Tip of the Week: Real Estate Agent Bios

Let’s face it, there are a ton of real estate agents out there – all offering the same idea: there to help sell or buy houses for their clients.

But when a potential client is looking for an agent to work with, they’re looking for someone that specializes in what they are looking for. So, how can you stand out from the crowd?

Your bio can be a great way to separate yourself from the Plain Janes in the real estate world – your bio in your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or blog profile can really make a big impact to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Here are some quick tips to upgrade your bio game:

Your Beginning

Think about how you became a real estate agent – what brought you to this industry? How long have you been helping clients? What are some of the goals you’ve accomplished?

Plan of Action

You should be telling your clients why you’re a good fit for them – not why you’re the #1 real estate agent in the area. Be specific to what you do!

What do you love about your work? Who are the clients you want to help? What are your goals as an agent? Talk about the people you’ve helped purchase or sell homes – be specific here. Are they retirees? First-time homebuyers? Newlyweds?

Set Yourself Apart

It’s important to be relatable. Talk about something quirky or unique about you – maybe your favorite sports team, or your favorite hobby outside of work. Do you have a weird talent? Show potential clients that you are more than a real estate agent – you can be someone they connect with as they go on to purchase their dream home.

You are your brand – so don’t be afraid to use your voice!

What’s This? What’s This – The December Real Estate Market

Don’t let the winter months fool you – just because it can seem dark and cold, doesn’t mean your home search needs to be!

In the real estate market, December usually means a slowdown of people looking for and buying homes – but some economists are saying this month might be busier than normal.

December can potentially be a great time for homebuyers to finally make their move; because there is less competition, prices are shown to be lower than other months. Not only that, but with an advantage of the current mortgage rate going below 5%, buyers might just see a great lead.

REALTOR® Magazine’s findings show that online views per property are 21% lower in December than any other time of the year. So, while there might not be as many selections to choose from, homebuyers still just might find their dream home without having to fight off other offers.

Tip of the Week: Reaching Millennial Buyers

While millennials have been slower than past generations to enter the real estate market, they seem to be eager to jump in when they feel they have the buying power to do so. Millennial homebuyers jumped 5% in buying power just this past year.

This generational group is looking for and wanting different characteristics of the home than past generations. It’s important to know how to reach millennials in your business plan.

Showcase the Best Features

Millennials are looking for open floor plans where the kitchen, living room, and dining room can flow together. They’re also looking for hardwood floors – remind them that hardwood is easy to install if their dream home includes carpet. These younger buyers are also keen for proximity; a corner store or easy access to public transportation will really grab at their heart strings.

Focus on the Surroundings

The neighborhood and surrounding area of the home is just as – if not more – important than the home itself. Millennial buyers want to be close to shopping centers, schools, highways, and their work – just to name a few. It’s important to keep in mind the layout of the area to be able to list off all of the other benefits they’re getting if they pick that specific home.

Green Friendly

Does the neighborhood have recycling drop offs? These younger buyers are environmentally-conscious, so anything “green-friendly” is a home run feature.

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Tip of the Week: There’s No Crying in Real Estate

Feeling a little weepy after not accumulating more listings? It’s easy to fall into the trap of routine and comfortability. But in order to grow and continue succeeding, stepping out of your comfort zone and approaching things with a different view is always key.

A great way to secure a sale and more experience in the real estate world is to garner listings – but this isn’t always easy.

Call Call Call

In order to build your network, you have to be willing to talk to people. Talk with your friends, family, past coworkers, the grocery clerk – everyone! They might even know someone who is looking for an agent and can refer you.

Local Major Developers

It’s always good to know one or two local developers in the area. Reach out with the intention of getting to know them – as well as them getting to know you. Again, networking is key!

Reviews

After a successful closing, politely ask if your client wouldn’t mind writing a quick review about you – either through your social media sites, or through the company website you work for. The more positive reviews you have, the more reliable you seem to a potential client.

Social Media

Recognition is key here – building up your followers and your base, advising them on the work you do, and giving contact information – will never hurt in attracting sellers to help with their listing.

Face to Face

If you have been talking to a potential client through email or text messages, you should take it to the next step by offering to meet in person. It helps you become more than just a screen – you’re more approachable, relatable, and unforgettable when you meet in person.

Part of this industry is understanding that tactics and inventory are always shifting and changing – being the successful real estate agent that you are, you understand that you have to mold to what these needs are.

Handing over the Keys

The process of buying a home can be a long and often confusing process. You’ve picked your home, you’ve done all necessary paperwork, so why don’t you have the keys yet?

For most first-time homebuyers, it’s thought that come signing day, you’ll be receiving the keys. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Although the signing is an incredibly important part to the closing process, the transaction does not officially “close” until the funds are provided to the title company (either with cash from the buyer or loan proceeds from the borrower’s new loan) and the deed to transfer the title is recorded at the county courthouse.

You might not even receive your keys a day, or a few days, after signing – and this is completely normal.

Don’t let this flatten your excitement! After preparing and handling everything you’ve needed to, the day you’re handed the keys to your dream home will be that much sweeter.

Check out Alliance’s Blog to stay up to date with all things real estate.

Rubber Ducky, You’re the One; You Make Remodeling so Much Fun

Like any good homeowner, you’re always on the lookout for the next premier upgrade for your home. Whether you’re considering aging in place or preparing to sell, it’s typically a positive measure to give your home the love and care it deserves.

When upgrading, it’s essential to acknowledge which rooms are needing a boost. If you’re trying to impress a potential buyer, the bathroom is usually the key.

Bathrooms can make or break the vision of a home – carpeted bathrooms? No way. Bright pink walls? These examples might push the buyer to run for the hills.

So what are some key improvements you can give your bathroom?

According to REALTOR® Magazine, grays, mixed metals, and farmhouse styles are some of the more popular trends that are being remodeled in bathrooms.

Some of the more special features that are popular: dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks, and built-in vanities.

These homeowners are even looking at more than just the bathroom – viewing their project as a complete renovation within their room – to create a master suite. It looks as though 46% of homeowners that remodel their master bathroom also take on their bedroom, with 11% actually creating their master bathroom to be the same size or even larger than their bedroom.

So, bathrooms are important. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also for creating a luxurious retreat from the stressful world. How does your master bath look?

Check out Alliance’s Blog to stay on top of all things real estate.

Tip of the Week: Some Home Showings Are Worth Melting For

Winter is coming. And with winter, comes darker and colder evenings.

When it is cold outside, open houses might not be as appealing. But it’s important to remember the cozy aspects of the winter season, and how to apply those warm feelings into your showing.

Got Snow?

It’s important to keep driveways and walkways clear. If you have to, shovel the areas so the path to the home is safe to walk on. It might be nice to also shovel the sidewalk and part of the street; this way potential clients aren’t having to walk down the block in snow.

Staging

Like usual, tidy up the space and remove any clutter. This is where you get to make it feel all warm and cozy to really spark up those fuzzy feelings.

Everybody loves holiday scented candles – burn a cinnamon-scented candle or simmer a pot of apple cider with cinnamon sticks on the stove. You could even pass out the cider to clients as they check out the home!

Just because winter is upon us, doesn’t mean your sales have to stagnate. Open houses can be incredibly cozy and inviting during the winter months – you just might have to work a little harder at showcasing it.

Claws and Effect: Home Showings with Pets

Realtors have to maneuver through many things – low inventory, tricky sales, and overflowing emails – one obstacle that is sometimes forgotten: pets.

Recently, Realtor® Magazine released an article showcasing Cassie Sonnentag, a real estate agent with Century 21, having to fight off a feisty cat while staging a showing.

So what are some quick tips to make sure you have happy sellers, potential buyers, and furry friends?

Fix up the yard

Make sure both the front and the back yards are clean and clear from any holes or pet droppings. If there are any brown or yellow spots in the yard, it might be a good idea to aerate or seed the bare spots – or even replace patches with new sod. Curb appeal is important, after all.

Organize pet supplies

Think about stowing pet beds, litter boxes, leashes, toys, and food bowls away from the showing. It will help declutter and allow potential buyers to visualize the home the way they want to see it.

Crate or pet sit

Consider whether your client has insurance that can cover possible accidents (a dog protecting his home and scratching or biting potential buyers, for instance). Pets are cute and can be distracting – it might be best to have a pet sitter or to crate.

 

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Introducing: Your Team During a Transaction

Buying a home can bring you some serious déjà vu – like an overwhelmed child being introduced and shuffled around to random people at family events.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, there will probably be some confusion as to who is who and what is what – but set aside your worries, because Alliance Title is here to help you sort out your transaction team (and keep you away from your pinching aunts and head-locking uncles).

Who you’ll be working with

Lender or Mortgage Broker – If you plan on receiving a mortgage loan, working with a lender or mortgage broker is your first step in buying a home. What’s the difference between the two, you ask? Well, a lender is a financial institution that makes loans directly to you. A mortgage broker does not lend money, but actually finds a lender for you.

REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent – A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics.

A Listing Agent is the one who ‘lists’ the property for sale. They represent the seller and aid in marketing the sale of the home.

The Selling Agent (or Buyer’s Agent) is the one who works with the buyer. They assist in locating a home to purchase.  

Title Officer – These officers complete thorough research of recorded documents to help eliminate any possible hidden risks that can terminate the validity of the title ownership. They will also issue the title insurance policy when the transaction closes.

Escrow Officer – This officer acts as a neutral third party during your sale, purchase, or refinance. They will monitor the transaction, prepare closing documents, coordinate the closing, disburse the funds, and more.

So gather round the new family dinner table – you’ll have a great team backing you up as you complete an exciting time in your life – purchasing a home.

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Tip of the Week: Spotting the Red Flags

Your seller or buyer is acting differently – you start to picture them bolting out the door and sprinting down the street, never to return to your office again.

Getting cold feet before a big financial decision isn’t a strange phenomenon, but it is your job as a real estate agent to rein in your client and help them see the big picture: that you’re there to help them and guide them away from making any “bad” decisions.

Here are a few instances that your client might be ready to head for the hills.

Financial Issues

If your client is selling, then it is incredibly important to ask for proof of funds for a down payment when accepting an offer from a buyer. If the buyer can’t prove funds initially, it could be an issue that derails the transaction. If your client is buying, have a clear picture of their available down payment and financing.

Mundane Emotion

Sometimes homeowners may be having a difficult time saying goodbye to their home, resulting in upsetting emotions. In this instance, offering reassurance should be your top priority – reminding them that they’ll be able to make new memories, and that a new family will be able to cherish their home – are good reminders.

Not Understanding Scheduling

As a real estate agent, you’ve seen everything; you understand what will be smoothed out, and you understand the possible issues that arise and how to fix them. Your buyer or seller, ultimately, doesn’t really understand the ins and outs of the business.

Sometimes buyers and sellers start to panic when – to them – it seems as though things are going “too quickly” or taking “too long.” It’s important to remind yourself that you are their gatekeeper – let your client know when things are going smoothly and that in all honesty, the scheduling for closing on a home is pretty normal. According to the August 2018 Realtors® Confidence Index Survey showed that 76% of contracts were settled on time, with only 20% being delayed or 5% being terminated.

As a real estate agent, you’re helping guide your client through an excitedly chaotic time in their lives – a huge purchase that they’ll rarely make. Keep them calm, excited, and of course, help them reach their real estate goals.

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