By Jesse McCarl
Happy New Year, from all of us at HouseHunt!
We hope that this year is your most successful as a real estate agent, yet!
By Jesse McCarl
We hope that this year is your most successful as a real estate agent, yet!
By Jesse McCarl
If you’ve worked in real estate for any amount of time, you’ve heard the phrase, “buyers are liars.” Today on the blog, we’re going to take a look at the sentiment behind the statement, and what it means for you as a real estate agent. Turns out whole studies have been done to figure if buyers really are liars, and the results will affect how you do business!
There are a couple different ways buyers can be liars in a real estate transaction:
First, an example of a buyer’s lies may revolve around what specifics they say they’re looking for. They may say they want a newly constructed home with a pool and a 3-car garage. This is probably a lie. These are things that are important to the buyer, sure, but they are hardly deal breakers. Perhaps this one is not so much a lie as it is an exaggerated truth…
The second way buyers are liars is a bit more extreme. As you well know, it’s not uncommon for someone to change their mind about a move. They find an agent and attend some open houses and do everything a home-buyer is supposed to do. But then, without warning, they drop of the face of the planet. At best, you’ll get a phone call saying, “We’ve decided not to move forward.” At worst, you never hear from the buyer again.
In this case, they either a) decided not to move residences at all, or b) found another agent and left you in the dust. Neither are exactly an easy pill to swallow after you’ve put so much effort forth to find them their dream home.
Buyers lie in real estate because they feel they have less power than the seller and/or agent. They lie as a way to keep the upper hand. It gives them a sense of control in what could otherwise be a very overwhelming investment.
Sound a bit extreme?
The University of Texas at Austin conducted a study to analyze buyer/seller relationships. Here is a summary of the findings:
“…buyers were not only less trusting than sellers, they were also more likely to be dishonest. [One] reason for the trust gap between buyers and sellers is the precieved transfer of power. In the course of an acquisition, the seller loses power while buyers gain power.”
The buyer knows less about the industry that the Realtor. S/he also knows less about each property than the individual sellers. The knowledge that s/he could walk away at any time may be the only sense of stability that the buyer feels in the face of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s interesting to note that in most other industries, the buyer has the upper hand by default. It is typically the seller who feels obligated to lie or embellish in order to maintain business. Think of standard advertising, for example. A television commercial makes it look like this product will finally make you sexy and happy. It’s clearly a lie, but that kind of exaggeration is considered acceptable in order to entice the buyer.
So in most industries, sellers are the default liars. But in real estate, is the seller still guilty?
There are plenty of opportunities for sellers to lie, or at least omit certain truths. As a real estate agent, it’s your job to make it clear that total disclosure is the best way to get a fair price and avoid legal ramifications.
And let’s be transparent: you’ve probably lied on behalf of your sellers a little bit before! Have you ever spruced up a listing photo? They may be subtle white lies told in the name of marketing, but there’s no denying that liars exist on the buying and selling sides of a real estate transaction.
The first step to establish a culture of honesty in real estate is to be the example. If a buyer or seller doesn’t have to question any of your actions as the Realtor, s/he will be more inclined to be transparent, as well.
With sellers in particular, the best way to demonstrate the importance of transparency is to remind the seller of the legal consequences of a misleading sale.
When it comes to the buyers, the most effective way to encourage honest communication is to simply… well, encourage honest communication.
If the buyers have a list of must-haves, try to get them to prioritize all the features. Say things like, “Well, if I found a brand new house with a pool, would you sacrafice the 3-car garage?” The more you question the buyer, the closer you’ll get to the truth.
When the main concern is abandonment from the buyer/liar – which is often the case – simply reinforce the benefits of your services. Say things like, “I don’t get paid until you find the house of your dreams. If there’s anything you’re unsatisfied with or have a change of heart about, don’t hesitate to communicate that to me. Your honesty will help be the best agent I can be, both for you and future clients.”
This bold communication will breed an atomosphere of openness that will hopefully keep you from being blindsided down the road.
When I was young, my mom told me not to call others a “liar.” The word was treated the same as the heavy hitting cuss words like “crap.” So if my mom ever reads this article, she’s going to be really freaking upset with me!
Even though it sounded extreme, my mom’s attitude towards this word should probably apply towards real estate professionals. Are buyers liars? Often, yes. Should you call them that? No, not even in your own mind.
No one stands to benefit from you going in expecting a client to bail on you or mislead you.
If you encourage open dialogue, you’re doing the best you can to prevent the adage that buyers are liars. If you make your clients feel comfortable, with the knowledge that they are always in control, they will have no reason to lie to you.
By Jesse McCarl
It’s great to be a real estate agent! Use this infographic to brag a little bit on social media! Take a look at everything from the excitement that fills each of your days to the fact that Forbe’s rated your job the “Happiest Job in America.” Here are the perks of being a real estate agent:
No academic degree required; can obtain licence in weeks to months, depending on your state regulations.
There’s virtually no limit to growth potential for your business.
An agent gets great insight into other sources of revenue such as rental properties, house flipping, etc.
…and make it exciting! Fill your days with lunch interviews and networking events.
You’re not limited to a set salary or hourly wage. A strong work ethic equals more net pay!
You help people find their way home! Helping people land their dream home gives a strong sense of career purpose.
By Jesse McCarl
We push the importance of social media for real estate professionals all the time, but many don’t know exactly how to get started. Maybe you already have some personal social media accounts, but creating a page for your business is baffling. Here’s a look at how to make a Facebook page for real estate business. This is the first installment in a a series to help you establish your presence as a Realtor online.
Log into your personal Facebook. If you don’t have a personal Facebook page, then first, welcome to 2015. Now go make a Facebook page!
Click ‘Create a Page.’ You will see this link when you click the drop-down menu beside your name in the top right corner. There you will also see any other pages you help manage.
Choose what type of page. You will most likely want to create a local business.
Choose a Category: Real Estate.
Plug in business info such as address, phone, etc.
*Remember: You can change what type of business you have down the road, but you can’t change the business title. So when you plug in the name for your company, make sure it’s what you want forever.*
Set up your page description. This is the spot where you will add categories to make yourself easier to find, you will write a few sentences of a description, and include links to your personal website.
Add a Profile Picture. If your business has a logo, that’s your best choice here. Otherwise, use your Realtor picture. Anything professional!
Add to Favorites. Next, you’ll have a screen where you can add your page to your personal favorites. This isn’t necessary, but it’ll probably be helpful down the road. Go ahead and click “Add to Favorites.” Now you’ll have a link to your own page on the sidebar of Facebook at all times.
Reach More… Later. The last screen before you can see your newly created page is an opportunity to “Reach More People.” What this means is you can pay to advertise your page to get more Likes. Paying for Facebook ads is NOT a bad thing; by all means you may want to use this feature in the future. But let’s go ahead and get our page a little more established before we utilize this tactic.
Make a Cover Photo. This a space to add extra visual pop. The photo space is 851×315. If you’re not good at creating images, use a tool like PicMonkey.
Add Tabs. You can add customized tabs to the top of your page through third party sites. On our Consumer-facing Facebook, we garner a lot of web traffic from Pinterest, so we were sur to include a Facebook tab at the top. We also have a “Find Your House” tab so that people can fill out lead forms to find their dream home!
If you have an idea for what you want in your tabs, a simple Google search will help you find a Facebook tool that will get the job done.
Update your posts regularly. We recommend updating your Facebook once or twice daily. This isn’t so much that it’s overwhelming, but it ensures you can’t be forgotten.
Use analytics. Facebook has great analytics built in so you can track what posts are most successful, and what time your followers are most interactive.
We hope these steps help you to easily create your Facebook profile. This is the first installment in an ongoing series to make sure you are equipped to begin your social media adventures as a real estate agent.
By <a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/109375586704049423177/about” rel=”author”>Radwa Madkour</a>
Agents, it’s time to ring in the New Year with a great business plan! Here is a peek at the real estate forecast for 2015!
<h1><a href=”http://www.blog.househuntnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/forecast.png”><img class=”alignnone wp-image-7119 size-full” src=”http://www.blog.househuntnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/forecast.png” alt=”Real estate forecast ” width=”735″ height=”2556″ /></a></h1>
<h1>Real Estate in 2015- What to expect</h1>
<li>Millennials account for 65% of first time home buyer sales</li>
<li>Existing home sales will increase by 8%</li>
<li>Home prices will go up 4%-5%</li>
<li>Mortgage rates will be at 5%</li>
<li>Home affordability will may decrease by 5-10% (do to increased mortgage rates and home prices)</li>
<li>Grow your email list.</li>
<li>Experiment with videos.</li>
<li>Boost your Facebook posts</li>
<li>Save money by signing up with Househunt!</li>
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/#104282387132279856339″ rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a>
By Jesse McCarl
It’s the holiday season and you may very well have a Realtor on your list. Maybe you want to thank your agent for a job well done in 2014, or you want to build your professional network by spreading some cheer. Or maybe you married an agent with no idea what you were getting yourself into! Here are the top ten gifts for real estate professionals in your life would love to get this Christmas.
At the end of the day, this is always the most valuable thing you could give to a real estate agent. If you know someone who will be on the market in 2015, tell them about a great Realtor you know and see if they’d be interested. Then your holiday gift can just be a card with a quality, pre-screened lead ready to go! Any agent would be ecstatic.
Most agents love tech gifts, but tablets are quickly becoming the must-have on every Realtor’s list. A tablet allows them to log lead information into their database as soon as leads come in. They give agents a way to show listings to clients on the spot. They can budget your expenses. And, perhaps most importantly, it gives them a tool on which to play Angry Birds while they wait for someone to show up at their Open House.
Every real estate agent has a recurring stress dream where they are stranded on the job with a dead phone! A battery extender is a great tool for that tablet mentioned above, or for that phone they always seem to be on. This is great for productivity and for safety!
Supposedly no one likes to buy gift cards for holidays because it’s “so impersonal,” but bear with us on this one. Realtors so often work nights and weekends that they rarely get a chance to grab real food. They’re fueled by fast food and – if they’re lucky – leftovers from a generous spouse. Maybe some credit at a nice sit-down is exactly what they need.
If you’re not looking to spend the cash for a high dollar restaurant, a coffee gift card may actually be more practical. First of all, the world of real estate doesn’t function without caffeine. Secondly, these gift cards can be used for client meetings and listing interviews. Always nice to get a gift that has positive implications in their professional life, too!
Every agent has books on their to-read list. Sure, they complain about never having any free time, but they could easily write off time spent reading as further education. Any Realtor who loves his/her job will thoroughly enjoy diving into a good book on the subject.
If the agent in your life has developed a passion for listing photos, there’s an endless supply of gadgets and resources to buy. But even if the person isn’t so fond of that part of the job, you can still supply him/her with some fancy add-ons to make standard iPhone photos one of a kind.
We’ve talked before about how real estate is not a materialistic career, but that fancy things never hurt to impress luxury buyers. Consider quality pens with his/her name printed on them, a briefcase to look super official, or whatever else they could flaunt for a judgmental prospects.
It’s cold out there right now! But many good agents keep on selling through the winter months. If the person you’re buying for already has a tablet, maybe you could get gloves that allow him to operate the device without losing a finger to frostbite.
Many people don’t realize this, but real estate agents also double as last minute handymen. There are so many times when something needs tinkered with in the minutes before a showing or an open house. A tool kit that can easily be left in the car could be a lifeline for the agent in your life!
Is there one we missed? As a real estate professional, what do you hope to find under the tree this holiday season?
By <a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/114698095172843665002/about” rel=”author”>Jesse McCarl</a>
Hashtags are a valuable <a href=”http://www.blog.househuntnetwork.com/how-hashtags-help-real-estate-professionals/#.VHz1yTHF83c”><strong>social media tool</strong></a> for any real estate professional. The sheer number of hashtags floating around, however, can make the concept seem overwhelming. To help you out, here are a few real estate hashtags that will help you shine in your industry. We’ve broken up the tags by the purpose they serve.
<a href=”http://www.blog.househuntnetwork.com/hashtags-infographic/#.VH-VIjHF83d”><img class=”size-full wp-image-7114″ src=”http://www.blog.househuntnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/hashtags-edit.jpg” alt=”Click here for Hashtag Infographic” width=”576″ height=”378″ /></a> Click here for Hashtag Infographic
<h2><strong>General Real Estate</strong></h2>
These hashtags are most likely used by real estate professionals. They exist to network with others in the industry and to generate leads from those just starting to research the realty process.
Customers will look up hashtags to help start their home search. Here’s a list of the common hashtags buyers will click to find listings. With this category, however, you will also want to include a local hashtag to narrow the market. A few “localized” tags are included.
#[NameOfTown]HomesForSale; e.g. #HuntingtonHomesForSale
#[NameOfTown]Properties; e.g. #DenverProperties
These hashtags are a little more specific than the others on the list, but will be the most effective for building your name as a brand. Remember, if someone wants to research you, they’re going to search your name. Build some tags around that concept. Just try to think how Beyonce would advertise herself if she were a real estate agent!
#YourName; e.g. #JesseMcCarl
#YourCompany; e.g. #HouseHunt
As with specific listings, specific events will have to include your #LocalTown so that people can narrow their search to the desired location. This is a good way to advertise an event (such as an open house), or turn the event into a more memorable adventure by giving it its own hashtag!
#[Town]OpenHouse; e.g. #IndianTrailOpenHouse
#[YourName]OpenHouse; e.g. #JesseMcCarlOpenHouse
#RealEstateConference; (conference will normally suggest a specific tag)
The real estate hashtags listed above are great for networking, but if you want to highlight a certain specialty, these are the tags that people will be searching.
<strong>Be sure to follow </strong><a href=”https://twitter.com/HouseHunt”><strong>HouseHunt</strong></a><strong> (for buyers/sellers) and </strong><a href=”https://twitter.com/HouseHuntAgents”><strong>HouseHunt Agents</strong></a><strong> (for real estate professionals) on Twitter! </strong>
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<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/106683314276956828606/106683314276956828606/posts” rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a></span></span>
Before you get ready to show-off some homes, find out what amenities are the most important to your clients. This fun infographic illustrates the preferred amenities according to gender.
Master Bath– Women: 75%, Men: 64%
Walk-in Closet– Women: 72%, Men:55
Gourmet Kitchen– Women: 62%, Men: 21%
Deck– Women: 53%, Men: 46%
Hardwood Floors– Women: 28%, Men: 42%
Entertainment Center– Women 28%, Men 42%
Swimming Pool– Women: 26%, Men: 27%
By Jesse McCarl
There’s no denying that content writing is an essential part of any good real estate marketing strategy. It generates 67% of leads for B2B (business to business) companies. It boosts SEO scores, and studies show that leads developed from organic search have a 15% close rate! Plus, it establishes you as an authority in your field. But if you’re not a writer by nature, content marketing can seem overwhelming. To help motivate you, here are some important things to remember about content writing for non writers.
Before you ever put pen to paper, have a sense of what you want to write. How do you decide what to write? You look at what your audience wants! If your goal is to target real estate consumers, you need to put yourself in a consumer mindset. What questions would a future buyer or seller have? Find issues that your audience would be interested in by looking at sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora. These forums allow average Joes to ask professionals some pressing questions. These sites show you what people want.
Give the people what they want!
Obviously if you’re targeting homeowners rather than buyers, your content will adjust accordingly. The best motivation to start producing content is to feel like you have something valuable to say!
So you’re not a writer? Then you’re probably pretty intimated by a blank page. But nothing will get you to buckle down and crank out some content like a deadline. People think that they need freedom and some intangible inspiration to start writing, but the truth is you usually just need the pressure of a due date.
As a blogger, most of these deadlines will usually be self-imposed. This can mean that you have to hold yourself accountable, which is easier said than done. Perhaps your best strategy is to advertise your content calendar. For example, post on your blog that there will be fresh content every Monday by noon! This will force you to stay true to your deadlines because you know an audience – however small – is counting on you!
You’ve heard the ABCs of real estate: Always Be Closing, from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. But in 2014 with the importance of blogging, you should also remember to Always Be Researching. The more in tune you are with industry news and trends, the more opinions you’ll have about current events. The more opinionated you are, the more you’ll want to share you take on your blog/site.
You’re going to sound the most natural when you write in a way that you’re comfortable writing. Basically, you need a style that you would read yourself. Trust us, if YOU would read what you’ve written, someone else will, too!
Here are some different styles to try on for size:
Flex your creativity!
Blogs and written articles are great for SEO, but that’s not all that content marketing is about! Mix up your format with some data-driven infographics, some how-to videos, or maybe a fun podcast.
These things can still get detected by search engines by simply transcribing the content before you publish. If you stop thinking of your content marketing strategy and a chore with a bunch of writing, you’ll find the writing comes naturally through a variety of mediums!
“Reading is hard. I like pictures.” –My Dad