You will get varying opinions on the question: Should an agent ever fire a real estate client? The truth is, it’s not cut and dried. Some people will urge you to let go of a client if it’s not working out or if they’ve been blatantly disrespectful toward you. However, some hold on to the fact that once you sign the listing agreement, you owe it to the seller to stick it out until the home is sold.
Consider these factors if you are working with a difficult client and considering pulling the plug on the relationship.
Ask yourself these questions:
How did the listing presentation go?
Did the client seem enthusiastic about your strategy? How did they react when you told them about your great track record of selling homes? If the client is enthusiastic and supportive of the marketing plan to sell their home, you can be confident that going forward, the rest of the deal will go smoothly.
However, take note of any signs of hesitation or if they challenge your approach for selling the home. This could be a sign that you don’t see eye to eye on the sale of the home, which could lead to issues down the road.
Do they take your advice?
As your relationship progresses and you begin showing the house to potential buyers, how does your client react when you share your advice? If you’re staging their home for an open house, are they open to your suggestions to scale down flashy décor and let in some natural light? If your client is resistant to your recommendations, then they are prohibiting you from doing your job well. Remember, you’re the expert, and you know how to get their house sold for the best price in the quickest amount of time. If the client wants to be the only one to call the shots, this could spell disaster.
Are they dragging down the rest of your business?
Does your client call you at all times of the day and night? Do they treat you less like an agent with years of experience and more like hired help? If your client is taking advantage of your time and/or being disrespectful, you should seriously consider whether or not to continue the partnership. If they are exhausting your resources, this makes you less available to other clients and can have a negative impact on your business overall.
Another thing that drags down your business? Negative reviews. If it’s not a match made in heaven, it isn’t your fault or the client’s, but you owe it to yourself to break off the relationship if it is not going well, because you run the risk of getting a bad review.
Other things you should consider:
You work for free until you sell their home
As you’re well aware, agents don’t make a dime until the home is sold. So, gauge the relationship. Do you see it ending in the seller taking the house off the market because you can’t agree on a successful plan of action to get the home sold? If there is a doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to sell the home because of “creative differences,” you might be better off getting out now so you don’t waste any more of your time working for free!
New agents might not have an option
If you are a new agent, keep in mind that you may not have a choice but to see this thing through to the end. Agents who are just starting out need to build their portfolio of homes sold. If you’re new to the game, you may not have other options than the client you’re currently working with because you’re still building your sphere of influence.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you come across a new real estate client, to measure whether the relationship will be successful. Also, make sure that you keep in touch with current and past clients by sending out scheduled newsletters that your sphere of influence will come to know and depend on. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter yet, click to learn more.
By now, most real estate agents know that social media is a powerful tool to attract leads on a regular basis. How to do it is the next question. As we approach 2019, it requires more than a Facebook and Twitter account that you sometimes post on to have a successful online presence.
In order to be a competitive real estate agent in today’s market, you must implement some tricks of the trade when it comes to social media.
You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to apply good social media tactics once you get started — and delighted when you start seeing more leads roll in.
Don’t Ignore Instagram
Instagram might be something you shied away from in the past because it felt more obscure and less impactful to your audience compared with Facebook or Twitter. That’s no longer the case. Over 100 million people in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is growing.
As a mobile platform, Instagram is extremely accessible. Users can open it easily on their phones and browse the accounts they follow at leisure. This increased accessibility leads to more likes and engagement on Instagram content, which can ultimately convert to leads.
Also, people are responding more to visual content these days. Instagram is the visual content leader. Every post should feature a high-quality photograph or video. Use this tutorial on how to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Realtors can use Instagram to post breathtaking listing photos, appealing images of the areas you serve and videos and photos from trade shows.
Get on the Video Bandwagon
Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to continue to improve the number and quality of leads you receive, look into creating video content. Videos can feature new listings, contests, home-buying webinars — the possibilities are endless. Get creative with the ways you use video and consider the types of content your audience wants to see. This will assist you in making more meaningful connections with new and existing clients.
The 80/20 concept has been around for a while, but now that we’re approaching 2019, it’s more important than ever to adhere to this rule if you want to be successful in your social media efforts.
What you post on social media should be 80% content that benefits your audience, such as blog posts about buying and selling, infographics, etc., and 20% content about your real estate business, such as certain milestones and marketing your services.
Since you’re delivering useful information that will help people navigate the housing market, they will be more apt to engage with promotional items from you when you post them.
Hook Yourself Up With a Social Scheduling Tool
Consistency is key to creating a social media strategy that will increase leads in 2019. You cannot post daily for a month and then drop off the face of the earth the following month when things get busy. Nor should you put out all your content for the entire week on one day. That’s a good way to make sure your content gets lost in the shuffle.
If you don’t have time to write new social posts daily, no problem. There are many social media scheduling tools out there that let you write a batch of social posts ahead of time, and the scheduling tool sends them out when you tell it to.
Popular options on the market are Hootsuite, Hubspot and Sproutsocial
Social media is becoming more nuanced but also more powerful. To continue to attract leads through social media, you need to adapt, just a little, to the ways that it’s changing.
Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.
Millennial home-buyers are a big part of the home-buying market. While they’ve gotten a late start in homeownership compared to previous generations, there is now a significant uptick in the number of house hunters who identify as millennials.
This new group of home-buyers requires unique tactics when it comes to marketing yourself to them as a REALTOR®. If you’ve been in the biz for a long time, your old tricks might not work on millennials.
Use these tips to market yourself as a real estate resource to millennial homebuyers.
Be Comfortable Texting During Off-Hours
Millennial house hunters are going to expect you to use text as a means of communication. That doesn’t mean that calling is out the window, but millennials prefer texting to get quick information at their convenience. Not every question requires a long conversation — millennials may see phone calls in response to quick questions as time-wasters.
It also makes sense to anticipate the typical evening and weekend contact from millennials you would typically expect from someone working a job in a standard workweek. Millennials may also be attending college courses in order to advance their careers or chance vocations altogether, so be prepared to work around busy schedules.
Be Active on Social Media
Millennials, like no other generation before them, are getting the bulk of their news online — even through social media. These days, you can follow all kinds of news outlets to get quick updates about what’s going on in the world. Being active on social media is a great way to get in front of millennial home-buyers. Be sure to post about your listings, share what sold, feature open houses and give other real estate updates. Also keep your social media content varied by sharing interesting tid-bits related to home-ownership. Millennials will follow the businesses they frequent in order to stay connected with ongoing events.
Provide Reliable Reviews
Since the internet is inundated with reviews, millennials know they can’t trust all of them. That’s why you need to provide reviews in more than just a written format. If you can get a past client to submit a video testimonial, it will come off as much more authentic than a written review that could have been faked easily.
Not only that, but make sure your business website as well as your Facebook and LinkedIn pages have verifiable reviews. Facebook is now following the online review trend, offering review posting to its users.
Be an Educational Resource
A great way to promote yourself to millennials is to be a real estate resource for them; position yourself as a voice of authority in the industry to increase your clout and gain their trust.
Millennials will engage through experiential learning, so give them just that. You can host events at your office or at a local restaurant or pub as a networking opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know their local real estate agent. Or you can offer first-time home-buyer classes in person or online. Sessions like these give your audience a taste for the kind of expert advice you can offer.
Be Consistent With Your Real Estate Newsletter
One of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with home-buyers from every generation is through consistently reaching out with your email newsletter. Millennials in particular are accustomed to this kind of communication from businesses dealings, and they typically subscribe to a variety of email newsletters as a means of accessing deals or keeping up with offerings from their favorite businesses.
Providing bimonthly e-newsletters featuring great content about real estate news and trends will give you an edge with millennial home-buyers. If you don't have your own real estate email newsletter yet, click here to get started with HomeActions™.
Are you unsure about how to handle objections from potential real estate clients? Sometimes certain questions can throw you off your game, but it’s important to deal with these situations head-on. These tactics will help you do just that.
You will find that these tips are actually quite simple but will have a lasting, positive effect on your real estate business.
Get (a Little) Scripted
Anyone in the real estate game knows that they will be faced with objections from clients. Since you know it’s coming, prepare yourself for some of the most common objections agents receive. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little scripted in your response. It’s much better than floundering in your answer and not coming across as confident when clients push back.
Take this common objection for example: I want to list the house myself and avoid paying commission fees to a seller’s agent.
Your response can be something along the lines of: “I hear you. You want to save wherever you can. However, are you prepared to do all of the legal paperwork after the sale of the home? After the home is sold, there is a slew of legal legwork that the listing agent typically handles to make sure that the sale goes through. If you decide to sell the home on your own, you have to be OK with the fact that you could potentially be sued if you don’t file the paperwork correctly — even if it is just a simple mistake. Are you willing to take that risk?”
Also mention, “Consider the fact that it may be tricky to get a buyer’s agents to work with you. Many of them won’t even consider working with the homeowner directly because of the risk it poses to their own business.”
Know Your Worth
Realtors get faced with this request often: “Can you lower your commission fee?” The short answer should be, no, but you can present your response in a way that highlights the kind of value you offer and why agreeing to a lower fee would be a detriment to both parties.
If a client asks for a commission cut, lay out the marketing plan, your negotiation skills and your track record, and don’t waver. For example: “Let me take you through a breakdown of where that number comes from. Part of what you’re paying for with that fee is the marketing strategy I will put together to sell your house as quickly as possible for the best price. You’re also paying for my expertise. Perhaps there are agents out there who will settle for a lower fee, but they don’t have the same track record as I do when it comes to selling homes. And they definitely don’t have the same level of negotiating skills as I do. If I instantly gave in when you asked me to lower my fee, what does that say about how I’ll perform when we are negotiating the sale of your home?”
State the Facts
A client may reject your offer because they have a friend who is an agent who they promised to work with. While you should let them know that their loyalty is admirable, it may not be the wisest decision to work with a friend.
Remind them: “Have you ever given a task to a friend and weren’t 100% satisfied with the outcome? Is that a risk you’re willing to take on the sale of your home?”
Then, state the facts. If you sold 80 homes in the past year, make sure they know it. If you’ve been in the business for 20 years, state that too. These are favorable attributes that should not go unnoticed.
You could even be so bold as to bring up their friend’s MLS listing and yours at the same time to compare, assuming that you know you have stronger stats than he or she does. That will really paint a lasting image in their minds!
Write yourself a rough script to answer the objections you get all the time.
Don’t waver on the commission fee — explain where it comes from.
Reiterate your track record.
DON’T FORGET! HomeActions provides automated real estate newsletters for you to send out to your clients. We design the newsletter, write the content and send it out on your behalf so you can easily stay top of mind with your real estate clients.