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Agent Rising

Finding Home Treasures in the Snow!

Agent Rising

There is no shortage of snow this winter but how does that affect homebuyer shopping?  When the weather breaks and spring is around the corner, the For Sale Signs come out, but what are the pros and cons of shopping for a house during the cold winter weather?

One advantage for homebuyers if they are willing to trudge through the snow and the slush is less competition.  The homebuyer who is willing to brave the cold is usually a serious buyer.   Many of these houses have come on in the fall and by the end of winter have been sitting for a  4 or 5 months.  The seller may be ready to negotiate a better price.

The disadvantage for the homebuyer may be that there is less inventory and they may need to act quickly if they see something they love.

Buyers may also be reminded at this time of year the benefits of owning a home.  There are many deductions for interest on mortgage and home equity.  The earlier in the year you buy, the more equity you’ll have in your home by the end of next year which can translate into big savings.

One big advantage of looking at houses in the ice and snow is that you see the house at its worst.  You can see the neighborhood when all the leaves are off the trees.  This will give you an idea how close the neighbors actually are, how the house is laid out and where it sits on the property.

The bad weather can also point out drafts and flood issues and how well insulated the house is.  If you step inside and the house is warm and cozy in extremely frigid weather, you can be assured of the heating situation.

A few cons of looking at a house on a particularly snowy day, may also be evident.  You can’t get a good look at the roof covered in snow and it may be hard to trudge through the yard to check out the outside of the house.  You really can’t see the landscaping and it may be hard to evaluate features such as bulkheads and sheds when the snow makes access difficult.  Home inspectors may have trouble getting up on the roof  and checking out certain aspects of the house.  They can inspect the heating system but may have trouble checking out the AC system.

Sellers may be more conducive to selling, especially if they are sick and tired of showings and keeping the walks and driveways clear of snow and ice.  This can work to a buyer’s advantage.

So if you are a serious homebuyer, this may be the time and season for you to find your dream home.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more helpful information on buying and selling homes.

Agent Rising

 

Agent Rising

Real Estate Designation and Certification Courses!

Agent Rising

 

The National Association of Realtors encourages members to increase their professionalism, proficiency, marketability and income through pursuing of an officially endorsed NAR designation or certification.  Besides the many professional benefits and quality education these courses offer, many of these courses have already been approved for continuing education credits.

Here are some of the Designation Courses:  Accredited Buyer’s Representative  Designation (ABR)

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)

Council of Residential Specialists (CRS)

NAR’s Green Designation

Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

These are Certification Courses:

At Home With Diversity

BPO’s: The Agent’s Role in the Valuation Process

e-Pro Certification Program

Military Relocation Professional Certification (MRP)

Resort and Second-home Property Specialist (RSPS)

Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)

These are all great courses to help you in your real estate career and many offer CEU’s

Visit learning library.com for more information.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more information.

 

New Agent Training Webinar!

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The Massachusetts Association of Realtors hosted a Webinar on New Agent Training with Kate Lanagan MacGregor, broker-owner of Bold Moves Real Estate, Agent Rising Real Estate School and Beyond Bold Media.

The Webinar ran Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 10am-11am.   Over 90 people enrolled to watch the Webinar and there was great participation.  New agents as well as seasoned agents attended and found it very informative and enlightening.

The 10 Strategies to Success Highlighted in the Webinar:

Serve, Start, Systemize, Support, Stay, Strengthen, Sell, Say Thank You, Significance, and Surprise.

In 2013, Kate chaired the New Agent PAG for Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Presented on this topic at the MAR Annual Conference and Trade Show.

The Webinar is an update on those 7 Strategies to Success

In Kate’s words:

“I believe in a strategic and comprehensive approach to developing  yourself, your brand and your business.These 10 strategies ensure that your actions are with purpose, and directed toward the success you want for yourself.I cover topics from good old fashioned thank you notes to how  to use Big Data and The Internet of Things to your benefit.

I am passionate about helping enhance the professionalism of all REALTORS®, new agents in particular.

As owner and operator of  BOLD Moves Real Estate, Agent Rising Real Estate School and Training Center, and Beyond BOLD Media, I believe that owning the 3 companies acts like a ‘3 legged stool’. Sales, Education and Marketing are all important in your success, and I tie them together in my  ‘think outside the box’ way to bring you the most relevant and positive Strategies for your Sales Success.

Have you had questions about branding, time optimization, database generation and social media? We cover those in a system that is very easy to follow!

Please join me! Whether you are a new agent, an agent wanting motivation or training a new agent, I offer a fresh perspective on what success looks like!”

If you missed the Webinar, don’t despair.  You can watch it on www.marealtor.com and click on the link with archived webinars.  You can watch the whole webinar.

Make it a BOLD Day!  Questions?  Call Kate at 508-728-3648

Visit us at www.agentrising.com

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Agent Rising

3 Ways Rookies Can Boost Their Client Base

Agent Rising

3 Ways Rookies Can Boost Their Client Base

At Real Estate Connect, agents offer their strategies for drumming up new business fast.

When you’re a new agent trying to build a business from scratch, it’s not easy figuring out how to build a client base. Most rookies need a few months at least to market themselves and spread the word about their business before clients start signing on. But what tactics will get you there the quickest?

Every agent has to tap into their own strengths and develop a prospecting and marketing plan that works for them. But it can be helpful to hear about how other agents developed their strategies for racking up new business. Maybe you can learn something from them.

At Real Estate Connect in New York this week, several practitioners led sessions in which they shared their secret sauces for establishing and building a client base, as well as landing deals. Here are a few of their stories.

Focusing on the Reliable Few

Anouk Nora, a sales associate with Town Residential in New York, has only had her real estate license for six months — and she’s already closed a $27 million deal. It was a commercial property that wasn’t even listed. So how did she find it and get it sold?

Before getting into real estate, Nora was a film producer, working with A-list Hollywood directors such as Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone. A large part of her job was scouting for filming locations. “It required a lot of research and getting to know the properties in certain areas intimately,” Nora says.

She used that same mentality when looking for properties to sell. She researched properties in different areas of New York, and when she decided on an area she wanted to farm, she got up close and personal with the buildings there.

“I walked more than I ever walked in my life, looking for something to fall in love with so I could sell it,” Nora said. “Successful agents, like successful film producers, farm an area they love and get to know it intimately.”

Nora came across the property she eventually sold for $27 million while she was researching the area. She was able to get a tour of the building, which was owned by an artist. The property wasn’t listed, but she learned that the owner had been thinking about selling.

“I know a lot of people in the art world, and I immediately thought of two people I knew for whom this property would be perfect,” Nora said. She approached the two people, and both ended up making offers on the property.

Nora was successful with this transaction by targeting an audience she was already familiar with from her days working in film. She said that she doesn’t spend time mass mailing but instead is more focused about her prospecting. “I’d rather be in contact with the right type of people rather than more people,” she said.

Building a Robust Referral Network

It’s every agent’s motto: referrals, referrals, referrals. Everyone knows the importance of referral business, and for many practitioners, it’s how they get most of their new clients. But most don’t get as much referral business as Lindsay Grandquest, a sales associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Mobile, Ala. Last year, 82 percent of her business came from referrals.

She’s developed an interesting way to stay in touch with past clients or friends and family, adding the personal touch to solicit referrals. “I don’t ever call with a sales pitch,” she says. “I just call them and say, ‘Hey, I’m about to show a home in your neighborhood, and I thought of you. How are you?’

“Now I’m probably not actually doing that, but it makes it easier to start a conversation,” Grandquest continued. “You have to find that common ground.”

At the end of the conversation, she’ll remind the person she called to point anyone they know who is buying or selling her way. For her VIP clients, she makes this kind of personal contact with them four times a month to stay top of mind.

Grandquest has developed another innovative way to get referrals. She’ll drop by her dentist’s office or her hairdresser’s salon with a small token of appreciation, such as a couple scoops of ice cream, and her business card. That way, they’ll pass on her information to their other clients and spread the word about her business.

When she gets a referral, she’ll send the referrer a “thank you” note with a $5 Starbucks gift card. “I say, ‘Thank you for believing in me and my business,’” Grandquest says. “If you do this a couple of times, it will start a momentum that is unstoppable.”

Using Reviews to Reel In More Clients

Sarah Jones, broker and co-owner of Bamboo Realty in Houston, has a business page on Yelp, and she has all of her agents ask their clients to fill out a Yelp review at closing. “That’s when the client is most motivated to fill out a review,” she says.

Review sites like Yelp are indexed much higher in online search results than many real estate company websites. Once Bamboo Realty racked up enough reviews, its company business page on Yelp started getting a lot more traffic from search engines, Jones said. In fact, Yelp is now the company’s No. 2 source of business after referrals, she added.

The extra benefit of people finding the company through Yelp is that they see Bamboo Realty’s positive reviews and are much more ready to work with its agents once they call. “Folks that find you because you have five-star reviews are far more likely to convert into a client,” Jones said.

But inevitably, you’ll get a bad review. Don’t panic, Jones said. “If you get something that’s not positive, see how you can rectify it,” she added.

Take a breather, then contact the person who reviewed you negatively. Don’t make another sales pitch; just ask what went wrong and how they felt you could improve your service. Just by doing that, the reviewer may reach out to you when they’re ready to try again.

This blog was originally posted in Realtor Magazine, January 2015. http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2015/01/3-ways-rookies-can-boost-their-client-base#sf7402098

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more new agent information.

Agent Rising

First Time Home Buyers!

Agent Rising

How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?

  • Using data from NAR’s 2006-2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we can examine how the demographics of first-time homebuyers have changed over the last 9 years. What do these numbers show us about the diversity of buyers, and what insight can they provide for the future?
  • The demographic characteristics of first-time buyers overall has remained consistent over the last 9 years with slight increases and decreases.

Household Composition of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the distribution of first-time buyers’ household composition has remained predominantly married couples, making up an average of 52% of first-time buyers.
  • On average 22% of first-time buyers were single females and 12% were single males or unmarried couples.

Household ChartHousehold Graph

 

Median Age of First-Time Buyers:

  • The median age of first-time buyers has remained within a 3 year age gap between 30-32 years old.
  • The average median age of first-time buyers since 2006 was 31 years old.

Med Age Chart

Med Age graph

 

 

Racial and Ethnic Distribution of First-Time Buyers:

  • The racial and ethnic distribution of first-time buyers has remained predominately White/Caucasian, making up an average of 77% of first-time buyers since 2006.
  • The averages of other races and ethnicities are:
    • Black/African American: 8%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 8%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 7%
    • Other: 3%

Race ChartRace Graph

 

Country of Birth of First-Time Buyers:

  • Since 2006 the number of first-time buyers who were born in the U.S. has increased and then decreased settling back to 86% in 2014, the same as in 2006.
  • On average 87% of first-time buyers were born in the U.S. and 13% were born outside of the U.S.

COB Chart

COB Graph

 

Primary Language Spoken by First-Time Buyers:

  • Over the last 9 years, English has remained the primary language of first-time buyers.
  • On average 7% of first-time buyers spoke other languages, while 93% spoke primarily English.

PL ChartPL Graph

 

The Future of First-Time Buyers:

  • While the demographics of first-time buyers over the last 9 years have not necessarily seen great changes, there is still the outlook for the future.
  • William Frey, of the Brookings Institution, recently published the book “Diversity Explosion” which looks at the demographic future of America.
  • Frey expounds that America is becoming a country with no racial majority, with a dramatic growth of young minority populations expected.
  • Frey predicts that sometime after 2040 there will be no racial majority; this would ultimately change the demographics of the first-time homebuyers moving towards greater diversity.
Bold Moves Real Estate

Real Talk about Real Estate

Bold Moves Real Estate

Dave Garro published a great blog on his website www.davegarro.com   It was a great success and here are the highlights of the night posted on his website on January 14, 2015.

Hi Everyone,

Last evening, BOLD Moves supported me in hosting a casual informative discussion for people contemplating selling their home. Very important.

Those who know me through coaching sports, building , or real estate, know I like helping others achieve by being straight and true.

First thing people need to be aware of  when interviewing an agent to sell their home is this. The Ma. Association of Realtors  mandates ( yes, mandates! ) that on first face to face meeting to discuss  a property, an agency disclosure must be presented. No ifs, and/or buts.

The form is NOT a contract. It is to disclose exactly in what capacity the agent will be obligated to you. Here is where you need to be smart.

Unless you have already decided to hire this person, they should not  be designated as a “sellers agent”  They should merely be designated as a “facilitator “.  Do not discuss your motivation. Do not discuss money.  As in what you would want or accept. What money is owed to lenders. Any time constraints on you. NOTHING!

When I go on an interview. My job is merely to assess the properties fair market value and discuss how I would market your property to get it sold.

I would give you options of offering prices, for you to decide upon. Wether you want to test the market  or move it quickly. This is important.

An agent doesn’t need any situational information to derive a fair market value. Should you not hire that agent, they would have an advantage in negotiations should they know a buyer for your property.

Work with someone you trust has YOUR best interests at heart.

Any concerns, fire away! Take care, Dave

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more information to make you the best realtor you can be.

Agent Rising

Important Information for Buyers!

Agent Rising

What should you be telling your buyers before they  start the journey of home ownership?  Buyers will learn these lessons as they go through the house hunting process but in order to save them some heartache and you some time, it’s better to educate them before you start the process.  Buyers will come into the process with lots of questions and some disbelief that they will actually become homeowners.  The whole process is fraught with anxiety.  This is one of the biggest decisions of their lives and they are unsure of  what they need to be doing.  How do they decide on an offer?  What should their down payment be?  What does the home inspection involve?   These are just a few of the questions they need answered.  Walk them through the whole transaction so they know what to expect at every step.  Answer all their questions and calm their fears.

Let them know what to expect and what will be expected of them. Tell them when they may need to take time off of work ahead of time and also what multiple offers involves and how to deal with a situation like that.  If they know what may happen at every step, they are more likely to trust you and appreciate you for the professional you are.

Help them in the thinking process when it comes time to put an offer in.  Remind them that multiple offers can be common and how to position themselves correctly.  Let them know that anxiety is a common emotion and how to deal with it.

Use data to back up your words.  If you  tell them that houses are flying off the market. be prepared to show them how long houses are staying on the market before they go under agreement and the difference between what they are asking and how much they usually get. Buyers like to see facts to back up your words.

The more you are honest with your clients and  answer all the questions in the beginning, the easier your experience will be.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more information on being the best realtor you can be.

 

Agent Rising

According to NAR, Home Prices Expected to Increase Modestly!

Agent Rising.

The National Association of Realtors sent out a 2014 Realtors Confidence Index Survey to Realtors.  With the rising inventory and the strong price recovery since 2012, Realtors expected home prices to increase modestly in the next 12months,with the median at about 3%.

 First-time home buyers appear to be slowly re-entering the market at 31% from 28% a year ago.

Another plus is the drop in 30-year mortgage rates to about 4% since the middle of the year.

Many buyers are still having trouble obtaining financing but there are some reports that the numbers are improving.

Another bright spot concerns FHA loans.  President Obama is backing lower FHA mortgage insurance premiums.  These will be lowered by half a percentage point, moving from 1.35 percent currently to .85 percent.  This will save borrowers an average of $900 annually.  The National Association of Realtors estimates that a reduction in FHA premiums has the potential to bring in 90,000 to 140,000 additional annual home purchases.

This is all good news making this a great time to sell or buy a home.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more realtor news.

Agent Rising Real Estate School to Start New Classes!

Agent Rising Real Estate School located at the Bold Welcome Center on 145 Fairhaven Rd., Mattapoisett, MA will be starting a new series of classes starting January 7th, 2015.    Are you looking for a new career with flexible hours, meeting new people, and helping them find the house of their dreams?   This may be the career for you.   Forty hours of class are required before you take the test.  Agent Rising Real Estate School combines good old-fashioned round-table learning with up to the minute technological training modules online as well as IPad learning  and good old paper books.  You learn at your pace with the tools you are comfortable with.

Watch this great video as Kate Lanagan MacGregor tells you more about the class and how to enroll.

Call Kate at 508-763-8844 for more information. or visit us at www.agentrising.com

Agent Rising

Unique Ways to Market to Clients in December!

Agent RisingAccording to Inman in an article by Kat Bremhorst,  the holidays may be a crazy time, but people are still out there buying and selling homes.  Here are some ways to reach out to your past, present and future clients during the holiday season.

Hire a helper to leave your mark around the neighborhood.  Hire a local neighborhood  kid to shovel and salt driveways.  Have him leave a card with a holiday greeting with your name.

Reach out to your past clients with a pop-by gift.   Make it something useful or maybe some tasty, holiday treats.  Brand the item with your brand or brand the wrapper you wrap it up with. Thermoses and water bottles or coffee cups are great ideas.

Host a local party.  The holidays are a great time for this. Maybe host a brunch at a local restaurant or rent a movie theatre and show a Christmas movie.  Make them kid friendly.  People like having their children included at this time of year.

Use social media.  Write a blog about local holiday happenings,  local sales or events,  or kid-friendly activities.

Give back this holiday season.   Volunteer  at a local shelter or soup kitchen.  Get your clients involved.  Organize a local toy drive or clothing drive for the holidays.  Adopt a family in need and ask others to help out too.  This will be a win, win for everyone.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more real estate information.