10 Tips For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Whether you are buying or selling a property, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. Good real estate agents can save you a substantial amount of time and money. They can also ensure that the buying or selling process is an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are some tips for choosing a real estate agent:

1. Ask Friends/Family for Referrals

Ask family and friends for their advice on local agents. This way you will be sure to find an agent with a good reputation.

2. Consider More than One Agency

There is an array of agents that will kill for your business. That is why you should interview as many agents as you can. Compare agents with regard to their knowledge of the area, experience and qualifications. Also, ask for references from previous clients.

3. Choose an Agent that Knows the Importance of Customer Care

While interviewing different agents you will be able to establish their level of customer care or how far they will go to satisfy the customer. Look at things like their attitude towards returning phone calls and their willingness to meet with you.

4. Choose an Agent that Handles Homes in Your Price Range

When you opt for an agent that deals with homes in your price range, you will be sure to end up with an agent that will give his or her best effort. Some agents deal only with high-end properties and are used to high commissions. They are more likely to attend to these properties first.

5. Choose an Agent that Respects Your Time Schedule

If you will not be able to view properties during office hours, you need to find an agent that is willing to do business after hours or over weekends.

6. Look for an Agent that You Can Communicate With

Communication is vital when buying or selling real estate. Make sure that you choose an agent that understands your needs and that communicates them well. You will be best off if you choose and agent that registers a high level of comfort with you or with whom you are compatible with.

7. Choose an Agent that Provides Multiple Services

It will be a bonus if you can find an agent that can handle the buying/selling process as well as other additional services like arranging property inspections or who can refer you to a trustworthy real estate attorney.

8. Choose an Agent That Can Negotiate

Negotiating skills is an essential quality of a good real estate agent. Make sure you choose and agent with impeccable and proven negotiating skills.

9. Choose an Agent with Lots of Resources

Ask agents where your property will be advertised. Make sure that the agency uses print advertising (newspaper/magazines) as well as other promotional material such as brochures. Also check if the agency makes use of the Internet for advertising their listings.

10. Follow Your Instinct

Choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and whom you trust. You level of comfort and satisfaction will let you know if you’ve met the right agent.

Tips to Hire a Commercial Real Estate Agent

If you don’t want to handle your relocation project or commercial lease renewal yourself, you can go to a commercial real estate agent. All you have to do is choose the right professional for your needs. Given below are 6 things you may want to consider during your evaluation. Read on.

Likability

A relocation or lease renewal is similar to a construction project. The difference is that it takes a bit longer than expected. So, it’s a good idea to go with someone who you like. This way you will enjoy throughout your journey and the process of negotiation may also go well.

Trust

Make sure the professional agent that you are going to hire can be trusted. It may be difficult to find out who can be trusted but it can be done during the interview. By asking a few relevant questions during the interview, you can get a pretty good idea as if they are trustworthy or not.

Conflicts of Interest

What does a conflict occurs? Actually, the conflict may occur when you go with an agent who already is a representative of many property owners in the same area. Now, the agent wants to serve you despite that the fact that they have given their word to the property owners that they will find a way to earn them the highest rate of rent possible. So, you may want to get a clear idea of the conflict severity and its importance for you.

Experience

Experience of the agent is of utmost importance as far as choosing the best professional is concerned. Ideally, it’s a good idea to go with a commercial real estate agent who has over 10 years of experience in the field. Their grey hair may be a sign that they have been in this business for years. You can ask about their experience during the interview.

Age

Age of the professional should not be taken as an evidence of their experience in the field. The million dollar question is how long have they been actively involved in the business. You need to keep in mind that commercial real estate is on the list of those businesses that people do part time. So, make sure you choose a professional who has been working full time as an agent. What matters is experience not the age of the agent. After all, age is just a number.

Specialization

Typically agents specialize in two ways. They can do it by industry vertical or location. As far as importance is concerned, location specialization carries more weight. An agent with location specialization has a pretty good idea of what is happening in the market. They know about the best deals and best property owners. Aside from this, their negotiation style is pretty impressive.

Long story short, if you have been thinking of hiring the services of the best commercial real estate agent, we suggest that you take these factors into consideration. This will help you choose the best service provider.

Letters to Potential Clients From a Real Estate Agent – Tips for Writing Marketing Letters

Introducing yourself in person is pretty easy. You make eye contact, smile, and shake hands. You tell the other person your name, and he tells you his name. Pretty easy, right? But what if you need to introduce yourself and you can’t see the other person? One way you can tackle this problem is by writing a marketing letter.

Whether you are new to real estate or just new to the area, you’ll want to send out some letters and let everyone know you are in the area and ready to sell. You can also use marketing letters to entice people who had listings expire to relist with you.

You can trick people into opening your letter and not just tossing it straight into the recycling bin by using a key word. “Free”. As a late-night ad used to say, “Free is a very good price.” So let everyone know you have something free inside. It might be a fridge magnet, or a set of free energy-saving tips, or a pocket calendar.

Now that you have their attention, you need to give your reader an introduction to you. Tell her who you are, and why you are the home expert she should trust. Give some tips or useful information in your letter that will be of use to your reader. Perhaps this might be a fall-cleanup checklist or winter weatherization tips. If you are targeting an up and coming area, you might want to give a list of local merchants for people to get started frequenting.

If you get completely stuck and have the worst case of writer’s block, you can download free templates from the internet. They can be introduction letters, prospecting letters, expired listings letters, or new agent letters, just to name a few. These are useful to help you get started and trigger a thought trail. They’re also good if writing is not your strong suit, but you are great at the verbal deal. (Some of these sites offer templates to help you with your listings, too.)

Keep the letter simple. Overcomplicated or technical newsletters will just confuse your readers and make them toss it. That also means your name is not the one they will tuck in their dream home folder for when the time comes to buy.

It might seem obvious, but be sure you use a good spell checking program and a grammar checker if you are not strong in either. It only damages your reputation if you have errors that can be easily fixed by these programs.

Last, close with a call to action. It could be asking the reader to visit your website for more information or to subscribe to your newsletter or podcast. It might be a link to your Facebook page on which you have a coupon to a local merchant. Or you may have some DIY tips on your YouTube channel. Whatever it is, you want it to be a good reason to follow up, something that will be worth your reader’s time. And time these days is more valuable than ever.

How to Become a Famous Real Estate Agent

So, you have taken the classes and you have now become a real estate agent. Or, you already are a real estate agent. Now that you are, or already are, a real estate agent, how do you become a famous real estate agent?

Before getting into the specifics of becoming famous, you need to sit back, kick up your feet and decide on your niche. Your niche will be the springboard from which you launch your campaign to become famous. Is the luxury market your thing, or maybe being a buyer's agent is more your cup-of-tea. You need to decide where your strengths lie and then you'll be able to better focus your energy and hone your expertise.

Once you have defined your niche, you are ready to proceed with the thing that will make you famous in your niche.

It has been said of late that 80 percent of house hunting begins on the Internet. If you are to become a famous real estate agent, you must become Internet savvy. Most major brokers nowadays provide a website for their agents. It would be a good idea if you sought out training to make your website stand out from the rest.

In addition, obtain an inexpensive web domain from one of the online providers like GoDaddy. You can name it some creative name that will make people find you and help them remember it when they need to get in contact with you.

Branding is the key to standing out from the rest. You must have a brand that makes people remember you. You'll want to link your branded domain name to your website with your broker to direct people to your listings and information. Also, find ways to use your brand to make it something that sticks in people heads. Association is a common method human beings use to retain memory. Associate your expertise or name with something related to real estate that people will remember. You want your brand to stand out from the rest.

Along with providing a web address for each agent, some brokers even provide training for their agents to learn how to set up their websites to make them individual and stand out. You'll want to either attend training or hire someone to develop your website for you.

Either way, you'll want to get your website up and running with splashy graphics and links that lead people to useful information. Make sure you insert a quality picture of yourself. Sales have been lost due to an amateur picture.

YouTube is a website where you can post videos you've created of useful real estate information. Along with posting it on your blog, some information you might want to consider teaching about on video is the rebate first-time homeowners can receive due to the approval of the federal stimulus package. Information like that is considered very valuable and would be visited many times over if you provided a professional presentation of it.

You'll need a blog on your website that provides useful information for potential homeowners, along with enabling readers to comment on your website. Comments are sometimes quite useful in finding out what your audience is really interested in. Provide links to helpful and needful information and provide stellar aesthetics to create interest in your website. Along with the blog, make sure you actually create blog posts on a regular basis that are of great importance to your audience. This will create interest and keep them coming back for more. Establish a RSS feed to enable readers to subscribe easily to your blog. If you do not know what that is, the webmaster you hire can create it for you.

You'll also want to consider signing up for several social networks, like Active Rain, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, LinkedIn and others. Make sure you include your website link on your profile of all social networking sites of which you become a member, along with your branded name.

While creating a stunning website, you'll want to discover and decide how you will distribute your listings via the web. You want your clients to be wowed at your ability to expose their listings.

The last thing you'll want to take care of is a means to determine your return on investment (ROI). You need a good method to track your marketing and advertising expenditures, so that you will know what your ROI is. Make sure you include a counter on your website that tracks unique visits to your site, along with some way to analyze the traffic your site receives in order to improve results.

Now that you've found your niche, become Internet savvy, have your website up and running and are experiencing some notoriety, make sure to keep track of how your clients found you. Ask them. Also, ask them if they have seen your website.

As you continue to promote yourself aggressively with electronic media, you will eventually become what you've always dreamed of – a famous real estate agent!

Important Tips to Consider When Selecting a Real Estate Agent

The ample amount of online information regarding how to hire a real estate agent can be helpful for homebuyers and sellers, but finding the right one can still be a challenge. Professional agents should have the necessary skills and expertise to help find exactly what the client desires. These four qualities can clue in buyers and sellers that a real estate agent is a great choice.

Suggests Realistic Prices

When planning to sell a house, it is recommended to get listing presentations from several agencies. They will provide the market prices of comparable homes, as well as the amount of time it usually takes to sell similar properties. Working with professionals to ensure that a home is priced appropriately will make the process less time consuming and stressful.

Works Full Time

Some real estate agents connect home buyers with sellers as a part-time job; however, it is wise to choose one who works in the industry full time to get the best results. Such professionals are in a better position to provide accurate recommendations and tips as they have more experience and a deeper understanding of the industry. A full-time agent will likely spend more time scouting for a home on various listings or showing prospective buyers the house to ensure that the clients acquire or sell a property quickly and at the right price.

Charges an Appropriate Commission

In most states, the commission ranges between five and seven percent and is split between the selling and buying agents. Ask agents about commission rates when putting a home on the market or beginning a new home search. This is an ideal method to ensure that all parties understand the agreement. Also, be sure to ask about any offered rate rebates, as some companies actually pass on a percentage of the commission to the seller or buyer.

Has Experience in the Area

A buyer who is interested in purchasing a full-time residence should pick an expert who specializes in selling such properties in the area. On the other hand, people who are looking for investment properties are better off working with someone who has been facilitating such deals with other investors for years. It is also important to note that most professionals in this industry have multiple specialties.

Even if a candidate meets these four qualities, organize a face-to-face meeting with the home expert to get a full picture of his or her skills and expertise. Most professionals are more than happy to speak with potential customers to answer questions. Finding a real estate agent by following these guidelines will make the entire process of buying or selling a home far simpler.