Customer Relationship Management for Realtors

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Are Realtors utilizing the tools available to them to increase efficiency and productivity? A recent study by Software Advice (a free online resource for real estate CRM software) has revealed some insights into the Realtors that are and aren’t using customer relationship management (CRM) software. The survey, which used a sample of CRM buyers consisting of 78 percent real estate industry professionals and 22 percent people in the mortgage business, aimed to find the best CRM solutions for agencies and brokerages. Read on to learn about their findings and see where you fall.

customer relationship management

Who’s Using What?

The report showed that real estate professionals looking to purchase CRM software were far more likely than other buyers to have previously used industry specific software. However, a majority were still using basic methods like email, pen and paper, and spreadsheets to manage their customer relationships. According to Justin Lee, co-founder and COO of The Square Foot, “this data indicates an alarming number of real estate professionals are in the dark not only about what new solutions are out there, but also about how these solutions can be used to [increase efficiency].”

Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods

customer relationship management
via SoftwareAdvice.com

Of those that are indeed using CRM software, 28 percent were using real estate software, typically provided by their brokerage, agency, or franchise firm. Of those using real estate software, “51 percent were using CRM software specifically tailored to the real estate or mortgage industries, including proprietary solutions like Keller Williams’ eEdge.”

Why CRM Software?

Many agents are finding that their current customer relationship management systems are unable to manage all of their contacts. In other words, many Realtors feel that email marketing or multiple listing software with built-in contact management functionality isn’t enough. These frustrated professionals are looking for ways to improve their efficiency and organization without breaking the bank.

Others looking into new options for CRM wanted a system for themselves to “retain ownership of leads if they chose to leave their franchise firm or organization.” Many of these agents are resisting their brokerage’s attempts to implement a company-wide CRM.

What Agents Want

So what are Realtors looking for in CRM software? The top three reasons given were 1. Contact management (at 90 percent), 2. Interaction tracking (at 52 percent), and 3. Email automation (at 41 percent). Following closely behind were lead tracking/sales pipeline management, alerts, and task scheduling.

Top-Requested Real Estate CRM Features

customer relationship management
via SoftwareAdvice.com

Email automation ranked higher than lead tracking primarily due to the agent’s need to constantly stay top of mind with those in their pipeline. Lee agrees; “The more contact you have with a prospect, the more likely you are to maintain the relationship and eventually earn a commission.”

Conclusion

Overall, real estate professionals are beginning to make the shift from a referral-driven industry to one based on data accessibility. “The more tools real estate professionals have at their disposal, the better the data they can provide to prospective clients,” Lee states. Being equipped with technology and tools doesn’t only help the Realtor become more efficient and productive, it allows customer relationships to be nurtured without taking a lot of time from your day.

 

Do you use CRM software? If so, what are the pros and cons to this type of customer relationship management?

 

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5 Ways to Follow Up With Clients While Respecting Boundaries

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Follow-up is obviously imperative to lead conversion, but it can often be tricky to determine how much correspondence is too much. You want to stay at the forefront of prospects’ minds without being overwhelming. You want to conduct background checks without appearing like a stalker. Here are some tips to help you follow up with clients with respect to boundaries.

drip don't dunk

1.     Remember the Purpose Drip Campaigns

The point of your drip campaigns is simply to touch base with your leads. By reminding prospective clients you exist, you will successfully stay at the forefront of their minds. Your goal is NOT to make them buy a house; your goal is to be the first name that comes to mind whenever they’re ready. Don’t pressure them or ask bothersome questions. Just say hello at holidays, birthdays, etc. and then step back.

2.     Vary Communication

Persistent phone calls are annoying, there’s no doubt about that. So to stay at the visible to clients without being a pest, mix up your mediums of communication. Phone calls are best for business related touches. Email will suffice for holidays and well-wishes. Advertise helpful resources from your social media. Hitting clients from all angles is not only less annoying for them, but more effective for you!

3.     Respect Prospect Requests

If a potential client asks you to remove him/her from your email list or other form of communication, don’t fight back. Asking to be removed from an automated list does not mean they’re breaking up with you. You could very well still be their favorite agent in the whole wide world; they just don’t want their inbox filled with your messages.

4.     Use Social Media to Full Potential

Every social media platform can serve as a unique way to reach out to potential clients. The best strategy for social media is, first and foremost, to keep your personal accounts professional. If your personal accounts are well maintained, pursue your prospects online in every avenue. Tony Giordano, founder/CEO of Giordano International Inc., says that you don’t have to worry about overstepping boundaries when it comes to social media as long as your platforms are an extension of your business. You obviously don’t want to be associated with incriminating pictures or political tangents, but you do want to use social media as a way to communicate as consistently as possible.

5.     Keep Online Info on Line

Use information online as a pre-screening. This will help ensure you’re not wasting your time with someone who’s light-years from a loan qualification. It can also give you an idea what kind of home the prospect is in the market for. It’s perfectly fine to see where he or she is employed, the size of the family, and so on. But there’s no need to check favorite TV shows are or high school photos. And if you should stumble across this kind of data, don’t reference it in the “real world.” You may think you’re scoring brownie points by mentioning “Oh yeah, I saw your status about that,” but actually you’re just creeping out the client.

BONUS: Don’t Be Annoying at Private Showings

Once you’re giving a client private showings of listings, it’s hardly follow-up; it’s just business as usual. But it’s still important to not come off as a pest. Remember, your customers are looking for a place they can call home. After giving a brief tour highlighting the house, let them give it a few walkthroughs on their own accord. Bear in mind, your safety should always be top priority in this process. They’ll never feel like they can really investigate the home if you’re breathing down their necks the whole time.

 

Lead conversion up is one of the most important aspects of being a real estate agent. However, those prospects will never develop if the agent is overbearing or annoying. By following these tips, you’ll ensure a comfortable and ongoing working relationship.

What other strategies have you picked up on over the course of your career? Share in the comments below.

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5 Warning Signs of Difficult Real Estate Clients [Infographic]

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You should always be excited for new business, but some clients only waste your time and energy. Here are some warning signs of difficult real estate clients to watch out for… and what happens if you don’t!

 

Difficult-Clients

1. The client has already worked with multiple agents and none of them seem to work out.

This could mean a wide variety of things, none of which are good. These buyers and sellers end up wasting your time, just like they did with everyone else. With this kind of client, it is probably best to just avoid altogether.

2. The client suffers from endowment bias.

This person tends to place a higher value on their home just because of personal attachment. They think their stuff is worth more than it really is and are usually unwilling to negotiate on important aspects of the real estate process such as home value. The best way to approach this client is to have established research that will help adjust seller expectations.

3. The client doesn’t seem to want to actually move.

This type of seller is perhaps pressured by family or finances. He or she will always find some excuse not to move forward. Your communication with this client will be drawn out and frustrating. If you insist upon trying to make it work with this client, establish goals and a timeline for the process as early as the listing interview.

4. The client aggressively asks questions.

You will spot this type of buyer or seller by the fact that they immediately come across as very defensive. They think they know better than you, so they will try to find ways to trip you up. The primary consequence of working with them is that they will never give you a good reference, even if you do everything to superb quality standards. If you try to make it work with these difficult real estate clients, be sure to involve a contract in multiple steps of the process.

5. The client has a “blamer” mentality.

You’ll spot this type of client when they consistently deny responsibility for things in their personal lives. They will blame you for anything that doesn’t go perfectly during the real estate process and are demoralizing to work with. If you try to make it work with this type of client, you should set realistic expectations right away.

What other difficult real estate clients have you had to deal with? What were the warning signs that you missed?


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A 7 Step Guide to Social Media Marketing for Real Estate

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You know what social media is, but what is social media marketing, you may ask? Social media marketing is basically harnessing the social interaction you’ve established on various platforms and turning it into website traffic. So, how exactly do you make the transition from just a social media presence to an effective social media marketing campaign? We’re here to answer just that.

Social Media Marketing

Step 1: Define and Find Your Audience

As a Realtor, it’s important to know your niche. If you haven’t already, define your niche by looking at the majority of the types of buyers and/or sellers you serve. Defining your audience, whether they be first time home buyers or real estate investors, will allow you to create content targeted specifically to them.

Once you define your target audience, find them online. First time home buyers may be more commonly found asking questions on forum sites like Reddit or Quora, trade-up buyers looking for remodeling ideas may gravitate towards picture-based sites like Pinterest, and real estate investors are most likely hoping to connect with like-minded individuals on BiggerPockets.com.

Step 2: Create Solid Content

We’ve written a lot about the importance of good content. This is not only because online marketing relies on it these days, but because it’s essential for getting a competitive ranking on search engines like Google. Here are some quick tips on what makes for great content:

  1. Create an editorial calendar.
  2. Maintain a content idea bank.
  3. Write captivating headlines.
  4. Make sure your content is longer than 300 words (preferably at least 500).
  5. Don’t syndicate content (copying and pasting others’ content onto your site).
  6. Include keywords, photos, external and internal links in text posts.
  7. Focus on writing local content(local keywords have less competition).
  8. Diversify your content by making infographics, videos, eBooks, etc.
  9. Ensure your content is engaging and offers value to your readers.

For a quick introduction to content marketing, check out this video:

Step 3: Make Your Social Mark

Hopefully, you’ve already done the leg work and are active on various social media sites. If you’re not, check out our eBook The Top 10 Social Media Sites for Realtors (available to download for free) and learn what platforms you should be on, how to set up an account on each site, what formats you should post in, and how to engage with other users.

Remember, the key to social media marketing is right there in its name: being social. Before we move on to the next step, make sure you’re actively posting and engaging (liking, commenting, re-pinning) with other users on each social media platform you’ve decided to take on.

Step 4: Use Your Content as Lighter Fluid

Once you have a good amount of content under your belt, use it as lighter fluid for your social media marketing fire. It’s time to market your content—and therefore your business—across various social media platforms. Make sure you cater it to each site by following any character limitations, including or excluding hashtags, and posting at the appropriate time of day.

Here’s a quick run-through of how often, what, and when to post on some top social media sites:

  1. Facebook: Post once or twice a day, preferably between 1 and 4pm EST (10am-1pm PST). Post visuals (photos from your articles, infographics, videos) with a snippet of what the post is about along with a shortened link (via bit.ly or TinyURL). Refrain from using hashtags.
  2. Twitter: Post short, 140 character synopses of your articles, fun facts, Twitpics from your content, and other useful information around 8 times a day (also use shortened links). The best time to post on Twitter is between 1 and 3pm EST (10am-12 noon PST). Hashtag your keyword(s) and target audience.
  3. Google+: Post once or twice a day on weekdays during work hours (preferably between 9 and 11am EST/6 and 9am PST). Post a bit more text than you would on Facebook and make sure to include a photo, link, or video and one hashtag, as Google+ will insert one for you if you don’t.
  4. Pinterest: Post to Pinterest any time between 2 and 4pm EST (11am-1pm PST) and 8pm to 1am EST (5 to 10pm PST). Pinterest is a picture-based site, so pin photos from your articles with your headline and logo. These can be easily made for free on PicMonkey and have a higher click through rate. You can also add the Pinterest article rich pin metatags to your site so that articles can be easily identified. Limit your hashtags to one or two per pin.

social media marketing for real estate

Step 5: Include a Strong Call to Action

After writing content, decide on a strong call to action (CTA) to include at the end of the piece. This will let your audience know exactly what you want them to do once they’ve consumed your content.

If you’ve previously published an eBook for first time home buyers, include a CTA at the end of a piece of content geared towards this audience with something like: “For more information about buying a home for the first time, download our eBook for free.” Hyperlink the text to the page the eBook, accessible via a lead capture form, is located on your site.

You can also include a CTA in your posts on social media sites. These can be as simple as “click here,” or as robust as “follow the link to download the eBook.”

Step 6: Give Back

It’s easy to find yourself focusing so much of your attention on creating content and posting to different social media sites that you forget to engage and give back. After all, the people on the other end of those social media interactions are probably leading busy lives too.

Therefore, if someone retweets you, find something on his/her profile you like, and retweet back. If someone pins your photo on Pinterest, thank him/her. Respond to comments on your posts and answer messages and inquiries quickly and sincerely.

Step 7: Don’t Forget About Outbound Marketing

While social media marketing is an awesome type of inbound marketing, don’t forget about the outbound. Online interaction is incredibly efficient and necessary, but it doesn’t offer the same type of benefits that offline marketing ventures can.

That’s why it’s important to still maintain an outbound, traditional marketing scheme alongside your online one. This can include anything from sending postcards announcing your “buyer just bought,” to door knocking the area you farm.

 

By following this 7 step guide to social media marketing for real estate, you’ll most likely see an increase in traffic to your site. But keep this in mind: if you’re not providing value to your customers and prospects, social media marketing won’t work for you. On the other hand, if you take time to craft well-written, thought-out content that you know your target audience will find informative, the world of social media will reward you.


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Home Buyer Preferences by Ethnicity

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There are some things all home buyers want, like a good price and a home that fits their needs, and some things they try to avoid, like damage to a house’s foundation or asbestos exposure. However, there is something to say about the differences in home preference when it comes to age, income, and ethnicity.

A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called “What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences” analyzes how housing preferences are affected by the racial/ethnic background of the home buyer after controlling for factors like age and income. Their study focuses on African-American (non-Hispanic), White (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and Asian buyers. The NAHB produced this report so that those in the real estate and home building industries could have:

…the most accurate and detailed information on what home buyers of these different racial/ethnic backgrounds really want, so that [professionals] can deliver the home (and community) their target market is looking for.

Some demographic findings of the report include that minority home buyers are younger than Caucasian buyers, to which the NAHB states: “This age difference can be largely explained by the fact that minority home buyers are more likely than White buyers to be first-time buyers, who are typically younger than trade-up buyers.”

So let’s take a look at demographic differences and home buyer preferences based on ethnicity.

home buyer preferences

African-American Home Buyers

The median African-American buyer is 39 years old. 50 percent of buyers are married, have a median household income of $43,774, and expect to pay $176,397 for their next home.

When it comes to what size home they’re looking for, African-American buyers want 2,664 square feet and 51 percent will be satisfied with having up to three bedrooms. Furthermore, 70 percent will be satisfied with up to 2.5 baths, 49 percent consider the lot size irrelevant or would be satisfied with a small 1/8 acre plot, 61 percent want an open kitchen-family room arrangement, 44 percent prefer two-story homes, and 55 percent of African-American buyers want a two-car garage.

When it comes to wanted and unwanted features, African-Americans want a laundry room, exterior lighting, and Energy Star rated appliances, and don’t want an elevator, to live in a golf course community, or have only a shower stall in the master bath. At 65 percent, they are also the group of buyers that most prefers all amenities (including technology features and electronic systems) included in the base price of the home.

Lastly, 53 percent of buyers would prefer a bigger house with fewer amenities rather than a smaller house with high quality products and amenities. At 69 percent, African-American home buyers prefer a new home and are willing to pay $7,578 more to achieve their desired energy savings of $1,000 a year.

Home Buyer Preferences by Ethnicity
via NAHB.org

White Home Buyers

The median age of White buyers is 43 and the median household income is $67,747. 80 percent of White buyers are married and they expect to pay $205,775 for their next home.

In a home, white buyers want a median of 2,197 square feet, 63 percent will be satisfied with having up to three bedrooms, and 78 percent want up to 2.5 baths. Furthermore, a majority of White buyers prefer a single-story home and want a two-car garage (23 percent want a garage for three or more cars).

Only 30 percent consider the dining room essential, and the laundry room is the most indispensable of all specialty rooms. In fact, White buyers rank the laundry room, Energy Star rated appliances, and an exhaust fan as the top three most wanted features.

When it comes to unwanted features, White buyers can do without an elevator, golf course community, and a high density community. When answering a survey about what they would be willing to accept to make the home more affordable, 50 percent of White buyers responded that the best option would be to allow some space to remain unfinished.

Hispanic Home Buyers

The median age of the Hispanic buyer is 37, the median household income is $50,221, and s/he plans to spend $181,444 on his/her next home.

Hispanic buyers want a median of 2,347 square feet, the majority will be satisfied with up to 2.5 baths, and only 49 percent will be satisfied with having up to three bedrooms. 45 percent prefer a single-story home and 47 percent want a two-car garage.

The central city is the preferred location to buy a home for 19 percent of Hispanics, the highest percentage of all ethnic groups. Furthermore, the top three most wanted features for Hispanics include a laundry room, Energy Star rated appliances, and exterior lighting. On the contrary, the top three unwanted features include an elevator, golf course community, and high density community.

Lastly, a full bath on the main level was the highest ranked accessibility feature among Hispanic buyers.

Asian Home Buyers

The median age of the Asian buyer is 36, and 79 percent of Asian buyers are married. Asian home buyers have the highest median household income at $72,797 and expect to pay the most for their next home ($283,469).

Asian buyers are looking for 2,280 square feet of finished space in their next home and 64 percent consider the lot size irrelevant or would be satisfied with a 1/8 acre plot. 48 percent prefer two-story homes, 56 percent are satisfied with having up to three bedrooms, and 77 percent want up to 2.5 baths.

At 49 percent, Asian buyers are the group that considers the dining room most essential. As for the most indispensable of all specialty rooms, “the living room ranks number one (86 percent), followed by the laundry room (85 percent).”

To make a home more affordable, 40 percent said they’d accept unfinished spaces, 42 percent would buy a smaller house, and 44 percent would rather buy a smaller lot.

As for wanted and unwanted features, Asian home buyers rank Energy Star rated appliances, a living room, and exterior lighting as the top three wanted features and an elevator, golf course community, and only a shower stall in the master bath as the top three unwanted features.

Lastly, at 52 percent, Asian buyers are the least likely to prefer a new home.

Home Buyer Preferences by Ethnicity
via NAHB.org

Realtors can learn a lot from this in-depth study by the National Association of Home Builders. By better knowing your clients—what they prefer and dislike—you can be better equipped to create a comprehensive list of homes to show. Knowing more about home buyers, whether it’s the knowledge of their preferences by age, income, or ethnicity, means being more empowered to give your clients what they really want.


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What Does It Cost to Become a Realtor?

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We’ve all heard the adage that it takes money to make money, but deep down we hope such a statement isn’t actually true. Most of us don’t have much of a savings at the start of a new career; that’s why we’re starting the new career in the first place!

Ideally, it would take a lot of hard work and determination to make money. And maybe this is true in a lot of career paths, but does it apply to real estate? Let’s look at various aspects of cash flow for Realtors to find out!*

takes money to make money

How Much to Become an Agent

So, what does it cost to become a Realtor?

There are some necessary checks you’re going to have to write if you want to break into real estate. Here are the essential expenses you’ll have to get started:

Acquire Education & License: $1,000

Web Site Design & Launch: $500

Initial Marketing Campaign: $500

MLS Set-Up: $200

PLEASE NOTE: This section makes a lot of assumptions in order to stay on the cheaper side of the spectrum. For example, we assume you’ll pass your real estate exam the first time, and not have to pay for it again. And although this marketing campaign cost covers flyers, business cards, signs, and so on, it’s only covering enough to get you started those first few months until commission checks start coming in.

There are plenty of other fees such as IDX set-up, insurance costs, etc. But those things are either a) not 100% necessary, or b) often covered by a broker, so they were not included in this list of minimal needs.

 

How Much to Stay an Agent

Once you’ve established yourself as a real estate agent, there will be other consistent expenses that you’ll need to budget for. Here is what those costs look like on a monthly basis:

Marketing: $200

Insurance: $40

MLS Fees: $50

Gas/Car Related Expenses: $150

Web Site Upkeep: $12

National Association of Realtor Dues: $10

Those are the minimal costs to maintain your presence. There are plenty of other potential expenses for an agent. Agents spend the most money on online lead generation services, followed by paid internet advertising, and database management. (Just as a reminder, all of those expenditures are bundled in one cost-efficient, streamlined HouseHunt membership. Apply for your exclusive territory in the bar to the right.)

Yes, yes. Monthly expenses may seem a bit startling at first, but there are plenty of free ways to keep relevant as an agent. If you want to increase your revenue as an agent, there are ways to spend time in order to save money. Here are some weekly resources that develop your database online without hurting your wallet:

Content Development: 2-3 hours

Social Media Presence: 2-3 hours

Video Resources: 1-2 Hours

E-Mail + Newsletter Marketing: 1 hour

Former Client Follow Up: 1-2 hours

Formula for Success BANNER

When Will You Start Making Money?

It takes time to start making money in real estate; it’s not like an office job where your first paycheck comes a few weeks after your start date. Why the delay in revenue? The main reason is simply that it takes time to close on your first house. With all the inspections and paperwork that go into a real estate exchange, it can take weeks or months before you see your first commission check.

Furthermore, it can take time to find that first client without any prior experience or word-of-mouth from prior clientele.

And even then, most of those initial paychecks go to covering the cost of getting started.

You may not actually see a return on investment (ROI, or profit) until you’ve settled into a routine with your budget and income. If you want to calculate exactly what your client base will have to look like to cover your expenses, you will need to calculate your personal Formula for Success.

Click here to download a PDF of the Formula for Success Worksheet.

IN CONCLUSION: Yes, it takes money to make money in real estate. But don’t despair, if you’re able to get started with a chunk of what you have in savings, you can soon minimize your expenses and focus on branding yourself for past and prospective clients.

*All the listed expenditures were kept at a relative minimum and can vary by location, brand, etc.

 

What do you think? Do you think it’s a hard and fast rule that you need money to generate profit? What major expenses do you have that we left off this list?

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Top 10 Real Estate Agent Safety Tips [Infographic]

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Real-Estate-Agent-Safety

Real Estate Agent Safety Tips

1. Careful with Personal Info

Don’t advertise your home address. Consider a Google Voice phone number to separate work calls on your personal cell.

2. Verify Customer Information

Ask for identification, address, and references from people before a showing. Require a signature and phone number even at Open Houses.

3. Enlist a Coworker

Whenever possible, have someone from your office join you for private showings.

4. Announce Your Showings

If you can’t have someone tag along, make sure at least a couple people know your location and expected return time before a showing.

5. Scout Locations Early

Check out neighborhoods before you meet someone there to ensure you are familiar with the area. You don’t want to rely on a faulty GPS.

6. Keep Phone in Hand

Keep your phone in hand during private showings with an emergency contact on speed dial.

7. Keep Customer in Sight

Walk behind clients. It lets them feel ownership over the potential buy and allows you to keep a safe distance.

8. Pay Attention to Exits

Know where the exits to the house and neighborhood are. Keep doors unlocked during showings.

9. Take a Self Defense Class

Go the extra mile by taking a class that will prepare you for any potential danger.

10. Trust Your Gut

If you’re uneasy about a situation, see your way out of it. Don’t worry about upsetting the customer.

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Realtor Quiz: Do You Know Your Buyers?

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In business, knowing your market means knowing how to advertise to, engage, and ultimately sell to an audience. As a Realtor, you’re not only selling real estate, you’re selling yourself, which is why it’s even more important to know and engage prospective clients. In this multiple choice, 10 question quiz, you’ll be tested on how well you know your buyers: who they are and what they’re looking for.

know your buyers
How well do you know your stuff?

Question 1: In the current market, what percentage of buyers are first time home buyers?

  1. 20%
  2. 30%
  3. 40%
  4. 50%

Question 2: What is the average age of the single male home buyer?

  1. 35
  2. 40
  3. 45
  4. 50

Question 3: What pool of buyers best signals a housing market recovery?

  1. Trade up buyers
  2. First time home buyers
  3. Investors
  4. Trade down buyers

Question 4: What percentage of the market do unmarried couples comprise?

  1. 5%
  2. 7%
  3. 10%
  4. 13%

Question 5: What percentage of home buyers start their home searches online?

  1. 80%
  2. 88%
  3. 90%
  4. 92%

Question 6: What’s the average home size for a married couple?

  1. 2,000 sq. ft.
  2. 2,100 sq. ft.
  3. 2,500 sq. ft.
  4. 2,700 sq. ft.

Question 7: What’s the median income of the average single female buyer?

  1. $45,100
  2. $48,000
  3. $50,200
  4. $55,400

Question 8: Where are single males, single females, married, and unmarried couples all more likely to buy?

  1. Urban area
  2. Suburban area
  3. Rural area
  4. Coastal area

Question 9: What percentage of renters plan to purchase a home in the next one to two years?

  1. 42%
  2. 44%
  3. 46%
  4. 48%

Question 10: What percentage of millennial home buyers say that a convenient commute is a top factor when choosing a neighborhood?

  1. 62%
  2. 72%
  3. 82%
  4. 92%

So, how do you think you fared? Click here to check your answers and learn some additional home buyer insights.

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Home Buyer Quiz Answers

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Q1: In the current market, what percentage of buyers are first time home buyers?

3. 40%: According to a recent survey, first time home buyers make up almost 40 percent of the total buyer pool.

Q2: What is the average age of the single male home buyer?

3. 45: The National Association of Realtors reports that the single man is 45 years old and accounts for 10 percent of the housing market.

Q3: What pool of buyers best signals a housing market recovery?

2. First time home buyers: The more first time home buyers, the faster the housing market can recover. First time home buyers allow homeowners to trade up and down, keeping the real estate cycle moving.

Q4: What percentage of the market do unmarried couples comprise?

2. 7%: Unmarried couples make up 7 percent of the housing market and have a median age of 33.

Q5: What percentage of home buyers start their home searches online?

4. 92%: According to NAR’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “The use of the Internet in the home search rose slightly [from 90] to 92 percent.”

Q6: What’s the average home size for a married couple?

2. 2,100 sq. ft.: NAR reports that the average home size for a married couple is 2,100 square feet.

Q7: What’s the median income of the average single female buyer?

3. $50,200: Find out more about the single female home buyer here.

Q8: Where are single males, single females, married, and unmarried couples all more likely to buy?

2. Suburban area: NAR reports that all four types of home buyers prefer a suburb or subdivision.

Q9: What percentage of renters plan to purchase a home in the next one to two years?

4. 48%: According to a recent Houzz survey, 48 percent of renters plan to buy a home in the next one to two years because of the “significantly improved local housing market.”

Q10: What percentage of millennial home buyers say that a convenient commute is a top factor when choosing a neighborhood?

1. 62%: Placester reports that 62 percent of Gen-Y buyers say a convenient commute is a top factor when choosing a neighborhood.

 

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12 Ways to Turn One Lead into Multiple Closings

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Interested in turning one lead into a lot of business? Real estate expert Jim Droz recently taught us how to do just that in a HouseHunt webinar. Here are 12 ways to turn one lead into multiple closings from Mr. Droz’s personal experience.

1. Start with a Buyer

Have a buyer interested in an area but there’re no homes for sale in that location? Send out buyer postcards. Your postcard should let residents know you have a client interested in buying in the area and ask if they’ve thought about selling. Here is an example:

Turn One Lead into Multiple Closings
Buyer Postcard

Follow up your buyer postcards by door knocking the area in which your buyer is interested. If the residents haven’t given any thought to moving, ask if they know of anyone else who may want to sell. If you do eventually find someone interested in listing with you, you get to double-end the deal!

2. Work Expired Listings

Jim suggests that you “search the MLS for expired listings in areas that are appropriate to satisfy the buyer’s needs.” Once you find some houses that meet your criteria, call and ask if the owner is still interested in selling. Even if s/he isn’t willing to sell at this time, make sure to offer a no-cost, no-obligation, professional evaluation of the home regardless.

By working expired listings, you’ll either be able to acquire a new listing quickly or have a seller familiar with the selling process in your pipeline.

3. Make More Sales from Sold Homes

Once you’ve sold a home, place a “Sold” sign with your name on it out front quickly. Furthermore, Jim suggests that you knock on 50+ doors and give residents a photo brochure with specific information about the sold home. Closer to the sold home, door knock to introduce the buyer, give out photo brochures, and discuss the selling price with the neighbors.

Mail out 250+ “Sold” postcards featuring a photo of the home that looks something like this:

Turn One Lead into Multiple Closings
Sold Postcard

Also include text that reads something like this:

We have just represented one of your neighbors in the sale of their residence. The end result of the transaction was an excellent selling price, minimal inconvenience to the seller, and another satisfied client.

While this home was on the market, it generated a lot of buyer interest in the area. If you have given any thought to selling your residence, please call us. To satisfy the needs of current buyers, we need new listings!

After you’ve sent out your “sold home” postcards, send out change of address mailers for the seller. Ask the seller to complete a performance survey, promote the results (if positive), and encourage referrals from the seller.

Lastly, mail a letter thanking the buyer.

4. Maximize New Listing Opportunities

Once you have a new listing, send out 250 new listing postcards. These will look similar to the one above, but will have pictures of your new listing and information detailing how you’ve been hired to market a home in the area. Jim suggests the following text for the postcard:

If you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance that might want to live in your neighborhood, please tell them about this new listing. This is your opportunity to choose a neighbor!

New listings tend to increase buyer activity in an area. Increased buyer activity can result in higher sales prices and reduced inconveniences. If you are thinking of selling, please call me.

Similar to the marketing procedure when you’ve sold a home, place the “For Sale” sign with your name out front of the home quickly, knock on over 50 doors, and send all advertising materials out to the community.

During the selling process, hold a neighbor-exclusive open house first and a public open house second.

Once the home has been sold, encourage referrals and repeat business from the seller.

Turn One Lead into Multiple Closings

5. Work REO & Distressed Properties

Jim suggests that you be on the constant look-out for distressed properties and keep a database of properties that appear to be vacant and/or abandoned. Once you have a buyer who has narrowed his/her search down to a few neighborhoods, research the ownership of these properties and contact the bank.

6. Milk Referrals

Think of every incoming client as a referral source. Send out postcards asking for referrals from clients who have recently bought and sold with you at the helm. If you do indeed receive referrals from these clients, make sure to follow up with another postcard thanking them for keeping you in mind. Send postcards again once the people they have referred have officially made you the listing agent and again when you close the transaction.

7. Use Drip Marketing

Continue to brand yourself and stay in front of your past and potential clients by employing a personalized, automated drip marketing campaign. Send out e-cards to clients for birthdays, home purchase anniversaries and holidays.

8. Keep an Eye on Time Management

It is cheaper and much less time consuming to keep existing clients than find new ones. Therefore, the more clients you keep, the more you can increase your production. If you use an online lead generation system, the time saved by having someone generate leads for you can give you the time necessary to triple your production.

With the extra time you have, pick up the phone and call people you’ve worked with in the past, contact expired listings and For Sale By Owner listings, work your databases, market your successes, communicate with active clients, get creative when generating brand awareness marketing ideas, and maintain a work-life balance.

9. Improve Presentations

Improving your listing presentations can make you the stand-out agent. Understand the seller and the importance of details, and have a diverse set of presentation tools including a comparative market analysis and hardcopy booklet. Make sure to review the six critical factors of selling a home with the sellers, and have a listing agreement signed before you leave.

10. Generate a Unique and Exclusive Source of Buyers

Using a lead generation service that markets you exclusively as the agent in the given area will give you a competitive edge in today’s world of online real estate marketing. Furthermore, being a part of a national buyer referral network will allow out-of-state leads to come to you without any extra effort on your part.

Jim Droz, who’s been using the HouseHunt system for over ten years, states that on average, he receives 30 buyer leads monthly from his HouseHunt.com website. Furthermore, more people are able to see his listings, and the higher the number of potential buyers who view a home on the market, the bigger the net proceeds in the agent’s pocket.

11. Employ Success Marketing When You Close a Buyer

Similar to the process of marketing your success after selling a home, once you close a buyer, place a “Thank You” sign outside of the home. Door knock on 50 or more doors to introduce the buyer, mail out 250 “My Buyer Just Bought” postcards, and sponsor a house warming party for the buyer.

Make sure to encourage referrals from the buyer and ask them to complete a performance questionnaire.

12. Focus on FSBO

Emphasize that you empathize with the tough time the seller may be having, and tell him/her that you have an exclusive source of buyers, one of which may be looking to purchase in the area. Ask if the seller is willing to cooperate with an agent if s/he has a buyer. You can also offer a For Sale By Owner self-help kit.

After speaking with the seller, send them a thank you note offering your advice and answers to any questions they may have about the selling process and include a recommendation for a closing officer and lender.

 

Hopefully, these 12 ways to turn one lead into multiple closings will help you generate more business. If you think beyond incoming leads, get creative, and be unique, you will be able to maximize your results. As Jim puts it, “If you are not different from all the other agents in your area, your paycheck won’t be!”


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