Tag Archives: Estate

Your Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Real Estate Deals

If you looking to purchase a product which is offered by different companies, how would you decide who to purchase it from? If you are like most of us, you would simply pick up your smartphone and read online reviews about each company and make your decision on those reviews. Well, the same goes for anybody who is possibly going to use your real estate services.

With the internet and technology making it easy and quick to access information about anybody, your potential clients will search for reviews on you. The reviews and testimonials they find online could be the difference between getting new clients, or losing them to someone else.

Get a Testimonial From Your Client After Every Closing

It is important that you obtain a testimonial after every closing if your clients are happy with your real estate services. Typically, the time of closing is a happy time for the client, and therefore, a perfect time to ask for a testimonial. It is always harder to obtain that testimonial at a later time down the road.

Tell your clients that it could be short and just be a few sentences. Many don’t like writing long reviews and may not give you one because of that. A short testimonial that’s to the point is just as effective.

Take a Picture With Your Client In Front of the Property

Along with asking for a testimonial at the time of closing, you should definitely take a picture with your clients. It is always preferred to take a picture at the property. An effective picture is to take a picture in front of the property while your clients hold the SOLD sign or the keys. The picture can be taken when you meet your client at the property to deliver the keys.

Displaying Your Testimonials on Your Real Estate Website

The most important place to display your reviews and testimonials is on your very own real estate agent website. Your real estate agent website is typically ranked higher in search engine results than your Facebook page and profile pages on Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, and other large real estate marketplace websites. Therefore, you’ll definitely want to display your testimonials on your agent website.

You should have testimonials clearly visible on your homepage along with a separate page that displays all of your testimonials. Your real estate agent website platform should contain an interface that allows you to enter reviews and testimonials along with pictures of your clients.

Post to Facebook

If someone is looking online for reviews about you, they’ll most likely land on your Facebook page. Therefore, it is very important to create a “Just Sold” post after every closing. The post should contain the testimonial by your client AND the picture you took with them in front of the property. Be consistent and do this for every time you close on a property.

Ask Clients to Submit a Review on Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com

Anybody looking for online reviews about you will also most likely end up on Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com. All of these sites accept reviews and it is important that you build up the number of reviews and your rating on these large marketplace real estate websites.

The review is submitted by your clients from your profile page on each of these sites. A client can submit a review by clicking on the “Submit Review” button that appears on your profile page. To make it easier for your clients, send an email with links to your profile page for Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com.

How to Do a Sales Pitch in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, you will undertake a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business-like in nature, focusing on the needs of the tenant, the property buyer, or the property seller.

Get to the core issues

Each of these groups has unique property requirements and points of focus. It is their needs which must be identified and clearly addressed in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the client or customer so that they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or customer in a few days with a well structured proposal that addresses the needs of the customer or client.

It’s all about THEM, not YOU!

When you design an investment or commercial property proposal for presentation, the document should be 90% regards the property and the client. Frequently you see this rule disregarded or broken with the proposal document being largely regards the agency and the personnel.

Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the property rental, the property price, or the physical elements of the property. In most situations, it is the combination of these things which must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or client has. In getting them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the customer or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.

They are Experienced

It is interesting to note that many clients and customers in commercial real estate are reasonably comfortable in circumstances of business negotiation. This means they may not tell you the total big picture or all the elements of a transaction until they are ready. Conversation and connection in the presentation process should be biased towards the client or customer using well selected questions which allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the client’s response.

When you believe you have identified the element of clients pain related to the property transaction, you start to magnify the problem in terms of today’s market, then offering stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the client or customer. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centres on financial matters such as:

  • High vacancy factors
  • Other property choices and chances are available
  • Underperforming leases
  • Unstable cash flow
  • Unstable tenancy mix
  • Tenanted conflict
  • Escalating building operating costs
  • A shift in demographics which exposes the property to a unstable future
  • Mortgage payment pressures
  • Age of the asset
  • Needs for refurbishment or extension
  • Competition properties attracting tenants away from the subject property

This type of information and interpretation requires your intimate knowledge of the local region. This is by both property type and by location. This is the higher value that you bring to the customer or client. Being able to distinctly define local market awareness is a major advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. You must be seen as the best knowledgeable solution to the problem.

From Experience

After many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry, I found that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that in any formal presentation to the client. Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a solid and sound way will help the client understand that they need your services. Coupling that with your extensive and relevant database of enquiry clearly shows the client that they need you.

A fantastic commercial real estate presentation is a function and balance of lots of things. Things like:

  1. A well established pre-planning process is a strategic advantage for every commercial real estate presentation. Strategy is everything in commercial real estate. Every property presentation requires planning.
  2. Making sure you are asking the right questions of the client or prospect. Plan your questions relative to the subject property so that you help the client think about opportunity and changes that are possible.
  3. Using your market knowledge and giving good answers. Have a variety of market facts and trends available to call on. Feed them into your presentation; facts are always useful. They can also be used as a channel to direct the discussion when the client is forcing you to justify your approach or your experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of your property presentation. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost.
  4. Using your experience in the marketplace so that you are telling relevant stories of success in similar properties. Stories of other properties will always interest of the client.
  5. Making sure your personal presentation is optimised for the connection in the presentation. It can be that you are using a combination of the proposal document, the marketing document, and computer slide presentation, samples of your database, photographs of the subject property projected on to slides, and photographs of comparable properties projected on to slides.
  6. Choosing the placement of people at the table or strategically positioning them in the room is always important. Much has been written about where you should sit relative to the client. The basic rule is adjacent to the client rather than across an area of barrier such as a table. Being within arm’s reach allows you to pass documentation to the client at the appropriate time. Documentation should not be provided to the client until you are ready for them to review it; otherwise it is a distraction of their attention.
  7. Make sure that your proposal is simple and yet well directed with a clearly defined outcomes of sale or lease. Many proposal documents in commercial real estate are much too wordy so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less wordy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mixture of 25% words, 25% pictures, 25% graphs, and 25% white space. This becomes a document which is clearly read and understood.
  8. Combine good illustrations and photographs of the subject property into the proposal or presentation so that any lengthy descriptions or paragraphs are broken up. This will keep interest of the client in your documentation.
  9. Make sure that your marketing package is value for money, and yet reaching the target market that the property serves or needs to attract. All too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader and less specific marketplace. Showing the client that you clearly know and will attract best the target market will always help your conversion to a potential listing. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
  10. Ensure that your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option as it will make you poor and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. ‘Cheap’ means ‘cheap and without focus’ and the client needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not cheap because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
  11. Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine relevant history and details of happy customers into your presentation you will make the client feel more comfortable.
  12. Always display clear and sound market knowledge that impresses the client relative to their property. This will include extensive awareness of comparable properties that compete with the subject property. You should be able to talk solidly about property prices, comparable rents, rental growth, returns on investment, changes to the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases, it pays to walk around the local area just prior to any property presentation so that you bring immediate and clear pictures of the precinct to the discussion. Many times this has been of significant advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighbouring properties localises the client and their thought processes.
  13. Come up with a variety of ways to serve the client. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the internet & technology. Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that the listing for sale or lease stands uniquely different in its marketing campaign from the others in the area. This does not have to be expensive to the client or to your office, given that the internet and electronic technology is historically cost effective. In today’s market, the traditional methods of publicising the property in the property pages of the local paper, is becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and tenants research the market from the Internet first and foremost.
  14. Almost every property agency will say that they have excellent communication and connection skills to support the property promotion process. From experience, this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will exercise ordinary communication channels with the client. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the adverts are producing little response. When a property campaign is not producing the results, it is important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you get to the property campaign correct in the first week. It is in this time that you must consider fine tuning the promotion process so that the target market is being reached in a timely and effective way. This means that every property enquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand what channels of marketing work most effectively with the property in question.
  15. When addressing the client or the client group in a formal property presentation, the answers and information you give must be delivered well and provide relevant solid property knowledge, in a practiced and professional delivery. Any sales or presentation tools relative to the property must be relevant and you should know how to use them with exceptional skill. Fumbling and faking information is not tolerated by the client.

So there you have it. These are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Whilst many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote sell and rent commercial property, the reality is they do not get the message across when it matters most in front of the client.

To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you must show that you are just so, and you do this in the first 10 minutes of the time that your presentation takes. The client will have formed an opinion by then.

Be prepared to walk away from any demands for discounting that the client or customer demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent providing a great job; discounting is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands discount in marketing or lower commissions.

Technology and Tools to Boost Up Your Real Estate Dealings

The real estate world has seen a dip in the dealings be it leasing, buying or selling, especially in the recent times. In today’s tough economic times, making a new customer is challenging and so is retaining an existing one. Real estate agents have to be at their marketing best at all times and for it they need to be tech friendly.

You might be the best at what you do, but until you communicate it in the right way with the right tools, your efforts might be getting wasted. Technology and communication need to go hand in hand and failure in this issue can see you lag behind compared to your competitors. More importantly, there needs to be a balance between the two and to bring that balance in your profession you need to be working on both the aspects simultaneously. Everything from client communication, connecting with new customer database, sales pitch, after sales service and other such interactions need to be done effectively with the help of technology.

Being in the real estate business, you might have noticed that the presentation or bidding of a real estate agent lacking in the technological aspect affects the whole deal. So instead of avoiding technology why not adapt it to fare better as it will assist you in ways you couldn’t have thought possible. All you need to do is incorporate a few of the technological tools in your everyday dealings making it swifter for you and effective for the customer.

Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Smartphone

If you are still using your old mobile phone it is time you switch to a smartphone with a data plan that lets you incorporate database tools. It will prove to be really helpful when you need to contact your prospective clients no matter if you are in the office or out on the go. You can do it all from your smartphone be it sending or receiving emails, browsing property websites, downloading real estate related news apps, communicate instantly no matter where you are.

  • SMS marketing

SMS marketing is an highly effective way to keep in touch with your regular clients and even getting acquainted with new ones. Make it a part of your client communication strategy where you can send notifications, inform them about new properties on the market, send reminders for installments, invite them for property related events, send them links, details and other market related information.

  • Email communication

Emails have become an essential feature when it comes to client communication. It is a quick and convenient way to reach out to property agents, builders, customers especially when it comes to commercial property clients. Make sure to use the best data software for both your computer and smartphone so you can send and receive e-mail even when on the go.

  • Software

Many software packages are especially designed for the real estate industry and are available at affordable prices to assist the real estate professionals. You can integrate it in your system for database entry, facilitate management of broker, staff, leads, quotes, customer account, auditing and other processes. The softwares are designed to meet the ever-growing demands of the real estate industry and can be used by all, developers, builders, contractors, infrastructure developers.

  • Website

Your personal website can boost your clientele and your work reputation as it will be easy for clients to know all about your work increasing the trust and dependability factor. They will have a gateway where they can access your property listings and inspection information related to all the properties that you have on offer.

  • Presentation software

While presenting a property to many clients or a team you could make use of presentation software with the help of which you can add site photographs, 3D images, manage content, basically create an awesome visual experience for the client giving your property bid a boost.

All these and more can be a part of your everyday dealings when it comes to presenting, negotiating, selling or closing a deal. Like every other field, real estate too is embracing technology and it’s time you too go for it.

Real Estate Investing Basics – Choose Your Neighbor Marketing

A very effective, yet often overlooked method of marketing both your rentals and your houses for sale is door to door flyers in the neighborhood of your property. Residents who live near your property are likely to know someone – a friend, colleague or family member in the market for housing that they can pass your flyer on to. You may also attract the direct attention of a neighbor who is ready to buy or move up/down in their housing.

If you are local and don’t mind running around the neighborhood yourself, this method will only cost you a few hours plus the cost of printing. If you’re not available for the distribution, or just have better things to do, paying someone to distribute flyers is very cheap and incredibly cost effective if it results in a sale or a qualified tenant placement. Just remember to do a quick drive through of the neighborhood to ensure the flyers have been distributed if you’re paying someone to do it.

As for the content of the flyer, it’s worth it to take some quality photographs of the interior and exterior of the home. If your main selling point is the quality of the property, be sure to feature these in full color along with some of the basic specs of the home. If you are advertising a rent to own that’s a really great deal, make sure your analysis of the numbers is prominent and easily understood. Also, be sure to emphasize that this property is in their neighborhood and that this is an opportunity for them to choose their new neighbor. Lastly, don’t forget to include full contact information: your telephone number, fax number, email address and 24 hour recorded information line if you have one.

A more expensive variation of this method is to use direct mail to target your property’s neighborhood. Again, you’ll want to tailor your marketing message to let them know that this is their chance to mold the neighborhood by helping to select the new neighbors. To maximize your exposure, try using both flyer and direct mail distribution methods, timed several weeks apart to make sure that as many neighbors as possible get your message that you have a great property for sale or rent in their neighborhood.

Real Estate Marketing: 3 Ways Realtors Can Brand A Home For Sale

Executing an effective marketing campaign for your listings can seem like a dreadful undertaking – specifically for newer agents – but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll likely find yourself asking, “How should I present this property to the public? How should I present myself?” The solution to this seemingly beleaguering problem is actually found in this simple answer: there are essentially three ways to brand any listing.

What exactly is a brand? For our purposes, we’ll define a brand as a design strategy associated with a product. The application of the brand to a product or service is called Branding or Brand Management. Through regular branding, the consumer is trained to remember & recognize your product by its direct association with your design scheme. A brand establishes a feeling for a product – a visual connotation of sorts – that is essential for effective marketing.

There are three ways to brand your listings:

1.) Utilize your company brand

A great benefit of hanging your license at a real estate firm is the ability to use its brand to your advantage. Depending on the company, the brand can be a powerful marketing tool because all of the Brand Management has been done for you through years of consistent presence in the market. Therefore, the general public is already familiar with that brand – even if they do not recognize your name – and you should use this to your every advantage. Sotheby’s International Realty, for example, caries such an impressive reputation that you can enjoy the brand’s benefits with little effort, allowing you to do what you do best – selling homes.

2.) Develop & use your personal brand

A second avenue for branding a listing is the creation of your own personal brand as a realtor. Many of the world’s top producers understand this. They have a consistent listing portfolio, they are known in their respective geographical areas & they advertise continuously to their spheres of influence. This is achieved through persistent Brand Management. An agent’s personal brand can be anything from a recognizable logo to a consistent color pattern to a unique type treatment – or any combination thereof. A smart brand integrates well with the brand of the broker. An agent’s personal brand should never clash with the company logo & should always be versatile.

How does this effectively brand a specific property? This approach communicates to the public that you are a consistent producer of not only sales volume, but of quality marketing. With your personal brand, you build the same level of trust with your clients & prospects as any mainstream commercial product, giving the public confidence in you as their realtor.

3.) Create a brand that is entirely unique to a specific property

We all know an exceptional property when we see one – perhaps it’s a well kept mid-century modern in the suburbs or an early 19th century Spanish architectural in the hills. These special properties deserve special marketing. A talented graphic designer or marketing team can tailor your specific campaign to reflect the soul of the property in its design scheme, creating marketing materials that reflect the personality of the home. This route not only wows your sellers, but signals to the public that the listing belongs in its own category & should be treated as such.

Now you’re ready to go!

Now that you’re familiar with the three ways to brand a listing, you can more easily structure your “plans of attack” when releasing your listings onto the market. Each of the three above methods can be blended together or used singularly as desired – just remember to keep your brands consistent & complimentary of one another.

And now it’s time to sit back & watch your listings fly off the shelves!

Real Estate Transaction Process: Pricing, Marketing, Selling, Sales, Closing

Being an effective, quality, real estate agent, requires several skills, abilities, experiences, expertise, judgment, and actions, used together, to make the process, easier, less stressful, and far more efficient/ effective! This process begins with properly pricing a property, from the start, using a professionally designed, Competitive Market Analysis, valuable, properly designed marketing, well – considered, selling, bringing about a sale, and paying keen attention, until the closing. After more than a decade, as a Licensed Sales Representative, in New York, I have come to realize, the difference, the right agent, might offer, and, so, with that, in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some of the key considerations, to understand, during this process, and period of time.

1. Pricing: Often, the initial, listing price, sets the tone, for how well the process will go! The best approach is to price it right from the start. Statistics, and data, indicates, the best offers, come, in the vast number of instances, in the first few weeks, after a property is listed, so, doesn’t it make sense, to attract, the maximum number of qualified, potential buyers, from the start, by pricing it realistically, and in a well – considered manner. Sellers should demand, their agents, explain, their pricing rationale, and closely review a Competitive Market Analysis, and use it, to its best purposes.

2. Marketing: What is the best way, to market, a specific house, and property? Choose an agent, who prepares, a fully considered, well – designed, marketing plan, which includes, the reasoning behind, the best media, for your home, and how to get the most bang – for – the – buck. Included in this planning, should be: the proper combination of media use/ usage; priorities; goals; the house’s niche; niche – marketing, etc.

3. Selling: Selling must be proactive, and, clients and agents, must work together, as a team, in order to achieve the best possible results. How quickly an agent responds to leads, answers/ addresses his client’s concerns, and perceptions, and the quality of his advice, in a well – considered, timely manner, often, differentiates, the right representative, for you, and the rest – of – the – pack!

4. Sales: The process of selling, must close the deal, with the results, which make the most sense! Only when the sale, is completed, and, brough to fruition, has the agent, provided the service, his client needs, and deserves!

5. Closing: Some falsely believe, the process is over, when the offer is made and accepted. However, many things, might happen, between, that step, and the closing, and, thus, experience, expertise, foresight, and planning for contingencies, are essential qualities, needed to be a great real estate agent!

Homeowners should hire someone, to represent them, who will pay attention, to all these factors, and create a scenario, where his client, receives the highest, possible price, in the shortest time period, with the best terms, and the least hassle! SInce, for most, their house, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t that make sense?

Real Estate – Selling – The Long List of What to Include in Internet Marketing For Your Property

If you are selling real estate in any form then you need to know about internet marketing. Do not spend your time with marketing methods from the past. Do not deal with Realtors who are stuck using old marketing methods.

The marketing methods for today and tomorrow are on the internet. You need a web marketing strategy for any type of property you are trying to sell. If your Realtor doesn’t have one for your specific property, then you must get someone else to do it for you, or get a different Realtor.

Often I am asked what is included in when we do customized Total Web Marketing Strategies for real estate properties for sale.

Below is a sample list of the types of things we recommend you do for properties after creating a custom website apart from Realtor or FSBO websites.

Sample Custom Internet Marketing Plan

– Website Marketing

– Onpage Optimizing with Keywords

– Search Engine Optimization

– Search Engine Submissions (Over 200 search engines)

– Authority Sites Back Link Development

– Email Marketing Campaigns to Targeted Buyer Groups

– Automatic Followup System – Setup & Maintenance

– Custom Flyer Creation & Distribution

– Buyer Contact List Building

– Video Marketing of Your Property (20 online video sharing sites)

– Audio Marketing of Your Property (30 online audio sharing sites)

– Press Release Distributions

– Google Local Search Engines Setup & Optimization

– Creation and Promotion of a Listing on Google Search and Google Maps

– Local Internet Directory Submissions

– Blog Creation & Blog Postings

– Real Estate Forum Postings

– Social Account Creation

– Social Bookmarking Submissions

– Article Directory Submissions

– RSS Feed Submissions

– Content Management

– Website Content Writing

– Graphic Design

– Property Branding

– Online Promotions

– Pay Per Click Advertising Setup & Maintenance

– Podcast Production & Marketing

– Webpage Sales Copywriting

– Web Traffic Analytics Setup & Analysis to Determine Website Traffic Sources

– Ongoing Monitoring to Determine Most Effective Channels for Marketing Your Property

5 Keys To An Effective Real Estate Marketing Plan

When a homeowner decides to sell his home, he should interview potential agents, and have a thorough discussion, about, why he should hire that individual (what is unique, or better about their service, etc), etc. Once, one feels comfortable with the individual’s quality of character, integrity, ethics, attitude, aptitude/ skill – sets, negotiating ability, and ability to customize an approach, to fit a specific property, it is essential to, take the time, and make the effort, to, understanding the basis, reasoning/ rationale, etc, of that representative’s marketing plan, and what will be included, and any necessary teamwork, involved. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, discuss, and review, 5 keys to an effective marketing plan.

1. How many Open Houses (Broker, and Community)?: Will Open Houses, be a component of this approach and planning? How might they, be marketed, introduced, and useful, in the overall marketing, of the client’s home? Should the house, be staged, or any other areas, addressed, and considered? How will your chosen, agent, introduce your home, to other local agents? Will they use a Brokers Open House? If a public, and/ or community one, is planned, how will it be promoted, where, and, who, do you believe, is the niche – market, for the specific property? What will the professional do, which differentiates his, from what others do, and make a significant, positive impact? How often will they be conducted/ held?

2. Where/ how promoted?: How will your home, be promoted, marketed, etc? Will your representative, explain his reasoning/ rationale, explaining, why, he will pursue a specific, course, and plan of action?

3. Pricing philosophy: After, well over a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have witnessed, certain agents, who suggest, unrealistically, higher listing prices, in order to try to buy a listing. Ask individuals, when you interview them, what their pricing philosophy, is, and, why, they feel, it works best. Pricing is a significant component of the overall marketing system/ plan!

4. Agent/ client, regular discussions: How will the agent, you hire, interact, with you, and how, often, will, both of you, regularly, discuss, the process, etc, which are relevant, to the process? Avoid anyone, who won’t be ready, willing, and able, to fully communicate!

5. When price adjustment, and why?: How smoothly, effectively, and in a timely manner, will, price adjustments, be made, and what will be the core reasoning/ rationale?

The more, you and your agent, remain, on the same – page, the better, you can proceed, with the necessary degree of teamwork, to make a quality marketing program, even more meaningful and effective! Remember, for most, the value of their house, is their single – biggest, financial asset, so, do all you can, to follow a smart, course of action!