Are You Famous or Infamous on Real Estate’s Most Wanted List?

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by: Wendy L.K. Rogers, M.A.

 

In sales, we all want to be on the most wanted list. It’s the dream. However, in any licensed profession, we dread being on a notorious Most Wanted List such as the list of complaints about real estate agents. At the very least, these complaints are massive time eaters to attend and mitigate. At their worst, these complaints can cost you big money and even your license if reported to your Department of Real Estate.

complaints about real estate agents

Look, we all took the required Ethics course to get licensed, but it would seem as if some either slept through it or worse, some took the “don’t” list and made it their top ten play list.

So what are the top three complaints that seem to be prevalent about real estate agents? Well, it turns out they aren’t that different from the top complaints of most industries. Top consumer complaints across industries are: misrepresentation, deception, false or faulty products, and “shoddy work.”

If you talk to an average 10 consumers and ask their biggest complaints about real estate agents, you’ll hear three basic categories: dishonesty, incompetence, and lack of communication. For a more specific list of the most common violations resulting in disciplinary action, you can view this PDF from the DRE.

Now, in fairness, you may also be familiar with the client that just loathed his/her “horrible agent.” In reality, the client has burned up eight “horrible agents” because the client really has a bad case of mineisworthmoreitis. In which case, the consumer really does need to say, “Hmm, eight terrible agents later, I might be the issue,” but don’t count on that happening. Try to recognize these clients early so they don’t suck you dry.

Fiduciary Duty

However, if the client’s expectations aren’t loopy, let’s talk about “Fiduciary duty.” It’s kind of paradoxical to human nature. It says, “Since I am your voice in this business transaction, I will put you and your best interests above my own.” For example, there is the “negotiable” commission fees that seem to coincidentally hang around 3% for each rep in the transaction. So, what do you do when you notice a home boasting a whopping 1% from a discount house that fits your clients’ stated criteria? A) You sigh and add this to the list of any home that reasonably fits his/her described preferences. B) You somehow don’t see that listing and hope your client doesn’t stumble upon it either or C) You pour yourself a stiff drink and call other heavy hitters to ask what they would do.

If you picked anything but A, I’m sorry but you’ve just greatly increased your chances of ending up on that top ten, why-I-can’t-stand-real-estate-agents-cause-they’re-all-dishonest list.

complaints about real estate agents

Competence

And then there’s the issue of competence. See, once the consumer has decided that most agents are dishonest and greedy, they now want to work with their brother’s cousin, who probably only does one deal a year at best. Except, Cousin !@#$% probably doesn’t know how to navigate a HUD any better than a hub cap. You on the other hand, take classes, keep current on laws, and research so clients will see you like a Realtor rock star. \m/

complaints about real estate agents

Communication

Fellow Realtors, let’s “give ‘em something [good] to talk about!”

Realize, good brings rewards and Karma has a nasty bite. Don’t sleep through those ethics and law classes and remember that most malpractice suits are filed because patients said the doctor didn’t listen. Communicate with your peeps peeps. Listen to them. Hear their needs and concerns. Show them that they should trust you because you care. These top three: fiduciary duty, competence and communication can go a long way towards making you a most sought after agent, rather than a poster child on the complaints about real estate agents Most Wanted list. And look up fiduciary duty when you pour that stiff drink before you call your agent friends. It just might be what the Dr. should’ve ordered.

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Drones for Real Estate

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If you flip on your local sports channel, you’ll see extreme stunts and sports showing acrobatic flips, dives, and gigantic jumps from professional athletes, skateboarders, BMX riders, motocross enthusiasts, race car drivers, and olympic athletes all over the globe have some sort of drone flying over them. These drones catch everything they fly over on camera for spectators at home to see on their TV screens. But did you know you can use these drones as a real estate agent? Here are some great ways you can use drones as a real estate agent.

Drones for Real Estate

Videos of Your Listings

Using drones for real estate is a great way to film the entirety of a home. You can use a drone to film over the home or areas you cannot normally get pictures or videos of on your own. If you want an aerial view of the roof, you can fly your drone over the home using its remote control. Or you can fly 360 degrees around the home to film both the front and back of the home with just one shot. This will give your viewers an entire look of the home without taking you hours to film. Just make sure to use your drone for real estate purposes and not to spy on friends or family!

Drones for Real Estate

Real Estate Drones for Your Website

You can film great footage of yourself, business, homes listed, and even client testimonials by using a drone. Now you don’t necessarily have to fly over your own head, but a drone makes for a great stationary video camera as well due to its high-quality camera and handheld accessibility.

Drones for Real Estate

Filming the Area You Farm

You can get amazing shots of areas that are important in the town you farm. You can use your drone to fly around parks, lakes, schools (during after-school hours), shopping centers (where permitted), town halls, and of the neighboring homes. You can then post these videos on social media or to your website which will allow your clients to see your amazing videos!

Drones for Real Estate

This will allow you to become an authority of information regarding the neighborhood you work in so new clients will feel comfortable working with you because you are an expert of the area.

Drones to Buy

Lots of companies offer great drones, so the market for these types of cameras is huge right now. GoPro and DJI are two leaders in the world of extreme filming and drones. Their innovative cameras and drone technology have allowed for experienced and new users from all over the world to film whatever they want with the most exciting and crystal-clear camera quality to date.

Drones for Real Estate

Using drones for real estate related videos is a great way to be ahead of the technology curve and look incredibly professional and knowledgeable in front of your clients. With the many drone options out there, you will definitely be able to find a drone that fits your budget and real estate filming needs.

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Sayings and Phrases to Avoid in Listing Descriptions

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Your listing descriptions should always contain clear and interesting words and phrases used to describe each home. Many agents however fall into the trap of using clichés or prepackaged phrases that are actually detrimental to the sale of a home. Certain phrases that agents have used over and over in listings have lost all meaning and only detract from what they’re really trying to say about the home they have for sale. So let’s go through which sayings and phrases to avoid in listing descriptions.

Phrases to Avoid in Listing Description

Lots of Typos

You shouldn’t have any typos in your listing descriptions. But if you have more than few misspelled words in your listing, do you think a buyer is really going to want to see the home? They’re going to assume the agent is unprofessional and move on to the next home they see with a great listing description. So make sure to look over your listing descriptions for errors or ask someone who has great grammar skills to look it over for you.

Phrases to Avoid in Listing Description

Time Sensitive Listings

“This place won’t be available long!” or “Hurry up and see it before someone else makes an offer!” only work if the listing actually won’t stay on the market longer than a few weeks. If the home you have listed has been up for over a month, maybe it wasn’t going to sell that fast after all.

By placing time sensitive phrases in listing descriptions, you are disqualifying a whole audience. Many buyers are not immediately ready to buy a home. So when they see that a home is for a speedy buyer, they lose interest and move on to the next listing.

An alternative to this would be phrases like Move-in Ready.” Positive adjectives like this have actually been known to help sell homes 12-15% faster.

Exaggerated Feature Descriptions

There is nothing more silly and ridiculous than a listing that states every object in the home as “the-most-pristine” or “elegant” when in actuality you’re just describing a microwave or new sink. Your clients will see over-used words in so many listings online, so do you really want to be another agent using the same adjectives? It is wonderful to describe beautiful appliances and objects in a home as best as you can, but when you are exaggerating their descriptions, then you are setting yourself up for failure by not being taken seriously.

Seller Must Attend Showing

During open houses, many sellers feel as if they need to be there when every potential buyer sees the entirety of their home. This is not only annoying to potential buyers, but it’s detrimental to the sale. When the owner of the home is around, the buyers will not want to say what they really think about a home to the real estate agent. Do yourself a favor and tell your client to stay away when the open house is going on.

Fixer-Uppers

“Needs improvement” is not something buyers want to read on an MLS. Unless they’re the words best handyman, they probably aren’t going to want to buy a home that has plumbing, foundation, and electrical issues. Your best bet is to either get the owners to fix whatever needs improvement or reword the listing differently to explain what exactly it is that needs work. There are lots of people who want to buy a fixer-upper, but they want to know specifically what is wrong with the home so they know what they’re getting themselves into before they buy.

Phrases to Avoid in Listing Descriptions

As a real estate agent, it is your job to write interesting and accurate listing descriptions about every home you and your clients have for sale. So do yourself and your clients a favor by following these guidelines and creating some one-of-a-kind listing descriptions. Remember not to add any of the phrases to avoid in your listing descriptions, and you will surely meet lots of buyers interested in your client’s home who will happily make a great offer.

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Online Leads Follow Up [Infographic]

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A lot of people get frustrated with online leads because they don’t know how to properly follow up. Here’s how to capture Internet leads with proper conversion strategies.

Online-Lead-Follow-Up

Approximately 50% of online leads aren’t followed up on at all. Most Internet leads go cold in about 5 minutes. Average response time on a lead is 44 hours! 78% of sales go to the first responder.

The average number of follow up calls on a lead is 1.29, but this is way too low. It normally takes 6-8 phone calls before a consumer feels comfortable moving forward. It takes 9 calls before agents will see diminishing returns on their efforts.

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5 Things You Should Know About a Neighborhood

By Douglas Labor

As a Realtor, you may very well know how numerous most potential buyers’ demands and concerns can be. Some individuals might insist on a property with south-facing views; others might demand that a home have not a single skylight or picture window. Some of these demands are so connected to their individuality and specific tastes that they can be difficult to predict or even satisfy.

Neighborhood Information

You may also know that many buyers are not well educated about what actually benefits them. For example, when buyers consider investing in the best house in a bad neighborhood, or assume they can make structural changes to a historical property, it’s your job as their real estate agent to step in with your extensive knowledge and experience in the housing market as well as specific neighborhoods and types of properties to help them make better decisions.

Imagine just how much trouble an untrained, unskilled home buyer would find themselves in if they tried to purchase a property without your help. With no negotiating skills or understanding of what exactly makes a property valuable beyond its beauty, they would surely wind up in a heap of trouble with a roof that is figuratively or even literally collapsing right above them!

Neighborhood Information

It is your job to keep them informed. Most buyers have no means of even locating important property information; other information might not seem important to them. So here are five things that you should know about a neighborhood and pieces of knowledge that you will need to pass on to every potential buyer.

1. How Old Is the Neighborhood?

When a property is put up for sale, various staging techniques can be used to cover up or even blatantly distract potential buyers from serious flaws in the property. As most Realtors know, many physical flaws in a property are related to its age. How old are most of the homes in the area?

Also, does this neighborhood have important history? Certain historical neighborhoods can have higher property prices, especially if they have been legally labeled as such. Are the surrounding schools old? What about hospitals? Is this a crumbling neighborhood, or are property values in the area steadily rising?

2. How Much Are the Taxes?

Neighborhood Information

Potential buyers will need to know how much of their finances will need to be allocated for income taxes. Therefore, they will need to know what the sales and property tax rates are for the property in question. Remember that tax rates and the value of a specific property do not always align.

3. How Safe Is the Neighborhood?

Crime is an important factor in determining the value of a property. However, even luxury properties can be located in crime-ridden neighborhoods. What kinds of crimes happen most often in the area? Specifically, should the homeowners be concerned about violent crime or home invasions? This is crucial information that your buyer will need to know to feel safe or stay away from a neighborhood entirely.

4. How Close Are Cultural and Entertainment Opportunities?

No matter what lifestyle a person has, access to cultural and entertainment perks can boost the current and growing value of a property. Nearly every potential buyer will want to be close to dining and shopping opportunities as well as museums, libraries, attractions, and much more. This neighborhood information can often make or break a sale.

5. How Would You Describe the Neighbors?

What are the local demographics like? Are there mostly young singles in the area or more mature families? Are there plenty of children in the neighborhood? How diverse is it? In other words, will your potential buyer feel welcomed in their neighborhood and will polarizing groups of people, like large families or college-age students, frequently be in the area? These things will allow buyers to feel interested in a friendly, diverse, and welcoming neighborhood.

Neighborhood Information

By using the five pieces of information above, you can help your potential buyer come to an informed and reasoned decision about a property. A beautiful property in a bad neighborhood might not be a recommended purchase, but a well-priced fixer-upper in a great, burgeoning neighborhood is certainly a wise one. So do yourself, and your client, a favor. Instruct them on these pieces of crucial information, and you will surely gain their trust and appreciation when they finally buy a home with you as their real estate agent.

Neighborhood Information
About the Author: Douglas Labor, GRI, RRP, ABR, ABRM, CEBA, e-PRO has been in the real estate industry for over two decades now. He continues to build his knowledge for the industry and is committed to enhancing his service to buyers. He is a founding member of the Colorado Exclusive Buyer Agents Association and served as its President for 4 years. Douglas and his wife believe there is no better community to raise a family than Steamboat Springs, CO. Check out his blog here. 

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