Whether you’re a veteran broker or just starting out as an agent, your business’s success depends on your customer relationships. If you’re going to become a top-performing real estate agent and stay ahead of the rest of the pack, you will need to create a great first impression with every initial encounter with a new client.
Making a good first impression on your prospects will give you an edge over other real estate agents in your area. This is because, starting your customer relationships on the right foot boosts your chances for repeat business and clients referrals.
Great First Impressions 101: What Is It and Why Does It Matter
Positive first impressions could mean a world of difference for you as a real estate agent. To make a great and lasting impression on your new clients, you need to learn the art of making a great first impression. The short window of time clients have to evaluate and form an opinion about you when you meet for the first time is your chance to impress. Thus, you need to have your a-game on.
With that in mind, here is why a successful first impression matters to you as a real estate agent:
- Since clients are looking for someone that will meet their needs and make their home buying process easier, great first impressions last on clients, solidifying the chances of them working with you.
- Positive first impressions help you avoid losing business to competitors now that getting a real estate agent has become easier.
- Making great first impressions on every new encounter with clients equals more referrals.
- A great first impression will help you go beyond one-time listings and sales, stretching your client relationships into the future.
- A great first impression builds a connection with new clients by making them feel comfortable and building their trust in you.
How to Create a Great First Impression
1. Be relaxed. Let Your Body Language Exude Confidence
To make a good first impression, be aware of your posture and use your body language effectively. Making eye contact, taking a power pose, and leaning in while conversing are powerful nonverbal cues that project confidence. You will want to avoid balling your hands into fists or hunching over in your seat, since they depict nervousness.
2. Time management is non-negotiable. Be Punctual
As a real estate agent, your first step towards creating a great first impression is your time management. In addition to showing how much you value their time, showing up early allows a couple of minutes to get yourself in a positive frame of mind and allows you to be more flexible and in a good position to nail your first impression.
3. Look the Part to Play the Part. Dress To Impress
Your dress code as a real estate agent should be appropriate for every meeting or occasion you meet with new clients. Keeping in mind that you are your brand, what you choose to wear matters. To strike the right note of your first impression, ensure that your look communicates your best self.
4. Take It Easy With the Conversation. Ensure Your Pace Is Unhurried
To ensure you keep the conversation flowing, speak slowly and articulately to build rapport with new clients. Modulate your voice’s tone and pitch, and avoid filler words.
5. So Simple Yet So Powerful. Wear That Winning Smile
Having a warm and genuine smile when conversing with a new client will not only help create a sense of friendliness between both of you, it also sends the message that you are approachable.
6. Knowledge-Driven Negotiation: Do Your Homework
Savvy real estate agents never go into a meeting unprepared. Good preparation will ensure that you know what to expect before meeting up with a new client. If you’re going to excel in this highly competitive field, spending some time researching and gathering background information on the person you’re meeting with is an important step. By knowing plenty about the project, you’ll end up finding things you can use to connect with prospective customers and arrive at a common ground when guiding the new client.
7. Trust Is the Glue of Client Relationships. Be Authentic
To create a great first impression and build trust with the clients you are meeting up with, be yourself. Clients respond positively to an authentic agent and disconnect in case they sense an agent is being fake. Having a hostile sense of humor, talking too fast and overly focussing on a scripted sales pitches instead of expressing yourself freely and clearly with a client will make you seem dis-ingenuine.
All In All
Successful first impressions can make a world of difference. Getting your client relationships right from the beginning will set you up for success ensuring more clients will trust you to guide them through their home buying/selling process. By not leaving your first impression to chance you’re making sure you do not lost out on business.
It takes just a few seconds for a first impression to be formed. Ensure you know how to appeal to clients and connect with your new clients to begin laying the foundation for your agent/client relationship successfully.
Setting New Year’s business resolutions and seeing them through is a hallmark of successful businesses everywhere. If you are looking to continue growing your real estate business in 2021, the new year is a perfect time to set your goals.
According to market trends and analyst expectations, the real estate industry will continue to grow this coming year. Thus, real estate agents and industry players thinking about their 2021 business resolutions need to set realistic goals that will position their businesses for success and bring positive changes that hand them an advantage over their competition.
Here’s why realtors need to make New Year’s business resolutions to serve as a roadmap for accomplishing 2021 business goals:
- By setting micro-goals such as the number of daily client meetings or call-number goals, you will accomplish more in the new year.
- Once you make new year’s resolutions for your real estate business, it becomes easier to review the partnerships and tools you will or will not need in 2021.
- Annual sales and operations planning ensures the needed effort is focused on realizing sales and revenue goals.
How to Set Realistic New Year’s Business Resolutions
If you are looking to get started by setting realistic sales goals for 2021, here’s a list of sample business resolutions for your real estate business:
- Learn to manage cash flow more effectively.
- Step up online and social media marketing campaigns.
- Invest more time in professional development.
- Provide 5-star customer service.
- Growing your team by delegating more tasks.
- Find a business buddy and network more.
5 Tips for Successfully Developing Realistic New Year’s Resolutions
1. Communicate Your Resolutions.
Keep your team in the loop when developing your business resolutions and take your customers’ input into account. This will not only compliment your goal-setting efforts; it will also give you the feedback and insights needed to make solid business resolutions for 2021.
2. Make SMART Goals That Align with Your Resolutions.
As you sit down to set your 2021 resolutions, you need to ensure the resolutions align with your real estate business’s goals. It is essential to have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals. However, your goals should regularly be fine-tuned to support the business resolutions.
3. Create A Plan On How You Will Reach Your 2021 Goals.
As you set your business goals for 2021, be sure to back them up with a comprehensive plan to reach the goals. Creating a plan for achieving the goals will ensure that you remain motivated all year round to reach your goals.
4. Keep Your Goals Small to Make Them More Real.
If you often find yourself committed to your goals early in the year, but you always end up losing track of your annual resolutions later on in the year, try breaking them down to daily commitment statements. Writing and displaying them is an excellent way of making your daily resolutions real and actionable.
5. Create Deadlines, Incentives and Accountability Checks.
If you are looking to inspire a quicker realization of your business goals, it is always good to incentivize them. Keeping your goals on a timeframe and establishing deadlines within which specific resolutions are supposed to be realized makes them more achievable. Additionally, instituting regular performance reviews and accountability checks for your annual resolutions will ensure they remain top of your mind.
Why Unrealistic Expectations Can Lead to Disappointment.
When planning for the future, getting overly ambitious will cause burnout and disappointment when you fail to accomplish unrealistic goals. On the other hand, resolutions that are not challenging enough tend to dupe realtors into a false sense of success.
Your 2021 business resolutions can bring positive changes and some motivation for the year, or they could be a de-motivator. Here’s why unrealistic expectations become hurdles:
- At times, agents make unreasonable resolutions forgetting how quickly things can change on the economic scene.
- Sometimes agents set annual resolutions beyond reach then become demotivated when their plans prove unattainable.
- During strategizing sessions, real estate agents will attempt to shoot at a pipe dream that is insurmountable within a year-long deadline.
- Failing to prioritize resolutions or pushing them aside in favor of other things sets up agents for disappointment.
By designing realistic business goals now, real estate industry players can be more successful in 2021. The best thing about setting strong, realistic resolutions as a real estate agent is that you can be sure your business will have a solid plan and clear roadmap for the new year.
Give Back, Stay Safe
We’re sharing how to give back to your community while still staying safe during the era of Coronavirus.
Prepare Homemade Meals
The holidays are the season for giving, and even with the pandemic there are still ways that we all can safely help prepare and deliver food for those who are in need of a homemade meal. Check in with your local food banks and kitchens to see if there is anything they are looking for, and follow these CDC tips for how to safely prepare food for someone else while following COVID guidelines.
A great way to support your favorite organizations this holiday season is to donate! This doesn’t just have to be monetary donations, though those are always welcome. Now is a great time to go through your closet and donate extra clothing or some of those toys that your kids haven’t played with in awhile! Just make sure to wash/disinfect all donations before dropping them off.
Volunteer at Food Banks
Now more than ever it is imperative to make sure our communities are taken care of. Food banks all over the Bay Area are now accepting donations and volunteers to help pack food and to help distribute boxes to families in need. Due to COVID-19, volunteers are asked to sign up before coming down to the Food Banks to help adhere to capacity and social distancing guidelines.
It’s no secret that this Holiday season is going to look very different, and as a result there are a lot of at risk groups in our community who will not be able to see their families this year. One way to help make this new normal a little bit brighter is to make homemade Holiday cards and letters and to send them to local nursing homes and shelters for occupants to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to give back as a family from the comfort of our own homes.
Send a Tree to the Troops
Decorating our homes for the upcoming holidays is a simple and safe way to spend time with family and to bring a sense of normalcy back into our lives. However, for the men and women deployed with the Armed Forces, they might not have the opportunity to spend that time with their family. To help bring a little bit of holiday cheer to those serving our country, considering donating a Tree to the Troops! Through the Christmas Spirit Foundation, you and your family can be part of giving a piece the holidays back to those deployed around the world. Learn more and find out how you can donate here.
Millennial Home Buyers: What’s Attracting Them to the Market?
Today, millennials are a major home buyer demographic. As more millennials look to buy homes and settle down, real estate agents need to fully grasp this generation’s needs to capitalize on the market potential of this demographic. The vast market potential that millennial home buyers herald is very exciting and should inspire agents to make attracting this demographic top on their list of priorities.
So, Who Are Millennial Home Buyers?
Millennial home buyers are the most extensive home buying force in the US real estate market currently. This demographic of home buyers is made up of the persons born between 1981 and 1997. They form a significant home buying demographic and represent the largest home buyer demographic in our country’s history. Some brokers and agents will tend to overlook millennial clients, but the forecasts point to a booming millennial real estate market. Millennials are quite particular about what they want. Thus, agents need to capitalize on the main things a typical millennial shops around for when searching for a home to buy, then embrace a good selling approach to entice these younger home buyers.
How Can Real Estate Agents Attract Millennial Home Buyers?
1. Millennials Are Looking for Convenience. Offer It.
Beginning with how you engage them as a real estate agent, the amenities offered by each listing they come across, to the home buyer add-ons available in the property market, millennials love convenience. Your real estate market acquaintance is indeed valuable when dealing with millennial clients with a whopping 89% of them saying they would transact via a real estate agent when buying a home.
No doubt about it, millennials love simplified and convenient services. As a real estate agent, you need to brush up on the efficiency of your service offerings to position yourself as a reliable service provider millennials can reach out to. Attracting more millennial clients requires agents to understand how they think, to always keep an eye on trends, and to adjust their selling techniques to resonate with these buyers.
2. Millennials Mostly Look for Listings Online. Tune Up Your Online Presence.
Let’s face it: most millennials grew up when the Internet and technology were becoming a hit. As a real estate agent looking to appeal to this tech-savvy demographic, you need to take your online marketing efforts a notch higher. For most millennial home buyers, the decision of buying a particular listed property comes after a thorough online search. To attract millennial clients, your online presence and your consistency in showcasing properties that are hot for this market demographic are key. Additionally, nine out of every 10 millennial buyers rely on online resources for home buying education. To attract these buyers to the market, you need a strong online presence.
3. Millennials Crave for Captivating Visuals. Use Them on Your Online Platforms.
Most millennial search is done using online visual content. Consequently, every agent needs to up their game in the digital space. Using fascinating visuals of listings on all your online marketing platforms will increase traffic, and thus lead to more conversions. While running such online marketing campaigns, you could also leverage high-quality videos and virtual house tours to attract younger home buyers. Giving them a feel of the magnificence and aesthetics they are looking for on all your online platforms and social media channels. The appeal that comes from lifestyle photos and videos taken on listed properties is enticing to this demographic, and thus attracts these types of buyers to your market.
4. Millennials Have a Soft Spot for Luxury and Style. Capitalize on It.
A top trend in the growing millennial home buyer market is the prioritization of luxury and style. Any real estate agent looking to capture the attention of this demographic and win them over will need to showcase a lavish lifestyle in the properties they are selling. Fascinate millennial clients and increase your chances of getting more conversions by displaying exceptional properties and showcasing the luxury and style of listings. By highlighting sophisticated outdoor living spaces, eye-catching courtyards, or even a swimming pool, you are attracting more millennials to the market.
5. Millennials Can’t Resist Reasonable Deals. Offer Them One.
One crucial fact agents need to remember is that millennial home buyers will look for alternate listings once they discover a home is out of their price range. If you are looking to attract more millennials, you have to get your pricing right by ensuring your prices rank within your local real estate market’s price range, and present buyers with multiple financing options to avoid losing their interest.
The Bottom Line
The home buying habits for millennials are unique. By leveraging these tips, everything will point towards an excellent future for real estate agents and brokers, and position them to attract more millennial buyers to their market.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected some industries adversely. The housing market has seen several shifts in the pandemic season. From few houses on sale to the issuance of moratoriums by various state laws, it begs for a keen eye to forecast where the housing market is headed. In this article, you’ll get the housing market predictions for 2020. Let’s dive in.
Pent-Up Purchases Will Spike Sales
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the mortgage rates were already low, and supply was lagging. Clients who were ready to buy homes between March, April, and May still need houses. The terms for securing mortgages are even more favorable as mortgage rates have dropped significantly— currently at 2.9%.
The significant drop in the mortgage rates has seen mortgage applications rise dramatically. According to the Bankers Association, the first week of July saw an increase of 33% in mortgage applications compared to the same time last year.
Though the housing market is a volatile one, there is hope that pent-up purchases, low mortgage rates, and the growing desire by millennials to own homes will lead to a spike in sales.
Home Sales Rebounded in June
After the dip in sales that occurred earlier in the year as a result of the pandemic, June saw home sales rebound significantly. According to the National Association of Realtors, the sale of existing homes rebounded by 20.7 % in June.
The rebound in sales spans across different types of property from single-family homes, condos, and townhomes. Interestingly, first-time buyers accounted for 35% of the sales in June—a good sign that the millennial demand for homeownership can fuel home sales considerably in the coming months. Second-time homebuyers also rose to the occasion, buying 9% of the existing homes in June.
Home Prices Have Hit A Record High
Though the year began with a dip in sales, house prices haven’t gone down an inch— it’s been rising steadily. June saw the rise in the median in existing-house prices increase by 2.8%. This is the highest it has ever risen.
The fact that the price of houses has been on the rise for 100 months straight is a clear indication that the housing market could flourish significantly after the downturns caused by the pandemic.
The Demand for Homes Will Rise Post Pent-Up Purchases
Currently, the demand for homes has risen beyond what the market supply can satisfy. Thanks to low mortgage rates, which lure the renters to purchase— the low monthly mortgage is attractive, especially to first-time buyers.
Though experts agree that the demand will come down after the pent-up purchases, research indicates that the millennial demand for homeownership keeps growing, and that can sustain the industry through uncertain times.
More Supply Brews
Low inventory has created a predicament on both sides. Homeowners are enticed to sell, expecting top dollar for their home, but given the low supply on the market, finding their next home has created a problem in itself. Even though the demand is high, people may hold off listing properties for sale.
However, more supply looks promising as homebuilders’ sentiment has risen to 72%. That’s the highest it has ever been since 1999.
Also, most states classified construction as an essential service, and that has seen most builders proceed with the work. The development of new homes will ease the pressure and shake the market for upgrades.
Research by Meyers indicates that 5% of construction firms hired more workers in May. Homebuilders that took a break are resuming work, and that’s a good sign for America’s housing market.
In conclusion, the housing market might have suffered the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, these predictions point to a promising future for the housing business in general.
W Real Estate Announces Acquisition of the Windermere Real Estate offices in Cloverdale & Ukiah
Santa Rosa, CA (February 12, 2020) – W Real Estate, the largest locally founded and independently owned real estate brokerage in the North Bay is pleased to announce the acquisition of Windermere Platinum Real Estate Services which has two offices in Cloverdale and Ukiah. The addition of the Cloverdale office will bridge the gap between its current offices in Windsor, Healdsburg, and Ukiah.
“W Real Estate offers a wealth of resources and innovative support to agents, which will be an incredible asset to my team,” said David Ryan, Owner of Windermere Platinum Real Estate Services. “Joining W Real Estate will ensure they have everything they need to be successful.”
Since launching in 2007, W Real Estate has steadily grown into one of the top 500 real estate brokerages in the country. The 200-agent brokerage has 10 offices in Northern California. This deal to acquire Windermere Platinum Real Estate Services comes just weeks after W Real Estate launched offices in both San Francisco and Healdsburg.
“We are pleased to welcome David and his skilled Windermere Platinum Real Estate Services Team to the W Real Estate family,” said Todd Schapmire, Vice President of W Real Estate. “The addition of this group of progressive and like-minded agents brings an abundance of market knowledge, long term local relationships, and expertise to our network.”
W Real Estate is a full-service real estate brokerage, offering expertise in residential, commercial, luxury, wineries and vineyards, lots and land, renovation projects, and subdivision/new home sales.
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SANTA ROSA December 11, 2019 — W Real Estate has been selected for the 2019 Best of Santa Rosa Award in the Real Estate Agency category by the Santa Rosa Award Program.
Each year, the Santa Rosa Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Santa Rosa area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Santa Rosa Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Santa Rosa Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Santa Rosa Award Program
The Santa Rosa Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Santa Rosa area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Santa Rosa Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Santa Rosa Award Program
April 15th will be here before you know it, now is the perfect time to review the latest changes to the tax laws to be sure you don’t miss out on the many tax benefits available to homeowners.
1. Property Taxes
You may deduct up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married and filing separately) of property taxes in combination with state and local income taxes or sales taxes.
2. Mortgage Interest
You can deduct a portion of the interest you paid depending on when you took out the mortgage:
- Dec.16, 2017, and later: You can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt (or up to $375,000 if you’re married and filing separately).
- Oct. 14, 1987, through Dec. 15, 2017: You can deduct the interest on up to $1 million of mortgage debt ($500,000 if married and filing separately).
If you refinanced a mortgage, the limit depends on your old loan’s origination date.
- If the mortgage predates Oct. 14, 1987, all the mortgage interest may be deductible.
3. Home Equity Loan interest
Interest on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit can be deducted only if you spent the borrowed money on home improvements.
- If your first mortgage is over the deductible limit, the home equity loan interest won’t be deductible.
4. Discount Points
If you’re within the limit to deduct all your mortgage interest, you may also be able to deduct discount points you paid when the mortgage closed.
5. Home Office Expenses
if you’re self-employed and use part of your home regularly and exclusively for your business, you can take a tax deduction of $5 per square foot, for up to 300 square feet of office space, to a maximum deduction of $1,500.
- See the IRS website to determine whether your home office qualifies for a tax deduction or play it safe and consult with a tax professional.
6. Medically Necessary Home Improvements
You can deduct the cost of installing medically necessary home improvements that benefit you, your spouse or a dependent:
- Permanent improvements that increase your home’s value are only partly deductible. The deductible cost is reduced by the amount of the property value increase.
- However, many accessibility improvements, such as entrance ramps, widening doorways or installing railings, usually don’t increase the value of a home and can be fully deducted.
7. Solar Energy
- Between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019 – 30% of the expenditures on solar energy are eligible for the credit.
- Between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 – 26% of the expenditures on solar energy are eligible for the credit.
- Between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021 – 22% of the expenditures on solar energy are eligible for the credit.
8. Tax benefits to selling your home
If you’ve lived in your primary residence for two out of the five years before you sell it, you’re excluded from paying taxes on any profits up to:
- $500,000, if you’re married
- $250,000, if you’re single.
Claiming these tax deductions may only be worth the trouble if all of your itemized tax deductions exceed the IRS standard deductions, which were raised in 2017 with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The standard deductions for the 2019 tax year:
- $24,400 for married couples filing jointly
- $12,200 for singles and married individuals filing separately
- $18,350 for unmarried heads of households.
To decide whether to itemize, add up homeowners and other tax deductions you qualify for:
- If the sum is more than the standard deduction, then itemize.
- If not, take the standard deduction.
Homeowner costs that are not tax-deductible
- Insurance premiums, including for mortgage insurance.
- Homeowner association fees.
- Transfer taxes or stamp taxes.
- Cost of utilities.
- Rent for living in the home before closing.
- Costs for getting or refinancing a mortgage, such as a loan assumption, credit report and appraisal fees.
- Forfeited deposits, down payments or earnest money.
- Wages for domestic help.