Archive for June, 2009

9 Tell Tale Signs You Should Hire an Assistant

I mastermind with agents from my area on a regular basis and a question came up in discussions with this mastermind group of top agents in Tampa, Florida, that I thought would be a great blog topic.

So, when do you know it’s time to add a full-time assistant to your business?

teamwork-hire-real-estate-assistantI was asked this question and the first response I could think of was: “When you can afford it”. I’ve learned in the last year, as our business has more than doubled, that if I hadn’t taken the plunge to hire my assistant, I’d still be in the same place I was last year.

Looking back a year ago when we decided to build a team, hire staff and add agents, I realize there were some tell tale signs it was time for us to get “people leverage” and help to take our business to the level we wanted to.

We were very productive and profitable (I sold $7 million that year and was “lean” on expenses) but we had lofty goals and knew there is no way I could keep up with it all myself.

Ultimately, I knew if I wanted to sell more real estate, I would need someone to handle the paperwork, admin tasks, transaction management, appointment setting, photo taking, lock box hanging, and all of the other tasks that can take us away from our lofty sales goals.

However, you have to have enough income or savings to be able to afford it for a few months. It’s always a risk because you could hire the wrong person, lose money, disappoint clients, etc. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on June 18th, 2009 under Realtor

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Using Floor Plans To Sell Homes

Floor plans have been a standard element in builder marketing materials for years. Recently there have been a number of positive statistics relating to the use of floor plans in the U.K.

Several of the larger property portals there are promoting the fact that properties with floor plans receive 30% more interest than properties that don’t.

It seems like it’s an affordable marketing tool for Realtors. There are some real estate floor plan solutions out there at $10 or less per plan. One such company we’ve seen is Metropix – a floor plan creation solution for real estate professionals. Within this solution, there are multiple ways to create a floor plan, including a “draw your own service”, which costs $9.99 for 48 hours use.

metropix-floor-plansIt looks like it’s easy to use, too. For example, if you don’t want to draw yourself, there’s an “AutoDraw” feature that converts a rough sketch/plan into a professional floor plan for you. You can decide mid-way through to upgrade your “classic floor plan” into an interactive floor plan with photographs and/or a 3D floor plan or Walk-through.

What’s your opinion as to whether Realtors would market homes and properties with floor plans? Do you currently use a floor plan solution as part of your marketing? Would such marketing be well received by U.S. consumers?

[polldaddy poll="1709007"]

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on June 17th, 2009 under Polls, Technology

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What Makes a Website Valuable?

We all know why we have websites, right? Lead generation!

website-sales-strategies-lead-generationWith so many people using the web to find out information before even placing a call to a Realtor, we have to keep our websites up with the times.

I have made my website easy to use and full of information. From links to the MLS system for easy home searching, to a list of what to expect, to a list of preferred providers, to a mortgage calculator, it is all in one place.  I am constantly uploading new listings, price changes, and disclosures for all of my listings.

There is a fine line on providing too much info. Vs. creating a reason for the lead to call.  Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Pakulla on June 16th, 2009 under Website Strategies

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HomeGain Celebrates 10 Years at A’s Baseball Game

Last week we “officially” celebrated our 10th anniversary by attending an Oakland A’s baseball game.

This year HomeGain received special attention from the Oakland Athletics TV crew! HomeGainers David Kim (in yellow A’s shirt) and Max (orange gorilla in center) were interviewed in front of 13,000+ people live in the stadium. See it here in this video:

Plus some photos: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on June 15th, 2009 under HomeGain, Max

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Denver Real Estate Market Update – May 2009

While we’re in an expected seasonally increased sales period, market activity for existing home sales for the Denver real estate market shows signs of continued strength.  Sales denver_colorado_real_estate_marketvolume on pending contracts and sold properties has trended up for several months now. In a recent national survey, Denver was nominated to be the top of 20 cities per the S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices and number one of the top housing markets on the rebound as announced on MSNBC Today.

Combined residential sales volume, for May, including single-family homes, townhomes, condos and lofts was 3,628 properties, up 7.02% % from April’s volume 3,390. Temper this with the fact that sales are still down 22.21% from May of 2008, per Metrolist Inc., Denver’s Multiple Listing Service.

There were 5,343 homes under contract last month. This includes 4,301 single-family homes and 1,042 condos and townhouses. This is an overall increase of 3.09% from April, but down 15.7% from year-prior last May. Single family homes contracts are up 3.56% while condo and townhomes are up 1.17%.

In May, the Denver MLS had 20,734 homes for sale, an increase of .14% from the prior month, down 21.26% from the same time last year. The average home sales price was $243,022, an increase of 4.09% from last months average price $233,482, down 5.05% from a year ago, $255,944. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Brian Kinkade on June 12th, 2009 under Regional

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Where Are You Going and How Are You Going to Get There?

Here we are, half way through the year almost. Have you looked in the mirror lately?  On a daily basis I receive emails from Realtors all around the world struggling to succeed in realtor-looking-into-mirrorthis business.  I am a little perplexed at all the emails actually.  As soon as I ask them my first question, though, the answer is clear.

My question is usually something like, “How are you doing compared to your yearly business plan?” or “What are you doing to ensure you have implemented your business plan?”  I always get the same old answer: “Well I don’t really have a written business plan” or “Sure, I wrote my goals down, I always do…what’s an action plan?”

So what seems to be the disconnect between Realtors and running a business?

Firstly, let’s look at yourself.  Do you run your business as a business?  I had a great letter from an Agent of mine this year, it was for me to read to all my Agents.  Anna May has been in real estate for 20 years and has had many successes.  I don’t have the email handy, but I’ll paraphrase it: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mitch Ribak on June 12th, 2009 under Best Practices

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