5 Best Books for Real Estate Agents

A couple of oldies but goodies and some newer titles round out this reading list of the best books for Realtors. If you’re looking for better ways to connect with your clients and for advice from veterans in the real estate game, take a long weekend or your next vacation to read any of these fantastic books.

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Writer Simon Sinek believes that success comes from asking why — not what, who, where or how. Why is the most powerful question you can ask yourself in order to be successful in business and in your personal life.

Sinek explores some of the most successful businesses in the world and explains that they are all connected by a common thread: They all put the why before everything else.

For Realtors, this is a powerful book that will help you change your mindset and focus on the right aspects of your real estate business in order to be more successful.

2. Sell With Soul: Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate Without Losing Your Friends, Your Principals or Your Self-Respect

Author Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn has been in your shoes. She’s been in the real estate biz for years, and her tell-all book, “Sell with Soul,” is her gift to other agents so they can learn from her experiences and mistakes.

Allan-Hagedorn challenges the perception that all Realtors are money-hungry and don’t have the clients’ best interests in mind. She preaches the opposite by encouraging agents to put their clients’ needs first; the rest will follow.

3. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

Many of you have probably already read “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” but if you haven’t, put it at the top of your to-read list. Or if you haven’t read it in a long time, rereading it could do you well. The founder of Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, lays the groundwork for success in real estate and how to be a millionaire agent.

Scores of agents return to this book because of its resonance with both new and seasoned Realtors.

4. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers

What we consider inbound marketing and targeted marketing today are at the core of Seth Godin’s book “Permission Marketing,” published in 1999. He advocates for marketing that is not disruptive and suggests a method in which you market to those who have already expressed an interest in you and your brand.

Realtors can learn exactly what it takes to get new leads into their funnel in a way that delights potential customers instead of using outdated, intrusive tactics.

5. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

We always want more out of our lives, but we’re usually at a loss for how to achieve it. Our lives seem littered with little hurdles that stand in the way of our success. Keller and Jay Papason offer a solution that encourages you to focus on one thing at a time to help you cut out distraction.

For any real estate agent, “The One Thing” will help you realize your personal and professional goals.

Once you’ve made your way through this reading list, begin exploring ways to put your real estate goals into action by creating your own real estate newsletter with HomeActions. Click for everything you need to know to get started.

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5 Apps for Realtors That Are Totally Free!

The #RealtorLife is no joke. Working in real estate is a demanding profession, so you should take advantage of tools that are designed with your busy schedule in mind.

These 5 apps will allow you to get fast information about listings, make it easier to connect with clients and help you create amazing marketing content to share online. All of these apps have user-friendly interfaces, and the best part, they are 100% free!

SwiftKey

Agents need simple ways to communicate on the go. That’s where SwiftKey comes in. SwiftKey lets you swipe your finger along your keyboard to the letters that spell out what you want to say. The smart technology will recognize the words you’re most likely trying to type. You will be amazed at how many times this app gets it right!

SwiftKey uses its intelligence to remember the types of words you use, emojis you like to send and even your unique slang!

You can also save tons of automated messages to quickly send to clients. If you’re getting the same question about a listing from multiple people, type out the answer once and send it easily to everyone who asks you. If you need your keyboard to be bigger or smaller, SwiftKey lets you customize that too.

SentriSmart

SentriSmart is the app by SentriLock. SentriSmart allows you to open their lockboxes easily through your smartphone or tablet. You can assign the lockbox to certain properties or unassign them. SentriSmart is synced to Homesnap, RPR and HomeSpotter, so you can bring up data about listings for clients on the spot.

Adobe Premiere Clip

Video content is one of the most powerful tools to draw in new leads online. However, videos have to be quality to be impactful. The Adobe Premiere Clip app helps you create professional-looking videos using the clips you take with your phone. Load videos from your mobile device or tablet onto the app and let Adobe work its magic, or customize the video yourself and choose background music and other bells and whistles. Then, share your videos online and watch the likes and shares roll in.

RPR Mobile

Developed by the National Association of Realtors, RPR’s app is designed to help Realtors stay up to date on relevant data in the markets they serve. It organizes information about your listings, such as neighborhood data, mortgage history and local schools, in one convenient location. When a client texts or calls you with a question about a listing, you can pull up everything you need quickly and easily.

But it doesn’t stop there. You can generate reports on properties and send them to clients with your own branding. And you can add notes to properties and choose to keep this information private or share it with clients. When you’re out and about, use the location feature to bring up data about the area you’re in, such as local records, new listings, flood zones and more. 

Canva

Canva is a graphic design tool that lets you create any kind of marketing materials you can think of with ease. Design your own letterhead, Pinterest graphic, Facebook post and more. You can upload your own images or choose from any of the stock images available on the app. Then, customize the dimensions, text and background color.

Use this app to create one-of-a-kind marketing images that will impress your clients and garner the attention of new prospects.

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.

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2019 Social Media Guide for Real Estate Agents

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.

Check out this tutorial on creating social videos for the first time.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

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.

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How Can REALTORS Market Themselves to Millennial Homebuyers?

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™.


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Is Your Elevator Pitch Everything It Should Be?

Take a second to go over your elevator pitch, and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is my pitch unique from those of other agents?
  2. Do I use more “you” pronouns than “I” pronouns?
  3. Does my pitch end with a CTA (call to action)?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, chances are your 30-second real estate pitch may need some fine-tuning. It’s crucial that when someone asks you what you do, you give them an answer that highlights your successes while also speaking to their personal needs. Let’s examine the questions from above and discover why they are important.

Is My Pitch Unique?

Don’t tell them you’re a real estate agent

We’re not suggesting you lie, rather that you do more than state the obvious.

You have to find a way to stand out from other real estate agents. If someone asks what you do and you reply that you’re a Realtor, you are instantly painting a picture in their minds of what a real estate agent does, and you want to point out that you’re more than that. An effective elevator pitch will speak to your particular niche. Consider your strengths and design your pitch around what sets you apart from other agents.

Do I Use More “You” Pronouns Than “I” Pronouns?

Address them on a personal level 

The first thing you should do is identify a problem that lots of people face when it comes to real estate. For instance, “You know how buying in a seller’s market makes it nearly impossible to get a good deal?” After you address a problem that lots of people have, dazzle ‘em with your solution. “Well I help homebuyers like you get the most home for their money, no matter the housing climate.”

The use of the you pronoun personalizes the message and makes your audience feel like you are speaking to their experiences and not delivering a speech.

When you sell yourself in this way, people are much more likely to refer you to someone they know who just happens to be having bad luck finding the right home in their budget.

Bonus: After you hook them, follow up with some proof: “In fact, I helped more than 40 homebuyers so far this year buy homes well within their budget.”

Does It End With a CTA?

Give them something to do next

The best way to end an elevator pitch is with action steps for your audience to take next. Invite them to follow you on social media, ask them to sign up for your eNewsletter, tell them to check out your website — anything that will prompt them to take a step toward using your services.

Business cards are fine, but it’s even better if you can show them your Facebook or Twitter and get them to hit follow right then and there. Or get them to sign up for your email newsletter to receive routine communication from you. If you’re not set up with your own real estate newsletter to send to clients, click here.

Don’t get locked into a stock image of what people think of when you say you’re a real estate agent or Realtor — make them think of your profession in a way they’ve never considered

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Your National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo Recap Brought to You by HomeActions

We had the pleasure of meeting so many of you this past weekend at the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Conference & Expo in historic downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was a fun-filled weekend of info sessions held by industry leaders in real estate, networking opportunities and a trade show with more than 400 exhibitors.

Our amazing partners, CellAHome and Connect Now were also in attendance and we were so grateful to chat with all of you face-to-face. To virtual companies like ours, the kind of connections we’re able to make with our customers at the NAR conference is invaluable.

“It’s a great opportunity for brokers who haven’t heard of us to come and meet us and see if this is something they want presented to their office,” Katie Friedman, Regional Sales Director at HomeActions said about the conference. “We were also able to explain to clients the new social sharing feature we’re now offering to our customers.”

When asked about the best parts of the conference this year, Katie said, “The puppies were amazing! I picked up this white Husky with bright blue eyes and it made my morning. Oh, and Fall Out Boy put on a great show this year.”

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, check out these highlights!

The HomeActions Booth

Our ONEHOPE Glitter Edition Wine raffle was a total hit this year with three lucky winners! 

HomeActions merch!

 

Visit the HomeActions Facebook page for more event highlights!

SURVEY: Do you use fresh or artificial flowers in your home?

We surveyed our readers to find out if they use a fresh or artificial flowers

HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers to find out if they use a fresh or artificial flowers. Find out how they responded to our November 2018 survey.

> View November Survey Results > View All 2018 Surveys

SURVEY: When do you put your air conditioner away for the fall?

We surveyed our readers to find out when they put their air conditioners away for the fall

HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers to find out when they put their air conditioners away for the fall. Find out how they responded to our October 2018 survey.

> View October Survey Results > View All 2018 Surveys

How to Handle Objections from Real Estate Clients

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!

Key Takeaways

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.

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