How to Become a Top Real Estate Agent

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One of the most important traits of a successful real estate agent is to have a deep-seated passion for it. That involves being quick to return phone calls and emails from prospective clients and current clients alike. You must follow-up and; at all times, be prepared to answer any questions your caller may have. You also have to make each client feel as though they were the most important person in the world to you.

A second important characteristic of a top real estate agent is that they fully know each neighborhood they represent. They must know intimate details about these neighborhoods like: what homes are for sale and what is their average value, what kind of a neighborhood it is, and what are the schools and shopping areas like. Other things they should know include whether or not there are commercial/office buildings around; OR, if it is strictly a residential area.

With the plethora of technological resources available today, it is also important that real estate agents understand all of it AND be able to utilize it. They should be familiar with; and better yet – experts in using – things like laptop computers, tablets and smartphones, as well as having superb data plans for each. It would be a disaster to be in front of a prospective client and not be able to use their chosen electronic gadget. There are classes available on most of these things nowadays.

Whether it is regarding your technology or an actual aspect of a real estate transaction, a top agent must be able to explain what is happening to their clients. Better yet is the necessity to be able to do this in the very beginning. It is a great idea to explain what your strategy will be and how you intend to carry it out. In addition to that you should explain everything that could go wrong and ways to overcome these obstacles, if they occur. In short, your relationship with your clients should be fully transparent.

Another more modern trait of an excellent real estate broker is to have a great network. Not only when it comes to finding clients, but also of top-tiered professional partners. This can include mortgage lenders and insurance providers; in addition to contractors in every facet of the industry, and appraisers. The top agents will always know someone personally that they can call (and count on) to get a particular job done; from the beginning through to the end of the property-buying process. Each professional they know should be very highly rated in their field of expertise.

The last; but perhaps most important characteristic a top agent must have, is the ability to generate leads by any means necessary. A smart agent will try different methods of obtaining these leads. They may change up these methods, depending upon which one is likely to work best at a particular time. These days they have the ability to use many different lead-generating resources right over the Internet.

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Thank you for reading.

Top Ten Real Estate Tips for New Landlords

One of the questions that I get asked a lot is “What is one real estate tip that you would give to a new landlord”? That’s a great question. So I checked in with several seasoned real estate veterans that own and rent apartments and homes in the Atlanta area to get their opinion and give you the “Top Ten Real Estate Tips for Landlords”.

1. When screening tenants, be firm but friendly. Make sure you screen them hard. Don’t let them move all their friends & family in with them.

2. Complete repairs in a reasonable time frame which keeps tenants happy and they will stay in your apartment for a longer time which reduces your turnover which has a positive impact on your bottom line.

3. First of all I’d say buy the right property! If you buy for too much, or if you buy in an area that it is difficult to get good tenants, it is a downhill battle. Once you have bought the property… spend the money up front and get the place looking good, so it shows well, and you increase your chances of finding good tenants quickly. Once the tenants are in, if you are managing it yourself, have some sort of regular contact with them.

4. I would advise ordering a credit report when they apply. You not only learn a lot about the tenant’s credit history, but you are also double checking the social security number. If you ever have to evict them and you get a judgment for the money they owe you, you know the social security number is correct if you want to send it to a collections company and try to collect on the judgment. That is one tip I don’t hear mentioned often, probably because not many people go after them. But it is something we are working on doing to see if it will pay off!

5. Take action and actually buy the first property. I wish I had started investing years earlier.

6. Put your properties in trust so that you can honestly tell your tenants you are not the owner of the building. This way you are the property manager. who has to get permission from corporate for everything. For example, one of the tenants wanted new carpet. That was going to be expensive. I said, “Let me see what the office says”. I went home asked my husband and he said “Hell No!” I went back and said it wasn’t in the budget. As owner they all think you have all the money in the world and get resentful. As property manager you are just another working stiff like them. Any hard feelings are directed at “The Man” rather than you as an individual.

7. Notify the tenant as a common courtesy before you enter the property for maintenance, repairs, or inspections. Many states require at least a 24 hour notice.

8. File your dispossessory early and take advantage of consent judgment payment plans.

9 Avoid bad neighborhoods – i.e., communities in great disrepair, with lots of crime and lots of vacancies.

10. Work hard to provide a safe and secure rental property. Take a good look at your property and assess the situation. There are a few easy steps you can take like upgrading the lighting and trimming shrubbery. If a security light goes out, get it replaced that day. Don’t let your tenants and property be an easy mark for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping, are not that expensive.

More millionaires made their fortune investing in real estate than in any other form of investment. There are many methods of making a fortune in real estate investing. Regardless of the method that you use to build your fortune in real estate, you need a solid business plan to use as your road map to success. You can purchase the business plan I used to build a multi-million dollar real estate business.

Successful Real Estate Tips

In the real estate business there is a lot of options available for people that would like to buy or either sale homes. If you’ve never done the real estate business before or might not know a lot about it doing some research on it and getting tips is a must. After learning these tips you’ll need to put them into practice because that way you will become very successful with the real estate business and that’s what counts.

One thing to remember is that in time your work should be automated and you should have a system done in such a way that you won’t have to worry about things. The best way to go about doing this is to get help from a virtual assistant that can check emails, voice mails and receive the calls when you are very busy. You can hire this kind of assistant online or either find one in your local area. Some people make the mistake with thinking they can go into this field and not need any help, that’s when they usually don’t succeed.

A lot of beginners in the real estate business often times try buying property that is cheap and then sell that property for a higher price. This strategy is excellent but it can cause some problems. The trick with doing this is to make sure that you keep all of the costs as low as possible and that’s easier said than done. Homes sometimes have repairs that need fixing. These repairs can cost a lot but if you’re looking into making some money one way to do the minor repairs is just to fix it yourself. However, if you cannot make the repairs look professional then try finding a company that can get it done before selling the home.

When it comes time to sell the home be firm with the potential buyer. While being firm with him try to remain flexible. There are times that some people might be on a tight budget and under a lot of stress when they are looking for a home. Consider all of that when talking with them but don’t sell it at such a price that it might put you at risk with losing money. Be patient with talking to the possible buyer and never walk out of the room upset or angry. Try and be as calm as possible and polite. Some buyers might be difficult to get along with but remember, you don’t know what’s happening in their life and they might just have a lot going on at the moment.

Always listen to what the buyer is saying. Never act like you’re not interested even if they repeat the same sentence a few times. Sometimes people get nervous when it comes to buying a home. Don’t try and take advantage of this to make a quick buck. Make sure that they are happy with the home and let them feel as if they can talk with you about anything. Once you’ve established some kind of trust between them you will have a higher chance of making profit or either they might spread your name around and you could get more business just with word of mouth by being polite to them.

Social Media and Real Estate

Tweets, friending, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… chaos!  Or at least that’s what it can look like if you’re a real estate agent dipping your toe in the social media waters for the first time.

You don’t have time to tackle them all, and even if you did, where to start?  I’ve sorted through the dozens of social media networks and summarized the top ones below, in order of importance.

LinkedIn:

Best for: Industry referrals

Think of LinkedIn (linked in) as a place to post your online resume.  You start by creating your resume, entering your current and past jobs, education, etc. just as with a normal resume.

The next step is what makes LinkedIn so powerful: it can scan your email contacts and start linking you to everyone you know.  Then, when you visit your connections’ pages, you can see who they know.  This is what LinkedIn is all about: helping people harness the power of their business network to find new jobs, opportunities, or in your case clients!

Facebook:

Best for: Keeping in touch with past clients, referrals from clients/ friends

If any industry can tap the potential of Facebook, it’s the real estate industry.  Facebook is a way to connect to your entire social sphere, family friends, and business contacts.  You can post updates and photos of what’s happening in your life, and easily view the same from your friends.  It’s a great way to stay top-of-mind with past clients.  Facebook is a lot more casual than LinkedIn, so keep your tone casual and don’t be afraid to show people the real you (assuming the real you isn’t a shirtless drunk).

Twitter:

Best for: Establishing your reputation, finding new clients

Twitter is a “micro-blogging” service, which means you send really short notes several times during the day to your network of “followers”.  Followers are people who have chosen to follow your updates – they could be friends, or total strangers.  When you send a message, it’s called a “tweet” and it can be seen by your followers and searched by the public.  So, you can generate new clients by tweeting on relevant real estate info in your area.  For many new buyers, searching twitter for info is just as common as searching Google.

One word of caution: 

It can be tempting when you first sign up for any social networking service to immediately start touting what a great and busy realtor you are and how many deals you’re working on.  Don’t do this.  It’s considered spammy, and is a major turnoff for people who have a genuine interest in staying connected with you.

Instead, don’t be afraid to share about your life, and when you do provide real estate information ask yourself: Is this useful? Is this relevant to people?  For example:

Good: quick stats on the market, a truly good deal, an upcoming event

Bad: posting about every property you see, constantly asking for referrals without offering valuable info, etc.

Remember, start with LinkedIn, and make sure you take the time to fully setup your profile and explore the site.  Madly signing up for a dozen networks won’t help you – instead pick 2-3 and do them right.