The Luxury Niche: Make it Yours!

High-dollar home sales make up one of the most sought-after niche markets for agents – and one of the most intimidating. The clientele and the properties in this category can radiate a sense of exclusivity that seems untouchable to new (or even seasoned) Realtors®, with those extra-padded commissions only existing in their dreams. The truth is, this high-end market is exclusive simply from a statistical standpoint.

Go from “No” to “Yes” by Reframing Your Questions

What’s the most common word real estate agents hear on a day-to-day basis? That would probably be “no.” In fact, it’s not at all unusual to hear a long string of “no’s” before getting to a “yes.” If you’re in real estate, you’re basically in sales with your career constantly relying on new business for continued growth. Unfortunately, society has become so indifferent to, or even suspicious of, “sales speak” that it’s almost a reflex to say “no” when potential clients are approached by an agent. Our most powerful sales tool is the spoken word. Choosing the right words can give you an incredible advantage, completely turning the ingrained negative response on its head! You see, certain words or phrases trigger an automatic “no thanks” response. The key to eliciting a more positive, or at least a more honest response, is to reframe your questions. Here are a few phrases to staple into your brain before your next client call:

Closing Gifts: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

It has become a common courtesy to give your clients a little gift after closing on a new home to show your appreciation for their business. In addition to being a token of gratitude, this gesture also serves as a reminder of you, encouraging former clients to send referrals your way. However, keep in mind that a one-size-fits-all gift might not always be appropriate. Before you throw down some cash on closing gifts, remember to avoid these 5 taboos:

5 Commonly Missed Deductions for Next Year’s Tax Return

It may be too late to beef up your 2016 tax return, but you have plenty of time to make sure next year’s return is a great pay day! By staying organized and keeping track of work expenses throughout the year, you can make sure you get the highest return possible. Here are a few of the most commonly missed deductions for Realtors:

4 Ways Putting Yourself First Can Boost Business

Whether you are new to the real estate game or a seasoned agent, you might feel like all your time and money goes into building your businesss. But don’t forget that taking care of YOU is equally important! Using your hard-earned money to treat yourself could also boost productivity and ultimately your deal flow. Here are a few ways to put yourself first while giving your business momentum:

Why Upgrading Your Content Marketing is a MUST

High-tech marketing strategies with 3-D video tours and text campaigns are not the only ways to stay current in today’s market. Believe it or not, content marketing is (still) king! Homeowners — namely those who are looking to move soon — have an especially high appreciation for good content. What exactly is “content marketing?”

Agents’ Most Overlooked Marketing Tool

In real estate, we are always looking for that “silver bullet” — the magic pill that will effortlessly take our production from 5 deals per year to 100 deals per year. Well, guess what? The magic pill does exist! And you probably already have it right on your laptop. The most important thing in a real estate agent’s tool box is their database. Without a database, it’s likely that you will never reach your full business potential. If you are like most agents, the hardest part of filling up your database is finding enough willing and able customers. This is where The Governor Campaign comes in.

Nail the Open House by Accomplishing These 3 Missions

An open house can be a little frightening for some sellers. Having a bunch of people stomping through their space, touching their belongings and possibly judging their lifestyle can feel invasive. If it doesn’t go well and multiple showings are needed, there’s the added stress of keeping the house perpetually clean (and having pets ready to whisk away) in anticipation of a last-minute showing. The good news is, if all goes well and the open house generates an appropriate offer, it may be the only one you need.

Spring Has Sprung! Stay Ahead When Competition is High

The temperature is rising, and so is the real estate market! Spring and summer have historically seen the most home sales -- starting with spring cleaning and the purging of old, outdated items, then the desire for a fresh start -- motivating potential home buyers and sellers to take the plunge after hunkering down through the winter. A market teeming with new buyers and sellers is great news for real estate agents, but it also means increased competition. There’s also the fact that new agents tend to start their careers in the spring, and, of course, seasoned agents are as thirsty as ever for new clients – so the springtime market is a buzzing hive of buyers, sellers and a whole lot of agents eager to put their listings on the map. So, how do you make your listings stand out, without breaking your budget?

Your Big Fat Commission II: Leveraging Your Position When Clients Want You to Reduce

Picture this: you are sitting at your client’s kitchen table and you just gave the listing presentation of a lifetime. They love your marketing, they’re good with the price of the home, and they’re about to sign the listing agreement -- when that dreaded question comes up: “Can you reduce your commission?” You might remember that we addressed this issue in a previous blog, “Your Big Fat Commission: Selling Clients on Why You Deserve It.” In that article, ("Your Big Fat Commission I,” let’s call it), we offered a script for helping your clients understand the purpose and importance of real estate commissions, and we introduced our VIP Client Commission Rebate Program as a negotiation strategy for dealing with clients who still weren’t on board with paying your full commission. Readers were excited about this idea and asked us to go into more detail about the program.

Millennials vs. Boomers: How to Adjust Your Marketing for Each

Combined, baby boomers and millennials represent a significant chunk of the home buying market. According to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, millennials were responsible for 35% of home sales, with baby boomers not far behind at 31%. The challenge comes when you realize that you have one set of listings to market to two very different groups of home buyers. From social status to cultural values to taste in décor, the two markets just don’t have much in common. So, how do you market your listings in a way that will appeal to BOTH generations?

Upgrades: Yea or Nay? Helping Sellers Decide Which Ones Matter

Just when you think your client is ready to sell, they say something like, “I want to sell, but I need to do a few upgrades first.” And you think, “Great, I guess I’ll talk to you in a year.” **sigh** While it’s true that updates, upgrades and renovations can be beneficial to a home’s resale value, sellers often think they need to do more than is necessary, wasting precious time and resources. When homeowners get stuck in this mindset, the smartest thing you can do is step in and be the voice of reason. Before sellers start going all “HGTV” and maxing out credit cards, help them decide which projects are genuinely worth the time and money. Here’s a quick guide to some common upgrades and how they affect the resale value:

No Listings? No Problem! Keep Buyers Interested with a Targeted House Hunt

You just managed to get all your listings into escrow. Time to celebrate, right? Not so fast. It suddenly hits you that now you have no listings to show buyers, no more guaranteed commissions, and you basically have to start all over. Talk about a buzz kill. That brings us to your next mission: to find more listings and reel in potential buyers who call about pending homes. Your secret weapon? The Buyer Hunt Program.

How to Capture the Lion’s Share of Neighborhood Listings…Fast!

Have you ever noticed that when you’re focused on buying a certain kind of car, you start seeing that same car everywhere? Or, how about the trend in neighborhood home sales that seems to occur after the first “for sale” sign is planted? This common subconscious behavior of seeing and creating more of what you focus on comes from the part of the brain called the reticular activating system. The RAS can be likened to the nightclub bouncer for your brain, regulating the thoughts which are allowed to enter, subconsciously helping you “decide” what to focus on. We’ve developed an effective strategy called the “Listing Compound Method” that harnesses the power of the RAS and subtly influences the bouncer in homeowners’ brains.

SLAYING THE SALE with this Surprisingly Simple VIP Buyer Program

It’s no secret — we all want to feel special. Clients on both ends of the home-buying process want to believe that you are their agent first, and everyone else’s second. They basically want to feel like they hit the REALTOR® jackpot when they chose you! How can you be the agent in shining armor by providing the service and exclusivity your clients desire?

Homebuyer Choice Overload: Using Your Super Powers to Rescue the Sale

Ah, the paradox of choice. We are obsessed with having options for everything, and are even more obsessed with making decisions. Complain though we may, being deemed the “decision-maker” feeds us with such a sense of importance that we tend to ignore the agony that comes along with making so many decisions. Homebuyers are assaulted with a barrage of choices at every turn, causing anxiety and sometimes choice-paralysis, even to the point of delaying the sale. This is a pretty undesirable situation for you as a Realtor®. Fear not! We’ll show you how your valuable experience can save the day — and the sale.

Convincing Them It’s Worth Less Than They Think

It’s no surprise that sellers want to get top dollar for their beloved house. Can you blame them? They’ve likely put a large amount of money, time and love into the home, and they don’t want it to go unappreciated or undersold. But listing a home at a high starting price can be disastrous for the sale. Two recent U.S. News & World Report articles refer to the “list high, lower later” concept as both a ubiquitous real estate myth, and a sure-fire way to plummet a home’s selling price.

3 Easy Marketing Ideas That Worked!

Finding new ways to market yourself, and your listings, is a constant process. When you get tired of the same old postcards and flyers, you might need a little creative motivation to get things (and people) moving! We picked a few of our favorite ideas from Realtor Magazine. Here’s how other agents were able to gain interest in their business by stepping outside the box.

Your Big Fat Commission: Selling Clients on Why You Deserve It

We have all been asked the question more times than we care to talk about: “Can you reduce your commissions?” **Cringe** It shouldn’t be a battle to defend your commission. You deserve it! Don’t they realize that Real Estate Agents work solely for commission? That fact is, they don’t think about that. They just think that more commission paid to you means more money out of their pocket. That’s why it’s important to explain the reasoning behind paying an agent commission in terms that they can relate to.

6 Things to Look for in a Commission Advance Company

We all know that the Real Estate business doesn't always come with a steady income. You have probably gotten accustomed to waiting...and waiting...and waiting for your commission. UNLESS, you decide to take control of your income by using a commission advance company, (like many successful agents do). If you have thought about getting advances on your commissions but you’re not sure where to go, we can help you decide. There are plenty of options out there, and they are not all created equal. So before you type the words into that search bar, make sure to look for these 6 things:
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