Keep Buyers from Hibernating for the Winter

bear hibernating

Hey it’s September. We’re about to enter the zone of pumpkin spice everything, rich burnt oranges and deep plums. However, some of you in real estate may be mourning the passing of July’s peak sales. According to Jonathan Smoke “raw data tell us that real estate follows a clear seasonal pattern. Inventory peaks in the summer. Sales peak in the summer. Real estate Web traffic peaks in the summer.” Not so fast! Summer’s gone and maybe the overall real estate market is cooling, but with a little bit of marketing strategy, you can keep your business hot. Here are a few pieces of “raw data” to put the hot in your cocoa.


School Calendars and Weather Can Shift the Peak

Sure school calendars make a difference, but are there any year round schools in your area? We have a whole district near me that adjusted start and end dates due to strategically allowing seniors to get out in early May so they could be ready for transition to college life. This can certainly affect the timeline of those looking to buy or sell a home.

Also, what’s the weather like in your area? If you’re in a warmer climate, you may not be victim of the cold weather slow down.


Who’s Buying: Christmas Gifts and Seniors

And even if these are very realistic concerns in your area, what are some tidbits to use in your favor?

If December and January are peak months for the age of inventory, this now becomes an incentive for buyers to step in to get their best deal. And hey, I’d love my spouse to buy me a house for Christmas. Start a campaign telling prospects why the Winter inventory offers them the best time to “buy low.”

Next, know who’s more likely to buy! Turns out according to Real Time Economics, of the 860,000 new households created in the last fiscal year (July 1-June 31), two-thirds of new households were created by seniors between 65-74. Find out what attracts seniors and host an event catering to their needs and tastes. What kind of programs go over well at senior centers? Incorporate one into your Winter marketing strategy.


Money Misconceptions

Lastly, here’s an interesting nugget from Keeping Current Matters (don’t you just love the title?). About 36% of Americans have the misconception that 20% is an absolute down payment requirement to buy a home. Not necessarily so, but you can educate folks about this to open up the door of possibility for them. According to this site’s August 20th blog, Millennials know this, because 36% of them are putting down only 5%. But, since Millennials only account for approximately 13% of the market, do what you can to educate the other 87%! Maybe team up with a lending company to offer classes or make use of your social media to disseminate this rather powerful and motivating peace of data.


Heat Up Your Real Estate Business for the Winter

The point is, knowledge about your community, demographics, and fear based misconceptions that might be holding buyers back, can translate into increased sales if you gather such wisdom and use it to refine your marketing strategy for the season. So get ready to cuddle up with your snuggy and a pumpkin spiced latte to fuel you for the myriad of buyers looking for a smokin’ hot December deal. HouseHunt is always routing for you.


head shot




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

Find us on Google+

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

head shot

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


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


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.

complaints about real estate agentsFind us on Google+

Drones for Real Estate


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.

Find us on Google+

Sayings and Phrases to Avoid in Listing Descriptions


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.


“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.

Find us on Google+

Online Leads Follow Up [Infographic]


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.


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.

Find us on Google+

What Your Clients Think You Do / What You Really Do


Being a real estate agent often lends itself to some pretty odd things in the eyes of your clients. So we’ve come up a group of real estate memes on what your clients think you do, what you think you do, and what you really do for all of the steps involved in selling a client’s home.

Listing Interview

The listing interview can be nerve racking for many clients. But are you really the conniving scoundrel they think you are, or are you both just playing tug-of-war to determine what you’re going to make from the commission of the sale?

Real Estate Memes

Broker Preview

Broker previews are enormously helpful for selling a home. But while your clients are thinking you and your agent buddies are just stuffing your faces with good food, in actuality, you’re trying to get another agent to see the value in your clients home to help sell it faster!

Real Estate Memes

Online Marketing

As an agent, you know the importance of online marketing. But to your clients, if they can’t see what you’re doing, they think you’re just wasting time. Even though you’re trying your best to get the “easy-step-by-step” system to work for you, your clients think your sitting back at the office just twiddling your thumbs.

Real Estate Memes

Open Houses

Open houses are a great way to meet potential buyers. But, let’s face it, you’re going to spend the majority of your time cleaning and prepping your clients’ home while they think you’re just kicking them out to have the property to yourself.

Real Estate Memes


When you’ve finally found the right buyer to purchase your clients home, and the deal is almost completed, your clients are going to think you’re counting the “fortune” you’ve made from the commission when you’re actually drowning in paperwork.

Real Estate Memes

As an agent, you deal with all sorts of misconceptions. So the next time your clients think you’re having a good time at whatever stage you’re at in the home-selling process, just show them these real estate memes to help them understand your struggle a little bit better.

Find us on Google+

Perceptions of Real Estate Investment [Infographic]


Your business is determined by how customers see the real estate industry. When the economy is good and people believe housing is a stable investment, your job is easy. When people’s faith in the realty market is shaken, your job gets a whole lot harder.

In light of this vicious reality, we have good news – Americans believe that real estate is the best possible investment for their money. This is the first time real estate has held the top spot for preferred investment since the burst of the housing bubble.

Today’s infographic takes a look at how those statistics stand (clue: real estate just barely made the cut for the #1 spot) and what markets are responsible for this good news!


A recent study* shows 27% of Americans believe real estate is the best fiscal investment in the current economy.

This is the first time real estate has held the top spot since the Recession.

Men are more likely to favor real estate for investment purposes.

Women are more likely to favor cash investments such as savings accounts, CDs, etc.

Younger Investors: 32% of investors ages 18-29 choose cash investments over real estate.

The most popular demographic for real estate investment is ages 30-49, with whom 32% favor realty options.

Sources: *Princeton Survey Research Associates International via BankRate Financial Security Index. This survey was taken July 9-12 with 1,000 adults living in the continental U.S. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Like Us on Facebook!

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. 

Find us on Google+

How to Use Slideshare as a Real Estate Agent


If you use social media, which, let’s face it, you do, you’re most likely on all of the major social media platforms as a real estate professional. But, have you ever used Slideshare? It’s an innovative social media site that is directed more towards professionals and those who want to learn new skill sets or about different topics. There are lots of real estate tools and lessons to be learned on Slideshare, so let’s take a look at the benefits of this awesome social media site.

Slideshare Real Estate

What is Slideshare

Slideshare is a social media platform intended to share professional presentations and professional content. It is intended for education uses mostly, but there are lots of ways to get into contact with other Slideshare users. You can leave comments, like posts, and follow users whose content you enjoy viewing and learning from.

Slideshare was designed for people who want to advance their knowledge in many different topics and skills. Here are just some of the topics Slideshare has to share: health, marketing, engineering, sciences, self-improvement, sports, travel, and, yes—real estate!

Slide Share Real Estate

What is on Slideshare

Slideshare consists of uploaded content ranging from PowerPoints, Keynotes, videos, blogs, and infographics of a broad range of topics from professionals and companies alike. Many users like to share their insight on whatever it is that they know. There are lots of videos, presentations, and content on different real estate skills and topics that will help you learn different things you can use as an agent.

Slideshare’s Audience

Slideshare has an audience of over 60 million users! There are over 18 million pieces of content shared on Slideshare. Its monthly page views are consistently at 159 million. And there are already 10 million presentations uploaded to Slideshare, and that number is going to continue to grow!

How to Use Slideshare

If you have ever created a PowerPoint or Keynote Presentation, then you already have the skills to upload your content. All you need to do is create an account, log in, and get started uploading everything you want to share with other professionals about real estate and any other topic you know.

Slideshare Real Estate

You can find lots of information on building client relationships, how to work with multiple listings at a time, how to represent both the buyer and seller clients, and much more information on how you can become the best agent possible. The beautiful part is Slideshare is free to use and upload content to.

Sharing Your Own Slides

You should use Slideshare as a starting point. You can create your slides on Slideshare for your potential clients as well. You can create knowledgeable slides on any topic that you feel would help your audience feel more comfortable and trust you as a real estate professional to work with.

Topics you can create and share could range from how to buy a home for the first time, how to save for a down payment, or how to apply for a home loan. In fact, the presentations and content that seem to do very well, in terms of information and views on Slideshare, are “how-to” posts.

Slideshare is a social media site that will allow you to express yourself in different ways professionally in the field of real estate. Its audience will bring new viewers and possible clients to you. With Slideshare, there are lots of topics to cover in the form of steps that will allow your clients to begin to trust you as their agent. So be sure to create an account and start sliding!

Find us on Google+

Vacation Homes [Infographic]


The importance of vacation homes is growing in this booming real estate market. This infographic takes a look at some helpful stats about the significance of summer homes, why they’re booming this year, and what kinds of homes are fastest to get snatched off the market. A lot of this information comes courtesy of the National Association of Realtors.



Real estate agents need to be prepared for an influx of customers looking to buy a vacation home.
  • 2014 vacation home sales were up 57.4% from the previous year.
  • 1.3 million vacation homes were purchased in 2014.
  • Summer home sales accounted for 21% of real estate transactions last year.


Why are summer homes such a big market right now?
  • The Baby Boomer generation is buying a 2nd home to become their primary residence upon their (soon) retirement.
  • Affluent households considering a second home have had a confidence boost thanks to a strong stock market.


Of those who purchased a vacation home in the last year, here’s what they bought (and why)…
  • 33% bought for personal and family retreats
  • 54% bought a single family home. 27% bought a condo or townhouse.
  • 40% bought a home at the beach. 15% bought a home on a lake front.
  • 19% plan to make the summer home their primary residence in the future
  • 46% purchased in the South, 25% in the west, 15% in the northeast, and 14% in the midwest.

Like Us on Facebook!