Getting and Keeping Real Estate Clients in 2020

Learning how to get and keep clients in real estate is a never-ending battle. With technology moving at lightening speed, getting and keeping your clients is tough! Understanding how to find qualified clients is more than just getting the phone to ring, it’s knowing how to keep it ringing consistently that will help your business grow.

 Follow Up is Everything

Most salespeople only reach out once or twice and then give up. Knowing your market, understanding your clients dreams and goals, and connecting them is hands down the most important characteristic in a salesperson. Following up, showing them that they are important, and a top priority will take time. Often it is a six-month, year or two-year long process of keeping in touch and providing them value. If you have amazing luck and someone calls you to set up their listing immediately, the rest of us are jealous! Typically it is a drawn out dance between the agent and the buyer/seller. Keeping track of where you are at with each client and every possible client can be exhausting. If you struggle to keep track adding a service to do that for you can save you hours of time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is build to help you keep track of new and existing clients. Having a CRM that takes care of remembering who, what and when to send calls or emails so you don’t have to remember is a life saver that will pay for itself.

 Relationship Referrals

To get the highest closing ratio, relationship referrals are crucial. If you build strong relationships with current clients, they can expand your network like nothing else can. By using the referrals and relationships where trust has already been established, your business will gain momentum.

 Build a Personal Brand

Your personal brand is the overall impression that your audience gets from your social media posts, marketing, lead generation, and pretty much everything else you put out into the world as a real estate agent. Doing a personal brand audit and deciding on some branding basics will absolutely help you get clients. Come up with a logo, slogan, website, and general aesthetic that you can keep consistent across all your real estate marketing and social media channels. If you’re somewhat tech savvy or at least willing to learn,  a course on real estate social media marketing is a great way to up your skills. Plenty of agents are getting a decent ROI with Facebook and Instagram ads but another great way to get clients is to try to integrate your hobbies into your personal branding. The idea here is to appeal to your audience’s fun side by highlighting hobbies or interests you might have in common. For example, if you’re a baker, you might want to consider making a cute Instagram post with you baking at your new listing, or maybe go out and rate the local bakeries and post the videos on YouTube. Then you won’t just be another real estate agent. Clients who are also amazing in the kitchen will be far more likely to choose you over someone with similar skills who isn’t a baker. Of course, that other agent may have a culinary degree and volunteer at the soup kitchen, but their audience will never know. So, don’t be a secret agent when it comes to your hobbies and interests!

Educate with Insider Knowledge

Educate potential and existing clients. For potential clients, create a blog full of helpful hints and tricks to aide in their real estate search. For existing clients, point out a feature in an apartment or something about a building that a client wouldn’t know by looking at the listing online. People appreciate learning something from their real estate broker. Teaching someone something they didn’t previously know helps to build trust and a feeling for them that you are adding real value to the buying or selling experience.

Fake It Until You Make It

Luck can change your real estate career. We’ve all heard stories about agents who stumble their way into seven-figure listings their first week on the job. For the most part, those stories are true. But luck isn’t everything. Even if a local millionaire takes a liking to you, you still have to prove to them that the risk of hiring you is worth their time. If you are just starting out, you likely don’t have many accomplishments to point to so your personality is going to have to work overtime to seal the deal. Work on yourself and develop the confidence and knowledge that every good agent needs. Read everything you can about real estate and business and face your fears BEFORE you get lucky enough to book that listing presentation.

 

 


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What the USMCA Trade Agreement Means to Real Estate

Real Estate professionals across the U.S. are excited to finally see progress with the House approval of the USMCA. The USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement) will replace the current trade policy NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The House of Representatives passed the revised trade agreement after last month when for the first time, the Canadian, Mexican and U.S Realtor Associations expressed joint, public support for specific policy. The associations represent more than 1.5 million Realtors throughout North America.

Canada and Mexico are our two largest trading partners, millions of American jobs rely on goods and services that go back and forth between the three countries. President Trump said that this will be the most important trade deal ever made by the U.S.A. This deal will re-enforce cross-border investment opportunities for each of the respective real estate industries. It may not get mentioned often, but the trade that happens between these three countries has a large impact on the commercial real estate sector. The construction industry in Texas alone generates more than 400,000 jobs and $62.2 billion to the state's economy.

Expanding jobs means a growing need for more space—particularly, more industrial spaces. Industrial space in Mexico and Canada is growing exponentially. To put it simply, the USMCA eliminates unfair trade practices and is very good for our country’s workforce, which will lead to more consumer spending, including purchase of real estate with new home buyers. The updated USMCA will boost trade on everything from cars to dairy products. Tariff agreements make Mexico an ideal place for manufacturers and auto parts makers to set up shop. It will also offer worker protections and labor fairness and lead to bigger paychecks. These tariffs, combined with other factors like the labor and materials cost and close location, make Mexico a less expensive option than anywhere else in the world.

The U.S. housing market is struggling with an inventory shortage that has depressed sales in nearly all 50 states. The so-called “months supply” number that measures how long it would take to sell off the existing stock of homes fell to 3.7 in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. Most economists consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will help to ease the nation’s housing shortage by stabilizing the prices of materials used in construction, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

 


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Get Ready for a New Year and New Career!

How exciting! You’ve decided to take the leap and you are ready to start your new career in 2020. There are a million questions you must have. There are a few things you need to know to get started on the licensing process and start your journey to becoming a stellar real estate salesperson. The time it takes to go from nothing to fully licensed will depend largely on the state you’re trying to get licensed in. Although that may seem daunting imagine working for yourself in a flexible career where you can set your own schedule with annual earning potential of $100,000 or more. There are so many reasons to choose real estate as your career.

1. Know your Application Requirements

There are some legal requirements that all applicants must fulfill. These requirements will change slightly depending on the state you’re in, so make sure to double-check with your state’s licensing commission to make sure you know every requirement.

Generally, the legal requirements for real estate licensure are as follows:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be legally allowed to work in the United States
  • No pending criminal indictments against you
  • No criminal convictions for violent or home invasion-related offenses

The last two criteria, related to an applicant’s criminal background, are determined in most states on a case-by-case basis. A conviction doesn’t necessarily disqualify an applicant but trying to hide something in the application process almost certainly will.

2. Take a Pre-licensure Course

Nearly every state requires at least 30 hours of pre-licensure study before an applicant is eligible to sit for the state real estate licensing exam. There are two major reasons for this. First, real estate is a relatively complex business and in order to get started in the business, there’s a minimum knowledge base you’ll need to properly operate. As a real estate agent, you’ll be tasked with caring for the needs of your clients, a task that would be reckless to take on if you didn’t know the best ways to help them.

3. Pass Your State’s Real Estate Exam

Once you’ve completed your real estate pre-licensing course, you’re free to take the actual exam whenever you’d like, but we suggest you spend some time taking some practice exams. As many as you can find. Really. As MANY as you can find. Once you’ve completed your state’s pre-licensure requirements and prepped with some practice tests, it’s time to take your licensing exam. So what’s on the Real Estate License Exam?

Each state administers multiple versions of the test, and each state is different, it’s impossible to say exactly what you’ll see, but there are a few topics that real estate agents consistently see on the test.

  • Fair housing law: This topic is one that you’ll spend a good chunk of time on in your pre-licensing class, so pay attention. Knowing these facts is important if you want to adhere to state and federal guidelines on discrimination and equal housing opportunities, so the test will hammer them.
  • Basic contracts: Contracts are a critical component to using a real estate license, so the basic rules for contracts and negotiations appear regularly.
  • Real estate math: You won’t be asked to do anything more than arithmetic, but you’ll definitely be asked to do a lot of it. Understanding interest rates, percentages, and prorations will be put to the test in a number of questions.

4. Choose Your Brokerage

Once you’ve completed your pre-licensure requirements and passed your state exam, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to work. Even though you’ve demonstrated to the state that you have the knowledge required to practice real estate, you still need a brokerage to sponsor you. In order to buy and sell real estate, every real estate agent requires a broker to sponsor them. A broker is a real estate agent who has demonstrated that they not only have advanced knowledge of the industry, but that they also have a track record of success.

5. Register with the State You’re Practicing In

Once you’ve made a decision on a brokerage, the next step is to formalize your licensure with the state you’ll be operating in. It will involve submitting your personal and brokerage information and, in many states, completing forms for a basic background check. Real estate is a field that requires constant learning in order to maintain success. Find a mentor or a set of mentors who you can ask questions of, bounce ideas off of, and get advice from.

Finally, remember that this business is all about servicing our clients, not ourselves. When you accept your Realtor designation from the National Association of Realtors, you agree to always place your client’s fiduciary best interests over all others, including your own. If you are ever faced with a tough decision in a transaction, stop and ask yourself if your choices are in the best interest of your clients.

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Prevent Danger and Keep Yourself Safe!

Recently at an open house in southern California a real estate agent was attacked by a man posing as a prospective buyer. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in and therefore real estate agents must remain vigilant and prepared. Agent safety can be tough when your job requires you to perform independently. To avoid issues, agents should be proactive and take safety into their own hands. The first step to doing so is to understand that safety is your responsibility to yourself.

Recognize the Traits that Make You Vulnerable

Agents always want to look well put together and professional, however, there are a few safety issues that should be discussed. For example, do not wear expensive jewelry and if possible, leave your purse in the trunk of your vehicle. These small details can make all the difference when an attacker is deciding if you would make a good victim.

Respond, Don’t Ignore

Typically, agents are taught to be polite and accommodating, so they will often ignore signs that something is wrong.  Experts on agent safety emphasize the importance to listen to your instincts.  Many agents who have been assaulted, like the agent previously mentioned, ignored the client’s unusual behavior before the attack.

Reduce Your Chances of Becoming A Victim

Ask clients for identification. Establish a special form for clients that includes contact information and a copy of the ID or driver’s license. Meet clients in the office first. This will prevent clients from trying to harm you later, because they know someone else can identify them. When showing a client, a house, avoid walking ahead of them or getting into confined places, like basements, with them.

Take Responsibility—Learn Self Defense

Agents are exposed to danger on a regular basis when they’re doing their job, and even more so for those who are not professionally trained to defend themselves. We know it’s rarely possible to have another trusted person accompany you while driving clients to showings or with you during every open house. That is why we created an online course for you to learn about personal safety and self-defense. We will help you plan ahead and make yourself a less appealing target. You will learn about safety responsibility, safety threats and safety measures to name a few. Remember the key is to let others know where you are, when you will be back and have an excuse to leave if ever you don’t feel comfortable with your circumstances.

These are just a few of the many valuable skills you will learn when taking Certified Training Institute’s Personal Safety and Self Defense 4 Hour CE Course. Real Estate Professionals: learn valuable safety skills and meet your continuing education requirements at the same time. Be prepared for the unexpected, visit Real Estate Training Institute, choose your State and take this class today!

 


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Two Real Estate Firms in Hot Water in Hawaii

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled with both Century 21 Homefinders of Hawaii in Hilo, and Coldwell Banker Island Properties of Kahuhui, Maui for violating the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Collectively the companies have agreed to pay more than $26,000 in penalties for failing to provide proper lead-based paint disclosure to buyers and renters of homes built before 1978 in Maui and the Big Island.

The companies were cited under the TSCA’s lead-based paint disclosure rule, which applies to housing built before the residential use of lead-based paint was banned in 1978. The rule requires sellers and lessors of pre-1978 homes to provide prospective home buyers and tenants with a federal brochure about lead-based paint, any information known about lead-based paint in the home, and a warning statement about the potential dangers of lead-based paint. Buyers also have the option to inspect pre-1978 homes before becoming obligated to make a purchase. With this knowledge, potential home buyers and tenants can make informed decisions about whether to buy or rent a specific residence.

Century 21 Homefinders of Hawaii has agreed to pay a $6,962 penalty to settle alleged disclosure violations. Coldwell Banker Island Properties paid a $19,344 penalty in an earlier settlement. Both real estate companies have certified that they are presently in compliance.

High levels of lead in blood can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and widespread health problems, according to the EPA, including reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems, and behavioral difficulties. Young children with developing nervous systems are most vulnerable. “Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for the EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker in a news release. “These settlements protect Hawaii communities by ensuring that lead paint rules and regulations are followed.”

Click here to learn more about the Disclosure Rule.

 


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Nebraska Real Estate Professionals Gear Up for Renewal Season

Brokers and Salespersons in Nebraska are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education each two-year licensing cycle.

If your license starts with an odd number your renewal is November 30, 2019.

How do I renew my Nebraska real estate license?

  1. Complete 18 hours of continuing education
  2. Pay a fee
    • Salesperson: $160
    • Brokers: $200
  3. Go to the Nebraska Real Estate Commission portal and renew your license by November 30th.

What continuing education is required to renew my Nebraska real estate license?

You must complete 18 credit hours of approved courses each 2-year cycle. Courses must include: 12 hours of designated subject matter.

  • Courses that are approved for designated subject areas contain an “R” in the approval number.
  • You cannot take the same course twice in a licensing cycle

When does my Nebraska real estate license continuing education have to be completed?

Continuing education must be completed by November 30th, however, if you do not complete it on time you have from December 1st to June 2020 to renew and pay a $25 late fee.

Where do I find courses to renew my Nebraska real estate license?

Real Estate Training Institute offers Nebraska approved online continuing education courses to renew your license. We offer a complete 18-hour package,  12-hour Reinstatement package (if you are currently inactive and wish to re-activate) and a 6-hour Required course package. Individual courses are also available.

Who submits my continuing education to the state of Nebraska?

Real Estate Training Institute will submit all Nebraska Real Estate Professionals continuing education.  Continuing education certificates are available immediately after completing courses.

 


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Nebraska Real Estate Professionals – It’s time to renew!

Brokers and Salespersons in Nebraska are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education each two-year licensing cycle.

If your license starts with an odd number your renewal is November 30, 2019.

 

The speedy housing market in Nebraska is thanks not only to fierce competition over a scarce selection of homes, but also the healthy economy and Nebraska’s “Nice” factor. Compared to East and West coast negotiations, which are like a sport, Nebraskans are nice, decisive and unwilling to take too much time or deal with the hassle of a long negotiation. Both Lincoln and Omaha are on the road to expanding their job market, inviting even more newcomers from larger more expensive cities causing homes to be bought even quicker. Nebraska home values are expected to remain stable. The job market in Nebraska is on the rise and the demand for housing is expected to increase. It is a great time to be a real estate agent in Nebraska!

Keeping up with your education is vital to your prosperity in Real Estate. Without completing the requirements, your license will be just another card tucked in a corner wallet pocket or the candy covered bottom of your purse.

Don't let your continuing education be the reason you miss out on all the commissions from the hours of hard work you put into listings, showings, contracts etc. We understand as an agent, your time is extremely valuable.  We know in the last few years "For Sale" signs have been flying off homes in Nebraska and thoughts of CE have been on the back burner.

In a recent interview Doug Dohse, president of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, informed us that the market is about to change. He stated “There are just not enough homes for sale, that’s what’s driving [the fast market] more than anything else.” As the housing market begins to slow, now is the time to get your Real Estate CE courses complete. Currently, in both Omaha and Lincoln (more so than any other big metro area across the country) homes are spending on average only 32 days on the market before being snatched up. That doesn't give you much time to get your continuing education done but that's what makes our program so great! You can take your courses from anywhere, at any time and on any internet connected smart device, making it simple and time effective to complete your CE today!

 

We provide: Nebraska approved continuing education that meets all of your requirements. We will report your CE to the Nebraska Real Estate Commission after completion.
All classes are HD VIDEO or FULL NARRATION with PRINTABLE TEXT

Kansas’ Millennial Market

If you’re looking to buy a home in your 20’s, look no further than Kansas. According to recent market research, Wichita is one of the top 10 cities where 20-29-year old’s have been taking out mortgages. In 2018 29.4% of mortgages were issued to buyers in their 20’s. Kansas has become a favored watering hole for 20 somethings. You may be wondering what makes Kansas so desirable for young millennials? Wichita has a strong local economy with reasonable home prices and a spotlight on local night life. There are plenty of things to do for the younger generation, from the Midwest Beerfest to the Autumn and Art festival. Wichita is also the home to large employers such as KOCH Industries and Cessna. A growing economy combined with a seller’s market has raised home values 78%. In a nut shell...Wichita is so popular because home buyers get a lot of house for the same price compared to bigger cities-- and cost of living is low.

While Millennials have been the biggest chunk of U.S. home buyers for a few years now, we’re about to see the younger half hit the housing market en masse. This group will decide where the next “hot” markets are. As a real estate professional trends are crucial in marketing your business, knowing what’s coming is a big benefit so now is the time to take your continuing education courses and renew your license. While fulfilling your requirements brush up on your social media presence with our Social Media Marketing course. The opportunity to make considerable money is just around the corner, so jump on over to our Kansas Real Estate Continuing Education page and learn something new!


With a booming housing market, real estate agents are in high demand. Make sure you stay up to date with state requirements so you can remain licensed.

Do you need Kansas real estate continuing education?

Salespersons and Brokers in Kansas are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. Salespeople must include a 3-hour Required Salesperson and Broker Core course; the remaining nine hours can be elective topics approved by KREC. Brokers must also complete a 3-hour Required Broker Core course. The remaining six hours may be filled with KREC approved elective courses.

Complete 12-hours of Salesperson or Broker approved online continuing education in HD video and narrated courses with Real Estate Training Institute!


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

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Renewing Your Ohio Real Estate License

How do I renew my Ohio real estate license?

  1. Complete 30-Hours of approved continuing education
  2. Log in to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate eLicense Center
  3. Enter your license information and pay the appropriate fee

What is the fee for renewing my Ohio real estate license?

  • Salespersons: $135
  • Brokers: $180

How do I tell which continuing education requirements I have completed?

The certification number includes a letter that serves as a course-type designator

  • D – Core Law
  • G – Civil Rights
  • C – Canon of Ethics
  • E – Elective*
  • F – Computer Specific Elective*
  • B – Computer Basic Elective*
    *A licensee may only take a maximum of 15 hours of computer electives

How can I find my Ohio real estate continuing education due date?

Visit www.com.ohio.gov/real to look up your license requirements

Do my 10-hour post-education courses count towards my 30 hours of continuing education?

No, the state of Ohio requires you to complete the 10-hour pre-licensure course and 30 hours of continuing education.

I have extra continuing education credits; can I use them for the next renewal cycle?

You may roll over 10 hours. These hours will count for elective courses, they will not count towards the 9 core course hours.

Where can I find Ohio real estate continuing education?

Visit www.realestatetraininginstitute.com and choose from the selection of state-approved courses.

Who Submits Completed Continued Education?

Ohio Division of Real Estate requires that both the course sponsor and the licensee submit certificates of completion. Real Estate Training Institute reports course completions to the Division within two business days of completion. A course completion certificate will be available to print immediately upon completion of the course. It is the licensee's responsibility to submit all completed continuing education certificates to the Division when renewing their license.

 


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Hot Real Estate: Shopping Center Sold in Saint Paul

A multi-tenant shopping center in a growing area is now off the market, after being sold for $3.1 million.

Mid-America Real Estate corp. sold the Lexington Shoppes, 34,000 square feet of retail area. The shopping center is in the booming neighborhood of Saint Paul, which has seen increasing real estate interest in recent years.

The market is hot, and for good reason.

Saint Paul is 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis and a rising business star. According to the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, the labor force has increased faster than the rest of the state and country. It’s also expected to keep growing by 5.2 percent over the next half-a-decade.

Saint Paul consistently ranks one of the best places to live, for factors including low housing costs and cost of living.

Saint Paul’s community is attractive to potential homeowners for its sports, recreation and art and attraction. The city ranks has a high density of artistic opportunities, and large numbers of theaters – only second, behind New York City.

The partnership’s website also highlights that the region is conducive to working moms and young college grads. Income opportunities and affordable housing make it an attractive place for people to settle down, both young and old.

Price-per-square-foot in homes on the market increased from last year and closed-sales went up too.

Saint Paul is definitely a city to keep your eye on.

For more data, visit http://maar.stats.10kresearch.com/docs/lmu/x/SaintPaul?src=page

 


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