promise more productivity, or time-saving activities that do nothing more than pull your attention away from what really matters and what&rsquo;s going to make you money.</p> <p>So here&rsquo;s what I want you to do: Take a moment and think of three mosquitoes that you need to eliminate now. Are there people in your life that keep you from any semblance of productivity? Do you spend more time learning new technologies than you do actually selling houses and marketing your services?</p> <p>Please don&rsquo;t get me wrong; I&rsquo;m not saying that technology is bad, and I&rsquo;m not saying that you have to eliminate anyone not adding to the bottom line of your business. What I am saying is that many people reading this have been way too liberal in the allocation of their time and the VIP passes they give their inner circle, and if you&rsquo;re one of them, it is costing you money. Worse yet, it&rsquo;s blinding you to the reality of where you really are in your life.</p> <p>Have you ever felt like you were so busy that you couldn&rsquo;t actually get anything done? Most have felt that way at some point or another. That is a great sign that you need to start identifying mosquitoes and pull out the swatter.</p> <p>Remember, there is a difference between activity and achievement. One gets you something in the end and the other just makes you busy.</p> <p>Whether you are the president of the United States or the person who takes out his trash, you both get exactly 1,440 minutes in any given day. The energy that it takes to swat flies is just as exhausting as the energy it takes to follow and execute on good strategies in your real estate business. Every day, you have to make a decision about how you are going to use that energy.</p> <p>Eliminate the mosquitoes from your life and let me know how it feels in the comment section below.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Are you swatting at distractions all day? Get rid of them before they take you off the course of your success.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_mosquito.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=28598">jun15_SM_mosquito.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_mosquito_0.jpg?1435008184" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_SM_mosquito.jpg?1435008200" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/12/get-your-inner-control-freak-under-control">Get Your Inner Control Freak Under Control</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/05/friends-and-family-conundrum">The Friends and Family Conundrum</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/keep-calm-and-handle-bad-reviews">Keep Calm and Handle Bad Reviews</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Sales Coach Mon, 22 Jun 2015 21:05:28 +0000 gwood 19086 at http://realtormag.realtor.org He Loves It, She Doesn't http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/06/he-loves-it-she-doesnt <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Four ways to counsel clients on creative compromises when they disagree on the house. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 22, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/jeff-shore">Jeff Shore</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Choosing to purchase a home is not a single decision; it is a thousand decisions. What are the odds that people buying together are going to agree across the board? Technically, it&rsquo;s about 0 percent (give or take).</p> <p>Assume the buyers are a couple in a move-up situation who have been down this path at least once before. Also assume that their favorite pastime is watching &ldquo;House Hunters&rdquo; (which makes them real estate experts, right?). During your early interactions with them, you gain a sense of their wish list and quickly identify a home on the market that comes closest to what they want within their budget. Time to show the home!</p> <h4>The Scenario</h4> <p>During the home tour, the issues start to arise:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Husband: &ldquo;This great room is awesome. We could put a sectional sofa in here that surrounds a big screen. I love it!&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Wife: &ldquo;You know I don&rsquo;t care for sectionals, and I was hoping for something with more intimate spaces.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Husband: &ldquo;But look at this kitchen. It looks out to the family room. It is so open!&rdquo; </em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Wife: &ldquo;There is no island in this kitchen. You know how important that is to me. And I don&rsquo;t care for the granite color, but it would cost a fortune to replace it.&rdquo; </em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Husband: &ldquo;But surely you can appreciate that the kitchen leads out to the backyard. We can BBQ standing right next to the door and still see the TV!&rdquo; </em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Wife: &ldquo;I was hoping to have a seating area and a garden, but this is all concrete. Ugh.&rdquo; </em></p> <h4>The Psychology</h4> <p>So&hellip;who wins? How do you determine which personality prevails?</p> <p>You must discern which party feels more passionate about their vision of the home. Whoever has stronger feelings will tend to get their way. If we use that criteria in the scenario above, then the husband probably wins, right? He sees a powerful and positive vision for the home and how to enjoy it. Now this has nothing to do with gender, and in any given scenario, the wife (or other life partner) might drive the passion. Your job is to find and follow the passion.</p> <p>This principle holds true for all sorts of decisions that partners make &mdash; for example, where to go for dinner. It might sound something like this:</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>&ldquo;How do you feel about The Brickhouse Grill for lunch?&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>&ldquo;You know what, I&rsquo;ll do that if you really want to, but I have been thinking all day about the Caribbean chicken salad at Maria&rsquo;s. Can we puh-lease go to Maria&rsquo;s?&rdquo; </em></p> <p>Who will get their way in that conversation? Follow the passion. This duo is going to Maria&rsquo;s &mdash; you can count on it.</p> <p>To be clear, there will be times when the passion is equal but on opposite sides of the love-hate meter. Unless the &ldquo;hater&rdquo; can be swayed, you probably won&rsquo;t get a sale.</p> <h4>The Solution</h4> <p>Your role as a counselor in this situation is to allow the passionate person to win without the less passionate person feeling like a loser. In the example above, it would appear that the husband&rsquo;s passion is outpacing the wife&rsquo;s. So how do you help her to feel good about the outcome? Here are four techniques to gently handle such situations:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Distinguish Between &ldquo;Best&rdquo; and &ldquo;Perfect&rdquo;</strong><br /> There is no such thing as a perfect home. Everyone compromises; it&rsquo;s a certainty. Let your customers know that. Make it very clear that this is a normal part of the process. You might even refer them to the show &ldquo;House Hunters&rdquo; as an example.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Perfect&rdquo; is a very dangerous word. Counsel your clients to look for the <em>best</em> home in their price range.<br /> <br /> <strong>Key Question: </strong><em>&ldquo;If everything else in the home worked for you, is this something you would be willing to consider?&rdquo;</em></li> <br /> <li><strong>Transfer Ownership of the Objection</strong><br /> Do you ever feel like you need to know all the right answers for all the tough objections? Oftentimes, you need to ask the questions and then have your client come up with the solutions. You want to transfer ownership of the issue or concern over to the client. You will be surprised how creative your clients can become!<br /> <br /> <strong>Key Question: </strong><em>&ldquo;Assume for a moment that you already live here. What would you do to make that work for both of you?&rdquo;</em></li> <br /> <li><strong>Look for Small Compromises From Both Sides</strong><br /> Someone must give in. Someone must compromise. Your strategy is to get the compromiser to feel like they still got something out of the negotiation. You want them to say, &ldquo;Okay, I didn&rsquo;t love the floor plan, but I got him to give up&hellip;&rdquo; Just make certain that everyone appreciates the concession!<br /> <br /> <strong>Key Question: </strong><em>&ldquo;I know you love the floor plan, but she hates the idea of a sectional. Can you give in on that one item here?&rdquo;</em></li> <br /> <li><strong>Set the Less Passionate Buyer Up to Be the Hero</strong><br /> The less passionate buyer will lose the war, so let them win a battle. Help him or her to feel good about it. Set that person up as the hero of the story.<br /> <br /> <strong>Key Question: </strong><em>&ldquo;Jack, I know you said you would have preferred to have a two-story home with more space in the family room, but Sandy really loves this single-story with the more intimate space. Let me ask you: Is this something you can live with in order to make Sandy happy?&rdquo;</em></li> </ol> <p>Follow the passion, counsel the compromises, and get ready to change someone&rsquo;s world!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Four ways to counsel your clients toward creative compromises when they don&#39;t agree on the house.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_couples.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=24613">jun15_SM_couples.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_couples_0.jpg?1435008799" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_SM_couples.jpg?1435008804" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2014/10/5-principles-gaining-agreement">The 5 Principles of Gaining Agreement</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/03/26/help-buyers-deal-kitchen-compromises">Help Buyers Deal With Kitchen Compromises</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/02/10/men-women-lust-over-homes-differently">Men, Women Lust Over Homes Differently</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 22 Jun 2015 17:19:55 +0000 gwood 19085 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Are Sales Contests Gone for Good? http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/are-sales-contests-gone-for-good <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The emerging trend of gamification could be a successful and fun way to motivate your agents. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, June 19, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/mark-leader">Mark Leader</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the things I remember most vividly from my time as a sales professional was the excitement and buzz that would fill the office when a sales contest was announced.</p> <p>The structure was normally something like this: For each quarter of the year, if you hit a certain quota above your normal number of sales and the team performed above average overall, then the company would invite you on a trip to a resort destination &mdash; all expenses paid with spouses and plus-ones welcome.</p> <p>It usually shaped up to be a large group, and I remember those trips fondly as times when coworkers became great friends.</p> <p>The trip was a great way to toast to each other&rsquo;s success, and that of the company, while relaxing and having fun. But in many ways, the best part was the road map getting there &ndash; the anticipation when you were just one contract away from contest levels or when the office is lagging behind, so you&rsquo;re cheering on your coworkers and supporting them as they strive to make their contest numbers, too.</p> <p>When business was hard, sales contests brought levity. They brought people and excitement into the office and strengthened relationships. We were a fun crowd to be around, and our clients felt that, too.</p> <h4>So why isn&rsquo;t anyone doing sales contests anymore?</h4> <p>For one thing, agents today work more independently. They operate from home, via mobile, and on their own terms. Offices are physically smaller and no longer function as the social centers and training hubs that they once were &mdash;at least not to the same extent.</p> <p>The role of a typical real estate sales manager has also evolved. Once an integral player not only in sales contests but also in the day-to-day work of an agent, today&rsquo;s sales manager may be responsible for an office of 100 or more agents, functioning more as a resource than as a traditional manager, mentor, or coach.</p> <p>These days, a traditional sales contest &mdash; complete with the blackboard, the reporting systems, the spreadsheets, and so on &mdash; would be a huge undertaking for a manager. And the ROI isn&rsquo;t there anymore, either. One of the main benefits of a contest used to be that it would give agents a reason to come in to the office (where all meaningful work took place) to check the leaderboard. More bodies in the office meant higher productions &mdash; but today that just isn&rsquo;t the case.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>With less capacity to run them and a lower ROI, it&rsquo;s no surprise many offices have retired their sales contests.</p> <p>But companies in other industries are beginning to revive the concept in the context of a contemporary sales force &ndash; and they&rsquo;re producing some impressive results.</p> <h4>Enter gamification.</h4> <p>The idea is to update sales contests to align with the modern sales process, which is heavily digital.</p> <p>Several Silicon Valley startups are dedicated to doing just that. One, called <a href="https://www.fantasysalesteam.com/sales-contests-have-always-been-gamification-or-have-they/3376">Fantasy Sales Team</a>, brings the wildly popular concept of fantasy football to the sales contest concept. Reps draft a virtual team of coworkers and rely on their performance in order to win.</p> <p>This encourages a novel combination of both competition and support, perfect for motivating a modern sales force. Thanks to the wild popularity of fantasy sports, a huge number of salespeople are already familiar with the concept.</p> <p>Fantasy Sales Team is just one version of an emerging trend in business called gamification. While the term evokes video games, and <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3006148/key-motivating-employees-make-sales-game">can backfire</a> if that&rsquo;s all your sales contest is, the results of gamification done right are hard to argue.</p> <p>Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway company that builds homes across the U.S., was profiled in the <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/03/the-sales-director-who-turned-work-into-a-fantasy-sports-competition">Harvard Business Review</a> earlier this spring for their use of a fantasy sports&ndash;based contest that increased production by over 200 percent.</p> <h4>First rule of the game: know your people.</h4> <p>Still, an earlier Harvard Business Review article serves as a timely reminder that <a href="https://hbr.org/2012/07/motivating-salespeople-what-really-works">not all salespeople are alike</a>; as such, not all will respond to contests with equal fervor.</p> <p>Most sales forces have a small group of stars, a small group of laggards, and a large group of producers in between. It turns out that slight nuances in a contest, such as the number and type of prizes awarded, can make the difference between your core producers (the in-between group) rising to the occasion or sitting it out.</p> <p>With the move to a digital sales contest, you have the luxury of analytics to help you determine who&rsquo;s engaged and who is not. But in most ways, the task of motivating agents is still a very human one.</p> <p>So, you know your sales manager? The one in the big brick-and-mortar office with the task of training, motivating, and counseling your agents live, in person? You&rsquo;ll probably want to keep them around.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The emerging trend of gamification could be a successful and fun way to motivate your agents.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_sales_contest.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33436">jun15_BB_sales_contest.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_sales_contest_0.jpg?1435069806" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_sales_contest.jpg?1435069820" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2010/03/do-sales-awards-matter">Do Sales Awards Matter?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2013/09/push-or-pull-secret-leading-motivating-and-inspiring">Push or Pull? The Secret To Leading, Motivating, and Inspiring</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/how-keep-your-team-happy">How to Keep Your Team Happy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/09/8-tips-for-grooming-top-producers">8 Tips for Grooming Top Producers</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:36:58 +0000 echristoffer 19078 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Investment Allure: Get Buyers on the Gravy Train http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2015/06/investment-allure-get-buyers-gravy-train <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Many people prefer to rent rather than own, and that target market represents a sizable niche for residential investment buyers. Help these investors find the best properties for their dollars, so that being a landlord becomes a win-win. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, June 19, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/barbara-ballinger">Barbara Ballinger</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Not everyone dreams of home ownership. Some don&#39;t have the funds for a down payment; others remain skittish after the post-2008 housing debacle; and still others think they won&#39;t stay long enough to make buying worthwhile. And then there&#39;s a growing cohort of downsizing baby boomers, who no longer want to deal with mowing, plowing, and putting on a new roof that may outlive them.</p> <p>This market, along with an uptick in rental prices nationwide, spells opportunity for those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, cover some or all their housing costs, realize appreciation, and reap tax benefits. &quot;Buying even a single property as a rental can be a great way to test being a landlord,&quot; says real estate investor Brandon Turner, 29, who&#39;s gone from one investment property eight years ago to 42. Turner went on to become a vice president at <a href="http://www.biggerpockets.com/">BiggerPockets Inc</a>., an online real-estate investing company that published his book, <em>The Book on Investing in Real Estate With Low and No Money Down,</em> in 2014.</p> <p>This type of investment requires research and careful decision making, however. Buyers may also have to consider different issues than they did when purchasing their primary residence. Here are eight ways you can help them choose well:&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1. Type of property.</strong> Single-family house, two- or four-flat (also known as a duplex or fourplex), condo, or larger complex? All can work as rental properties, depending on the purchase price, mortgage, monthly lease, condition, potential pool, and municipal rules that may govern the number of tenants, says Turner, who became a landlord in order to live rent-free. He paid $80,000 for a duplex outside Seattle in 2008, which required a total monthly mortgage of $600. He moved into one unit and rented out the other for $650 a month.</p> <p>Alex Sturwold, another young investor and principal of One Companies LLC, a real estate firm in Chicago, finds small multifamily dwellings a wise choice for those in Turner&#39;s and his own situation. &quot;They&#39;re still manageable for most solo investors and provide an economy of scale,&quot; he says. &quot;You don&#39;t have to drive around collecting rent checks, can buy light bulbs and doorknobs in quantity, and can take advantage of some government programs that permit home owners to secure low-cost mortgages without putting down too much money.&quot; Sturwold put down just $5,900 on a $210,000 three-unit in his city&rsquo;s Albany Park neighborhood three years ago, invested $40,000, and estimates its current value at $385,000. &quot;It was cash positive from the start,&quot; he adds.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_jun/jun15_HD_judy.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 300px; float: right;" />Judy Steinfeld had a different goal in mind. She didn&#39;t plan to live rent-free but wanted to purchase a property she could rent out to weekenders year-round. She started by buying a music store in Woodstock, N.Y., a rural town two hours north of New York that&#39;s popular all year. She converted it into a three-flat for those interested in upscale digs, then found the experience so pleasurable and financially rewarding that she added five other Woodstock properties. A vacation in Chile led to her expanding her portfolio overseas with four more purchases.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>If you&#39;re thinking of investing&hellip;.</strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> <strong>Have adequate insurance and liability protection in case of a lawsuit</strong>. Aim for a dollar figure that completely covers assets, which may require an umbrella policy, says Michael A. Quintana, an agent with Insurance Headquarters in Cape Coral, Fla. A lender may also require flood insurance if the property is located in a flood zone, and even if not it can be prudent for investors to purchase it for just-in-case scenarios.</p> <p><strong>2. Pass along costs</strong>. The competitiveness of the market and whether the rental is annual or seasonal usually influence what owners cover. But almost everything&rsquo;s negotiable. Most landlords typically pay real estate taxes, maintenance when equipment or housing parts break, and building insurance. Long-term renters may cover utilities, daily/weekly maintenance such as mowing and trash pick up, and insurance protection for their possessions.</p> <p><strong>3. Specify rules and regulations in writing.</strong> Whether you say yes or no to pets is a personal decision, but know that such restrictions will limit the pool of renters. When it comes to the number of people permitted, you can limit that too, but many communities have guidelines that state no more than two people per bedroom, so know the local laws. Turner provides tenants a list of house rules such as keeping noise down between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and not smoking. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. Plan for the worst case.</strong> While renters may seem as commonplace as ants swarming around a summer picnic, the situation can change on a dime. Many first-time landlords don&rsquo;t grasp the financial challenges that may arise. &quot;They may not realize a property can sit vacant for a month or two or a refrigerator may conk out, and either can wreak havoc on a well-planned budget,&quot; Turner says. At such times, he suggests offering a free month or two of rent, flat-screen TV, or lower rent as an incentive. Sturwold prefers to focus on renters&rsquo; specific wants--free Wi-Fi for his millennials rather than a TV that will wear out, he says.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>2. Location.</strong> This depends on each market and the potential pool of renters. Turner has found purchase prices are higher in Seattle, but so are rents, so by going a bit farther afield of the city he could still generate good cash flow from lower overhead and less competition. Sturwold has found being close to mass transit is key for those commuting within Chicago, just as being near a highway is important for those living in the suburbs. Steinfeld knew that her Woodstock locations needed to be in the village rather than on the outskirts since most weekenders wanted to walk rather than drive. In Chile, she went after properties that were no more than 90 minutes from the Santiago airport, on the beach, and on the grid. For any market, Sturwold recommends studying migration patterns. For example, he notes that &quot;college grads and millennials are heading to cities, and are expected to do so through 2022.&quot;</p> <p><strong>3. Old vs. new.</strong> Old usually means more charm and lower purchase prices than new, but more work and greater maintenance outlays factor in, too. Turner has found that many first-time investors in his market seek vintage two-flats in that trade-off, which usually cost less in the end than recently built properties. As a nest egg grows and investors tire of making repairs they generally shift to newer, pricier properties. Steinfeld has stayed with the older properties because they permit her to buy for a good price, then invest in the best wiring, plumbing, building materials, and furnishings to attract high-end renters willing to pay a premium.</p> <p><strong>4. Amenities that appeal.</strong> Because location-specific trends and price points vary greatly, studying the competition and what does well is key, experienced investors say. Turner has focused on low-income rental properties with nice-looking, clean kitchens&mdash;think laminate countertops and vinyl floors in good condition but not more luxe swirly granite and hardwood floors seen in glossy decorating magazines. &nbsp;Sturwold zeroed in on millennials who expect good cell and Wi-Fi service and in-unit laundries, or at least an on-site basement facility. Steinfeld&rsquo;s listings feature hot tubs, fireplaces, high-end kitchen equipment and materials, air conditioning, and even boutique hotel niceties such as bathrobes and high-quality linens.</p> <p><strong>5. Decorating sizzle</strong>. While many suggest all-white and cream color schemes and as little personalization as possible to appeal to a wide cross-section of renters, Sturwold thinks displaying some extra flair helps a rental stand out. His current tool of choice: the &quot;in&quot; color gray. &quot;You&rsquo;d be surprised at how it attracts a different level of tenant. I just don&#39;t go too crazy with color,&quot; he says. Seinfeld also is using gray&mdash;and white, as well as colorfully landscaped yards, claw-foot tubs, and reclaimed wide pine boards.</p> <p><strong>6. Durable, low-maintenance materials. </strong>Turner favors materials and surfaces that wear well, what he refers to as &quot;tenant-proof.&quot; For floors, he recommends hardwood, high quality vinyl, ceramic, and darker colored carpeting though the specific choice depends on rental price and demographic. He also prefers low-flow plumbing, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting to cut his and tenants&#39; costs and conserve resources. He also recommends semi-gloss paint that wipes clean easier than matte. While he rarely replaces cabinetry, a costly and time-consuming undertaking, he has changed out hardware for a snappier look and has painted cabinet fronts when warranted. He&#39;s also sometimes switched windows if they leak, noting that a local government agency may help subsidize such upgrades.</p> <p><strong>7. Safety features that limit landlord liability. </strong>Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required by law. Also important are functioning appliances, fixtures, HVAC systems, and secure steps, decks, and railings. Smart investors will take a cue from Steinfeld and regularly bring an inspector to walk a property and make sure everything is safe and up to code. Turner also takes tenants on a walk-through to be sure they know how to operate equipment such as barbecues, gas ranges, and fireplaces, and how to exit quickly in case of a fire or natural disaster. He also provides written instructions.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>8. How long to hold on. </strong>Some view the purchase as a short-term fix for funds to help pay for a home improvement project for their own home or cover taxes until their salary rises. With a mortgage paid down, some owners of two-flats might even convert them to a single dwelling after renting for a few years. Others find being a landlord so financially rewarding there&rsquo;s no point in selling and cutting off the income stream. Sturwold expected to hold onto his investment property only three years, but will hit that time frame in October and plans to keep it. He likes pocketing $1,200 a month in profit. This helped him amass enough funds to buy a six-flat with a partner this past January. He also loves owning a building that other families call home: &quot;It&#39;s given me a real sense of pride.&quot;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Many people prefer to rent rather than own, and that target market represents a sizable niche for residential investment buyers. Help these investors find the best properties for their dollars, so that being a landlord becomes a win-win.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_HD_rentals.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=40030">jun15_HD_rentals.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_HD_rentals_0.jpg?1434662888" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_HD_rentals.jpg?1434662909" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2009/05/how-size-up-investment-property">How to Size Up an Investment Property</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/07/property-management-20">Property Management 2.0</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:38:24 +0000 mbrozanic 19071 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Sponsored Content: Home Warranty Basics A http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/briefs/article/2015/06/sponsored-content-home-warranty-basics <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Content partner American Home Shield offers tips on how your clients can protect their investment. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, June 10, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/american-home-shield">American Home Shield</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Imagine that you represent a potential buyer who&#39;s looking at a large, newly constructed home in a beautiful location. The buyer asks you several questions about the builder&#39;s reputation and whether the home is well built.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Although you certainly don&#39;t want to give advice on construction quality &mdash; unless you&#39;re a general contractor yourself &mdash; you can add value for your client by knowing the basics of new-home warranties.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">New-home warranties fall into three categories:</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Statutory</strong>. These are warranties specifically required by law. Some states, including Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, have passed new-home warranty acts that require builders to provide protections to home buyers. These warranties range from two years for the quality of workmanship and materials to 10 years for structural defects.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Implied</strong>. These are warranties inferred by legal precedent set in past lawsuits. Today, most states have case law that protects new-home buyers from faulty workmanship. One of the most common implied warranties is the implied warranty of habitability, which guarantees that the house will be free from defects that substantially impair its use and enjoyment. Such a warranty often covers significant defects in the plumbing, electrical, roofing materials, and structural systems such as the foundation. This warranty may also include a guarantee to the initial buyer that the materials, products, or fixtures that make up the home (such as the plywood or siding) are free from defects.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Express</strong>. These are written warranties provided by the home builder. A builder may decide to provide express warranties about the home in the purchase contract, even in the absence of a law requiring it to do so. The express warranties might read something like: &quot;The builder of this home hereby warrants the quality of the completed structure for two years from the date of completion.&quot; Specific express warranties often benefit a home builder because the builder may attempt to disclaim all implied warranties by providing specific ones. For example, if a builder provides an express warranty covering structural defects for a period of five years from the date the home is completed, it will probably try to disclaim implied warranties that cover the same defect for a period of seven years. However, most courts hold that a disclaimer of an implied warranty is void because it defeats the purpose of the warranty: to protect consumers from faulty workmanship.</span></li> </ul> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">What About the Second Owner?</span></h4> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">In some cases, clients will want to know if new-home warranties extend to a subsequent buyer. In general, the express warranties discussed in this article apply only if a home is being sold by the builder and the buyer is the first occupant of the home. However, there is a trend toward letting implied warranties pass from the original owner to a second or third owner if the warranty has not expired. If the implied warranty remains in effect, it typically covers only latent defects &mdash; defects that aren&#39;t discoverable by a subsequent buyer&#39;s reasonable inspection.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Acting on a Warranty</span></h4> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">If buyer clients believe that they may have a claim against a builder under a statutory, express, or implied warranty, there are several important steps they should take: Read the warranty, if there is one, provided by the builder; call the builder and try to resolve the dispute; provide written notice to the builder of the defect in the form of a letter; give the builder a reasonable amount of time to resolve the problem; seek legal advice if the dispute cannot be resolved; and contact the state consumer protection agency or state attorney general&#39;s office.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">What the buyers should not do is hire a professional to repair the alleged defect and then file a claim against the builder for the expenses incurred. Unless the defect was causing an emergency, such as a flood from a plumbing leak, the home owner should have the problem repaired only after the builder has failed to respond or fix the problem.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Avoid Warranty Disputes</span></h4> <ul> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Read the contract carefully to determine what legal warranties it contains.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Avoid nitpicking. Don&rsquo;t bring a claim for minor discrepancies in the finished home.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Recognize that most builders use disclaimers in the hope of preventing actions against them for defects.</span></li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Content partner American Home Shield offers tips on how your clients can protect their investment.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_exB.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38300">sponsored_exB.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_exB_0.jpg?1434057121" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_ex_0.jpg?1434057126" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-links"> <div class="field-label">External Links:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://www.ahs.com/" rel="nofollow">Learn more about American Home Shield</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Briefs Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:10:44 +0000 esiuta 19039 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Dominate Your Market—Without It Dominating Your Time http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/solutions/article/2015/06/dominate-your-market-without-it-dominating-your-time <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Have you ever considered jumping into the new-construction market? Learn the five steps to taking on this booming niche and boost your agents’ productivity in the process. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, June 9, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/jason-forrest">Jason Forrest</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>For real estate professionals, driving from community to community and personally nurturing each client from the initial meeting until close has long been the bread and butter of the business. And if you&rsquo;re like most brokers, you get frequent requests from agents on your team looking to somehow multiply their time and effort. They usually have their minds stuck on one way to do that&mdash;with the help of an assistant. Next time you hear this request, give agents a counterproposal. Tell them there is a staff of nine highly qualified, motivated salespeople eagerly waiting in the wings to help them reach their goals.</p> <p>The key to this process is new construction. Brokers can take advantage of the way many of these communities operate to help their agents close more sales and exert a lower level of effort.</p> <p>This is how the business model niche works. Select agents focus on new homes and leverage new-home salespeople to multiply their efforts. These agents don&rsquo;t drive around, taking individuals to endless properties. Instead, they find three markets (ZIP codes) in which to specialize, and develop a team of new-home salespeople in those markets. In each one, they work with a salesperson in an entry-level, mid-level, and luxury home community. The agent&rsquo;s job is to find new clients and determine which area, community, and home is most appropriate for the client. From there, the agent hands the client off to the appropriate member of their team and let that salesperson do all the legwork (and of course, the <em>paper</em>work) from there.</p> <p>By using a support team, agents get to spend 100 percent of their time finding new business and setting up the pre-sale. They will never need to tour a house with a prospect again. After selling clients on the area, qualifying them, and closing them on one or two floor plans, the agent makes the hand-off by validating the new-home salesperson and setting up an appointment for the clients to visit the community. While sending the clients on their way, the agent reiterates reasons he or she believes the plan and community are best for the customer. The salesperson will need to possibly narrow the customer down to one floor plan and then pick the lot. The new home salesperson on the other end will be quite happy to have a partner consistently sending qualified leads. Strong salespeople will become a positive extension of the agent&rsquo;s brand.</p> <p>The math is pretty impressive. Agents get paid 3 percent for bringing the deal, so on a $200K home, they get $6,000 in commission. So agents can work nine prospects a month, farm them out to nine different salespeople, and make $54,000 a month. There isn&rsquo;t time to complete that many sales on their own, but there <em>is</em> time to do the up-front nurturing before sending clients to the on-site partners.</p> <p>Your job is to identify your best agents for this business model and then teach them the following steps:</p> <ol> <li>Identify three target ZIP codes with new-home communities.</li> <li>Find the best new-home sales professional in three different price points in each of those zip codes and have them teach you and your agents about their homes, so that you have enough knowledge to presell the product.</li> <li>Follow up with these agents on a monthly basis.&nbsp;</li> <li>Find nine new prospects a month to presell and hand off. Note: If clients truly do not want new-home construction, refer them to someone else who&rsquo;s focused on existing-home inventory (and get a referral fee, if applicable).</li> <li>Let the new-home salespeople do all the handholding and paperwork.</li> </ol> <p>For agents, time is the most valuable asset. This approach allows exponential growth as opposed to organic growth, increasing overall broker and agent success. This way, you and your sales associates can use valuable time to play smarter and make more money.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Have you ever considered jumping into the new-construction market? Learn the five steps to taking on this booming niche and boost your agents&rsquo; productivity in the process.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_time.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=60218">jun15_SM_time.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_time_0.jpg?1433879926" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_SM_time.jpg?1433879947" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/05/build-or-buy">Build or Buy?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2014/09/confluence-positive-trends">A Confluence of Positive Trends</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/11/03/get-ready-corner-new-home-market-in-2015">Get Ready to Corner New-Home Market in 2015</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2015/03/first-time-buyer-comeback">A First-Time Buyer Comeback? </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Solutions Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:29:32 +0000 mwhite 19022 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Mayhem in Multifamily? http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2015/06/mayhem-in-multifamily <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rental markets are exploding in the wake of the housing crisis. Here’s how to tell if the expansion has overheated. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, June 9, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/deborah-huso">Deborah Huso</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As millennials eschew home ownership in favor of renting, the demand for multifamily housing continues to grow across the country. But as construction starts and investments in this real estate category climb to their highest levels in six years, some analysts fear an impending bubble. Others, however, believe that with the ongoing shift from owning to renting, the sector will keep growing for the next five years.</p> <p>At the 2015 REALTORS&reg; Legislative Meetings &amp; Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., Sam Chandan, founder of Chandan Economics in New York, had a warning for those who believe the expansion in multifamily to be limitless. &ldquo;Investors will tell you we&rsquo;re fundamentally a nation of renters now,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;As house prices begin to improve&hellip; there will be a significant subset of renters in the U.S. who will say now is the right time to be a home owner.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, it seems that change has yet to come.&nbsp; A 2014 joint report from CBRE Global Research and Consulting and CBRE Capital Markets placed the national multifamily housing market &ldquo;firmly in the expansion phase of its cycle, with vacancy rates in most markets at or below historical averages and effective rents reaching record levels.&rdquo; Demand for multifamily increased 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2013, CBRE concluded, with the market showing its strongest performance since 2009.&nbsp;</p> <p>Apartment rentals are the hottest part of the multifamily sector, far outstripping interest in condo ownership, according to the February 2015 edition of Freddie Mac&rsquo;s Multifamily Research Perspectives. The mortgage giant also predicts that multifamily construction starts will continue to expand through 2015 and into 2016. Despite the build-out, NAR&rsquo;s Commercial Real Estate Outlook for May 2015 suggests apartment vacancy rates will remain below historical averages for some time to come, rising no higher than 4.4 percent in the next year.</p> <p>Meanwhile, condominium development nationwide is a virtual nonstarter.&nbsp; While multifamily construction is at its highest level in the last 25 years, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 93 percent of that construction is in rental units. Part of this may be due to a decline in property ownership overall. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 65 percent of U.S. households own homes today, representing the lowest home-ownership rate since 1995.&nbsp; Most of that decline occurred in the under 35 market, where rates stood at 35.9 percent in the fall of 2014 (compared with 43.6 percent a decade earlier).</p> <h4>Millennials Lead the Market</h4> <p>Where is multifamily hottest?&nbsp; Mainly where job growth is high and the foreclosure crisis is still reverberating. The top markets, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE, include Houston; Dallas; Austin, Texas; Seattle; Denver; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; San Jose, Calif.; and San Francisco, which together accounted for half the market&rsquo;s national net absorption in 2013.</p> <p>In Denver, approximately 8,000 new multifamily units are under construction and scheduled to come on board in 2015, according to Anthony Rael, chairman of the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; Market Trends Committee and a relocation specialist with RE/MAX Alliance. He says rental vacancy has stood at 5 percent or less for some time now, and he attributes the market&rsquo;s robustness to the wide variety of generations moving to Denver looking for affordability and the lifestyle options offered by walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods.</p> <p>&ldquo;The millennials are all moving here,&rdquo; says Bill James, GRI, CCIM, president of James Real Estate Services Inc. in Denver. He says they&rsquo;re attracted to the city&rsquo;s climate, cultural and recreational offerings, and the construction of a $7 billion transit system. &ldquo;Two- to 3,000 apartment units are being built within a couple of blocks of Union Station alone,&rdquo; he adds.</p> <p>James attributes a great deal of the new multifamily construction to the city&rsquo;s job gains. With unemployment at 5 percent, Denver&rsquo;s jobs picture is more positive than the national one, which may contribute to the fact that the city&rsquo;s population is growing by about 47,000 people per year. But he also cautions that rising expenses could throw a wrench in the growth calculation: &ldquo;Oil prices show some writing on the wall. It&rsquo;s a horse race between the millennials and the economy.&rdquo;</p> <p>James isn&rsquo;t terribly concerned about the pace of multifamily growth in Denver, especially when he compares his city to other metro areas around the country, where cap rates, or the ratio of net operating income to property asset value, are especially low. Chicago and New York City are prime examples. &ldquo;Low cap rates mean high prices, which means higher risk for investors,&rdquo; he explains. &ldquo;Investors perceive risk in Colorado as lower because unemployment is low.&rdquo;</p> <p>The story is similar in Houston, which has brought in half a million new jobs in the last four to five years, mainly in the health care, construction, and oil industries, where production is booming in the Eagle Ford Shale region in south central Texas.&nbsp; &ldquo;One thing that&rsquo;s driving rental rates is increased density,&rdquo; says Tim Surratt, real estate professional with Greenwood King Properties Inc. in Houston. He says the fastest moving units in the city are those in walkable neighborhoods, and most of those are either new construction or repurposed buildings.</p> <h4>Home Ownership Isn&rsquo;t Everything</h4> <p>With so many displaced families reeling from recent foreclosures in the city, multifamily demand is high in Las Vegas, where&nbsp;Petra Latch, principal of appraisal company Criterion Group, points to massive growth in multifamily in one of the markets hardest hit by the Great Recession. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve gone so low and have had such a drastic pendulum swing in our market the past five years,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been a backlash&hellip; People are less excited these days about home ownership.&rdquo;</p> <p>Latch points out that today&rsquo;s young adults came of age in an economy where they couldn&rsquo;t get jobs, couldn&rsquo;t qualify for mortgages, or just didn&rsquo;t want to assume the financial risk of being unable to sell property in down markets. &ldquo;Millennials realize how illiquid real estate really is.&rdquo; She adds that rentals are scarcer today due to residential patterns established during the housing boom. &ldquo;A lot of rental supply was lost to condo conversion during the high market.&rdquo;</p> <p>In Las Vegas, the Class A apartment market is strongest, Latch says, and a lot of new construction centers around &ldquo;concierge-style&rdquo; living where apartment buildings have movie theaters, dog grooming areas, and plug-in stations for electric cars. But the big sticking point for builders is the city&rsquo;s budget woes. &ldquo;Government services have been cut, so it takes a long time to get new construction approved,&rdquo; she notes.&nbsp; &ldquo;On average, it takes nine to 12 months for permitting and final mapping.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Take the Long View</h4> <p>Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors in Chicago, says the multifamily market in the Windy City &ldquo;is hotter than it has ever been.&rdquo; He notes that 17 multifamily buildings are under construction in downtown Chicago alone. DeVries says the city will see about 3,000 new units in 2015 and another 6,000 in 2016. Normally, Chicago renters snap up about 2,000 new units a year, but now, he says, &ldquo;the market has been absorbing a lot of these units on the demand side.&rdquo; However, he anticipates an imbalance in the market in the near future.</p> <p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re looking to get in and out, it will be a problem,&rdquo; he warns potential multifamily buyers and investors. &ldquo;But if you can take a longer view, investing in multifamily rental properties isn&rsquo;t an issue.&rdquo;</p> <p>Meanwhile, as in other metro areas around the country, the condo market is all but dead save for high-end, luxury buildings. &ldquo;In the last boom cycle, the market was dominated by condo projects,&rdquo; he says. Now that many of the condos built during the boom times are still vacant, &ldquo;condos are over-supplied.&rdquo;</p> <p>However, downtown Chicago&rsquo;s multifamily boom could start cooling as well. DeVries expects that as rents continue to rise, more renters will shift into the buyer market, which could bring a halt to multifamily&rsquo;s burgeoning construction as well as low vacancy rates.</p> <p>&ldquo;The returns investors are getting have declined because pricing is getting so high, relative to income,&rdquo; DeVries explains. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re starting to look at suburban deals now, particularly the North Shore.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Rapidly Shifting Values</h4> <p>The constantly changing market makes accurate valuation tricky in multifamily rentals. A lot of construction is underway, but not enough product has been delivered and sold to provide solid comps. Complicating things further is intense competition, which is driving up prices, resulting in cap rates under 5 percent in some areas, as well as purchases completed before properties are even built.</p> <p>Rapidly rising values make it hard for appraisals to match sales prices in some places. &ldquo;We have to warn buyers that properties are not necessarily going to appraise at the sales price,&rdquo; Houston-based Surratt says. But then, he&rsquo;s also seeing a large influx of cash buyers, which makes appraisal problems less urgent.</p> <p>So long as demand keeps pace with supply in most markets, as it has been, a multifamily bubble won&rsquo;t materialize. As Freddie Mac&rsquo;s Multifamily Research Perspectives white paper noted in September 2014, &ldquo;For a majority of the markets, high demand paired with the dearth of construction during the Great Recession means that new supply will continue to be absorbed as it enters the market and rents will continue to rise.&rdquo;</p> <p>Demographic trends point in this same direction. Freddie Mac estimates that an estimated 3.9 million potential young-adult households failed to form during the downturn, as Millennials moved in with parents in a weak job market, meaning a substantial pent-up demand for entry-level housing remains. In fact, the U.S. Commerce Department notes that even while rates of home ownership are the lowest they&rsquo;ve been in 25 years, household formation in the first quarter of 2015 increased by 1.5 million year-over-year. Generation Y is finally moving out&hellip;and <em>up.</em></p> <p>Of course, markets are always changing, and multifamily investors ought to be looking for indications of what&rsquo;s to come in their local areas. In the case of multifamily, bubbles are likely to be localized rather than national in scope. For example, Eric P. Haims at Jerome Haims Realty Inc. in New York says he&rsquo;s already seeing &ldquo;over-building&rdquo; in apartments in the Big Apple.</p> <p>Surratt cautions the same in his area. &ldquo;We expect it to level off soon in Houston,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Land prices have gotten really high, which should put the brakes on price growth.&rdquo; Being in touch with what&rsquo;s going on in your local market may be the best defense against potential bubbles in multifamily.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Rental markets are exploding in the wake of the housing crisis. Here&rsquo;s how to tell if the expansion has overheated.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_C_multifamily.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=90109">jun15_C_multifamily.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_C_multifamily_0.jpg?1433878738" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_C_multifamily.jpg?1433878770" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/05/15/multifamily-boom-cant-last-forever">Multifamily Boom Can&#039;t Last Forever</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2011/01/welcome-new-normal">Welcome to the New Normal</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/08/31/will-rental-market-cool-down">Will the Rental Market Cool Down?</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:01:26 +0000 mwhite 19023 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Get the Buzz Going About Your Business http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/06/get-buzz-going-about-your-business <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Here’s how to make your name recognizable in a saturated market of real estate professionals. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 8, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/dave-wakeman">Dave Wakeman</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>One never-ending challenge for small business owners is the need to generate buzz. In real estate, it&rsquo;s even more necessary as professionals contend with websites professing to offer buyers and sellers all the information they need. Also, more people are getting their real estate licenses so they can &ldquo;do it on the side,&rdquo; and more consumers don&rsquo;t act on their desire to invest in a new home because they fear the entire process is much too complicated. This makes standing out all the more important for practitioners.</p> <p>The marketing part of your job comes before the real estate aspect can even get started. If you don&rsquo;t have interested buyers and sellers, you are never going to have the opportunity to execute a real estate transaction. Building your brand, and the buzz it creates, is a long-term investment. To get yourself pointed in the right direction, here are a few quick tips that will help you consistently generate positive buzz around your business. If you only learn one thing, remember this: Consistency is the big key.</p> <p>First, think about what you want your business to look like. How will you gain traction in your target market? In the rush to generate business, we often try to make everyone our customer. &nbsp;And when we do that, we essentially make no one our customer. If you are going to target buyers, then target buyers. The same goes for sellers, neighborhoods, investors, or any other market you want to work with. The key is to focus on one group at first, even if your plan is to expand later.</p> <p>Next, develop and share your expertise. With the Internet and a saturated market of real estate professionals, you have to stand out. Do this by becoming the go-to expert in your area and sharing your knowledge widely. Take opportunities to speak, to be interviewed, to produce useful articles and content, or anything that makes sense and helps you reach your target market.</p> <p>One way Carrie Foley, a top producer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Lynnwood, Wash., achieves this is by developing content-rich and client-specific e-mail campaigns that keep her clients up to date on real estate activity in their neighborhoods. &ldquo;I customize it so that the information is useful because, for most of these people, their home is their biggest investment,&rdquo; she says. It&rsquo;s pretty simple: You got into this business because you are passionate about some aspect of it. If you can convey that to your target audience, they are going to seek out that energy.</p> <p>Get some in-person contact whenever possible. Heather Davenport and Matt McHugh, partners at Washington Fine Properties in Washington, D.C., create buzz and personal interactions with their clients by throwing parties at restaurants and bars around the city. &ldquo;These events are much more fun than traditional advertising,&rdquo; Davenport says. &ldquo;But more importantly, we really get to connect with our community, and these connections have helped us drive referrals to our business, which is a much more powerful method than anything else we do.&rdquo; If you&rsquo;re just getting your feet wet with social engagements, start small by hosting a coffee club or book club, or attend someone else&rsquo;s event. Just make sure you are getting out and talking to people.</p> <p>Finally, you can make yourself memorable and stand out in any market by providing superior service and strong communication. Buyers and sellers are more impatient than ever. Constant connectivity has increased the need for instant gratification in the form of rapid response to texts, e-mails, and calls. Richard M. Curtis, broker-owner of Curtis Real Estate Company in Annapolis, Md., builds upon this idea by extending a boutique level of service to his clients. &ldquo;I have found that even in an extremely demanding market, buyers and sellers still love a really personalized touch,&rdquo; he says. &nbsp;&ldquo;For us, this personalized touch has encouraged us to take on a concierge-style approach, which has helped us differentiate ourselves from the larger brokers.&rdquo;</p> <p>For Curtis, this means trying to recreate the white-glove experience of a five-star hotel and making sure buyers and sellers feel they&rsquo;re getting special attention. Curtis walks them through the most stressful aspects of the transaction, such as gathering financial data and preparing for inspections and closings with guides and checklists. &nbsp;It also means creating partnerships with service providers who are as dedicated to customer service as he is.</p> <p>In the end, building a brand and gaining buzz is built on a simple foundation: Deciding what business you want to be in and communicating to your target audience on a consistent basis. Along the way, your brand is going to become stronger and more distinct by your ability to communicate your value to your clients and provide them with personalized experiences. As Lindsay Jackman, a sales associate recently named Rookie of the Year at Century 21 North Homes Realty in Tacoma, Wash., says, &ldquo;The big key to successfully building my brand this year has been my consistency. I realize that every time I take action, I am strengthening my brand a little more.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Here&rsquo;s how to make your name recognizable in a saturated market of real estate professionals.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_buzz.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=37413">jun15_SM_buzz.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_buzz_0.jpg?1433791830" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_SM_buzz.jpg?1433791847" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/01/05/topics-attract-attention-from-consumers">Topics to Attract Attention From Consumers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2013/12/23/3-seo-trends-make-you-more-findable-online">3 SEO Trends to Make You More Findable Online </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/04/16/how-get-more-customer-attention-your-web-site">How to Get More Customer Attention With Your Web Site </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:38:50 +0000 gwood 19013 at http://realtormag.realtor.org How to Keep Your Team Happy http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/how-keep-your-team-happy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> As a solo broker of a small team, how do you keep agents happy and committed to your company? Two successful independent brokers share their trials and errors. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 8, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Just like a successful athletic coach, a good real estate team leader provides the right tools and training to help team members overcome obstacles, and sets goals that motivate everyone to perform at a top-notch level. But how can a broker or team leader keep everyone happy and invested in staying with the brokerage?</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about trust and respect, and whatever they need from me,&rdquo; says Sally Bowman, owner and team leader at Sally Bowman Real Estate in Cheshire, Conn. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like a family here.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bowman, like many other real estate brokers, has formed a team to help her business grow and to provide a higher level of expertise for clients. While growing up, her family owned the local Ace Hardware store, which she says thrived because employees were treated well and customers came to know the level of service they&rsquo;d receive. That&rsquo;s how Bowman runs her real estate office today.</p> <p>Her team now consists of 12 agents, some of whom have been with her since she opened her own office in March 2009. But she&rsquo;s lost a few along the way.</p> <p>&ldquo;I trained some really great agents a few years ago, and they were poached by other agencies. I admit, it&rsquo;s a sucker punch,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;You always have that fear, but you still have to put your all into helping those on your team.&rdquo;</p> <p>Losing a few agents to other brokerages helped Bowman reaffirm her belief that an effective and strong team comes from teaching agents everything you know and showing them the passion you have for the business.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about spending time with them,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;They go with me to home inspections and other transactions. The only way to learn is by experience, and leaders must share their experiences with other [agents].&rdquo;</p> <p>Bowman stays competitive by offering free webinars every Tuesday, providing her agents with leads, offering tools like zipForm, and paying for marketing-related services like professional photography and signs. Her team also knows they can text or call her late at night if they have a question or problem. And when an agent closes on a property, she hands them a check immediately. They don&rsquo;t have to wait to get paid, Bowman says.</p> <p>&ldquo;You aren&rsquo;t successful individually unless your team is doing well,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Rowena Patton, broker-owner of Keller Williams Professionals Realty in Asheville, N.C., starts her team meetings off with a song: &ldquo;Tell Me Something Good&rdquo; by Rufus and Chaka Khan.</p> <p>&ldquo;After talking about business, we go around the room and everyone has to tell me something good,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;As human beings, we naturally whine and complain. Now, they have to find something positive. It lifts everyone to a different spirit.&rdquo;</p> <p>When it comes to recruiting, Patton focuses less on production and more on agents&rsquo; goals and vision. Her leadership team, which includes four other agents, gets together weekly over a working lunch to go over how the business is doing and to identify challenges. &ldquo;We really know we have each other&rsquo;s backs,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a special time for just the five of us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Like Bowman, Patton has seen agents leave. In 2008, two of her agents started their own business.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sometimes, people just need to move on. But I figured out that my vision has got to be bigger to keep people interested in staying,&rdquo; she says. So Patton started expanding her business in South Carolina and Florida for more opportunities.</p> <p>Patton has also learned to hold her team accountable, and reward them when they do well. &ldquo;We have fun together. We even have a Christmas in July party,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>But overall, Patton wants her agents to think of real estate as more than just a way to pay the bills. &ldquo;I want them to think bigger than that. I want the people to want my job,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I encourage my team to think outside the box.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp; </p><p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>As a solo broker of a small team, how do you keep agents happy and committed to your company? Two successful independent brokers share their trials and errors.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_happy_team.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=45646">jun15_BB_happy_team.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_happy_team_0.jpg?1434570814" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_happy_team.jpg?1434570828" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2014/04/how-build-x-factor-team">How to Build an X-Factor Team</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/are-your-teams-following-rules">Are Your Teams Following the Rules?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/tips-and-scripts-successfully-recruit">Tips and Scripts to Successfully Recruit</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/solutions/article/2015/03/building-lollapalooza-brand-for-buyers">Building a Lollapalooza Brand for Buyers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2014/09/8-tips-for-grooming-top-producers">8 Tips for Grooming Top Producers</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Mon, 08 Jun 2015 18:51:56 +0000 echristoffer 19015 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Safety Checklist for Showings http://realtormag.realtor.org/well-being/safety/article/2015/06/safety-checklist-for-showings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No matter how well you think you know the prospect you’re meeting, follow these guidelines when taking them to a property. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 8, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/john-graden">John Graden</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The company I work for, Cobra-Defense, was founded by a veteran law enforcement officer who, in nearly a decade of active service in the streets, fought, arrested, and interviewed hundreds of violent criminals. We&rsquo;re built on a background of insight into the minds and actions of bad guys, and there are some common themes regarding how they choose their victims. That information has allowed us to develop a checklist for how to reduce the odds of being attacked.</p> <p>A lot has been said of the practice of meeting strangers at homes, and it&rsquo;s true that it&rsquo;s not the smartest way to operate. But it&rsquo;s been a part of the real estate industry for a long time, and it&rsquo;s not going to change overnight. So for agents who will still do it, your office may have a certain protocol around safety, but this list can be your Agent Safety Protocol, or ASP, to administer in the field. It&rsquo;s based on measures developed by people who have experience working in law enforcement.</p> <h4>Before the Appointment</h4> <p>When you&rsquo;re on the phone setting up an appointment to meet a prospect at a home, tell the prospect that you&rsquo;ll be arriving with a partner. Whether it&rsquo;s true or not, this statement plants the seed that there will be more than one person present&mdash;and that&rsquo;s not good news for a criminal.</p> <p>Arrive at the appointment early, before your client has arrived, and make sure to</p> <ul> <li><strong>Open the windows.</strong> If you find yourself needing to make a fast escape but you&rsquo;re not near a door, a window may be your only exit.</li> <li><strong>Unlock all doors.</strong> You lose precious time if you have to fiddle with locks to get out.</li> <li><strong>Open the lockbox. </strong>The point here is to retrieve the key before your prospect shows up. That way, you won&rsquo;t have to turn your back to him or her to get the key out.</li> <li><strong>Wait in your car with the doors locked.</strong> The danger here is that your car confines you into a small space, but in some cases, the weather dictates that you take shelter. Waiting in the car is still much safer than waiting in the property.</li> <li><strong>Send a text to your office.</strong> Alert someone to where you are and all of the information you have on the prospect. If you need help, that person will know pertinent information to give authorities.</li> <li><strong>Keep your head up.</strong> Always be aware of your surroundings. Surprise attacks when you&rsquo;re caught off guard make you more vulnerable.</li> </ul> <h4>When the Prospect Arrives</h4> <p>Once your prospective client is in the space with you, pay very close attention to his or her behavior. Small details can clue you in to whether something is wrong:</p> <ul> <li>Watch for anything suspicious such as a man wearing a long coat on a hot summer day. He could be concealing a weapon. If it feels like something is awry, trust that feeling and depart ASAP.</li> <li>If everything appears OK at the start, exit your car but stay well out of arm&rsquo;s reach. The odds of an attack are reduced outside the property rather than inside, but keeping a distance makes it even more difficult for an assailant to jump you.</li> <li>Hold your phone up and say, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sorry, but my boss is really strict on safety. Would you please move over to your license plate so I can send in a photo?&rdquo; Quickly take the shots and send them in. Bad guys will probably object, which is your cue to return to your car and leave. Law-abiding citizens will have no problem with it at all.</li> <li>Ask for a photo ID. Take the ID, keeping an arm&rsquo;s length between yourself and the prospect, and then step back a few steps to take a photo of it to send to your office. Ideally, move to the other side of your car so there is a barrier between the two of you while you take the photo. Remember, do not trust or accept anything other than a photo ID. A business card could easily have a fake name, address, and phone number. It&rsquo;s a common practice for criminals to give false information to mislead and get you to soften your defenses.</li> <li>Because the lockbox is open and the door already unlocked, say, &ldquo;I like for clients to enter the home alone as though you were coming home from work. Go ahead. You lead the way.&rdquo; Give them about 10 seconds of lead time, but not so much that you lose sight of them.</li> <li>Once you enter the property, keep the prospect in your &ldquo;10 and 2&rdquo; range of vision at all times.</li> <li>Position yourself close to a quick exit as much as you can. However, if your back is to the exit, the bad guy may have a partner who surprises you. Be aware.</li> <li>Remind the prospect that your partner is on the way. Again, this statement is a huge deterrent.</li> </ul> <p>The key to making this work is to use it consistently. Studies show that it takes 21 to 30 days to develop a new habit. Stick to the ASP for a few weeks, and like most everything in this business, it will become natural to you.</p> <p>After all, it&rsquo;s your ASP on the line.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>No matter how well you think you know the prospect you&rsquo;re meeting, follow these guidelines when taking them to a property.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_S_checklist.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27907">jun15_S_checklist.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_S_checklist_0.jpg?1433792327" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_S_checklist.jpg?1433792349" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/well-being/safety/article/2015/05/lets-all-open-doors-for-realtor-safety">Let&#039;s All Open Doors for REALTOR® Safety</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/10/03/10-commandments-agent-safety">The 10 Commandments of Agent Safety</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients">The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Safety Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:59:43 +0000 gwood 19012 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 5 Principles for Being a Happy Broker http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/5-principles-for-being-happy-broker <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> These simple reminders will help alleviate stress and keep things in perspective. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thursday, June 4, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/marc-gordon">Marc Gordon</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>It&#39;s been said there&#39;s nothing better than being your own boss. However, sometimes the weight of &quot;wearing all the hats&quot; can be emotionally and spiritually draining. So next time you feel overwhelmed, refer to these five principles that happy business owners live by.</p> <p><strong>1. Don&#39;t focus solely on the money.</strong> Sure, money is important. And assuming you&#39;re providing the level of service your clients expect, money will naturally come if you invest energy into cultivating relationships, treating people well, and enjoying what you do. Making every decision based on ROI or keeping costs to a minimum will only hurt your business in the long run.</p> <p><strong>2. Get a life.</strong> One reason you&#39;re in business for yourself is so you don&#39;t have to answer to anyone. So take advantage of it. Don&#39;t be afraid to take the occasional three-day weekend, long lunch, or even a real vacation. It will keep you refreshed and focused.</p> <p><strong>3. Hang with your own kind.</strong> Get involved in your local or state REALTOR&reg; association, chamber of commerce, or any group where like-minded people gather to share ideas and knowledge. You will find that the more you share the more you will learn.</p> <p><strong>4. Don&#39;t say yes to everyone.</strong> Some clients will cause you heartache. Some agents may give you a heart attack. It&#39;s okay to turn them away. Surround yourself with clients who value your skills and agents who want to share in your success.</p> <p><strong>5. Know that stuff happens.</strong> Even as a business owner, you can&#39;t control everything. Sometimes unforeseen and uncontrollable things will change the course of your business or your life. Don&#39;t dwell on what could have been. Instead, focus on what can be.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>These simple reminders will help alleviate stress and keep things in perspective.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_happy.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33796">jun15_BB_happy.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_happy_0.jpg?1433453041" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_happy.jpg?1433453056" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2015/02/adding-health-and-wellness-office-space">Adding Health and Wellness to Office Space</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/well-being/health/article/2015/05/fitting-fitness-your-day">Fitting Fitness Into Your Day</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/well-being/work-life-balance/article/2015/04/you-need-vacation">You Need a Vacation</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/relationship-management/article/2013/06/yes-you-can-achieve-work-life-balance">Yes, You Can Achieve Work-Life Balance</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/well-being/work-life-balance/article/2015/01/what-does-your-schedule-look">What Does Your Schedule Look Like?</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Thu, 04 Jun 2015 18:47:16 +0000 echristoffer 18997 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Sponsored Content: Home Warranty Basics B http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/briefs/article/2015/06/sponsored-content-home-warranty-basics-b <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Content partner American Home Shield offers tips on how your clients can protect their investment. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, June 10, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/american-home-shield">American Home Shield</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Imagine that you represent a potential buyer who&#39;s looking at a large, newly constructed home in a beautiful location. The buyer asks you several questions about the builder&#39;s reputation and whether the home is well built.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Although you certainly don&#39;t want to give advice on construction quality &mdash; unless you&#39;re a general contractor yourself &mdash; you can add value for your client by knowing the basics of new-home warranties.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">New-home warranties fall into three categories:</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Statutory</strong>. These are warranties specifically required by law. Some states, including Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, have passed new-home warranty acts that require builders to provide protections to home buyers. These warranties range from two years for the quality of workmanship and materials to 10 years for structural defects.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Implied</strong>. These are warranties inferred by legal precedent set in past lawsuits. Today, most states have case law that protects new-home buyers from faulty workmanship. One of the most common implied warranties is the implied warranty of habitability, which guarantees that the house will be free from defects that substantially impair its use and enjoyment. Such a warranty often covers significant defects in the plumbing, electrical, roofing materials, and structural systems such as the foundation. This warranty may also include a guarantee to the initial buyer that the materials, products, or fixtures that make up the home (such as the plywood or siding) are free from defects.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Express</strong>. These are written warranties provided by the home builder. A builder may decide to provide express warranties about the home in the purchase contract, even in the absence of a law requiring it to do so. The express warranties might read something like: &quot;The builder of this home hereby warrants the quality of the completed structure for two years from the date of completion.&quot; Specific express warranties often benefit a home builder because the builder may attempt to disclaim all implied warranties by providing specific ones. For example, if a builder provides an express warranty covering structural defects for a period of five years from the date the home is completed, it will probably try to disclaim implied warranties that cover the same defect for a period of seven years. However, most courts hold that a disclaimer of an implied warranty is void because it defeats the purpose of the warranty: to protect consumers from faulty workmanship.</span></li> </ul> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">What About the Second Owner?</span></h4> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">In some cases, clients will want to know if new-home warranties extend to a subsequent buyer. In general, the express warranties discussed in this article apply only if a home is being sold by the builder and the buyer is the first occupant of the home. However, there is a trend toward letting implied warranties pass from the original owner to a second or third owner if the warranty has not expired. If the implied warranty remains in effect, it typically covers only latent defects &mdash; defects that aren&#39;t discoverable by a subsequent buyer&#39;s reasonable inspection.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Acting on a Warranty</span></h4> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">If buyer clients believe that they may have a claim against a builder under a statutory, express, or implied warranty, there are several important steps they should take: Read the warranty, if there is one, provided by the builder; call the builder and try to resolve the dispute; provide written notice to the builder of the defect in the form of a letter; give the builder a reasonable amount of time to resolve the problem; seek legal advice if the dispute cannot be resolved; and contact the state consumer protection agency or state attorney general&#39;s office.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">What the buyers should not do is hire a professional to repair the alleged defect and then file a claim against the builder for the expenses incurred. Unless the defect was causing an emergency, such as a flood from a plumbing leak, the home owner should have the problem repaired only after the builder has failed to respond or fix the problem.</span></p> <h4><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Avoid Warranty Disputes</span></h4> <ul> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Read the contract carefully to determine what legal warranties it contains.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Avoid nitpicking. Don&rsquo;t bring a claim for minor discrepancies in the finished home.</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif;">Recognize that most builders use disclaimers in the hope of preventing actions against them for defects.</span></li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Content partner American Home Shield offers tips on how your clients can protect their investment.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_exA_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38158">sponsored_exA.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_exA.jpg?1434056677" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sponsored_ex.jpg?1434056675" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-links"> <div class="field-label">External Links:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://www.ahs.com/" rel="nofollow">Learn more about American Home Shield</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Briefs Thu, 04 Jun 2015 21:30:57 +0000 mwhite 18998 at http://realtormag.realtor.org The Merit of Mentoring http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/06/merit-mentoring <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Looking to launch a mentorship program at your brokerage? Here’s how two different companies have done it. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, June 3, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/lee-nelson">Lee Nelson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Establishing a mentorship program at your real estate company can be a winning proposition for all involved. A good mentoring program gives newly licensed agents a chance to thrive under the guidance of an experienced colleague, and it gives seasoned agents a new opportunity to grow as leaders.</p> <p>But in order to ensure both mentors and mentees actively participate, the program must be thoroughly outlined with specific goals that provide value for everyone.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a look at two different, successful mentoring programs.</p> <h4>Brokers Take Newbies Under Their Wings</h4> <p>Sammer Mudawar and Jay O&rsquo;Brien, co-owners of RE/MAX Prestige in Orange County, Calif., have a different way of picking their agents.</p> <p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t recruit top producers. In fact, we don&rsquo;t even want them. Most of the time, you are just getting the bad habits and egos,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Brien says. &ldquo;Instead, we go after the people who haven&rsquo;t even signed up for classes but have always been interested in real estate.&rdquo;</p> <p>A new agent could be someone who was really good at selling cell phones, O&rsquo;Brien says. He had been a retail manager himself before he started as Mudawar&rsquo;s first agent in 2011. Within two years, the two were partners. They now have more than 20 agents in two offices.</p> <p>Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien have set up their business so they personally can mentor their new recruits in three 30-day plans set up with specific tasks to accomplish. They also expect their mentees to be in the office every workday.</p> <p>&ldquo;We role play with them and walk through everything. We also go with them on listing appointments and all of the other meetings. There is no other way to make sure they do things correctly without investing time,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Brien explains.</p> <p>Besides all the time Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien spend throughout the week with their mentees, they also set up individualized appointments with them once a week. By the time the 90 days is up, the mentees have experienced almost every real estate interaction. But the mentorship program doesn&rsquo;t stop there: Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien continue to meet regularly with their recruits and follow their progress closely for several more months.</p> <p>&ldquo;They will still be in the mentorship for about one year before they can be on their own,&rdquo; Mudawar says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s such a difficult job to learn, and you need thousands of hours to learn it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Nearly all of Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien&rsquo;s recruits are between the ages of 26 and 32. They are very plugged into Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. As mentors, Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien also guide them on how to use those platforms for real estate. In fact, 70 percent of O&rsquo;Brien&rsquo;s business came from Facebook last year.</p> <p>Despite being brokers who also sell, Mudawar and O&rsquo;Brien say their program works because they do not compete with their agents for client leads. &ldquo;Sammer and I are working brokers, and our clients come from referrals only,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Brien says.</p> <p>Agents receive 52 percent of the commission even when <s>the</s> Mudawar or O&rsquo;Brien is with them in the beginning, doing much of the work.<br /> <br /> In addition to the formal workday interactions, the pair also sets up monthly dinners with the mentees. They go out casually as friends and colleagues, and they bring staff from both offices together every two months for a happy hour.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everyone works hard in the mentoring program, but you have to have fun, too,&rdquo; Mudawar says.</p> <h4>Established Agents Give Back</h4> <p>Last year, Jeri Cobb, broker and director of career development at John R. Woods in Naples, Fla., got together with a few other managers to plan out a new mentorship program at their company.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our managers are handling such large offices now that they don&rsquo;t have time to mentor new associates in the day-to-day operations,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;And we found that when agents first get their real estate license, they don&rsquo;t have a clue how to run a business.&rdquo;</p> <p>So, they decided to pay the mentors for their time. It works like this: Managers recommend mentors &ndash; who are established agents &ndash; to Cobb. The mentor gets 50 percent of the commission on the mentee&rsquo;s first three transactions, and the company and mentee each get 25 percent. The new agents are also required to complete six weeks of classroom training, which is usually about three-and-a-half days a week.</p> <p>Cobb says that mentors must have five to 10 years of business experience before they can be candidates for the program. Both the mentee and mentor sign an agreement specifying that they meet at least weekly and accompany each other on business activities. It is even stated in the agreement that &ldquo;the mentoring program is not a tool for the mentor to use the mentee as an assistant.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to being paired with a mentor, the company&rsquo;s classroom training curriculum for new agents covers prospecting for buyers and sellers, handling objections, closing techniques, risk management, and fair housing.</p> <p>&ldquo;We teach it all, including new construction, gated, no gate, golf communities, and more. Their duties are spelled out,&rdquo; she says. The program is so successful, in fact, that brokers of other companies are sending their agents to the John R. Woods training program (for a fee, of course), Cobb says.</p> <p>As for the mentors, Cobb says the program has proven to be just as beneficial for them. &ldquo;Everybody grows,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It reminds them of the things they first learned.&rdquo;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 117px; float: left;" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Looking to launch a mentorship program at your brokerage? Here&rsquo;s how two different companies have done it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_mentor.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15193">jun15_BB_mentor.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_BB_mentor_0.jpg?1433452399" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_BB_mentor.jpg?1433452447" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/05/put-agents-first-and-business-will-come">Put Agents First and Business Will Come</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/05/protect-your-business-social-media-policy">Protect Your Business With a Social Media Policy</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/how-mentor-program-should-work">How a Mentor Program Should Work</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/05/help-young-agents-flourish">Help Young Agents Flourish</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:29:02 +0000 echristoffer 18990 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Calm Your Buyers' Fears http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/my-first-year/article/2015/06/calm-your-buyers-fears <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What do you do when your buyer&#039;s offer is rejected ? They might want to throw in the towel, but you can keep them on track. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, June 2, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/mary-beth-klatt">Mary Beth Klatt</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The process of buying a home is one of those proverbial roller coasters. The highs and lows can be dramatic for buyers who put their all into finding the right property. When their offer is rejected, it can feel to them like their house hunt has reached an impasse. But it&rsquo;s your job as a real estate professional to keep them on track, and doing that requires taking as much emotion out of the process as possible.</p> <p><img alt="" border="0" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_jun/Jun15_jeff-white.jpg" style="float:right;margin:3px;" />For newer agents, learning how to manage your client&rsquo;s disappointment through various setbacks in their search will take experience. But Jeff White, a sales associate at Alliance Real Estate in Bismarck, N.D., has some wisdom to impart: When your client gets upset, give them space to cool down &mdash; but don&rsquo;t let them sulk for too long.</p> <p>White, who started in real estate last year, says the most challenging part of his first year in the business was learning how to keep his clients focused after a letdown. He was working with a couple who were first-time home buyers living in an apartment with their two children, both under 5 years old. They found a 2,080-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch they thought made the perfect starter home for their budding family. But there were multiple bidders, and when the couple&rsquo;s offer was rejected, they needed a breather.</p> <p>&ldquo;At that point, they decided to take a week off from looking at homes,&rdquo; White recalls. &ldquo;It almost felt like a grieving period for them.&rdquo;</p> <p>He was willing to allow his clients to decompress but knew he couldn&rsquo;t let the couple take off too much time. They could lose sight of their goal if they got too far off the path of their search. After a few days, White invited the couple to meet at his office.</p> <p>They primarily needed to vent. White listened, and then reassured them the right home would come along. He reminded them that &ldquo;as long as they&rsquo;re paying rent, they&rsquo;re paying someone else&rsquo;s mortgage,&rdquo; and that money could be better spent. When he told them a house is an investment, the couple had an &ldquo;aha moment,&rdquo; White recalls. &ldquo;Once they were able to see that buying a home needs to be more than just an emotional purchase, they were ready to look again.&rdquo;</p> <p>White found a better property within days. &ldquo;I knew what they were looking for, and I knew the perfect home for them had just come on the market,&rdquo; he says. The listing was a four-bedroom ranch with a two-car garage and large yard, and it was a 15-minute commute to the husband&rsquo;s job. What&rsquo;s more, it was cheaper than the first home.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was even more perfect than the home they missed out on and was exactly in the neighborhood they wanted to live,&rdquo; White says. Initially, the couple wasn&rsquo;t sure they wanted to look at the property because they felt they weren&rsquo;t ready, but White persuaded them. Within hours of viewing, they submitted an offer &mdash; and they ended up closing on the house in April.</p> <p>&ldquo;I still get a random text message every once in a while letting me know how much they love their new home,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>White says this experience taught him that remaining positive is critical to success after any rejected offer. When your clients feel like giving up, you have to be the strong one. &ldquo;No matter what each deal throws at you, you cannot throw in the towel,&rdquo; White says. &ldquo;There is no giving up or walking away. Your clients have hired you to be their advocate, expert, voice of reason, and confidant. This is something I take a lot of pride in.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>What do you do when your buyer&#39;s offer is rejected&nbsp;? They might want to throw in the towel, but you can keep them on track.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_calm.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30385">jun15_SM_calm.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_SM_calm_0.jpg?1433268725" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_SM_calm.jpg?1433268743" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2010/08/buyer-psychology-beat-fear-factor">Buyer Psychology: Beat the Fear Factor </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2013/08/helping-client-through-buyers-remorse">Helping a Client Through Buyer&#039;s Remorse</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2014/09/15/wells-fargo-fear-holding-many-buyers-back">Wells Fargo: Fear Is Holding Many Buyers Back</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> My First Year Tue, 02 Jun 2015 16:28:26 +0000 gwood 18982 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Let the Music Play http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/06/let-music-play <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Background music during an open house is a great way to evoke emotional responses from buyers, but it takes more consideration than just playing whatever happens to be on your playlist. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, June 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/maurice-johnson">Maurice Johnson</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>As a consumer yourself, you&rsquo;ve probably recognized the intimate relationship between music and marketing. TV commercials, promotional websites, viral video marketing, and bricks-and-mortar stores all use music to evoke an emotional response from customers and tie that response to the product they&rsquo;re selling. Think of how many commercial jingles you&rsquo;ve had stuck in your head, and you&rsquo;ll understand just how effective music can be in making a sale. The power of song can also extend to real estate.</p> <p>The awkward clatter of heels across hardwood floors or the hollow echo of an empty room during home showings and open houses may strike a familiar chord for many real estate professionals, but these uninspiring sounds do nothing to add to the buyer&rsquo;s experience. Imagine how background music could change the ambiance and heighten the senses and mood of buyers touring a home. Music has a persuasive impact on the human psyche, and it can create an illusion of life inside the home for buyers and increase their emotional attachment.</p> <p>Be mindful, though, of the appropriateness of your musical choices, and don&rsquo;t just play whatever&rsquo;s on your iTunes playlist at the time. The music you play should be in line with the tastes of the types of buyers you&rsquo;re targeting and evoke the essence of the home you&rsquo;re selling. Use a common-sense approach to deciding what will likely appeal to people visiting your property.</p> <h4>Is Any Music Genre Off-Limits?</h4> <p>Real estate is increasingly about selling a lifestyle rather than just a home. And buyers live very diverse &mdash; sometimes extreme &mdash; lifestyles. With that in mind, it&rsquo;s hard to say that any genre is a guaranteed no-no. Even less mainstream music, such as punk or new age, may be appropriate if it matches with the property and buyer pool, say, an edgy loft that would appeal to the artistic community.</p> <p>With regard to luxury properties of historical architectural significance, try a thematic approach, pairing music style with architectural style.&nbsp;Location and amenities could probably inform your choice of music as well. Here are some examples:<br /> <br /> If you&rsquo;re hosting a luau-themed open house at a beach house, complete with tiki lamps and hula dancers, imagine tropical music outdoors. Classical piano, guitar, or even a stringed quartet could add to the opulence of traditional estates. For&nbsp;contemporary luxury homes that are likely to entice younger buyers,&nbsp;electronic music with a killer sound system might work well. A penthouse with a city view? Perhaps pop or a jazz combo could exude the energy of city life. You could even create a cultural theme around music: opera for Italian-style homes or Latin and flamenco music for Spanish-style homes.</p> <p>These are just a few examples, but for the practitioner looking for a creative, out-of-the-box solution to jazz up their showings and open houses, the possibilities are wide open.</p> <h4>Live or Pre-Recorded Music?</h4> <p>Pre-recorded music works best for traditional homes, adding a livable feel to an open house through a common, everyday sense of connection. But for luxury properties, where you have the space and the need to add an element that will entice a high-end clientele, live music may be a better choice.</p> <p>Live music is a special added value akin to an original piece of art as it compliments a room. It&rsquo;s perceived value is greater by virtue of its exclusive and unique nature. Whether you decide to play a recording of a string quartet or hire live performers, in the end it&rsquo;s simply a matter of value and perception. These are the distinctions that set the two apart.&nbsp;</p> <p>With live music, potential buyers can gain a real sense of what it might be like to entertain in the home. However, a live performer should remain in the background, never overshadowing the home or intruding upon normal conversation levels. But if your objective is to control a bit more of the experience, then it&rsquo;s better to compile a personal playlist that you can turn on and off or switch tunes discreetly.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are also times when it&rsquo;s appropriate to have no music at all. In the case of properties with a well-known reputation steeped in a significant historic event or chain of events, or if it was previously owned by a famous individual or family, little fanfare is needed. These homes truly speak for themselves, and music may actually distract a buyer from the experience you want them to have.</p> <h4>Where Should the Music Play?</h4> <p>If you&rsquo;re hiring a live band, you&rsquo;ll want them to perform in an area of the house that you want to draw attention to. If the home has an exquisite backyard, then stage the performers outside to draw attention to the outdoor amenities. If there&rsquo;s a central location inside the home such as a grand family room where buyers would likely envision spending most of their time, put the performers there.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s always good practice to schedule a walkthrough with the performer a few days prior to the event. That&rsquo;s when you and the musician can work out important details for the performance area, such as proximity of power outlets and ensuring the performance area doesn&rsquo;t cut off the natural flow of foot traffic through the home.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s best to avoid obscured placement of a live performer, such as behind a large column, pillar, or any structure situated in the direct line of vision between you and the performer. This will allow you to better communicate with the performer from across a room and will allow the performer to read the room and adjust the dynamics of his or her performance as needed. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>You shouldn&rsquo;t be oblivious to the performer, and you should communicate with them throughout the entirety of the open house. Though you&rsquo;ll be heavily engaged with guests, you&rsquo;ll want to check in with the performer about volume level, let them know when they need to pause so you can make an announcement, or simply to let them know they&rsquo;re doing a great job.</p> <p>If your decision is to use pre-recorded music, it should also remain in the background. Even at a low volume level, vocal music can create an unnecessary distraction, so something instrumental is best. A well-thought-out playlist is very important before the open house.&nbsp;When compiling your playlist, try to keep the mood of the music relatively consistent, avoiding radical changes in style, tempo, and volume.</p> <p>The open house is your opportunity to take an unusual and unforgettable approach to marketing a home. Adding music can turn it into an event rather than just another showing, and it can add to the exclusivity of the experience. People will remember you for it, and it could even become your calling card with potential to yield even greater success in your unique market.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Background music during an open house is a great way to evoke emotional responses from buyers, but it takes more consideration than just playing whatever happens to be on your playlist.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/juh15_SM_music.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51787">juh15_SM_music.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/juh15_SM_music_0.jpg?1433188383" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/juh15_LP_SM_music.jpg?1433188420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/07/music-buyers-ears">Music to Buyers’ Ears</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2011/06/23/90s-pop-icon-offers-up-real-estate-tips">&#039;90s Pop Icon Offers Up Real Estate Tips</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/04/how-be-bruce-springsteen-real-estate">How to Be the Bruce Springsteen of Real Estate</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 01 Jun 2015 18:16:20 +0000 gwood 18976 at http://realtormag.realtor.org What Makes a Successful Global City? http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2015/06/what-makes-successful-global-city <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> World leaders, urban planners, and other industry thinkers weigh in on what it takes for a city to attract top-tier talent and take on global problems. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, June 2, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/meg-white">Meg White</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the world&rsquo;s population lives in cities, and that number is growing. In two years, the organization expects the urban population to be a majority, even in developing countries.</p> <p>Many experts believe this population shift is encouraging a phenomenon known as the &ldquo;global city.&rdquo; Last week, leaders, architects, and urban planners from around the world gathered in Chicago to discuss the rise of such cities and what impact they&rsquo;re having on their regions, each other, and the globe. The first annual&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoforum.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Forum on Global Cities</a>, hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times, didn&rsquo;t seek to compile a list of what draws people to these urban areas, but panelists in a number of sessions offered their views on the topic. We came back with three megatrends based on the discussions.</p> <h4>1. The global city of tomorrow must implement technology today.</h4> <p>There were numerous examples of how cities are using technology to make life easier. Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bilt said that most people want three basic app capabilities to augment their living experience: &ldquo;People want to have traffic-flow maps, they want to be able to meter and follow gas and water usage, and they want to be able to grade public services.&rdquo; However, he noted there will be different needs for each city. When Swedes emerge from their dark winter, all they want is to sit in the sun. That&rsquo;s why one app listing the exact times when each outdoor restaurant patio in a city is exposed to sunlight won the top prize in a recent app-development contest sponsored by the government.</p> <p>New America CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter explained how her company developed a wireless mesh communication system that connects devices without the use of phone or Wi-Fi. It was useful for people without regular Internet access in Tunisia, but this relatively low-tech solution was also helpful when Hurricane Sandy hit traditional communications on the east coast of the United States.</p> <p>&ldquo;This software stayed up, in a mode of resilience,&rdquo; Slaughter said. &ldquo;It was robust and it fit a particular community&rsquo;s needs.&rdquo;</p> <p>Slaughter applauded New York City&rsquo;s decision to transform unused phone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots, but noted that some cities are running afoul of private Internet service providers who generally provide the infrastructure around high-speed access.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Wi-Fi] should be as publicly available as roads,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But there&rsquo;s a real tension between cities doing what they should be doing and the tech companies.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, there is a place for the private sector, and one key area is in the development of beacon technology and the Internet of Things.</p> <p>&ldquo;Buildings have to be prepared for connecting these devices,&rdquo; said Pedro Pires de Miranda, who heads up the Global Center of Competence Cities at Siemens, a company that has been helping municipalities implement technology systems all over the world. &ldquo;In the end, this is inevitable. You cannot stop it.&rdquo;</p> <h4>2. Cities need to ensure they maintain a livable and comfortable environment.</h4> <p>Technology will only do so much to attract the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. &ldquo;To have a truly creative global city, you need to attract diverse talent,&rdquo; Bilt said. &ldquo;Cities with open data will have an enormous competitive advantage, but you have to have the green space, too.&rdquo;</p> <p>Bilt says the pollution in Beijing is a perfect example of a city prioritizing growth over the environment. &ldquo;If you go to Beijing today, its unbearable,&rdquo; Bilt said. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t get people to work at the embassy in Beijing because they consider it dangerous to live there.&rdquo;</p> <p>William Reilly, senior advisor of Texas-based private equity company TPG Capital and former leader at both the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Wildlife Fund, remembers helping to push for a more environmentally friendly housing development in Kunming, China. The allocations the building made for green space and public transportation were well received, but he wondered if it would make a difference anywhere else in the country. &ldquo;Will it have a cachet that will cause Chinese people to want to live this way?&rdquo; he asked. &ldquo;If it doesn&rsquo;t, there will be consequences for climate, carbon dioxide, and congestion.&rdquo;</p> <p>One mini-trend within this megatrend of livability is rethinking the use of the word &ldquo;sustainable.&rdquo; Experts in several fields reached for a broader term for defining the environmental longevity of an area. &ldquo;The term &lsquo;sustainable city&rsquo; is becoming clich&eacute;,&rdquo; said Edwin Heathcote, architecture critic for the Financial Times. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s being replaced by resilience.&rdquo;</p> <h4>3. Strong, forward-thinking leadership is not a luxury.</h4> <p>How does a city create or maintain a globally significant profile? Much of it depends on having the right people at the wheel.</p> <p>&ldquo;It comes down to the right leadership,&rdquo; said Ory Okolloh, director of investments at Omidyar Network Africa. &ldquo;I wish there was an app for the ideal mayor!&rdquo;</p> <p>Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright opened the closing program of the three-day forum noting that, in this time of government&nbsp;stagnation, cities are a beacon of hope for many: &ldquo;There is very little faith in institutions at the moment, except for those that are local.&rdquo;</p> <p>The closing program examined the role of cities on the global political&nbsp;scene. Benjamin Barber, senior research scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The Graduate Center at CUNY, argued cities might do a better job tackling global issues such as climate change than whole countries or larger organizations such as the United Nations.</p> <p>&ldquo;We need, finally, to give cities a chance to actually solve problems. The fact is mayors everywhere are far more pragmatic than the partisan, ideological national leaders,&rdquo; Barber said. &ldquo;They are problem solvers. They have to be.&rdquo;</p> <p>Albright said while cities can play an important role in solving international problems, she worries that global issues could easily eclipse those at home.</p> <p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s been happening, for instance, in Baltimore in the last few weeks... has to do with the fact that city governance did not deal with domestic issues. And what would happen if all of the sudden the mayor of Baltimore spent more time in Paris at the climate change talks?&rdquo; Albright asked. &ldquo;They should be at the table; I think the question is what is the mechanism.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>World leaders, urban planners, and other industry thinkers weigh in on what it takes for a city to attract top-tier talent and take on global problems.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_NC_CCGA.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=51131">jun15_NC_CCGA.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_NC_CCGA_0.jpg?1433180145" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/jun15_LP_NC_CCGA.jpg?1433180164" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/01/start-and-spread-your-global-brand">Start and Spread Your Global Brand</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/04/29/baby-steps-going-global">Baby Steps to Going Global</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/01/28/10-cities-expected-bloom-in-2015">10 Cities Expected to Bloom in 2015</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:51:42 +0000 mwhite 18973 at http://realtormag.realtor.org