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Practical advice for real estate agents

Kickstart Your Real Estate Career: 5 Pitfalls Every New Agent Must Avoid

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Top 5 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make After Getting Licensed (And How to Avoid Them) Starting a career in real estate is exciting and has many opportunities. However, like any job, it has

Top 5 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make After Getting Licensed (And How to Avoid Them) Starting a career in real estate is exciting and has many opportunities. However, like any job, it has its challenges. New agents might initially find it complicated, even after completing real estate school and getting their licenses. While getting a license is an important step, it's just the beginning. Challenges arise when handling property sales, building client relationships, and understanding market changes. I wanted to write an article to highlight common mistakes made by new agents and give advice on how to avoid them for a more rewarding real estate career. Mistake 1: Not Building a Marketing Strategy One of the most common pitfalls for newer real estate agents is the belief that clientele will magically gravitate toward them with little proactive outreach. This misconception can be detrimental to an agent's budding career. Today's real estate market is saturated, and standing out requires more than obtaining a license and setting up a desk in an office. Successful agents understand that a consistent and well-thought-out marketing strategy is at the heart of their business. A robust marketing strategy is a combination of both online and offline efforts. In the digital age, online methods such as social media campaigns, targeted ads, email newsletters, and a professional website are indispensable. These tools increase an agent's visibility and help build credibility and trust among potential clients. On the other hand, offline methods like networking events, open houses, and local advertising play a vital role in community engagement and personal brand building. Together, these strategies form a comprehensive approach to reaching and attracting clients. For a new real estate agent, investing time and resources into a marketing strategy from the outset can make all the difference between a thriving career and one that never quite takes off. Mistake 2: Neglecting Continuous Learning Starting a real estate career usually begins with training, like what ADHI Schools offers. We prepare students for the licensing exam and give our students a basic understanding of the industry. But this initial knowledge is just the beginning. The real estate world constantly changes—new market trends, shifting property values, and updated regulations exist. So, while the foundation from schools like ADHI is important, agents shouldn't stop there. To succeed, agents must keep learning. Regular training, workshops, and staying updated on the market are crucial. This continuous education helps agents stay ahead and better serve their clients. Simply put, the most successful agents know their learning never stops, even after formal schooling. Mistake 3: Undervaluing Networking The Power of Networking in the Real Estate Industry For many newer real estate agents, passing the real estate exam marks a significant milestone in their budding careers. It's an achievement that opens the door to the vast world of property sales, acquisitions, and negotiations. However, a crucial aspect that can sometimes be overlooked in the initial stages is the immense value of networking. While acing the real estate exam is a testament to one's foundational knowledge, the journey ahead requires more than just theoretical understanding; it demands connections, collaborations, and mentorships. Failing to build a robust professional network can leave agents isolated in an industry where relationships often drive success. Engaging with local real estate groups, for instance, not only offers insights into regional market trends but also provides opportunities for collaborations and referrals. Likewise, attending industry events can introduce agents to seasoned professionals, potential clients, and even future mentors. These interactions often lead to partnerships, joint ventures, and other collaborative efforts that can bolster an agent's market presence and portfolio. Furthermore, seeking mentorships can be a game-changer. A mentor can provide guidance, share experiences, and offer valuable advice on navigating the industry's complexities. They can be instrumental in avoiding common pitfalls and capitalizing on hidden opportunities. So while passing the real estate exam is essential to establishing oneself in the industry, the relationships built afterward often dictate the trajectory of success. Undervaluing networking can be a significant oversight, but with proactive effort, newer agents can weave a network that supports and propels their career forward. Mistake 4: Not Setting Clear Goals and Milestones In the bustling world of real estate, momentum and direction are paramount. One of the pitfalls that newer agents can sometimes fall into is navigating the industry without clear goals and milestones. Just as a ship without a compass can drift aimlessly, a real estate agent without set objectives may find themselves working hard but not necessarily smart. A lack of direction can significantly hamper growth, leading to missed opportunities and inefficient use of time and resources. Setting both short-term and long-term goals is essential for charting a clear path forward. Short-term goals offer immediate targets, ensuring agents remain focused and motivated in their daily endeavors. These can range from acquiring a set number of new clients in a month to closing specific property deals. On the other hand, long-term goals provide a broader vision, guiding agents towards larger aspirations like becoming a top agent in their region or expanding into luxury or other high-end markets. Other examples of short-term goals can be to tour several homes for sale in your target area each week to understand pricing and features. Another example might be to familiarize yourself with local market trends, neighborhood specifics, and school zones by a certain date. Long-term goals as a real estate agent include achieving a specific income or commission amount by the end of 12 months or becoming one of the top agents in your office or area based on sales volume or closed deals. Other areas of long term growth might be to grow your team by hiring an assistant, a buyer's agent, or other supporting roles. However, setting goals is only half the battle. Regular reviews are vital to assess progress and ensure alignment with these objectives. The real estate market is dynamic, and strategies that work today might need tweaking tomorrow. Agents can adjust their strategies by periodically evaluating their progress, ensuring they remain on the path to success. In essence, while the real estate landscape offers vast opportunities, the agents with clear goals and the diligence to review and adapt find themselves at the forefront of success. Mistake 5: Poor Time Management The Pitfalls of Mismanaging Time in Real Estate In the bustling world of real estate, time is of the essence. New agents are quickly introduced to a whirlwind of tasks, from back-to-back client meetings to endless property showings and the necessary (albeit boring) set of administrative duties. With effective time management, they can avoid drowning in these responsibilities, missing golden opportunities, and feeling unnecessary stress. Moreover, the work-life balance—vital for mental well-being and long-term productivity—crumbles when business tasks consume every waking moment. The key to taming the time management beast is leveraging the right tools. Thankfully, today's technology offers many solutions tailored for real estate professionals. Whether it's an online calendar that nudges with timely reminders or a comprehensive CRM system that optimizes client interactions, there's a tool for every need. By incorporating these into their daily routines, agents can ensure they're not just busy, but productive. A structured schedule also earmarks moments for relaxation and personal time—because a burnt-out agent benefits no one. The unpredictability of real estate demands discipline in time management. For new agents, knowing these challenges and being ready for them can lead to real success in the long run. Everyone makes mistakes, but being prepared and knowing how to handle common problems can help a lot. If new agents focus on good marketing, keep learning, build strong connections, set clear goals, and manage their time well, they can avoid many common mistakes. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Time Management & Priorities for Real Estate Professionals

Scheduling for real estate agent

Scheduling for Real Estate Agents: A Must-Have for Success Being self-employed in the real estate industry presents unique challenges, especially when maintaining a consistent schedule. This is true

Scheduling for Real Estate Agents: A Must-Have for Success Being self-employed in the real estate industry presents unique challenges, especially when maintaining a consistent schedule. This is true for both newcomers fresh from our real estate license school as well as seasoned agents. A well-organized timetable is essential. It ensures efficient time management, helps prioritize tasks, and ultimately aids in achieving career goals. Scheduling can also help achieve work-life balance, avoid burnout, and encourage balance. Despite the benefits, scheduling can be challenging for real estate agents for a number of reasons: The unpredictable nature of the job: Real estate agents often have to deal with unexpected events, such as last-minute client requests or property viewings. This can make it difficult to stick to a schedule. Client-centric demands: Real estate agents need to be flexible and accommodating to their clients' needs. This may mean having to adjust their schedule on a regular basis. The absence of a 9-to-5 structure: Real estate agents (especially in the residential sector) do not have fixed working hours, which can make it difficult to establish and maintain a routine. With all this said, I wanted to suggest a sample schedule for the real estate professional to consider that is sustainable and ensures productivity. I’ve explained more about each of these below the schedule itself. 7.30am -10.00am Prospecting 10.30am – 12.00pm Lead Follow Up 1.30pm – 3.00pm Administrative Time 3.30pm – 4.30pm Preview Property/Market Analysis (MLS/CoStar Time) 5.00pm – 7.00pm Appointments or go home Prospecting Prospecting and lead generation are key tactics real estate agents use to get new clients. Lead generation is about attracting people by providing useful content online, like property listings, and using ads on social media, while also using traditional methods like direct mail real estate campaigns and open houses. On the other hand, prospecting is more active and involves agents directly reaching out to people, like making cold calls or asking previous clients for referrals. It's important for agents to effectively use both strategies: drawing people in with lead generation and then actively engaging with them through lead follow up to guide them through the buying or selling process in the competitive world of real estate. Lead Follow-Up In real estate, quickly and helpfully responding to potential customers, or "lead follow-up," is super important. This isn’t just being polite; it’s about showing you're reliable and trustworthy in a world where people are making big money decisions. Even in real estate school, there’s a big focus on this, teaching students that prompt and informative responses are key to turning interested people into actual clients. This has become especially crucial in our digital age, where potential clients can easily find another agent online if they don’t get quick answers. Therefore, learning about online communication and using tools to manage customer relationships is vital. In a nutshell, the careful and timely follow-up with leads often makes the difference in landing a deal in the real estate business. Studying the Market In real estate, knowledge about the market and continuous learning is vital. Market analysis involves studying current conditions and future possibilities in your local market, including pricing trends, demand, economic factors, and comparing similar properties. Like a doctor needs to stay updated with medical research, real estate agents must regularly analyze the market to provide accurate advice and spot trends or opportunities. Continuous learning, from seminars to online real estate courses, helps agents understand the many factors affecting the market. Agents must schedule time for these activities to stay informed, provide insightful advice, and gain a competitive edge in the fast-moving real estate world. Preview property Previewing properties is a crucial step for real estate agents, involving personally inspecting a property before showing it to potential buyers. This practice helps agents to know the property's features and any issues, enhancing client trust by providing accurate information and using their time wisely with suitable properties. For listing agents, previewing property also helps identify selling points and guide marketing strategies. This activity also assists in managing risks by identifying potential issues, facilitates professional development by keeping agents updated on trends, and ensures time efficiency by focusing on relevant properties. Previewing property is invaluable for newer real estate agents as it offers firsthand experience and insights into the housing market. By personally visiting and inspecting properties, new agents become familiar with diverse property features, current market trends, and potential selling points, enabling them to answer client queries confidently. This hands-on approach not only boosts their knowledge and credibility but also aids in building trust with potential clients, ensuring they offer relevant and informed property choices to match their clients' needs. Showing properties and making presentations or go home In the active world of real estate, two essential activities are showing properties and making presentations, both pivotal in aiding the transaction process. Showing Properties: Real estate agents should allocate specific times in their calendars to show properties to qualified buyers. By having these slots pre-booked, agents can effectively structure their day and ensure they also have dedicated time for other essential tasks related to their real estate business. Making Presentations: In real estate, listing presentations are crucial. Aiming to fit as many of these into your week as possible is beneficial. If you aren't engaged in showing a property or delivering a buyer or listing presentation, it's a sign you've concluded your essential tasks for the day. Adhering to a diligent schedule means you've put in solid work, and while heading home is an option, always remember that maximizing client interaction is always beneficial for success. Scheduling Implications Given the significance of these activities, real estate agents must make them central in their schedules: Prioritization: Dedicating specific time slots for property showings and presentations ensures that agents remain undistracted during these crucial moments, providing undivided attention to clients. Preparation: Scheduled times allow agents to prepare effectively — be it researching the nuances of a property, tailoring a presentation to a specific audience, or gathering additional resources to support their narrative. Efficiency: Structured schedules optimize an agent’s time, ensuring a balance between personal client interactions and back-end research and administrative tasks. By prioritizing property showings and crafting compelling presentations, agents bridge this gap. And in making deliberate time for these activities in their schedules, they amplify their efficacy, ensuring that every client interaction is informed, personalized, and impactful. Don’t forget to incorporate regular intervals for short breaks that can ensure consistent productivity levels throughout the day. Set Boundaries: Agents need to demarcate clear boundaries between work and personal time, ensuring neither encroaches upon the other. Flexibility: While structure is vital, agents should allow spontaneous breaks or personal time, especially during taxing days. Holistic Approach: Emphasizing the need for breaks and personal time signifies an agent's understanding of success as a holistic concept, encompassing both professional achievements and personal well-being. While the hustle and bustle of real estate are inescapable, the importance of personal well-being remains paramount. By integrating breaks and personal time into their schedules, real estate agents do not merely enhance their productivity but also enrich their overall quality of life. After all, in a profession built upon relationships and personal connections, an agent's well-being is not just a personal asset but a professional one as well. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Prospecting and Lead Generation Strategies for New Real Estate Agents

Lead generation

I recently received the below email, and I'm guessing that many of our newer real estate agents ask this question as they start their careers. I told this person I would write an article about the

I recently received the below email, and I'm guessing that many of our newer real estate agents ask this question as they start their careers. I told this person I would write an article about the topic, so here are the email and the response below. I hope this helps! Subject: Prospecting vs. Lead Generation? Hi Kartik: I trust this email finds you well. I just got back from a sales seminar with Mike Ferry, and there was a lot of talk about the importance of "prospecting." I get that prospecting is essential to the job of a real estate agent. However, I'm also watching a lot of YouTube videos, and there is a lot of reference to "lead generation." Are "lead generation" and "prospecting" the same thing? I’m confused by the two. Thanks again for everything! Prospecting: Prospecting is like treasure hunting! Imagine you have a map and know there's a hidden treasure (potential clients) somewhere out there. Prospecting involves actively seeking out these treasures instead of waiting for them to find you. Actively Seeking: Real estate agents might initiate contact by making phone calls, sending emails, or even knocking on doors. They're reaching out to people interested in buying or selling a property. This could also include sending messages on social media to prospects. Direct Interaction: There's often direct communication between the agent and the potential client. The agent might converse, understand their needs, and offer solutions. Lead Generation: On the other hand, lead generation is like setting up a net to catch butterflies (potential clients). Instead of hunting them down, you create enticing environments (marketing strategies) that naturally draw them toward your business. Attracting Attention: Real estate agents might use advertising, social media campaigns, or online content to create awareness about their services. This could be through informative blog posts about the housing market or ads about properties they sell. Capture Interest: Once people show interest, perhaps by liking a post, signing up for a newsletter, responding to a mail piece or visiting a website and filling out a form, they become 'leads.' These people have shown some level of interest in the services offered. Contrasting the Two: Active vs. Passive: Prospecting is more active and direct, while lead generation is more passive, trying to lure leads in. Personal vs. General: Prospecting often involves personal communication, whereas lead generation might not necessarily involve direct interactions. In a nutshell: Prospecting: Actively and directly reaching out to potential clients. Lead Generation: Creating strategies to make potential clients come to you. Lead generation could also be known in the business world by the generic term "marketing." So which one is more important? Prospecting or marketing and lead generation? Determining which is more important, prospecting or lead generation, is difficult. Both play essential, yet different, roles in the success of a new real estate agent. Measuring the success of broad marketing as opposed to prospecting can be challenging as both have different goals and metrics. Prospecting and direct sales can be measured by the number of contacts to the number of appointments to the number of deals closed, while marketing might be evaluated based on brand awareness, lead generation, and long-term engagement. They both also have varied timelines. Prospecting can often bring immediate results, while marketing and lead generation can take longer to bear fruit. This makes it challenging to weigh the immediate value of one against the other. They are both essential components to the success of the real estate agent. Together, they create a balanced approach to reaching customers and securing success beyond just passing the real estate exam. Lead Generation: The Essential Strategy Creator Broad Reach: Marketing is a real estate agent's eyes and ears, reaching broader audiences and creating a presence in an area. It generates widespread awareness through advertising, social media, content creation, and more. Long-term Impact: Marketing strategies typically aim for lasting impressions and sustained market presence, establishing a real estate agent as trustworthy and top-of-mind when a consumer is ready to purchase. Brand Building: Marketing is vital for building a real estate agent's image and reputation, creating narratives that resonate with consumers on a broader level, affecting their perception and long-term loyalty. Prospecting: The Crucial Deal Closer Immediate Results: Prospecting and direct sales are the engines that propel a real estate agent forward, directly driving commissions through immediate conversions. It's about closing deals and getting results now! Personal Connections: Real estate agents who interact directly with potential clients and understand their immediate needs and objections can tailor their approach, making it more personal and effective. Revenue Assurance: With target quotas and direct influence on purchases, sales ensure that the real estate agent maintains a steady cash flow, securing financial stability. Both strategies are crucial in the real estate world. Agents might use prospecting to build immediate connections and lead generation to ensure a steady flow of potential clients. They're different tactics but work toward the same goal: finding people who need the services offered and converting them into clients. Does that help clarify things? Both processes are about finding new business, but they go about it differently! Love, Kartik PS: If you are interested in getting your real estate license, reach out to us at or call 888-768-5285.
Practical advice for real estate agents

Interpersonal Skills: The Key to Success in Real Estate

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Navigating the Landscape of Trust: Interpersonal Skills in Real Estate Interpersonal Skills: The Essential Ingredient for Real Estate Success As a real estate expert, I am often asked what the most

Navigating the Landscape of Trust: Interpersonal Skills in Real Estate Interpersonal Skills: The Essential Ingredient for Real Estate Success As a real estate expert, I am often asked what the most important quality is that a new agent needs to succeed. Without a doubt “interpersonal skills” is at or near the top of that list. Interpersonal skills are the ability to communicate and interact with others effectively. These skills are essential for success in any profession, but they are especially important in real estate. Real estate agents need to be able to build relationships with clients, understand their needs, and negotiate on their behalf. Here are a few of the most important interpersonal skills for real estate agents: Communication: Agents need to communicate effectively with their clients verbally and in writing. They need to be able to explain what are sometimes complex concepts clearly and concisely. They also need to be able to listen attentively to their client's concerns. Empathy: Agents need to be able to put themselves in their client’s shoes and understand their perspectives. This helps them understand their client's needs better and provide the best possible service. Negotiation: Agents need to be able to negotiate effectively on behalf of their clients. This involves being able to understand both sides of the talk, to develop persuasive arguments, and to compromise when necessary. Problem-solving: Agents need to be able to solve problems that arise during the buying or selling process. This requires creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to go the extra mile. Real estate agents with strong interpersonal skills are more likely to build long-term client relationships. These relationships are essential for repeat business and referrals. Building rapport with clients is not just a strategy but a way to create opportunities for growth for both the agent and the client. Understanding their needs and preferences is not just about following a checklist but actually finding solutions that meet their goals and budget. Through this process, the real estate agent becomes a trusted advisor, helping clients navigate the complex real estate market with empathy, foresight, and dedication. Effective communication is essential for real estate agents to build trust, establish credibility, and close deals. It allows agents to understand their client's wants and to keep them informed and engaged throughout the buying or selling process. Open Dialogue Building rapport with clients is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. This means creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel comfortable expressing their concerns and expectations. Agents can do this by being friendly, approachable, and empathetic. They should also listen attentively to their clients and ask clarifying questions. When clients feel comfortable communicating with their agent, they are more likely to be open and honest about their requirements. This allows the agent to understand the client better and to provide them with the best possible service. Feedback Loop Another important aspect of effective communication is creating a feedback loop with clients. This means keeping clients informed about every step of the process and getting their feedback regularly. This allows the agent to ensure the client is pleased with the process and to make adjustments as needed. Agents can create this feedback loop by communicating with their clients regularly via phone, email, or text. They should also schedule regular in-person meetings to discuss the client's progress and answer any questions. In our real estate license school program, we often talk about the importance of regular check-ins with the client to ensure that communication is done with regularity and is predictable. This is essential for building trust, establishing credibility, and closing deals. You don’t have to wait to pass the real estate exam to start practicing these skills. Here are some additional tips for effective communication in real estate: Be clear and concise in your communications. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your clients may not understand. Be respectful and professional in all of your interactions with clients. Be responsive to your client’s concerns. Be honest and transparent in your dealings with clients. Follow up with your clients regularly. Long-Term Relationships Building long-term relationships with clients is essential for real estate agents. Satisfied clients are more likely to return for future transactions and to refer their friends, family, and colleagues. Repeat Business When clients have a good rapport with their agents, they are more likely to trust and feel comfortable working with them again. This can lead to repeat business, as clients return to their agent when they are ready to buy or sell another property. Referrals Clients with a positive experience with their agent are likely to refer them to their friends, family, and colleagues. This is one of the most valuable sources of new business for real estate agents. There are several things that real estate agents can do to build long-term relationships with their clients. Here are a few tips: Provide excellent customer service. This means being responsive, helpful, and going the extra mile for your clients. Keep your clients informed. Please regularly communicate with your clients throughout the buying or selling process and update them on your progress. Be honest and transparent. Be truthful with your clients about the market conditions and their chances of success. Be a good listener. Take the time to listen to your client's concerns and show them that you understand. Stay in touch. Keep in touch with your clients after the transaction is closed. Send them holiday cards, birthday cards, or market updates. By following these tips, real estate agents can build strong relationships with their clients that will last years. Here are some additional benefits of building long-term relationships with clients: Increased income: Long-term clients are more likely to purchase or sell multiple properties with you over time, which can lead to increased income. Reduced marketing costs: Referrals from satisfied clients are one of the most cost-effective ways to generate new leads. Improved reputation: A positive reputation is essential for success in real estate. When you have a long track record of satisfied clients, other potential clients are more likely to trust you and want to work with you. Investing in your client relationships can build a successful and sustainable real estate business. The role of a real estate agent extends beyond merely facilitating the purchase or sale of a piece of real estate. It involves building and nurturing solid relationships with clients. The bedrock of a successful real estate career lies in understanding and aligning with the client's preferences, and goals. This fosters trust and respect and can pave the way for repeat business and valuable referrals. Effective communication forms the cornerstone of this relationship-building process. By maintaining an open dialogue and a continuous feedback loop, agents can ensure that clients are informed and engaged throughout the buying or selling journey. Furthermore, this approach enables agents to adapt and respond effectively to the client's evolving needs and preferences. Additionally, cultivating long-term relationships should be at the forefront of an agent's strategy. This involves providing excellent customer service, staying transparent in dealings, and keeping in touch even after completing transactions. In doing so, agents can build a positive reputation and a stable, successful career in the real estate sector. By honing these interpersonal skills, real estate agents can set themselves up for a fulfilling and prosperous career marked by satisfied clients and a strong network of referrals. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Real Estate Revolution: How Digital Tools Are Changing the Game

Technology in real estate adhi

The Changing Landscape of the Real Estate Industry The world is now at our fingertips, and the real estate industry is no exception. Buyers can browse properties from the comfort of their own homes,

The Changing Landscape of the Real Estate Industry The world is now at our fingertips, and the real estate industry is no exception. Buyers can browse properties from the comfort of their own homes, and agents can reach a global audience for their listings. This connectivity has created new opportunities for both buyers and sellers, and has also made the real estate market more competitive. The real estate industry is constantly changing, and it is important for agents and consumers alike to stay ahead of the curve. New technologies are emerging all the time, and agents who are able to embrace these technologies will be well-positioned to succeed in the future. In short, the real estate industry is in a new era, and it is an exciting time to be involved. The digital revolution has transformed the industry, and there are new opportunities for everyone. Online listings, virtual tours, and digital marketing strategies have become the new norm, altering how real estate transactions are conducted and the expectations of both buyers and sellers. Take a step back to the 1980s and early 1990s when the Multiple Listing Service materialized in hefty "phone book" styled catalogs. These pages showcased properties through single black-and-white photographs accompanied by brief, often vague descriptions that barely scratched the surface of what each home had to offer. Today, dozens of full-color and high-resolution photos accompany each listing, with a lengthy description of each property that anyone with an internet connection can read. High-definition video tours abound with interactive components, allowing buyers to experience the property without leaving their homes. Information is now readily accessible, effortless to obtain, and available everywhere. How Has The Real Estate Licensing Process Changed Over The Years? As of the date of this writing, the requirements to get a real estate license are three required statutory courses. These courses are Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and one elective course the candidate can choose from a list. Then the candidate will have to prepare for and pass the real estate exam. However, these requirements have changed over time. Before October 1, 2007, only the Real Estate Principles course was a required to obtain a real estate license. Once completed, the candidate could get their real estate license, albeit a "conditional" one. Then, within 18 months, the new licensee could complete two other statutorily required courses and remove the "conditional" aspect of the real estate license. The Department of Real Estate is again changing the real estate licensing requirements effective January 1, 2024. Applicants for a real estate license on or after that date must complete Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice with an "implicit bias" component, and one elective course. As the population becomes more diverse, real estate agents need to be able to understand and address the unique needs of all clients. The licensing process can play a role in preparing agents to be more inclusive and culturally competent. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that new agents are prepared to provide their clients with the highest level of service and professionalism. As the industry evolves, the licensing process will continue to adapt to meet the market's changing needs and protect consumers. This change shows that the real estate licensing process adapts over time, hoping that new agents are knowledgeable, fair, and understanding when dealing with different kinds of people. These ongoing changes in the real estate licensing process show the industry's dedication to preparing new agents for the modern challenges of the real estate market. The Future for Homebuyers Home Buyers In today's digital age, home buyers find themselves in a more empowered position than ever before when it comes to navigating the real estate market. Here's how: Better Informed Gone are the days when buyers had to rely solely on agents to get information about properties. Now, a wealth of information is just a click away. Various online platforms provide detailed information about the properties on the market, including asking prices, floor plans, amenities, and neighborhood statistics. The consequence is a breed of well-informed buyers who can make decisions based on data available at their fingertips, leading to more satisfying and confident purchases. Convenience The surge in digital platforms has notably streamlined hunting for a new home. Potential buyers can virtually tour numerous properties from the comfort of their homes at any time that suits them. This saves a significant amount of time and makes it easier to compare different options without the pressure of travel and appointments. Additionally, online tools like mortgage calculators and neighborhood insights assist buyers in making informed decisions quickly. The result is a smoother, more pleasant home-buying process where prospects can easily shortlist their preferred properties before visiting in person, making the entire journey less cumbersome and more aligned with individual preferences and needs. Through these advancements, the real estate industry has reshaped the home buying process into a more buyer-friendly experience, bridging gaps and fostering a more transparent and efficient transaction environment. The Future For Home Sellers Home Sellers Home sellers stand to gain immensely as the real estate industry embraces the digital revolution. From expansive outreach to enhancing the visual allure of listings, here's how the modernization of the industry is benefiting home sellers: Wider Reach In the era preceding the Internet, sellers largely depended on local agents and word-of-mouth to find potential buyers. But now, digital platforms have obliterated geographical barriers, offering an opportunity for listings to be viewed by a national, even global audience. Websites, apps, and social media platforms have become powerful tools in a seller's arsenal, enabling them to reach a vastly expanded pool of potential buyers. This increases the likelihood of finding the right buyer more quickly and fosters a competitive environment, driving the property price upward. Through online listings and virtual tours, sellers can ensure their property is visible to a much larger audience, enhancing their chances of a successful sale. Visual Appeal The ability to showcase properties through high-resolution images and videos has revolutionized the real estate listing process. Sellers can now work with professionals to create visually stunning virtual tours, aerial views captured by drones, and 3D home tours, allowing prospective buyers to explore every nook and cranny of a property without leaving their homes. This enhanced visual presentation attracts more viewers and enables the property to be presented in its best light, highlighting its strengths and downplaying its weaknesses. Consequently, a listing becomes more appealing and stands out in the crowded marketplace, potentially attracting more inquiries and visits and resulting in a quicker sale at a better price. Digital tools have given sellers powerful ways to showcase their homes to a wider and more diverse audience, making the selling process more efficient and profitable. Overall, I am optimistic about the future of the real estate industry and the licensing process. The changes we see are necessary to ensure that the industry remains competitive and that consumers are protected. As Robin Sharma has said “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” The real estate industry is no exception. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Understanding the California Foreclosure Process: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals

Foreclosure in california

In real estate, few situations can be as challenging as facing foreclosure. Foreclosure happens when someone borrows money and uses their property as a guarantee but then stops making payments. The lender,

In real estate, few situations can be as challenging as facing foreclosure. Foreclosure happens when someone borrows money and uses their property as a guarantee but then stops making payments. The lender, who gave the money, tries to get their money back by selling the borrower's property. In the context of homeownership, this means the possibility of losing one's home. Understanding the California foreclosure process is not just crucial for those living in the Golden State, but also for students in real estate license school who are preparing to assist clients facing foreclosure or those interested in purchasing foreclosed properties. I wanted to write an article to delve into California's non-judicial (common) and judicial (super-rare) foreclosure processes, offering insights into what homeowners and real estate agents can anticipate during each step. While this article can’t possibly cover every edge case or scenario, it serves as a starting point to help you learn about these concepts. This applies whether you're trying to avoid foreclosure, thinking about buying a foreclosed property or guiding a client through this challenging time. Legal Framework for Foreclosure in California Understanding the foreclosure process in California necessitates a look into its legal framework. The state's foreclosure proceedings are primarily governed by the California Civil Code 2924, which outlines the procedures lenders must follow when borrowers default on their mortgage payments. The California foreclosure process falls into two categories: non-judicial and judicial foreclosures. Non-judicial foreclosures (as the name implies) occur outside of court, the most common type in California. The lender can initiate this process if the promissory note and deed of trust include a "power of sale" clause, permitting them to sell the property to recoup the outstanding loan balance following a default. On the other hand, judicial foreclosures, though less common, involve a court proceeding. In this case, the lender files a lawsuit against the borrower to recover the unpaid mortgage balance. Understanding these two types of foreclosure processes is not only crucial for managing foreclosure situations effectively, but it also forms a critical part of the real estate exam that aspiring professionals must pass. In the following sections, I will delve into each process separately, providing a step-by-step overview of what homeowners and real estate professionals can expect. III. Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process Non-judicial foreclosure is the most common type of foreclosure in California, and it doesn't involve court action. This process is usually used when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. Here's a brief overview of the steps involved: Notice of Default: If a borrower fails to make payments for a certain period, the lender may record a Notice of Default at the County Recorder's Office. The borrower is then sent a copy within ten days, initiating the non-judicial foreclosure process. Notice of Trustee's Sale: If the borrower does not pay the default amount or negotiate a resolution within about three months, a Notice of Trustee's Sale is recorded. The borrower has 21 days before the home can be sold. Trustee's Sale: If the borrower still hasn't remedied the default, the property is auctioned to the highest bidder, who must pay in cash. Eviction: If the property is sold, the new owner obtains the right of possession and can begin eviction proceedings if the borrower does not vacate voluntarily. Remember, the non-judicial foreclosure process has no right of redemption following the trustee’s sale and the sale is final. IV. Judicial Foreclosure Process While less common in California, a judicial foreclosure process comes into play when a mortgage does not include a 'power of sale' clause. It involves court proceedings and provides the borrower with a statutory right of redemption. Here are the main steps: Filing of Lawsuit: The lender initiates the judicial foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit against the borrower in a California court. The borrower is served with a summons and complaint, and they have the opportunity to respond. Court Judgment: If the borrower does not respond or loses the case, the court issues a judgment in favor of the lender, including the total amount owed and permission for the lender to sell the property. Sale of the Property: The property is then sold at a public auction. The highest bidder takes ownership, often needing to pay in cash on the spot. Right of Redemption: In a judicial foreclosure, the borrower has a statutory right of redemption, allowing them to reclaim their property within a certain period post-sale by paying the total sale price plus additional costs. Eviction: If the property is sold and the previous owner does not exercise their right of redemption, the new owner can start eviction proceedings to remove the former owner from the property. Understanding the judicial foreclosure process helps homeowners and real estate professionals to navigate these complex proceedings better. V. Foreclosure Timeline in California In California, the foreclosure timeline can vary greatly depending on whether it's a non-judicial or judicial foreclosure. I’m going to break down each process to provide an estimated timeline. Non-Judicial Foreclosure Timeline: The non-judicial foreclosure process can take approximately 120 days. It begins with a Notice of Default, recorded after a borrower defaults on their mortgage payment. The borrower has roughly three months (90 days) to pay the overdue amount. If the borrower cannot rectify the situation within these 90 days, the lender will record a Notice of Trustee's Sale. The property can be auctioned 21 days after the Notice of Trustee's Sale is recorded. However, remember that many lenders delay the process, and it could take several months to a year or longer from the initial default. Judicial Foreclosure Timeline: A judicial foreclosure is typically much longer than a non-judicial foreclosure, often taking more than a year. The process begins with the lender filing a lawsuit, and the timeline then depends on court schedules and the length of time it takes to serve the borrower. If the court rules in favor of the lender, the property is sold at a public auction. Following the sale, the borrower has a right of redemption that may last one year, during which they can pay the total amount owed to reclaim their property. Factors Affecting the Foreclosure Timeline: Several factors can lengthen the foreclosure timeline, including: Legal Challenges: If a borrower contests the foreclosure, the process can be delayed significantly, particularly in the case of a judicial foreclosure. Lender's Discretion: Lenders often have a backlog of foreclosures and might wait to immediately file a Notice of Default after a borrower misses several payments. Loan Modification or Short Sale: If the borrower works with the lender to modify the loan or sell the property via a short sale, the lender may delay the foreclosure process. Understanding the typical timelines and potential delays can assist homeowners and real estate professionals to navigate and plan accordingly during a foreclosure. VI. Borrower's Rights and Protections In California, borrowers have several rights and protections when facing foreclosure. Importantly, they have the right to be notified appropriately at every step of the foreclosure process, ensuring ample time to react or challenge the process. Additionally, they can attend and participate in the foreclosure sale. If a judicial foreclosure process is followed, borrowers have a statutory 'right of redemption,' allowing them to reclaim their property after the foreclosure sale. Facing foreclosure is a challenging ordeal, but there are alternatives to explore: Loan Modifications: Borrowers can negotiate with their lender to modify their loan terms, possibly reducing the monthly payments to a more manageable amount. Short Sales: If the home's market value is less than the outstanding mortgage balance, borrowers can work with the lender to sell the house at a price lower than the balance due and forgive the remaining debt. Deeds in lieu of foreclosure: As a last resort, borrowers can voluntarily transfer property ownership to the lender to satisfy the loan and avoid foreclosure. Exercising these rights and options can help homeowners navigate the tricky waters of foreclosure, potentially avoiding it altogether. Knowledge is power; knowing your rights and options can make a significant difference when dealing with a possible foreclosure. VII. Impact of Foreclosure A foreclosure can have long-lasting impacts on a homeowner's financial situation and the community. For the homeowner, foreclosure negatively affects their credit score, making it more challenging to secure loans in the future. The foreclosure remains on the credit report for seven years and could lower the score by 85 to 160 points, according to Equifax. Furthermore, the ability to purchase a new home is affected; generally, a borrower must wait a while after a foreclosure to qualify for a new conventional mortgage. The impacts extend beyond individual homeowners to the community and real estate market. Foreclosures can lead to decreased property values in the surrounding area, mainly if multiple foreclosures exist in the same neighborhood. The property often sits vacant for a time, potentially leading to neglect and disrepair. These circumstances can destabilize communities and reduce the area's appeal to potential buyers. While the impacts of foreclosure are severe, awareness of these consequences can motivate homeowners to seek help early in the foreclosure process and explore options to avoid it. Navigating the choppy waters of foreclosure can be overwhelming, but having a comprehensive understanding of the process can make the journey more manageable. I’ve discussed the California foreclosure process, explaining both non-judicial and judicial foreclosures and highlighting the vital legal framework in California that guides these processes. You also know about the typical timelines and potential delays and the rights and protections available to borrowers, including alternatives such as loan modifications, short sales, and deeds in lieu of foreclosure. Remember, foreclosure can significantly impact a homeowner's credit, future homeownership opportunities, and the broader community and real estate market. Thus, it's essential to explore all options to mitigate these impacts. Facing foreclosure is a complex process filled with legal intricacies, and every situation is unique. That's why seeking professional advice is essential when dealing with a potential foreclosure. Real estate professionals, credit counselors, and legal advisors can provide invaluable assistance, helping homeowners understand their options and make informed decisions. Foreclosure is a challenging road, but with knowledge and the right support, homeowners can navigate this process more confidently, potentially finding alternatives to alleviate the situation. As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license, visit or call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Navigating Challenges: 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit & How to Overcome Them

Real estate agent fail

The Tough Reality: Unveiling the 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit and Fail in the Industry So you're thinking about the real estate business, huh? It sounds pretty cool, right? You get to make

The Tough Reality: Unveiling the 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit and Fail in the Industry So you're thinking about the real estate business, huh? It sounds pretty cool, right? You get to make good money, choose when you want to work, and help people find their dream homes. But wait a minute! Did you know a lot of new real estate agents quit within just a few years? Yep, it's true. Even though it looks pretty exciting, a lot of folks find it tough to stick around. So let's dive into twelve reasons why so many people decide to hang up their real estate agent hat early. I want to be clear about one thing - I’m not in the business of telling people why they can’t make it in real estate. I really wanted to write this article as a word of caution to ensure that our students have the greatest chance of success once they get out into the field. Reason 1: Most folks think that to be a successful real estate agent, all you need is to pass the real estate exam and get a license. Easy-peasy, right? Well, not so fast. The real world of real estate is like a huge puzzle. Without spending enough time learning all the pieces and how they fit together, things can get pretty confusing. And because of that, many agents find themselves saying, "This is too tough!" and decide to quit early. For a newbie real estate agent, closing a deal may seem as simple as showing a house, finding a buyer who loves it, and then handing over the keys. But the truth is, it's more complicated than that. First, they have to understand the local real estate market: what types of homes are selling, what prices are reasonable, and who the potential buyers are. Then, they have to learn about home inspections and appraisals. They need to understand what problems might come up during an inspection, how to negotiate repairs, and how an appraisal can affect the selling price. And lastly, they have to manage the closing process. This includes understanding all the legal documents involved, coordinating between lenders and other agents, and ensuring all the necessary steps are completed on time. If a new real estate agent doesn't take the time to learn each of these pieces and how they fit together, they can easily become overwhelmed. This could lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and ultimately, failure. Reason 2: Expecting Too Much: Sometimes, real estate school makes everything seem a lot easier than it really is. But being a successful real estate agent is hard work - not unlike studying for a tough test or training for a big game. It needs grit, lots of work, and a ton of patience. If new agents think they're going to close a bunch of deals super quick and it doesn't happen, they can get really disappointed and might decide to quit. Reason 3: Money Matters: Now let's talk about money. Because real estate agents earn commissions (that means we get paid when we sell a house), we need to plan our money carefully and control our costs. Think about expenses like licensing fees, the cost of advertising, and even just paying for everyday stuff like food, housing and utilities until you’re selling enough houses to make steady money. If you don't plan well, it’s possible to run out of cash before your career really gets started. Reason 4: Inadequate Marketing Skills: We live in an era where digital marketing is king. Thus, a real estate agent's ability to effectively market their listings and personal brand is crucial to their success. Agents who need help to adapt to digital trends or establish a substantial online presence might find themselves unable to stay afloat in this competitive arena. Reason 5: Mentorship Importance: Having a mentor when starting in real estate can help. This is because they can show you how to handle the complexities of our business. Mentors provide guidance, share valuable insights and experiences, and help navigate the industry's complexities. With a mentor, individuals might take advantage of learning opportunities and make avoidable mistakes. Additionally, mentors often challenge their mentees, pushing them to strive for more, which aids in career advancement. Career progression might be slower and more challenging without such support and stimulation. A good mentor is going to stop newbies from making beginner mistakes, lessen their stress, and make them feel more confident. Reason 6: Poor Time Management: Despite the seemingly flexible work hours, the real estate industry demands exceptional time management skills. Promptly responding to clients, effectively coordinating open houses, diligently managing paperwork - all these tasks are integral to an agent's role. Failure to efficiently manage these responsibilities can result in missed opportunities and potential career failure. Reason 7: Not Building a Client Base: Just as a solid foundation is important in the construction of a building, having a strong client network is vital for a real estate agent. Even during real estate license school, agents learn the importance of effective networking and creating good relationships with clients. Those who struggle with these skills often need help getting clients. This can lead to fewer deals, not enough income, and could eventually lead them to give up on their real estate career. Reason 8: Over-reliance on Brokerage: While your brokerage can and should provide valuable resources and initial support, relying only on them can impede an agent's growth. Real estate agents must realize that their triumph hinges mainly on their initiative, independent decision-making abilities, and capacity to cultivate relationships and close deals. Reason 9: Inability to Handle Rejection: Rejection is integral to the real estate business. Deals will fall apart, and potential buyers will turn down offers. Agents incapable of handling rejection may quickly lose morale, leading them to reconsider their career choice. Rejections and deals falling through are part of the process, but remember that these setbacks do not define your capabilities or worth as a real estate agent. Here's a different perspective to help cheer you up: Firstly, every successful real estate agent has gone through what you're going through right now. Each rejection is not a failure but rather a learning opportunity. It's all about gaining valuable experience to help you improve at your job. Secondly, remember that rejection isn't personal. Clients have numerous reasons for rejecting offers or pulling out of deals, most of which have nothing to do with you. They might have financial issues, change their mind about moving, or find a different property that suits their needs better. Thirdly, consider that each "no" you hear is one step closer to the next "yes." It's a numbers game. Every rejection brings you closer to a successful deal. Persistence is key in this industry. Lastly, it's important to maintain a positive attitude and take care of your mental health. Take time to do things you enjoy and relax when you're not working. The real estate business can be stressful, so it's essential to have a good work-life balance. Reason 10: Lack of Continuing Education: The dynamic real estate market continually evolves, requiring agents to stay updated with current trends and regulations. Those who neglect continuing education risk lagging behind more informed competitors. This deficiency can lead to fewer closed deals and career failure. Reason 11: Ignoring Customer Service: An agent's reputation is crucial for success. Those who fail to prioritize customer service face a tarnished reputation, which can result in fewer referrals, a shrinking client base, and an exit from the industry. Reason 12: Poor Negotiation Skills: Being a real estate agent demands being an adept negotiator. Agents need to ensure the best possible deal for their clients. With refined negotiation skills, agents may be able to finalize deals effectively, leading to dissatisfied clients and a subsequent exit from the industry. Real estate transactions can be complex and stressful, with many potential conflicts. Good negotiation skills can help manage and resolve these conflicts, keeping the process moving smoothly. When clients see their agent successfully negotiating on their behalf, this will increase their satisfaction and trust in their agent, leading to more referrals and repeat business, which is crucial for an agent's success. I hope it’s apparent that the journey to a successful career in real estate extends far beyond passing a real estate exam and obtaining a real estate license. It requires an intricate blend of hard work, lifelong learning, stellar customer service, and sharp business skills. By comprehending these potential pitfalls, novice agents can equip themselves better for the challenges that lie ahead, significantly improving their chances of success and ensuring they become more than just another number in the high attrition rate of the real estate industry. As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license visit or call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

100% Commission Real Estate Brokerages: A Comprehensive Guide for New Agents

Real estate profession

Entering the world of real estate as a professional can be both exciting and daunting. The dynamic landscape offers numerous possibilities, but the thought of choosing a broker can be daunting. There

Entering the world of real estate as a professional can be both exciting and daunting. The dynamic landscape offers numerous possibilities, but the thought of choosing a broker can be daunting. There are so many choices out there ranging from a team structure, to an independent company or even a national franchise - there are no shortage of options. When it comes to commission splits, the 100% commission model stands out for its distinct structure and potential benefits among the available options. This model promises an attractive deal: the agent takes home their entire commission, hence the name '100% commission'. But like any other model, there are pros and cons. As many of our readers are either enrolled in real estate license school or considering enrolling in license school I wanted to explore the nuances of 100% commission brokerages and assess whether it's the right choice for new professionals aiming to make their mark in our great real estate business. In theory, a 100% commission brokerage allows agents to keep all their commission from a transaction. In other words, when an agent working under this model closes a deal, they retain the entire commission, hence the term '100% commission'. It’s important to read the fine print before joining such a company, however as sometimes “100%” isn’t really “100%”. Although some brokers may brand their compensation plans “100%” they can involve a nominal flat fee per transaction or a monthly or annual fee that the agent pays the brokerage rather than a commission percentage. This starkly contrasts the traditional brokerage model, where an agent's commission is split between the agent and the brokerage. In a traditional model, the split is often a fixed percentage. It may range from a 50/50 split to a 90/10 split, depending on the agent's experience level, the brokerage's policies, and market standards. In a traditional brokerage model, the agent could take home anywhere from 50% to 90% of the commission from a transaction. A simple example can illustrate the difference. If an agent closes a deal that generates a gross commission income (GCI) of $20,000 in a 100% commission model, the agent could keep the entire $20,000 (minus any flat fees or other costs associated with the brokerage). However, in a traditional 70/30 split model, the agent might take home let’s say $14,000, with the remaining $6,000 going to the brokerage. This might seem like a no-brainer for the agent, but like anything there are pros and cons for the real estate professional in an environment like this. The Downside of 100% Commission Brokerages While 100% commission brokerages have gained traction for their potential benefits, they're not without their pitfalls. It's crucial to weigh these cons against the pros when deciding whether this model is right for you. Here, we'll explore some potential downsides of working with a 100% commission brokerage. 1. Lack of Support One common criticism of 100% commission brokerages is the perceived lack of support. In traditional brokerages, part of the commission split often goes toward administrative support, training, and office resources. These brokerages might provide agents with access to a physical office, marketing materials, continued education, and more. In contrast, 100% commission brokerages typically operate on a leaner model, and you might find yourself largely on your own. 2. Hidden Costs While keeping 100% of your commission can sound appealing, it's crucial to remember that this figure might only account for some costs. Some 100% commission brokerages charge a transaction fee per sale or even recurring monthly or annual fees. You should also account for costs related to errors and omissions insurance, marketing materials, and other business-related expenses. Therefore, it's essential to factor these into your calculations when determining potential earnings. 3. Less Structured Environment The increased autonomy that comes with a 100% commission brokerage can be a double-edged sword. For some, this independence is liberating; for others, a less structured environment might lead to reduced motivation and productivity. Some agents may need the structure and community of a traditional office setting to stay focused and motivated. 4. Not Ideal for Newer Agents Although the flat-fee model can be attractive to new agents from a financial perspective, the lack of support and guidance can make it a challenging environment for those just starting out. New agents often benefit from mentorship, training, and hands-on support to help them navigate the industry's complexities after they pass the real estate exam. With these resources, newer agents may find it easier to succeed. 5. Misleading "100% Commission" Terminology Finally, it's worth noting that the term "100% commission" can be somewhat misleading. As noted earlier, this model's various fees and costs mean that agents rarely take home the full 100% of their commission. Understanding this can help manage expectations and make a more informed decision about whether this model is the right fit. While the 100% commission model can offer significant benefits, it's essential to consider its potential downsides. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the industry, understanding these cons will help you decide and choose a brokerage model that aligns with your career goals and working style. The Upside of 100% Commission Brokerages In the fast-evolving real estate landscape, alternative brokerage models have begun to challenge traditional business methods. Let's talk about the promising upside of this model, as it holds potential to revolutionize an agent's income and autonomy in their real estate journey. 1. Greater Income Potential The most obvious advantage of the 100% commission model is the potential for higher income. Agents can maximize their earnings from every transaction by keeping the entire commission minus a nominal flat fee. This approach can be incredibly lucrative for high-performing agents who complete many transactions. 2. Predictability and Transparency One of the often-overlooked benefits of the 100% commission model is its simplicity. With a fixed fee structure, agents know upfront what their expenses will be, making it easier to budget and plan for the future. This clear-cut approach provides a sense of predictability and transparency that can be comforting in an industry often characterized by uncertainty. 3. Flexibility and Control 100% commission brokerages give agents more autonomy and control over their business. This independence allows agents to be more innovative with their marketing strategies and business plans, adjusting as they see fit without additional brokerage interference. This flexibility can lead to more effective personal branding and, consequently, better business growth. 4. Competitive Service Offering Lastly, the 100% commission model allows agents to offer their clients competitive pricing in a crowded marketplace, possibly attracting more clients and driving more business. Is the 100% Commission Model Right for a Newer Real Estate Agent? Navigating the world of real estate can be complex for a novice agent, fresh from our real estate school. For new real estate professionals, the 100% commission model might seem appealing on the surface, but it's essential to understand what this model entails and if it truly aligns with your needs and career goals. As mentioned earlier, 100% commission brokerages offer the allure of significant earning potential, allowing agents to retain the majority, if not all, of their commission. This can be especially enticing for those who are just starting and are keen on maximizing their income. However, the primary challenge for newer agents under this model is more support and mentorship. Traditional brokerages often provide comprehensive training and resources that are beneficial for agents building their skills after passing the real estate exam. These resources can include hands-on training, marketing assistance, and access to experienced agents who can provide guidance and advice. The absence of these support structures in many 100% commission brokerages can make the initial stages of a real estate career more challenging for newer agents. Furthermore, while the potential to earn 100% commission can be attractive, new agents need to remember that various expenses, such as transaction fees, marketing costs, and insurance often offset this. These expenses can add up and put financial pressure on agents, particularly those who are still trying to establish themselves in the industry and secure consistent transactions. There is also the aspect of self-discipline and motivation. The high level of autonomy in a 100% commission model requires a substantial amount of self-direction. With the structured environment provided by traditional brokerages, some new agents might be able to maintain their momentum, especially during challenging periods. So while the 100% commission model can offer greater income potential, it comes with challenges that may prove difficult for newer agents to navigate. It's vital for new agents to consider these factors and seek out a mentor or network of experienced agents for guidance. As with any career decision, it's all about finding the right fit for your goals, working style, and needs. Becoming a real estate professional is filled with many decisions, and choosing the right brokerage model is an important decision. It's critical to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution - each model has its own unique characteristics and considerations. The 100% commission model, with its allure of potentially higher earnings and autonomy, is no exception. It offers numerous advantages, including greater income potential, predictable and transparent fee structures, and more control over one's business. These benefits can be particularly appealing for seasoned agents with a solid client base and comfortable navigating the industry independently. For them, this model can be a financially rewarding alternative to the traditional commission split model. As discussed, this model also has its challenges. The often-overlooked costs and the absence of supportive resources can pose hurdles, particularly for newer agents just starting their journey after real estate school. The lack of structured environment poses a challenge to maintaining motivation and discipline, crucial components for success in this industry. Moreover, the decision should not be based solely on financial considerations. Agents, particularly those new to the industry, should also consider the level of support, mentorship, and resources they may need as they build their skills and client base. In this aspect, the traditional brokerage model with its training programs and support structures can often be more suitable for newly minted agents aiming to make their mark in the industry. Ultimately, whether the 100% commission model is the right fit will depend on the individual agent's career goals, personal work style, and needs. It's critical to weigh the potential income benefits against the need for support, training, and resources. Agents considering this model should fully understand what it entails, assess their own needs and abilities, and seek advice from experienced professionals in the industry. This decision marks one of the many milestones in the exciting journey of becoming a real estate professional. Choose wisely, as the right brokerage can pave the way for a rewarding and successful career in real estate - or not. As always, if you are considering taking real estate license courses with us, visit or call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How To Buy A Foreclosed Home

Foreclosed homes

A foreclosed home is a property repossessed by a lender, typically a bank, due to the homeowner's inability to meet their mortgage obligations. When a borrower fails to make timely mortgage payments,

A foreclosed home is a property repossessed by a lender, typically a bank, due to the homeowner's inability to meet their mortgage obligations. When a borrower fails to make timely mortgage payments, the le
Practical advice for real estate agents

Navigating Repair Requests in Real Estate: A Comprehensive Guide for Buyers and Sellers

Guide for buyers and sellers

Imagine a young couple finally stumbled upon a charming old Victorian house nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Smitten by its ornate design and quaint charm, they quickly decided this was the home

Imagine a young couple finally stumbled upon a charming old Victorian house nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Smitten by its ornate design and quaint charm, they quickly decided this was the home they wanted to start their new chapter in. As they navigated the escrow process, Sarah and Tom
Practical advice for real estate agents

How To Lookup A Real Estate License Number

Search license number

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a student at our real estate school, or a professional within the real estate industry, trust and transparency are critical factors in your interactions and transactions.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a student at our real estate school, or a professional within the real estate industry, trust and transparency are critical factors in your interactions and transactions. An essential component of this transparency is the real estate license number. Every licensed real estate professional is issued a unique identifier: a license number. This number is not merely an administrative detail but a tool to uphold professionalism and instill confidence in the industry. Looking up a real estate license number is an extra step in an already complex process. However, it's a task that carries significant importance. Firstly, it allows clients to verify the credentials of a real estate professional, ensuring that they are dealing with a licensed individual with the necessary training and competence. This can help protect clients from fraudulent practitioners or those who don't have the necessary credentials. Additionally, for real estate professionals, verifying a license number can provide insight into a colleague's professional background and standing, such as any disciplinary actions taken against them. It fosters accountability within the profession and is an essential part of due diligence in transactions like referrals and collaborations. In essence, checking a real estate license number is a straightforward measure that enhances trust and transparency. It's an essential step in ensuring the legitimacy of interactions in real estate. As we delve deeper into this topic, we will explore what a real estate license number is, how to look one up, and why this simple check can significantly impact your real estate journey. Understanding What a Real Estate License Number Is A real estate license number is a unique identifier, much like a badge of legitimacy, assigned to each real estate professional who has successfully passed their real estate exam and received licensing from their state's regulatory body. This distinct number serves as proof of a professional's eligibility to conduct real estate transactions within their respective state. This applies to various roles in the industry, whether one is a real estate broker, an agent, an appraiser, or any other certified professional in the field. However, a real estate license number provides more than proof of licensure. It is a gateway to a wealth of information about the professional's background and track record. When you look up a real estate license number, you can typically find details such as: The licensee's full name. The licensee's professional standing (whether active, inactive, or retired licensee). The license status (whether it's current, expired, suspended, or revoked). Any disciplinary actions taken against the licensee by the regulatory body. The dates of issue and expiration of the license. The licensee's areas of specialty or additional certifications. Details of the licensee's affiliated brokerage, if applicable. It's important to note that the specific details accessible can vary between states, as each state's regulatory body may have different rules and regulations regarding the transparency of license information. Understanding and using this information effectively can help you make informed decisions in your real estate transactions. Whether you're confirming an agent's credentials, considering hiring, or verifying the standing of a peer, understanding what a real estate license number is and the information it provides is a key step in confidently navigating the real estate landscape. Situations When You Might Need to Lookup a Real Estate License Number You should look up a real estate license number in several situations. Here are some common scenarios: Hiring a Real Estate Agent or Broker: If you're a client preparing to embark on a real estate transaction, hiring a licensed professional to guide you is essential. Looking up their real estate license number allows you to verify their standing, check for any disciplinary actions, and ensure they can legally assist with your real estate needs. It provides a level of reassurance about the professional's qualifications and credibility. Verifying a Professional's Credentials: In some instances, you may need to confirm the credentials of a real estate professional. For example, suppose you're another real estate agent considering a partnership or a client looking for specialist services. In that case, you should check whether the professional holds the necessary certifications or specialties. Filing a Complaint: Unfortunately, there might be circumstances when you're unsatisfied with a real estate professional's service, suspect malpractice, or need to resolve a dispute. In these cases, you would need the real estate license number to file a formal complaint with the relevant state licensing board. The licensing board uses the number to identify the individual involved and investigate the matter appropriately. Conducting Due Diligence: For professionals involved in complex transactions, such as real estate lawyers or investors, looking up a license number may be necessary in their due diligence process. This process can help verify the identities and credentials of all involved parties, ensuring compliance with legal requirements. For Journalism or Research Purposes: Journalists, researchers, or anyone conducting a study on real estate markets might need to look up real estate license numbers to gather information for their projects. License information can provide valuable insights into market trends, regulatory compliance, or professional demographics. Looking up a real estate license number can serve various purposes, all centered around ensuring credibility, accountability, and transparency within the real estate industry. It's a simple yet effective tool for safeguarding the interests of all parties involved in real estate transactions. Step-by-Step Guide on How to Lookup a Real Estate License Number Looking up a real estate license number is usually a straightforward process - far easier than finding out who owns a particular property. However, please note that the specifics might vary slightly from state to state due to differences in real estate regulations and the design of each state's real estate commission website. Here's a general guide on how to do this: Identify the Relevant State Real Estate Commission Website: Each state has its own Real Estate Commission or similar regulatory body overseeing real estate professionals' licensing. You must visit the appropriate website for the state where the real estate professional is licensed. A simple Google search using the state's name and "Real Estate Commission" should help you find the right site. Navigate to the 'License Lookup' Section: Once on the state's real estate commission website, look for the 'License Lookup,' 'Verify a License,' 'Licensee Search,' or a similarly named feature. This feature is typically easy to find and is often located in a prominent place on the website's homepage or under a 'Public Resources' or 'Consumer Tools' tab. Enter the Necessary Information: In the license lookup section, you'll typically see fields where you can enter information about the licensee. This could be the person's name, the company's name, or the license number itself if you have it but want to verify its validity. Fill in as much information as you can to facilitate the search. Conduct the Search: Once you've entered the required information, hit the 'Search' or 'Submit' button to start the search. The system will then scan its database for the relevant details. Review the Results: The search should return a summary of the professional's license status, including their full name, license number, status (active, inactive, expired, or suspended), any specialty licenses, and possibly even any disciplinary actions taken against them. This general process should help you look up a real estate license number. Remember that the importance of verifying the license number lies in ensuring the credibility of the real estate professional you are dealing with and maintaining transparency in all real estate transactions. How to Lookup a Real Estate License Number by State While the overall process of looking up a real estate license number is essentially the same across the United States, there are slight differences in how each state's regulatory commission's website operates. Here, we will provide an overview of how to search for a real estate license number in three of the most populous states: California, Texas, and Florida. California Visit the California Department of Real Estate's License lookup page. Enter the individual or company's name, license ID, or the city they are located in. Click the 'Find' button to view results, which include the license number, status, and expiration date. Texas Go to the Texas Real Estate Commission's License Holder Lookup page. Enter the person or company's name or the license number if you verify it. Click 'Search' to view results, displaying the license number, type, status, and any disciplinary actions taken. Florida Visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Licensee Search page. Please enter the name, city of the individual, business, or license number. Click 'Search' to display results, including the license number, status, and the licensee's address. In each case, having the correct name or license number will make your search more accurate. Also, note that the information available may vary based on privacy laws in each state. Always cross-check and verify information obtained through these searches to maintain accurate and ethical business practices. What to Do if There Are Issues or Discrepancies In the world of real estate, credibility and trustworthiness are paramount. If you encounter any issues or discrepancies when looking up a real estate license number, it's essential to address these concerns promptly. Here's what you should do: Reverify the Information: Mistakes happen, and they can be as simple as a typographical error. Double-check the details you've entered if a license number appears invalid or brings up unexpected results. Ensure there's no misspelling in the name or error in the license number. Check with Other Sources: If you continue to encounter issues, try to verify the license number through different means. You could ask the real estate professional to provide more proof of their licensure or contact their brokerage. Contact the Relevant Real Estate Commission: If discrepancies persist, contact your state's real estate commission or the licensing authority where the agent is supposed to be licensed. They can provide further assistance and confirm the license status. Make sure to provide all relevant details to help them expedite the process. Report any Concerns: If your inquiry reveals a person practicing real estate without a valid license, it's essential to report this to the relevant authorities. Unlicensed practice is a serious offense and can harm unsuspecting clients and tarnish the reputation of the real estate industry. Remember, every licensed real estate professional must operate transparently, and any reluctance to share license details should be a red flag. Taking these steps will protect you and contribute to maintaining the integrity of the real estate industry. Navigating the real estate landscape requires understanding market trends and recognizing the importance of trust and transparency. One significant way of establishing this is by verifying real estate license numbers. This simple yet crucial step can play a pivotal role in building professional relationships based on trust, be it with your clients, colleagues, or other stakeholders in the industry. Looking up a real estate license number is a protective measure, ensuring that you are dealing with a certified professional recognized by the governing real estate bodies. It assures the authenticity and credibility of the real estate professional you are engaging with, whether hiring an agent, verifying credentials, or filing a complaint. Moreover, it plays a key role in maintaining the integrity and professionalism of the real estate industry. By being diligent and proactive in these verifications, we contribute to an industry standard where transparency is the norm, not the exception. So whether you're a buyer, a seller, a real estate agent, or someone eyeing a career in real estate, remember that license verification is a small step that goes a long way in ensuring fair and honest real estate transactions. Keep the guide above handy, and make the most of the resources available to you, confirming your journey in the world of real estate is as smooth and secure as possible. As always, if you are interested in taking real estate courses visit or call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Role of Unlicensed Assistants in Real Estate Industry

Role of unlicensed assistants

The real estate industry offers a wide range of career opportunities. Many roles within our great industry will require you to get a real estate license and pass the real estate exam, but some still need

The real estate industry offers a wide range of career opportunities. Many roles within our great industry will require you to get a real estate license and pass the real estate exam, but some still need to
Practical advice for real estate agents

Jumpstart Your Real Estate Career: Find Your First Clients in 90 Days

Start New Career

The beginning of any career is crucial, but this is especially true for real estate agents. A strong start sets the stage for long-term success, establishing

The beginning of any career is crucial, but this is especially true for real estate agents. A strong start sets the stage for long-term success, establishing credibility and building momentum.
Practical advice for real estate agents

How Insurance Caps in California are Shaking Up the Real Estate Market

Real estate insurance

In the wake of escalating wildfire risks and a rapidly changing environmental landscape, major property insurers are taking steps that could drastically alter the state of homeowner insurance in California.

In the wake of escalating wildfire risks and a rapidly changing environmental landscape, major property insurers are taking steps that could drastically alter the state of homeowner insurance in California. Farmers Insurance, a significant player in the state's insurance market, has recentl
Practical advice for real estate agents

Balancing a Full-Time Job And a Real Estate Career

Real Estate Job

Starting a new career in real estate can be exciting and rewarding, but pursuing a real estate license while working a full-time job presents challenges. Firstly, time management is a significant concern

Starting a new career in real estate can be exciting and rewarding, but pursuing a real estate license while working a full-time job presents challenges. Firstly, time management is a significant concern when balancing work with studying for the real estate license exam. Allocating sufficient hours to study and attend classes or training sessions can be difficult amid work, family, and other personal commitments. Secondly, maintaining focus and motivation can be challenging. After a long day at work, finding the energy and enthusiasm to study (before you get your license) and prospect and work with clients (after you get your license) can be tricky. Furthermore, managing multiple commitments can lead to mental and physical fatigue. Thirdly, the financial aspects of pursuing a real estate license can be challenging. Obtaining a license involves upfront costs, such as course fees, exam fees, and study materials, which individuals may be hesitant to invest in while supporting themselves and their families through their current job. Lastly, once working, networking and building a professional reputation in real estate can be difficult when your attention is divided between a full-time job and pursuing a license. Networking events and industry-related activities typically occur during regular working hours, making it hard for those with full-time jobs to attend and establish connections. Clients might want to meet or look at property during the hours of your “real job”. Even though pursuing a real estate license while working full-time can be challenging due to time management concerns, maintaining focus and motivation, financial considerations, and difficulties associated with networking and establishing a professional reputation with dedication, discipline, and effective time management, aspiring real estate agents can successfully navigate the path to licensure and embark on their new careers. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect balance between your job and your real estate aspirations: Create a schedule and set goals Time management is crucial when juggling a full-time job and pursuing a real estate license. Set aside dedicated time for studying and attending classes. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable tasks, and track your progress regularly. Set a deadline to get your Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and Elective course certificates of completion so that you have a goal you’re working toward. Set another long-term goal for when your license will be issued and another goal for when you will earn your first commission check. Prioritize your time When managing a full-time job and a real estate career, it's essential to prioritize your time. Identify and focus on completing the most critical tasks in both areas first. Remember to take breaks and give yourself time to recharge. Choose a flexible real estate education program A flexible real estate education program is essential when balancing work and studies like ADHI schools. Look for a program (like ours) that offers online courses, evening classes, or weekend sessions. These options will help you fit your real estate education around your full-time job. In-person physical real estate classes can pose challenges and limitations for students balancing their education with a full-time job. Firstly, these classes often follow a fixed schedule, which might not align with the student's work hours or personal commitments. Limited flexibility makes it difficult for students to attend classes and consistently keep up with the coursework. Additionally, commuting to and from physical classes can be time-consuming and costly, especially for those who live far away from the educational institution. This extra time spent traveling could be better utilized for studying or attending to personal responsibilities. Moreover, physical classes typically have a rigid curriculum and pace, which may not cater to the diverse learning needs of students. Some individuals require more time to understand certain concepts, while others prefer to move faster. In a traditional classroom setting, it can be challenging for instructors to accommodate these different learning styles and needs. Lastly, in-person classes can be more susceptible to disruptions, such as inclement weather or unforeseen events that might lead to class cancellations. This unpredictability can hinder the student's learning progress and overall experience. In summary, in-person physical real estate classes can limit students trying to balance work and education due to their inflexible schedules, time-consuming commutes, rigid pace, and potential for disruptions. A flexible program that offers online or alternative class options is better suited for students who need to fit their real estate education around their full-time job. Utilize your network Networking is a powerful tool when pursuing a real estate career. Connect with other professionals in the industry and ask for advice. Learn from their experiences and apply their tips to your journey. You can start by reading about the experiences of successful real estate agents, such as those featured in "Things You Should Know Before Becoming A Real Estate Agent". This can shave time off your learning curve. Stay organized Staying organized is crucial for managing your time and responsibilities. Use digital tools like calendars, to-do lists, and project management apps to keep track of deadlines, meetings, and study sessions. Stay organized to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Be patient and persistent Pursuing a real estate license while working full-time can be challenging, but remaining patient and persistent is essential. Celebrate small achievements and remind yourself of your long-term goals. With dedication, you can achieve success in both your job and your real estate education. Seek support Don't hesitate to ask for support from friends, family, or coworkers. During your journey, they can provide encouragement, advice, and a listening ear. You can also join online forums or social media groups, such as those mentioned in "Tips For Real Estate Agents On Social Media", to connect with others in similar situations. In conclusion, juggling a full-time job while pursuing a real estate license requires dedication, time management, and a robust support system. By following these tips and incorporating valuable resources like "7 Study Tips For Passing Your Real Estate Exam", you'll be well on your way to launching a successful career in real estate. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How Do Property Taxes Work in California?

RE online payments

The oldest recorded tax records, around 8,000 years ago, were in the form of tablets found in the city-state of Lagash near modern-day Iraq. This tax system

The oldest recorded tax records, around 8,000 years ago, were in the form of tablets found in the city-state of Lagash near modern-day Iraq. This tax system was said to be based on a time-based rotating system to make tax collection more manageable befor
Practical advice for real estate agents

How To Find Out Who Owns A Property

Unlocking Property Ownership

In the complex and rapidly evolving world of real estate, having the correct information at the right time can make all the difference. In our great real

In the complex and rapidly evolving world of real estate, having the correct information at the right time can make all the difference. In our great real estate business, if you are involved in the real estate sector, your role might be that of an agent
Practical advice for real estate agents

Home Equity Loans vs. HELOCs: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

Home Equity HELOCs

Sometimes, homeowners need money to fix their house, pay off debt, or handle emergencies. They can get this money through Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) or Home Equity Loans. Both options let homeowners

Sometimes, homeowners need money to fix their house, pay off debt, or handle emergencies. They can get this money through Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) or Home Equity Loans. Both options let homeowners borrow money based on their home's value, but they have different interest rates, ways to pay back, and flexibility. This blog will discuss the differences between HELOCs and Home Equity Loans, their pros and cons, and when to choose each one. This information can benefit those preparing for their real estate exam or attending an online real estate school. What is a Home Equity Loan? A Home Equity Loan allows homeowners to borrow a set amount of money using their home's value and equity (as the name implies). They pay it back with the same interest rate and payment for up to 30 years. This loan can be used to fix the house, pay off debt or for other reasons. Home Equity Loans are great for homeowners who know how much money they need and want to make the same payment every month. Keep this in mind if you are seeking a California real estate license or attending a real estate crash course so you can have intelligent discussions with your clients. Pros of a Home Equity Loan: • Fixed interest rate and monthly payments. • Receive the entire loan amount at once. • Some lenders don't charge additional fees. • Loan payments might be tax-deductible if used for home improvements. Cons of a Home Equity Loan: • You must know the exact amount of money needed. • Need sufficient home equity to qualify for the loan (usually 15-20%). • Risk of losing the home if payments are not made. • If the home's value decreases, homeowners might owe more than the home is worth. What is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)? A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is similar to a credit card but tied to the equity in your house. You can use the money when needed and pay it back when possible. The amount of money you can borrow and the amount you have to pay back every month can change. Pros of a HELOC: • Only pay interest on the amount used. • Can borrow and repay funds as needed. • Some HELOCs allow converting to a fixed-rate payment. • It can be used as an emergency fund. Cons of a HELOC: • Variable interest rates may lead to higher payments if rates increase. • There might be annual fees or prepayment penalties. • Risk of losing the home if the line of credit is not repaid. Choosing Between a HELOC and a Home Equity Loan When choosing between a HELOC and a Home Equity Loan, consider what you need the money for and how you want to pay it back. A Home Equity Loan is better if you know exactly how much money you need and want fixed payments that won't change. A HELOC is better if you want to access funds as needed and are okay with fluctuating payments. These concepts are crucial for students in online real estate schools or those preparing for their real estate exam. History of HELOCs and Home Equity Loans HELOCs and Home Equity Loans have been popular borrowing options since the 1980s. They became famous as the housing market grew and home values increased. Over time, lenders have adapted these products to serve borrowers' needs better, making them valuable topics for those pursuing a California real estate license or attending a real estate crash course. Understanding Why People Take Out Home Equity Loans Introduction A home equity loan is a type of loan where homeowners borrow money using the value of their house as a guarantee. This loan can help people get the cash they need for various reasons, like paying for significant expenses or improving their house. In this article, we'll explain why people take out home equity loans and how they can be helpful in simple terms. Home Improvements and Repairs One of the main reasons people take out home equity loans is to pay for improvements or repairs to their house. When you make your house better, it usually becomes worth more money. Using a home equity loan to improve your home can be smart because it can help you increase your home's value in the long run. Debt Consolidation Sometimes, people have a lot of different debts, like credit card bills, car loans, or student loans. These debts can have high-interest rates, making it hard to pay them off. A home equity loan can help people use the money from the loan to pay off their other debts. This way, they only have one loan to repay, which usually has a lower interest rate than their other debts. 1. Lower Interest Rates: One of the primary reasons homeowners use a HELOC for debt consolidation is because it typically offers lower interest rates than other borrowing forms, such as credit cards or personal loans. By consolidating high-interest debts with a lower-interest HELOC, homeowners can save money on interest payments over time. 2. Tax Benefits: Sometimes, the interest paid on a HELOC may be tax-deductible if the funds are used for specific purposes, such as home improvements. This tax benefit can make using a HELOC for debt consolidation even more attractive for homeowners. 3. Simplified Payments: When homeowners consolidate multiple debts into a HELOC, they can simplify their monthly payments. Instead of managing and paying several monthly bills, they only have to make one payment towards the HELOC. This can make managing finances more manageable and less stressful. 4. Flexible Access to Funds: A HELOC is a revolving line of credit, meaning homeowners can borrow and repay funds as needed during the draw period. This flexibility can be helpful for debt consolidation, as homeowners can use the HELOC to pay off their debts and repay the HELOC at their own pace. 5. Longer Repayment Terms: HELOCs often have longer repayment terms than other credit forms. This can result in lower monthly payments, making it easier for homeowners to manage their debt and budget. 6. Potential for Improved Credit Score: By consolidating high-interest debt using a HELOC, homeowners can lower their credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt they have compared to their available credit. A lower credit utilization ratio can improve credit scores over time. Paying For Education Education can be expensive, whether it's for yourself or your kids. Some people use home equity loans to help pay for college or other types of schooling. This is a good option because the interest rates on home equity loans are lower than other loans or credit cards. Emergency Expenses Sometimes, unexpected things happen, like a medical emergency or job loss. When people need money quickly, a home equity loan can be helpful. Because the loan uses the house's value as a guarantee, banks are more likely to approve the loan quickly. Funding a Business or Investment Starting a business or investing can be an excellent way to make money. However, you usually need some money to get started. A home equity loan can help people get the cash they need to create a business or make an investment, and if the investment pays off, it can be a smart financial move. Understanding the differences between HELOCs and Home Equity Loans can help homeowners make informed decisions about leveraging their home's equity. By considering the purpose of the funds, the amount needed, and their preferences for repayment and interest rates, homeowners can choose the option that best suits their needs. Either way, homeowners should be cautious when considering home equity loans, as these loans use their house as collateral. If they fail to make timely payments, they risk losing their home to foreclosure. Additionally, taking on more debt can potentially lead to financial strain and negative consequences if the housing market declines, resulting in owing more than the home's current value. It is essential to carefully assess one's financial situation and consider all options before using home equity loans. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

A Guide to Real Estate Roles: Broker, Team Leader, Mentor, and Coach

Real estate broker

In the fast-paced world of real estate, success largely depends on the expertise and guidance of professionals who help new agents build their careers. Understanding the differences between Brokers, Team

In the fast-paced world of real estate, success largely depends on the expertise and guidance of professionals who help new agents build their careers. Understanding the differences between Brokers, Team Leaders, Mentors, and Coaches is essential to making the most of these resources. I wanted to write about this specifically for students that are just finishing out of our real estate license school and are interviewing with brokerages. If that is you, you are probably going to hear a lot about these terms as you talk to managers and brokers. “We have a mentor program!” “Our broker is always avaliable to help you!” “You should get into real estate coaching!” All of the above are pretty common things you’ll hear from leadership within a medium-to-large size real estate company. I want you to be prepared. In this article, I wanted to explore the roles and responsibilities of these professionals, providing examples to help you determine the best support system for your growth. Broker A broker is a licensed real estate professional who is responsible for a real estate brokerage or agency. They are tasked with overseeing and guiding the business activities of their agents, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Brokers are typically more experienced than agents and have met additional educational and licensing requirements. In California, in order to become a real estate broker, you have to have two years of real estate experience at a minimum. There are also 5 other classes you have to take beyond those you took to get your sales license. If you want to know how to become a broker, I recorded a video about this you can watch here. Example: A new agent can turn to their broker for guidance on navigating the complexities of real estate transactions and for support in understanding and complying with industry regulations. If the salesperson breaks a real estate law, the broker could be liable. Team Leader A team leader is a real estate professional responsible for managing and supervising a team of agents within a brokerage - They may or may not also be the broker of record for the real estate office. They provide guidance, support, and motivation to their team members and are often responsible for training and coaching new agents. Team leaders often have strong communication and leadership skills, enabling them to manage team dynamics and foster a positive working environment effectively. Sometimes, the team leader is also responsible for recruting new agents into the company which is why newer agents have often heard this term. Example: A new agent may join a team led by an experienced team leader who will provide training, support, and resources to help them grow and develop as a successful real estate agent. Mentor A mentor is an experienced real estate professional who will offer guidance and support to a new agent often in exchange for a portion of their commission on a given real estate transaction. This relationship is built on trust and mutual respect, with the mentor sharing their knowledge, experience, and insights with the mentee. Mentorship can sometimes be informal, with mentors and mentees seeking each other out, or formalized through mentorship programs within brokerages or professional organizations. Example: A new agent may seek a mentor to help them navigate the challenges of their first few transactions, providing advice on negotiation strategies, client relations, and best practices in the industry. In exchange the mentor and mentee agree on a 50/50 commission split on any deals they work on together. Mentorship plays a crucial role in developing and progressing a successful career. The right mentor can provide guidance, support, and knowledge that can be transformative for a mentee's personal and professional growth. This article will explore the importance of mentorship at various career stages, highlighting how a mentor's influence can lead to lasting success. Early Career: Building a Strong Foundation In the early stages of a career, a mentor can provide invaluable guidance and support, helping mentees navigate the challenges of entering the workforce. They can offer insights into industry-specific best practices, share their experiences, and help mentees develop essential skills such as communication, problem-solving, and time management. A mentor's influence at this stage can help mentees establish strong foundations, enabling them to approach their careers with confidence and a clear sense of direction. Mid-Career: Navigating Transitions and Growth As professionals progress, they may face new challenges and opportunities, such as transitioning to a new role, taking on increased responsibilities, or pursuing advanced education. During these transitional periods, the guidance of a mentor can be precious. Mentors can provide perspective and advice on making these transitions, helping mentees to identify and leverage their strengths, develop new skills, and adapt to changing circumstances. This support can foster resilience and agility, essential traits for continued success in a dynamic professional landscape. The Mentor-Mentee Relationship: A Two-Way Street While the benefits of mentorship for the mentee are clear, it is essential to recognize that the relationship is often mutually beneficial. Mentors can also gain valuable insights from their mentees, fostering their growth and development - and in sharing commissions. Moreover, serving as a mentor can be personally rewarding, as it provides the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on another individual's life and career and contribute to the development of future leaders in their industry. Mentorship is essential to career growth and success, providing guidance, support, and knowledge at every stage of professional development. From building a strong foundation in the early stages of a career to navigating transitions and refining leadership skills, the influence of a mentor can have a lasting impact on an individual's personal and professional growth. Embracing mentorship as a vital tool for success, professionals can unlock their full potential and thrive in an ever-changing professional landscape. Coach A coach is a professional who focuses on real estate agents' personal and professional development. Coaches often have a background in real estate, but their primary focus is guiding agents to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Coaches may provide one-on-one coaching sessions, group workshops, or online courses addressing business planning, marketing strategies, time management, and mindset development. In the competitive world of real estate, professionals are constantly seeking ways to gain an edge and stand out from their peers. While a real estate license and education from a real estate school are essential prerequisites for entry into the industry, more than they may be required for long-term success. This is where coaching comes in. Real estate coaching provides individuals with personalized guidance, support, and accountability to help them achieve their goals and overcome any obstacles they may face in their careers. Whether it's building a successful business, developing marketing strategies, or improving negotiating skills, a coach can provide the insights and tools needed to excel in the industry. Real estate coaching can also be valuable for new agents needing more experience and confidence in navigating the industry's complexities. A coach can guide everything from building a client base to closing deals, helping new agents build a strong foundation for lasting success. Moreover, coaching can help real estate professionals stay current with industry trends and best practices. As the industry evolves, adapting and innovating to remain competitive is essential. A coach can provide insights into emerging trends, technological advancements, and changes in consumer behavior, enabling professionals to stay ahead of the curve. In conclusion, real estate coaching is a valuable tool for professionals seeking long-term success in the industry. It provides personalized guidance and support to help individuals achieve their goals, stay current with industry trends, and overcome any obstacles they may face. Whether you're a new agent just starting or a seasoned professional looking to take your career to the next level, coaching can provide the insights and tools needed to thrive in the ever-changing world of real estate. Example: A new agent may hire a real estate coach to help them set and achieve their goals, create a business plan, and develop the skills necessary to excel in the industry. Understanding the roles of Brokers, Team Leaders, Mentors, and Coaches is essential for new real estate agents seeking guidance and support in building their careers. Each of these professionals brings unique expertise and insights to the table, and the right combination of these resources can set new agents on the path to success. By recognizing the value of each role and leveraging their strengths, new agents can build strong foundations for lasting success in the real estate industry. As always, your real estate journey begins with enrolling in the right real estate school. Visit or call us at 8887685285 for more information. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What a Home Seller Really Wants From Their Agent

Successful real estate agent

In today's fast-paced and competitive real estate market, agents must understand the wants and needs of their clients. A successful agent knows that meeting the expectations of home sellers can make all

In today's fast-paced and competitive real estate market, agents must understand the wants and needs of their clients. A successful agent knows that meeting the expectations of home sellers can make all the difference in securing a listing and closing a deal. As a result, agents must put their clients' priorities at the forefront of their business strategies. This article discusses the key factors that home sellers are looking for in an agent and how obtaining a real estate license from a reputable real estate license school can help you meet these expectations. Assist in Competitive Pricing Pricing a property accurately is critical in ensuring a quick sale and the best possible return on investment for the seller. Home sellers want an agent who can use their expertise and local market knowledge to determine the appropriate price point for their property. This involves analyzing comparable properties in the area, understanding current market trends, and accounting for any unique features or upgrades the home may have. One of the most crucial aspects of a real estate agent's job is helping sellers determine the appropriate listing price for their property. This requires a deep understanding of the local market, comparable properties, and the unique features of the home in question. By guiding sellers toward a realistic and competitive listing price, agents can optimize the chances of a successful sale and maximize the seller's return on investment. To begin, real estate agents, should conduct a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to evaluate similar properties in the area that have recently sold, are currently on the market, or were withdrawn from the market without being sold. This analysis allows the agent to identify trends, gauge the competition, and determine the property's fair market value. By presenting this information to the seller, agents can help them understand how their home compares to others in the market and why a specific price range is recommended. In addition to the CMA, agents should also consider the property's unique features, upgrades, and condition when recommending a listing price. Factors such as a recently renovated kitchen, a well-maintained garden, or energy-efficient upgrades can add value to a home and justify a higher asking price. Conversely, outdated appliances, necessary repairs, or an undesirable location may warrant a lower price. By discussing these factors with the seller, agents can help them grasp the impact of their property's specific characteristics on the listing price. Completing a comprehensive real estate course online can help future agents develop the skills and knowledge needed to price properties accurately and communicate their findings effectively to sellers. Market to Interested Buyers Strategic marketing is essential in attracting the right buyers and generating interest in a property. Home sellers want an agent to showcase their property through various channels, including online listings, social media, and print advertising. A well-rounded marketing plan should include professional photography, engaging property descriptions, and targeted exposure to potential buyers. A quality real estate license school will offer courses covering marketing strategies and techniques, enabling agents to promote their listings and generate interest from potential buyers effectively. Determine Price-Boosting Improvements Home sellers are often interested in making improvements that will increase their property's value. A knowledgeable agent can recommend high-ROI repair projects and renovations that will significantly impact the final sale price. Some examples of valuable improvements include: Kitchen Remodel: A minor kitchen remodel can yield a significant return on investment (ROI). According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine, homeowners can expect to recoup approximately 72% of the cost of a minor kitchen remodel. A minor kitchen remodel may include updating cabinet doors and drawer fronts, installing new countertops, and updating fixtures and hardware. The report also notes that an updated kitchen is one of the most important factors for homebuyers when considering a property. Source: Remodeling Magazine - 2021 Cost vs. Value Report Adding a Wood Deck: Adding a wood deck to your home can increase its appeal to potential buyers and provide a good ROI. The 2021 Cost vs. Value Report states that homeowners can expect to recoup around 66% of the cost of a wood deck addition. A deck expands your home's living space and enhances its outdoor appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers. Source: Remodeling Magazine - 2021 Cost vs. Value Report Updating the Entry Door: Replacing your entry door with a new steel door can significantly improve your home's curb appeal and security while providing a high ROI. According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can expect to recoup about 65% of the steel entry door replacement cost. An attractive, secure front door can create a strong first impression on potential buyers and increase your home's overall value. Source: Remodeling Magazine - 2021 Cost vs. Value Report Remember that these projects' actual return on investment can vary depending on your specific location and market conditions. It's always a good idea to consult with a local real estate professional for tailored advice on the best improvements for your home. Safeguard with Technology In today's digital age, technology plays a significant role in protecting both agents and their clients during real estate transactions. Home sellers want an agent who can use cutting-edge technology to streamline the process and mitigate future risks, particularly regarding property disclosures. A complete or correct disclosure package can help avoid legal and financial troubles for sellers, even after closing the deal. Reputable real estate license schools will offer courses that cover the use of technology in real estate transactions, ensuring that agents are well-versed in using digital tools to protect their clients and themselves. Responsiveness and Advocacy Home sellers expect their agent to be available and responsive to their needs. In the age of instant communication, clients want to know that their agent is just a phone call, text, or email away. Agents who are prompt and attentive to their client's needs can foster trust and build long-lasting relationships. A quality real estate online course will emphasize the importance of effective communication and guide on maintaining client responsiveness. Home sellers want an agent to advocate for their best interests throughout the transaction. This includes being honest about the property's value, representing only one party in a transaction, and disclosing potential conflicts of interest. Agents who prioritize their clients' needs and work diligently to secure the best possible outcome are more likely to earn repeat business and referrals. Advocacy, in the context of real estate, refers to actively supporting, promoting, and defending the best interests of one's client while buying or selling a property. It involves providing expert advice, guidance, and representation to ensure the client's needs, preferences, and goals are met or exceeded in a transaction. Advocacy is a hallmark of real estate representation because it underscores the fundamental duties of a real estate agent and exemplifies their commitment to their client's success. Here are a few reasons why advocacy is considered a hallmark of real estate representation: 1. Fiduciary responsibility: A real estate agent has a fiduciary duty to their client. This means that the agent must put the client's interests above their own and act with honesty, loyalty, and good faith. Advocacy is essential to fulfilling this fiduciary duty, as it demonstrates that the agent prioritizes their client's well-being in every aspect of the transaction. 2. Expertise and knowledge: A real estate agent's extensive knowledge of the market, property values, legal requirements, and negotiation strategies is critical to effectively advocating for their client. By leveraging this expertise, agents can provide valuable insights and advice to help their clients make informed decisions and achieve the best possible outcome in a transaction. 3. Negotiation skills: One of the most important aspects of advocacy in real estate is the ability to negotiate effectively on behalf of a client. A skilled negotiator can help secure favorable terms, such as a lower purchase or higher sale price, and ensure the client's interests are protected throughout the negotiation process. 4. Communication and problem-solving: Advocacy in real estate also involves maintaining open lines of communication with the client, as well as addressing any concerns, issues, or obstacles that may arise during the transaction. By actively listening to the client's needs and working diligently to find solutions, a real estate agent demonstrates their commitment to advocacy and exceptional client service. 5. Ethical conduct: A real estate agent's dedication to advocacy goes hand in hand with adhering to a strict code of ethics. This commitment to ethical behavior ensures that the agent will not only prioritize their client's interests but will also act fairly, honestly, and transparently throughout the process. Advocacy is a cornerstone of real estate representation because it embodies the fundamental principles and responsibilities that agents must uphold to serve their clients effectively. Real estate agents can help clients navigate the complex world of property transactions by acting as a steadfast advocate, ensuring a successful and satisfying outcome. In conclusion, understanding what home sellers genuinely want from their real estate agent is paramount in establishing a successful relationship and ensuring a positive outcome for both parties. By assisting with competitive pricing, strategic marketing, recommending price-boosting improvements, utilizing technology, and maintaining a strong sense of responsiveness and advocacy, agents can effectively meet the needs of their clients. Pursuing a real estate license from a reputable real estate license school and taking real estate courses online can equip agents with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in these areas, ultimately leading to satisfied clients, successful transactions, and a thriving real estate career. By prioritizing the wants and needs of home sellers, agents can build long-lasting relationships, foster trust, and make a lasting impact on the lives of their clients. As always, if you are interested in taking real estate license courses with our school, please reach out at or call us at 8887685285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

5 Essential Qualities Homebuyers Seek in a Modern Real Estate Agent

Home Buyers

Homebuyers' expectations have evolved significantly in today's dynamic real estate market. Modern homebuyers are more informed and tech-savvy than ever, making it essential for real estate agents to adapt

Homebuyers' expectations have evolved significantly in today's dynamic real estate market. Modern homebuyers are more informed and tech-savvy than ever, making it essential for real estate agents to adapt and meet their clients' needs. This article delves into the top five qualities homebuyers seek in a real estate agent. It provides insights into how agents can develop these skills and become the trusted ally their client's desire. By understanding and prioritizing these characteristics, real estate agents can ensure a successful and satisfying experience for their clients, setting themselves apart from the competition and thriving in the ever-changing world of real estate. So, let's explore these key attributes and discover how agents can enhance their offerings and better serve the modern homebuyer. Buyers want their agent to be available and responsive. Homebuyers want an easily reachable agent and quick to respond to their questions and concerns. In today's fast-paced real estate market, clients appreciate agents who can provide real-time updates and accommodate their busy schedules. Enrolling in our real estate school can help agents improve their communication skills and client management techniques in courses like Real Estate Practice. Availability and responsiveness are essential characteristics for a real estate agent working with buyers because they directly impact the client's experience and the agent's ability to secure the best possible deal for their client. In today's fast-paced and competitive real estate market, quick and effective communication is essential for a successful outcome. Here are several reasons why availability and responsiveness matter: 1. Timely Action: In a hot market, properties can sell quickly, and buyers must act quickly to secure their desired home. An available and responsive agent can quickly schedule showings, submit offers, and handle negotiations, increasing the chances of success for their clients. 2. Client Satisfaction: Clients appreciate an agent who is readily available to answer questions, provide updates, and address concerns. This level of attentiveness and support fosters trust and helps build a strong working relationship between the agent and the client. 3. Informed Decision-Making: The home-buying process can be complex; clients rely on their agent's expertise to guide them through it. A responsive agent ensures clients receive the information they need promptly, helping them make well-informed decisions. 4. Problem-Solving: Issues can arise during the home-buying process, and a responsive agent can quickly address and resolve these problems, minimizing stress and delays for the client. 5. Reputation and Referrals: Clients who have a positive experience working with an available and responsive agent are more likely to recommend them to friends and family, leading to future business opportunities. Utimately availability and responsiveness are crucial for a real estate agent working with buyers, as they directly contribute to client satisfaction and successful transactions. By prioritizing these traits, agents can provide an exceptional experience for their clients and achieve better results in the competitive real estate market. Buyers Want Their Agent to be Tech-Savvy Homebuyers expect agents to be proficient with digital tools, including social media, websites, and apps, to streamline the home search process. By taking our online real estate classes, you will learn how to leverage technology effectively and provide a seamless experience for their clients. In today's fast-paced digital world, the modern homebuyer expects a real estate agent who is tech-savvy and well-versed in using the latest tools to find properties and provide top-notch service. With the increasing reliance on technology and the internet for information, agents need to adapt and meet the needs of their clients effectively and efficiently. A tech-savvy real estate agent understands the importance of having a robust online presence, utilizing social media platforms, and maintaining an up-to-date website with relevant content. These tools help attract potential clients and provide valuable resources for homebuyers in their search for the perfect property. In addition, a modern agent leverages cutting-edge property search tools, virtual tours, and mobile apps to streamline the home-hunting process for their clients. Furthermore, today's homebuyers crave instant communication, and a tech-savvy agent knows how to deliver. Using text messaging, email, and other instant messaging platforms, modern agents can respond promptly to inquiries, provide real-time updates, and ensure their clients are always in the loop. This level of responsiveness builds trust, enhances client satisfaction, and fosters strong working relationships. In essence, the modern homebuyer seeks a real estate agent who can harness the power of technology to make the home-buying process as seamless and stress-free as possible. By staying ahead of the curve and embracing technological advancements, agents can cater to contemporary clients' needs and set themselves apart from the competition, leading to a successful and thriving real estate business. Buyers Want Their Agent To Have Local Knowledge Homebuyers want an agent with in-depth knowledge of the area they are interested in. This expertise helps clients decide about neighborhoods, schools, and local amenities. Attending a real estate crash course can give agents valuable insights into local markets and trends, positioning them as trusted experts by passing the real estate exam. A modern real estate agent with strong ties to the local community can offer homebuyers a unique advantage in their property search. By actively participating in community events, networking with local businesses, and staying informed about municipal developments, agents can stay ahead of changes that may impact property values or the desirability of specific neighborhoods. This local expertise allows agents to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of the market and up-to-date information on potential investment opportunities and emerging trends. Engaging with the community enhances the agent's reputation as a knowledgeable resource. It demonstrates their genuine commitment to helping clients find the perfect home within the context of the larger community. Buyers Want Their Agent To Have People Skills A friendly, approachable demeanor is essential in fostering strong relationships with clients. Homebuyers want to feel comfortable discussing their needs and preferences with their agent. Developing excellent interpersonal skills through real estate education and practice can significantly enhance an agent's ability to connect with clients and understand their unique requirements. In addition to being friendly and approachable, a modern real estate agent must possess high emotional intelligence. This involves understanding and managing their emotions and empathizing with their client's feelings and needs. Agents can better tailor their services and create a more personalized home-buying experience by being sensitive to clients' concerns and preferences. Furthermore, strong emotional intelligence can help agents calmly and professionally navigate challenging situations, such as tense negotiations or emotional setbacks. Cultivating emotional intelligence through real estate education and practice fosters trust and rapport with clients. It equips agents with the skills necessary to handle the various demands of the home-buying process with grace and competence. Buyers Want A Partner, Not Just An Agent More specifically, this entails guiding them from the initial property search to the closing day, ensuring the process is smooth and seamless. Clients highly value agents who prioritize their best interests, offering comprehensive support at every stage. By pursuing continuous education through real estate school and staying updated on industry trends, agents can position themselves as indispensable partners to their clients. This level of commitment enhances the client's experience and strengthens the relationship between the homebuyer and their real estate agent, leading to lasting trust and satisfaction. By focusing on these characteristics, agents can build trust with their clients and deliver a satisfying home-buying experience. Developing these skills through real estate education is essential to becoming a successful agent in today's competitive market. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Knowing When to Walk Away: 5 Instances to Decline a Listing

Poor property conditions

Introduction: In the competitive world of real estate, securing a California real estate license through our online real estate school is just the beginning. Experienced professionals understand that

Introduction: In the competitive world of real estate, securing a California real estate license through our online real estate school is just the beginning. Experienced professionals understand that passing the real estate exam is just the beginning – sometimes, it's in their best interest to walk away from a potential deal. Aspiring agents are often eager to take on any listing, assuming it's a stepping stone to success. In this article, I wanted to write about five instances when a real estate agent should consider declining a listing, illustrated by stories from industry professionals who have navigated the complexities of the California real estate market. Unrealistic Seller Expectations In the context of real estate sales and listings, unrealistic seller expectations refer to situations where a property owner has unreasonable or impractical assumptions about the value or marketability of their property. These expectations may include an inflated asking price, an overly optimistic timeline for selling, or a refusal to acknowledge necessary repairs or improvements. These expectations can make it difficult for a real estate agent to market and sell a property effectively. Potential buyers may be deterred by the high asking price or unwilling to invest in a property that requires significant work. Additionally, these expectations can lead to frustration and strained relationships between the agent and the seller, as the agent struggles to meet the seller's demands or explain the realities of the market. In some cases, it may be in the agent's best interest to decline the listing and avoid the challenges associated with unrealistic seller expectations. Zillow's Zestimates, an automated home valuation tool, can sometimes cause unrealistic seller expectations and difficulties for property owners during the sale of their home. While Zestimates can provide a general idea of a property's value, they are generated using algorithms that may not always account for unique characteristics, recent upgrades, or current market conditions. Consequently, sellers might overestimate their home's worth based on these potentially inaccurate valuations, leading to inflated asking prices that deter potential buyers. Additionally, when property owners discover the discrepancy between the Zestimate and the actual market value of their home, they may experience disappointment and frustration, complicating the selling process for both the seller and their real estate agent. Example: A seller, Mr. Smith, insisted that his property was worth $500,000, despite comparable homes in the area selling for around $400,000. After extensive market research, Agent Amy realized that Mr. Smith's expectations were unrealistic and that selling the property at his desired price would be nearly impossible. Instead of taking on the listing and wasting time, energy, and resources, Amy politely declined and suggested that Mr. Smith reconsider his price expectations. Poor Property Condition In real estate sales and listings, poor property condition refers to a property with significant defects, damages, or maintenance issues, making it less appealing to potential buyers or requiring extensive repairs or renovations. After passing the real estate exam, agents need to be aware of issues like structural problems, damaged foundations or roofs, outdated or unsafe electrical or plumbing systems, signs of water damage, mold or pest infestations, and a general lack of upkeep that results in a worn or neglected appearance. Understanding these factors is crucial for agents navigating the competitive California real estate market. It helps them decide when to decline a listing that might not be in their best interest. Obviously, a property in poor condition can negatively impact its marketability as buyers may be hesitant to invest in a home that requires considerable time, effort, and money to bring it up to standard. In some cases, a property in poor condition may need help attracting offers or selling at a significantly lower price than comparable properties in better shape. Real estate agents may only accept listings with good property conditions if the seller is willing to address the issues or adjust the asking price accordingly. The property may be challenging to sell, potentially harming the agent's reputation. Example: Agent Bob was excited to list a beautiful Victorian home, only to discover that the property was riddled with structural issues, including a crumbling foundation and termite damage. The sellers were unwilling to make the necessary repairs or adjust the asking price to account for these issues. Recognizing that the property would be a hard sell and could damage his professional reputation, Bob decided to walk away from the listing. Ethical or Legal Concerns Ethical or Legal Concerns refer to situations where an agent may encounter moral dilemmas, potential violations of the law, or breaches of professional conduct related to the property or the parties involved in the transaction. Example: Agent Carol was approached by a seller who seemed eager to offload their property as quickly as possible. After digging, Carol learned that the home had a history of illegal activity, and the seller attempted to sell the property without disclosing this information. Carol chose not to take on the listing to protect her integrity and avoid potential legal repercussions. Uncooperative Sellers Uncooperative sellers are property owners unwilling or unable to work collaboratively with their real estate agent to market and sell their property effectively. Uncooperative sellers can create a range of challenges for agents, making the sales process complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating. This lack of cooperation can manifest in various ways. First, uncooperative sellers may refuse to promptly provide the necessary documentation, such as property records, disclosures, or financial statements. This can impede the agent's ability to market the property or negotiate with potential buyers accurately. Delayed or incomplete paperwork can prolong the sales process, leading to missed opportunities and diminishing the chances of securing a successful deal. Second, uncooperative sellers might prefer to make recommended improvements or repairs to their property. Real estate agents often suggest updates or fixes enhance the property's marketability and increase its value. However, some sellers may be unwilling to invest the time or money required to make these changes, ultimately making it more difficult for the agent to attract buyers and negotiate favorable terms. Another manifestation of uncooperativeness is the reluctance to accommodate property showings or open houses. These events are crucial for attracting potential buyers and allowing them to view the property in person. Uncooperative sellers may cancel showings at the last minute, impose unreasonable restrictions on viewing times, or be unprepared for scheduled events, all of which can deter interested buyers and hinder sales. Example: Agent David was excited to list a stunning luxury property but quickly realized that the sellers needed help. They were unresponsive, refused to provide the necessary documentation, and regularly canceled scheduled showings. Recognizing that the sellers' lack of cooperation would make the sales process challenging and inefficient, David decided walking away from the listing was best. Overwhelmed Schedule An overwhelmed schedule refers to an agent taking on too many active listings, clients, or responsibilities, resulting in an inability to dedicate adequate time, attention, and resources to each individual client or property. This can lead to diminished quality of service, reduced client satisfaction, and ultimately, a negative impact on the agent's reputation and success. An overwhelmed schedule might require an agent to turn down a new client for several reasons: 1. Maintaining the quality of service: Real estate agents are responsible for providing exceptional service to their clients, which includes thorough communication, effective marketing strategies, and diligent representation in negotiations. Taking on too many clients can spread an agent too thin, preventing them from delivering the high level of service that clients expect and deserve. 2. Prioritizing existing clients: An agent has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their current clients, and adding more clients to an already packed schedule can jeopardize their ability to fulfill that obligation. By turning down a new client, an agent can focus on existing clients, ensuring they receive the attention and care necessary for successful transactions. 3. Time management and work-life balance: Juggling many clients and listings can lead to long hours, increased stress, and potential burnout. By recognizing their limits and turning down new clients when necessary, agents can maintain a healthier work-life balance and avoid becoming overwhelmed. 4. Protecting professional reputation: An agent's success often relies on their reputation for excellent service, effective communication, and successful sales. Overextending themselves with too many clients can lead to negative experiences, harming their reputation and future business prospects. Agents can safeguard their reputation and maintain a thriving business by carefully managing their workload and declining new clients when appropriate. Example: Agent Emma had a thriving real estate business with several active listings. When a seller approached her to list a new property, she realized that taking on another listing would spread her too thin and compromise her ability to provide exceptional service to her existing clients. Emma made the tough decision to decline the listing, prioritizing her commitment to her current clients. Conclusion: Knowing when to walk away from a listing is crucial for real estate agents who want to maintain a successful and ethical practice. Whether it's due to unrealistic expectations, poor property conditions, moral or legal concerns, uncooperative sellers, or an overwhelmed schedule, agents should carefully consider each potential listing and prioritize their best interests and those of their clients. By recognizing the red flags and making intelligent decisions, real estate professionals can avoid wasting time and resources on listings that don't align with their values and business goals. For more information about real estate license courses, please visit or call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Breaking Into Luxury Real Estate

Luxury Real Estate

Getting your real estate license is the first step to becoming a successful agent. While many agents dream of selling luxury real estate and catering to an affluent clientele, it takes dedication, hard

Getting your real estate license is the first step to becoming a successful agent. While many agents dream of selling luxury real estate and catering to an affluent clientele, it takes dedication, hard work, and the right strategies to break into this competitive market. This article will guide you on your journey to becoming a luxury real estate professional, offering tips on gaining confidence, staying relevant, and thriving in the industry. Step 1: Obtaining Your Real Estate License and Preparing for the Luxury Market If you aim to work in California, you must familiarize yourself with the state's real estate license requirements California has specific regulations that govern real estate professionals, and understanding these rules will ensure you're well-prepared to succeed in the luxury market. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States. If you are an out-of-state candidate, the good news is that California residency is not a prerequisite. Candidates must complete 135 hours of pre-license education from a California-approved real estate school like ADHI Schools. The coursework consists of three 45-hour courses: Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice, and an elective course. Once the pre-license education is complete, candidates must submit their application for the exam and license with the required fees. The state exam costs $60, and a four-year license costs $245. If you take and fail the real estate license exam, you can retake it by paying another $60 fee to the state. This is one of the many reasons you want to enroll with ADHI Schools to increase your chances of passing the first time! Why ADHI Schools is the Premier Choice ADHI Schools is considered the premier choice for obtaining a California real estate license based on several factors: Comprehensive Curriculum: ADHI Schools offer a thorough and engaging curriculum covering all the required California real estate licensing courses. The courses are designed to prepare students for success in both the licensing exam and their real estate careers. Flexible Learning Options: ADHI Schools provides various learning options, including online courses, physical textbooks, live classes, and hybrid programs, allowing students to choose the most convenient and suitable format for their needs. Expert Instructors: The instructors at ADHI Schools are experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of the real estate industry. They are dedicated to helping students understand complex concepts and prepare for the challenges of a real estate career. Our newest instructor has been teaching for over ten years. Exam Preparation: ADHI Schools offers comprehensive material and resources to ensure students are well-prepared for the California real estate salesperson examination. This includes practice exams, study guides, and personalized support from instructors. Student Support: The staff at ADHI Schools is committed to providing exceptional support and guidance throughout the licensing process. Students can rely on ADHI Schools for assistance and encouragement from enrollment to exam preparation and beyond. ADHI Schools has established itself as the premier choice for aspiring real estate agents seeking a California real estate license by offering a comprehensive curriculum, flexible learning options, expert instructors, and outstanding support. Step 2: Gaining Confidence in the Luxury Real Estate Markets Now that you have your California real estate license, the next step is to enter the luxury real estate world. If you want to break into the luxury market, it’s important to remember that the brokerage you work with matters. I know you might have an uncle or cousin who is a real estate broker, and they are offering you a “good split.” Still, the truth is that working with an established luxury brokerage provides you with invaluable access to a network of other experienced luxury agents and brokers. As a new agent, you can benefit greatly from the mentorship, guidance, and support of seasoned professionals who have navigated the unique challenges and opportunities within the luxury market. This can help you accelerate your learning curve, avoid common pitfalls, and develop the confidence and expertise necessary to thrive in the competitive luxury niche. Second, a brokerage with a well-regarded luxury brand will often have an extensive client base and a steady flow of high-end listings. By joining such a company, you gain immediate credibility and exposure to potential clients and other industry professionals. This can help you build your reputation, establish trust, and attract the affluent clientele essential for success in luxury real estate. Furthermore, a luxury-focused brokerage is more likely to invest in the specialized resources and tools necessary to excel in this niche market. This includes advanced marketing strategies, cutting-edge technology, and high-quality support services, which can enhance your ability to market and sell luxury properties effectively. By leveraging these resources, you can deliver a superior experience to your clients and set yourself apart from the competition. Networking with luxury professionals Networking with experienced luxury real estate agents and brokers can provide invaluable connections, insights, and mentorship opportunities. Attend industry events, conferences, and local gatherings to build relationships that can help you gain confidence and knowledge. It’s also critical to stay informed about market trends. Keep updated with the latest luxury real estate trends, news, and developments. This will help you gain confidence in your understanding of the market and provide essential information that can benefit your clients and potential leads. Learn From Top Producers As a new Realtor aiming to break into the luxury real estate market, learning from top producers and observing their strategies is critical in accelerating your growth and success. Top producers have navigated the challenges of the luxury market and honed their skills, allowing them to achieve exceptional results consistently. By studying their approaches, you can glean valuable insights and adopt proven techniques to thrive in this competitive niche. One key aspect of learning from top producers is understanding their marketing strategies. Luxury real estate demands a tailored approach that effectively showcases the properties' unique features and appeals to the discerning tastes of affluent clientele. Watch how successful agents utilize high-quality photography, videography, and virtual tours to present properties in their best light. Additionally, take note of their branding, storytelling, and targeted marketing efforts across various platforms, including social media, print advertising, and digital channels. By adopting and adapting these strategies, you can enhance your marketing campaigns and attract the attention of prospective luxury clients. Another critical element to consider is the exceptional level of customer service that top producers provide. Luxury real estate clients often have high expectations, and successful agents are adept at meeting and exceeding those demands. Pay close attention to how top producers communicate, negotiate, and problem-solve and how they anticipate and address clients' needs. Emulating their strong interpersonal skills and commitment to client satisfaction will help you build lasting relationships and a reputation for excellence in the luxury market. Moreover, top producers are often well-versed in industry trends, market data, and luxury clients' specific needs and preferences. By staying informed and maintaining a deep understanding of the luxury market, you can position yourself as a knowledgeable resource and trusted advisor to your clients. Learn from successful agents by following their lead, consistently updating your knowledge, and staying ahead of market shifts and trends. Step 3: Staying Relevant as a Luxury Real Estate Professional To stay relevant as a luxury real estate agent, it’s important to remember that the real estate industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. Participate in online real estate classes, workshops, and seminars to keep your skills sharp and your knowledge current. Don’t be beholden to the old ways of doing things. It’s often said, "What got you here won’t get you there.” Embrace new technologies and tools that can streamline your workflow, improve your marketing efforts, and provide a better experience for your clients. From virtual property tours to advanced customer relationship management software, staying technologically savvy will help you remain relevant in the luxury market. Finally, a strong personal brand is essential for standing out in the luxury real estate market. Invest in professional photography, create a polished website, and develop a consistent presence on social media to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the luxury market. Final word Breaking into the luxury real estate market takes dedication, persistence, and a willingness to learn. By obtaining your real estate license, gaining confidence through networking and market knowledge, and staying relevant with continuous education and technology, you'll be well on your way to becoming a successful luxury real estate professional. Your first step in starting a career in real estate begins with the right real estate school. Enroll online at or call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Essential Guide To Home Inspections in California

Home benifits

For most people, purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. Given the considerable investment involved, homebuyers need to ensure that

For most people, purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. Given the considerable investment involved, homebuyers need to ensure that the property they are buying is structurally sound and free from potential problems. A critical step in achieving this is getting a home inspection before closing escrow. I wanted to write an article discussing a home inspection, why buyers should get home inspections, the typical costs associated with home inspections, and the process involved. This is especially important reading for the licensee who just passed the real estate exam and completed real estate school because this topic isn’t really tested on the state licensing exam in California. What is a Home Inspection? A home inspection should be a comprehensive assessment of a property's physical structure, systems, and overall condition, carried out by a qualified professional - a home inspector. The primary goal of a home inspection is to identify any existing or potential issues that may affect the value, safety, or functionality of the home. The inspection typically includes visually examining the property's foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, insulation, ventilation, and other essential components. Upon completion, the home inspector provides the buyer with a detailed report outlining their findings and recommendations for any necessary repairs or improvements. Who Licenses Home Inspectors in California? Despite the lack of a licensing requirement for home inspectors in California, it is still highly advisable for buyers to seek a home inspection before purchasing a property. A home inspection performed by an experienced and reputable inspector offers invaluable insights into the condition of a house and helps buyers make informed decisions about the transaction. The absence of a licensing requirement raises concerns about the quality and reliability of home inspections in the state. Licensing home inspectors would ensure minimum competence and knowledge, thereby providing greater protection to consumers. It would also help maintain industry standards and create a more level playing field for professionals. With a formal licensing process, home inspectors would be required to undergo training, demonstrate expertise, and adhere to ethical guidelines, ultimately resulting in better service and more reliable outcomes for home buyers - but that’s not the case as of the time of this writing. Home inspection companies aren’t required to be licensed in California. By implementing a licensing system, the state would help ensure home inspectors are held accountable for their work, promoting transparency and giving buyers peace of mind. Despite not needed to be licensed, home buyers should still obtain a home inspection before purchasing a property. Why Buyers Should Get Home Inspections 1. Identifying Hidden Issues: A home inspection allows buyers to uncover potential problems that may not be immediately apparent during a casual walk-through or from the seller's disclosures. This could include structural damage, water damage, mold, or outdated electrical systems, which could be costly to repair or pose safety hazards. 2. Negotiating Power: A thorough home inspection gives buyers valuable information that they can use to negotiate the purchase price or request repairs from the seller before closing. If significant problems are discovered, the buyer may be able to either renegotiate the price or request that the seller address the issues. 3. Planning for Future Expenses: The home inspection report can help buyers plan for future maintenance or repair costs. By understanding the home's current condition and its systems, buyers can better budget for necessary expenses and avoid surprises. 4. Peace of Mind: A home inspection provides buyers with confidence and reassurance, knowing they have made a well-informed decision about their purchase. It reduces the likelihood of post-purchase regrets or discovering serious issues after moving in. Risks of Not Obtaining a Home Inspection Safety and Health Risks Skipping a home inspection can lead to unexpected financial burdens down the road. If a significant problem is discovered after the close of escrow the buyer may have to cover the cost of repairs or replacements out of pocket. In some cases, these expenses can be substantial, causing financial strain and potentially forcing a buyer to take out loans or tap into their savings to cover the costs. Furthermore, if the property is sold in the future, unresolved issues can decrease the resale value, resulting in a lower return on investment. Another critical aspect of a home inspection is ensuring the safety and health of the property's occupants. Inspectors (although unlicensed) should be trained to identify potential hazards, such as mold, asbestos, radon, and lead paint, which can pose serious health risks if not addressed. Skipping a home inspection can leave a buyer exposed to these dangers, potentially resulting in long-term health consequences and expensive remediation efforts. Typical Costs of a Home Inspection The cost of a home inspection varies depending on the property's size, age, and location. On average, home inspections in the United States range from $400 to over $1,000 with larger or older homes potentially costing more due to the additional time and complexity involved. It is essential to remember that while a home inspection may seem like an added expense, it is a small price compared to the potential costs of unforeseen repairs or disputes with the seller. The Home Inspection Process The home inspection process typically begins with the buyer hiring a home inspector. On the day of the inspection, the inspector will arrive at the property and conduct a thorough examination, which may take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the size and complexity of the home. The buyer is often encouraged to accompany the inspector during the inspection, as it provides an opportunity to ask questions and better understand the home's condition. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector should compile a detailed report, including photographs and descriptions of any issues found. The buyer can then review the report and decide whether to request repairs, renegotiate the purchase price, or proceed with the purchase as-is. The Home Inspection As A Negotiating Tool One of the key benefits of a home inspection is the ability to use the information gathered to negotiate with the seller. If the inspection reveals issues that need to be addressed, buyers can request that the seller make the necessary repairs or provide a credit towards the cost of fixing the problems. With a home inspection, you can take advantage of the opportunity to negotiate a better deal, potentially leaving you to cover the costs of any issues discovered after the purchase to ensure that the property is the wonderful investment you and your client believe it to be. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Maximizing Success: Morning Prospecting Strategies for Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, prospecting is one of the most critical aspects of your job. It's the foundation of building a solid client base and ensuring a steady stream of business. One of the most effective

As a real estate agent, prospecting is one of the most critical aspects of your job. It's the foundation of building a solid client base and ensuring a steady stream of business. One of the most effective ways to maximize your prospecting efforts is to do it first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. In this blog post, I wanted to discuss the benefits of morning prospecting and how it can contribute to your success as a real estate agent, from getting started at a reputable California real estate school to acing the real estate exam and beyond. Why Morning Prospecting is Essential for Real Estate Agents Many successful individuals, including top-performing real estate agents, have established morning routines that help set the tone for a productive day. By incorporating prospecting into a consistent morning routine, agents can establish a strong habit that becomes an integral part of their daily success strategy. This consistency helps agents stay disciplined and focused on their goals, leading to increased productivity and success in their real estate careers. Mornings are when most people feel refreshed and energized after a good night's sleep. This is the perfect time to channel that energy into prospecting, as it will allow you to approach potential clients with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. It’s no secret that after a good night's sleep, the body has had time to recover from the previous day's activities, repair tissues, and consolidate memories. This restoration process leaves people feeling refreshed and rejuvenated when they wake up in the morning - and ready to make those calls! Also, don’t forget that cortisol levels are typically at their highest in the early morning, which helps increase alertness and energy levels. Cortisol, the "stress hormone," helps regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. This rhythm is influenced by exposure to natural light and helps the body prepare for waking up in the morning by increasing body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels. Also, in the morning, the mind is generally less cluttered with thoughts and distractions from the previous day. This clear mental state allows for improved focus and concentration, contributing to higher energy levels - you’ll sound better on the phone! Not to mention that there are typically fewer distractions in the early hours of the day, making it an ideal time to focus on prospecting. With fewer emails, calls, and meetings to attend, you can dedicate your full attention to connecting with potential clients and setting up appointments. Also people are generally more receptive in the morning. Many people are more open to having conversations and making decisions in the morning when their minds are fresh and not yet cluttered with the day's tasks. This receptiveness can lead to more productive discussions and a higher likelihood of securing appointments with potential clients. Reaching Clients Before the Competition By prospecting in the morning, real estate agents can get a head start on their competition. Many agents may not begin their workday until later, giving those who start early an advantage in connecting with potential clients first. This early-bird approach can help real estate agents stand out and make a lasting impression on prospects before their competitors even have the chance to reach them. Getting Started: Enroll in a California Real Estate School Before beginning your journey as a real estate agent, you must enroll in a reputable California real estate school, like ADHI Schools. This is the first step towards obtaining your real estate license, as the school will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the industry and pass the real estate exam. Our high-quality real estate school will offer comprehensive courses, experienced instructors, and proven results, ensuring you are well-prepared for the challenges. Passing the Real Estate Exam After completing your real estate courses at a California real estate school, you must pass the real estate exam. This is a crucial milestone in your journey towards becoming a successful real estate agent, demonstrating your knowledge of real estate laws, vocabulary, and principles. By adequately preparing for the exam, you can boost your chances of success and set yourself up for a prosperous career in real estate. Before you get too deep down the prospecting rabbit hole, your journey towards becoming a successful real estate agent begins with enrolling in a reputable California real estate school and passing the real estate exam. By investing in your education and honing your prospecting skills, you can build a thriving career in the real estate industry. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Competitive Landscape of Becoming a California Real Estate Agent

California real estate education

In recent years, California has experienced a significant boom in the real estate industry. With a thriving housing market and a diverse population, it is no surprise that many individuals are pursuing

In recent years, California has experienced a significant boom in the real estate industry. With a thriving housing market and a diverse population, it is no surprise that many individuals are pursuing careers as real estate agents in the Golden State. After over 20 years in the real estate business
Practical advice for real estate agents

Understanding Los Angeles' Controversial Mansion Tax and Its Implications

Mansion tax and large homes

Los Angeles is currently grappling with a significant homelessness crisis, and city officials are searching for ways to address this pressing issue. One idea that went into effect recently is the so-called

Los Angeles is currently grappling with a significant homelessness crisis, and city officials are searching for ways to address this pressing issue. One idea that went into effect recently is the so-called “mansion tax”, a controversial policy that has generated considerable debate among residents. While some argue that the tax is necessary to alleviate the city's housing crisis, others contend that it unfairly punishes wealthy property owners and successful individuals. I wanted to write an article that delves into the complexities surrounding the mansion tax, exploring both the benefits of the tax in addressing homelessness and the concerns about its potential negative consequences. Most of our real estate classes are now on Zoom and done virtually, but I taught at a couple of real estate schools on the Westside of Los Angeles for many years and several of our students wanted to break into luxury real estate and I’m curious to know what you think. Understanding the Mansion Tax On April 1, 2023, a so-called “mansion tax” was enacted in Los Angeles. The tax applies to property sales at or over $5,000,000, with an increased rate for sales of $10,000,000 and above. The tax was approved by voters in November 2022 as a city-wide tax, implementing a 4% tax on properties that sell for $5 million or more and 5.5% on properties that sell for $10 million or more. The mansion tax aims to raise about $900 million yearly for affordable housing, homelessness programs, and other related initiatives. However, the tax has faced criticism from real estate brokers, developers, and property owners. Arguments for the Mansion Tax Proponents of the mansion tax argue that it is a much-needed source of revenue to address the affordable housing crisis and homelessness in Los Angeles. The tax is expected to generate millions of dollars earmarked for subsidized housing, housing acquisition and rehabilitation, rent assistance, and homelessness-related programs. Advocates say the tax will help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and provide resources for those in need. A 2022 UCLA study found that the mansion tax's potential impacts on new construction would be minimal, suggesting that the tax will not significantly deter developers from building new properties in Los Angeles. The mansion tax in Los Angeles, despite its drawbacks, offers several benefits that could potentially help address the city's homelessness problem: 1. Generating Revenue for Affordable Housing and Homelessness Programs: The mansion tax is estimated to raise about $900 million annually, which can be directed towards various initiatives focused on tackling the housing crisis and homelessness. This additional funding can support the construction and preservation of affordable housing units and provide rent assistance to those in need. It can also help fund comprehensive homelessness programs, such as emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, mental health services, and job training programs, essential in addressing the root causes of homelessness. 2. Progressive Taxation: The mansion tax is a form of progressive taxation, as it targets high-end property sales and wealthier individuals who can afford to pay a higher tax rate. This approach can help reduce income inequality and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. By imposing a higher tax on luxury properties, the city can allocate more resources to support vulnerable and low-income residents, often disproportionately affected by the housing crisis. 3. Encouraging Efficient Use of Land: The mansion tax might encourage more efficient land use in Los Angeles. Luxury properties often occupy large plots of land, and the mansion tax could motivate property owners to either downsize or sell their land to developers who might build more affordable housing units in its place. This could ultimately increase the overall housing supply, alleviating the pressure on the city's housing market and potentially reducing homelessness. 4. Increased Awareness and Involvement: Implementing the mansion tax has generated significant public debate, raising awareness of the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. This increased attention could lead to greater involvement from residents, businesses, and other stakeholders in finding long-term solutions to the housing crisis. This collective effort could result in developing more effective policies, initiatives, and partnerships to address homelessness in the city. 5. Demonstrating Commitment to Social Responsibility: The mansion tax conveys that Los Angeles is committed to addressing its homelessness problem and working towards a more equitable city. By using tax revenue from luxury property sales to fund affordable housing and homelessness programs, the city demonstrates its dedication to social responsibility and the welfare of all its residents. The mansion tax in Los Angeles presents several potential benefits that could help alleviate the city's homelessness problem. By generating additional revenue for affordable housing and homelessness programs, promoting progressive taxation, encouraging efficient land use, raising awareness, and demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility, the mansion tax might contribute to creating a more equitable city and ultimately reducing homelessness. Arguments Against the Mansion Tax Critics of the mansion tax argue that it may slow the number of new apartment complexes built in the city. The tax applies not only to mansions but also to apartment complexes, retail and industrial buildings, and other structures. Real estate brokers and developers, including those with real estate licenses from real estate school and those who have passed the California real estate exam, warn that the tax will disincentivize developers from building new housing. Moreover, the tax has faced backlash from wealthy homeowners, including celebrities, who rushed to sell their properties before it went into effect. Some critics argue that the tax may depress property values and force sellers to cut prices to complete deals before the deadline. Additionally, opponents of the tax are concerned about the transparency of how the revenue will be spent, and they argue that the tax may dissuade people from moving to Los Angeles. Higher Costs: Wealthy individuals considering purchasing a luxury property in Los Angeles might be deterred by the additional costs associated with the mansion tax. In comparison, other cities or states without such a tax might become more attractive for high-end property buyers, leading them to choose alternative locations for their investments. For example, a prospective buyer might opt for a luxury property in Miami, Florida, with no state income tax or mansion tax, making it a more financially appealing option. Reduced Investment: Investors might also be less inclined to purchase properties in Los Angeles subject to the mansion tax, as it could potentially reduce the profit margin on their investments. This could result in a decline in the city's overall demand for luxury properties, further impacting the real estate market and potentially leading to reduced property values. Consequently, the city could experience a slowdown in real estate investments, which could negatively affect the local economy and limit available resources to address homelessness and other social issues. Impact on Business and Talent Attraction: Businesses, particularly those in the entertainment and technology industries, often attract high-income employees and executives who might consider purchasing luxury properties. However, implementing the mansion tax could discourage some individuals from moving to Los Angeles. In turn, this could make it more difficult for the city to attract new businesses and retain existing ones and limit its ability to draw in top talent across various industries. Celebrity Exodus: Los Angeles is known for being home to numerous celebrities who often own high-end properties. The mansion tax could potentially prompt some of these high-profile individuals to sell their properties and relocate to areas with lower taxes, as seen in the backlash from wealthy homeowners who rushed to sell their properties before the tax went into effect. This exodus could further contribute to the decline in property values and negatively impact the city's image, tourism, and the overall economy. In conclusion, implementing Los Angeles' mansion tax has stirred a significant debate in the city's real estate market. Advocates argue the tax will generate much-needed revenue to address the city's affordable housing crisis and homelessness issues. However, opponents contend that the tax will dissuade property development, negatively impact non-luxury properties, and ultimately harm the real estate industry in Los Angeles. As real estate professionals with real estate licenses from real estate schools, and those studying for the California real estate exam, monitor the situation, the long-term implications of the mansion tax on the city's real estate market remain uncertain. Time will tell whether this tax proves to be an effective solution to Los Angeles' housing challenges or an obstacle to the city's real estate growth. As always if you are interested in getting your real estate license, visit or click here for a real estate exam crash course. Or if you’re old school - call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Get a California Real Estate License and Thrive

Real estate agent

Secrets to Success in the Real Estate Industry: How to Get a California Real Estate License and Thrive Introduction: The real estate industry offers vast opportunities for professional growth and financial

Secrets to Success in the Real Estate Industry: How to Get a California Real Estate License and Thrive Introduction: The real estate industry offers vast opportunities for professional growth and financial success. However, it can also present challenges for both newcomers and experienced agents. To help you navigate the world of real estate and achieve your goals, we have compiled top insider tips from successful professionals. These actionable steps will provide you with the tools needed to excel in this dynamic and competitive industry. One of the first steps to success in the real estate industry is investing in continuous education. The field of real estate is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is essential. Enroll in a reputable reputable real estate school like ADHI Schools, attend seminars, and keep up-to-date with industry trends to maintain a competitive edge. Real estate is a heavily regulated industry, with laws and regulations pervading all aspects of the real estate transaction. Continuing education helps agents stay informed about the latest legal and regulatory changes, ensuring they remain compliant and avoid potential fines or legal issues. Attending courses, workshops, and seminars often provides opportunities to network with other professionals, fostering valuable connections that can lead to referrals and collaboration. After obtaining your California real estate license developing a solid personal brand is crucial. Your personal brand is your unique selling proposition. Establish a clear, consistent image and message that sets you apart from competitors. Utilize social media, create engaging content, and maintain an up-to-date website. One of the hardest things about social media posting is maintaining consistency around your posts. Develop a content calendar to maintain a consistent presence across platforms to help with this. Identify your strengths and values, and create a cohesive brand that reflects them. Mastering time management is another key to success in the real estate industry. Successful professionals know how to prioritize their tasks and manage their time effectively. Create a daily schedule, set goals, and break them down into achievable milestones. Use productivity tools, such as calendars and task management apps, to stay organized and focused on your priorities. Embracing technology is essential in today's real estate landscape. Utilize digital tools to streamline processes, enhance client communication, and market your services more effectively. Research and adopt tools that will boost your efficiency, such as CRM systems, virtual tour software, and digital marketing platforms. Building a solid network is invaluable in the real estate industry. Attend industry events, join local real estate organizations, and establish connections with other professionals, such as lenders and contractors. Set a goal to attend at least one networking event per month and follow up with new contacts right away. There is nothing better than meeting someone and realizing that they are responsive, educated and willing to help. Vendors and other potential partners recognize this and building a network will help advance your career. Another thing to keep in mind is that most real estate leads aren’t going to want to buy or sell a property that very day. Most of the time, leads need to be nurtured and followed up with. Because of this, nurturing your leads is essential for success in the real estate world. Develop a system for tracking and following up with leads. Consistent communication will help you build relationships and convert leads into clients. Implement a CRM system to manage your leads and create personalized follow-up strategies. Offering exceptional customer service is vital for agents with a California real estate license Your clients are your biggest advocates and their referrals are going to be a key lead source as you move forward in your career. Ensure their satisfaction by providing excellent communication, prompt follow-up, and personalized service. They are going to remember the service they received - don’t give them any reason to hesitate to refer you to friends or family. Being adaptable is crucial in the constantly changing real estate industry. Stay open to new ideas, adapt to market fluctuations, and adjust your strategies as needed. Regularly review your business plan and adapt your strategy based on market trends and your performance. As an example, interest rates back in 2021 were under 3 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. About a year later these rates had more than doubled. Being adaptable and finding ways to market your services and put buyers and sellers together is a non-negotiable skill you’ll have to develop - even when rates spike so quickly. In conclusion, the real estate industry offers immense potential for growth and success, but it also requires dedication, adaptability, and a commitment to continuous learning. By investing in education, developing a strong personal brand, mastering time management, embracing technology, building a robust network, offering exceptional customer service, nurturing leads, leveraging social media, and staying adaptable to market changes, you will be well-equipped to thrive in this dynamic and competitive field. Remember, your journey as a real estate professional is unique, and by applying these insider tips, you will be poised to achieve your goals and carve out your own path to success. So, take these actionable steps, and watch your real estate career soar to new heights. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What to do with your first real estate commission

First real estate commission 1

Maybe you thought this day would never come! But it’s clear that your hard work and dedication have paid off and you’ve earned your first real estate commission! You already passed the real estate

Maybe you thought this day would never come! But it’s clear that your hard work and dedication have paid off and you’ve earned your first real estate commission! You already passed the real estate license exam, chosen an office to work for and now have your first commission in your hand! Now the big question is - what to do with all that money?! First piece of advice - please don’t go out and blow all of it at a casino in Vegas. Remember that the real estate sales business is a marathon and not a sprint. I know too many Realtors who got off to a great start but because of improper money management were unable to stay in the business. I wanted to write this article because even if you are just considering getting your real estate license or researching how to pass the real estate exam at some point you’re probably going to think about all the money you can make in real estate and what you might do with it all! Here are some options below: Option 1: Payoff any credit card or other high-interest debt you have. Paying off a credit card can be a good idea for several reasons, including avoiding high interest charges: Credit cards typically charge high interest rates, which can add up quickly if you carry a balance. By paying off your credit card, you can avoid paying interest charges and save money over time. Also, don’t forget that paying off credit card debt can improve your credit score. A good portion of your credit score is based on something known as your “credit utilization”. The more available credit you have the higher your credit score generally becomes. Another intangible benefit to carrying less debt is your financial will be reduced. I think we all know that carrying debt can be stressful - especially credit card debt. In the process of paying off your credit cards you’ll reduce financial stress and improve your overall financial well-being. Option 2: Invest in additional education or real estate coaching. Real estate coaching (be careful there’s a lot of scammers out there) is supposed to help develop new skills and refine existing ones. Critical know-how like sales, marketing, and negotiation learned through coaching can help agents become more effective in their roles and better serve their clients. Another big benefit to a real estate coach is a heightened sense of accountability. A good real estate coach will help agents stay accountable for their actions and progress, which can be particularly helpful for those who aren’t on a team and work independently. Coaches can provide feedback, support, and guidance to help agents stay on track and achieve their goals. Finally, real estate coaches can help with goal setting. A good coach will help agents set clear and achievable goals, as well as create action plans (and accountability as mentioned above) to reach those goals. This can help agents stay focused and motivated toward their progress. A word of caution about real estate coaching, however. Be aware of long-term coaching contracts that are difficult or impossible to get out of. Option 3: Just good old-fashioned save it! In an industry like real estate sales which can be up and down nothing beats having a large cash bankroll. Saving money is a good idea for several reasons, including building an emergency fund. An emergency fund is important to cover unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs and can help you weather a storm in our business if you run up against a dry spell. Having cash reserves can help you avoid going into debt or relying on credit cards to cover these expenses. Also, if you’ve taken one of my live lectures, you know that the real money in our business is not made through sales commissions but in the acquisition of real estate. Saving money can help you take advantage of investment opportunities when they arise like a great deal on a flip or other real estate you can acquire below market. Investing is a whole lot easier when you have the cash ready to deploy whenever opportunity strikes. Option 4: Invest in the stock market If you are going to invest in the stock market it’s important to remember that stocks have risk and can (and do) go down on occasion. Don’t forget that when the economy enters a recession or experiences slow growth, companies may struggle to generate profits and investors may become pessimistic about the future, leading to a decline in stock prices. Remember that in the 2008 financial crisis the stock market experienced a sharp decline as a result of the housing market collapse and a series of bank failures - Both the stock market and the real estate market really took it on the chin during these times. More recently, in early 2020, the stock market experienced a significant decline as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy. The market rebounded after both of these crises but lots of investors experienced heartburn during these years. With that being said, the stock market has historically provided long-term growth potential, with an average annual return of around 10% over the past century in a highly liquid investment - meaning that it is relatively easy to buy and sell stocks quickly and efficiently and convert the asset into cash. Option 5: Invest in real estate It would not be right to omit the mention of investing in real estate if you are a real estate agent. Real estate is a sure path to wealth creation and can provide a number of potential benefits, including long-term appreciation, rental income, diversification, tax benefits, and a hedge against inflation. What lots of real estate investors like about this asset class is that real estate investments provide a tangible asset that can be leveraged for financing, used for collateral, or sold if needed. Real estate investors like the fact that real estate can be felt, experienced and touched. Not to mention the tax benefits, such as depreciation deductions and the ability to defer capital gains taxes through a 1031 exchange. Whatever you decide to do with your first real estate commission just remember to be responsible. In the real estate industry agents have to work for every deal - and the next one isn’t promised. With that said - if you feel that you need to blow your first check in Vegas - be my guest but don’t say I didn’t warn you. :) If you still need to take real estate classes visit us at ADHI Schools or call 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

KPIs for Realtors

KPIs for realtors 1

Even if you are just starting out in our real estate school or researching how to get your real estate license, you probably want to know what it takes to be successful in the real estate business.

Even if you are just starting out in our real estate school or researching how to get your real estate license, you probably want to know what it takes to be successful in the real estate business. This leads to the question - what defines success as a Realtor? Objectively, every business (even the individual real estate agent) needs KPIs - also known as Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are measurable values that businesses and organizations (and Realtors) use to track progress toward specific goals and objectives. They are typically used to assess performance over time and provide a way to measure success or failure in achieving specific targets. KPIs can be used in a wide range of contexts and industries, from marketing and sales to finance and operations. They are often tied to specific business objectives, such as increasing sales revenue, improving customer satisfaction, or reducing costs. As a real estate agent, knowing what KPIs are and how to measure them can give you a way to look at your business outside of just dollars and cents. These KPIs are particularly useful to a new agent because there will likely be a few months early in your career where you are getting your bearings and might not see any revenue - but you are still making progress. In the broad world of business, examples of KPIs might include: Sales revenue: This might be tracked on a monthly or quarterly basis to assess how well a company is meeting its revenue targets. Customer satisfaction: This might be measured through surveys or other feedback mechanisms to assess how happy customers are with a company's products or services. Website traffic: This might be measured using web analytics tools to track how many visitors a website is receiving over time. Employee productivity: For bigger and more established businesses, this might be measured using metrics such as sales per employee, number of calls or emails answered, or projects completed on time. By identifying and tracking KPIs, businesses gain insight into their performance and make data-driven decisions about how to improve their operations and achieve their goals. It is important to select the most relevant KPIs for each specific business or project and to ensure that they are tracked consistently over time. So how does this relate to real estate agents? KPIs for real estate agents are measurable values that can help agents track their performance and progress toward specific business objectives. Here are some examples of KPIs that real estate agents may use: Number of listings: The number of listings an agent has at any given time can be a key indicator of their success in attracting new clients and building their business. Time on market: This KPI measures the average amount of time it takes for an agent's listings to sell. Agents who are able to sell properties quickly may be viewed more favorably by clients. Sales volume: This KPI measures the total dollar value of properties an agent has sold within a specific timeframe. This metric can be used to track an agent's overall business performance and success. Conversion rate: This KPI measures the percentage of leads or inquiries an agent converts into actual clients. Agents with a high conversion rate may be more effective at closing deals and building long-term relationships with clients. Customer satisfaction: This KPI measures how happy clients are with an agent's services. Agents who receive positive feedback from clients may be more likely to receive referrals and repeat business. In order to measure this you or your broker might need to send review forms out to past clients to gauge satisfaction. So how does the individual real estate agent improve customer service and satisfaction? One tip is to be responsive - one of the most important aspects of good customer service is responsiveness. Respond to client inquiries, calls, and emails promptly, and make sure you are available to answer their questions and address their concerns. Don’t forget to listen actively - Good communication is key to providing excellent customer service. Listen actively to your clients' needs and preferences, and make sure you are clear in your communication with them. If they ask for a single story home with a pool, don’t show them 3-story townhomes with no pool. Another tip is to brush up on your knowledge. As a real estate agent, it is important to be knowledgeable about the local real estate market, trends, and regulations. Clients rely on you to provide them with accurate and up-to-date information. Its important to be professional and proactive: It is important to maintain a professional demeanor at all times when working with clients. Dress professionally, be on time for appointments, and treat clients with respect and courtesy. Anticipate your clients' needs and take the initiative to provide them with relevant information and resources. Offer suggestions and advice based on your expertise and experience. By focusing on these aspects of customer service, real estate agents can build trust and long-term relationships with their clients, which can ultimately lead to increased success and referrals. Referral rate: The final KPI I wanted to write about measures the percentage of new clients an agent receives from referrals. Agents with a high referral rate may be viewed as more trustworthy by their clients. Real estate agents can generate more referrals by building strong relationships with their clients, providing excellent service, and actively seeking out referrals. Here are some specific strategies for increasing referrals: Focus on customer service: Providing exceptional customer service is key to generating referrals. This includes being responsive to clients' needs, providing accurate and helpful information, and maintaining a professional demeanor at all times. Stay in touch: Keep in touch with past clients through regular communication, such as email newsletters or phone calls. This will help you stay top of mind and increase the likelihood that clients will refer you to others. Make sure to stay active on all the social media platforms so your past clients know you are still in business. Ask for referrals: Don't be afraid to ask for referrals directly. Ask satisfied clients if they know of anyone else who might be in need of real estate services, and make it easy for them to provide referrals. Build a network: Develop relationships with other professionals in related industries, such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and contractors. They may be able to refer clients to you, and you may be able to refer clients to them. Provide valuable content: Offer valuable content, such as market reports, home buying or selling guides, or other resources that clients may find helpful. This can help build trust and loyalty, and increase the likelihood of referrals. By focusing on these strategies and providing exceptional service, real estate agents can generate more referrals and build a thriving business. By tracking these KPIs real estate agents can gain insight into their performance and make data-driven decisions to improve their operations and achieve their objectives. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Is a career in real estate “hard”?

Is real estate hard 1

Real estate can be a challenging career for some, but whether it "hard" or not depends on a variety of factors, including your strengths, experience, market conditions, and overall dedication to the profession.

Real estate can be a challenging career for some, but whether it "hard" or not depends on a variety of factors, including your strengths, experience, market conditions, and overall dedication to the profession. Remember that real estate sales is a highly competitive field, with many agents and brokers vying for clients and listings in the same market area. Considering how much money a real estate agent can make, real estate has a very low barrier to entry. Think about other lucrative careers like becoming a doctor or lawyer - real estate sales has the potential to make just as much money but becoming a licensed real estate agent requires much less by way of time and money. Our real estate courses are as little as $199 and can be completed in 54 days. The result is that a lot of folks get licensed and end up competing for the same clients and listings. This sense of competition is especially heightened in a limited inventory market. When the supply of homes for sale is limited there may be more agents and brokers than there are available listings, making it even more competitive to win new business. Your journey in starting a real estate career will be much easier if you remember that market conditions can change rapidly. Because the real estate market is constantly evolving, changes in interest rates, economic conditions, and local regulations all affecting the demand for housing. Successful real estate professionals need to stay on top of these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. Another tip to ease the transition into the market is to remember that building a successful real estate career requires a significant amount of time and effort invested in networking, marketing, and prospecting. Networking is a crucial part of building a successful career in real estate and I wanted to share some tips for effective networking in the industry: Attend industry events: Conferences, trade shows, and networking events are great places to meet other real estate professionals and build relationships. Look for events that are relevant to your niche or market, and come prepared with business cards and a clear elevator pitch. Join professional organizations: There are many industry associations and organizations that offer networking opportunities, as well as education and training programs. Consider joining groups such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Women's Council of Realtors, or a local real estate investment club. Participate in online communities: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be great tools for building professional relationships and staying connected with other real estate professionals. Look for groups or forums where you can share your expertise, ask questions, and connect with other industry insiders. Collaborate with other agents: Consider partnering with other agents or brokers on transactions or marketing initiatives. This can help you expand your network and build relationships with other professionals who may refer business to you in the future. Provide value: Finally, it's important to remember that networking is a two-way street. Offer your expertise, knowledge, and connections to others in the industry, and be generous with your time and resources. This will help you build a reputation as a valuable member of the real estate community and strengthen your professional relationships over time. As you consider whether or not a career in real estate is right for you (and how difficult it may be) bear in mind that real estate is cyclical. It is cyclical because our industry is heavily influenced by the broader economic and financial cycles that affect the economy. The real estate market is influenced by the overall health of the economy. When the economy is strong, people have more money to spend on housing, which can lead to increased demand for real estate. When the economy is weak, people may have less money to spend on housing, leading to lower demand. Another thing to keep in mind is that interest rates play a significant role in real estate cycles. When interest rates are low, it can be easier for people to obtain financing and afford a home, resulting in increased demand. When interest rates are high, it can be more difficult for people to obtain financing, leading to lower demand. The couple of years of the pandemic were great for the real estate industry and a large part of this had to do with interest rates being so low during this period. Another fundamental truth about the real estate market is that it is subject to the basic laws of supply and demand. When there is more demand for housing than there is supply, prices tend to rise. When there is more supply than there is demand, prices tend to fall. These factors, and others, all contribute to the cyclical nature of real estate and can impact how “hard” the business is for you as you get started. As economic and financial conditions change over time, so do the patterns of supply and demand in the real estate market. Understanding these cycles is crucial for real estate professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the industry. Another challenge that real estate agents face it that we often work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends in order to accommodate clients' schedules. Here are a few reasons why: Client availability: Many real estate transactions take place outside of regular business hours, when clients are available to view properties, attend open houses, or meet with their agent. This means that agents may need to be available evenings and weekends to accommodate their client's needs. Flexibility: Real estate agents often have some degree of flexibility in their schedules, which can be a big perk of the job. However, this flexibility may also mean that agents need to be available outside of regular business hours to meet with clients, attend inspections, or negotiate deals. Competition: Real estate is a highly competitive industry, and agents who are available and responsive to their clients are often the most successful. This can mean working irregular hours in order to stay ahead of the competition. Administrative tasks: In addition to client-facing work, real estate agents also have a variety of administrative tasks to manage, such as paperwork, marketing, and bookkeeping. These tasks can often be done outside of regular business hours, which may contribute to a more irregular work schedule. All of the above being said, many people find real estate to be a rewarding and fulfilling career that allows them to help clients achieve their goals and build their own businesses. Success in real estate often requires a combination of knowledge, skill, hard work, and a passion for the industry. As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license our real estate school is here to help! Love Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

7 Tips When Meeting a Real Estate Client For The First Time

Ways to impress new client1

1. Arrive early at the property Most buyers are pretty excited about seeing a home in-person for the first time. Sure, they’ve probably seen more than a few pictures online but there’s nothing like

1. Arrive early at the property Most buyers are pretty excited about seeing a home in-person for the first time. Sure, they’ve probably seen more than a few pictures online but there’s nothing like walking through a home and touching, feeling and smelling it. Taking those first steps into the house comes with hope and all the possibilities of what life might be like when they move in. With that said, imagine you are a homebuyer and call up a real estate professional and set up an appointment to view the property. Upon your arrival the the agent is nowhere to be found. All sorts of red flags start firing off in your mind: “Am I at the right address?” “Did the Realtor get lost? Wait - how does a Realtor get lost? Aren’t they supposed to know the area?” “If they can’t show up on time - maybe they aren’t so reliable after all!” Basically, when you arrive late for an appointment you undermine your trustworthiness at both a conscious and subconscious level. Showing up early demonstrates that you are able to manage your time and are able to meet basic deadlines. Pro tip: Get there at least 15 minutes early so you can verify access and open the property up. 2. Dress the part and groom yourself properly Dressing appropriately is one of the easiest ways to make a good first impression. I want to emphasize the word “appropriately” in this sentence because it doesn’t always mean a three-piece suit with a Charvet tie. Your style and your outfit should blend your style with that of your client and even the properties you are going to show. Because details matter how you appear will affect your buyer’s perception of you and the service you provide. If you are showing beach cottages in Manhattan Beach your outfit will likely be different than if you are showing office space to a group of architects in downtown Los Angeles. Be smart about your style and understand that how you visually present yourself will affect how your client perceives you. Getting out of a clean car as a Realtor doesn’t hurt either. 3. Come prepared Pulling property profiles and running comps isn’t the most exciting part of the job of being a Realtor. But remember that showing up with data in hand is one of the best things you can do to demonstrate your preparedness. Being able to explain to your buyer why the deal is good and showing them data and comps will increase your credibility make you more trustworthy as an agent. Preparation is key whether you are meeting with a buyer client or preparing for a listing presentation to a seller. Inevitably there will be something that goes sideways while you are in escrow - the home inspection might show more work than the buyer is mentally prepared to do or an appraisal can come in low. The more of an expert you seem to your buyer the more likely they are to take your advice. Being perceived as an expert isn’t something that just happens. It’s a series of experiences that your client has with you that will build trust. Preparation is a critical step in building that relationship. 4. Put your phone away and appear interested If you aren’t sure- yes it is 100 percent rude to swipe through your phone instead of being fully present with your prospect. It feels weird that I have to remind folks of this, but I have seen this time and time again in personal and business settings. Constantly being on your phone makes your client feel unvalued - and those feelings never make for a great start for a relationship. I get it though - you’re worried about that other escrow that is falling apart or you want to check TMZ to see if Kim Kardashian really got married again, but resist the temptation. If you must have your phone out, the least you can do is turn the ringer off and only look at it during natural breaks in conversation. 5. Offer a firm handshake If we can agree that COVID is over we can get to the importance of a firm handshake the first time you meet a client. The truth is that a good handshake helps to set the tone of your confidence and maybe even how trustworthy you are. A firm handshake coupled with a smile and solid eye contact (not in a creepy way) can impart a strong first impression with your buyer. This type of introduction can help your image and set a solid foundation. A strong and warm handshake also can subconsciously show your willingness to compromise and reach a real win-win for you and your buyer. 6. Remember to smile Like a magnet, we are drawn to people who smile. We are also polarized and repelled by people that have negative facial expressions like frowns and grimaces. Of course, smiling is seen as attractive and even makes folks assume you embody more positive personality traits. Smiling more often can also have an ancillary effect of making you look youthful because studies show that the muscles we use to smile lift the face thereby making a person appear younger. I’m not suggesting that smiling is a natural form of botox but I might not be too far off. Smiling helps you look younger and psychologically makes us all feel just a little bit better. So if you want to look more confident, youthful and give off a positive vibe try smiling a little more consciously and little more often. It might help you win over that real estate client, make you seem more relatable and even more approachable. You might even find that you get a little further along in life. In the end - smiling suggests success. 7. Ask questions to show you are interested I have spoken to some real estate agents who say that they don’t feel comfortable asking too many questions of a new buyer because they don’t want to appear too pushy or nosy. Some agents I have spoken with say they don’t even ask about buyer financing on the first meeting. While these probing questions might seem a little awkward we have to ask these questions just like a doctor would to properly diagnose a patient. In the real estate world questions about financing, buyer needs and wants and timelines are critical. I know if you have taken our real estate school online you’ve learned about the importance of asking questions of your client to better understand their needs. We talk a lot about this in our Real Estate Practice course. It is said that the best real estate agents and salespeople keep asking questions until there are no more answers. Also keep in mind that the more questions you ask, the more emotional intelligence you build and the deeper your relationship with your client becomes. Final thoughts While many of the above list might be considered common sense, they are all important reminders to be present and focus on the needs of your client. As always if you are looking to get your real estate license, we would love to talk to you! Call us at 888-768-5285! TLDR: 1. Arrive early at the property. 2. Dress the part and groom yourself properly. 3. Come prepared. 4. Put your phone away and appear interested. 5. Offer a firm handshake. 6. Remember to smile! 7. Ask questions to show that you are interested. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Attracting new agents to your brokerage in 2023

Attracting new agents to your brokerage

Some of our readers might be in a position where they are looking to build a real estate team or even start their own brokerage. Clearly if you are looking to grow your team, you have transcended simple

Some of our readers might be in a position where they are looking to build a real estate team or even start their own brokerage. Clearly if you are looking to grow your team, you have transcended simple searches like trying to find find the right real estate school and you are looking to be a more intentional leader. Having trained tens of thousands of new real estate professionals I have a pretty good handle on what new agents want and how to put together a recruiting plan. I put together a list of value propositions that team leaders, managers and brokers should consider to help in their recruiting effort. Requirement 1: Structured training schedule The importance of a structured training calendar for new recruits is difficult to overstate. It’s no secret that new real estate sales professionals have a deep desire to be trained properly. Without a written training program candidates don’t have the confidence that they are really going to get the training that they are so desperately in search of. Beyond the pre-license real estate school curriculum, any good post-license training program should cover two broad aspects of the business. First - Training on sales and marketing focused on helping the new agent understand how to acquire leads and ultimately close them. Your new hires want to know how to brand themselves to their friends, family and the local marketplace will help ensure their success. Second - Training on contracts, new laws and procedures governing the day-to-day aspects of the business are also key to getting your new agents the skills they need to go out and compete in a highly competitive real estate market. In our pre-license real estate course, we recommend that all our students ask potential brokers for a copy of the written training calendar the broker has. We advise them that if the broker does not have a written training calendar with scheduled topics and times the training program probably doesn't exist. Think back to when you first started your real estate career. If someone simply handed you a desk and a phone and said “go to work” you would naturally feel frustrated and lost and probably eventually quit the business. A major reason why the majority of newer agents don't end up making it past their first two years is because they get involved with brokers who don’t take training their agents seriously. Requirement 2: Agent marketing plan and lead generation strategies You should know that many new agents are going to rely on their broker for a marketing roadmap. Whether you as the broker decide to actually subsidize this marketing is entirely up to you but know that your agent is going to look to you for guidance. Offering ideas for social media like video topic suggestions or even access to a camera and some lights within your brokerage will scream “value” for new agents. A marketing set-up like this can also help you attract mid-level and experienced realtors to your firm. Too many real estate agents these days either don't know how to market themselves or are using very generic ideas found all over the Internet. Originality is important. Showing your new agents that you have ideas for them to market themselves is a real value add. Requirement 3: Leads + accountability Few things will entice new agents to come work with your team like the promise of qualified leads. Some brokers and teams pay for Internet leads and others do a lot of direct mail and exploit other marketing channels to attempt to secure leads into the company. These leads can then be distributed to members of the team. New agents wonder if they can perform well in this business and also strategize around how they're going to do it. Common questions like “Am I going to be able to get leads?” “Am I going to be able to close those leads?” “How long will it take until I get my first paycheck?” wear on the mind of the new agent. Some of this apprehension can be alleviated by providing leads to the new real estate licensee. The decision of how many leads you give the sales staff and your budget is a very personal decision - but I can promise you that providing qualified leads to your new sales staff is a very powerful recruiting tool. Requirement 4: Transaction coordination There are two schools of thought regarding the use of a transaction coordinator. Thought #1: Real estate agents should handle all the paperwork on their own Thought #2: Real estate agents should always delegate out the paperwork to a transaction coordinator. I recorded a YouTube video about this very topic. In my opinion, a new real estate agent should handle the paperwork with the supervision of their broker or manager for the first couple of deals, and then slowly start to wean off to a transaction coordinator as they grow more mature in their career. But the new licensee has to be able to at least understand the documentation, know where things go and be able to run a file on their own if needed. With all that said, transaction coordination is a perk that many real estate offices offer. Being able to tell a new agent that they have support during an escrow is a recruitment plus. New agents are often intimidated by the volume of documents involved in a typical real estate transaction and a good TC is a nice backstop. Requirement #5: Available management As a leader, it’s important to be aware that you must strike a delicate balance between your desire to recruit new agents to your brokerage with your bandwidth to be able to answer their questions and provide needed guidance. Rest assured, there will be an agent of yours that will call you or one of your senior managers on a Friday night at 7 PM because a buyer wants to write an offer and they have a question. Are you or a member of your management team going to be available to take this call? The truth of the matter is, real estate can be a “nights and evenings” type of business and undoubtedly newer agents are going to have questions. Clients want to see homes on weekends and after working hours and consequently your agents are going to be there to assist them. The big question for you is whether or not you are going to be there as a manager or leader to help them in the event they have a problem? In terms of retention, if you start missing a bunch of these late night or weekend calls or are non-responsive, it's likely that your agents may end up leaving you for the promise of more available management. While this might be less than ideal it is the harsh reality of the residential real estate business. Hope that these strategies will help spark some ideas in your own mind about what it takes to recruit and retain a sales team. As always, if you are interested in taking real estate license courses or have a new member of your team that needs to get licensed call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What is the GRM in real estate?

Grm in real estate1

Get ready for a little bit of basic math as we define the GRM in real estate investing and compare it to the capitalization rate. Both the GRM and capitalization rate (also known as the “cap

Get ready for a little bit of basic math as we define the GRM in real estate investing and compare it to the capitalization rate. Both the GRM and capitalization rate (also known as the “cap rate”) are important metrics for investors to consider when looking at an investment property. If you are interested in real estate investing this will be a good read for you. I’m guessing that most readers who are interested in getting their real estate license have at least toyed around with the idea of investing in real estate. The gross rent multiplier represents the relationship between the gross income that a property produces and its potential purchase price or value. It is a simple back-of-the-envelope way to represent the multiple of the gross income relative to the property’s purchase price - the GRM is not a measurement of time (more on that later). As a general rule, the higher the GRM the more pricey the property is relative to the income. The lower the GRM the more of a “value” investment the property might be. Investors looking for the most “bang-for-their-buck” might seek out properties with lower GRMs as the multiple of gross income to the amount invested is lower. Examples of the GRM As an extreme example, consider the property below. Purchase price = $100,000 Gross yearly income = $100,000 In the above case, the GRM would be 1x. The purchase price of this property equals the gross rent collected. This is an impossible and extreme example but it illustrates just how good of a deal this would be if it were true. Imagine a property that rents for $100,000 per year (or about $8,333 per month) that you could buy for only $100,000. This would be such a good deal that you would have to get in line and fight hundreds of other investors for it. More likely, is that if a property rents for $100,000 per year that it would cost something like $2,000,000 or 20x the gross rent collected. Again, lower gross rent multipliers can generally represent better value purchases for investors and higher gross rent multipliers mean that the investor is paying more for every dollar of rent collected. More Realistic Examples of GRM Property 1: Purchase price $2,500,000 Gross annual income of $50,000 $2,500,000 / $50,000 = The purchase price is 50x the gross rent collected. Property 2: Purchase price $1,750,000 Gross annual income of $75,000 $1,750,000 / $75,000 = The purchase price is 23.3x the gross rent collected. Drawbacks to the GRM There are some drawbacks to using the gross rent multiplier method as the only way to value property. Because only the gross rent is considered expenses are not factored into this equation. This is a key distinction between the gross rent multiplier compared to the capitalization rate of a property. Unlike the GRM, the cap rate does consider expenses like property taxes, insurance, maintenance and management to name a few to calculate net operating income. The GRM merely looks at the total rent collected relative to the gross income of the property. Investors may look at both the gross rent multiplier and the capitalization rate to determine whether or not a property is a good investment and compare it with other properties the investor might be considering. However, rarely will an investor only consider the GRM. What is the difference between the GRM and cap rate? The Gross Rent Multiplier and the capitalization rate are two wildly different methods of valuing an investment property. As I mentioned above, the GRM is a very simple way to find out how many times the gross rent collected will equal the value. The capitalization rate on the other hand is a way for an investor to determine the annual rate of return. Formulaically, the capitalization rate is calculated by taking the net operating income that the property produces and dividing it into the purchase price. If you are interested in learning more about the cap rate check out the first in a 3 part series here: As a matter of practice, most investors will give more credence to the capitalization rate as opposed to the GRM. Why the GRM isn’t a measure of the number of years it will take to pay off the property There are several problems with assuming that the GRM is the number of years it will take to recoup your investment. The first fallacy with considering GRM as a measurement of time is that it does not take into account expenses. If a property produces $50,000 per year in gross rent, the GRM does consider property taxes, insurance, maintenance, management nor does it include any debt service that the investor might be paying to secure the investment. The second issue with considering GRM as a measurement of time is that rent typically increases as time progresses. The gross rent multiplier only considers the current rent not any future rent increases. For the above two reasons, it is inaccurate to assume that the GRM is some measurement of the “number of years” it would take to recoup your investment because it doesn't include expenses, nor does it include any future increases in rent. Both of these affect the amount of time it will take to get your investment back. Does a buyer want a high GRM or a low GRM? Generally, as a buyer, a low GRM is preferred. Lower GRMs generally represent better deals for buyers because the ratio of the gross income to the purchase price is lower. Higher GRMs generally mean that the buyer of an investment property is paying more for every dollar in income that the property produces. Closing thoughts While not perfect, the gross rent multiplier is still a common method that investors used to analyze a particular property. Keep in mind that this is not the ground truth golden method, because expenses are not considered. If you are considering signing up for real estate school we would love to have you! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Different MLS statuses

Different mls statuses explained image1

As some of our readers have moved beyond obtaining their real estate license and passing the real estate exam, I wanted to have some content that is a little more advanced for the reader. After you

As some of our readers have moved beyond obtaining their real estate license and passing the real estate exam, I wanted to have some content that is a little more advanced for the reader. After you complete real estate school, you’ll end up working at a brokerage and are likely going to become a member of a local Multiple Listing Service and a member of an Association of Realtors. As you might already know, the MLS is the Multiple Listing Service and is a database of properties for sale and also contains history of homes that were for sale and those that have sold. It’s really an invaluable tool. Generally, most MLS systems require that any status updates to a property be reported within two business days of the status change and will result in a status violation if not changed in a timely way. Broadly, there are two types of MLS statuses: 1. On-market 2. OFF-market On market statuses are used on properties that the seller is actively soliciting offers on. The off market status represents those houses that either have sold or those that the seller is not actively trying to obtain offers on. I have written the statuses below and have used abbreviations of the statuses also. For example, the “Coming Soon” status is abbreviated by a “C” and the “Active” status is abbreviated with an “A”. On Market Statuses COMING SOON (C) This status would be used by a real estate professional when they have a valid listing contract on a property and there isn’t an offer accepted as yet. For this status to be used, the listing firm must have specific instructions signed by the seller to submit the listing as “Coming Soon” and not “Active” - there’s a difference. While under this status, the agent is permitted to market and advertise the property and must include language that the property is “Coming Soon” and must include the date the property’s status will become “Active”. A key point to remember with the “Coming Soon” status is that the property must not be available for showings while the status is such. The fact that the property is not allowed to be shown to prospective buyers while in “Coming Soon” is a big deal. There may be agents - or buyers - that see the property online and want to see it in person to get a jump start on the market. This is not permitted while it is listed as “coming soon”. ACTIVE (A) The Active status is much less complicated than the “Coming Soon” one. The “Active” status is used when a property is On-Market and when the agent has a valid listing contract signed by the seller and no offer has been accepted as yet. ACTIVE UNDER CONTRACT (U) Like the simple “Active” status, “Active Under Contract” is also technically an On-Market status even though the property has an accepted offer on it. This status is used when the seller has already accepted an offer but wants the property to remain as an on-market status to collect back-up offers. This might be a prudent status if the sale is subject to court or other third party approval as those third party approvals can sometimes be hairy and take more time than the current buyer is willing to wait. It's important to keep in mind that even though the property is still active under contract, the seller generally does not have a right to cancel an existing escrow if they get a higher offer later making this not truly an “on-the-market” scenario. Off-Market Statuses HOLD (H) Unlike Coming Soon, Active or Active Under Contract, the “Hold” status is an Off-Market status. The agent would tag the property this way when a valid listing contract is in effect but due to myriad reasons the seller doesn’t want any showings. Perhaps this is due to repairs being made to the property or even an illness of an occupant and the seller might not want to show the home on a temporary basis. WITHDRAWN STATUS (W) If the listing agent on a home is going to use a “Withdrawn” status the agent is indicating that the property is moving to an Off-Market status. If this contract is going to be used, the property will no longer be marketed through the MLS - despite the fact that a valid listing contract exists. In other words, the listing is being withdrawn from the MLS but no necessarily withdrawn from the market as a whole. Beware - there is potential to incur a duplicate listing violation if the seller relists with another listing agent and a Withdrawn status is still in effect. PENDING (P) This status is also an “off-market” one. The listing agent can switch the status to Pending once an offer has been accepted. The main difference between Active Under Contract and Pending is that when the listing is “Pending” the Seller is no longer soliciting offers through the MLS whereas while “Active Under Contact” the seller continues to solicit offers. CANCELED (K) Canceled is a unique status as only Brokers and Office Managers have the permission to change a listing’s status to Canceled. The reason for this is that the listing contract is taken in the name of the broker and not the individual agent and as such no individual salesperson has the unilateral ability to cancel a listing. This is an off-market status once changed to Canceled. It’s important to note that using Withdrawn instead of Canceled will result in a status violation if tagged incorrectly. CLOSED (S) Congratulations! If you are switching the status of your listing to “Closed” it means that your transaction has successfully completed and title has transferred from the seller to the buyer. This status is an Off-Market one and a property should be tagged as such after escrow has closed. If you had a lease listing this could also be used after a property has been successfully leased. EXPIRED (X) Like the “CLOSED” status, the “Expired” status is an Off-Market status and should be used when the time period of the listing has lapsed and the listing contract has, as such, expired. Most of the MLS platforms will automatically set the status to “Expired” once the time period has elapsed. At the time of the listing being input, the agent is required to specify the Date of Expiration so the system knows when to change the status to “Expired”. If the property sells before the expiration date and the agent has changed the status to “CLOSED” the MLS will not trigger an EXPIRED status after CLOSED. Closing thoughts: Choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for should ensure that you are trained up properly and that there are no surprises when it comes to what these MLS statuses actually mean. Some of the above are obvious, but the intricacies of when to use each one can sometimes be confusing. Hope this helps! As always, if you are interested in signing up for real estate school reach out to us at       888 768 5285! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The 2023 Ultimate Guide To Starting a Real Estate Business

Ultimate guide image

Many of our readers are just starting their journey into the world of real estate and they want to start a real estate business from scratch. Most of them want to understand the steps of the journey they

Many of our readers are just starting their journey into the world of real estate and they want to start a real estate business from scratch. Most of them want to understand the steps of the journey they are about to embark on and see a path to success laid out for them. Step 1: Enroll in real estate classes The first step in your real estate journey is to enroll in a California state approved real estate school and complete three required courses.  The courses required to sit for the real estate exam are: Real Estate Principles Real Estate Practice + Elective course While we offer a selection of elective courses, my recommendation is to choose Legal Aspects of Real Estate because it contains the most relevant information to prepare you for your California real estate exam. Additionally, if you wish to obtain your brokers license at some point,Legal Aspects of Real Estate is a required course so completing this course will serve these two purposes. As far as options to complete the program go, we have two packages that can get this done for you. One is a package wherein a licensed instructor will walk you through all the material and the other is a self-study option where you read the material on your own. My recommendation would be to choose the instructor-led Zoom calls mostly because there is so much material to digest and having a professional to ask questions of will make the experience easier and provide more of a roadmap for you. Step 2: Pass the real estate exam and obtain a real estate license Once you have enrolled and completed the three required courses the next step is to take and pass the state licensing exam in California. The best way to get ready for this exam is with our famous crash course software. Our crash course offers hundreds of videos explaining each answer choice and why the answer is correct and the others are wrong. The sales license exam is given over 3 hours and it consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Passing score is a 70% or better. Pro tip: Don’t worry about getting 100% on this exam. The state doesn’t even release your score when you pass. The exam is strictly qualifying in nature and as long as you score at least a 70% you’ll be good to go. Obtaining a real estate license also requires that you clear a criminal background check. This is done through a process called Live Scan. This Live Scan is required even if you’ve gone through this process in the past for another license or purpose. For example, we have many students who are also notary publics or have other professional licenses and certifications that required that they be fingerprinted in the past. This doesn’t matter - you’ll have to go through the fingerprinting again. Step 3: Choose a real estate broker to work for If your aspiration is just to get a real estate license, you don't necessarily have to put that license with a broker. However, if you want to work and represent buyers and sellers, the real estate law requires that you find a broker to work for and hang your license with. As you make the decision about where to work keep in mind that there are many things that determine whether you are working at the right firm. Learn more about how to pick a broker here: To a newer agent, the most important thing in deciding where to work should be the training program available and the culture around the office. For example, if your goal is to make a lot of money and help lots of clients, you'll want to make sure that you are in an environment where the broker encourages teamwork, camaraderie and a culture of training. Step 4: Start working on your sales skills One of the most underrated aspects of starting as a new real estate sales professional is the fact that people forget that the nature of this job is sales. The successful real estate agent will employ marketing strategies to get their name out there, be able to set an appointment and ultimately close for the contract. Whether dealing with buyers or sellers there are objections that your client will inevitably throw at you. For example, buyers might want to wait until interest rates come down or prices cool off. Sellers will want to understand what your marketing plan is and may even ask you to cut your commission. Your ability to handle these objections with empathy and professionalism is key to your success. The best real estate sales professionals continuously practice their skills, role-play, and work on their sales abilities each and every day. Step 5: Solidify Your Marketing Plan With over 400,000 real estate licensees in California it's important to be able to be found and recognized as an area expert. The only way to do this is through proper marketing as marketing is the lifeblood of any business. It’s no different when it comes to you as an individual real estate professional. As a newer agent, the big question is, how are you going to be found? Joining a team can help in this effort because teams generally allocate marketing dollars to lead generation and they pass out these leads to members on their team. It’s important to bear in mind that these leads come at a cost, however. Commission splits are often lower on a team, because not only do you have to pay the brokerage but you'll also have to pay a split to your team in return for generating those leads for you. Being able to ride the coattails of your team should mean that you don’t have to figure out your own marketing plan. Whether or not you end up joining a team, I would still suggest doing community and sponsorship events, a lot of direct mail, and maybe even some good old fashioned doorknocking. Consider sponsoring the local chili cook off or the Little League team to get in front of residents in the community. Remember that sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. Marketing will help you bring in the leads, while sales skills will help you close the leads that you do generate. Don’t neglect social media. It’s important to be active on Instagram and Facebook and maybe even start your own YouTube channel. Social media is a great way for members of the community to get to know you and gives you the chance to show that you're an active local real estate professional. Step 6: Continue to grow your career I understand that reading that you should “grow your career” sounds cliche and I’m aware that this saying means different things to different people. In the context of being a real estate agent, growth could involve branching out into other aspects of real estate like property management or commercial real estate. The concept of growing your career also involves attending continuous training on sales skills, marketing, social media strategies, or even technical training like new laws that affect the real estate community or updates to the purchase agreement. Your goal should be to avoid stagnation and always continue to grow and learn. Real estate is an ever-changing industry and technological tools have changed the way the properties are purchased. Given the fact that our clients are trusting us with what is likely their largest asset, we have a duty to make sure that we are learning all we can and that we are the best real estate agent possible. I'm hoping the six steps I’ve outlined will help understand the arc of starting and growing a lucrative career in real estate. It can be an extremely rewarding career and I’m looking forward to helping you get started or continue to grow it. If you are interested in learning more about starting a real estate career, call us at 888 768 5285 or send us a message on Instagram Love, Kartik TLDR: Here are the six steps to starting and growing your real estate career. 1. Enroll in real estate classes 2. Pass the real estate exam and obtain a real estate license 3. Choose a real estate broker to work for 4. Start working on your sales skills 5. Solidify your marketing plan 6. Continue to grow your career
Practical advice for real estate agents

6 Things Real Estate Agents Should Expect From a Lender

Things real estate agents should

As a real estate professional, it’s hard to overstate the importance of having a competent loan officer on your team. Since most real estate purchases involve financing, the person quarterbacking the

As a real estate professional, it’s hard to overstate the importance of having a competent loan officer on your team. Since most real estate purchases involve financing, the person quarterbacking the buyer’s loan can make or break the purchase of the property - and ultimately affect whether or not you get your commission. Remember - real estate agents don’t get paid for opening escrows, the only thing that matters is closing them. As a student in our real estate license course, assembling a great team consisting of a reliable escrow officer, title representative and a mortgage professional might seem completely disconnected from your pre license studies or real estate crash course but it’s an important thing to consider nonetheless. This way, once you do obtain your real estate license you can hit the ground running. So who do you choose as your go-to lender? I made a quick list of some of the things you’ll want to consider for as you choose a lender for your team: Reliable Pre-approvals In short, if a lender is going to write up a pre-approval letter for your buyer it’s important to be sure that the transaction is actually going to close. While there are no absolute guarantees, you and your buyer should at least have some confidence that the transaction is actually going to happen with no foreseeable problems regarding the loan. Lots of lenders today will issue a “DU” approval as well. “DU” stands for Desktop Underwriter with Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter is an automated system for mortgage underwriting that determines if a loan meets approval requirements. Lots of listing agents will also want to see an “approved eligible” printout from DU to ensure that the buyer is well qualified. As a real estate agent you need to have trust in your lender that their pre-approval letter carries weight. At the end of the day, if that pre-approval letter doesn’t translate into an actual funding it will leave the real estate agent and the buyer with a big problem on their hands as the buyer may end up losing their deposit and the real estate agent won’t get paid. In the end a pre-approval that doesn’t blow up in your face is a bare minimum you should expect from a lender. On-Time Closings There’s nothing worse than a closing that is continuously delayed. It puts the buyer and the seller in precarious positions, forcing them to rearrange schedules, potentially delaying start dates at jobs, and generally giving all parties in the deal heartburn. To be clear, on occasion there will be delays that are beyond the lender’s control. Perhaps the buyer’s employer is lagging on delivering a Verification of Employment. Maybe the IRS has delays related to a tax transcript. But either way, a lender that has the ability to foresee potential problems related to the loan early on and takes action based on these possible roadblocks is worth their weight in gold. A Wide Variety of Loan Products While it’s unfair to expect a lender to be an expert in all loan types, a lender should have the ability to do more than a home loan for a borrower with a 800 FICO score and twenty percent down. It’s not unreasonable to expect a good lender to have a wide variety of loan offerings -- conventional loans, programs for first time home buyers, FHA loans, VA loans and more. A lender that has these basic arrows in their quiver will allow the Realtor to get more comfortable with the lender and solidify them as the go-to for new clients. The Ability to Problem Solve Most loans have some hair on them. Maybe a borrower has a gap in their employment history. Perhaps there is one 30 day late payment showing up on the credit report from 18 months ago that is bringing down their credit score. Either way, most real estate loans aren’t perfect and they require some level of critical thinking in order to close them on time and with minimal hassle. Finding a loan originator that knows how to deal with small -and sometimes large - problems is helpful. Superior Customer Service Excellent customer service makes dealing with a lender less stressful. What defines good customer service? In the lending and real estate world, this means answering your phone and responding to email, communicating often and keeping tabs on the cadence of the loan. Whether the agent or borrower needs the answer to a simple question or requires serious assistance with a major issue, the lender should have customer service resources available. If the lender isn’t immediately available, the lender should make it clear who should be contacted in their absence. Transparency Above all else, borrowers today value integrity and transparency. Lenders who change terms at the last minute or mislead homebuyers are not to be trusted. Most real estate agents seek out lenders with proven histories of doing right by clients and respecting the financial burdens of those about to make the biggest purchases of their lives. When a real estate agent recommends a lender to a buyer they are, in essence, vouching for them and there can be reputational risks to the agent if the lender doesn’t perform. Pairing motivated buyers with reliable lenders is an important job of a buyer’s agent. The right partnership will result in a smooth transaction that becomes a win for all parties. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

6 Things To Consider When Starting as a Commercial Real Estate Agent

6 steps to becoming a commercial

Starting a career in real estate and obtaining your real estate license opens up a new world of opportunity to you. There are so many different career paths that can be taken one you get your real estate

Starting a career in real estate and obtaining your real estate license opens up a new world of opportunity to you. There are so many different career paths that can be taken one you get your real estate license. While it’s true that most of our students start their career selling houses, commercial real estate (CRE) is also an option for you in California. There are similarities between both areas of practice as they involve helping clients buy, sell and lease property so the desired outcome is the same. The high level difference is that the clients to whom you provide services are simply looking at a different class of property. A common misconception is that the commercial side of the business is somehow more complicated than residential but in many ways the opposite is true. Commercial files can be thinner because there are many forms and documents that are required in residential real estate that don’t exist in the commercial world. In any case, if commercial is an area of specialization you find appealing, here are some things to consider and things you’ll need to do: 1. Obtain a real estate license Every real estate agent, regardless of whether they plan to work in residential or commercial real estate, must meet specific criteria and pass an exam. Individual states set their own criteria, so be sure to research your state’s process. Generally speaking, you must meet eligibility requirements, take approved pre-licensing real estate classes, and pass the real estate exam to obtain a license. 2. Find a firm specializing in CRE After you choose a real estate school and receive your real estate salesperson license in California, you’ll have to place your license under a broker. Once you select a broker, the firm will dictate the type of real estate you can practice. If you want to pursue work in the CRE market you will have to find a broker that has the bandwidth and resources to conduct commercial sales and leasing. This is where it can get a little sticky because most residential firms don’t offer the tools needed to do commercial real estate and most commercial firms don’t offer the residential tools to sell a house. 3. Get trained up in commercial real estate Finding someone to mentor and train you to practice commercial real estate is not as easy as finding a residential mentor. Part of why this is true is that there are far more residential real estate agents than there are commercial ones and residential firms are typically more eager to hire than commercial ones. There are large commercial companies like CB Richard Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle that might hire you with the right resume and connections, or you can explore working at a more boutique local shop in your area. The key thing here is to find solid training and a mentorship program that will allow you to start your commercial real estate career properly. 4. Identify an area of specialty Many residential real estate agents specialize in certain types of homes, such as retirement communities, townhouses, luxury homes, or another niche. The commercial real estate industry tends to be even more specialized than this. The commercial real estate world tends to be broken down into five pillars: Retail - Shopping centers Industrial - Warehouse type uses Office - Larger or single tenant office spaces Raw land - Developer specialization Apartments/multi family sales - 5 or more apartment units While there can be some cross-over between these two functions there is still a high level of specialization. 5. Create a marketing strategy Not unlike residential real estate, you need to have marketing and branding strategies in your toolbox. In addition to the types of properties you want to specialize in, your plan should include factors such as how to target clients, budgets, unique selling points, and strategies to client outreach. These branding and marketing initiatives can include real estate postcard mailing, really cool property photos, or a social media strategy. 6. Explore other career possibilities One of the benefits of working in the commercial real estate field is the ability to expand your practice. Besides an area of specialization, there are opportunities to participate in arranging financing for a property, performing property management, or (as mentioned above) negotiating tenant leases. Just how wide of a net you can cast is going to be dependent on your brokerage and the services that they offer. If your brokerage doesn’t have a trust account and accounting systems created, you won’t be able to legally conduct property management so you’ll want to explain your aspirations to your broker and see if they have a system to support your endeavors. A final thought Because sales prices are generally higher on commercial properties than residential ones commercial agents often find they can earn larger commissions, which can equate to higher annual earnings. Many agents who specialize in this area find it to be a lucrative, exciting, and rewarding experience. It's important to know, success doesn't come overnight, it takes effort and experience. The large commercial deal sizes can have a negative impact on the commissioned real estate agent, however. If your entire earnings for the year are dependent on one large deal that ends up falling apart this can put you in a precarious position. Nevertheless, if commercial real estate sounds appealing to you, you need to start with our real estate license course. Register today so we can help you prepare for a lucrative career in the commercial market. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

9 Listing Presentation Tips

How to master your listing

As a current or former student in our real estate license school you might remember my lecture from Real Estate Practice on listing presentations. I’ve placed a link to the YouTube video here if you

As a current or former student in our real estate license school you might remember my lecture from Real Estate Practice on listing presentations. I’ve placed a link to the YouTube video here if you need a refresher or haven’t seen it yet. While this video isn’t intended to be a real estate crash course it’s still helpful to watch as you strategize around building your seller-focused real estate business. While buyer clients are important, a scaleable real estate business is built around controlling listing inventory and that means working with sellers. In order to obtain listings, you must become proficient at generating seller leads and making killer presentations. The high-level goal is to demonstrate you are the best Realtor for the job of selling their home. Because of the competitive nature of the market you’ll need to have a solid listing presentation. Sellers have options when it comes to listing their home as the number of real estate agents in an area far exceeds the inventory at any given time. I’ve put together some tips as you work with and negotiate with a potential seller. 1. Introduce yourself Every meeting starts with an introduction. Keep in mind first impressions matter—so be sure to get this part right—and remember to smile. Be prepared to share your credentials, previous successes, and any other pertinent information demonstrating why you’re the right person to list their home. 2. Know the property Before you arrive, make sure you’ve researched everything possible about the property and dig beyond surface-level information like bedroom and bathroom count. If you haven’t done your homework, it’ll be obvious to the seller. Make sure that your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is detailed, up- to-date and visually appealing. 3. Walk through the selling process Share a clear timeline with the seller so they know what to expect. Much of this timeline will depend upon the current state of the market, so be prepared to explain any circumstances that will impact the time it’ll take from listing to contract and from contract to close. It’s also important to also explain to the seller that buyers will generally have the right to conduct an inspection on the home while it’s in escrow. This could cause the buyer to ask for repairs or even ask for a monetary credit as a result of the inspection. Going through several possible scenarios with the seller will help minimize surprises during the listing. 4. Explain pricing strategy The main thing that prevents a listing from selling is an inappropriate price. Proper pricing can overcome nearly everything. Does the property have an inferior location? Price it properly. Is there an odd smell or is the home in desperate need of landscaping? Fix the price. The professional real estate agent should have relevant comps pulled, bearing in mind the condition of the subject property, condition and location of comps, and have the communication skills to convey this information to the seller. Be prepared and ready to explain the recommended price to the seller. It’s not uncommon for the owner to believe that their home is worth more money than your data suggests, especially in the world of Zillow. I recorded a YouTube video about this here if you need a refresher. 5. Explain pre-listing steps As a sales technique, speak to the seller during the presentation as though you already have the listing. Educate them on what will be occurring after they sign. Assume that they are going to be listing with you. It’s important that the seller know that the property won’t hit the market the instant you leave the presentation as there are many things that still have to happen. Photography must be arranged, marketing collateral needs to be created and copy must be written, as examples. Giving the sellers a heads up about the process will go a long way in establishing rapport, trust and an understanding of the cadence of the process. 6. Explain marketing strategy If your marketing strategy consists of placing the property on the MLS with one iPhone photo - this isn’t going to be enough. Since real estate commissions easily run $10,000+ on most homes in California, it’s important to explain to the seller what the plan to sell their home is and why our commissions are as they are. A well thought out marketing plan will help justify your fee and aid the seller in understanding where their money goes. Include any syndication, local marketing, and online publicizing—share techniques you use that make their home stand out in a competitive marketplace. 7. Remember to listen You want to build a relationship of trust with clients. Talk to them about why they’re selling their home and ask what their future plans are understanding their needs will help you better serve them. Also remember to include all family members in the discussion. Often times a real estate professional might only speak to one spouse, falsely believing that they are the decision maker when the decision to list might be one made jointly by both owners. God gave us two ears and one mouth-remember to use them run that ratio. 8. Dress for success Non-verbal cues like body language, grooming and how we dress can say a lot more than verbal communication can. There is little doubt that in a post-COVID world the business climate has moved away from suits, ties and pantyhose in favor of a more relaxed attire. Depending on your market, how you dress might vary, but generally, business casual is probably appropriate. One last tip: While the world is a bit more casual it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed so choose your wardrobe carefully. 9. Leverage the power of reviews If you (or your company) have testimonials or online reviews from previous clients, bring them to the listing presentation. People are more inclined to trust others who have experienced success with their agents. These nine tips should help you put your best foot forward when making listing presentations. It all starts with the right real estate school so choose wisely. I’d love to help you get started in our great business. Call me at 888 768 5285 and I or a member of my team can get you started. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The dos and don'ts of real estate social media posting

Social media realestate media posting

Social media is a terrific way for real estate agents to gain more exposure. However,like any other marketing strategy, you want to be careful about how you post. To ensure social media results that promote

Social media is a terrific way for real estate agents to gain more exposure. However,like any other marketing strategy, you want to be careful about how you post. To ensure social media results that promote a smart strategy, follow these do’s and avoid don’ts when posting on the various platforms. Do’s of real estate social media posting Promoting positive interactions is a must for a successful social media marketing strategy as a real estate agent. Here are a few top best practices. 1. Be selective Be selective with the social media platforms you join. It’s nearly impossible for busy real estate agents to maintain a profile on every social media network. The U.S. NationalAssociation of Realtors (NAR) found in a study 97% of realtors chose Facebook as their preferred network. Facebook was followed by LinkedIn (59%), and Instagram (39%). Roughly one-third choose Twitter. Other possibilities include Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube. The key to choosing correctly is to know your target audience.. 2. Be active Promoting on social media goes well beyond setting up a profile and promoting listings.If you focus on self-promotion, you’re only going to alienate people. Instead, concentrate on being a part of the community. Share posts, make comments, ask thoughtful questions, and give shoutouts to connections. Bottom line, be consistent in terms of activity and be responsive to others. 3. Use visibility strategies When posting or sharing others’ posts, be sure to use visibility strategies to gain traction. Good methods include using keywords with hashtags and tagging others in your network to give them call-outs. Don’ts of real estate social media posting Just one blunder can soil your professional standing, but a series of bad practices can really hurt your reputation if not careful. Here are the top don’ts when it comes to social media marketing for real estate agents. 1. Don't be overly promotional This is #1 on the list of things NOT to do. Don’t try to oversell on your page, but use social media to share interesting news, customer interests, how-to’s, or even fun memes. By using your page strictly as a personal listing mechanism, people will disconnect from you or scroll through your posts without even looking. Always follow the 80/20 rule when using social media. 2. Use your own photos Photos are a critical aspect of promoting properties. Ideally, you want to use your own photos to highlight listings you promote. (20% of your posts!) If using others' photos, be sure to first ask permission first and then publicly give credit to the photo’s owner. 3. Don’t post constantly The trick to social media marketing success is balance. You need to find the “Goldilocks” level of posting. In other words, don’t post so frequently it becomes “noise”,or worse, social media’s version of unsolicited robocalls. Then again, you don’t want to post so infrequently that you become irrelevant. Focus on timely, thoughtful, and interesting posts, spread out. Determine what your audience likes and then deliver it. Savvy real estate agents know how to skillfully use social media to gain the trust of potential clients and maintain strong relationships with existing ones. Focus on good social media practices, avoid bad ones, and you’ll create a standout online presence.
Practical advice for real estate agents

Benefits of instructor-led real estate classes

Benefits using study group

As you prepare for your real estate exam you’ll no doubt take at least one of our crash courses. These lectures and online tools can be done in the comfort of your own home and are based on individual

As you prepare for your real estate exam you’ll no doubt take at least one of our crash courses. These lectures and online tools can be done in the comfort of your own home and are based on individual self-study. But what if you aren’t quite ready for a real estate crash course yet? What if you still need to complete Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice and the elective course in real estate school? While we offer an amazing self-study program to help you finish the required courses there are some students who don’t do well left to their own devices. Does this sound like you? What if you wanted a professional instructor who walked you through the course material, but didn’t need to drive to a physical location? A plus with gas prices being $7 a gallon. To bridge the gap between total self-study and a physical real estate school we offer an amazing Zoom-based option. I made a list of seven benefits of this program to prepare and qualify for the California real estate exam. 1. Eliminate procrastination By coming to our scheduled Zoom calls, you’ll be less inclined to put off studying the material to qualify for the exam. When working independently, it’s easy to procrastinate, but when you make a commitment to meet with our study group you’ll be more motivated to press on and prepare so you’re ready to cover the material with other group members. 2. You’ll Probably Learn Faster Members of study groups like those on our Zoom calls tend to learn faster than individuals who work independently. With any type of learning, it’s common to get stuck on a concept and have difficulty getting over the proverbial learning hump. With fellow students and an instructor to talk out concepts with, it can clarify some of the drier material. 3. Fill in Gaps in Notes While you might prepare for class by watching some of the videos on our YouTube channel questions might arise as you watch the videos or read the textbooks. Bring you questions to class and the instructor will answer them and encourage you to deep-dive into the course material. You can read the book on your own first, knowing that if you do have a question you’ll be able to ask it to the instructor and bounce ideas off other students in the process. As a result, fewer gaps exist, when it’s time to take the real estate exam you’ll be better prepared. 4. Sharpen Your Study Skills Everyone has their own techniques they use to study. However, working with a diverse group of other hopeful real estate agents empowers you to sharpen your own study skills. You’ll be able to learn from the strengths of others and maybe even share your own with them. 5. Break Up Monotony of Studying Alone Studying alone is very monotonous and it could lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and loneliness. On the other hand, working with a group pursuing the same goals not only adds socialization, it gives you something to look forward to nearly daily. Check out our schedule of Zoom classes here! <hyperlink to > 6. Hone Your People Skills Working as a real estate agent means you’ll need to hone your people skills if you don’t already possess them. Success in our industry is based on your ability to work with other people. In study groups, you’ll encounter a variety of personalities and this will strengthen your ability to communicate with different people - a must in real estate! 7. Get a Jump on Networking In a sense, a study group can be your first step into developing your professional network. In any industry, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Often, those on our Zoom calls have built a sense of camaraderie – the perfect seed to grow a professional network. Remember, not only can you connect with members of your group, but they can introduce you and vice versa to other people. Knowing you have friends in real estate upon passing your exam is a great feeling - It’s never too soon to build a professional network! In order to pass California’s licensing exam you’ll need to gain a full understanding of the topics and concepts used in everyday real estate business. Joining our Zoom calls can put you on a solid path. If you are interested in getting a free guest pass to check out one of our Zoom study sessions, click here and pick a day and time that works for you. I look forward to seeing you on an upcoming real estate Zoom call! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

5 Things that can make it harder to pass your real estate exam

Studying 5 things

Imagine you have completed all the required classes at our real estate school and now you are in the process of studying for your real estate exam. You’re probably taking our real estate crash course

Imagine you have completed all the required classes at our real estate school and now you are in the process of studying for your real estate exam. You’re probably taking our real estate crash course and are focused on prepping for the test. You can probably tell from our hundreds of 5 star reviews that we know a thing or two about getting students to pass their real estate exam Still, I wanted to write a quick blog outlining a few things that can actually make it harder to pass your test so you know what not to do. I’ve read some other articles from folks that incorrectly say that the real estate test is purposely and unnecessarily difficult. This isn’t really the case. If you understand the concepts and study you should have no problem passing. I’ve read some other articles from folks that incorrectly say that the real estate test is purposely and unnecessarily difficult. This isn’t really the case. If you understand the concepts and study you should have no problem passing. Consider the below list as you do: Bad Prep Materials or a Bad Exam Prep Program Call me a little biased, but I think that our real estate crash course is the best way to study for the real estate test out there. There are alternative products in the marketplace that aren’t California specific or that are written by people who have never even taken the real estate exam. Obviously, the purpose of real estate exam prep material is to increase comprehension of the subject matter. Understanding that most people are on their mobile devices the majority of the time, our team developed an app for Android and iOS devices that is second to none. If you don’t have this yet, get it! In the end, prep materials that do not play to your strengths decrease your chances of passing the real estate exam. 2. Too Much Study Time on What’s Not Important One of the common mistakes real estate examinees make is focusing on items not likely to be on the exam. What too often occurs is that folks can get bogged down in the minutia and lose focus on critical concepts and facts. Some call this not “seeing the forest through the trees.” I cringe when students send me articles about how to study for the “math portion” of the real estate test or 50 questions on the history of California. The truth is that there is very little actual arithmetic on the real estate test so spending 15 hours studying how to calculate capitalization rates isn’t going to do much good when there are other topics that appear far more frequently on the exam. The good news about our crash course system is that questions are weighted in the same ratio that the actual real estate exam is. Our system is organized in a fashion that emphasizes primary concepts and focuses your study time in ways that actually matter. The point is that investing too much of your limited time in minutia might not be a good decision. 3. Procrastination Procrastinators of the World Unite! Tomorrow.” People from all walks of life come up with seemingly good reasons to put off studying. These rank among the common reasons people procrastinate. Feeling Overwhelmed Lack of Urgency Lack of Discipline Don’t Like to Study Can’t Choose a Starting Point Giving in to these and other inclinations puts potential real estate professionals behind the knowledge curve. The sooner you crack open the materials and begin learning at a deeper level, the better your chances of passing the test. I would recommend doing all the questions in the training mode of our real estate crash course at least twice before attempting a mock exam. Focusing on our training mode will expose you to all the questions in our system and eliminate any false confidence from a high score on a random mock exam. 4. Failing to Follow a Study Plan Possessing an actionable study guide and plan cures some of the reasons to procrastinate. Of course, potential real estate professionals will need to leverage a study plan in a timely and orderly fashion. Common missteps involve jumping around and prioritizing topics you feel comfortable studying. Such practices are more a lack of discipline than an attempt to gain high-level knowledge. It’s essential to use a study plan designed to build one concept on another. Like many other industries and disciplines, real estate knowledge tasks people with possessing a broad understanding of how things intersect. Rifling through study materials and jumping ahead typically results in fragmented ideas that don’t translate to sound professional skills. Remember to set aside plenty of time before the test to ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed - This leads me to my final point. 5. Test Anxiety and Last Minute Cramming When I was in high school and college, I would love the adrenaline rush of studying for an exam at the absolute last minute and leaving with a good score. While exhilarating, it’s important to realize that the real estate exam should not be approached in this manner. There is far too much material to only study the night before. A study schedule at least two weeks before the test will help you stay focused and ensure you have ample time to review and understand the material. It’s totally normal to feel a little on edge before the exam starts. Issues such as self-doubt or fear of failure can derail efforts to pass the real estate exam. The good news is that test anxiety does not have to stop you from beginning a new career. TLDR: Learn to Study Effectively Establish a Study Routine Practice Relaxation Strategies Exercise, Eat Well, Hydrate, and Get Restful Sleep Reach out to our office at 888 768 5285 or shoot us a message if you’re having a hard time passing the test. Love Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Importance of Previewing Property

Agents the importance of realtors

One of my early real estate sales managers passed away a few years ago. When I think back on our interactions, one thing that stands out is his advice that an agent isn’t going to make money sitting

One of my early real estate sales managers passed away a few years ago. When I think back on our interactions, one thing that stands out is his advice that an agent isn’t going to make money sitting in the office behind a desk. You’ve got to get out there, pound the pavement and understand the local market. Previewing property is something that should be a non-negotiable for a real estate professional, especially a newer licensee. Even if you are just starting in our real estate license course you can still play around on websites like or other IDX sites to sort of “arm chair” quarterback and see what’s going on in the market. Once you get your real estate license you’ll want to start physically entering as many properties as possible so you can keep a pulse on what’s happening in the marketplace. By the way, this shouldn’t seem like too much of a chore as most people that take our real estate classes have at least some interest in viewing homes and property for sale. I can’t tell you how many students I have spoken with that say “I love going to open houses! I want my license!” Now get out there and do it! What is involved in previewing property? Previewing property involves searching the MLS for homes and then scheduling times to physically walk the properties. As an additional prospecting method, some agents even knock on the doors of nearby homes to let neighbors know of the home that’s for sale. This can be particularly valuable in the event there isn’t a For Sale sign on the property you are previewing. When knocking, a good script could be to ask nearby owners if they know a friend, family member or co-worker that might be interested in the home for sale, it’s a great opportunity to “pick their new neighbor”. This is an easy and natural way of networking with nearby owners. It’s free for you to do One of the biggest benefits of previewing properties is the fact it’s an absolutely free method of gaining local market knowledge. The only investment is your time - and most new agents have more time than money. Savvy real estate agents who preview properties on a routine basis find they get more listings, obtain valuable market knowledge in the areas they work in and grow their businesses faster. You can obtain valuable knowledge about the market When you follow the strategy of previewing property you will gain a stronger understanding of the local inventory. This will empower you to rapidly identify properties for interested buyers. For instance, knowing a geographical area intimately means you’ll be armed with the ability to quickly answer questions clients have about inventory in the area. This boosts your professional reputation and people will start to see you as an expert. Agents who have previewed properties may also have earned access to unpublished or not widely publicized information. Additionally you’ll learn what homes are on the market and the routine of previewing property will force you to dig into the local inventory daily. You’ll have the ability to generate more leads Physically going out to look at homes in a specific market means you’re also actively meeting people and expanding your professional network. While you could just view Matterport tours from your home or office there really isn’ta substitute to getting out in the field and touching the inventory. An added bonus is that you never know who you’ll meet that wants to hire you. Buyers will be impressed with your proactive approach to understanding the market and know you’ll be equipped to help them find their dream home. Sellers will appreciate that you have your pulse on the market and are more inclined to list with you because they’ll have faith you can help them present a solid marketing strategy. Agents may also find as they preview homes, they stumble across properties not listed on the MLS, such as pocket listings, FSBOs, expired listings, and owners who want to sell but temporarily removed their homes from the market. Networking is an important activity for any industry but has a special place in a direct sales business like real estate. You gain information to have a powerful listing presentation When you are on a listing presentation, rest assured that the seller is looking to hire an agent who knows the neighborhood, knows the street and knows their home. Previewing 3-5 properties daily will aid in your listing presentations because you’ll be able to demonstrate to your seller that you intimately know the market having seen all the inventory in the local marketplace. This is a non-negotiable as you don’t want to be seen as an agent who knows less than the client. The net-net bottom line is that previewing properties will give you a reason to get out of the office – you just never know where it’ll bring you or what clients you’ll land next. Remember what that sales manager told me so long ago - the money in real estate isn’t made sitting in the office. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What is a Virtual Real Estate Brokerage


To say that the world has changed over the last few years is certainly something of an understatement. As the pandemic began to take hold in March of 2020, suddenly in-person gatherings of any kind

To say that the world has changed over the last few years is certainly something of an understatement. As the pandemic began to take hold in March of 2020, suddenly in-person gatherings of any kind were all but impossible. In the real estate world, this created a bit of chaos as agents and clients wondered how to show a prospective buyer a house when multiple people can't be in the same place at the same time? Moreover, how do real estate agents operate in a world where everyone is suddenly doing business remotely? COVID created a perfect storm for the real estate business and allowed for some pretty powerful “virtual” or “cloud” brokerages to come to prominence. Such companies mostly exist online - meaning that there are very few, if any, physical office locations to speak of. Realtors who join such companies typically feel that having traditional office space doesn’t really matter because the nature of our work doesn’t mean we sit at a desk all day. These online companies also often offer higher commission splits to their agents because of lower overhead. The firm doesn’t have to spend money renting an office space or buy furniture, office equipment or pay utilities. Some seasoned agents who already have an extensive book of business are attracted to this virtual model as the more experienced salesperson doesn’t need as much basic training and handholding as those who are new to the field. This type of brokerage does have it’s downsides, however. In a traditional real estate firm, agents have the option of reporting to a location in the morning and leveraging support staff and have the ability to meet with clients and more. Larger real estate firms that have a significant brick and mortar presence are often perceived to have more credibility than a strictly online operation. Local buyers and sellers are often assured by a large real estate firm sign on the side of a building in their hometown that the company - and the agent - are there to stay. If you are wondering how to choose a real estate office to work at consider watching this video. Another big downside of the “virtual” brokerage can be a lack of community. While some real estate agents are comfortable with the idea of working without the distractions of the workplace, some might find it difficult. Agents are often social beings (arguably even more than the average person) and long hours with only a computer screen and a phone can be painful for some salespeople. Building a career in real estate is hard enough and without a sense of community the journey can be that much more difficult. Then again a virtual real estate firm might make sense when you consider what the duties of a real estate agent actually are. Most of the actual money making activities in the real estate industry are not performed sitting at a desk. When an agent has a client, they are either at the client’s home advising them on marketing strategy, going over offers, or touring a home or building. Whether you decide to join a brick and mortar traditional real estate firm or go with a virtual one, just make sure that you will have support from the management team so that in the event you have questions or need marketing or other support you have resources. Either way, your journey starts with real estate license courses and remember - even though we are a school that operates online, there are real people manning our phones. =) Call us at (888) 768-5285 if you are ready to get started! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Which Jobs Require a Real Estate License

Realtor photo

It's certainly possible for someone to buy or sell a home on their own without a real estate license. But if they wish to do so in a professional capacity and sell homes for others, they need a

It's certainly possible for someone to buy or sell a home on their own without a real estate license. But if they wish to do so in a professional capacity and sell homes for others, they need a real estate license. More than that, they'll need a license in each state that they plan to operate in. All state's requirements are different, it's important to research as much as possible before starting a career in the field. But a lot of people don't realize that getting your real estate license doesn't just mean that you're destined to become a realtor. In fact, there are a wide range of different jobs that require a real estate license - all of which are more than worth exploring. Real Estate Agents Obviously, the prime example of a job that requires a real estate license is that of the real estate agent Here, a seasoned professional will work with prospective buyers and sellers on a transaction that hopefully meets the needs of both parties. From the point-of-view of the seller, a real estate agent will try to get them the best price for their home that the market will allow. From the perspective of the buyer, they'll try to find anew home that meets as many of their needs as possible - all at the best price they can. Regardless, the industry is heavily regulated and there are a lot of rules that must be followed - which is why a real estate license is essential. Brokers Many people assume that real estate agents and brokers are essentially the same position - but that is incorrect. In the real estate industry, a real estate agent is simply someone who has been licensed to sell property in whatever state they live in. A broker, on the other hand, is someone who has gotten additional licensing and is now able to start their own real estate firm. This means that they're able to hire additional agents and have people working underneath them, thus building a business in a particular area. Real Estate Paralegals There are many law firms that specialize specifically in real estate and that is where real estate paralegals come into play. A paralegal is an invaluable part of a firm's support staff in that they help make sure that things are running as efficiently as possible. They provide support to lawyers working on various transactions and, in a larger sense, make sure that documents and other important data are always in the hands of the people who need it the most. In addition to offering help with the legalities of various transactions, they also need to know as much as possible about regulatory compliance in the various fields of real estate as well. Property Managers Property managers are those individuals who have been hired by a property owner to oversee the day-to-day operations of said dwelling. It could be the property owner themselves, but this isn't always the case. In an apartment complex, for example, a property manager would be responsible for all back office tasks like collecting rent and handling maintenance requests. In the context of a private dwelling that someone is renting out, the job may simply come down to handling tenant needs as they come up. With regard to single family homes, it's not uncommon for a property manager to oversee multiple dwellings at the same time - making a real estate license (and the credibility that comes with it) crucial given the fact that it is an income-based property. Commercial Property Managers Commercial property managers are those professionals who are tasked with overseeing any non-residential property. This means places like office buildings, retail locations, storage facilities and more. Depending on who they are employed by it would not be uncommon to see them handle shopping centers as well. Commercial property managers will need to be adept at tracking rental income rates, total monthly expenses and other important jobs. They'll also be responsible for handling work orders and general property maintenance and will need to make sure that their properties are following all local and federal regulations. Foreclosure Specialists Finally, we arrive at foreclosure specialists - those professionals who deal with foreclosure duties in particular. Their job is a complicated one, as the foreclosure process can often take a great deal of time. They'll need to carefully manage various cases and, for a deal to be closed successfully, they'll have to make sure that it meets all federal, state, and local requirements. Foreclosure specialists will both work with homeowners who may need to restructure their mortgage as well as investors who wish to sell a recently foreclosed upon property. Regardless, they'll need a real estate license in order to do so. If you'd like to find out more information about the types of jobs that require a real estate license or if you just have any additional questions about how to get your real estate license, we are happy to help. Call us today (888) 768-5285..
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Avoid a Real Estate License Suspension

License suspension 1

The real estate industry is highly regulated, with each state granting licenses to individuals who complete specific studies and pass certification exams. Like any other type of license, a real estate

The real estate industry is highly regulated, with each state granting licenses to individuals who complete specific studies and pass certification exams. Like any other type of license, a real estate license is a privilege and can be taken away if an agent fails to abide by regulations set on the federal level or by their state. This means individuals who act unprofessionally and, as a result, receive a suspension cannot perform any real estate function requiring a license. Below are 10 common activities agents should avoid lest they face the consequences associated with a license suspension. 1. Mishandling clients’ money Real estate agents must always pay careful attention when handling a client’s money. Many agents who mishandle money don’t do so intentionally, but can still lead to a suspension (although stealing client money is a huge no-no obviously). In addition to losing a license, criminal charges could accompany the suspension. To avoid money mismanagement, agents should never use a personal account, always maintain accurate bank records, and ensure clients receive receipts for any transactions. 2. Failure to disclose Agents are required to be transparent about any financial interests they have to all other parties involved in a potential real estate transaction. An example would be if the agent is the buyer, seller, or investor of a property and asks a family member to represent them in the transaction. This rule is put into place to avoid possible conflicts of interests, however, by being upfront and honest by issuing full disclosure of personal interests in transactions, agents can keep their licenses intact. Another example is if an agent convinces a seller to not disclose certain types of problems with a home to make it easier to sell. 3. Criminal conviction Real estate agents convicted of crimes can potentially lose their licenses. How license losses are dealt with for criminal convictions will vary by state. The State of California is a no-nonsense state when it comes to prior or post-licensing criminal convictions. All agents must submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting which stays on record. Individuals who receive their license and commit a crime, especially a felony, can find their license suspended. (The crime doesn’t have to be related to real estate.) 4. Mortgage fraud Agents engaging in mortgage fraud are highly likely to lose their licenses. This scenario typically unfolds when a client isn’t approved for a mortgage and the agent decides to adjust figures or disclose false information to make the sale and tells the client they were approved. This is not just a license suspension activity, it’s a criminal offense.. 5. Fail to cooperate with investigators If a regulatory agency receives a complaint or other red flag during an audit related to a specific agent, they’ll follow up with an investigation. Agents who ignore the requests of regulatory agencies or otherwise act uncooperatively can find themselves in hot water, including a potential loss of a license. 6. Failure to meet licensing requirements A common reason why agents lose their license is they get too busy to follow up on their continuing education (CE), which is a requirement in most instances (specifics are determined by individual states). This can be avoided by not leaving CE needed for licensing requirements to the last minute or skipping them. 7. Step across the line of other professionals Good real estate agents know the boundaries of what is in their realm and what’s best left up to other professionals. For instance, an agent should never try to offer advice that is outside their area of expertise. Examples would be inspectors, attorneys, and appraisers—if questionsor concerns arise, they should always be routed to the right individual. 8. Confidentiality Anything clients tell their agents should be assumed to be confidential. This includes occupation, marital status, family members’ names, or other personal details a client shares. For instance, if a real estate agent nets a huge sale for a celebrity, this cannot be disclosed publicly because it violates the privacy of the high-profile individual. 9. Violation of the Fair Housing Act The Fair Housing Act was designed to prevent people being discriminated against when they looked to sell, buy, or rent property. This act prohibits discrimination in housing due to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status. Violations of the Fair Housing Act are serious offenses and agents will lose their license. 10. Failure to supervise Real estate brokers are responsible for any sales agents they work with and it’s their duty to ensure all agents comply with regulatory standards. To avoid failure to supervise, brokers can provide ongoing training, require regular check-ins, conduct license monitoring, and offer an open-door policy for agents. These are 10 major reasons why real estate agents lose licenses. However, there are numerous other acts that lead to license suspensions. Real estate professionals are wise to thoroughly understand both federal and state rules to ensure they don’t inadvertently break them.
Practical advice for real estate agents

Overcoming the Fear of Hosting Open Houses


As a new real estate agent, you're probably already aware of open houses' key role in the industry. They are a fantastic way to showcase a property, attract potential buyers, and build relationships within

As a new real estate agent, you're probably already aware of open houses' key role in the industry. They are a fantastic way to showcase a property, attract potential buyers, and build relationships within your community - which could lead to additional listings. But the idea of hosting your first open house can also be intimidating. You might feel fear and apprehension creeping in at the thought of stepping into the spotlight, fielding inquiries from seasoned home buyers, or handling unexpected situations. If you're nodding your head in agreement as you read this, don't worry—you're not alone. These feelings are more common than you think among new real estate agents. But the good news is that fear and apprehension are just feelings, and emotions can be managed and overcome. I’ve gotten so many calls from students asking me to address these concerns that I wanted to write a quick guide to provide practical tips to help you overcome your fear of hosting open houses. I want to turn that fear into confidence and that apprehension into excitement. It's all part of becoming a successful real estate agent. First of all, it’s essential to understand the fears that may arise when hosting open houses. There are several common concerns new agents often encounter: Fear of Rejection: The fear of rejection can be daunting. The thought of potential buyers dismissing the property you're showcasing or questioning your expertise can be unsettling. Fear of Public Speaking: Open houses are public speaking events. If you're uncomfortable speaking in front of a group or worried about how you'll be perceived, this can create a high level of anxiety. Handling Difficult Questions: Can you answer every question thrown your way? What if a visitor asks about a property detail you’re unsure of? The fear of not having all the answers can be intimidating. These fears are entirely natural and shared by many new real estate agents. Recognizing that these feelings are common and part of the learning curve is essential. They do not define your capability as a real estate agent or predict your future success. Understanding your fear is the first step to overcoming it. Once you've identified your concerns, you can begin to develop strategies to confront them head-on. As you gain more experience, you'll find that these fears diminish, and your confidence grows. Remember, every real estate agent (myself included) had to host their first open house at some point—and they survived, thrived, and continued on to successful careers. You can too. Preparing for Your First Open House Preparation is key in any professional undertaking, and hosting open houses is no exception. Let's delve into three fundamental areas where thorough preparation can help to alleviate your fears and set you up for success: Product Knowledge: Knowing your product inside and out is crucial in real estate. Your product, of course, is the property you're showcasing and the neighborhood it's in. Familiarize yourself with every aspect of the property - the year it was built, the type of architecture, any recent renovations, the unique selling points, and potential areas of concern for buyers. Also, expand your knowledge of the neighborhood - the schools, parks, shopping areas, local attractions, and anything else a potential buyer might be interested in. Buyers will appreciate your deep knowledge, and it will build their trust in you as a real estate professional. Role-play Scenarios: Role-playing is one of the most effective ways to prepare for the unpredictable nature of open houses. This involves envisioning potential scenarios, then acting them out with a colleague or mentor. Role-playing helps you prepare answers for tough questions, handle different types of clients, and become more comfortable with the whole process. The more you practice, the more confident you'll become in handling real-life situations. The Power of a Good Presentation: Hosting a successful open house is all about making a great impression. This means presenting the property in the best light possible. Staging is an integral part of this. Ensure the property is clean, decluttered, and visually appealing. Use signage to direct visitors to key areas of the home. Also, prepare handouts with property details and your contact information for visitors to take with them. The goal is to create a memorable experience that leaves potential buyers imagining themselves living in the property. The fear of hosting open houses can seem daunting, but with adequate preparation, you can confidently walk into each event. By knowing the property, practicing various scenarios, and staging a successful presentation, you'll reduce your anxiety and increase your chances of making a sale. Remember, a well-prepared agent is a confident agent. Building Confidence Confidence is an essential trait for a real estate agent. It helps you perform better and instills trust in your clients. Here are some strategies for building your confidence: Develop a Positive Mindset: I know this sounds cheesy, but your thoughts really do shape your reality. If you go into an open house expecting the worst, your actions might follow. On the other hand, if you anticipate success, you'll likely project positivity, attracting more potential buyers. Practice affirmations, envision a successful open house, and maintain a positive attitude. You might be surprised by how much of a difference this can make. Self-care: Stress can often lead to a drop in confidence. Make sure you're taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. This could mean taking time for regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or simply ensuring you have downtime to relax. When you feel good, you're more likely to perform well. Learn from Each Experience: Every open house is a learning opportunity. Whether you consider an event successful or not, there are always lessons to be drawn. Maybe you stumbled over your words when describing the property or needed an answer to a visitor's question. Instead of criticizing yourself, treat these instances as areas for improvement. Use them to prepare better for the next open house. Over time, your confidence will grow as you learn and adapt. Celebrate Small Wins: Did you handle a tricky question well? Or a potential buyer complimented your presentation. Celebrate these moments. They are signs of your growing competence and confidence. Building confidence is not a one-time event but a continuous process. With every open house you host and every challenge you overcome, you're becoming a more confident and capable real estate agent. Confidence comes with time and experience, so be patient with yourself as you navigate this journey. Effective Communication Skills Hosting a successful open house goes beyond acing your real estate exam; it's about engaging with potential buyers, building relationships, and addressing objections effectively. All these tasks require excellent communication skills. Here are some key aspects to consider: Active Listening: As a real estate agent, your job is to provide information and understand your client's needs. Active listening involves fully concentrating on what is being said, understanding the data, and responding thoughtfully. This skill helps you tailor your responses to address each visitor's unique needs and concerns. Clear Communication: From explaining the details of a property to outlining the buying process, your ability to communicate clearly is crucial. It's not just about using the real estate jargon you've learned for your real estate exam but making sure potential buyers understand the information you're presenting. Avoid using industry-specific language, and ensure your message is clear and understandable. Non-verbal Cues: Communication isn't just about the words you use. Non-verbal cues, like maintaining eye contact, using open body language, and nodding to show understanding, can help establish trust and rapport with potential buyers. For example, if you are continually checking your phone during a conversation with an open house visitor it's a clear sign you are not fully engaged. Handling Objections: You'll inevitably face objections or tough questions during an open house. How you take these can make a significant difference. Stay calm, understand the concern behind the objection, and address it confidently and professionally. Remember, every question or objection is an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge and problem-solving skills. By developing effective communication skills, you're increasing your chances of hosting successful open houses and growing as a professional. This is integral to your journey beyond the real estate exam to become a successful agent. The Power of Networking and Mentorship As a new real estate agent, you must understand that you're not alone on this journey. A whole community of experienced professionals is out there, and many are more than willing to share their wisdom. Networking and seeking mentorship can provide invaluable support as you navigate the world of open houses. Networking: Attend industry events, join online forums, and engage in social media groups. These platforms provide opportunities to connect with other real estate professionals and potential mentors. By networking, you can learn about the industry's best practices, stay up-to-date with market trends, and gain insights that can help you host successful open houses. Mentorship: A mentor can provide personalized guidance, share their experiences, and offer practical advice. This one-on-one relationship can accelerate learning and help you avoid common pitfalls. For example, watching your mentor in action at an open house can be an absolute masterclass in hosting. You can observe how they handle tricky situations, engage with potential buyers, and showcase properties effectively. Building Confidence: Networking and mentorship are influential confidence builders. By learning from other's experiences and successes, you realize that your fears and challenges aren't unique - others have faced them and come out on top. This realization can inspire confidence and show you that you, too, can overcome any obstacles that come your way. Remember, the real estate industry thrives on relationships, not just between agents and clients but among agents themselves. By actively networking and seeking mentorship, you'll learn and grow and build a support system that will help you confidently navigate your career. Handling Setbacks and Rejections Setbacks and rejections are inevitable in the real estate industry, especially when hosting open houses. However, how you handle these situations can significantly impact your professional growth and success. View Rejections as Opportunities: Rejections may feel personal, but it's crucial to remember that they're often not a reflection of your skills or value as a real estate agent. Instead, consider each 'No' an opportunity to learn and improve. Ask for feedback and use it to refine your approach. Adopt a Growth Mindset: Adopting a growth mindset involves viewing challenges and failures as chances for growth rather than setbacks. If an open house doesn't go as planned, focus on what you can do better next time instead of dwelling on the negatives. Every 'No' is a Step Closer to a 'Yes': It's a well-known saying in sales for a reason - it's true. With each rejection, you're getting closer to a potential 'Yes.' Remember, real estate is a numbers game. The more people you interact with, the higher your chances of making a sale. Practice Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks. This might mean taking a moment to acknowledge your feelings after rejection and then shifting your focus to your goals and the actions you need to take to achieve them. Stay Positive: Maintaining a positive outlook is essential even when faced with setbacks. Celebrate your wins, however small they may be, and let them fuel your enthusiasm. Positivity is contagious and can significantly impact your interactions with potential buyers. Remember, rejection is not a measure of your worth or capabilities. Instead, view it as a stepping stone towards success. The most successful real estate agents have learned to take rejection in stride and use it as fuel to keep moving forward. Embracing Technology As a new real estate agent, it's understandable to feel overwhelmed by the logistics of planning and hosting an open house. But fear not – technology is here to lend a hand. By embracing the right tools, you can streamline your processes, reach a wider audience, and host more effective open houses. Virtual Tours: Virtual tours are an excellent resource for pre-qualifying prospects. By offering a 3D property tour using Matterport as an example, potential buyers can experience the space virtually before deciding to attend the open house. This feature saves time and makes your open house more effective, as attendees are already interested in the property. It also offers you a chance to practice presenting the property's highlights in a less pressurized environment. Online Advertising: Digital platforms have made reaching out to potential buyers easier. You can promote your open houses on various platforms, such as social media, real estate websites, and email newsletters. With detailed targeting options, you can ensure your promotions reach the right audience, increasing the likelihood of attracting genuinely interested attendees. CRM Tools: CRM tools can significantly reduce the administrative workload associated with open houses. They help keep track of your contacts, automate follow-up communications, and even analyze attendee behavior to inform future strategies. By removing these administrative tasks, you can focus on what really matters: engaging with potential buyers and selling the property. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR technologies can enhance the open house experience for potential buyers, allowing them to visualize different furniture arrangements or renovations in real time. As an agent, this gives you an edge, making your open houses more engaging and memorable. Interactive Floor Plans: Interactive floor plans allow potential buyers to explore the property's layout interactively, giving them a clearer understanding of the space before they enter the house. By leveraging these technological tools, you can make your open houses more efficient and less intimidating. They allow you to focus on honing your hosting skills, addressing visitor inquiries, and making the sale rather than being bogged down by logistics. In the age of digital real estate, embracing technology isn't just a recommendation; it's a necessity for success. Embarking on the journey of hosting open houses can feel intimidating, especially for new agents, but remember, it's part of the growth process. This journey is an exciting opportunity for learning and personal development. It's normal to experience fear and apprehension; the key lies in acknowledging these feelings and taking proactive steps to overcome them. With adequate preparation, including thorough product knowledge and role-playing scenarios, you can navigate your open houses confidently. Remember, the power of a good presentation lies in effective communication and active listening. Don't shy away from seeking mentorship or networking - these interactions can provide invaluable insights and boost your confidence. Handling setbacks and rejections is essential; each 'No' is a stepping stone to a 'Yes.' Embrace them as learning opportunities, not failures. And last but not least, harness the power of technology. Tools like virtual tours, online advertising, and CRM platforms can make the process of hosting open houses less overwhelming and more efficient. Approach every open house as a new learning experience and an opportunity to refine your skills. The fears you feel today will pave the way for the confidence you'll have tomorrow. So, embrace the challenge, and remember success lies beyond fear. As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license or building a career in real estate call us at 888-768-5285 or visit Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What Are the Four Main Types of Real Estate?


When investing in real estate, it’s important to know the various types and their function. As one of the most diverse industries in the world, many people considering putting money into this area

When investing in real estate, it’s important to know the various types and their function. As one of the most diverse industries in the world, many people considering putting money into this area may not be sure what specific types exist or how they function. Take a look at the 4 main types of real estate. Residential Real Estate This is real estate of any type that is used for residential needs. That includes the typical single family home but also other types of property. It is the largest component of the real estate market. Residential real estate is a large component of the investment market. Some examples of residential real estate include: Single-family homes Townhomes Condominiums Cooperatives (co-ops) Duplex Triplex Fourplex Mobile homes Commercial Real Estate Commercial real estate is any type of property that’s used for business purposes. Also known as CRE property, there are many forms. This type of real estate makes up about half as much of the U.S. market as residential. It is important and can be a valuable investment opportunity. Some examples ofcommercial real estate include: Retail space including strip malls, indoor malls, restaurants, and other shops Office space including office parks, medical centers, and office towers Self-storage spaces Parking lots and parking garages Movie theaters Grocery stores Leisure and hospitality property Apartment complexes and mobile home parks fall into commercial property as well, even though people live there. That’s because they are not owner-occupied. Industrial Real Estate This type of real estate is typically used for manufacturing and production across numerous industries. This is a working type of real estate because it involves more elaborate fixtures and equipment. Some types of industrial real estate include: Manufacturing properties Warehouses Freezer and refrigerated storage buildings Production facilities, including food processing locations Power plants Data processing locations, including data server locations Research and development organizations Land When the term “land” is used in reference to real estate, it typically refers to vacant or underdeveloped property. It’s easy to see what land entails, but it includes a range of property types, including: All types of undeveloped land Recreational land, including areas used for fishing or hunting Farms Ranches Forested areas and timberland Orchards Prior to their development, planned urban developments and subdivision properties also fall into this category. Special Purpose Some real estate is called special purpose. This type of real estate is typically any real estate that is used by the public. These properties may sometimes be purpose-built properties because they typically have a specific function. Some examples include: Transit-related properties Gas stations Mixed-use projects that may mix residential with office space or retail Senior living communities Churches and other types of places of worship Recreational facilities such as sports courts and golf courses Schools Student housing near schools The more you know about the real estate market, the better you can make decisions about how to invest in it for yourself or for others.
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Pandemic and California's Real Estate Rental Market

Pandemic and real estate

The rental market in California has seen some significant changes as a result of the pandemic, the resulting jobs crisis, and changes to the economy as a whole. Large cities have seen some of the biggest

The rental market in California has seen some significant changes as a result of the pandemic, the resulting jobs crisis, and changes to the economy as a whole. Large cities have seen some of the biggest changes. As workers ended up furloughed or even with job loss after pandemic problems hit businesses hard, the trickle-down effect impacted the real estate markets too. Here are some thoughts on those impacts and what they might mean for the future. Laid-Off Workers Leaving Multi-Family Units Workers facing job losses or furloughs who live in big cities find themselves in a position where they need to leave their costly apartments. Without income, the rent becomes unmanageable. However, these job losses have extended longer than many people anticipated, and as such many of these apartments have been left vacant. The result of these vacancies is rent falling in many major cities. Vacant apartments cost landlords money, and they are better served by lowering the rent to bring in tenants than leaving the apartments empty. As uncertainty about the economic future of the country and the state of California lingers, real estate experts do not anticipate seeing a change in this trend. Fewer People Moving Out on Their Own Another factor that is impacting the rental markets in large cities inCalifornia is the number of people choosing not to move out on their own. The economic uncertainty and job losses have led many people to choose not to form new rental households. Instead, they are choosing to stay with roommates or family longer because they do not have the money to pay rent for a new household. This trend is further driving down rental costs in these larger areas. Suburban Areas Seeing Increases While large cities are seeing decreased numbers of renters, those displaced tenants need to find somewhere to live. As a result, suburban areas are seeing an increase as people flee the high-cost cities in search of more affordable rentals. The multifamily market segment seems to be increasing in suburban communities or areas that have traditionally lower incomes. If the housing market starts to improve, these areas will likely see the growth first before people feel comfortable moving back into the city. Changes May Last Several Years How long will these effects last? Only time will tell, but a recent post in the L.A. Times indicates the pandemic’s effect on the California real estate markets may last through 2023. Investors and renters need to be prepared for long-term effects and changes as they navigate this new normal for the next few years. If you are considering entering the market as a renter or an investor, or if you are currently part of the market, understanding these changes and shifts is important. Armed with the right knowledge, you can enter the markets confidently and make wise choices about your own real estate investments.
Practical advice for real estate agents

Latest Home Design Trends

Patterned Hardwood Floors

Home design is an ever-evolving field that reflects our changing lifestyles, needs, and preferences while shaping the aesthetics and functionality of our living spaces. Keeping an eye on emerging design

Home design is an ever-evolving field that reflects our changing lifestyles, needs, and preferences while shaping the aesthetics and functionality of our living spaces. Keeping an eye on emerging design trends is crucial for homeowners, designers, and enthusiasts alike. It helps them stay up-to-date with the latest innovations and styles, ensuring their homes remain comfortable and visually appealing. Trends in home design ebb and flow over time, influenced by various factors such as technological advancements, shifting cultural values, and even global events. Exploring new design trends that inspire and redefine our living environments is essential, fostering spaces that cater to our evolving needs and preferences while simultaneously promoting a harmonious balance between form and function. In the competitive world of real estate, it is essential for professionals looking to become a Realtor or obtain their real estate license to stay ahead of the curve by keeping up with the latest trends in home design. A thorough understanding of current design preferences enables agents better to advise their clients on property improvements and market expectations, maximizing the property's appeal and value. Moreover, staying informed about home design trends establishes the agent as an expert, instilling confidence in their clients and setting them apart from the competition. As they prepare for their real estate license exam, aspiring agents should consider incorporating home design trends into their studies to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the industry and enhance their professional expertise. Patterned Hardwood Floors Patterned hardwood floors have emerged as a leading design trend in the real estate industry, redefining contemporary living spaces with artistic and visually appealing aesthetics. Known for their intricate designs, patterned hardwood floors provide a unique focal point that elevates the overall interior design. The popularity of this flooring option can be attributed to its ability to create a sense of luxury and sophistication while offering practical benefits over traditional carpeting. One significant advantage of hardwood floors over carpet in general is their durability. Hardwood floors are resistant to wear and tear and can be refinished multiple times, prolonging their lifespan and maintaining their appearance for years. Conversely, carpets tend to wear down and accumulate dirt, allergens, and stains, requiring more frequent replacement. Furthermore, hardwood floors provide a more hygienic living environment as they do not harbor allergens and are easier to clean and maintain. As homeowners and designers embrace the resurgence of patterned hardwood floors, certain wood types have become increasingly popular in real estate design. With its warm tones and distinctive grain patterns, oak is a favorite choice for creating striking floor designs, such as herringbone and chevron. Walnut, renowned for its rich and deep color, offers a luxurious and sophisticated touch, making it ideal for creating eye-catching patterns like parquet or basketweave. Another trending wood type is reclaimed wood, which contributes to a unique and rustic aesthetic and promotes sustainability by repurposing previously used materials. Bamboo is gaining popularity for those seeking an eco-friendly option thanks to its fast growth rate and inherent strength. Finally, exotic woods like Brazilian cherry, teak, and tigerwood are also making waves in the real estate design world, offering a range of stunning patterns and natural colors that will make a statement. Patterned hardwood floors are a popular design trend in real estate, offering many benefits over carpeted floors. They deliver an unparalleled aesthetic appeal, durability, and easy maintenance, making them a sought-after choice for modern living spaces. With various wood types, homeowners and designers can create personalized and visually captivating flooring designs that cater to individual tastes and preferences. Black Accents The rise in popularity of black accents in real estate design can be attributed to several factors, including their versatility, timelessness, and ability to create visual interest. Black accents have become a sought-after design choice in contemporary interiors, as they effortlessly complement a wide range of color schemes and styles, adding depth and sophistication to any space. One reason black accents are a good design choice is their ability to serve as a visual anchor, providing balance and contrast in a room. When used strategically, black elements can accentuate specific features or areas, drawing the eye and emphasizing the overall design. Furthermore, black accents can add a touch of elegance and refinement to a space, making it feel more polished and complete. Their neutral nature allows them to seamlessly blend with various color palettes, from minimalist monochromatic schemes to more vibrant and bold designs. Incorporating black accents in interior design can be achieved in numerous ways, depending on the desired impact and personal preferences. Consider using black hardware on cabinetry, door handles, or light fixtures for subtle and understated black elements. This approach adds a touch of sophistication without overwhelming the space. To create a more dramatic effect, opt for statement pieces like a black accent wall, a large piece of black furniture, or bold black-and-white artwork. These elements will draw attention and create a stunning visual contrast. Another effective way to incorporate black accents is through textiles and accessories. Black throw pillows, rugs, or curtains can add depth and richness to a room while allowing play with textures and patterns. For a cohesive and harmonious design, consider using black accents in multiple areas of the space, tying together different elements and creating a unified look. Black accents have risen in popularity in real estate design due to their versatility, timelessness, and ability to elevate a space. They can be used in various ways to create visual interest and provide balance and contrast in a room. By incorporating black accents in different forms, homeowners and designers can achieve a stylish and sophisticated interior that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Light Colored Floors The growing popularity of light-colored flooring in real estate design can be attributed to its ability to create a sense of openness, its versatility in complementing various design styles, and the trend toward minimalist and Scandinavian-inspired interiors. Light-colored floors have become a favored choice among homeowners and designers alike for enhancing and brightening any living space. One of the main reasons light-colored flooring is a good design choice is its ability to make a room appear larger and more open. Light floors reflect natural light, allowing it to bounce around the room and create a bright and welcoming atmosphere. This effect is especially advantageous in smaller spaces, where maximizing the perception of square footage is essential. Additionally, light-colored floors provide a neutral base that seamlessly blends with different color schemes and design styles, making them a versatile choice for various interiors. Depending on the desired aesthetic and functionality, incorporating light-colored flooring in interior design can be achieved with various materials and finishes. Light hardwoods, such as white oak, maple, or ash, are popular choices for their natural beauty, durability, and warmth they bring to a space. Light-colored laminates and luxury vinyl tiles offer more budget-friendly and low-maintenance alternatives while still delivering a visually appealing look. For a more contemporary or industrial feel, polished concrete or light-colored tile flooring can create a sleek and modern foundation for the room's design. When using light-colored flooring, it is vital to consider the balance and contrast with other elements in the room. Pairing light floors with darker or more colorful furniture and accents can create a striking visual contrast and ensure that individual pieces stand out. Alternatively, combining light floors with soft, neutral furnishings can create a serene and calming environment, perfect for spaces meant for relaxation and rejuvenation. Versatile Spaces/Home Offices The increasing prevalence of remote work and flexible working arrangements has led to a surge in demand for functional and versatile workspaces within the home. This trend has prompted homeowners and designers to create multipurpose spaces catering to work and leisure needs, ensuring that the home remains adaptable and efficient even as lifestyles and work arrangements evolve. A dedicated work area at home is conducive to maintaining productivity, providing a space where individuals can focus on tasks without the distractions of everyday household activities. Moreover, a well-designed home office can promote a healthier work-life balance, enabling individuals to separate their work responsibilities from their personal lives more effectively. I recorded a YouTube video explaining how to balance working from home that you can watch here. However, the need for a dedicated home office may diminish as work situations change and employees return to the office, either full-time or in a hybrid capacity. In such cases, it is beneficial to design a space that can serve multiple purposes, allowing homeowners to maximize the functionality and utility of their living areas. A room that functions as an office today can easily be transformed into a lounge, a display room, a guest room, or any other purpose the homeowner desires. To create a versatile workspace that can accommodate various needs, it is essential to select furniture and decor that are flexible and multifunctional. For instance, investing in a desk that can double as a console table or a fold-out wall-mounted desk that can be easily tucked away when not in use, can provide valuable workspace without compromising the room's potential for other uses. Similarly, incorporating modular storage solutions, such as bookshelves or cabinets with adjustable shelves, allows easy reconfiguration to suit the room's changing functions. In terms of decor, it is crucial to choose elements that complement both the office setting and the alternative uses of the space. Neutral color schemes, versatile lighting options, and adaptable decorative accents can help to create a cohesive and harmonious design that seamlessly transitions between different functions. In conclusion, the growing trend of incorporating a multipurpose work area at home is driven by the need for flexibility, efficiency, and adaptability in response to changing work arrangements. By carefully selecting furniture, storage solutions, and decor that cater to various uses, homeowners can create a space that serves their work needs and contributes to a comfortable and dynamic living environment. Biophilic design Biophilic design can be traced back to the 1980s when biologist Edward O. Wilson introduced the term 'biophilia' to describe the innate human affinity for nature and living organisms. However, integrating biophilic elements in architecture and interior design has gained significant momentum in recent years, particularly as environmental awareness and the desire for healthier living spaces continue to rise. The growing popularity of biophilic design can be attributed to the increasing recognition of its physical and psychological benefits. Biophilic design helps reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and promote overall well-being by incorporating natural elements into the built environment. Furthermore, as urbanization expands and people spend more time indoors, the desire to reconnect with nature becomes more pronounced, making biophilic design a sought-after solution to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor living. To effectively incorporate biophilic design into homes, designers can consider the following tips: 1. Introduce greenery: Adding indoor plants, vertical gardens, or green walls enhances the aesthetic appeal of a space and purifies the air, and creates a calming atmosphere. 2. Maximize natural light: Prioritize large windows, skylights, and open floor plans to allow natural light to flood the living space, boosting mood and energy levels. 3. Use natural materials: Incorporate materials like wood, stone, or cork in flooring, furniture, and decorative accents to evoke a sense of connection to the natural world. 4. Embrace natural colors and patterns: Utilize earthy tones, such as greens, browns, and blues, or organic patterns inspired by nature to create a visually soothing environment. 5. Incorporate water features: The sound and sight of water can induce a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Consider adding a small indoor fountain, aquarium, or water wall to your design. 6. Opt for organic shapes and textures: Choose furniture and decor items with soft, rounded edges or irregular shapes that mimic the fluidity and unpredictability of nature. 7. Create a seamless indoor-outdoor connection: Blur the boundaries between the interior and exterior spaces by integrating elements like large sliding doors, outdoor living areas, or balconies that encourage interaction with the natural environment. The biophilic design trend has gained traction due to the increasing desire for a connection with nature and its numerous physical and psychological benefits. Designers can easily incorporate biophilic elements into homes by prioritizing natural materials, colors, light, and greenery. This creates a living space that promotes well-being and fosters a deeper connection to the natural world. Hope these design trends help. If you’re interested in learning about starting a career in real estate visit or call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Safety Measures for Your New Home: Essential Tips for New Homeowners

Safety tips to keep your

Getting your real estate license and passing the real estate exam is only the beginning of your journey in the real estate world. As an agent fresh from real estate school, you're not only tasked with

Getting your real estate license and passing the real estate exam is only the beginning of your journey in the real estate world. As an agent fresh from real estate school, you're not only tasked with helping your clients find their dream home but also offering them advice on how to keep that home secure once they've settled in. Home safety is an essential aspect of homeownership that many people may overlook, but it can make all the difference in providing peace of mind for your clients. Change the Locks Immediately After Moving In After your client has closed escrow on their new home, one of the first recommendations you should make is to change all the locks. During the home-buying process, multiple individuals may have access to the keys, including other real estate agents, appraisers, and contractors. To ensure maximum safety, advise your clients to replace all the locks as soon as the sale closes, ideally before moving in or starting any renovations. This is a simple yet effective first step in home security that might not be covered in a traditional real estate school curriculum but is a crucial tip for new homeowners. Hide Alarm System Wiring Many homeowners choose to install alarm systems for added security. If your clients decide to do this, remind them to conceal all the alarm system wiring. Exposed wires could be cut by intruders, thereby disabling the system. Though professional installation companies usually take care of hiding the cables, if your client opts for a DIY approach, this tip could be invaluable. Safety precautions like this are only sometimes emphasized in real estate license courses but are essential to maintaining a secure home. Keep Entryways Clear When Landscaping In your real estate school, you've probably learned about the importance of curb appeal. While landscaping is an important part of this, it's crucial to remind your clients to keep safety in mind when designing their outdoor spaces. Bushes and trees can enhance a home's aesthetic appeal, but if they're too close to the house, particularly near doors and windows, they could provide cover for potential intruders. Encourage your clients to plan their landscape design to leave entryways clear and visible. Encourage Clients to Build Relationships with Neighbors One safety tip often overlooked in traditional real estate education is the value of community. Encourage your clients to get to know their neighbors. A close-knit neighborhood community can be a strong deterrent against crime. While they don't need to be best friends with everyone, being on good terms and maintaining open communication with those living nearby can provide an extra layer of security. Illuminate Dark Areas Around the Property Ensuring proper exterior lighting can significantly increase home safety. Advise your clients to identify and illuminate any dark areas around the property. Well-lit exteriors are less attractive to potential intruders, who are more likely to target homes that offer easy, concealed access. This goes beyond what's taught for the real estate exam and falls under the practical advice you can provide as a real estate agent. Establish a Safety Routine Installing locks, alarms, and lights is one thing, but maintaining them is equally important. Encourage your clients to establish a safety routine. This could include nightly checks of all doors and windows, monthly tests of the alarm system, and bi-annual checks of outdoor lighting and smoke alarms. Install a Home Security System While this might seem an obvious suggestion, it's worth mentioning because of its significant role in home security. Today's home security systems have evolved and offer a variety of features, including smart technology integration, real-time monitoring, mobile alerts, and even emergency service dispatch. While the potential cost may initially put off many homeowners, a security system's added security and peace of mind can be invaluable. As an agent, you can remind your clients that various options cater to different budgets and requirements. Regularly Check and Update Exterior Doors and Windows Doors and windows are the primary entry points for intruders. Encourage homeowners to regularly check the condition of all doors and windows, making sure they close and lock properly. Reinforce doors with deadbolts and consider upgrading to solid-core doors, which offer better resistance against forced entry. Safety measures for windows include adding window security film, installing window or glass break sensors, and using window bars (Ugly, but might help depending on the area. Make sure these are up to code, however and allow fire release and other legally required features.) Use Timers for Lights and Electronics Have you ever seen a house with lights, a TV, or a radio on and assumed someone was home? Well, that's precisely what timers for lights and electronics can do - they can trick people into thinking someone is at home even when the house is empty. This is a great trick to keep your home safe, especially if you're away for a vacation or won't be home for a while. So, how do timers work? It's actually pretty simple. A timer is a device that you can set to turn your lights, TV, or radio on and off at certain times. For example, if you're away, set the timer to turn on your living room light at 7 p.m. and turn it off at 10 p.m., just like you would if you were home. The cool thing is, with new technology called "smart home technology," you can manage these timers with an app on your smartphone. That means you can control your home's lights and electronics from anywhere. So, even on vacation far away, you can use your phone to turn on your lights or TV back at home. Using timers like this can make your home safer by making it seem like someone is home. Most people who might try to break into a house would think twice if they thought someone was there. So, using timers for your lights and electronics can help protect your home, even when you're not there! Be Cautious with Social Media While this may not be the most traditional safety advice, in the digital age, it's increasingly relevant. Advise your clients to be cautious about what they share on social media. Posting about being away from home could alert intruders that their property is unoccupied. Sharing vacation photos or posts after they've returned home is advisable rather than during their time away. As a real estate agent, your job extends beyond passing the real estate exam and helping clients find new homes. By providing these tips and continuing your real estate education beyond what's taught in real estate school, you can help ensure your clients feel secure and satisfied in their new homes. Your journey toward getting a real estate license has given you the skills and knowledge to guide your clients in home buying. Now, with these safety tips, you're better equipped to provide them with valuable advice for their life as homeowners. As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license visit or call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

6 Home Design Trends To Watch in 2022

Home decor

The one constant in home decor is that tastes are always changing. The styles that turned heads just a few years ago are now starting to roll eyes. What can you do to keep your home looking modern?

The one constant in home decor is that tastes are always changing. The styles that turned heads just a few years ago are now starting to roll eyes. What can you do to keep your home looking modern? Here’s a preview of what you’ll see in the coming year. Patterned Hardwood Floors Your home is more than just a place to dwell - it’s a way for you to express yourself. And while anyone can get a carpet, having a patterned hardwood floor is a true testament to your unique personality. A shape or pattern on your floor breaks up the monotony of plain flooring while adding an individual flourish that makes your floor all your own. Taking a minimalist approach can also be highly effective. Instead of making a big shape, you can sporadically accent your floor with wood of a different shade. Think of a basketball court and the different pieces of wood you might see on the floor. It’s a neat way to approach the traditional yet trendy hardwood floor. Black Accents An overly black color scheme can appear a bit drab or even morbid. But using black accents to add to a bright color scheme is highly effective. The key is the idea of highlighting negative space -- in other words, the area surrounding objects in the room. If those items simply exist in a white room, they’re just there. A bit of black to accentuate your decor can break up the white, making the room appear bigger, fuller and more elegantly decorated. Of course, it’s easy to get carried away with accents of any kind, so start small and take a slow but steady approach toward getting your rooms to pop. Natural Lighting It’s well-known that the sun provides more than light -- it also provides a nice little boost of serotonin, which helps increase moods. Plus, natural light helps to save on lighting costs and reduces strain on the environment. Therefore, natural lighting is a natural fit in modern homes. Large windows and skylights are becoming more commonplace, enabling homeowners to save money while getting more exposure to the sun. It’s a win-win that benefits everyone, while also giving you a more fashionable home. Light Colored Floors With carpets less popular in modern times, your flooring matters more than ever. And a light colored floor can help to make your rooms look bigger and brighter. What’s more, light colored flooring pairs well with the patterns floors we discussed earlier, giving you something bold to go alongside a floor that’s easy on the eyes. Best of all, a light floor works in any type of house, from a sleek modern home to a more traditional cottage. Versatile Spaces/Home Offices With so many people working from home these days, an office is a must in any home. But what happens when you go back to work, especially if it’s not a full-time return to the office? You want a room that can function as an office, but can also be used in other ways. A room that’s an office now can also become a lounge, a display room, a guest room or any number of purposes. Use your imagination and find decor that works for the office and for any other uses you might have for that space. Mixing Dark and Earthy Tones Earth tones -- colors you typically see outside -- are frequently cited as home design staples. However, it’s not always clear how you should work in those colors. Mixing dark colors into those earthy tones helps those unique colors to stand out amid dark backgrounds. The combination can really make your earth tones pop, especially if you’re already utilizing bright rooms with light floorings and plenty of natural light. It’s a winning formula that’s sure to wow your guests and put a smile on your face every day.
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Benefits of Owning Real Estate

Owning Real Estate

You don't need to attend a real estate school, such as ADHI Schools, or pass the real estate license exam offered by Crash Course Online to understand that investing in real estate can be highly rewarding.

You don't need to attend a real estate school, such as ADHI Schools, or pass the real estate license exam offered by Crash Course Online to understand that investing in real estate can be highly rewarding. In this article, we'll delve into the many benefits of property ownership and discuss how furthering your education and obtaining a license can enhance your ability to capitalize on these advantages. Steady Passive Income Many view real estate ownership (particularly home ownership) as a practical solution – no rent payments and stability for years. However, the benefits of owning real estate extend far beyond that, regardless of your investment goals or motivations. Even if you are starting your real estate journey, you know that real estate offers significant financial rewards, including tenant-paid passive income. Besides the recurring monthly income, property values typically appreciate faster than inflation rates. Over the past 30 years, real estate values have risen by over 5% annually, with recent years showing even more significant increases. This growth makes real estate an attractive option for those looking to establish roots, stabilize their family, or invest in rental properties. Financial Security Whether you are discussing owning a single-family home as a primary residence or a rental, real estate ownership is a powerful tool for achieving financial security, as it serves as a tangible asset with the potential for long-term appreciation. By investing in real estate, you can build equity, increasing as you pay your mortgage and the property value rises over time. This equity can be utilized in various ways, such as securing loans or providing a cushion during challenging times. Additionally, rental properties generate a steady stream of passive income, which can contribute to overall financial stability by offsetting mortgage payments or supplementing your primary income source. Moreover, real estate investments typically offer a hedge against inflation and can diversify your investment portfolio, reducing risks associated with economic fluctuations. Owning real estate paves the way for long-term financial security by providing multiple avenues for wealth generation and protection. Tax Benefits Owning real estate offers numerous tax benefits that can significantly enhance an investor's financial situation. One of the most notable tax advantages is the mortgage interest deduction. Up to a specified limit, homeowners can deduct the interest paid on their mortgage from their taxable income, reducing their overall tax liability. In the early years of a mortgage, when the interest payments are generally higher, this deduction can be particularly beneficial. Another tax benefit of real estate ownership is the property tax deduction. Homeowners can typically deduct up to $10,000 of their local and state property taxes from their taxable income. This deduction can result in substantial tax savings, especially for individuals residing in areas with high property tax rates. For rental property owners, there are additional tax benefits. They can claim deductions for expenses related to their investment properties' management, maintenance, and operation. These expenses may include repairs, property management fees, insurance, and travel costs associated with maintaining the property. Check out our blog on DIY repairs here if you are a handy investor. Furthermore, rental property owners can take advantage of depreciation deductions, which allow them to recover the cost of their investment over time. Depreciation essentially acts as a non-cash expense, offsetting rental income and reducing the taxable income derived from the property. For investors, another valuable tax benefit of real estate ownership is the 1031 exchange. This provision allows investors to defer capital gains taxes when selling an investment property, provided they reinvest the proceeds into a like-kind property within a specific time frame. By deferring taxes through a 1031 exchange, investors can rapidly grow their wealth and maintain a more diverse real estate portfolio. Stability Imagine a future where you enjoy unparalleled stability and peace of mind, all thanks to a single wise decision: real estate ownership. Unlike the uncertainties of renting, owning a property secures your position, allowing you to take control of your living situation and financial destiny. When you own a home, you eliminate the need to rely on landlords, worry about rent hikes, or face the constant threat of eviction. Instead, you're planting your roots, taking charge of your life, and laying the foundation for long-lasting stability. In contrast to the precarious nature of renting, real estate ownership allows you to build equity over time. As you pay down your mortgage and your property appreciates, you'll accumulate wealth that can be used for various purposes, such as funding your children's education, financing your dream vacation, or serving as a cushion in times of financial hardship. Furthermore, owning a property provides a sense of accomplishment and pride, knowing you've made a wise investment in your future. This investment offers financial stability and contributes to your emotional well-being as you enjoy the satisfaction of having a space to call your own. Moreover, real estate ownership offers protection against market fluctuations, making it a relatively stable investment compared to other options like stocks. While the value of stocks can swing wildly based on economic factors and global events, real estate has historically demonstrated consistent growth and resilience, even during periods of economic turmoil. This stability is further amplified by the real estate being a tangible asset backed by the intrinsic value of land and structures, ensuring it will always hold some value. Stronger community ties One persuasive argument for the belief that homeowners have stronger community ties than renters is rooted in the long-term nature of homeownership. When individuals or families invest in purchasing a home, they acquire a physical structure and become a part of the local community. This long-term commitment often leads homeowners to develop a vested interest in the well-being and success of their neighborhood. Consequently, they are more likely to engage in activities that contribute to the community's stability, safety, and overall development. Even as a real estate professional, you’ll want to learn how to host these community events to tap into the residents in the area and the community at large to brand yourself as the go-to-agent in the area. Homeowners are also more likely to form deeper connections with their neighbors, as they share common concerns and goals for their community. This sense of belonging fosters cooperation and mutual support, strengthening social bonds and collective action to address local issues. For instance, homeowners may join neighborhood associations or participate in local events, helping to create a sense of unity and shared purpose. These connections ultimately contribute to a safer, more resilient community better equipped to face challenges and celebrate successes together. Furthermore, homeowners who take pride in their property are more likely to maintain and improve their homes, yards, and surrounding areas. This investment in the local environment enhances the neighborhood's aesthetic appeal and sends a powerful message about the community's values and priorities. As a result, areas with high homeownership rates often experience lower crime rates, increased property values, and a greater sense of safety and well-being among residents. In conclusion, the long-term commitment and shared interests that come with homeownership encourage individuals and families to invest their time, energy, and resources in their communities. This increased investment leads to stronger community ties, improved neighborhood stability, and a safer, more vibrant living environment for all residents. While renting may offer certain short-term advantages, homeownership fosters a more profound sense of connection and responsibility that ultimately benefits the individual homeowner and the entire community. Retirement security A compelling argument favoring homeownership as a means to secure financial stability during retirement revolves around reduced or eliminated housing costs. For many retirees, housing expenses constitute a significant portion of their monthly budget. By owning a home that is fully paid off by the time they retire, homeowners can effectively eliminate one of their most significant financial obligations, freeing up resources for other needs and desires during their golden years. In contrast, renters will likely continue to face rent payments throughout their retirement, which can be particularly burdensome when living on a fixed income, especially if the rent increases with regularity. In addition to reduced housing costs, homeownership can also provide retirees with a valuable financial asset. As the value of a home typically appreciates over time, homeowners can benefit from the increased equity they have built up in their property. This equity can be accessed during retirement in several ways. For instance, retirees may choose to downsize by selling their current home and purchasing a smaller, more affordable property, thus freeing up cash to supplement their retirement income. Alternatively, they may opt for a reverse mortgage, converting a portion of their home's equity into tax-free income without selling or moving. Moreover, homeownership offers retirees the flexibility to generate income by renting out a portion of their property. This option can be particularly advantageous for those with additional space, such as an in-law suite, a finished basement, or a separate dwelling unit. By renting out this space, retirees can establish a steady stream of income that can help them maintain their quality of life and cover other expenses during retirement, such as healthcare costs and leisure activities. Homeownership provides retirees with significant financial advantages contributing to a more secure and comfortable retirement. By eliminating or reducing housing costs, offering the opportunity to access built-up equity, and presenting options for additional income generation through renting, homeownership serves as a reliable foundation for financial stability in one's later years. Contrastingly, renters may face ongoing housing expenses and a lack of financial flexibility, potentially leading to a more challenging retirement experience. The end of the day, the numerous benefits of homeownership solidify its position as a superior option to renting and a practical path to wealth creation. By allowing individuals to build equity, providing long-term stability and control, and offering tax benefits, owning a home is a wise financial decision. Moreover, homeownership fosters stronger community ties, ensures privacy, and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment. Additionally, real estate ownership demonstrates its enduring value as a hedge against inflation and a means of securing financial stability during retirement. Investing in real estate empowers individuals to take charge of their financial future, transforming their living space into a tangible asset that can generate wealth and security for years. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

When Is The Best Time To Buy A House?

House buying

As you look to improve your living situation, that age-old question has likely come up: “Is it really a good time to buy a house?” There’s no one right answer for everyone, of course. But with

As you look to improve your living situation, that age-old question has likely come up: “Is it really a good time to buy a house?” There’s no one right answer for everyone, of course. But with a look at the most favorable months for home buying, the overall market conditions, and your personal factors, you can make the best decision for your needs. To help you get started, here’s a look at what to consider on your mission to find the best time to buy a house. Find Favorable Months The time of the year you plan to buy a home matters when it comes to pricing, inventory, and ease of tackling your move. Each real estate market responds to the seasons differently, especially when severe weather systems come into play. In areas with heavy snowfall, for example, winter brings a marked decrease in inventory because many people don’t want to move in the snow. In tornado-prone areas, the spring might come with lower inventory numbers instead. The silver lining is that inventory decreases bring down house prices due to the low competition for housing. In general, late summer and early fall offer the best balance of inventory and pricing. To make sure, just ask a real estate agent in your area for the inside scoop about the best months for homebuying. Look at the Market Conditions Market conditions can have a big impact on everything from inventory and pricing to mortgage terms and interest rates. To figure out if the market favors your homebuying journey, take a good look at the overall real estate market conditions nationwide and in your area. Then, look at the current state of the economy along with projections for the coming year. After that, you must look at your local job market, including the unemployment rate, to see how your local economy is faring. Then, look at the current state of the economy along with projections for the coming year. After that, you must look at your local job market, including the unemployment rate, to see how your local economy is faring. Consider When It’s the Best Time for You No matter what the market is doing, your homebuying journey must happen on your time schedule. If you need housing right away and cannot find rentals that suit your needs, then it might be wise to start looking for a home to buy. Before you can do that, you must make sure that your income, savings, and credit score are ready for the mortgage application process. If everything lines up, use your findings from the prior sections to get ready for what lies ahead. In periods of excellent housing availability, you’ll need to prepare for higher prices, bidding wars, and lots of showing appointments. When inventory is low, prices might come down, but you’ll have to look long and hard for a property that meets all your needs. As you consider all these factors, it’ll become quite clear if it’s a good time to buy a home or if you should wait it out a bit. Just remember that market conditions can always change either way, so waiting it out might not get you the results you seek. But as long as you practice your due diligence, you’re on the right track to ensuring your success in properly timing your home purchase.
Practical advice for real estate agents

7 Ways To Sell Your Listing In 7 Days

Ways to sell your sold listing

The need for a quick sale is prompted by an opportunity. People, family, job change, or other needs mean that your client has to sell fast. No matter the reasons, a quick sale can often be a tough promise

The need for a quick sale is prompted by an opportunity. People, family, job change, or other needs mean that your client has to sell fast. No matter the reasons, a quick sale can often be a tough promise to make, even in a booming real estate market. Employing the tactics below can give you and your client the best chance of selling quickly for the price that you want. 1. Cultivate contacts with as-is buyers. House flippers and people who buy real estate for the rental income are two groups who are typically open to as-is purchases and quick closing. Keep a list of these buyers as you encounter them and reach out when you have a property you want to sell in 7 days. It pays to keep these relationships fresh even when you do not have a home to sell quickly. Email regularly to check in and ask about the types of properties they are currently seeking. Forward news articles that are of interest. By reaching out regularly, you keep yourself top of mind so they are quick to open your emails when you have a great property to share. 2. Give your sellers a crash course on staging. First impressions always matter, but never as much as they do when you want to sell fast. Helping your sellers prep their home for market can make a huge difference in your results. Talk to them about the importance of tucking away personal items and removing furnishings to make rooms look bigger. Teach them how to show off features like great storage. In some cases, it can be worth the expense of bringing in professional home stagers. By ensuring that the home looks beautiful and inviting for every open house and tour, you can increase the chances of winning a buyer's heart. 3. Suggest some quick, high-impact updates. When you want to sell a listing in 7 days, there's no time for an extensive kitchen remodeling project. But, small, high-impact updates can help a lot. Start with a focus on curb appeal. A freshly painted home entrance and neatly manicured landscaping start things off on the right foot. Inside, a fresh coat of paint can change the entire feel of a room. Finalize the effect with new lighting that makes the home look bright and welcoming. 4. Take amazing photos. With today's phones, everyone has the ability to take images worthy of Architectural Digest. Increasing your skill with natural lighting photography can help you get great results. Professional photography lighting may be needed to get the best results in some rooms. The right lighting and composition can truly showcase the elements that makethis property the perfect new home for one lucky buyer. 5. Invest in paid social media. Organic growth on your social media channels helps with day-to-day exposure. But, when you have a special listing that you want to move fast, it can pay to invest in promoted posts. Careful audience curation ensures that your posts show up in front of the audience most likely to want to look at the home for sale. It is also a good idea to be on multiple platforms. Facebook is a common choice, but do not neglect Instagram and Pinterest. Even TikTok can be useful. There are a number of agents who have amassed massive followings by presenting home tours on the video short app. 6. Optimize your real estate listings. Listing sites like Zillow and Trulia offer far more listing customization than the MLS board does. Update your written description of the property with a call to action. Include your name and phone number and tell interested buyers how to get in touch. You should also update your listing photos for the best impact. These sites automatically add all the images from your local MLS. Choose the best image of the front of the property and put it in image slot #1. For extra impact, edit the photo to add a custom banner with your contact information and your logo. 7. List low and start a bidding war. An expert with Forbes Real Estate Council said that she had great success listing great homes for around 10% less than their current value. The combination of a well-staged home with great pictures and a low selling price brings in a ton of interest. Potential buyers are intrigued because one of the best looking houses in the area is also going for far less than comparable properties. By the time potential buyers are making offers, they will often push the price much closer to the seller's target price. There is no one strategy that will guarantee a sale in one week. But, using the tips above can dramatically increase your chances of closing the deal quickly. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How To Host Community Events

Community events

One of the best ways to ensure success as a real estate agent is to be an active and contributing member of your local community. Being a recognizable face provides you with a sustainable stream of

One of the best ways to ensure success as a real estate agent is to be an active and contributing member of your local community. Being a recognizable face provides you with a sustainable stream of prospects. It also gives you a chance to show your community that you care. Hosting community events allows you to connect with neighbors, build new connections, and highlight the vibrant culture of your local area. Best Community Events for Real Estate Agents There are many types of events you can organize to give something back to your community. The right ones for you will depend on your interests, talents, and what works best with the community around you. A few great examples: holiday events. During the summer months, consider 4th of July outdoor concerts, picnics, and other fun in the sun. Spring provides opportunities for Easter Egg hunts. Get creative with charitable drives at Thanksgiving or Christmas. professional workshops. These types of events can bring together groups who are interested in subjects like real estate investing or home improvement. game nights. Choose a local charity to support with raffles or bingo, then invite everyone to have fun. Benefits of Putting on Community Events A community event can be a lot of work, but it provides great rewards for you and your community. Some of the benefits you can see from hosting an event: awareness of your brand. This is a chance to get face to face with members of your community. Hosting regular events helps you solidify your role as the real estate agent local people think of first. networking. People typically find a real estate agent by either approaching one they already know, or talking to someone in the community who they trust. By hosting events, you get a chance to meet new people and make valuable connections. goodwill. Hosting a memorable evening or contributing to a local cause is something people remember. How to Host an Event Putting together a successful event takes a lot of work and organization. Think about what you will need for your event to work. First, set a budget. This sets the stage for everything else that follows and allows you to determine the scope of your event. Who is the optimal audience for your event? Think of the types of people you represent as a real estate agent and what would interest them most. If you mostly work with people who have small children, a child-oriented event like meeting Santa can be a great fit. An agent who works with retirees may decide to host a lecture or a classic rock music night. Will you provide food and drinks at the event? Are there going to be giveaways or gift bags? See who you can connect with in the community for this. For instance, you can hire a local caterer for food, or source gifts and prizes from local businesses. Partnering with other local businesses can help defray costs and share the benefits. For instance, you can reach out to a local event space for donated space for a charity event. Local radio stations may be amenable to interviewing you before the event or hosting a show from your location. Ask businesses in the community to put up posters and flyers to promote the event. Determine how you will collect contact information from attendees. For small events, pre-registering or having a sign in sheet is a great way to get names, phone numbers and emails. for larger events, consider options like drawings where people share their contact info on either their business cards or a printed entry. Once you have a concept and a place to host, it's time to start working out the details. Will you need event insurance? Do you need to set up a schedule and fill it with speakers? Do you need materials like signs, agendas, or worksheets? Making the Most of the Benefits A successful event can provide returns for weeks and months afterward. Create an event hashtag and encourage people to post their photos from the occasion. Take quality pictures of your own and print them to display in your office. After your event, reach out and thank everyone who contributed. This sort of appreciation can cement the good will you generated by bringing everyone together. If an event works well, consider making it an annual occasion. The more years you are able to host this event, the deeper your connections to your community, and your influence in it become. Over time, you become the person people think of first when they are ready to buy or sell a local home. You'll be recognized as someone friendly and helpful, and just the sort of person they want in their corner when it comes to this important transaction. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Prospecting vs. Advertising

Prospecting vs advertising

Both prospecting and advertising can be great ways to bring in more clients for your real estate business. As an agent, you'll probably want to spend your time doing a little of each. But it's

Both prospecting and advertising can be great ways to bring in more clients for your real estate business. As an agent, you'll probably want to spend your time doing a little of each. But it's important to spend the majority of your energy on the area that will be the most valuable to you and your career. To do that, you need a good understanding of both of these methods of gaining clients. Here's what to know about prospecting vs. advertising, so you can decide where you want to focus your efforts. What is Prospecting? Prospecting is the concept of looking for your ideal clients. When you prospect, you need to know who you're looking for, where to find them, and how to attract them. That sounds simple, but in practice it can take a lot of time and consideration. The first thing is to determine your dream clients, and understand who they are. You may be looking for high-end clients only, or you may want to target middle-income people moving to your area for the jobs that are being created. There are all kinds of client groups. When you prospect for clients, you want to be sure you have the right ones in mind. If you're not sure who they are yet, it's time to do some research and soul-searching. Once you have a client base that you're focused on targeting, the next step is to know where you can find them. You won't find most of your million dollar clients at the same places you'll find clients with more modest home-buying abilities, so knowing where to look is a big part of prospecting for your real estate clients. As you learn more about your clients, what they like to do, and where they're likely to be, you can start looking at ways to get in front of them. Yes, that translates to advertising. But it's a different way of advertising. You're targeting a much smaller group of people, and you're also looking for people who you want to work with. That's not to say you won't take on other clients, but some are much more ideal to your goals and future plans than others. Prospecting focuses specifically on that client group, above any others. What is Advertising? Advertising doesn't take your ideal clients into account. Instead, it casts a broader net when it comes to finding people who want to work with you to buy or sell realestate. In other words, it's open to nearly everyone who needs your services. But that doesn't mean you don't have a target market you're most interested in. You might even direct your advertising dollars toward that market -- but you're not seeking ideal clients. You're only seeking typical clients. Advertising is more about creating the conditions and interest levels that bring in the dream clients, as opposed to going out and specifically hunting for those clients, instead. As you do that, you'll also attract a lot of other clients that may not be ideal for you, but who will be clients you can work with or refer to others in the real estate profession. You may bring in a larger client base when you advertise versus when you prospect. But you'll need to be aware that some of these clients won't be a good fit for you. Many real estate agents advertise in ways that are very open and inviting to the largest number of clients. For example, you may want to consider a billboard, or an ad on a bus or park bench. You may also advertise online with sponsored posts on social media, or put magnetic signs on the sides of your car. All of those ways to advertise can work for you, depending on the kinds of clients you're trying to attract, where they're located, and how much they're exposed to the advertising you're creating. Which Option is Better? There's no right answer to which option is a better one. They're both good choices, and which one of them will be right for you depends on what you're working toward with your real estate career and client base. Many agents are very focused on a big group of clients, and they want to bring in as many people as possible. Others are more interested in a specific niche of clients, and they'll cultivate that instead of looking for a wider audience. If you work toward ideal clients, you can also help others along the way. What's the Bottom Line? The bottom line on prospecting vs. advertising for any real estate agent, is that it's very important to know what direction you want to take. That way, you can spend your time and energy on the right type of clients, and the kind of cultivating that's going to work for your career and your future. In short, prospecting usually takes more work, but can produce more specific results. Advertising may be less detailed, but won't be as targeted toward ideal clients. Many agents use a mix, to build a strong client base. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Why Realtors Should Use a Marketing Budget Template and Stick to it

Marketing budget and stick to it

As a newer agent, you might not really be sure about marketing or how much you should budget for your business. The good news is that your marketing budget can be whatever you want it to be, provided

As a newer agent, you might not really be sure about marketing or how much you should budget for your business. The good news is that your marketing budget can be whatever you want it to be, provided you can afford it. But you do need to spend some time setting up that budget and managing it correctly. Here's what to consider, and why you should use and stick to a marketing budget template. What's In It? The first thing to think about with a marketing budget template is what you want to put in it. You can find a template that's premade, but that might not give you all the areas you want to consider. It could also contain a lot of things you may not use or don't really need. That's not to say that premade marketing budget templates don't have any value, but only that you should carefully consider whether you want to use one, or would prefer to make a template of your own, that you can use and adjust as needed. Fixed Costs Fixed costs are one of the main sections that should be in a marketing budget template. These are the expenses that you have to incur when marketing. For example, that can be the yearly amount you've designated for client gifts or lunches. It could be the amount you spend every year on billboard ad space, putting your name on the side of a bus, or even buying business cards. Whatever you're doing to market yourself as a real estate agent, it's a fixed cost if it's stable and repeating at a certain price. Variable Costs Variable costs are just what they sound like. They're expenses that are part of your marketing budget, but that can change frequently. They aren't fixed, because they aren't the same all the time. But they're still very important and need to be included. For example, if you decide to spend more on seller leads one month, or you need to boost the sponsored posts you're putting on social media, those costs are variable. They're going to change all the time, and you can adjust them throughout the year. How Do You Make One? Making a marketing budget template as a real estate agent doesn't have to be difficult or confusing. You just need to know what specifics to include. Then you can set your amounts for each area, and come up with a total budget. As you move through the year, and record what you actually spent, you'll be able to see if you're on budget, under budget, or overspending in specific areas. That can mean making adjustments as needed, so the budget doesn't get out of control before you realize the problem. Monthly Spending Your monthly spending is one of the most important areas to track. You may create your real estate marketing budget for the entire year, but you don't want to just set it up and then forget about it until the year is over. Instead, you need to take a look at it every month, and make sure you see what you're really spending versus what you had planned to spend. If there's a big discrepancy, correcting it at that time helps to keep your budget on track. It's generally easier to make small changes more frequently. Defining Channels Every channel that you're using should be defined in the marketing budget. You don't want to leave anything out, or you'll end up with a budget that generally doesn't work for you. Whether you're a new real estate agent or you've been one for a long time, understanding your marketing budget can be a big part of how you handle your career. The more you plan for a budget that works for your needs, the more comfortable that budget will be. Some channels to think about adding include: Seller Leads Buyer Leads Open Houses SEO Social Media Billboards Photography Listing Advertising Print Advertising These may or may not be the kinds of channels you want to put into your marketing budget template. If you find that you aren't using some of these, or you need to break some of them down into additional categories, you can do that, as well. It's your budget template, and you should set it up the way you want it, so you'll get the most benefit from it. Keep in mind that a good template is one that you'll use, not one that looks fancy or that works for other people. Make sure you're creating it for you and your needs. What are the Benefits? The biggest benefit for you as a real estate agent is being able to truly see where your marketing budget is going. If you're spending too much and not sure why, or you don't feel like your marketing is getting the results you want, setting up a template is a great way to catch those kinds of problems. Then you can make changes that work for your future. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

DIY Projects To Improve Your Home

Diy projects to improve your home

Are you looking to improve your home, either to get it ready to sell, or to make it more enjoyable to live in now? There are many DIY projects you can tackle to breathe new life into your home, without

Are you looking to improve your home, either to get it ready to sell, or to make it more enjoyable to live in now? There are many DIY projects you can tackle to breathe new life into your home, without spending a lot of money. Here are some you might want to consider. 1. Add Glass Cabinet Inserts Glass cabinets are all the rage. They let you display some of your most beautiful dishes while keeping them off of the counters, and they give the kitchen a bit more character. You can upgrade to glass cabinets without completely gutting your kitchen. Pick a couple of your cabinets and swap out the interior wood panels with glass sheets, keeping the overall look of the cabinet intact while providing visual interest in your kitchen. 2. Wallpaper Without Losing Your Mind If the thought of wallpapering gives you flashbacks to serious issues, consider a peel-and-stick option instead of a traditional glued wallpaper. This can add a pop of color to your favorite room or brighten up an otherwise drab corner, and you can do it in an afternoon. When styles change, there’s no need to scrape and scratch to remove the wallpaper. Just peel it off and replace it with something that better fits your tastes. 3. Update Dated Fixtures You’ll be surprised at the change if you remove a dated fixture and replace it with something more modern. Ceiling fans and lights go out of date quickly, but a simple swap will update the space. Since the wiring is already there, this does not have to be a complex project, and it can add quite a bit of character to the room. 4. Add Smart Home Features Is your home “smart?” New smart home features, like a self-programmable thermostat or a camera doorbell, can make it more enjoyable to live in, while also helping you add value to your home. You can upgrade your entertainment system to be easily controlled on a mobile device, or add a smart appliance in the kitchen to make cooking easier. Consider adding smart home features that transform the energy efficiency of the space or make it more intuitive to the way you use your home. 5. Make Your Closets More Usable Are your closets organized or chaotic? Sometimes a little refresh is what you need. Add shelving or hanging systems to the closet, then put in your belongings carefully to ensure you’re only keeping what you love. The closet organizing system will make it simpler to store your stuff in a useful way, and pairing down your items will keep the clutter at bay in the future. 6. Make a Home Office Many people are working and schooling from home these days, but they may not have a space to do so. Consider turning an unused or non-essential closet into a home office space or transforming the guest room into an office room. In a closet, a desk and custom shelving are all it takes to create an office space, and you can remove the doors to make it less confined. This change will make your home more functional, and it could show additional value to a potential buyer in the future. 7. Swap Out Hardware If your cabinets or closets are looking a little dated, consider swapping out the cabinet hardware. This will give the space an uplift without a lot of money invested. Updated, modern kitchen cabinet hardware can transform drab cabinets into something appealing, even without refinishing the wood. You can change hardware in your kitchen, bathroom, and closet or bedroom doors to make your home look more modern. 8. Paint It If something in your home is not fitting your goals for your space, paint it. You can paint walls, trim, doors, and cabinets. Make sure the type of paint you use is appropriate for the surface you are painting, and if you are painting wood, sand it first. Otherwise, a gallon of paint and an afternoon can transform many spaces in your home. 9. Add Some Shelving Many homes can benefit from additional storage, but knowing where to put it is not always easy. Look around your home and determine if you have any unused spaces where you can add shelving. Floating shelves, corner shelves, and built-in shelving can all give you additional storage and make use of an unused area of your home. You’ll love the function and look that this project brings. 10. Install Crown Molding Crown molding adds quite a bit of character to your home, and it’s easier to install than you might think. Pick up pre-painted crown molding at your hardware store, trim it to size, and use a nail gun to attach it. If you don’t have a saw, ask the hardware store to cut it for you. Fixing up your home doesn’t have to cost a lot or take much time. With a little work, you can transform your space and make it somewhere you are proud to live, all while adding value to it at the same time. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Referrals 101: How to Ask Your Friends and Family for Referrals

Referrals 101 how to ask your friends

One of the best and most rewarding ways to grow your real estate business is through referrals. Real estate referrals allow your family and friends to tell other people what a great agent you are, and

One of the best and most rewarding ways to grow your real estate business is through referrals. Real estate referrals allow your family and friends to tell other people what a great agent you are, and they carry quite a bit of weight with new potential customers. Yet asking for referrals from family and friends often feels awkward. Having a script in your back pocket that you can use to request referrals will help you overcome this feeling of awkwardness and get you those valuable referrals. Tips for Asking for Referrals Before delving into specific scripts to use, first consider these important tips. 1. Ask in Person If you are going to ask a friend or relative for a referral, ask in person. You are more likely to get a “yes” response when you are talking face-to-face with someone than if you ask via text or over email, which is much easier to ignore. 2. Request a Favor Ask for the referral as a favor to you. This tactic makes the person feel like they are your hero, and this positive feeling increases the chances they will do it. 3. Don’t Make It About You When having a conversation asking for a referral, make it about the person you’re talking to. Tell them were wonderful as a client or as a support to your growing business. Be genuine but supportive because this will help them want to help you out. 4. Leave Your Inner Salesperson Behind As a real estate agent you probably have a bit of salesmanship inside. This is not the place to let it out. Keep the conversation personable and natural. 5. Look for an In When asking for referrals from family and friends, you may not be working directly with a past client. These individuals can still give you referrals, but you need to find a way to ask. Watch for opportunists, such as questions like: How’s the business going? What’s the market like? Any big sales lately? After answering the question, ask for the favor of referrals. You’ll have the chance to show your knowledge and then turn the conversation around toward what you need. 6. Keep It Short Don’t linger over the referral request. People will zone out, and you won’t get any referrals. Keep it simple and short. 7. Give Them an Out A phrase like “no pressure” or “if you want” gives someone an out. No one wants to feel pressured into a referral they aren’t comfortable delivering. Real Estate Referral Program Scripts So just how do you ask for the referral. As you get more comfortable, the asking will get more natural, but while you’re learning, consider one of these scripts for in-person conversations: “Hey _____! It was great catching up today. Hey, you know I’ve been growing my real estate business. Could I ask a favor? If you know someone who is looking for an agent, give them my name. I’d really appreciate it!” “By the way, most of my business comes from word of mouth. I love how personal it is. If you know someone who could use my help, pass my name along. Thanks!” “By the way, do you know I sell real estate ? I’ve been doing it for ___ years, and I’ve been wondering if you have talked to anyone lately who’s thinking about buying or selling? If you do, would you keep me in mind? Thanks!” You should also have a script for social media contacts. Use social media posts to share a story, then request referrals: “Check out this recent sale! The Johnson family is so thrilled with their new home. Take a look at those walk-in closets! Do you know someone looking to buy? I can help!” — Make this post about the story of the sale, then tag on the ask at the end. “Did you know? 75% of my work comes from referrals from people like you. I couldn’t do it without you!” — This is effective because it makes it all about the reader, and you don't even ask! Yet if someone reading it needs real estate help, they’ll know you want a referral. Remember to tweak the script to make it personal to the conversation, and don’t linger on it. While you won’t get a referral every time, you will get some, and that will help your real estate business to grow. Remember to Follow Up Follow-up is key when looking for referrals, but it can feel very sales-y. Try to weave conversation about your real estate business into your conversations about life. It's a big part of your life, so it should be fairly easy to do this. Start Growing Your Network Finally, start growing your network of people you know in the local community. Get out and involved in community events and charity work. Add people to your social media pages when you meet them and take a genuine interest in them and their lives. This will help you grow a network that will eventually lead to more referrals. The key to making a successful request for a referral is to keep things personal. Take a genuine interest in the person you’re talking to, then weave the conversation around to your goal. This will help you appear less like a salesperson and more approachable, which will generate a better number of referrals for your business. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

A Guide to Using a CRM As a New Agent

Crm as a new agent

Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) can be one of the best ways for a new real estate agent to become more effective at managing the varied aspects of their business. With CRM software, you

Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) can be one of the best ways for a new real estate agent to become more effective at managing the varied aspects of their business. With CRM software, you will be able to make better use of your time, enhance your sales and marketing efforts, gain practical knowledge concerning lead generation and servicing, client contacts, deal forecasting and profitability, and gain a powerful sales reporting tool. Use it to schedule your bookings and appointments, manage more leads and close more deals. Chances are that if you join an established brokerage firm as a newly-licensed agent, there will already be a CRM in place. However, based on 2021 information, here's an overview of the 10 most-highly-rated platforms on the market in 2021. They are tailored to help you become the real estate "superstar" you want to be. Monday CRM This award-winning software boasts an extremely user-friendly and intuitive interface and is thoroughly customizable with no need for coding or IT. It's also extremely flexible and allows high-level collaboration between sales, marketing & customer service teams. With a 9.9 rating on a 10-point scale, it also offers a 14-day free trial and is budget-friendly at a rate of $8 per month per user, with a minimum of three users. Pipedrive This highly-rated CRM puts the focus on managing leads and closing deals, with the ability to easily track calls, emails and contact history, in addition to more than 150 advanced integrations. It is suitable both for small business and enterprise use, and features an exceptional customer support response time of one minute or less. It, too, is priced per user, at a current rate of $12.50 a month,and has a 14-day free trial. Fresh sales This CRM offers an automation solution that simplifies both pipeline tracking and individual account management for sales teams. With drag-and-drop navigation, and a built-in ability to predict revenue and forecast sales, it is highly customizable and relies on AI to help users with sales forecasts and revenue predictions. It is probably best for sales teams that will benefit from insights into the best deals to pursue. It offers a 21-day free review, but its more expensive than the previous two options. KEAP This platform, available as a mobile Android app, gives users the ability to easily integrate CRM, marketing and sales automation and payments. Agents can personalize messages sent to clients or leads, automate follow ups, access all client activity in one place, and sync with Gmail or Outlook inboxes. With a strong focus on tracking of customer activity, this is a good CRM for a single user interested in client management and messaging. It also offers a 14-day free trial and is reasonably priced. Capsule The biggest advantage of this CRM is its ease of use and quick setup. Although simplicity may be its major attraction, it offers the ability to attach an unlimited number of documents to lead records, in addition to the ability to share leads with other team members. Deemed highly advantageous for new real estate agents, it requires minimal training and offers a generous 30-day trial. It,too, can be integrated with Gmail or outlook. Data import or export is also easy with Capsule. VCITA If you're seeking a CRM designed for small businesses, this might be the perfect choice for you. It is flexible and intuitive, but still offers integration with dozens of other platforms, and has strong tools to maximize customer engagement and track follow-up efforts. In addition, it provides a distinctive client portal that allows for some unique self-service use and easy exchange of documentation. It not only includes tools for customizable workflow automation and a built-in billing and invoicing system, but it is available for both Android and iOS mobile apps. VCITA offers a 14-day trial period and pricing varies. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a member of a real estate team, there are many different software packages that you might consider. Each will have pros and cons, and not all are best for newly-licensed real estate agents. Deciding which one will best suit your needs can be difficult. In general, cloud-hosted solutions that can be quickly deployed offer the most flexibility, and those with a large user community and good support network will typically be easier to set up and use. Many CRMs offer a free trial but beware of "free" or very low-price software. Look for a CRM with the ability to connect or integrate with other services you use. Read the reviews of the various products, thoroughly analyze your personal needs and expectations, evaluate CRM support-team availability and, if possible, talk to other users and ask for advice and insights from experienced brokers and other real estate professionals before making a decision. The free trials offered by most CRMs can provide needed time for you to evaluate the ease of use and suitability of a specific platform. However, understand that there are distinct advantages to be gained from early adoption of a CRM as you begin your real estate career and look forward to success in the exciting world of real estate. To read more about how to begin your career and become a real estate agent and to read more success stories from other agents you can go to our website to learn more Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Optimize Social Media as a Real Estate Agent

Real estate social media strategy

The basic goal of having a professional presence on social media is to increase your visibility among prospective clients. Your goal should be to establish trust and a professional persona, "friends"

The basic goal of having a professional presence on social media is to increase your visibility among prospective clients. Your goal should be to establish trust and a professional persona, "friends" and “likes" are a by-product of your content but should not be the goal. I’m going to go through the various platforms in this article and explain how they can be used to obtain business. If you’re wondering what to post online, I wrote an article about this here that might be of interest to you. You should strive to develop and maintain a social media presence that is diverse and steady and demonstrates to the public that you are knowledgeable and competent and likable. Does that sound like a tall order? It does not have to be. It doesn't have to take much time each week, but your activity on the various platforms should be coordinated and deliberate. You don’t have to be a professional writer, nor an accomplished photographer, but you should strive for personable and authentic posts. The Giants of Social Media The big four social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn with TikTok quickly accelerating and hoping to catch up to the established players. This will change over time, however. If you read old articles on the business of social media you’ll see references to Flickr, Myspace and even Friendster so I know that this article isn’t going to age well - but that’s kind of the point. Being able to bob and weave and pivot to where the puck is “going to be” will help you stay fresh and relevant as a business person. You really have to be fine with trying different approaches on all platforms. Some real estate agents find YouTube to be highly effective, while others migrate in the direction of short form TikTok videos or more graphic social media sites like Pinterest. Facebook With more than 2.7 billion users worldwide, Facebook could be seen as the anchor of your social media presence. Although it may not be the younger generation's favorite, your real estate clientele is likely to be among its users so embrace it. There is a debate around the ratio of personal posts compared to business ones. A best practice here would be to try all sorts of things until you find a rhythm that works for you and your audience. We would love to get you know you on Facebook! Connect with us here. Instagram Instagram is a quick and effective way to share photos and video content with your followers. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it is another indispensable way to reach potential clients and boost your following. Another advantage is that, because of its affiliation with Facebook, each Instagram post can be shared on Facebook, and vice versa making posting to both platforms seamless. Don’t forget that Instagram has cool buttons like “vote”, “quiz”, and question/answer type buttons. These interactive features allow you to get to know your audience and also provides insight into what your followers like. If you are interested in connecting with our real estate school on Instagram we would love to connect! Twitter Tweets are short (they have been increased to 280 characters from their former 140) and short-lived, and the platform is instantaneous in a way all its own. It doesn't take much time to get the hang of it, and it can gain you a following fairly quickly as a knowledgeable real estate professional when used correctly. It's an ideal way to share information -- such as a daily change in the interest rate, an interesting new listing, or a price reduction -- with your followers. LinkedIn Microsoft purchased this business-oriented social media platform and its influence among professionals cannot be underestimated. LinkedIn also gained importance during the pandemic as the platform for B2B interaction. Be sure your personal profile is complete and that you use a professional photo for your headshot. Regular posts and interaction with other professionals is beneficial. LinkedIn can also be used to gain referrals for your real estate business from out of area agents. Every referral received by a real estate agent can be worth $10,000+ so being recognized as the go-to agent in your area can be very valuable. If you are one of our real estate school students, there’s nothing wrong with you posting right now that you are enrolled in our real estate classes online on your LinkedIn so that your audience knows that you are going to be a future real estate agent. Develop a Posting Calendar Develop a social media schedule. Aim for a minimum of two or three social media posts each week on each platform in the beginning and share links between platforms when appropriate. Send a tweet to point followers to a Facebook post, for instance, or share an Instagram photo automatically to your Facebook page. Write a short article for LinkedIn and post a short sentence and a link on Facebook. Use Twitter to tell your followers that a specific home you listed just closed, that the price on a specific property was lowered, or that interest rates are slated to rise next week, according to the latest financial news. Encourage interaction, try your level best to respond to comments, and thank your followers for their support. Introduce a new buyer to the community by posting a photo of them at their new front door (with their permission, of course). Lend your support to a community event or don’t be shy to promote your latest achievement to your audience. Share a humorous story or post a cute "puppy" picture just for the fun of it. Just make sure your posts are believable, accurate and in good taste. And have fun with social media. When done properly you’ll reap the reward through increased business. If you are interested in getting started in real estate courses, click here or reach out by phone at 888-768-5285 or @ us! :) Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Tips When You Need to Downsize to a Smaller Home

Downsize home

Downsizing your home comes with a wide range of different benefits. Sometimes your kids have left the home to go off to college and you just don't need as much space any longer. Other times, you realize

Downsizing your home comes with a wide range of different benefits. Sometimes your kids have left the home to go off to college and you just don't need as much space any longer. Other times, you realize that you never needed as much space in the first place. Regardless, it can be a great way to free yourself of some clutter and also save some money on your monthly bills at the exact same time. When you do search for a smaller home, there are a few key things you should look for. Chief among these is how much square footage your new home will have. You'll also want to examine the potential for storage spaces depending on the amount of items you're bringing with you. But more than anything, you want to consider WHY you want to downsize. Are you doing this for yourself, or are you doing this because you think you need to? Regardless, once you make the decision and you begin to embark on this journey, there are a few key tips you need to downsize to a smaller home that are always worth remembering. Downsizing Your Home: What You Need to Know By far, the most important thing to remember when moving into a smaller space is that you should begin by making a list of all those personal belongings and other items that you don't really need anymore. You should do this before you start to pack, as it can save you a tremendous amount of effort in the long run. Take an inventory of your items and try to separate anything out that you truly know you don't need. If you were a collector who no longer has a passion for what was your former favorite hobby, consider getting rid of those items. If you have four television sets but know that you're only going to need two at your new place, sell them before you have to move to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Along the same lines, you should also use apps to sell your stuff. Obviously, there is always eBay - you can list virtually anything you want at a certain price and let people bid on it until it sells. But there are also options like the Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor that allow you to listen items that will be visible to people who are in your immediate geographic area. This can potentially be a great way to not only sell items, but to do so without needing to ship them because you can have buyers come pick them up by way of a "Local Pickup Only" option. At the same time, you should also start cleaning out your wardrobe for any items that you don't wear anymore. More than anything, you want to try to visualize the new space that you're moving into and how your new items might fit into it. If you have a particular type of bed, for example, walk into your new bedroom and try to envision where it may best be positioned. Do the same with other furniture that you have to try to create a mental image ahead of time of where those items may best be located. This, too, will save you a lot of trouble during the move itself. Just because you don't like a particular shirt anymore doesn't mean that someone else won't, after all. Maximizing the Space in a Small House Once you actually move into your new home, you'll probably find that a bit of an adjustment period is necessary. After all, you're used to a certain amount of space and those immediate days and even weeks after the move can begin to feel a little cramped. Thankfully, there are a number of techniques that you can use to maximize the space in a smaller home - chief among them being the installation of wall mounted storage. Many big box furniture stores offer wall mounted storage and you can also likely find custom solutions in your area. The benefit here is that you still get all of the space made available by shelves and cabinets, but you're not taking up any additional floor space, either. This in and of itself is a great way to take an admittedly small room and make it feel as big as possible. At the same time, you should also consider opportunities to increase storage space in your kitchen. People often don't realize just how many kitchen utensils and other items that they have until it comes time to try to find a place for them. Whether this means installing new storage or coming up with a more inventive solution will obviously vary depending on the situation - but this is definitely one of those areas that you should focus a lot of your attention on. You can also consider shopping for multi-functional furniture - meaning those pieces that serve more than one purpose. A couch doesn't just have to be a couch - it can also fold out into a bed to give people a place to sleep when they come visit. Oftentimes you can find an ottoman for the living room that acts both as that and as a convenient storage location for remote controls, gaming consoles and similar items. Downsizing can change your life for the better. It can help you free yourself from clutter and save money as well. Overall, if you have the opportunity to do so it's a good idea - and tips like those outlined above will certainly help. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Real Estate Exam Test Taking Tips


Most people, especially adults, are a little intimidated when it comes to taking an exam; it somehow doesn't matter if it's a driving test or an exam to qualify for a license, or the culmination of a

Most people, especially adults, are a little intimidated when it comes to taking an exam; it somehow doesn't matter if it's a driving test or an exam to qualify for a license, or the culmination of a special training program. It can be stressful, but there are a number of ways to calm your anxiety and boost your level of confidence. The required California Real Estate Exam is one of those tests that determines whether you will become a licensed professional, qualified to act on behalf of buyers and sellers to transact business in the state. It is an important step, and after weeks of serious study, you'll want to make every possible effort to pass the exam on your first attempt. Here are some ways to do just that, and to easily achieve your goals. The test consists of 150 questions; you are allowed three hours to complete the exam, and a passing score requires that at least 70% of the questions be answered correctly. Review Smarter and Better There is no magic formula to help you fill in the blanks correctly. Advance preparation is important, and pre-exam review of the myriad real estate topics you have studied is vital. Cramming, however, might lead to greater apprehension. A planned timetable of review is a better idea, and one that will also prepare you more fully for the day-to-day skills and knowledge that a real estate agent or broker requires. Create a Study Schedule: If you have been enrolled in a real estate course, plan to review your class notes and course materials thoroughly before scheduling the exam. Enlist the help of your spouse, partner, or best friend to help you with concepts and to act as a coach or sounding board as you review the various topics and principles. Form a Study Group: Learning and understanding are enhanced when you receive input and feedback from others. Keep the group small and informal, if possible, and limit the duration of study sessions to encourage lively discussions and prevent burnout. Review Vocabulary and Terms: Be certain that you have a grasp of the defining vocabulary and specific designations that characterize real estate roles and transaction responsibilities. Review Concepts to Gain Understanding. Role playing can be highly instructive. Use it to demonstrate the different aspects of any real estate transaction -- from initial contact with a prospective client to discussion of specific prohibitions of language and topics that you may encounter in your real estate dealings. Watch YouTube Videos: There are some highly instructive materials online. Seek out professionally-prepared videos and presentations that will illustrate the situations any real estate professional must understand. Enroll in a Review Course: If it has been some time since you first enrolled in a real estate licensing course, you might want to schedule a quick pre-exam review. Online reviews, flash cards, and comprehensive study guides can all be helpful. Take a Practice Test. A practice test will provide basic familiarity with the type of questions you'll encounter. However, use practice tests judiciously, and don't make the mistake of "practicing" too much. Not everything you need to know will be covered in any test; understand that your real estate career will always present you with new challenges, and that it's better to understand concepts than to memorize answers to specific test questions. On the Day of the Test During the week leading up to your testing date, try to get plenty of rest and exercise, and try not to stress about the upcoming exam. Prepare yourself by reviewing to the best of your ability and try to be physically fit and mentally relaxed when the day arrives. Follow your normal routine as much as possible. If you normally eat a healthy breakfast, do so and don't stress unduly about the rest of your day. If, on the other hand, you have only coffee for breakfast, go ahead, but don't overdo the caffeine. Also, remember to bring a snack or something nutritious available for sustenance prior to the exam. Bring water as well; it's important to stay hydrated. Plan to get your normal quota of sleep the night before the exam. You might want to rise a little earlier than usual, however. Get in some stretches for your body or read something motivational to get your mind in gear -- whatever seems appropriate. Arrive early at the test location, armed with everything you've been instructed to bring, but nothing else. Breathe deeply, get comfortable, and don't stress. Don't rush through the questions. If there are questions that are confusing, or answers you're unsure of, skip over them and move on. A later question might trigger the correct response for you, and you can then return to answer the questions confidently. Be confident; don't overthink the multiple-choice answers. Understand that the test is not designed to trip you up, but that some real estate principles and practices are subject to interpretation. In most cases, trust your judgment and choose the one answer that seems to be the most logical and correct. Progress through the 150 questions, answering all that seem easy. Try to allow ample time to review your work and to reconsider answers to questions you were unsure about. Once you have made a final choice, however, move on. Don't stress. Remember the concepts. Understand the topics. You’ve been preparing for this. Be confident and know that you’ve got this!
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Utilize Farming Strategies to Find Your Next Client

Farming strategies real estate farming

Regardless of how long you've been engaged with your real estate career, getting a steady stream of new clients is always a top priority. In this particular industry, consistency is king - the more

Regardless of how long you've been engaged with your real estate career, getting a steady stream of new clients is always a top priority. In this particular industry, consistency is king - the more people you have knocking on your door, the more revenue you're able to generate. In an effort to do precisely that, many agents take to the process of farming. Real estate farming is a specific type of marketing technique that is used to develop business in a precise geographic area. Rather than attempting to cast the widest net possible, you instead attempt to cast the right net - meaning that you focus your attention on what may be a smaller area, but that you know like the back of your hand and that you're already intimately familiar with. Yet at the same time, real estate farming isn't quite as straightforward as it may seem. If you truly want to utilize the best that farming strategies have to offer to find your next client, there are a number of important things you'll want to keep in mind. Real Estate Farming: Your Guide The single most important best practice that you can put to use when real estate farming involves making sure that you've found the right area to focus on in the first place. Begin your efforts by comparing multiple areas and even multiple locations to help come to a determination as to which one has the most overall appeal. You can use a variety of data points to do this, including but not limited to average home sale prices, the average amount of turnover, the amount of competition you'll face in the area and more. To help verify that you've made the right decision, use recent sales to help calculate the average sale price in this particular part of town. Based on that, you'll be able to see what you're likely to earn on a commission per sale. You'll also want to pay close attention to the turnover rate to make sure that there is enough business in the area to sustain yourself. But again - you don't want to do this for just one particular neighborhood. Create a table to show your top three real estate farming areas and weigh the pros and cons of each one equally. At the end of this process, you should have all the insight you need to determine your best neighborhood. What You Need to Know About Real Estate Farming and Marketing Along the same lines, you should also be prepared with those real estate farming techniques that will allow you to attract the attention of - and ultimately win - more leads in the area you've selected. This is something that you can do in a few different ways and, in all likelihood, you'll want to use a combination of them to succeed. Create a real estate marketing plan and focus on a niche. If your specialty is single family homes, be sure to find an area with a lot of single family homes. If your specialty is condos, be sure to find an area with a lot of condos. Likewise, be sure to pay attention to the size of the farms so that you don't pick an area that is too big for you to reasonably cover. On an ongoing basis, you should also make sure that you're always the first person to welcome new homeowners into the neighborhood. Whether that means stopping by and knocking on the door to say "hello," picking up the phone and making a call or even just sending something nice in the mail doesn't matter - what is most important is that you're reaching out and making your presence known. Moving forward, you should also make sure that you know every time a home goes on the market so that you can be the first to preview it. Especially in a market that is as "hot" as the one we're in right now, newly listed homes move quickly. If something goes on sale that you know would be perfect for one of your existing clients, you need to act fast. Making a priority to understand the current inventory goes a long way towards guaranteeing exactly that. Understand that having the right materials is always a critical part of knowing precisely how to farm a neighborhood in real estate. These materials can include but are certainly not limited to newsletters, postcards, flyers, market reports, "Just Listed/Just Sold" notices and more. Always utilize direct mail marketing companies to do the work for you, such as sending out farming cards. They can automatically send out postcards as soon as one of your listings hits the market or sells. This can help free up the maximum amount of your attention so that you can focus on the thing that matters most of all: your career. You can also use a company like FarmingCards, which is an intelligent postcard marketing solution that helps organizations connect with potential clients. It's a convenient, end-to-end, artificial intelligence-facilitated service that helps agents maximize the overall return on investment of their marketing. It allows you to design postcards instantly that let you find your ideal clients using smart targeting and other features. At that point you can sit back and relax as FarmingCards prints and delivers to your farm - precisely the way it should be. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What Is A Sphere of Influence?

What is a sphere influence

One of the most important things to understand about operating successfully in the real estate industry is that you're really trying to sell two distinct things at the same time. Yes, it's absolutely

One of the most important things to understand about operating successfully in the real estate industry is that you're really trying to sell two distinct things at the same time. Yes, it's absolutely true that you're helping someone sell or buy a house. A big part of your job is to help them navigate what may very well be the biggest financial decisions they'll ever make. But beyond that, you're also selling something arguably more important: Yourself In order to build the type of career you've seen for yourself in the industry, you need to be able to establish yourself as an authority. You need to show, not tell, people that you know what you're talking about. That yours is a voice worth trusting and paying attention to. Only then will they feel confident enough asking you to come along with them on this journey - which is how a book of business is eventually built. To accomplish that, you need been capitalizing on your Sphere of Influence - something that you've been building with every interaction you've made up to this point, possibly without even realizing it. In the simplest possible terms, a Sphere of Influence is the collection of all the people you know. Not only does this include friends, family members and other loved ones, obviously, but also any loose connections you've forged or acquaintances you've met along the way. It's also something that will soon become the secret to your success in a wide range of different ways that are worth exploring. Why is a Sphere of Influence Important? A number of recent studies have illustrated just how important a Sphere of Influence truly is, particularly in an industry that is as connection-driven as real estate. According to one report, over 80% of all real estate transactions are the direct result of contacts from people you already know. That means not only previous contacts or any referrals they may bring you but also friends, family members and people you know personally. This is crucial, as another study revealed that 74% of home buyers say that they would gladly use their agent again in the future and had plans to recommend them to others. Along the same lines, about 84% of people say they also trust recommendations from their own collection of peers when it comes to determining who to do business with. All of this paints a very clear picture of just how the real estate industry operates. Yes, it's possible to "cold call" people and obtain new clients who you've had no interactions with in the past. But in the vast majority of all situations, your business will come from those people who are already in your life - even if only tangentially. Therefore, your Sphere of Influence isn't just an important asset to capitalize on - it may be the single biggest contributing factor to your future as a real estate agent. Get Comfortable on Social Media When it comes time to actually take advantage of your Sphere of Influence, there are a few key techniques you can try. Chief among these is the idea that if you're not already comfortable on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, now would be an excellent time to start. Indeed, visualizing your Sphere of Influence through a social media platform like Facebook is actually one of the easiest way to do it. Think about your current contact lists and ask yourself which platforms they're the most active on. Facebook in particular shows you mutual friends and other important metrics like that. Spending a few hours on these sites seeing who you know, and who they know, and who THEY know, is a great way to illustrate how big your Sphere of Influence really is. All the while, you should also be taking the opportunity to post relevant, valuable and otherwise meaningful content to your pages for these people to see. If there's a particularly interesting industry topic that you can provide insight on, link to the article and write a few paragraphs containing your thoughts. Help people see things from an angle that they may have otherwise missed. Again, it's a great way to establish yourself as an authority - thus expanding your Sphere of Influence as well. Maximize the Power of Printed Materials Similarly, distributing printed materials is a tried-and-true tactic and an effective way to create awareness for both you and your business. This, too, is something you can do in a few different ways. If there was a particularly impressive home sale in the area recently, or if the market is heating up, don't be afraid to print up a flyer and distribute it to the neighborhood outlining your thoughts. Give people information that they don't already have and leave them with something of value without asking for anything in return. It's a great way to both let people know that you're out there and continue to build up your trustworthiness, too. Of course, it doesn't have to be quite that complicated. Always have business cards handy ready to give to everyone you meet, for example - you just never know who might be looking to buy or sell. In the end, your Sphere of Influence should always be getting bigger over time - and it likely will in a natural way. You must resist the urge to overlook this critical asset, as it will absolutely be the secret to your success in the future.
Practical advice for real estate agents

5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value


When the time comes to sell your home, it stands to reason that you'd want to get as much value out of it as possible. But few people realize that increasing your home's value is less the product of any

When the time comes to sell your home, it stands to reason that you'd want to get as much value out of it as possible. But few people realize that increasing your home's value is less the product of any one major move and is more about a series of smaller, more strategic ones. In truth, increasing your home's value is fairly straightforward - you just need to keep a few key things in mind along the way. Improvement #1: Kitchen Renovations By far, one of the biggest ways to immediately add value to your home comes by way of renovating your kitchen. This is because kitchens tend to be one of the areas of any house that fall out of date rather quickly. Whether it involves putting in new cabinets, investing in more modern and state-of-the-art appliances, installing new floors or performing some combination of these improvements all at the same time, it's a great way to instantly breathe some much-needed "fresh air" into a space. Modern appliances tend to be more energy efficient than their older counterparts, making this a great way to help prospective buyers save money almost immediately after purchase. When a buyer looks at a home and sees that they don't have to perform any of these upgrades themselves, it can also help your home sell faster and for a higher price, too. Not only that, it also helps people more effectively picture themselves in a space. They can see how much time they'll be able to save when preparing meals, for example, and it's easier for them to envision what they'll be able to do with increased storage space (in the event that you're putting in new cabinets). Improvement #2: Bathroom Updates Another major way to increase your home's value is to invest in a bathroom upgrade. Again, this is a great way to not only reduce clutter, but also to help potential new homebuyers become more ecologically friendly at the same time. According to one recent study, even a relatively "minor" bathroom update can give you a 102% return on investment when it comes time to resell your home. This is the type of thing that prospective homebuyers take seriously, which means that you need to do so as well. Never forget that even the smallest rooms in a house can have a big, big impact on its ultimate resale value. Improvement #3: Lighting Upgrades Lighting upgrades may seem like a relatively minor improvement, but they're absolutely not as far as the resale value of your home is concerned. This is a topic that you can approach in a number of different ways depending on your perspective. In some situations, it could be as simple as replacing all of your existing light bulbs with energy efficient LED alternatives. This is another way to help make your home environmentally friendly, which will make it far more enticing to prospective buyers. You could even take the additional step of installing "smart" lighting, with Philips Hue bulbs being a prime example of that. Smart lighting can be connected to "intelligent" home automation systems like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's HomeKit, allowing you to control your lights using a smartphone or via voice command. This comes with the added benefit of being able to control the lighting in your home while you're away, or by setting automatic schedules that respond in real-time to certain events. But regardless, the brighter a room feels, the bigger it looks. Whenever you're thinking about selling your home, you want every space to look as big as it can possibly get. Improvement #4: Fresh Paint As was true with lighting, a fresh coat of paint can also make a space feel both cleaner and brighter in equal measure. According to another recent study, painting the interior of your home can result in a massive 107% return on investment when it comes time to sell. Even painting the outside leads to a 55% return on investment. The same source indicated that while painting the interior of your home costs an average of $987, it could increase the overall value of your home by as much as $2,000 or more. Having said that, you'll still want to keep a few key things in mind. Always select warm, neutral colors for the best results and know which rooms need your immediate attention. Utilize paint to make smaller rooms look and feel bigger and place an emphasis on your kitchen, your bathrooms and entryways for maximum impact. Improvement #5: Landscape Improvements Finally, we arrive at the landscaping of your home - something that is far more important than most people realize. Always pay special attention to the entryway of your home and make sure that it looks as striking as possible - particularly for those listing photos. Be sure to repair or replace any damaged stepping stones, concrete paths and porch plants that you can to generate as much curb appeal as possible. While you're at it, be sure to give the front door a fresh coat of paint. If you don't necessarily have a "green thumb" to the point where you don't want to plant anything, add some potted plants to really cement the effect that you're going for. Overall, you always want people to be excited when they walk through the door of your home. The aforementioned best practices go a long way towards guaranteeing precisely that. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The 5 Hardest Things About Being a Realtor

Real estate market uncertainty

The majority of people who are not in the real estate business have little to no understanding of what an emotional rollercoaster it can be to be a realtor. The good days are really good while the bad

The majority of people who are not in the real estate business have little to no understanding of what an emotional rollercoaster it can be to be a realtor. The good days are really good while the bad days can be pretty tough to get through. Here are some of the toughest struggles that every realtor has to deal with on a daily basis. 1. Uncertainty about real estate market This is perhaps one of the biggest uncertainties realtors have to deal with on a daily basis. Every realtor is worried about not being able to sell their properties and how it will affect his or her commissions at the end of the month. This uncertainty is real and can cause a lot of stress for realtors and their clients. The best realtors really do care about their client's properties and genuinely want to find them a buyer as soon as possible. It’s safe to say, realtors can carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. 2. Constantly being on the go A realtor is always on the go, they are always thinking of new ways to market themselves and bring in potential buyers for their clients' homes. They spend most of their time on the road or on their phone calling both real estate agents and potential buyers. Not to mention, being on the go can last well into the night. The hours are different every day. It’s not uncommon for a realtor to be submitting offers at 10pm or receiving calls from agents at 12pm or calls from clients at 6am. 3. Commission is by no means a guarantee In real estate, nothing can be guaranteed. Even if you do everything right to sell that house, from staging it perfectly, to showing the house as often as possible, there is still no guarantee that you will make a sale. The realtor will spend money marketing the home, paying for photography, doing open houses, finding buyers, etc. Even when the home is in escrow there are still occasions where it does not close escrow and you may have to start all over again. Most of the time realtors won’t get a commission check until 30 plus days after their listing receives an offer. There are times however that a everything right to sell that house, from staging it perfectly, to showing the house as often as possible, there is still no guarantee that you will make a sale. The realtor will spend money marketing the home, paying for photography, doing open houses, finding buyers, etc. Even when the home is in escrow there are still occasions where it does not close escrow and you may have to start all over again. Most of the time realtors won’t get a commission check until 30 plus days after their listing receives an offer. There are times however that a listing will not sell and a realtor will essentially not get paid for their time and efforts marketing that listing. 4. Being underpaid for hard work As real estate agents, they put in more work than any other profession but are only compensated about 3% on the home sale. Just think about it, realtors get paid almost nothing for everything they do. They spend hours upon hours of their time marketing homes and placing phone calls, but real estate agents get paid very little for all of their hard work. There is a ton of time spent going back and forth in communication between escrow, loan officers, listing agents, etc. They juggle going back and forth to communicate with all parties in the deal and may have to deal with major headaches along the way. You never know what kind of setback will come up because someone on the other end isn’t meeting a deadline or doing what was asked. When working with buyers, the real estate agent can spend days, weeks, or even months showing house after house and put in several offers on behalf of their clients. Sometimes offers will not get accepted, other times they will, and sometimes the buyers will cancel even after the going back and forth to communicate with all parties in the deal and may have to deal with major headaches along the way. You never know what kind of setback will come up because someone on the other end isn’t meeting a deadline or doing what was asked. When working with buyers, the real estate agent can spend days, weeks, or even months showing house after house and put in several offers on behalf of their clients. Sometimes offers will not get accepted, other times they will, and sometimes the buyers will cancel even after the offer is accepted. You literally have no idea how each deal with go. Realtors deal with surprises and setbacks all the time. 5. Dealing with difficult clients All realtors have had to deal with difficult clients at least once in their real estate career. Clients are always coming up with the most ridiculous demands and realtors have to deal with them no matter how crazy they may sound. Most realtors will do anything it takes to make their clients happy because realtors realize that it is all about building long term relationships. Sometimes realtors may have to end relationships with certain clients whose expectations are unrealistic and impossible to attain. It is the realtor’s job to educate their clients as much as possible about the real estate world. If the realtor has done everything they can to give their clients an understanding and guide them in the process of buying or selling and their client refuses to listen, it may be time to cut ties with that client. So, are the ups and downs worth it? Absolutely. Becoming educated about the industry and the expectations that come with being a realtor are a necessary part of starting in this industry successfully. Knowing what to expect can help tremendously when overcoming obstacles and dealing with the uncertainty that comes with the territory. Remember, the more experience you get the better you get at something. This goes for anything in life and if you stick with it, your sure to reap the benefits. The harder you work in real estate the more money you can make. The potential is endless. So stay consistent and don’t give up when the going gets tough. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Appraisal Contingency Explained


At its core, a contingency is a condition that needs to be met before an offer like a real estate transaction is allowed to proceed. From a certain perspective it's a bit like a safety net and it's far

At its core, a contingency is a condition that needs to be met before an offer like a real estate transaction is allowed to proceed. From a certain perspective it's a bit like a safety net and it's far more important than people realize. For the sake of example, let's say a home buyer visits a property that they absolutely fall in love with. After quick negotiations with the seller, they agree to the purchase price of $350,000. Contracts are drawn up, documents are signed and an initial deposit is handed over. Everything proceeds as it should, until the appraisal comes in... and all parties find out that the house is only worth $300,000. What, in that situation, do you do? If they had an appraisal contingency in the contract, the buyer would walk away without a care in the world. An appraisal contingency means that if the home you want to buy doesn't appraise for the amount that you've already agreed to pay, you get to walk away from the deal with your deposit in hand. This is because an appraisal determines the fair market value of the home you're trying to buy. All told, they're a hugely important part of the real estate process for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth exploring. How Does the Appraisal Contingency Protect You? As stated, the purpose of an appraisal contingency is to protect both the buyer and the lender from overpaying for home. No lender will ever want to lend someone more money than a home is worth because from the moment that buyer gets the keys, they'd immediately be underwater. Likewise, no home buyer should ever want to be in that situation because part of the reason you purchase property in the first place is for equity - something that you wouldn't have in that situation. During the appraisal process, a licensed and trained professional will come to the property in question for what is essentially a physical, in-person inspection. They'll take into consideration specifics like the condition of the outside and inside, the size of the yard, home improvements that have been recently made and more - all in an effort to determine the current fair market value of the property. They'll also take a look at any recent renovations that have been made, or additions that have been built since the last time the home was appraised. Note that an appraisal is not the same thing as a home inspection and they should not be treated as such. They're similar, to be fair, but they serve different purposes. Overall, these contingencies protect people financially if there's a serious difference in value between what the home is worth and what they're actually being asked to pay. When NOT to Use an Appraisal Contingency Having said all of that, there are a few key situations when using an appraisal contingency as part of a real estate transaction may not be a good idea. Chief among them is if you're buying when it is a seller's market - particularly one that is as active as it is right now. A seller's market, as the name suggests, means that there are often multiple offers for a single some and buying competition is high. Right it's extraordinarily high - driven in large part by the combination of historically low interest rates and the scarcity of inventory across the country. Things have gotten to the point where it's not uncommon to hear about a situation where a buyer doesn't just waive an appraisal contingency - they waive a home inspection as well. Obviously, this won't always be the case - but it's also the perfect example of when an appraisal contingency will probably lose you a home. When a seller has the ability to choose between multiple, similar offers in a market that favors them greatly, they're obviously going to choose the one that is the most beneficial to themselves. Any offer that comes with strings attached like an appraisal contingency is obviously less appealing to that person. If you really love a home, you can strengthen your offer by waiving your appraisal contingency. You must also, however, be willing to risk a lower appraisal when that day comes. You may also consider waiving an appraisal contingency if you're buying a home with cash. Cash sales don't actually require an appraisal because there is no lender involved to deny a mortgage if there is a big difference between what the home is worth and what you're paying for it. Obviously, you could always run the risk of overpaying to begin with - but so long as it's a risk you're willing to take on, this would be considered appropriate. In the end, the appraisal contingency is one of the more complicated parts of the real estate process - but it's also one of the more important for the protections that it offers. It's also a perfect example of why it's so important to work with a trusted real estate professional to begin with. They can help navigate the market, helping buyers to understand when and why to use things like the appraisal contingency and others. It's just another in a long line of examples of how they assist home buyers in enjoying all the benefits of this process with as few of the potential downsides as possible. If you would like to become a real estate agent , read our success stories to learn more about what the real estate career is like. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Mistakes Home Buyers Make In A Hot Real Estate Market


The California real estate market has been remarkable in recent years, with a severe inventory shortage and historically low mortgage rates fueling one of the strongest housing markets in generations.

The California real estate market has been remarkable in recent years, with a severe inventory shortage and historically low mortgage rates fueling one of the strongest housing markets in generations. As a result, navigating this hot sellers' market can be challenging for homebuyers, and as a real estate agent, it's your responsibility to help them avoid common mistakes. To further your real estate education, consider enrolling in a real estate school or taking online real estate classes. Remember to check out real estate exam prep resources as well. One of the most critical errors homebuyers make in a hot market is hesitation. Properties sell rapidly, often before they're officially listed, and bidding wars can erupt within hours. Prepare your clients for this reality by emphasizing the importance of making fast, decisive (but not impulsive) choices. Additionally, if you're considering entering the real estate industry and are wondering how to get your real estate license, we have plenty of resources are available to help. Set an appropriate budget from the beginning Another common pitfall is failing to search for homes within a client's budget. Although market activity has inflated home values, homebuyers must stick to a realistic price range. Encourage your clients to establish a maximum budget early on and remind them to stay within those limits when searching for comparable properties. When embarking on the journey of purchasing a home, it's essential to establish a budget before you begin your search. Setting a budget beforehand allows you to make informed decisions and avoid financial strain, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable home-buying experience. One of the primary reasons for setting a budget first is the ability to narrow your focus on properties that fall within your financial means. This targeted approach saves time and energy, as you will only waste valuable resources viewing homes within your reach. Furthermore, by understanding your budget constraints, you can identify homes with the most desirable features within your price range, ultimately leading to greater satisfaction with your final choice. Additionally, having a predetermined budget in place helps prevent emotional decision-making. When you encounter a dream home beyond your financial capacity, it can be tempting to stretch your budget and make an impulsive offer. However, overextending your finances can result in long-term consequences, such as difficulty meeting mortgage payments or sacrificing other financial goals. By committing to a budget from the outset, you can resist the allure of unaffordable properties and maintain a disciplined approach throughout the home-buying process. Finally, setting a budget before house hunting gives you a strong negotiating position. With a clear understanding of your financial limits, you can confidently make offers and negotiate with sellers, knowing you are making a well-informed decision. This confidence can enhance your credibility in the eyes of sellers and potentially lead to more favorable negotiation outcomes. In conclusion, establishing a budget before looking for homes is the right strategy for prospective homebuyers. By focusing on properties within your means, avoiding emotional decisions, and strengthening your negotiating position, you can ensure a successful and satisfying home-buying experience. Don’t Act Out Of Impulse The urgency of a hot market can also lead to impulsive decisions, with clients quickly making offers on dream homes they can't truly afford. As a real estate agent, it's your job to help clients maintain perspective and make informed choices, even in the face of rapid market movements. As a Realtor, it is crucial to guide clients through the home-buying process and help them avoid making impulsive decisions. While the excitement and anticipation of purchasing a new home can be overwhelming, it is essential to consider the long-term implications of such a significant investment. Impulsive decisions can result in unforeseen challenges and financial strain, ultimately detracting from the client's satisfaction with their new home. One of the primary risks of impulsive decision-making is the potential to overlook crucial details about a property. In haste to secure a seemingly perfect home, clients may need to pay more attention to thorough inspections, research on the neighborhood, or a careful review of the property's history. Failing to consider these factors can lead to unexpected issues, such as costly repairs, disputes with neighbors, or declining property values. By encouraging clients to take a measured approach to their home search, they are more likely to make a well-informed decision and enjoy long-lasting satisfaction with their investment. Moreover, impulsive decisions can lead to financial strain and compromise a client's financial health. When clients become enamored with a home beyond their budget, they may be tempted to stretch their finances and make a hasty offer. Overextending financially can result in difficulty meeting mortgage payments, an increased risk of foreclosure, or sacrificing other critical financial goals, such as retirement planning or saving for a child's education. By guiding clients to remain focused on their predetermined budget and carefully evaluating each property, they can avoid financial pitfalls and ensure a successful, stable homeownership experience. Don’t Skip the Home Inspection Another common mistake is forgoing a professional home inspection. A thorough inspection can reveal critical issues with a property, such as structural problems, outdated electrical systems, or potential safety hazards. Skipping this step can lead to costly repairs and unexpected problems after moving in. Homebuyers should always invest in a reputable home inspector to ensure they make an informed decision and protect themselves from potential financial pitfalls. Keep Additional Expenses In Mind Many homebuyers focus solely on the purchase price of a home and need to account for the myriad of other expenses associated with homeownership. These include property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance costs, and homeowners association (HOA) fees. Neglecting to consider these expenses can lead to financial strain and may result in buyers purchasing a home they cannot truly afford. Homebuyers must research and budget for all related expenses before making an offer on a property. Ultimately, both you and your clients want the best possible outcome. Guiding someone through the largest purchase of their life is a rewarding and fulfilling experience as a real estate agent. If you're considering entering the industry, visit ADHI Schools to get started on your real estate pre-licensing courses and take the quiz:Should I become a real estate agent? Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Things To Think About Before You Switch Brokerages

Real Estate Office

Before making a move from one brokerage to another, be clear about your motivations and what is driving your desire to make the change. Define the work culture you want. If you prefer to work with a small

Before making a move from one brokerage to another, be clear about your motivations and what is driving your desire to make the change. Define the work culture you want. If you prefer to work with a small company with close relationships with your colleagues, you should look for a brokerage that has that kind of cultures and do research accordingly. See how each brokerage differs and go with the one that fits your needs the most. If you want an all-business atmosphere, you’ll want to look into the brokerages that are business focused with little to no interaction between colleagues. If you like to work and just do your thing independently, find a brokerage that will fit that need and help you stay focused on business. It’s important to know how the company’s culture, values, and business approaches can affect your ability to succeed there. An important aspect of brokerages you should consider is the leadership. You should examine the leadership at every level. What is their reputation within the industry and their organization? Ask questions like what does the new brokerage offer that will make you even more successful? Are they forward thinking? Forward-thinking business leaders don't see employees as just putting in the required hours. They see people who are essential to the success of the business. A forward thinking business leader will focus on developing the knowledge and skills of an individual and get them to a place where they can take on more responsibility and leadership roles of their own. Business support is critical when it comes to running your real estate business. Look into the kind of business support the brokerage offers such as percentage splits, mentorship, technology, and resources. While most realtor’s want the highest pay possible, a higher percentage split should be considered, but should not be the most important decision factor. You should be satisfied with the split you are offered, and you should ask what opportunities there are to earn a higher split. When doing your research, also consider technology and how the right technology can help you. With the right technology, real estate agents can streamline their process to better serve clients. Using innovative tools and services can help you increase efficiency and gain a competitive advantage to close more deals. Email marketing platforms, CRM systems, and other apps are essential in today’s digital world.Make sure the brokerage not only offers these technology services for their agents but look into their efficiency as well. Before interviewing brokerages, you should have a clear understanding of what kind of support will be most critical to you. What you are looking for in the new brokerage and how they can be the best support to you should be at the top of your list as you examine and compare potential brokerages Whether you are thinking about changing brokerages today or in the future, your choice should be rooted in what is best for yourself and your career. Consider how the potential brokerage can make you happier as an agent and how it can give your clients the best customer experience. Moving brokerages is a business decision and should be treated as such Be rational and critical when thinking about this change. Do what you know is best for you and don’t let outside opinions affect your decision. Take your time and remember to ask the questions you need about the things most important to you. By keeping in mind what motivates you and the factors driving your need for change, you’ll be sure to find the right brokerage to call home for the long term.To get started on getting your real estate license click here Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

A Look At Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

At its core, commercial real estate is exactly what it sounds like - any property that is owned exclusively to produce an income. When people hear the term, they usually call to mind images of office buildings

At its core, commercial real estate is exactly what it sounds like - any property that is owned exclusively to produce an income. When people hear the term, they usually call to mind images of office buildings and similar structures. But really, commercial real estate can include any type of property - and even just the land itself - which has the potential to generate a return on investment on behalf of the person who owns it. Just a few examples of this include the aforementioned office buildings, retail spaces, industrial facilities, medical and hospitality properties and any other commercial space that can be leased for the express use of the business in question. All told, commercial real estate brings with it a wide range of different benefits for investors - all of which are worth exploring. By far, one of the biggest advantages of commercial real estate for investors comes by way of the significant cash flow opportunities these properties often bring with them. Once you purchase a commercial property and begin to rent it to tenants, you start to generate a reliable stream of rental income. You can use that money to pay down the original purchase of the property without putting out any of your own money. Not only that but once the property is paid off, that revenue becomes a largely passive form of income - particularly if you hire a third party to actually manage the day-to-day operations of it on your behalf. If you're purchasing commercial real estate with an eye towards establishing a larger portfolio, you also get to enjoy the advantage of significant equity appreciation. As you build more and more equity in the property, its value naturally rises - allowing you to leverage it to continue to grow your own company without putting yourself in financial risk. If this is something that you're planning on making a career out of, it also gives you an incredible amount of flexibility when the time comes that you want to retire. You can always choose to continue to own the properties to rely on that "passive" income as outlined above, or you can sell them and collect a significant amount of money to fund the lifestyle that you've always seen for yourself. The choice is yours - which is exactly why so many people do it in the first place. Experts also agree that investing in commercial real estate is also a great way to fight off things like inflation. One recent report indicated that commercial real estate investments in the United States tend to have the highest correlation to inflation, especially when compared to other types of investments like stocks and bonds. As inflation increases, so does the price of commercial real estate - meaning that you're protecting the value of your money of the long-term, regardless of what is currently happening in the context of the larger economy. Having said all of that, it's crucial to understand that nothing in this life is a guarantee and success in terms of commercial real estate is chief among them. No two markets operate in quite the same way, which is why you cannot assume there is a "one size fits all" approach to investing in this field properly. Before you enter the fold, you need to analyze the local market and understand current trends and progressions that may give you an indication of which investments are worth your time and which ones may not be quite as lucrative as they appear. Likewise, long-term success with commercial real estate is always about creating as much value as possible. This means that especially during those early days, you're likely going to be taking a number of steps to improve the quality of the building to improve net operating income as a result. That means investing in more features and amenities for tenants. That means making improvements to the structure itself for the purposes of safety and desirability. The more value you can create, the more money you can generate by way of rent and lease prices. It’s important to understand that commercial property is valued in a different way than residential property - meaning that you'll want to throw out what you think you know and learn how things really work. The income potential on a piece of commercial real estate like an office building is directly impacted by its usable square footage. With individual homes, that isn't the case. This is a big part of why investors start working with commercial properties in the first place - this different valuation simply opens the door for greater and longer cash flow over time. For the best results, you need to create a strategy before you begin investing and stick to it as much as possible. Know what your limitations are - what you're comfortable doing and what you're not. Know where the hot properties are in the market and make an effort to understand the current market conditions and, most importantly, why they are the way they are. Know how much you can potentially make on an investment before you actually execute it. The more effort you put in at the start of this process, the greater your chances are at finding long-term success with this and other investments moving forward. To learn more about commercial real estate or a real estate school visit our website Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Flipping Houses 101

House flipping

At its core, house flipping is a process in which a real estate investor purchases a particular home with the express intention of soon selling it for a profit. For a house to be considered a true "flip,"

At its core, house flipping is a process in which a real estate investor purchases a particular home with the express intention of soon selling it for a profit. For a house to be considered a true "flip," it needs to be purchased with the idea of selling it quickly - usually to capitalize on certain trends in the market at large. House flipping has become incredibly popular over the last several years, particularly due to the potential return on investment if executed properly. In 2017, for example, one study indicated that just 5.7% of all home sales fell into this category. Flash forward just a few years to 2020 and that number had already climbed to 7.5%. It's a process that is especially prominent in a "hot" real estate market and in areas where home prices are on the rise. Another study indicated that in 2017, the average gross profit on a flip was over $66,000 - and this is after any investments needed to make improvements on properties before they could be sold. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cleveland were among the most popular markets during that time. But as is true with all investments, one must proceed with a certain degree of caution in order to make sure the process goes as it should. A significant ROI is never a guarantee but by keeping a few key things in mind, you can improve your chances as much as possible. By far, the most important thing to understand about house flipping is that you need to decide how much you can afford to spend on an investment property before you actually do so. In other words, it's a bit like gambling - never spend more money than you can afford to lose if things don't quite go your way. Again, given the uncertainty of the market and considering that there are a lot of parts of this process that are outside your control, nothing is a guarantee. Something may seem like a sure bet, but it never is - and you don't want to leave yourself disappointed or financially stretched because of a lapse in judgement. Along the same lines, you should always focus your investment property search on various types of distressed properties that are themselves in need of major fixes and repairs. This accomplishes a few important things at the same time. First, you can usually purchase these properties at a significantly reduced cost because they've been sitting on the market for longer periods of time. Likewise, families and people who plan on buying a home to actually live there rarely want to deal with the work required to get it to a habitable condition. But more than that, the amount of money you do pour into the home by way of fixes and repairs will increase its value significantly - meaning that you'll be able to command a premium price once you're on the other side of this process. For the best results, select a few properties in a particular area to analyze to decide on the most profitable opportunity for a beginner real estate investor. This step is crucial, as it gives you a "bird's eye view" of what is going on in a particular area and what the long-term potential is in that market. It also helps you gain a better understanding of the highs and lows of the process, which should allow you to gain more insight into where you should be focusing your efforts and which "opportunities" aren't nearly as lucrative as they may initially appear. You can also start building relationships with other real estate investors in the local housing market - a good idea for a few different reasons. For starters, someone who has been involved in this process for longer than you have will almost always have insight and wisdom to provide so that you don't have to make certain mistakes "the hard way." They can give you tips and outline best practices that help you get the most out of house flipping. Beyond that, there may also come a day when one of your contacts identifies a great opportunity that they themselves cannot take advantage of. Maybe they have too many houses on the market right now and they don't want to take the chance to stretch themselves too thin - but there's nothing stopping them from picking up the phone and informing you about what they've discovered. In the end, it's important to follow the "70% Rule" in house flipping. Essentially, this means that you should never pay more than 70% of the "after repair" value of a property (minus the costs of the repairs necessary to renovate the home, of course). This will give you an idea of the maximum amount you should spend on a home to achieve the highest possible return on investment. By using this as a general rule of thumb, it will help ensure that you always emerge with a profit - which in and of itself has always been the biggest priority. Overall, house flipping certainly isn't for everyone - it takes a significant amount of care and attention-to-detail to get right. But those who follow best practices like those outlined above can enjoy a great amount of success - particularly in a market like the one we're in right now. To learn more about how to become a real estate agent or to learn more about real estate success stories visit our website Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Applying For Your Real Estate License Online


You can finally apply for your real estate license online! It’s easy to do and you can upload all documents on the website To get started, you’ll need to create

You can finally apply for your real estate license online! It’s easy to do and you can upload all documents on the website To get started, you’ll need to create an account through e-licensing. During the online application process you can pause at anytime and return later to pick up where you left off. Choose from 4 different types of applications: Sales exam only Sales exam and license combo Brokers exam only Brokers exam and license combo Keep in mind if you apply for the exam only, you will have to go back onto the e-licensing site to apply for your license after you pass your test. If the application type is a combo exam and license, there will be an area for youto enter the main office address of where you will hang your license. If you do not have a designated office yet, click on the checkbox “I do not have a main office address at this time. Please issue my license in a non-working status.” You’ll need to provide your social security number, driver’s license and proof of education which are your real estate class certificates. If you have changed your name you’ll need to provide any name change documents you have. Acceptable documents would be a marriage certificate or court order. Save all your uploaded forms as PDF then upload. Online payment methods accepted are: For Credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Amex, & Discover For Debit cards Visa & Mastercard At the bottom of the page, there are two buttons. Click the “Sign and Pay” button when you are ready to submit the application to DRE. If you are not ready to submit the application, click the “Sign Later” button to return to the home page. To check the current application processing timeframes, there is a link below the existing online applications table, which has more information, or navigate directly to If you need to get started on your real estate classes here's how Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Navigating Tax Deductions: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Agents

Realtor client mee ting coffee

Launching your career as a real estate agent is an exciting venture filled with opportunities. But along with it comes the responsibility of managing your finances, particularly understanding the nuances

Launching your career as a real estate agent is an exciting venture filled with opportunities. But along with it comes the responsibility of managing your finances, particularly understanding the nuances of tax deductions. I wanted to write an article designed to help you navigate the intricate world of real estate tax considerations, shedding light on essential aspects that could maximize your earnings. Let's dig in and untangle the complexities of taxation so that you can focus on what you do best - making successful real estate deals. As you venture into your journey as a real estate agent, it's crucial to understand how your earnings and taxes are structured. As you know, your income will predominantly be based on commissions from property sales and leases. Since you're classified as an independent contractor, you'll receive IRS Form 1099 at the end of each tax year. This classification makes understanding tax write-offs an important aspect of your real estate business. To ensure this guide provides the most value, let's delve deeper into tax considerations that every Realtor needs to know. Classifying Realtors for Tax Purposes Real estate professionals operate under a brokerage, but unlike traditional employment, they aren't classified as W-2 employees. Realtors are self-employed individuals running their businesses within the framework of their affiliated brokerages. This means that you're in charge of paying your taxes every year, and it's really important to know about possible tax deductions to help you manage your money better. Understanding Tax Deductions: An Important Step for Realtors A tax advisor can provide detailed guidance on what expenses can and cannot be deducted. However, a basic understanding of potential deductions from the onset of your real estate career is beneficial. This awareness will help you keep detailed records of your expenditures, an essential practice should you ever face an IRS audit. Ordinary expenses that a Realtor can deduct span various areas of their professional activities. For example, mileage tracking becomes necessary, given how much travel the typical real estate agent does. Similarly, marketing materials can be written off to promote your real estate services or property listings—such as business cards, direct mail postcards, open house signs, flyers, staging, professional photography and signage. Given its broad requirements and applicability, the IRS advertising expense deduction is a valuable resource for Realtors. Beginning Your Realtor Journey: Costs and Deductibility Starting your career as a real estate agent involves various costs that you should be aware of. For example, agents focusing on residential sales must join the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors after obtaining your real estate license. These fees, while necessary, are business expenses that can be written off on your taxes. Access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) database, a vital tool for any Realtor, and Supra E-Key lock system also require payment. Furthermore, your brokerage may levy a desk fee and other monthly dues. All these costs are integral to doing business and can be written off as business expenses on your tax return. Working from Home: Deducting Home Office Expenses In today's digital age, remote working has become commonplace, bringing home office expenses into focus. If you're operating your real estate business from home, you can write off a portion of home-related expenses. This might include a portion of your costs for phone, computer, internet, and a portion of utilities. The IRS provides clear guidelines on calculating these deductions, depending on the size of your home office and its dedicated use for your business. Building Client Relationships: A Closer Look at Deducting Gifts and Meals As a real estate agent, fostering strong relationships with your clients is at the heart of your business. Often, this involves offering stellar professional services and nurturing these relationships on a personal level. This can mean taking a client out for a meal or gifting them a token of appreciation upon the successful closing of a sale. Let's delve deeper into understanding the tax implications of these client relationship-building expenses. The Art of Gifting in Real Estate Gift-giving is an integral part of the real estate profession. It's not uncommon for Realtors to present clients with closing gifts as a token of appreciation for their business or as a warm gesture to celebrate their new home. When it comes to the tax implications of such gifts, the IRS imposes a limit. Only the first $25 spent on gifts for each person each year can be deducted. While this may seem modest, it's essential to remember that this limit applies per person. If you're gifting something to a couple or a family, the amount can be multiplied by the number of individuals. This deduction may appear minor, but these gift deductions can cumulatively reduce your taxable income as you expand your client base. It's important to note that the $25 limit does not include incidental costs like engraving, packaging, or mailing, so these can be deducted in addition to the gift cost. Client Meals: A Recipe for Deductions Taking your clients out for meals is another common practice among real estate agents. Whether it's a casual lunch to discuss listing options or a celebratory dinner after a successful deal, business meals are a part of the real estate profession. The tax code recognizes this, allowing Realtors to deduct 50% of the meal's cost as long as the meal is business-related. The nature of the meal is important here. It needs to be directly related to the active conduct of your real estate business or associated with a substantial and bona fide ordinary and necessary business discussion. It's best practice to keep detailed records of these meals, including the business purpose and the individuals present. Remember that while client meals offer a chance for a deduction, they also present an excellent opportunity for building deeper relationships with your clients. By understanding your client's preferences and tastes, you can tailor these experiences to create a lasting impression, reinforcing your reputation as a thoughtful and dedicated professional. In summary, while client gifts and meals are excellent ways to strengthen your relationship with clients, they also offer tax benefits. You must track these expenses diligently and work with a tax professional to maximize these deductions effectively. As a real estate agent, these relationship-building activities are an investment in your clients and a strategic move for your business's financial health. Expanding Your Business: Don't Overlook Commission Deductions As your real estate business grows and flourishes, you may pay commissions to other agents or employees who work with or under you. These commissions are an ordinary expense often overlooked but can offer substantial deductions. It's important to keep detailed records of these payments as they can quickly accumulate and provide significant tax relief. Your Guide to Maximizing Deductions It must be directly related to your real estate business to qualify as a deductible expense. As a real estate professional, it's crucial to consult with a tax advisor and refer to IRS Publication 535 for a detailed list of potential deductions. Meticulous record-keeping, staying updated with tax laws, and clearly understanding eligible write-offs are your keys to maximizing your tax deductions. Navigating the complexities of tax deductions may seem daunting initially, but with the proper knowledge and planning, you can confidently manage your real estate business's financial aspect. Don’t forget to consult with your tax advisors to make sure you are applying these rules properly. Are you embarking on a career in real estate? Remember to check out our interactive quiz to learn more about what this exciting and rewarding career offers! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Buying an Existing Home vs. Building A Home

Build or Buy

Homeownership is an essential part of the American Dream. Most people that are seeking to own a home turn to buying an existing home. It might not be exactly what you want, but you can see and feel it.

Homeownership is an essential part of the American Dream. Most people that are seeking to own a home turn to buying an existing home. It might not be exactly what you want, but you can see and feel it. You also have the option of building your own home. Let’s compare buying a home versus building a home. Buying an Existing Home Shopping for a new home can be fun and exciting as you plot the next journey in your life, but it can also be stressful. In tight markets, you must plan on bidding wars and making quick decisions. Getting pre-approved by a bank will tell you what you can afford and the type of home you can buy. When you buy an existing home, you see exactly what you are getting. You can envision what the house will look like when you move in. Sure, you need to look past the wallpaper or outdated light fixtures, but those are cosmetic changes you can replace on your own time schedule. After you find the house you like and agree on a price, you can expect the time it takes to close on your home to be from 30 to 60 days, depending on your bank’s mortgage approval process and the legal process in your state. Be aware of the competition for the home you want. The better homes will sell fast, often within days of being listed for sale. If you want a move-in ready home, you need to have your paperwork in order and be ready to make an offer. Building a Home If the town you want to move to doesn’t have the type of home you are looking for, or you just want to build that perfect new home, then building a home is an exciting alternative. You will need to shop for a buildable lot and deal with zoning regulations, permits and contractors. Building your own home can be an exciting process. You get to make all of those important decisions like designing the floorplan and selecting energy-efficient appliances. A good architect will guide you through the process. This process takes time, often more than a year, from the time you purchase a lot to the time you can move in. In addition to obtaining a construction loan, you will need to obtain permits, attend hearings, hire contractors, and oversee the entire process. It can be a challenge to build your home. You may need to deal with purchasing mistakes, poor materials, construction errors and even environmental factors like bad weather. Home construction projects often run over budget. When deciding between buying a home or building a home, no matter what direction you take, you should obtain the advice of a licensed real estate professional who can guide you through the entire process from start to finish.To get your own real estate license start here - To take our quiz Should I become a real estate agent? Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Key Things To Know Before Buying A Home

Key Things To Know Before Buying A Home

Buying a home is a huge commitment – arguably, one of the biggest commitments you'll make in a lifetime. Because of this, the buying process can’t be taken lightly. Homeownership comes with many new

Buying a home is a huge commitment – arguably, one of the biggest commitments you'll make in a lifetime. Because of this, the buying process can’t be taken lightly. Homeownership comes with many new responsibilities, and finding the perfect property takes both patience and due diligence. However, if done correctly, owning a home can be both financially and personally rewarding. Whether you’re buying your first home or your “forever” home, it’s incredibly easy to fall in love with a certain property and overlook vital details. If you’re ready to take the leap, you need to ask some key questions before buying a home. The logical place to start in any home search is determining your budget. If you don’t consider how much you can afford independently of a mortgage company, you run the risk of taking on the maximum loan you’re approved for – whether you can actually afford that payment or not. In general, it’s smart to keep your monthly payment at or below 25 percent of your take-home pay. While many prospective buyers are under the assumption a 20-percent down payment is required to buy a home, this is simply not the case. In fact, the average first-time buyer puts just six percent down, and certain loans require as little as zero. The right down payment for you depends on your financial situation, savings and goals. However, if you can afford it, a 20-percent down payment allows you to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). The down payment isn’t the only cash you’ll be spending on closing day. You’ll most likely also be responsible for closing costs, which can range from between two and five percent of your home’s purchase price. Your lender will provide you with a complete breakdown of the costs before closing day. Keep in mind, the longer a home has been on the market, the more motivated a seller might be to make a deal. This means you may have more flexibility in the initial offer, terms, credits Keep in mind, the longer a home has been on the market, the more motivated a seller might be to make a deal. This means you may have more flexibility in the initial offer, terms, credits and more. While many homes sit on the market simply because the original listing price was too high, there are some cases where there is something drastically wrong with the home. Either way, a thorough inspection is important. Always do your research regarding the local real estate market and recent sales in the neighborhood to help you determine if the asking price for the home you want is reasonable. This data can help you negotiate a lower offer or certain concessions, such as closing costs. The quality of a neighborhood is one of the main reasons people choose to buy a certain home. It will also affect your ability to sell the home in the future. Because of this, it’s extremely important to research things like safety, convenience, schools and more. Understanding a seller’s motivations for moving can give you more room for negotiation. A good buyer’s agent should be able to figure this information out and gauge how flexible the seller might be. For example, a seller relocating to a new state for a job will most likely be more motivated to negotiate than a seller simply exploring the market. Do some research into the property’s history of insurance claims because it may affect your ability to get homeowners insurance and/or the price you’ll pay for insurance coverage. Because of this, it’s important to ask the seller for the full history of insurance claims. Avoid taking on debt for furniture and decorations. Use what you already have, buy used and take it one room at a time. Many first-time buyers feel the need to take on another loan or more credit card debt to furnish their new place. It’s not always necessary! Buying a home is a huge financial investment, and it is your responsibility to put in the necessary time and effort when researching potential properties. Asking the right questions and being fully prepared about the home buying process before placing an offer can save you both money and headaches down the road. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How Remote Work Has Changed Our Home Needs

Work from home 2

Over the past year as more people have been working from home, many people are realizing their home needs are also changing. Working from home is on the rise so now is the time to reevaluate your changing

Over the past year as more people have been working from home, many people are realizing their home needs are also changing. Working from home is on the rise so now is the time to reevaluate your changing real estate needs to find the home that works best for you. Working from Home Gives You Options and Flexibility You may have found that working from home gives you options you didn’t have before. A majority of the workforce doesn’t need to be tied down to one specific area to do their job. These workers now have more flexibility and can pretty much live wherever they want. This means these workers can now move to a lower cost of living area or the location they have always dreamed of. You may be able to find a home in a more affordable area and get more house for your dollar. You’ll start to enjoy new benefits such as having more space and a dedicated home office. With the requirement of commuting gone, remote workers can now live in an area where they have always dreamed of vacationing, whether this is the mountains or near the beach. Relocating to a highly desired area also means you can live in an area that gives you better amenities, whether it’s the community or weather. Without a specific location for the job, the options are practically endless, and you can find your ideal spot. More people are moving away from the big cities and work centers, such as Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, New York, and San Francisco, entirely in favor of suburbs and more relaxed living. People may choose to go to communities that have a better quality of life but fewer job opportunities since they no longer must live where job opportunities are. Flexibility Even for Part-Time Remote Workers Some employees are now going back to the office part time, but this doesn’t mean that all flexibility is lost. Relocating within the region that gives you a better location but is a bit further away from the office can still be a good choice. You may have a longer commute, but you won’t be going into the office every day.The longer commute could be worth it to have a home with more comforts,space, or features. If you are going to be working from home, then finding a home that better suits your needs can be a priority. Having a Home Office Whether you are home part time or full time, having a home office is a necessity.Working from home has people recreating rooms in their homes to be used as office space. Some are looking to sell and buy homes with offices already in their new homes. Most people are seeing this as an opportunity to get the house they have always wanted so you can work comfortably from your home and still have a work life balance. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Things you should know before becoming a real estate agent

In a host of different ways, real estate is a truly great business to get into. Not only does it bring with it the potential to make a significant amount of money, but it also offers flexibility and the

In a host of different ways, real estate is a truly great business to get into. Not only does it bring with it the potential to make a significant amount of money, but it also offers flexibility and the power to be your own boss. But before you decide to get started with your own career in the industry, try taking this quiz, "Should I become a real estate agent?" Do your research and know that there are a few important things to keep in mind. The Ins and Outs of Being a Real Estate Agent: Your Guide By far, the most important thing you need to understand about being a real estate agent is that it takes a tremendous amount of time to be successful. Building your business takes time and consistency. It takes time to build your clientele. Direct mail marketing is a good way to market your business by mailing out direct mail marketing materials to let people know what is going on the local market and that now might be a good time to sell. Let people know who you are, what your focus is and how you can help them. Consistently build your outreach efforts to get your name in front of as many people as possible. By being consistent with this method, you will eventually find a buyer or seller who will become your client! Likewise, you need to be aware that you can't just wake up one morning and declare yourself a realtor - before you get started you are required to take a wide range of different courses and you'll have to take the state exam. But beyond that, understand that all of those governing laws change on a regular basis - which is why it takes continuing education courses to actually keep your license. In a general sense, one of the most critical things to understand about a career in real estate is that real estate agents do not get regular paychecks. You would think that people would know that by now, but you'd be surprised by how many people are shocked to hear this. Real estate is a commission-based enterprise, meaning that the more you work, the more you make. You make more money on more expensive homes, and so on and so forth. But the reverse is also true - if you have a particularly slow period where you're not selling (or helping to buy) any homes at all, you're not generating income during that time. This can be a difficult thing for people to wrap their heads around, which is why you need to make a business plan and stick with it. Based on your personal financial goals and business expenses, sit down, and calculate exactly how much money you need to make during a given period. With that, you can reverse engineer the total number of transactions that you need to be involved in to meet that goal. That will tell you how many new leads you need to generate on a monthly basis, which in turn will give you a good indication of what you need to be doing every day. Yes, it's true that there is the potential to make seven figures in real estate. People do it all the time. But it's hardly a passive form of income - meaning that if you want to get to that level, you're going to have to work for it. Finally, understand that real estate agents work long hours and irregular days - meaning that if you're coming into the business looking for something like a more traditional "9 to 5" experience, you'll likely want to look elsewhere. Oftentimes you'll need to show homes on nights and weekends. You might put in 12 hours or more one day trying to get a home ready for showing. But as stated, the earning potential is incredibly so if you're able to be successful, the effort will be more than worth it. In the end, there will always be a need to buy and sell real estate - meaning that there will always be a need for real estate agents. The market goes up and down and some periods will be more fertile than others, but if you truly understand trends and "get" how the local market works, you can find a tremendous amount of success in the field. If you approach your real estate career by having realistic expectations and a good understanding of what you need to accomplish your goals, there is truly no limit to what you can accomplish. If you want to become a real estate agent, see these motivational success stories from top realtors Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Maintaining Client Relationships in Real Estate

Maintaining client relationships in real estate

Great Ideas to Help You Maintain Client Relationships in Real Estate Almost more than in any other industry, people tend to come into the world of real estate with many pre-conceived notions about what

Great Ideas to Help You Maintain Client Relationships in Real Estate Almost more than in any other industry, people tend to come into the world of real estate with many pre-conceived notions about what their day-to-day jobs will be like - and which factors are truly important. Yes, you're helping someone navigate a massive financial purchase - certainly one of the biggest they're likely to make in their entire lives. If you're helping someone sell a home, you're going a long way towards assisting them when it comes to securing their financial future. If you're helping them buy a home, you're potentially allowing them to start a family in a wonderful new place, or to finally begin to build that life they've always seen for themselves. All of this is true. But a career as a realtor is also about so much more than that. If nothing else, real estate is a business of working with people. Therefore, more than even an individual sale or a particularly successful quarter, success in terms of real estate will depend on your ability to build relationships. It's crucial to know how to set up and maintain a good foundation with your clients, as the more you do this the more likely it is that you'll have a steady stream of new people coming right to your door. Building Relationships in Real Estate: Your Overview By far, one of the best ways to build stronger, longer lasting relationships with your customers involves understanding that listening is a fundamental part of creating a good working client experience. If you come into a situation and try to cram someone into a "one size fits all" box when it comes to looking for a new home, they're going to start to see you as cold and cynical - because that's exactly what you'll be. People will quickly pick up on the fact that you're not really trying to help them accomplish their goals because you're unconcerned with their wants and needs to begin with. Instead, you need to ask the right questions and, above all else, listen to the answers. Why is someone looking for a home? What features are important to them and why? Where do they see themselves in five years? Ten years? Are they planning on starting a family at some point in the future? Along the same lines, open communication is key when it comes to working with clients. If you take someone to a home and they decide they don't like it, don't just rush them along to the next one. Have a conversation with them and figure out what they didn't like and, more importantly, why. Talk about their goals and create an environment where they feel comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns, and advice. Again - talk with your clients about more personal areas of their lives, such as their family and hobbies, to create a rapport and connection. Let them know that you see them as more than just another client.Never forget that people come to real estate agents because they need legitimate help and guidance. They're often feeling overwhelmed and have more questions than they know how to answer. By taking the time to talk with them and establish that connection, you'll build a tremendous amount of trust and loyalty as a result. Finally, consider the fact that a meaningful way to express your appreciation and leave a lasting impression is with gift giving. This is especially true of clients that you've already worked with, as you always want to remain at the forefront of their mind. When Thanksgiving rolls around this year, you could have a promotion where all your past and current clients can stop by the office to pick up a free pumpkin pie. If you know that one of your older clients is having a birthday, feel free to pop a card in the mail. Things like this are small gestures, but they do go an incredibly long way towards making people feel appreciated - which is how relationships are grown and maintained. In the end, understand that the quality of your business is directly tied to the quality of the relationships that you're able to build with those around you. This is another one of those reasons why most experts recommend picking out a niche and sticking with it. If you choose to "farm" a particular geographic area - particularly one that you're already familiar with - you put yourself in a much better position to bring as much value to people's lives as possible. Then, with each successful transaction, something magical happens. People see that you're every bit as invested in their success as you are. They see that you're willing to go above and beyond to help them accomplish their goals. They see you as a true partner in every sense of the term - which truly is the target you should be trying to hit, day in and day out. An important part of maintaining relationships in real estate is reminding people that you're out there, to learn about the types of email campaigns to send to past and present clients click here Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Open House Marketing to Build Your Brand

Open house marketing to build your brand

One of the most important things to understand about being a realtor is that you're never "just selling a house." Sure, on the surface, that's literally what you're doing. But you're also pitching something

One of the most important things to understand about being a realtor is that you're never "just selling a house." Sure, on the surface, that's literally what you're doing. But you're also pitching something so much more important: Your personal brand. People aren't going to come to you to buy or sell a home out of the kindness of their heart. They're going to do so because they trust you. Because they consider you an authority. Because they believe you have the skills, the knowledge and the expertise necessary to get them whatever outcome they see for themselves. To put it mildly, you're not going to be able to get to this point overnight. As the old saying goes,"Rome wasn't built in a day." That, in essence, is why open house marketing is so important. Over the short-term, it's a great way to help move whatever piece of property you're working with at the moment. In the long run, however, it's also an invaluable way to help show as many people as possible that you have what it takes to succeed - especially during your first year on the job. The Importance of Open House Marketing in Real Estate: Your Overview By far, one of the biggest reasons why open house marketing is so essential to new agents in particular is because it gives them a powerful opportunity to learn as they go. When you walk into your first open house, you're probably going to be a little bit nervous. You're going to be interacting with members of the public and giving people personalized tours of a space. The chances are incredibly high that you're going to make mistakes with your presentation - and open house marketing gives you a chance to make them over and over again. Now, that may sound scary - but it really isn't. Every mistake that you make is a learning opportunity, and the more you realize how to personalize the experience for the people standing in front of you, the better you get at it over time. Over the course of a day or two you'll probably walk dozens of people through that house and you'll get an invaluable opportunity to refine your process every time. You'll start to get a better sense of what they like and what they don't, and how to play to those strengths in an effective way. Simply put, you'll get better at the gig the more you do it - and open house marketing allows you to do so as quickly as possible. From an actual marketing perspective, open houses also allow you to build a brand that lasts. The more people see your name, the more likely they are to remember it. You'll begin to take marketing more seriously than ever, which is a big part of how real estate agents carve out a niche for themselves in a particular demographic area. As you start to see the return on your investment - meaning as you start to see more people responding to your marketing collateral and walking through those doors - you'll be in a better position to take marketing seriously. That in and of itself may be the most important benefit of all. The Investments of Marketing In an effort to get as many people to that next open house as possible, there are a few key techniques that you should definitely lean into. For starters, there are apps that are available to help with open house marketing right now in both the iTunes and Android app stores. Especially in a market as "hot" as the current one, people are always looking for great new homes in their area and if they're ready to buy, they typically want to move fast. Therefore, by posting your listings and contact information on these apps, you're more likely to attract the right kind of attention as quickly as humanly possible. Beyond that, you should absolutely use social media to spread the word about your next open house far and wide. Take to Facebook and Twitter and pay attention to the types of hashtags that are being used in the real estate industry. Make a post letting people know where the open house is, when it's taking place and other relevant information. Continue to post in the days leading up to the event. Likewise, if you see someone post on social media that they're looking for a new home in a particular area, don't be afraid to send them a message and let them know what you have coming up. They may not necessarily be interested, but they'll immediately become aware - and all of their other followers will, too. In the end, gaining clients with these open house marketing tactics is a fine line to walk - but it's very much possible. Resist the urge to include every last detail about the property - that's what the open house is for. You don't want to offer too many photos or too much information to the point where someone thinks "no, that's not for me." You want them to be enticed to the point where even if they're not sure, they still want to stop by the place and take a look around. If you're able to get to that point, you'll have a steady stream of new leads walking right through the door - which in and of itself is the point. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Lead Generation 101

Lead generation 101

One of the most crucial things to understand about lead generation in the real estate industry is that it's both slightly easier and slightly more difficult than you think. For those unfamiliar, lead

One of the most crucial things to understand about lead generation in the real estate industry is that it's both slightly easier and slightly more difficult than you think. For those unfamiliar, lead generation is a term used to describe how you not only attract the attention of potential buyers and sellers - but how you also convert them into actual, legitimate clients. In other words, you're trying to reach out to people who are interested in buying or selling a home to let them know that you're out there and that you can help. The reason why this process is slightly easier than you likely think it is has to do with the fact that there are many, many opportunities to generate leads - especially in a market like this one. The reason why it's also slightly harder is because it takes a great deal of effort to actually do this properly You need to be willing to put the time in and execute your lead generation strategy in a consistent way. You need to understand what goals you're working towards and how many leads you need to get there. You need to know where your ideal clients are spending their time, along with what they need to hear and how they need to hear it. Getting to this point is entirely possible, even as a new realtor in your first year. It does, however, require you to keep a few key things in mind along the way. What You Need to Know About Real Estate Lead Generation By far, the most important thing to be aware of when it comes to real estate lead generation is that you need to be as specific with your own personal goals as possible. If you became a realtor for the express reason of "I want to become the most famous and most successful agent around"... well, you're going to need to be a bit more detailed than that. Think about the financial goals that you have for your own business, especially within the context of the next year. How much do you want to be able to grow? How much money do you want to make? How much money do you actually need to handle things like marketing and potentially even renting a space of your own (if that applies to your situation)? The answers to questions like these need to inform absolutely everything you're doing, because you can use them to work your way backwards to the exact number of leads you need to be able to generate. Once you know that number, you can track your progress throughout the year to make sure that you're still on schedule. You'll be better informed as to whether or not your marketing efforts are actually working, and you can ramp up or ramp down as needed. But you can't get to this point without knowing what your financial goals are in the first place, which is why you need to decide on them (or let fate decide on them for you) as soon as possible There are many tools online that you can use to make this part of the process easier - with income and lead calculators being chief among them. They're often free, simple tools that allow you to specify how much money you want to make over the next year, at which point they'll tell you exactly how many leads you need to score. You can input how much you want to make in commissions, the current number of leads you're generating per month, and even the average price of a home in your particular area. Some even factor in additional elements like the average percent of the commissions you're making, along with your own personal average close rate. After including all of that information, the tool will spit out everything you need to know including the number of homes you actually have to sell, the total number of leads you'll need to generate to get to that point, and the average number of leads in a month you should be getting. It's a great way to contextualize your larger goals against all of the hard work you're doing. Beyond that, a critical part of the process also involves knowing where you'll generate those leads from - something that will vary depending on your situation. For a new agent who has only just gotten your foot through the door in the local area, you'll probably want to use a service like Vulcan7. It bills itself as the "most accurate and effective real estate seller leads resource" that is available to prospect expired, FSBO and FRBO leads in your area. You'll also want to immediately begin forming relationships with a lot of the other people who will be involved in real estate transactions that you're likely to be a part of in the future. Don't be afraid to make friends with people at local title companies, for example. You should also begin a social media presence and scour sites like Facebook and Twitter for potential clients. Also, send out direct mail collateral to people in your area to let them know who you are, what you do and why they should be paying attention. In the end, real estate lead generation isn't something you "do once and forget about." It's something that will require consistent effort over time. Soon, though, your effort will begin to generate its own momentum - and that is a very exciting position for any agent to be in. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Building a Niche in Real Estate: Your Overview

Building a niche in real estate

By far, one of the most common misconceptions that new agents make when entering the real estate industry has to do with the assumption that they need to be targeting the widest possible audience of

By far, one of the most common misconceptions that new agents make when entering the real estate industry has to do with the assumption that they need to be targeting the widest possible audience of potential buyers and sellers at all times. There may have been a time when this was true - but it has long since ended. Instead, success involves targeting the right audience with the right message at exactly the right time - which is what building a niche in real estate is all about. Rather than assuming that you're speaking to "anyone and everyone," you need to develop a niche - meaning a specialty in your business - and use it to gain leads. Once you've decided on this niche, it should inform a large part of most of your daily activities. Thankfully, getting to this point is a lot more straightforward than most people assume it to be. It simply requires you to keep a number of key things in mind along the way. Developing a Niche in Real Estate: Your Guide For most new agents in particular, one of the best ways to develop a niche in real estate and gain leads involves specializing in a certain neighborhood. This could be an area that you're already familiar with, or one that doesn't have too much competition from other agents. Regardless, you need to pick a location and become a subject matter expert in it as soon as you're able to. Research absolutely everything you can about this particular area. Off the top of your head you should be able to quote the prices that recent homes have sold for. You should know what types of homes are in the area and what their distinctive features are. You should be able to talk about local features and points of attractions, like the quality of the schools and the distance to interesting entertainment venues. In other words, you need to know this area as well as you possibly can - all so that you can establish yourself as a legitimate authority and build as much trust as possible at the exact same time. Obviously, getting to this level of knowledge isn't something that is going to happen overnight. It's going to take a significant amount of hard work and dedication. But when you consider that you'll quickly start to build a reputation for yourself as a real estate agent worth paying attention to, all of that effort will be more than worth it. Once you've honed your specialization in a certain neighborhood, you can focus on the next most important part of building a niche in real estate: marketing. Again, you should focus your marketing efforts on a specific group - meaning people who are A) already looking to buy or sell, or who B) may be open to the idea within the next year or so. At a bare minimum, you should send out marketing collateral introducing yourself and letting people know a little bit about who you are and what you do. This doesn't necessarily have to mean that you're "selling anything" - really, you want people to know your name and you want to pop up on their radar. Over time, you can expand your offers in a variety of strategic ways to continue to stay at the top of their minds. Whenever a home sells in the area, use it as an opportunity to send an email (or consider using direct mail) letting people know about it. If there are any interesting market trends that you feel people need to be aware of, send them information about it and provide your own unique perspective. Even holidays can be a great opportunity to just send out mailers, wish people a wonderful season, and remind them that you're out there. The more often you're able to do this, the more likely it is that you'll begin to develop your reputation as the go-to realtor in the area. If someone decides that they want to sell their home, the chances are high that the first person they call is you. Even if people aren't ready to buy or sell today, they'll remember you so that when that day does come, they pick up the phone and give you a call. They'll likely also recommend you to friends and family members who they know are interested in beginning this process. Beyond that, you'll always want to develop your specialty as much as possible. There's more than enough room in the real estate industry for everyone - you just have to find your own special corner and capitalize on it at your earliest opportunity. Some people choose to build their niche around the purchase of historic properties, for example - something that there are certainly a lot of in California. Others choose to focus on luxury properties, or condos. Others still choose to focus on distressed properties that can be quickly sold to development companies. Vacation properties, senior homes, it doesn't matter what you choose so long as you make a selection and commit to it. In the end, building a niche in real estate isn't just a great way to get your career started. It's also a way to gain leads and develop a steady, reliable stream of business for yourself - which in and of itself may be the most important benefit of all. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Dress as a Realtor

How to dress as a realtor

The real estate business is not only competitive for buyers and sellers, but also for real estate agents. Your business thrives on constantly bringing in new clients to fulfill their home dreams. Yet

The real estate business is not only competitive for buyers and sellers, but also for real estate agents. Your business thrives on constantly bringing in new clients to fulfill their home dreams. Yet what you wear can have a significant impact on whether the client wants to work with you or if they move on to the next firm. One of the interesting things about the real estate business is that many agents believe anything goes when it comes to dress attire because this is their chosen career. Since they may work for themselves instead of with a brokerage that has a dress code, they believe that their dress decisions should only matter to them. This factor may often lead to them wearing things that may turn off buyers or sellers, such as see-through clothing, over-gaudy jewelry, or even tacky shorts. However, your dress attire will be the first impression that buyers and sellers get about how knowledgeable and professional you will be with your services. Clients know that they could be working with you for several months. They do not want to have the impression that you do not want to take the job seriously, or that you may be so new to the real estate industry that you won't quite know how to handle negotiations or closings. Find out what the appropriate dress is that you may want to stick to when working as a real estate agent. One Size Does Not Fit All The good thing is that you do not have to stick to the strict cookie-cutter business suits and dresses, unless that is what you desire. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what to wear in this profession because buying and selling buildings are not restricted to corporate developers or big city Realtors. No client would expect their real estate agent to show up to the beach wearing a three-piece suit or selling a ranch while wearing oxfords as you step around the livestock. Think About the Region Certain regions have a particular type of clothing trend that is popular to that area. Straying from this trend can often make real estate agents stick out in a negative fashion, as if they are someone new who is just muscling into the real estate game in that location. For metropolitan areas, a more formal business attire would be expected when working with clients interested in hi-rise apartments or commercial spaces. In more rural towns where everyone basically knows just about every neighbor by their first name, a more casual attire would be expected. Think About Your Clientele Based on the types of real estate that you work with, you may have clients of a specific demographic, such as families, retirees, empty nesters, and young couples. Some demographics may be a bit more lenient when it comes to the attire you pick. Others, such as older clients, can expect a more formal business attire. For families, they may look toward semi-formal to business casual. Consider the clientele so you can make the best first impression possible while developing a loyal customer base. Clothing to Avoid While you should dress in such a way as how you want to portray yourself as a real estate agent, there are usually a few pieces of clothing that should strictly only be worn during personal hours. Some clothing not to wear as a real estate agent includes: • see-through clothing • ripped jeans • workout clothes • graphic t-shirts • short shirts that show the midriff • tube tops • shorts • tight-fitting clothing • miniskirts • hats It can be left to debate on whether some of these items can be worn for real estate work, such as wearing a graphic t-shirt with the name of the real estate firm on it. While this may be acceptable in certain circumstances, always remember that you do not want to cause any friction with a client who may not want to see certain graphics. For example, you may want to show team spirit by wearing a t-shirt of your favorite sports team. But if the client roots for an opposing team, this can sometimes create bad vibes at the first meeting. Dress to Impress You cannot go wrong with dressing to impress your clients. If you are working at a firm, ask the managers and coworkers about the best attire to wear when meeting clients inside and outside the office. Then consider the location, regional dress trends, customer demographic and your personal branding as factors when choosing the appropriate attire. You are sure to come up with your go-to real estate clothes that will help you find the perfect clients and professionally close deals while you become the top real estate agent in the country. To read real estate success stories from some of the top real estate agents click here If you are inspired to become a real estate agent visit our website or give us a call! Love, Kartik subramaniam
Practical advice for real estate agents

A Guide to Your First 30 Days as a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent planning first month on a calendar

So you finished real estate classes, you’ve chosen a broker to work with, you’re sitting at your desk and thinking: Now what? to buy a home right now. Sure, they know that they want to and that

So you finished real estate classes, you’ve chosen a broker to work with, you’re sitting at your desk and thinking: Now what? to buy a home right now. Sure, they know that they want to and that special day may very well be on the horizon. But they could also be waiting for a job transfer to come through, or for more savings to hit their account. They could even be trying to improve their credit - a process that certainly isn't going to happen overnight. For most of the students that go through our real estate school, the potential for unlimited income played a large role in the decision to get licensed. Truly, there is no limit to how much you can earn thanks to the commission-based structure that the real estate industry provides. This, coupled with the fact that real estate agents can set their own schedules and the added satisfaction that comes with helping people achieve their dreams of homeownership, creates something of a perfect storm in the best possible way. But at the same time, the chasm between becoming a Realtor and becoming a successful Realtor is a deep one, indeed. Rising to the status of the latter is something that takes an incredible amount of hard work and perseverance - often more than people are expecting when they begin their first day on the job in real estate. In fact, the first 30 days as a real estate agent are critical for setting the tone for everything that transpires afterwards. Because of that, making sure that your career launches properly is mission critical to your long-term success in our business. TL/DR - What you should expect in your first 30 days: 1. Join the Association of Realtors 2. Get MLS access 3. Get your eKey 4. Tell your friends and family that you’re in the business 5. Update all your social media 6. Preview at least 5 properties a day for at least the first 30 days Getting the logistical stuff squared away Standing up the logistical tools needed to get your real estate career started might seem obvious but they are worth mentioning. Simple items like ordering your business cards, getting your Board dues paid, making sure you have MLS access and Zipforms should be done in the first week at most. Some companies may hold your hand through this process of onboarding but many real estate companies have so many new hires that these items could slip through the cracks. Take things into your own hands if needed and get them done quickly. You also will want to write a professional bio, get your headshot done, as well as update all your social media profiles. Registering and creating profiles on sites like Zillow, Yelp, LinkedIn and Facebook won’t take long but they need to be done. If someone should Google your name, you want the first thing to come up to be a professional bio (complete with that previously mentioned headshot) to instantly give off the impression that you mean business and have social proof that you’re in the game. I’d also recommend gathering the names, addresses, emails and other bits of contact information of everyone you know - this will act as the new sphere of influence that you will slowly build from over time. Once that database is complete, you'll want to create a short letter or email to send out to every last name on it. The goal is simple: you want to let as many people know that you're now in the real estate profession and it isn’t just a hobby. Unless you hit this list, you’ll never know whether they're looking for a house right now or whether they're considering selling at some point in the future. The worst feeling is seeing one of your friends post on social media that they are selling or buying and would have done the deal with you had they known you were an agent. This is also the period when you'll want to make an effort to truly understand your market. There are a lot of real estate agents who know how to help someone buy or sell a home. The key to your competitive advantage will be your ability to do so better than anyone else and become the local real estate expert in your community - which is why you need to do research, and lots of it. Venture out into the area and show yourself around a few homes on the market. Test out that eKey, get comfortable with the process. Drive by homes that are for sale in your MLS. Not only will this help you get more familiar with the area you'll be operating in, but it'll also help you get more comfortable with the very process itself. Speaking of the MLS, use the first 30 days as an opportunity to run real estate market reports to make sure you're aware of all current market conditions. At any given moment you should know how fast homes are selling, the average prices they're going for, the list-to-sales price ratios and more. You could also consider offering free home valuation reports to all of your friends, to both get comfortable with the process and to show as many people as possible how serious you are about your new career. Networking and Beyond Your first month as a Realtor will also be one where networking with other agents is critically important. Plan on attending every open house that you can and preview plenty of properties listed by other agents. Ask to shadow a seasoned veteran for a day. It doesn't matter - connect with as many people as possible, because you never know who will be able to help. You should also draft a business plan to set some straightforward goals (not to mention a budget) for your first 90 days and beyond. Make an effort to set realistic goals for each week over the next few months, both to make sure that you're always moving in the right direction and so that you avoid feeling too overwhelmed. Finally, you need to understand that even beyond your first 30 days, you need to take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow as a real estate professional. Take classes with your local Association of Realtors. Determine and understand what your unique selling proposition is and be able to communicate why someone should care about it. Attend any new agent orientations you can find. Review as many real estate contracts as you can get your hands on and write some of your own. I remember when I was just starting in the industry, I would draft purchase contracts on random houses at night just so that I could learn the contract. If you're able to find time for all of the above, you'll have done more than just make excellent use of your first 30 days. You'll have created a rock-solid foundation that the rest of your career will be built upon. For more resources to help in your first 30 days see blog Good luck! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How You Can Help Prepare Long Term Buyers for Their Home Purchase

Potential home buyer putting down clock

As a real estate agent, you will inevitably encounter clients needing more time to buy a home. These long-term buyers may be waiting for a job transfer, building their savings, or improving their credit.

As a real estate agent, you will inevitably encounter clients needing more time to buy a home. These long-term buyers may be waiting for a job transfer, building their savings, or improving their credit. Regardless, your role as their real estate advisor remains essential. Here are some tips to help you guide long-term buyers and ensure their future success in purchasing a home. Additionally, consider enhancing your skills and knowledge through a real estate school, online real estate classes, and real estate exam prep to serve your clients better. Caution Against Large Purchases Buyers must exercise financial prudence when buying a home, and realtors play a vital role in guiding them through this process. One essential piece of advice that realtors should offer long-term buyers is to postpone any significant purchases that could negatively impact their credit. Encouraging clients to prioritize their home purchase over buying a new car or financing expensive furniture can make a considerable difference in their home-buying journey. Large purchases can increase a buyer's debt-to-income ratio, lower their credit score, and affect their mortgage approval chances. Additionally, these financial decisions might signal to mortgage lenders a need for more financial discipline, raising concerns about the buyer's ability to handle mortgage payments. Warren Buffet's concept of delayed gratification offers valuable insight into why buyers should delay these expensive purchases. Delayed gratification is the ability to resist the temptation of an immediate pleasure in the hope of obtaining a more valuable and long-lasting reward in the long term. By practicing delayed gratification, buyers can prioritize their long-term goal of homeownership over short-term desires for material possessions. The ability to delay gratification is linked to many positive outcomes, including academic success, physical health, psychological health, and social competence. This skill is closely related to patience, impulse control, self-control, and willpower, all of which are crucial in home-buying. By advising clients to embrace the concept of delayed gratification, realtors can help them focus on the long-term benefits of homeownership. As they resist the temptation of immediate rewards, buyers can work towards securing their dream home, ultimately reaping the rewards of their patience and financial discipline. By incorporating this perspective into the home-buying process, realtors can better guide their clients toward a successful and rewarding home purchase. Promote Timely Bill Payments Stress the importance of paying bills on time, as missed payments can harm their credit and delay home-buying. If they're at risk of missing a payment, suggest they contact their creditors to work out a solution. TLDR - Pay bills on time or early. Discourage Large Bank Transactions Remind your clients to avoid large withdrawals or unsourced deposits to their bank accounts, as mortgage lenders scrutinize financial history thoroughly. Unusual transactions can lead to mortgage application denial. When purchasing a home, buyers must be mindful of their financial transactions, as mortgage lenders pay close attention to their financial history. Large withdrawals or unsourced deposits can raise questions and potentially jeopardize the approval of a mortgage application. Understanding the impact of such transactions and why avoiding them is vital during the home-buying process is essential. Mortgage lenders evaluate an applicant's financial stability and ability to repay the loan by analyzing their income, expenses, credit history, and existing debts. Unusual transactions, such as significant withdrawals or unsourced deposits, can raise red flags and suggest potential financial issues or undisclosed liabilities. Lenders may perceive these transactions as signs of financial mismanagement or an attempt to conceal relevant financial information, leading to doubts about the applicant's creditworthiness. Moreover, mortgage underwriters must verify the source of funds used for the down payment, closing costs, and reserves. Unexplained or unsourced deposits can complicate this process, as they need clarity regarding the origin of the funds. This lack of transparency may lead lenders to question the legality or legitimacy of the funds, which can ultimately result in a mortgage application denial. Maintaining transparency and consistency in financial transactions is crucial when applying for a mortgage. Buyers should avoid large withdrawals or unsourced deposits to their bank accounts during the home-buying process, as these unusual transactions can raise concerns for mortgage lenders and jeopardize the approval of their mortgage application. By keeping their financial activities clear and well-documented, buyers can increase their chances of securing a mortgage and successfully purchasing their dream home. Warn Against New Credit Applications Instruct your clients not to apply for new credit, including credit cards and financing large purchases. Also, ask about recurring payment plans, such as the iPhone Upgrade Program, which may perform "soft pull" credit checks that could negatively impact their credit score. New credit applications can impact your credit score for several reasons, and it's crucial for people in the process of buying a home to avoid applying for new credit during this time. Here's why: Hard Inquiries: When you apply for new credit, lenders perform a "hard inquiry" on your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. Each hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points, and multiple inquiries within a short period can have a more significant impact. A lower credit score may result in less favorable loan terms or even denial of your mortgage application. Debt-to-Income Ratio: Applying for new credit can increase your overall debt and raise your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Mortgage lenders consider your DTI ratio when determining your loan repayment ability. A high DTI ratio may lead to higher interest rates or disqualification from certain mortgage programs, making it more challenging to secure a mortgage for your desired home. New Credit Accounts: Opening new credit accounts, such as credit cards or personal loans, can affect your credit score in several ways. Firstly, it reduces your average account age, which can lower your credit score. Secondly, it can impact your credit utilization ratio – the percentage of available credit you're using – another factor lenders consider when evaluating your mortgage application. Financial Instability: Mortgage lenders prefer financially stable applicants with responsible credit behavior. Applying for new credit during the home-buying process can signal financial instability or the inability to manage existing debts, which may raise red flags for lenders. To ensure a smoother home-buying process and increase the chances of securing a mortgage with favorable terms, it's essential to avoid applying for new credit during this time. Instead, focus on maintaining a healthy credit score, paying bills on time, and keeping your debt-to-income ratio low. Maintain Regular Communication As a real estate agent working with long-term buyers, maintaining regular communication throughout their home-buying journey is critical to your professional success. By keeping in touch with your clients, you demonstrate your commitment to their needs and ensure that you remain their go-to expert when they're finally ready to make a purchase. Regular communication helps build trust and rapport with your clients, which is essential for fostering a strong, lasting professional relationship. By staying in touch and providing valuable information, you show your clients that you are genuinely invested in their long-term goals and ready to support them at every step. This proactive approach to client communication allows you to anticipate their needs and provide guidance on any potential challenges they might face during the home-buying process, ultimately making their experience smoother and more enjoyable. Additionally, consistent communication keeps your clients informed about the latest market trends, new listings, and potential opportunities that align with their preferences and budget. By providing regular updates, you ensure that your clients remain well-informed and prepared to make educated decisions when the right opportunity presents itself. This level of attentiveness can set you apart from other agents, who may not prioritize long-term clients similarly. In conclusion, maintaining regular communication with your long-term buyers is essential for securing your position as their trusted real estate advisor. By staying in touch and providing valuable guidance throughout their waiting period, you demonstrate your dedication to their success and ensure that you remain top of mind when they're ready to buy. In a competitive industry, this level of client care can make all the difference in securing future business and building a reputation for exceptional service. Remember, not all clients will be ready to purchase a home immediately. By following these tips and investing in your education through a real estate school, online real estate classes, and learning how to get a real estate license, you can better serve long-term buyers and improve your chances of converting them into successful homeowners in the future. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What Kind of Car Should a New Realtor Drive?

Real estate agent getting in her car

As a new real estate agent, making the right first impression is critical . Details matter. That includes the way you look, your approach, and your personality. It also relates back to the type of

As a new real estate agent, making the right first impression is critical . Details matter. That includes the way you look, your approach, and your personality. It also relates back to the type of image you portray with your vehicle. Why Your Vehicle Matters First impressions matter to home buyers and sellers. They want to know that the person they are working with is successful, even if they are brand new. Having a car that is both functional and impressive enough is a key part of the process. Since most real estate agents will help buyers see a variety of homes often by driving them around, this can be an important decision to make. To be clear, packing everyone into the same car while COVID rages probably isn’t the wisest decision, however, COVID will be behind us and it will be back to business as usual. Most agents aim to find some balance between their image and the relatability of the vehicle. That is, while you want to have a nice and comfortable vehicle, you do not want something that’s too flashy that could scare away some of your most likely buyers. How do you do that? What Every Real Estate Agent’s Car Should Have One of the first things to start with is the basics. There are some features that are critical that every vehicle has. These make a difference in the type of experience the buyer and seller may have. Some key starting points include the following: Air Conditioning: Comfort matters. You want to be sure that anyone that is in your vehicle is comfortable. A nice feature to have is adjustable cooling for the backseat. That helps your buyers to be able to control their heating and cooling to find the right temperature of comfort. It helps keep them happy on a hot day. Radio: It’s a good idea to have a reliable radio. You may not need surround sound and top-of-the-line speakers, though. It is a good idea to have some music playing in the background when you pick up your buyers. When it is silent in the car, people feel uncomfortable. A big part of what you are doing now is keeping everyone enjoying the experience. You may even want to create a playlist for your car that is upbeat, positive music. 4 Doors: There’s no situation in which your buyers want to try to climb out of the backseat of a car. More so, it should be a roomy enough backseat that they are able to sit comfortably even if they are a bit taller or need more room. Be sure to choose a four-door vehicle that’s designed to accommodate your needs outside of work, too. Clean: Perhaps the most important part of your vehicle is how clean it is. People who are stepping into your vehicle expect it to be comfortable and sanitary. This is very important, especially in a pandemic world. If you are buying a car then, be sure to look for features that make it easy to keep clean. That may include leather or leather-like material. If you can choose a vehicle that has easy-to-remove or clean carpeting, that can help as well. Keep it litter free as well. What Kind of Car Should I Drive? New real estate agents are often overwhelmed by this decision. It does not have to be a complex process, though. You want to provide a positive experience for your buyers. They do not expect a top of the line vehicle, but they want something reliable. There is no benefit to you, especially as you are just starting, to have a too expensive car. If it has features that make a difference to you, such as a navigation system, that’s great. If not, you still have your smartphone you can use to help with getting around. What’s most important is not to overspend at the beginning of your career and to choose a car that fits into your budget as a new real estate agent . Over time, you can upgrade as you see fit. Choose a car that is not going to break the bank. It’s okay to buy a car that fits your personal needs, too, especially since most agents will use their car for this as well. Take the time to find a car that fits your personality and your client’s most likely needs. Then, be sure to take care of it to keep it looking sharp. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Are People Really Moving Out of California? Reports Indicate - Yes

California resident packing boxes and moving to texas

Before I get deeper into this article, it is worth noting that I love California. I’ve lived in southern California nearly all my life so this article isn’t meant to sound cynical about the state

Before I get deeper into this article, it is worth noting that I love California. I’ve lived in southern California nearly all my life so this article isn’t meant to sound cynical about the state of affairs around here. I just thought this would be an interesting article to research amid rumors that COVID lockdowns, taxes and regulations are chasing Californians out of dodge. Just in case you were concerned that the reported exodus of California residents to other states has been exaggerated, it seems to not only be true, but perhaps it is gaining momentum. That in itself is maybe a bit surprising, and some of the other facts surrounding the reports will also surprise you. Just to clarify, according to the California Department of Finance, the population of the Golden State was still increasing, but ever so slowly, in the period between July 2019 and July 2020. The state showed a net growth of just 21,200 residents, translating to a percentage growth rate for the 12-month period of just one 1.5%. The growth rate has slowed over the past two decades, but this was a record-setter, something that had not been matched since 1900. During the same period, Los Angeles County reported a net loss in population of more than 40,000, and Orange County is said to have lost nearly 25,000 residents. If you're wondering how to reconcile those numbers, you must dig deeper. The United States Census Bureau confirms that in 2019, 653,000 residents left the state for what they considered greener pastures in other parts of the country. Only 480,000 U.S. residents traded zip codes for one within California. That represents a net loss of 173,000 residents. And that was pre pandemic. But foreign-born new residents were still arriving. The Facts Behind the Stats California, with a population nearing 40 million, grew dramatically for most of the 20th Century. With enviable weather, great natural beauty and plenty of space left for new homes and businesses, it seemed to be the land of opportunity, with a booming job market, lively culture, and great cities, food and entertainment. In the second half of the century, the population almost tripled, but for the last 20 years the growth rate has been relatively flat, and it slowed dramatically in 2017. Reasons include a higher than average cost of living, rising home prices, taxes and overall costs, and a slow but steady change in demographics. As in the rest of the country, California's population growing older, and its birth rate has also declined. But its average age is still young when compared to other states. Unlike the majority of states, however, California is heavily populated by immigrants and minority groups. According to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), the state has unique diversity. Its share of foreign-born residents in 2018 was larger than any other state, estimated at 10.6 million. It is also a state with no single race or ethnicity constituting a population majority. Latinos now account for 37% of the population, surpassing the white population in 2014. Other substantial population groups include Asian-American at 15%, African- American numbering 6%, multi-racial groups at 3%, and American Indians or Pacific Islanders under 1%. Reasons for Relocating Out of California In order to understand why California residents are leaving, you cannot discount standard explanations. People relocate for many personal reasons, including new job opportunities, wanting to be closer to family and friends, or simply wanting to taste a new lifestyle. But why aren't people moving into the state? That may also not be difficult to answer. There is no doubt that traffic and weather play a part in the decision-making process. California has suffered more than its share of natural disasters in the past few years. Rising prices of goods and services, a scarcity of affordable housing -- particularly in major cities -- government regulation on business and rising taxes on individuals, and political considerations all have an effect. Rural areas lose residents primarily because jobs disappear, while cities seem to lose people due to rising prices and a lack of safe and affordable housing. California's operating farms have been decreasing for generations by some estimates, and its major cities have become known not for their cosmopolitan atmosphere but for their problems that include escalating prices, a culture of drugs, crime and homelessness, and questionable governance. The effect of COVID-19 also must be considered, and it is not insubstantial. The state has been viewed as a hotspot of infection, and has faced a lot of criticism for its handling of the crisis on local levels. It should be noted that some residents left and sold their home during the pandemic, but that the virus also prevented others from crossing the border into the state, which affects total population numbers. Where Are People Going? Favored destinations for California expats are Texas, Arizona and Idaho, for various reasons. Texas mounted a serious campaign to attract new business, especially from California, several years ago, and it has paid off. With no state income tax, a stable economy, a relatively favorable climate and a friendly vibe, new residents feel at home in Texas. Real estate agents are quick to point out the advantages of selling high and buying low, something that is entirely possible when moving to Texas from other places in the nation. That has helped sustain a building boom in Texas that began shortly after the crisis of 2008. Texas is a hot market for buyers from out of state. Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex are the prime areas. Other California residents, especially those who can continue to work remotely for their employers, head for Phoenix or to Boise, Idaho, which each have some of the same lifestyle, tax and housing advantages, and favorable climates. California real estate spokesmen are quick to confirm the trend. Some of them have even joined the expats, working remotely from new homes out of state, while continuing to represent sellers and buyers in California. What Does the Future Have in Store for the California Population? Will the trend be reversed in the future? It's hard to say, but right now it seems as if California is on the downward slope in terms of population. It will, however, no doubt retain its status as the most highly-populated state for at least the foreseeable future. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Helping Your Clients Find 'The One' Dream Home

Real estate agent helping client find their dream home

As a real estate agent, one of your main jobs is to help people navigate through what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest financial transactions of their life: buying a new home. But keep in mind that

As a real estate agent, one of your main jobs is to help people navigate through what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest financial transactions of their life: buying a new home. But keep in mind that you need to approach this in more than just a literal sense. Yes, the "nuts and bolts" process of buying a home is as difficult as it is time consuming, so people are going to need someone they trust (read: you) to help make sure that everything proceeds exactly as it should. But there are a lot of agents out there who can help people BUY a house. They're also going to need your assistance in terms of FINDING that perfect house to begin with. They don't just want any old house - they want "the one" that is everything they've been searching for and then some. Therefore, in an effort to help your clients choose that home of their dreams and walk away as satisfied with the process as they'd always hoped they would be, there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind. Provide Objective, Constructive Insight About the Home By far, the most critical thing you can offer your clients as they search for a new home involves objective, constructive insight whenever possible. Even if a client walks through the door and is immediately enthusiastic about the property, you still need to make sure that they're thinking clearly. Help Them Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Home This means helping them weigh both the pros and the cons. Consider things like the status of the property and even the age and let them know what they might expect five or even ten years down the line. No home is perfect by any means and part of being a homeowner involves dealing with unexpected issues. Use your experience to offer guidance about THIS property in particular and make sure they understand the situation from all angles. Determine the “Wants” and “Needs” of Their Dream Home Likewise, go through a checklist of "wants" and "needs" with your clients and see how a particular property aligns with those goals. What are the elements that a client's "absolute perfect" home MUST have? How any of those boxes does this particular property check? What are the odds that they're going to be able to find a home that meets every last qualification on their list? These are the things you need to be thinking about to help someone make the most informed decision possible. Assess How Your Client is Feeling About the Home Of course, there are certain questions you need to ask of yourself during this period, too. Chief among them is simply "how is the client feeling right now?" Are they excited to the point where they can't stop thinking about the property? Are they already to the point where they're thinking about furniture placement and they can see themselves building a life in this house? If they are, the chances are high that you might have helped them find "the one." If they're not, you'll likely want to continue your search, at least for awhile. Consider the Aspect of Time Finally, you need to consider things from the perspective of time - something there just isn't as much of as people want. How much longer can the client keep looking? What are the current market conditions, and how fast is a property like this one likely to stay on the market? Is inventory high enough where it's even possible to keep looking for a new home indefinitely? Even if someone looks at a home and doesn't consider it to be "the one," can they work with a general contractor and eventually get it to that point one day? This may be what you need to recommend if this property is likely to move fast. While it's possible to follow all of the best practices outlined above and STILL not locate "the one," doing so will still put you in an excellent position to offer as much value to your clients as possible and help them get over the house that got away. That's not just how you help someone buy the home of their dreams - it's also how you turn them into a loyal, lifelong client who will continue to return to you for years to come. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

The Fine Art of Handling Buyer and Seller Objections in Real Estate: What You Need to Know

Real estate agent listening to buyers objections

Without a doubt, real estate is primarily a sales-driven job. Regardless of how skilled a particular agent happens to be, getting objections from both buyers and sellers is a common part in the daily life

Without a doubt, real estate is primarily a sales-driven job. Regardless of how skilled a particular agent happens to be, getting objections from both buyers and sellers is a common part in the daily life of a Realtor . Sometimes they'll be completely legitimate concerns and it's part of your job to ease the client’s mind. On the other hand, on occasion there are instances where the client may be acting more out of emotion and not reason, and you'll need to figure out how to deal with those types of situations, too. How to Handle Common Real Estate Objections Still, HOW these objections are handled - and knowing what to say and how to say it - will no doubt lead to more sales moving forward. Therefore, if you want to get better at handling objections from both buyers and sellers, there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind. Take the Time to Understand Their Point of View By far, the most important thing to keep in mind when fielding an objection from anyone is that you need to be proactive about trying to understand someone's position. Don't just think literally about what the objection is - try to go beyond the words and really get a sense of where this is actually coming from. Buying or selling a home is a major transaction (not to mention a significant moment in someone's life), and that's naturally going to put people on edge. Likewise, some people are simply more risk adverse than others. By really trying to understand someone's position and by getting a better sense of their point of view, it can help focus on exactly what you need to say to move forward with the deal, and how to best present it moving forward. Be Sure to Validate Their Opinions Similarly, you'll also want to make sure that the prospect feels validated. Don't simply write off their concern as irrelevant because that's only going to put you farther away from your goal, not closer to it. Even if an objection is coming up simply because of someone's fear of change, that's okay - you can't help that someone feels the way they feel. As an example I’m writing this six months into the Coronavirus pandemic and prior to a presidential election. Your buyer might want to wait until after the election to make a buying decision. This may or may not be a wise decision but I would dig deeper into their motivation for buying a home. Do they want to get wrapped up into a one year lease and pay a year worth of rent while they “wait it out”. Are they willing to risk interest rates increasing while they try and wrap their minds around the market? Are they willing to risk losing out on their dream home if one is available now? The major reason why all of this is important is because your ability to handle objections to everyone's satisfaction also helps build trust, an invaluable part of the relationships you're currently navigating. Remember that trusting someone isn't as simple as turning on a light switch - it ultimately takes time and care to build. Build Trust by Actively Listening By showing buyers and sellers that you're really listening to them and that you're paying attention to what they have to say, you're naturally in a better position to use trust to overcome the objection. Because at that point, they'll be able to see that you care about their success and that you clearly have their best interest in mind. Most of the time, that's all someone is looking for in the first place and sometimes objections happen when that sense of trust just isn't there yet. As Always, Remain Positive Whenever objections come up, try to remind both buyers and sellers of the positive side of what is going on. With rare exception, those positives will far outweigh the negatives and if you can just get them to say focused on those qualities that really matter, the situation will undoubtedly resolve itself and you'll be able to move forward in no-time. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Top Qualities of a Successful Real Estate Agent: Breaking Things Down

Real estate agent shaking clients hand

In a lot of ways, the real estate industry is unique in that there are so many moving parts at play. Every property is different, and the same can be said for every buyer and seller. But the one common

In a lot of ways, the real estate industry is unique in that there are so many moving parts at play. Every property is different, and the same can be said for every buyer and seller. But the one common thread that runs through it all is that there is often a passionate industry professional involved. What kind of personality does best in real estate? But of course, this begs the question - exactly what makes for a good real estate agent anyway? What personality traits are required to move from real estate agent to “successful" real estate agent as quickly as possible? The answers to those questions are largely straightforward - they simply require you to keep a few key things in mind. 1. Having a Problem Solver Mindset By far, one of the most important personality traits to have as a real estate agent involves a true problem solver mindset. Every transaction you're a part of will have several "moving parts," and sometimes things can go unpredictably. You'll be asked to come up with creative solutions to interesting problems and issues on a daily basis. Likewise, something as simple as showing a home can be a challenge as every property is truly unique in and of itself. None of this is a problem at all if you're the type of person who genuinely loves coming up with solutions to these and other types of issues. What happens if you are on the listing side of a transaction and the buyer completes their home inspection and asks for a laundry list of repairs? How are you going to handle this and keep your deal together? How will you deal with a difficult client? What happens if you are in a divorce transaction and suddenly one spouse no longer wishes to sell the home after you’ve spent 30 days heavily marketing it? You can see that the ability to think on your feet and problem solve is paramount. 2. Being an Ambitious Self-Starter Likewise, the importance of being a self-starter is hard to overstate. Even if you're working in a firm with a lot of other agents, you're still the "master of your own domain," so to speak. You'll largely set your own hours and you'll need to be a driven, self-motivated person if you're going to make it work. 3. Tenacity This relates to another one of the most important personality traits to have as a real estate agent - the type of tenacity that will serve you well all throughout your career. In addition to a great work ethic, you need to understand that leads in real estate aren't just going to generate themselves. You'll have to market your clients' properties - sometimes in aggressive ways - in order to attract as much attention as possible from qualified individuals. There ARE buyers out there for every property, just like there is a home out there for every home buyer. It's just that they aren't going to suddenly land in your lap - you're going to have to go out and find them and some days that will be easier than others. 4. Be Engaging and Having a Winning Attitude Finally, a critical personality trait that all successful real estate agents share is that they have an engaging and winning personality. A big part of your success as a real estate agent involves marketing yourself every bit as successfully as you market those properties. Being personable, acting with integrity and having confidence as an agent are significant pieces of the puzzle. In the end it's important to note that despite all of the above, it's absolutely true that any personality will do well in the real estate industry provided that you know exactly what to expect. It's certainly not a profession for people who cherish the ability to work a standard "nine to five" job. It also may not be the best fit for someone who likes a rigid, predictable structure in terms of their professional life. While the above traits are certainly helpful, they are not a requirement to succeed as a real estate agent. Provided that you have a deep passion for what you do and relish the opportunity to help people in your area find the types of homes they've always dreamed of, you will absolutely be able to succeed and make a real career out of it. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Negotiate a Higher Commission Split as a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent negotiating a higher commission split with her broker

While this topic might be a little more advanced, especially if you are just starting real estate school online, it’s an important topic, nonetheless. Generally speaking, the way the real estate industry

While this topic might be a little more advanced, especially if you are just starting real estate school online, it’s an important topic, nonetheless. Generally speaking, the way the real estate industry typically works goes a little something like this: A real estate agent works for a broker (think any company like Century 21, Coldwell Banker, etc.) and together, they combine their resources to help sell a home. More often than not, the company keeps some percentage of the overall commission fees that are paid out after the transaction in question has closed. As a direct result of their hard work and dedication, the real estate agent gets to keep some percentage of that commission. This process repeats itself, again and again, as each home is sold. Over time, the real estate agent will sell more and more homes. Sometimes the average value of the homes they are selling increases. Sometimes their frequency increases. Regardless - this person continues to build experience and generate business for the broker and, as a result, the amount of money they get to keep should increase, too. However, this doesn't necessarily happen automatically. Typically, there will come a time when a real estate agent actually has to go into the broker’s office and negotiate to keep a higher percentage of the commission - something that can be particularly scary if you haven't been in the real estate industry for very long. But thankfully, the process itself is quite straightforward - provided that you're able to keep a few key things in mind along the way. Most companies are going to have a published schedule wherein the commission splits are very transparent but what if you want to move up quicker? What if you have a huge deal you are working on and want a special arrangement on that transaction? 3 Negotiation Steps to Getting a Higher Commission Split 1. Analyze your Progress What may be the most important thing to understand about this process is that before you even think about walking into the boss' office and asking for what amounts to a salary increase, you need to do your due diligence. Decide on a period of time and pour over the data about each transaction to essentially track the trajectory of your career. Use cold, hard numbers to show not only how you've improved in your position, but how the value that you've been able to bring to the broker has increased, too. Maybe you've been selling more homes than you were when you first started. Maybe the average transaction price has increased exponentially. Maybe it's both at the same time. Regardless, at a large company your broker might not “just know this” and they might not take your word for it. You need to be able to clearly illustrate the value that you're currently bringing to the operation and why that value is worth a higher commission split. You're not going to be able to get to that point without preparation, so this process begins here. 2. Do your Research Likewise, you need to make sure that you're well aware of what commission split plans are in place to see exactly what you qualify for to begin with. Not only is this a great way to enter into the conversation armed with as much information as possible, but it's also a way to proceed without seeming too demanding as well. So instead of going into someone's office and saying "I want X," start a conversation about your current split and why you have earned more. See which ones you qualify for and ask if there is one that will promote your growth within the company faster than the one you're currently on. 3. Review your Goals Finally, you always want to make sure you know where you're headed before asking for your next commission split increase. Essentially, you need to know what your goals are for your career in the next five years to determine what you should be asking for to begin with. If you know what the next "level" is and what you need to do to achieve it, suddenly something that was once overwhelming doesn't seem so insurmountable anymore. You've broken the process down into a series of smaller and more manageable steps, which will absolutely help you stay motivated at the same time. If you can find time to do this between managing your client expectations and meeting your broker’s, you can be sure that you’re on the right track to taking your career to the next level. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Increasing Your Confidence as a Real Estate Professional: Your Guide

A confident real estate agent closing a sale on a home

If you had to make a list of some of the most important traits that any successful real estate professional should have, confidence would undoubtedly be right at the top. In a lot of ways, being a real

If you had to make a list of some of the most important traits that any successful real estate professional should have, confidence would undoubtedly be right at the top. In a lot of ways, being a real estate agent involves selling yourself every bit as much as you sell those properties in your area. There are so many real estate professionals in your area - people don't just need to know that you can get the job done. In a matter of moments, you need to be able to convince someone that nobody does what you do quite like how you do it, and why that will be such an advantage to them in the weeks and months ahead. Without confidence in yourself and your abilities, that won't just be difficult - it'll be impossible. But at the same time, a lot of people often come into the real estate business as a second or even a third career - making it a scary prospect for a lot of them. After all, there is no base salary. There are no health benefits. Most agents are independent contractors and, as stated, the competition is fierce. If you truly want to separate yourself from the pack, increasing your confidence is how you do it - and this is something you can accomplish in a wide range of ways, all of which are worth exploring. 3 Ways to Build Your Confidence as a new Real Estate Agent 1. Find a Real Estate Mentor to “Show You the Ropes” By far, one of the best opportunities you have to build confidence in your abilities as a real estate agent involves finding a mentor who can "show you the ropes," so to speak. They'll do more than just help build your skills and knowledge – real estate mentors also teach you how to better yourself in a way that you'd be hard-pressed to replicate on your own. If you work day in and day out with someone who is a proven success, you'll be able to see first-hand what works and what doesn't. You'll see everything that goes into each victory and how they deal with each failure. It's a process that takes years but it's also one that is more than worth it. 2. Be Patient – Give Yourself Time to Learn and Gain Experience Another one of the best ways to be more confident as a real estate professional involves giving yourself permission to be patient with your abilities. You're not going to come right out of the gate and be an overwhelming success in your field. You're probably not going to sell your first house immediately after you stage it. You will make mistakes and some days will be more difficult than others. All of this is more than okay, because each part of it is a big factor in determining your career trajectory. There's an old saying that tells us it takes a long time to become an "overnight success" - whoever coined that phrase was talking about real estate whether they realized it or not. In other words, try not to be too hard on yourself and just be patient. Slowly but surely, your confidence will build as a result. 3. Master Your Craft by Continuously Learning Finally, you need to understand that continuing education and a willingness to keep learning and keep improving is one of the core components of a confident real estate professional. Anyone who tells you they've "done enough" to develop their career or they've "learned all they can" about the industry or their local real estate markets is someone who lost a game they never truly understood in the first place. Any confidence they have is unearned at best. You should always look for new opportunities to improve your abilities. You should always capitalize on a chance to hone your skills, or develop a new trait. Your willingness to grow and learn will always impact your ability to do both. Once you acknowledge that, you'll see each incremental growth step - regardless of how small - as a victory in and of itself. Truly, the confidence that comes with that alone is more than worth the effort for most people and it certainly will be for you, too. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Understanding What Unlicensed Real Estate Assistants Can and Cannot Do

Unlicensed real estate assistant working on her laptop

Generally speaking, it's common knowledge that real estate agents are required to be licensed in the state in which they practice. This is more than just a simple formality, of course. Taking the real

Generally speaking, it's common knowledge that real estate agents are required to be licensed in the state in which they practice. This is more than just a simple formality, of course. Taking the real estate classes and becoming a licensed agent proves that you've gone through the training and education necessary to do the job. It's also an example of your commitment to follow the industry ethics and standards of your specific state when it comes to marketing, sales, negotiations and the completion of transactions. But more than that, a real estate license is also proof of your dedication to all of these ideas in the eyes of your potential clients - thus allowing them to move into a deeper and longer-lasting relationship with you with as much peace-of-mind as possible. As you progress in your career you may have to hire an assistant one day who might not be licensed to help you manage some of the day-to-day aspects of your operation. Because of this, questions often arise as to exactly what these assistants can or cannot do. Are they a real estate agent in everything but the name? Are their duties limited in some other type of way, especially in the eyes of the law? Luckily, the California Department of Real Estate has issued a set of guidelines specifically for these unlicensed assistants who work in the real estate industry, shedding insight into exactly what is expected of them and, more importantly, what isn't. It's an invaluable resource for anyone involved in a real estate transaction and understanding it requires you to keep a few key things in mind. What Unlicensed Assistants CAN Do in California: An Overview In the state of California, unlicensed assistants are definitely allowed to assist in the performance of cold contacting potential prospects. Indeed, this is a large part of the reason why real estate agents may seek out their help in the first place. This includes not only making telephone calls, but also using electronic communication like emails or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to try to generate as much interest in the services of the real estate agent as possible. The unlicensed agent can answer questions about what types of services that the agent can provide, and they can even schedule an appointment so that all parties can meet. It's important to note, however, that this type of canvassing can ONLY be used to develop general information about the person being called. An unlicensed agent can call to determine whether or not someone would be interested in the services of the real estate agent, for example. They can NOT try to induce the person to use the agent's services in any way. Another way that unlicensed agents often prove invaluable ultimately comes down to the role they play in open houses. Unlicensed assistants are absolutely allowed to place signs in public areas throughout the neighborhood, for example, and can provide factual information about the house in question either verbally or through pre-printed materials. They can greet the general public when they walk through the door and can even schedule times for further appointments. All of this can again save the agent an incredible amount of time, thus allowing them to devote more of their attention on those tasks that truly need them. They have to do all of this with the express consent of the owner however - they can't just decide to do it on their own. The Administrative Roles of the Unlicensed Assistant Unlicensed assistants are also allowed to help their agent in other ways, too, particularly when it comes to a lot of those "back office" duties that are important but that also require a tremendous amount of time. In the state of California, an unlicensed assistant can: Make, conduct and even prepare a comparative market analysis for a particular property. It's just that only the licensed real estate agent can actually use it when conducting business, and they have to approve everything contained within the document first. Unlicensed assistants can let a prospective buyer into a property to inspect some or all of it, so long as this activity is necessary for the preparing of a report regarding future repairs that will be made. So an unlicensed agent can give a home inspector access to a property prior to a sale, for example. It's just that they cannot provide them with any supplementary information to actually complete that report - that will need to come from the agent directly. Unlicensed assistants are not only allowed to prepare advertising relating to a transaction for their employer - they can actually have input on the design elements of those materials, too. Once again, the agent with the license will need to approve everything before it is published and made available to the general public. Unlicensed assistants are also allowed to both prepare and complete documents before and during a transaction, so long as they do so under the supervision (and at the direction) of the licensee. Unlicensed assistants can also mail, deliver and pick up documents relating to a transaction - including obtaining signatures. While they are doing this, however, they are not allowed to discuss the content or relevance of those documents. An unlicensed agent can bring something to a client's house to have them sign it, but the conversation isn't allowed to get any more detailed than that. On the subject of documents, it should be noted that the guidelines state that unlicensed assistants are also able to thoroughly review the types of materials commonly coming into and going out of a real estate brokerage - so long as their employer has specifically directed them to do so. Overall, they can review documents for completeness or compliance, for example. Finally, unlicensed real estate agents are allowed to not only accept but also account for and provide a receipt for any trust funds received from a client or other party to a transaction. Of course, this means they can also communicate with those same individuals in connection with the transaction about topics like when reports or other information will be delivered. In the end, it's important to think of an unlicensed real estate assistant in the state of California as exactly what they are: an assistant in nearly every sense of the term. Under Section 10131 of the California Business and Professions Code, the state government has made it very clear which activities actually require a real estate broker license to execute. Nothing in these guidelines supersedes them in any way, shape or form. But that's okay, because an unlicensed assistant isn't supposed to replace the need for a real estate agent at all. Instead, it's supposed to support and empower them - helping to relieve as many of the administrative tasks from their plate as possible so that they can focus their attention on actually running their business and executing real estate transactions. To that end, an unlicensed assistant in the real estate industry really might be thought of as a paralegal in the legal profession. Paralegals are usually employed by lawyers to devote their attention to specialty tasks like case planning, development, management and others. They research legal topics and provide support for any tasks that don't require a law degree. They're not a replacement for an attorney, but then again they were never designed to be and that's not what is expected of them. An unlicensed real estate agent really does operate in much the same way, albeit via an entirely different field. Finally, it’s important to remember that the rules can change on what the state allows an unlicensed assistant to do so it’s important to check your state’s rules periodically to ensure that you are following the rules. These guidelines are intended to help not only real estate agents but also the members of the public that they've dedicated themselves to serving - which is ultimately the most important goal of all. If you are unlicensed and would like to obtain your real estate license visit our website for more information or take one of our free classes
Practical advice for real estate agents

6 Steps to Winning a Real Estate Listing in 2020

Agent talking to clients during real estate listing appointment

A question I get frequently from first year real estate agents is “How should I prepare for a listing appointment?” A real listing appointment. Not your mom’s house or your best friend from college

A question I get frequently from first year real estate agents is “How should I prepare for a listing appointment?” A real listing appointment. Not your mom’s house or your best friend from college but a genuine listing appointment from someone you don’t really know. I wanted to put together a quick guide that will help you as you move through the process of pitching your first seller client! While this is not exhaustive, it should get you closer to a signature than just winging it. 1. Make sure that the person you are meeting with is the owner The first step to having a great listing presentation is to ensure that the person you're meeting with is in fact, the true owner of the property. As an agent, you don't want to be on the wrong side of real estate fraud. While you don't necessarily need to see a driver license on the first meeting, use common sense. If the person on title is a female, for example, and you're meeting with a male who says they're the representative of the owner, it's important to dig deep and ask additional questions. In that case, that person may have power of attorney over the recorded owner, but your title insurance company and escrow company will need those documents anyway so ask for them upfront. 2. Research liens on the home The second step is to call your preferred title insurance company and have them pull title on the home to examine liens against the property. This is a prudent second step for a lot of reasons. First, you want to make sure that the market value of the home is greater than any existing liens. If not, this could turn into a short sale, which would trigger an additional set of documents and an entirely different process. Additionally, a search of the title will reveal if there are any notices of default recorded on the property, which in many states will require a different purchase agreement. A title search is also important because it shows the owner that you were prepared for the listing appointment and are able to work with title to eliminate any liens that may be showing on the property in error. 3. Have a well researched CMA The main reason that most properties expire out is an improper pricing strategy. A CMA will examine three aspects of the market: 1.The active listings 2.The expired listings 3.The recently sold listings. Clearly the most important part of this research are the properties that have recently sold as they represent a willing buyer and a willing seller doing a deal with one another. However, the active properties are also important because it shows the seller what the competition in the area is. Finally, the expired listings indicate a warning as to where you should not be pricing the property. 4. Have your documents ready All documents should be ready for the listing at the time of the listing. You should bring any state required forms you need to take a listing as well as a listing contract itself. The worst thing in the world is to have the seller say that they are ready to list, and you not have the appropriate documents. Bring multiple copies of the listing contract with you incase you need to make notes or changes. 5. Leave your judgement at the door If the seller has experienced a loss in income or a layoff requiring them to sell the property, it's important to be empathetic to the needs of the seller and listen while working diligently to try to maximize the net proceeds to the seller. Understand what your unique selling proposition is, have confidence that you and your company can get the property sold. And don't forget to smile. =) 6. Handle objections professionally and with ease It's quite likely that you'll face some objections when making your presentation. Invariably, you may get questions about whether you'll “do it for less”, “price it higher”, or “how many years you've been in the business”. It's important to research as many of these potential objections as possible, and have scripted and truthful responses to the seller’s concerns. There are a ton of free resources online to help in this if your broker doesn’t provide enough training. There are YouTube videos, blogs, and articles that can help you wade through the sea of a dozen or so objections that are most common in our real estate business. Remember that proper prior planning can prevent poor performance and the more you prospect, role play, and rehearse the greater the likelihood of you taking every listing appointment that you go on. Remember you have to list to last! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Help Your Buyer Get Over the House That Got Away

For sale sign outside of a recently sold house

Generally speaking, helping a buyer purchase a home should be one of the most fun and exciting times ever. However, sometimes life has other plans for you and your client.. and they don't necessarily

Generally speaking, helping a buyer purchase a home should be one of the most fun and exciting times ever. However, sometimes life has other plans for you and your client.. and they don't necessarily line up with your own. Experienced agents have all been here - Imagine for a moment that you're helping your buyer shop for their dream home. You've done a tremendous amount of research and have put in significant time and effort into finding something that meets the needs of your client. You’ve written the strongest offer possible and the communication with the listing agent looks good. Things are finally starting to go your way... ... but you end up not getting your offer accepted. The sense of defeat you feel in that moment can be crushing, to say the least. But that DOESN'T mean your search for the perfect home should come to an end. As a buyer's agent, one of the most important things you can do in that moment involves helping the buyer get back on track so they can continue to shop and finally secure that home they've been waiting for. Getting to this point isn't necessarily difficult, but it DOES require you to keep a few key things in mind along the way. Let the Mistakes of the Past Inform the Decisions of the Future After getting outbid on a terrific home, it's natural for buyers to start to second guess nearly everything that led them to that point. Obviously, they don't want to make the same "mistakes" again in the future - regardless of what those mistakes happened to be. As a buyer's agent, part of your job is to instill confidence in your client to the point where they believe they won't fall into the same trap a second time. Of course, this involves taking a look back at what happened and helping them learn from the experience in the most positive way possible. If part of the reason why your buyer was outbid had to do with their insistence of lowballing, help them understand that buyers can often lose out on their dream home by engaging in exactly this type of behavior. Not only can a really low offer offend a seller - even unintentionally - but it can also make them less likely to negotiate upwards, even if your client is more than willing to do so. Let your client know that they should find out what type of situation they're entering BEFORE they make their bid. Don't be afraid to come right out and ask if there are other offers and where those offers stand. At the very least, this can help manage their expectations prior to engaging in another bidding war over a property. Encourage your buyer to consider things that go above and beyond a simple monetary offer. Let them know that they can write a letter to the seller, for example, outlining why they love the home and why it means so much to them. You'd be surprised by how much of a difference this can make when a seller is trying to decide between similar offers. Put in Backup Offers in the Future At the same time, you should also encourage your client to put in a backup offer on any home that they're serious about in the future. Even if a seller has indicated that they're going with someone else, this is still a great best practice to follow. You really never know exactly what is going on across the negotiating table. That "accepted offer" from another buyer could fall apart due to a myriad of different reasons. Maybe those buyers got cold feet, or they were unable to secure the type of financing they thought they could. In any event, let your client know that there are still ways to be the "first in line" if that current deal should happen to fall through. Have Them Believe Another “Dream Home” Is Out There But in the end, the most important thing you can do to help your buyer get over a house that they lost involves getting them to believe the simple truth that another "dream home" will absolutely come along. Don't forget that part of why they're working with an agent like you comes down to your negotiating skill. Not only do you have the knowledge from your real estate courses, you (or your company in the case of a newer agent) have been around the block more than a few times and at this point, you've likely seen it all. With the real estate market developing as it is the chances are high that you'll be able to find a similar home for your client to the one they lost. You'll probably be able to find one that's even better, provided that you're given enough time to do so. Indeed, that may very well be the most important piece of advice for this situation: tell your client that it's time to stop looking backwards and to return their attention to the future once again. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

A Look Inside: A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

To do list written in notebook

Prepare for the day The first step in a great day as a Realtor is to prepare for the day itself. This includes going over your schedule, verifying and confirming appointments you may have for the

Prepare for the day The first step in a great day as a Realtor is to prepare for the day itself. This includes going over your schedule, verifying and confirming appointments you may have for the day, and studying market statistics. The act of studying the market data can be especially helpful for a newer agent as they have time to check the Multiple Listing Service to see what new properties have come on the market, examine properties that have gone under contract, as well as properties that have closed escrow in their marketplace. This 30-60 minutes of quiet time will set the agent up for business success. Make sure you role play As the morning progresses, the second thing that a real estate agent should do is role play. Role playing scripts and dialogues can be extremely helpful for the newer agent, especially because most buyers and sellers have a consistent set of objections that they will give the agent, and understanding how to respond to these objections smoothly and confidently can help increase sales. For example, if you're calling for-sale-by-owners, and the seller doesn't want to pay you a 6% commission, or is hesitant to set the appointment, there are several things that an experienced salesperson could say to increase their chances of success. Consistent role play will help delivery as well as syntax to ensure greater success. Ensure that you are prospecting The third thing, once role playing has been done, is to actually prospect. Daily prospecting must be the cornerstone of the salesperson’s day. Finding potential buyers and sellers is the lifeline of your business. As you continue in your career, you will come to realize that income for December actually has to do with how committed you were in October. An October client leads to a November escrow which leads to a December closing. Understanding the longterm nature of our business means that prospecting must be the cornerstone of your day. High-performing real estate agents typically will spend a minimum of two hours on this activity. Lead follow up The fourth thing that should be in the schedule of every high-producing real estate agent is lead follow-up. Simply put, lead follow-up is, as the name implies, following up on the leads as a result of your prospecting. The worst thing that an agent can do is spend a lot of time, energy, and effort into prospecting only to cultivate leads that never get called back or followed up with. The nature of the real estate business is such that the sales cycle can take days, weeks, or even months. Consistently following up with your leads via email, phone, and text message will increase the chance of those prospects ultimately turning into clients and closings. Schedule time to go on appointments The goal of lead follow-up, of course, leads us to our fifth activity - going on appointments. Time should be in your schedule every day for face-to-face meetings with clients. This could be listing appointments or showing appointments for buyers who want to look at homes. Sticking to a strict schedule for showing can help you take control of your day. Many newer real estate agents will show property or meet with the client within minutes of them asking. This will lead to burnout because if you're always jumping without any direction, it's easy to get discouraged if deals ultimately don't happen. Having respect for your own time will translate into clients having respect for your time also, so put that appointment block in your calendar, and make sure to follow it as strictly as possible. Examine the prior day Finally, at the end of each day, 15 to 20 minutes should be spent reviewing the activities of the day prior and setting up for the next day. Ask yourself questions like, "How productive was I today? How much time did I spend actually and actively looking for business? Are there things that I could have done better today? How can I avoid making the same mistakes tomorrow?" At the end of the day, productive real estate agents ask these questions so they can improve daily. Incremental improvement on a day-to-day basis will help you ultimately achieve success in the long-term. Hope this helps. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Smart Home Automation Trends for 2020

Grey google home mini on shelf

If you were looking for a single statistic that underlined why smart home and home automation technology has become so popular over the last few years, let it be the following: One recent study revealed

If you were looking for a single statistic that underlined why smart home and home automation technology has become so popular over the last few years, let it be the following: One recent study revealed that the average amount of money a person can save from using smart home products is about $98.30 per month, adding up to roughly $1,179.60 per year. Equipment like smart thermostats, connected sensors and "intelligent" security systems are more than just a "modest convenience" for many people. They're a true investment in every sense of the term - and one that will essentially pay for itself over time with the right application. But as is true with so many other areas of technology, smart home and home automation tech is evolving all the time. That's why there are a few important trends in this area that all real estate professionals should be paying close attention to in 2020 and beyond. The Top Home Automation Tech Trends to Pay Attention To 1. Standardization One of the most critical home automation trends for 2020 is also one that, for many people, couldn't have come along at a better time: standardization. A major pain point for so many real estate professionals and home builders trying to use home automation as a marketing tool always involved the fact that there were so many platforms to choose from. Ecosystems from Amazon, Google and even Apple all exist - but rarely do they work together in the way someone would want. Limiting users to one ecosystem also limits device compatibility, while trying to put together a system with a mishmash of ecosystems could easily lead to security vulnerabilities, among other issues. Thankfully, the major technology players have banded together to create a set of standards designed to make smart homes easier to embrace and more secure at the same time - which is something that professionals will absolutely want to keep a close eye on moving forward. 2. Improvements in Smart Home AI Another essential trend to watch out for involves the continued evolution of the relationship between smart home technology, home automation and artificial intelligence. A lot of smart home devices are already leveraging AI in impressive ways, like with smart thermostats that "learn" your daily usage habits and automatically make adjustments to regulate a home's temperature without the intervention of the actual homeowner. 2020 may very well be the year that this concept shifts to the next level, when things like facial recognition software driven by AI and machine learning allow security and surveillance systems to become more proactive. Rather than simply telling you "there's someone at the door," your smart doorbell may soon be able to tell you that "John Smith is at the door," thus creating an environment where both threat detection and regular alerts are more personalized than ever. Even going beyond that, smart devices powered by AI will be able to handle more complicated instructions than their current counterparts. This means that the average smart home user will be able to allow their devices to handle even more complex tasks than they can right now - thus freeing up more of their time and attention to focus on those activities that truly need them and that they're more invested in. This will likely drive a major boost in adoption in smart home tech across the board, too. The Impact of Smart Homes on the Future of Real Estate While it’s easy to be impressed by these home automation trends it's equally important to consider the impact they will have on both home building and the real estate industry moving forward. Reports indicate that 43% of all smart home technology users are currently between the ages of 18 and 34-years old. As those that fall into this demographic mature financially and begin looking for houses, home automation is naturally going to become more of a priority - making it more of a selling point for first-time home buyers too. Indeed, smart home tech is already having a major impact on people who fall outside of this category, too. There are reports that as many as 81% of people who already use some type of smart home tech said that they'd be more likely to purchase a home that already came with some level of connected technology that they could then add onto in the future. You're already seeing the inclusion of smart home and Internet of Things-connected devices included in a lot of home listings in markets both large and small across the country. This is one trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. All of this is to say that smart home equipment is more than just a novelty or another passing fad. It's already changed the way that many people think about what a home should include - to the point where it will impact the way real estate professionals think about how to market a property. All this is to say that if you're a real estate professional who isn't currently paying attention to the hottest trends in smart home and home automation technology, now would be an excellent time to start. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

5 Tips for Managing Client Expectations

Expectation spelled out using scrabble pieces

The process of buying a home can be complex. What’s even more complex is helping a person to make the best decision for their family. For most people, this is the single largest investment they’ll

The process of buying a home can be complex. What’s even more complex is helping a person to make the best decision for their family. For most people, this is the single largest investment they’ll make during their lifetime. It’s a huge financial commitment. As a real estate agent, it’s your job to help them through this process, ensuring they not only buy a home, but they buy one that’s right for their needs. It comes down to managing client expectations. From the start of your relationship with a client, it’s essential to create a clear understanding of what their needs are. Managing their expectations isn’t just about closing a deal. It often includes providing complete insight and guidance. Here are some tips to do that. 1. Be Honest, Every Step of the Way It is quite common for people to make decisions based on perceived thoughts or opinions. Sometimes, your client will be downright wrong. Other times, you need to share with them the other side of the coin. When you meet with your client, be honest with them from the start. Tell them you’re going to point out the good and bad, and always provide authentic information. 2. Don’t Overpromise When a client walks in the door with too little money, no mortgage pre-approval, and little in the way of a down payment, don’t promise them a home. This is particularly important with first-time home buyers. You’ll do your best, but they need to be realistic about what their money can buy. This is a hard talk to have, because you may feel as though you’ve failed to meet their needs. However, if you’re frank with them and show them data, they’ll understand how they need to adjust their budget. 3. Create Clear Goals To manage your client’s expectations, you need to know what those are. This often means sitting down and going over what their needs are and what they would like in addition to that. You also want them to know what you’re going to do for them, including the marketing, negotiations, and research you’ll put into the work. Then, outline what you need from them – accurate information, fast responses, and flexibility throughout the process. 4. Ensure Near-Constant Communication You don’t have to break away from an important meeting with your family to answer client calls every time, but be there for them. In the day and age of text messaging, it’s rather easy to do this. You want them to know you’re available to discuss. Talk about the best ways to communicate and how often is right for them and for you. 5. Provide Them with Reports Whether you are listing their home or helping them buy a home, you want them to know what you’re doing to support the process. Be sure to provide them with data on the market on a weekly basis. Offer insight into what’s taking up your time on their project and communicate what you’re doing to change things up as needed. Managing client expectations improves outcomes while also ensuring a more steady and smooth process is possible. You can’t please everyone every time but it’s important to understand that your ability to manage the client through the process is critical to long-term success. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

4 Ways a Realtor Can Connect with Past Clients

Realtor calling an old client to see how things are going

For real estate agents, past clients represent a wealth of new business in years to come if the relationship is nourished and kept up after the sale. The problem for some agents is that they lose touch

For real estate agents, past clients represent a wealth of new business in years to come if the relationship is nourished and kept up after the sale. The problem for some agents is that they lose touch with past clients after doing business with them, but there are a few reasons you should devote extra time to making sure you remain connected. In generations past, people often bought their home and stayed there for their entire lives, sometimes even leaving the property to following generations. Today, people are far more mobile than ever before. For real estate agents, there are two big reasons to maintain contact with past clients: They May Need Your Services in the Future. People rarely stay in the same home for the duration of their lives and many people also invest in other properties. Return business is great because you build an ongoing relationship of trust and friendship. It’s much easier to keep a current client happy than to try and obtain a new one. Happy Clients Recommend You to Others. Even for clients who will rarely, if ever, need your services again, it's important that you maintain a positive experience and connection. These clients will often have friends and acquaintances who are looking to purchase or sell homes and that can mean a great pipeline of referral business for you. We even see this with our real estate school. The great majority of our new students have been referred to us by a former one. 4 Ways to Rekindle a Connection with Past Clients If you haven't previously made it a point to market to past clients, you're not alone. Many agents lose or drop contact with one-time clients over the course of months or years since a sale. The good news is that it's never too late to reconnect. Here are a few ways you can reach out to old clients to build an ongoing relationship. Start By Going Through Your Past Client Lists. The first step to rebuild these relationships is setting some time aside to go through your past sales. Review notes and old emails on clients to give yourself a quick refresher on who they are and their lifestyle. As an agent, you deal with a lot of people throughout the day, so taking the time to review all the past information you have can be a great start. Remember, though, if a good deal of time has passed, that client has likely experienced some major life changes and may be in a different place financially so tread lightly. Send a Personalized Note. A great way to reconnect is by simply being honest. Send them a personal note. This can be through email or physical mail. If you do send a letter by mail, hand addressing it can be great because people are less inclined to see envelopes that are handwritten as sales material. The note can be a simple re-introduction, maybe an apology for not being in touch, and a personal note about something in their life. You can also include your personal social media accounts and contact information and let them know you'd like to stay in touch. Acknowledge an Anniversary. If sending a note out of the blue sounds a bit awkward to you, it's always great to go with the old stand by of sending a card or note for an occasion. This might be the anniversary of the purchase of their home or their birthday. Find Them on Social Media. Social media can often be the best way to resume contact with old clients. People often accept friend requests from a wide variety of contacts. Take some time to hunt for your past clients on your favorite platforms and use those channels to reconnect. You might include a personal note right when you reach out or once they've accepted your request to connect. Ways to Maintain an Ongoing Connection There are a lot of ways to reconnect with old clients, but maintaining that relationship is the real goal. Here are a few ways that you can cultivate an ongoing relationship with these contacts so that you stay in their thoughts if they ever need an agent for future real estate dealings. Send a Thank You for Referrals. If a past client referred you to someone, make sure you acknowledge that. You can send them a quick thank you note to show your gratitude for the trust and recommendation. Plan a Coffee or Small Gathering. Small events can be a great way to maintain a connection. You can host a small thank you event for past clients or offer a seminar on some aspect of property ownership. There are a million different ways to plan an event that make it worthwhile for contacts to attend and it gives you the opportunity to build an in person relationship. If your office has a large training room consider using that as free space to host your event. Send Them Updates On Property Sales in Their Neighborhood. Many people really appreciate knowing when a home goes on the market in their area. They may also be interested in knowing when one sold, so they can introduce themselves to new neighbors. Keep Them In Your Future Marketing Lists. Whether you send out email campaigns or routinely do newsletters to give your prospects worthwhile information, it's a great touch to keep past clients in the funnel on these efforts.  Past clients can represent a great market for future sales and you've already cultivated their goodwill by doing a great job on the property needs they've had so far. If you've let a lot of time lapse between contact, it's still worth your time to try to reconnect when possible. If you are considering taking online real estate classes call us at 888 768 5285 and we can help you get enrolled For additional ideas, check out this blog:How to Keep in Touch with Real Estate Clients Using Email Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Real Estate Is About People, Personalities, and Emotions

Real estate agents shaking hands of clients and smiling

Real estate is most often thought of as being a numbers business. This is probably because it’s an intricate business that includes heavy regulations, lots of red tape, and major financial intricacies.

Real estate is most often thought of as being a numbers business. This is probably because it’s an intricate business that includes heavy regulations, lots of red tape, and major financial intricacies. For many people, their home purchase represents their largest investment. With that in mind, agents sometimes concentrate on the business and legal sides of real estate.  While you certainly don't want to overlook the hard and fast figures, real estate agents need to remember that the core of our industry is people. Unlike other investments, the home you buy is less about the money as it is about emotion. If you need a statistic to back up that premise, look no further than reporting suggesting that staging a home makes it sell faster. Of course, real estate agents know that the psychology of staging a home is all about helping prospective buyers imagine the life they would have once they purchased their home. It's not about the dollars. It's about the quality of life. How to Approach Real Estate in a People Centric Way Whether you're a new real estate school student, experienced agent or investor in properties, it's important that you understand that the end client is looking for more than a great financial investment. That's not to say that buyers and renters aren't looking at the bottom line at all. People have budgets they need to adhere to. But when they do make a final decision on where they're going to live, they're going to choose the best home that meets their lifestyle and emotional goals within a given price range. For a real estate agent, this means meeting your clients' needs in a proactive way. You have to recognize that they're not only investing in a property, they're planning the kind of life they want to have. The neighborhood and community will play into their decision almost as much as the actual structure of the home. This is why so many real estate agents use drones and spend a great deal of time learning as much as possible about the neighborhoods. These extra insights help you find the right community and neighborhood for your specific buyer. A couple with a young family may be more interested in a neighborhood with a lot of family friendly activities and amenities. On the other hand, a single professional might be more concerned with culture, nightlife, and easy access to travel. Finding the right home for a buyer is about finding the right atmosphere, too. A great agent will listen to the types of things their buyer is saying and ask pointed questions about the type of life they enjoy. A buyer might not know all the things they're looking for until they see it, but the right agent will have a great way of getting to know the buyer and showing them all the amenities in a property and area that they will love and appreciate.  It's Not Only About the Property, It's Also About the Experience Real estate is a bit of a juggling act. You have to know the ins and outs of contracts and loan documentation. You need to know the neighborhoods and market pricing. You need to be up to date on the latest construction and property trends. But the biggest piece of the puzzle is your ability to connect with your buyer. The home buyer's experience should be a primary goal for any agent. This includes listening to what they're looking for and having the knowledge and foresight to find the best properties that meet their ideal home needs. A great agent knows how important this purchase is for the buyer. A home is unlike any other purchase because, at the end of the day, you're investing in the place that you will raise your family and make your memories. An agent needs to place customer service as the highest priority. In any business, you want to be receptive to the client and always follow through on the things you agree to - like making sure you remember meetings and scheduled showings. In the real estate industry, you may also need to do a bit more hand holding with some clients.  It can't be overstated how important this purchase is to the client. They may want to view a property more times than average or have extra questions about the property history. Ideally, as an agent, it isn't just about getting the client to purchase. It's making sure that they are happy with their home for years to come. The big reason I wanted to write this blog post is because I want all our real estate license students to realize that the experience of buying a property is almost as important as the property itself. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Is Buying a Foreclosure Still a Good Idea? We Break Down the Pros and Cons

Foreclosure for sale sign on front lawn of house

Many people who are in the market for a home consider purchasing a foreclosure for various reasons. The two most common motivating factors include getting an inexpensive place to live and purchasing so-called

Many people who are in the market for a home consider purchasing a foreclosure for various reasons. The two most common motivating factors include getting an inexpensive place to live and purchasing so-called "investment properties" that can be renovated and sold for a nice profit. There's nothing inherently wrong with these concepts, and a good number of buyers do indeed find major bargains. But like everything else in the world of real estate, there are pros and cons to purchasing a house that is in foreclosure. The best way to approach the question is to look at what it means for a property to be categorized as "foreclosed," and what the most common advantages and disadvantages are when it comes to buying foreclosed properties. Learning how to invest in real estate can be an important tool for any consumer. What is a Foreclosure? In the broadest terms, a property becomes a foreclosure when the original owners can no longer make the payments and the bank takes ownership and possession of the home. At that point, buyers aren't dealing with the former owners of the house. They're buying directly from the bank (different than a short sale discussed below). Banks don't like being in the home-selling business, so they're often anxious to unload whatever houses they are holding in inventory. There are lots of reasons a home can go into foreclosure, but the inability of the original owners to honor the terms of the original note is the most common scenario.  What are the Main Advantages of Buying a Foreclosure? Foreclosures can be attractive buys for a number of reasons: Low price: The most common advantage for buyers is a price that could be lower than market value. In some cases, banks are willing to accept offers that are less than you would pay if the home were being sold by its original owners. As far as banks are concerned, the high level goal of selling a home is to recoup their investment. If they can do that, and if there aren't several other buyers bidding the price up, then they're usually glad to get the asset off their books and into your possession through a sale. Prices on foreclosures can be lower than market value. Title can still be clear: If you are buying an REO from a real estate broker and there is a standard escrow you can often get title insurance on it guaranteeing that the title is free of clouds. Financing is virtually the same: In many cases, you can still use FHA, VA or conventional financing options to purchase a foreclosure. The only difference is that you're submitting your bid to a bank rather than a person. Expect the bank to make a counter-offer if they aren't happy with your first bid. Investment opportunities: If you don't plan to live in the house and have the funds for upgrading or repairing it, then a foreclosure can be a smart way to invest in a potentially profitable piece of real estate. Some people have slowly built up a small portfolio of homes for sale by acquiring low-cost foreclosures and having them repaired. What are the Disadvantages of Buying a Foreclosed Home? There's a downside to buying foreclosed homes. Here are common disadvantages: Closing can take a long time: Depending on the reason the home went into foreclosure, it might take you several months to close on the property after you decide to buy it. If you're in a hurry, or need to use the house as your main residence, time may not be on your side. This is more true with a short sale. A short sale is different from a bank-owned foreclosure because the seller is not the lender in a short sale. The reason that short sales can take a longer amount of time to go through is because in a short sale, the seller needs approval from their lender to sell the property for less than the amount owed on the home. This third-party approval can take time to process. Condition is usually "as-is": This is the main disadvantage of buying a foreclosed home. The condition is often quite bad and you have to do your best to figure out how much it will cost to bring it up to par. Generally banks selling foreclosures are exempt from providing a buyer with many of the disclosures that you would otherwise get from the prior owner. That means a thorough inspection at the very least. Next, you'll need to hire one or more contractors to give you estimates for repair work. Perhaps the roof needs to be replaced or there are plumbing problems. You'll need to be approved and have good credit: You need to check with your lender and see if you can get approved for financing on a foreclosure. That typically means you'll need at least "good" credit and perhaps much better than good. Like any real estate deal, do not venture into the foreclosure market until you get a go-ahead from your own lender. There's a reason it's still on the market: Foreclosed properties that have been up for bids for a may have "hidden problems." Think of it this way: why have so many other potential buyers passed on the chance to buy the house? By far, the most common reason is the condition and the potential cost to repair it. The Big Picture The key point to keep in mind is that buying a foreclosed property can be either a very good or very bad financial move. You have to perform your own due diligence and find out what the pros and cons of a specific property are. Are extensive repairs needed? Do you have the funds to bring the house up to a high standard of quality and sell it for a profit, or live in it comfortably? Will your lender approve your application to purchase a foreclosed property? Are you ready to have the home inspected and take care of the necessary repairs? Are there unknown facts about why the property has been on the market, with no buyers, for x number of days? Be sure to do a thorough analysis and try to get answers to all your questions. One thing that can be of great help is working with a Realtor who specializes in foreclosures. That way, you'll have the added advantage of expert advice every step of the way. What's the bottom line on buying foreclosures? If you take your time, work with a professional and do plenty of research, it's possible to find good deals. But never approach the process if you're in a rush, know nothing about the real estate market or are expecting to guarantee yourself a quick profit. If you are interested in learning more about the real estate market or becoming a real estate agent so you can invest on your own, call us at 888-768-5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

3 Things That Productive Real Estate Agents Understand

Real estate agent drinking coffee to stay productive during day

Whether you are a brand-new real estate agent trying to launch a career or are a seasoned agent looking to increase production I wanted to write a quick article for you. The below is a list of some of

Whether you are a brand-new real estate agent trying to launch a career or are a seasoned agent looking to increase production I wanted to write a quick article for you. The below is a list of some of the common traits I have observed in successful real estate agents. Whether you are considering enrolling in a real estate class or are about to take a crash course to prepare for the real estate license exam the below list should prove useful 1. Manage Your Energy Level Being able to run at a high level for a sustained period is critical to your success as a Realtor. It isn’t enough to just say “Work smarter and not harder.” You have to do both. Managing your energy level throughout the day is critical so you can work as hard as possible and continue to push. The reason that this is so important is because many real estate agents and other outside salespeople tend to eat poorly, work long hours and lack consistent exercise. The highest producing real estate people consciously try and escape this trap. How do they do this? A consistent eating schedule of things that (for the most part) fuel their energy long-term - meaning plenty of vegetables, fruit and water. This also means a consistent program of vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes a day on a ritualistic basis. 2. Focus on Improving One Area at A Time There is a famous proverb that says “If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither.” The best businesspeople attack and focus on one target at a time, reach it and move to the next goal. The secret is to cut up each goal into bite sized pieces that you can accomplish in short bursts so that you can rapidly move on to reaching the next one. For example, if your goal is to have a better listing presentation, you might cut the entire presentation into 1/3 pieces. The first third might be the verbal presentation itself. The second third might be the physical presentation and other collateral material. The final step might be objection handling practice. The best agents don’t move on to tweaking their physical presentation until their verbal presentation is right. Breaking the broad goal of “I want to have a better listing presentation” into pieces like this will result in the broader goal being achieved but in a shorter period of time. 3. Start with Baby Steps, Then Accelerate It’s an interesting thing when I talk to newer real estate agents about their goals. I will often ask students why they want to get into real estate and what they plan on getting out of the course and their new career. Often they will say things like “I want to be rich!” Or “I want to make $250,000 my first year!” I never want to crush someone’s dream or tell them that the thing they seem to want so badly isn’t possible. I think back to when I was a young 20 year old starting out in the business and if someone told me that my goals were unrealistic I would have dismissed them as being too negative and pessimistic. With that being said, setting goals just for the sake of sounding overly ambitious can be dangerous and not useful. The best businesspeople set rational and attainable goals with specific deadlines. In the context of real estate sales this process might involve initially calculating how much you need to live on a monthly basis. Next, determine your average sales price in your area and the average commission per deal. Finally, ask yourself how many deals you need to do to achieve that income amount. Example: Average sales price = $600,000 Average commission = 2.5% Average commission= $15,000 My expenses = $7,000 per month Needed income = $84,000 per year I need to sell 6 homes per year to survive. My goal = 6 homes per year Once you have proven that doing 6 deals a year is possible, you can then set loftier goals. Remember that being great doesn’t happen by accident and a process must be followed. I would encourage you at this early stage of your real estate career to adopt habits and set goals that give you the greatest chance of success in a highly competitive industry. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

5 Ways to Making a Great First Impression: A Real Estate Agents Guide

New blog3

When you're in sales, the first impression can be the gateway to success. For real estate agents, it's the first step down a long and potentially lucrative path. The good news is that working on your first

When you're in sales, the first impression can be the gateway to success. For real estate agents, it's the first step down a long and potentially lucrative path. The good news is that working on your first impression will serve not just your career, but every other relationship you have in life. I wanted to write a blog post to take you through what a solid first impression looks like, how it helps you better relate to your clients, and what their takeaway will mean for your bottom line. How to Create a Great First Impression 1. The Basics Most of making a good first impression is common sense. However, just because it's easy to understand, doesn't mean it's easy to do. Even natural extroverts have to continually practice their manners and mannerisms before they get it right. Smile: Nearly half of all Americans say that the smile is the most memorable feature after meeting someone new. A fresh-faced smile sends a signal to people that you're happy to work with them and you're ready to get the work done. Focus: When it comes to meeting new clients, the nervousness of making a good first impression can be enough to force your head down. Eye contact is both polite and helps forge an instant connection with clients. Listen: Anyone who's ever dealt with a salesperson knows how frustrating it can be to feel as though your words are going straight into the wind. Active listening means paying attention, asking questions, and responding to the clients' real concerns. 2. Dig a Little Deeper A first impression is more than just following the basics. Picture the guy with the comically huge grin plastered on his face, the woman with off putting eye contact, or the agent who effusively responds to every statement as if it's the most fascinating thing they've ever heard. In the strictest sense of the word, they're smiling, listening, and focusing, but they still aren't leaving the right impression. To really master the directions, you need to practice sincerity with each step. Express genuine emotion when appropriate, but remember that subtlety can also go a long way. Give a small grin when meeting people and save the teeth for the last minute. Follow-up on client statements that are vague or need further information. Blink normally when making eye contact and don't be afraid of looking down for a second if the conversation is getting too intense. 3. Practice Makes Perfect Practicing your first impression doesn't necessarily mean going to your local bar and talking to endless strangers. It can be as simple as setting up role-playing with people you already know and trust. Have them provide honest feedback and constructive criticism about the sincerity of your smile, the volume of your voice, and the firmness of your handshake. These comments can go a long way if you're trying to understand how other people see you during their first interaction. When you're shaking someone's hand, look into their eyes and strike a balance between death grip and limp. Use the first name as quickly as possible during the conversation so you're less likely to forget their names halfway through. Make sure that you’re annunciating your words and the volume of your voice is appropriate for the context of the environment. 4. Do Your Prep Work Once you've taken care of some of the more subjective aspects of the first impression, you should have a much easier time addressing the more practical work of meeting someone. Being prepared can be as simple as getting to a meeting early or donning a sports coat or blazer to make your outfit just a touch more professional. Before you meet with clients, it helps to know as much as possible about what they're looking for. Even if it's as simple as knowing they want a duplex rather than a single-family. The art of sales can get complicated, so it helps to hit the ground running. 5. Express Yourself As tempting as it can be to remain neutral during your meeting, blandness will ultimately not help you be memorable. The truth is that even the most successful real estate agent may turn off a client or two with their personality, but it's ultimately better than being seen as forgettable. You can still be polite and respectful while expressing your personal opinions. To stay on topic and to maximize the first few seconds with a client, some agents may give a short elevator speech where they emphasize their particular brand. So whether you're a bulldog in negotiations or the master of the short escrow, letting clients know upfront can be a good way to stand out. Unlike most traditional sales, successfully navigating a property sale can take months or longer. If you hope to maintain your reputation and relationship with your clients for that long, you need to get off on the right foot. Use these tips to stand out from the crowd, so you're the one who ends up growing customer base. This may be a slightly different blog post than I normally write, but so many of our real estate school students express their nervousness in meeting clients early in their careers. Hope this helps. If you are interested in taking online real estate courses please visit our website or call us at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

What to Do When You Have a Difficult Client

Realtor shaking hands with client over coffee

Welcome to the world of people. Some clients you have are going to be just terrific. Others can make you regret getting into the real estate business altogether. Most are probably going to be somewhere

Welcome to the world of people. Some clients you have are going to be just terrific. Others can make you regret getting into the real estate business altogether. Most are probably going to be somewhere in between. With that said, one of the benefits of working in our real estate business is the ability to work one-on-one with people. Not only are you helping to fill their needs, but also create positive, long-lasting relationships in many cases. Remember that after you finish real estate school with us and get out into the real world you’re going to find that not all people are as easy to deal with as you might like. Sometimes, you’re going to have a client that is.. well.. let’s just call them challenging. Whether you are a seasoned real estate agent or a new Realtor who just passed the real estate license exam, there are a few simple things you can do to make these difficult relationships easier to manage. #1: Keep Your Calm No matter how awful the things are that the client may be saying, it’s essential to remain professional. If you have to rant and get some of your frustrations off your chest do so in private (not with agents or other clients). It is always important to keep the focus on the transaction. Remember, you do not have to work with them again. Consider this. When a client is difficult, you may feel as though they are not worth your time or energy. Keep in mind that some difficult clients may be self-aware enough to recognize this about themselves. If you stick with them long term, they are more likely to continue the process and transact. They may even surprise you and refer you other business. It’s not always going to be easy, but it can be necessary to stick it out and maintain your composure and professionalism. #2: Listen to Their Underlying Concerns What happens if you encounter is a client that’s seemingly always unhappy? They complain about every property even though they’ve just asked to see it. They may say that the price is too high and the neighborhood isn’t good enough. A true leader can recognize that constant negative behavior like this may point to a larger, underlying problem. Sit down with your client and talk about what you’ve looked at and the concerns you have had thus far. Then, ask them what they really want. Try to uncover their concerns. Are they truly ready to buy? Perhaps they are not sure if they have their finances teed up. In other cases, they may be be a fear of completing the purchase and make this type of commitment. Their complaints are just symptomatic of another issue. Bear in mind that there are situations where their concerns will be valid. Perhaps they don’t feel you’re putting enough time into them or that you aren’t giving them what they need. It’s important to get them to clarify the root of the problem so that you can address it and move on. #3: Respond to Them Sooner Let’s say a client contacts you at 9 pm. What he or she said is irritating to you. You want to clarify the situation, but it’s already so late. Are you going to spend the night tossing and turning as a result of this situation? If so, it’s better to respond now and get it over with, so you can sleep. The key here is when a client raises a concern about any factor, make it a priority to get it figured out as soon as you can. This helps to validate the client’s concerns. That doesn’t mean you are agreeing with them or even accepting any type of blame. Rather, you are simply moving things forward to the next step in the process. Be sure to restate their claim or concern. For example, you might say, “Thank you for your email. I understand you are concerned with the timing of this sale….” You do not have to provide a solution right away, but you can tell the client you’re working on it or set up a time to talk about it. #4: Let Go of Fear Let’s say there is a client that just downright doesn’t understand the rules of the game. The buyer may want to underbid every property you show them. What about a seller who is adamant about overpricing the home? Worse yet, what about a seller who is refusing to make proper disclosures to a buyer? In these situations, you may be afraid to lose the client, but you have to step outside of that fear. Be frank and honest with your clients all of the time. Tell them what is going to happen in any given situation. “If we underbid this by that much, we’re going to lose it to a competitor’s bid. Here’s what I think we should do.” Or, state, “It’s legally required to communicate this information. If you are not willing to do that, I need to step away from this relationship to protect my real estate license.” Sometimes, you have to say what they need to hear frankly. Taking charge like this doesn’t mean being aggressive, but it means reminding them, in a positive way, that you know what you are doing. #5: Find a Solution as a Priority When clients are difficult, there is generally a reason for this. Your goal is not to ignore that concern. Rather, it is to find a compromise or solution that works for them. We are in the business of helping people, and that often means figuring out what they want and need without them clarifying this. There will be times when you will miss the mark or make a mistake. The great real estate agent will admit those mistakes and find a solution to recover the client. How can you improve this situation if you were wrong? On the other hand, if the client is wrong, you may want to throw your hands up and walk away. Before you do that, explain what’s happening. Then, offer more than one solution. By giving your client an option, you put the ball in their court. They now remain in charge of the outcome. Difficult clients happen in every business. As you work to build your real estate career, you will find that there are 10 good clients for every bad one. Those are good odds, and it can mean that that one individual is pushing you to become a better agent, one that has to step outside of their comfort zone to support their client and your real estate sales business. I’m always looking to bring our readers value. If I can be of service, please let me know. Feel free to reach out on Instagram or by phone at 888 768 5285. Side note - If you read this and aren’t scared away at the prospect of real estate sales and want to enroll in our real estate school, feel free to do so here. We would love to have you as our newest student! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Are The Holidays A Good Time To Sell A Home?

Christmas tree with presents in living room

Happy holidays! Did you finish your real estate license courses as yet? Have you prepared for the real estate exam? In a way, I almost feel bad for our real estate school students who get their real

Happy holidays! Did you finish your real estate license courses as yet? Have you prepared for the real estate exam? In a way, I almost feel bad for our real estate school students who get their real estate licenses during the holidays. Becoming a Realtor in December can be a tough thing. A common objection that real estate agents get around this time of year is that sellers and buyers say they want to “wait until after the 1st”. While potential clients are waiting you aren’t earning. I wanted to write an article to answer the question of “Is selling your home during the holidays, a good idea?” Traditionally, home selling during November and December can be a bit slower depending on your market. People often put it off until the New Year for no real reason other than the perception might be that the first quarter of the next year is better than the fourth quarter of the prior one. It’s important to recognize that there is no “best time” to sell a property - the best time is when your client is ready to move. There are a few key reasons why selling during the holidays could be the ideal choice.  If you have clients that are on the fence about moving now, communicate the following as to why this could be the perfect time to list. There Are Far Fewer Homes on the Market Perhaps the most compelling reason to list during the holidays is that there tends to be less competition. Depending on where you live, inventory can be a concern. People are buying homes throughout the year – including the final quarter. At the same time, fewer sellers list at this time, creating more opportunities for your listing to sell faster and for more money. Compare this to the spring and early summer when there are more listings that tend to hit the market. This increase in supply can contribute to more of a buyer’s market as supply increases which can drive marketing times up and prices to soften. When your home hits the market during the holidays and it fits a buyer’s needs, and it’s the only one that does, buyer don’t have that luxury of tire-kicking. This can work in your favor as a seller every time. You Might Sell Faster, Too Along with that increased demand for your property is the likelihood that your home will sell faster. Redfin did a study back in 2013 that found homes listed during the fall and winter months sold 65 percent of the time – which is more than any other time of the year. They also found that homes that sold between December 21st through March 21st sold closest to their listing price. For sellers, this means a sale more likely closer to list price. Holidays Buyers Are More Committed When selling a home during the spring and summer months, you’ll find that many of the showings rarely write offers. While that may be for many reasons, one key fact is that many people looking at homes during summer might not be ready to buy. They are browsing or window shopping during the summer. The weather is nicer and open houses can be a “thing to do” on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, buyers looking for a home during the winter months are likely to be far more serious. They are ready and tend to be qualified buyers, too. Consider why this may be. A person buying a home in December probably does not want to spend all of their extra time going from home to home – there’s much more to do. Family might be in town during the holiday season, the kids may be off of school - personal time is at a premium this time of yet. Net-net wintertime buyers are often serious buyers and ready to go. You Can Create Some Holiday Magic to Show Off Your Home Though you shouldn’t overdo it, adding a bit of holiday magic to your listing can be an excellent way to move buyers into action. For example, if you live in an area where people routinely decorate for the season, adding a few holiday decorations and creating a formal, but elegant display can help people see themselves in that home next year, doing the same. In other words, the holidays can work for you here. As a real estate agent, the holidays present an opportunity to light up the fireplace and to bake some cookies, too. Why go to this trouble? You’re setting the stage and creating an opportunity for the potential buyers looking at your listing to see what life could be like if they buy from you. What other time of the year is your home as inviting? The holidays can be magical. People Moving for Jobs Need Homes Before January Many people switch positions and relocate around the beginning of the year meaning they might be forced or at least incentivized into buying a home in December. You may find that this creates an influx of buyers for you in the last few weeks of the year. If you live in an area where job growth is plentiful and high-paying positions are common, this is a key reason to take listings now rather than wait until the New Year. When Is The Best Time To List A Home for Sale? There’s no right answer to this question. We should be ready to help our clients whenever they need it and do what’s in their best interest. The perceived benefit of waiting until the spring months to list might not be real. Remember that the spring and summer periods are when sellers may have increased competition to sell. If you are considering enrolling in our real estate license school, please feel free to reach out on Instagram or call the office at 888 768 5285. We are always happy to help! Just like selling a home, starting real estate school to get your real estate license doesn’t have a “best time”. The best time is when you are ready. There’s no time like the present! I'm looking forward to having you as our newest student! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to build a real estate website

Person building a real estate website using wordpress

I don’t think that anyone can deny that nearly every business should have a website of some sort.  To the extent you can, it’s far better to control your own digital footprint rather than have the

I don’t think that anyone can deny that nearly every business should have a website of some sort.  To the extent you can, it’s far better to control your own digital footprint rather than have the world do it for you.   According to one recent study, an incredible 93% of all interactions between a business and its customers begin in the exact same way: with a search engine like Google. For that reason alone, the quality and execution of your real estate website is of paramount importance - especially in those fragile early days of your career. OK so you finished real estate school and have passed the real estate license exam and obtained your real estate license. Your career can begin in earnest. But without the right, thoughtfully designed website to make your presence known, you're not going to get as far as quickly. Thankfully, designing the perfect real estate website - one that is compelling, that properly speaks to what you do and your value proposition - isn't necessarily as difficult as you might think. All it requires is the right approach, and for you to keep a few core things in mind. Understand Your Goals Before you think about the actual design of your website, you need to come to terms with exactly what that design needs to do. Yes, there's a certain element of marketing at play here in that your website is supposed to be selling something. Only instead of pitching your products and services, in our real estate business you're really selling the most valuable asset of all: yourself. But even more than that, you need to understand that your website is more than just an advertisement. It's a way to make people aware of your unique perspective on the real estate industry, it's an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your market and it's a way to begin building trust - essentially all at the same time. If your site comes off as little more than an expanded advertisement that someone might see when searching through Google, you're not going to be able to do any of those things. Therefore, your real estate website needs to be genuine, honest, informative and legitimately helpful - all in equal measure. These four qualities need to inform every decision you make moving forward, from design all the way down to the type of content you create and share. Get Specific With It There's a common misconception out there that the right real estate website needs to appeal to the largest audience that it can. But the truth is that your visitors will rarely come to your site looking for a home across an entire state, or even in a larger city. They're going to be looking for information on current listings in specific neighborhoods, and you need to be able to capitalize on that. All of this is to say that you shouldn't build your site in a way that claims you're an authority on "real estate in California" or even "real estate in San Diego, California." Hone in on specific neighborhoods and communities that you have the most experience with. Integrate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Internet Data Exchange (IDX) search capabilities into your site in a way that allows people to focus their efforts on those places they really want to live in. Establish yourself as an authority at first in a few specifically targeted areas and work on building your reputation - and your client list - over time. You can always expand your focus later as your business does the same, but in those early days don't be afraid to get as granular as you possibly can. It's Also About Supplementary Features Remember that the goal of your real estate website shouldn't JUST be to offer listings for homes in those areas, though. Listing sites are a dime a dozen - the chances are high that people will have seen information about a lot of those current homes in other areas before they ever stumble across your domain. Instead, you need to go above and beyond that idea - turn your site into a true informational and educational resource in every sense of those words. You should absolutely be writing blog posts that give insight on current trends in the industry. Poke around my blog.  I’ve been in our business for almost 20 years and I have written over 200 articles and recorded over 1,400 videos on real estate topics.  This helps to establish me as an industry expert.  Remember, however, that I started out just like you - 0 followers and 0 content.  It takes time and consistency to make it work.  The sheer volume of content being produced every second is making it harder and harder to get noticed.  This underscores the fact that you have to pump out as much high quality content as possible to get known. So what to do?  As a new agent take the time to write a few hundred words that take an important real estate topic and break it down in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. Write about what people should look for in a first home and what they shouldn't be focusing so much of their attention on, for example. Try and integrate videos, a comment section, mortgage calculators and other things that will make the house hunt as easy as possible. Don't forget that you're not just trying to get someone to buy or sell a home. You're trying to convince them to buy or sell a home with YOU. To get to that point, people need to see you as an authority - articles and videos go a long way towards establishing precisely that. Reviews, and Lots of Them Last but not least we arrive at the concept of reviews - something that is particularly important in terms of your long-term success in real estate. People aren't just going to take your word for it that you know what you're talking about. Real estate has always been built on relationships - someone wants to buy a new home and they immediately turn to their friends and say "hey, do you know anybody I can call for help?" The Internet operates in exactly the same way, to the point where a massive 90% of people who responded to a survey who read online reviews claimed that those positive reviews absolutely influenced their eventual buying decision. When you close on a deal with a client, ask them to write you a review. Then, get that review up on your website as soon as you can. Then, share those reviews on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter - which should also be integrated into your site. Do this as often as you possibly can. This will help you establish social proof, which truly is the currency of the modern era. The more someone sees that others value what you do, the sooner they'll start to value it, too. At that point, you'll have a steady stream of hot new leads headed straight to your door. At the end of the day don’t be afraid to shine and show off a little.  If you can add value somewhere by earning a 5 star review or writing a blog or recording a video do it!  Don’t be afraid to show the world that you are a real estate expert and you know what you’re doing.   If I can be of service, please let me know.  You can connect on Instagram here or reach out by phone at 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Why weekends matter to the entrepreneur

Weekends matter entreprenuer

It’s Saturday and I’m at a local coffee shop banging away on the keyboard.  I like working on stuff like this on Saturday and Sundays.  It’s quiet.   Yes i have a few people in the office today,

It’s Saturday and I’m at a local coffee shop banging away on the keyboard.  I like working on stuff like this on Saturday and Sundays.  It’s quiet.   Yes i have a few people in the office today, but it’s nothing like the sometimes pandemonium associated with a weekday.   I wanted to write a quick article about why weekends matter to the entrepreneur because it’s not hard to argue that there’s never been a better time to start your own business. Between the ability to reach a large audience and access to technology, individual people with great ideas and a solid work ethic have a better chance to succeed in today's market. However, that does not make success an easy thing to achieve. Statistics indicate that around 62% of adults think that becoming an entrepreneur can be an excellent career. When you break down those numbers, though, you'll find that nearly 50% think they themselves are equipped to become an entrepreneur and 40% believe it's easy. Let's just cut to the chase — the people who think it's easy are mistaken. Ask any entrepreneur who has even a modicum of success and they have likely taken ridiculous risks and worked very hard to make their baby fly. Notwithstanding those “entrepreneurs” who have “Phds”.  If you're wondering, a PhD means “Papa Has Dough”.  For the most part, I’m not talking about those who had a family member give them money to “start their own thing”.  I’m talking about the real entrepreneurs who started from nothing and actually built something great.   Entrepreneurship sounds like a great business because Instagram and other social media outlets inundate us with information about the benefits of being self-employed. Some of this propaganda includes an excitement about the work you're doing, the ability to make a living doing the things you love and being your own boss. What you might not be aware of is that small business owners often work longer much longer hours than their employees. At least they do if they're building a successful business. I'm not totally complaining about the glamour that the Internet has put on the business of real estate.  It's helped push lots of people to enroll in our real estate license school and pass the real estate exam. Still, it's important to remember that there is only so much time in a day and time is your most valuable commodity. This is why many entrepreneurs work every day and set their schedules so that they can optimize the time when they're working. If you have a great idea and are launching your business, here are some reasons you should consider working weekends. Why Entrepreneurs Don't Follow the Typical Weekend Schedules For a typical employee, there are set number of days where  work is required and specified days off. The most common model by far is Monday through Friday, 9-5. This may vary but, for the most part, Saturday and Sunday are days off to catch up on personal errands or spend time with family and friends. These are the reset days for the typical working world. For an entrepreneur, taking these days off completely may not be possible if they want their business to thrive. Because the rest of the businesses they deal with are likely closed on one or both of those days, the weekend becomes a fantastic time for entrepreneurs to catch up, refocus, and innovate. This doesn't mean that you have to work around the clock to run a successful business. In fact, doing that can easily lead to burnout. A work/life balance is important for healthy relationships outside of your career. But most entrepreneurs do find ways to use their hours creatively to improve their productivity. This might mean taking downtime on a weekday so that you can work through the weekend. It might also mean working part of the day on a weekend so that you can participate in social events around your work schedule. Benefits to Using Weekends for Work Time There are a few reasons that entrepreneurs work through many of their weekends. Here are a few benefits to working through other peoples' downtime: • Fewer Distractions. Working on a weekend allows you more time to focus uninterrupted. This is true whether you're a business owner or work on a team. Because your clients and other professionals usually don't work on Saturday or Sunday, you won't have to spend time fielding calls from clients, attending conference calls, or attending to different things that might pop up during a regular business day. This gives you the uninterrupted time you need to focus on a single task. • Time to Plan. Weekdays tend to fly by with many demands and few chances to catch up. This is especially true for small business owners who often take charge of multiple aspects of their company. With the rest of the world off the clock, the weekend gives you time to assess your previous week. You can check to make sure you've stayed on schedule with assigned tasks (and catch up on tasks you didn't get to). This time is also a great way to plan ahead for the following week. If you choose a day over the weekend to plan and assess your progress every week, you'll be more likely to keep your benchmarks in mind and achieve short term and long term goals. • Less Rigid Schedule. Working on weekends doesn't have to feel like you never get a day off. You don't necessarily have to work from the office and you can even plan your hours to suit your mood. I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now with my laptop and a latte.  It feels little less like work when I’m in a pair of Jordan’s and jeans as opposed to a suit and tie.  There Are Down Sides, Too Successful entrepreneurs build their businesses to a large degree because they've put in the work and effort. That does come with sacrifices. While it's true that many small business owners use weekend hours to help them get ahead, that doesn't mean it's always easy. For lots of us including myself the work is something we love and are excited about. We often enjoy putting in long hours and have a sense of pride and purpose in what we are doing. However, that doesn't mean it's always easy to spend your Saturdays and Sundays working when the rest of the world is getting that time to take care of their personal needs. Here are a few negative points to working weekends that you should be prepared to navigate: • Loved Ones May Not Understand. If your significant other is on the “regular” world schedule, they may not understand the long hours you put in at your company and it can lead to arguments. • Most Personal/Social Obligations Are On Weekends. This is especially true if you have children but even single people will find their social calendar is mostly full of events on weekends. • You Miss Out On Some Great Events. It's not all about obligations. Working those hours also means you'll miss out on fun events that you'd enjoy attending.  A football game in the middle of a Sunday might be something that is playing on the TV or online in the background as opposed to you being able to physically attend the game.   Building a thriving business means working longer hours than you would as an employee. That's simply a truth. Weekends offer you hours to catch up and get ahead of your competition. I’m always looking to bring you value.  If there is anything I can do to help, please reach out on Instagram or call the office at 888 768 5285.   If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, please call me or my team. We are happy to be of service. Love, Kartik 
Practical advice for real estate agents

How to Write Winning Ad Copy for Real Estate  

Real estate agent typing ad copy on her laptop

A little different type of blog from me this time. I wanted to write something for those that have already finished our real estate license courses and are working in the field.   I was browsing some

A little different type of blog from me this time. I wanted to write something for those that have already finished our real estate license courses and are working in the field.   I was browsing some listings on the MLS recently and was horrified at some of the pictures agents were uploading but even worse was of the copy used to describe the listings.  Problems with syntax, punctuation and tense were not uncommon.  If you have a listing now or are going to take one soon, I would recommend making sure your ad copy is extra tight.  Remember that besides pictures, the ad copy is the most important part of your listing marketing material.   There are really no hard and fast rules for writing real estate ad copy, but guidelines exist to help you capture reader attention and generate responses. The goal is to highlight enough desirable features to prompt an online visitor to click through to the full listing, or to prompt a reader to call for additional information.  The prime directive is to avoid the temptation to "oversell." Use superlatives in moderation and be sparing when including value judgments in your descriptions. Remember that only one home can be the "best value" in a neighborhood, and even that is subjective to the point that it has little meaning to a prospective buyer.  Readers tend to gloss over phrases like value-priced, priced to sell and won't last long. Common terms like amenity-filled, chef's kitchen, memorable views, and stunning architecture are overused and ineffective. The goal is to be descriptive in a manner that is meaningful, while still leaving something to the imagination so that the reader wants to know more. Writing Real Estate Copy 101 Writing ad copy that gets results isn't difficult, but it can require thought. Here are specific elements you can employ to make your efforts more effective. First, define your target audience: Online property descriptions will have a different focus, and a different tone, than a printed brochure or an open house handout. But all copy should include, at minimum, a headline or title. It might be as simple as the property address; however, if you can use a catchy descriptive phrase, do so. Something like "Come Home to a View of the Ninth Hole" would appeal to someone looking for golf course property. Then, add gas to the fire of imagination: Place yourself in the potential buyer's shoes and provide a "hook" that makes them want to continue reading. Focus on the lifestyle that can be theirs if they move into the home. "Enjoy a refreshing cool drink on your expansive poolside patio as you look forward to your next tee time at the award-winning course adjacent to your property." A brief description of the overall appeal of the community and the home's general description can be included here. It can be as brief as you wish, or it might run to several paragraphs, depending on actual space and your purpose. Say something like: "This 3-bedroom, 4-bath, 3-car garage contemporary offers everything necessary for living the good life -- privacy, convenience to schools, shopping and entertainment, an easy commute to the business center, and abundant leisure time enjoyment options with neighbors and friends." Finally, highlight the most important home features: This is where you should strive to paint meaningful word pictures. Be descriptive, but not overly detailed. Leave some specifics out. You might say something like "Old-world craftsmanship is evident in the finishes used throughout the home's 4,200 square feet, especially in the fine wood paneling and bookshelves of the home's private office."  Or, you can point to the evidence of upscale options and trendy finishes that "include an eco-friendly, sustainable choice of recycled glass countertops in the kitchen, low-VOC paint throughout, and main-level flooring crafted from reclaimed timbers." Whatever you write in words is always better when accompanied by professional photographs that graphically illustrate the same features. It's not necessary to include a book's worth of photos, but words and pictures are better when they go hand in hand. There is little more disheartening for a prospective buyer than to read a glowing description of a home spa retreat only to find that there is no photograph of the space included with the listing or in the brochure. Coordinate your efforts with your photographer and your marketing team. Keywords and Buzzwords Define your potential market. Imagine what prospective buyers would type in to an online property search: Don't simply toss around phrases like "high-end finishes, family-friendly neighborhood, or spectacular views." Instead, utilize popular keywords to generate interest, adding filters and qualifiers as needed, such as the city or subdivision. Examples include: • Beachside Cottage • Ski Retreat • Urban Condo • City Lights • Mountain Views • Polished Wood Flooring • Gated Community Know Your Market The copy you write about a high-end home will naturally be different from the copy that describes a mid-price starter home, but the same principles apply. However, don't make the mistake -- in either case -- of believing that buyers on one end of the price spectrum are any less concerned about quality and value, energy savings and sustainability, style and safety, or built-in features and community amenities.  Make every effort to describe a lifestyle rather than listing specific features. Weave specifics into general descriptions of rooms and spaces. While studies have confirmed that online readers appreciate skimmable copy and bullet points, lists can be overused. Typically, 8 to 10 bullet points are sufficient. Always stop short of making your property description simply a "laundry list" of features. To write meaningful copy, acknowledge that there are some home features that should be specifically mentioned:  • A backyard pool, because it can be either a selling point or a deal killer, depending on the buyer; • An eat-in kitchen; • Ensuite baths for each bedroom; • A detached garage, casita or other type of auxiliary building; • Specialty spaces, including an exercise room, home theater or media room, finished attic, in-law or au pair quarters; and oversize lots or adjacent acreage or public land. • Solar panels, or alternative energy provisions, including 240V electric car charging stations. Use your in-depth knowledge of the local market to determine what other features deserve mention, knowing that your decision might vary substantially from one neighborhood to the next, and even from one season to another. Monitor reactions and responses you receive, and adjust the way you write your next property description based on the feedback offered by clients.  Finally, never forget to include your contact and broker information (along with Department of Real Estate license number) and a call to action. You never know who will become your next client, or when and how they will appear. Ensure that you can be reached by anyone in need of your services! Of course if there’s anything I can do for you, including helping you get started in our real estate license courses, please let me know or call 888 768 5285. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Characteristics Of The Most Successful Real Estate Agents

Model display of new housing development project

For those starting in our great real estate business it’s natural to ponder the best way to go about becoming successful. A well-known shortcut between starting a new career and achieving success is

For those starting in our great real estate business it’s natural to ponder the best way to go about becoming successful. A well-known shortcut between starting a new career and achieving success is to model what others before you have done. Observing the most successful people and implementing the best of their strategies is going to ensure your success more quickly than trying to reinvent the wheel altogether.  This is especially true in a simple business like real estate sales. It’s important to recognize that I said “simple” not “easy”. Our real estate sales business is a simple one as long as you do the things daily that are required to succeed. Again, this is a simple process but one that is not always easy. I wrote down a few characteristics of the most successful real estate agents. As you embark on the journey of obtaining your real estate license I would encourage you to be cognizant of how you are implementing the following: THE BEST AGENTS UNDERSTAND THEIR LOCAL MARKET There is an old saying in real estate that “All real estate is local”. To the newer agent this might not make sense but let me explain. Essentially this means that the real estate salesperson that has the most intimate market knowledge and is most deeply connected to the neighborhoods they serve will generally win. Great real estate salespeople tend to be known in the community. They may sponsor the local little league, help out with local garage sales or door knock frequently. They send direct mail postcards every month or post frequently in local Facebook groups or on Whether this connection is established through physical marketing or digital makes little difference. Net-net: The best real estate agents are known in their local marketplace. THEY UNDERSTAND THEIR CLIENTS' NEEDS This one might sound a little too broad to be helpful. You might read the above sentence of “understanding your clients’ needs” and think - “Great but what does this actually mean?” When representing a buyer, for example the best agents have their client requirements nailed down. If the client requests a property with a bedroom and full bathroom downstairs, don’t bother to show them homes that do not. If they are deeply against having a pool, make sure you check this on the MLS and verify with the listing agent before emailing it to them. Getting to know your client and being able to anticipate their needs will go a long way to helping you become a successful real estate agent. THEY HAVE A SYSTEM PERFECTED Do you have a particular time of the day when you're checking emails? Spending time with clients? Marketing your business? Having a schedule for your routine and daily activities will help keep you organized and be sure that nothing falls through the cracks. THEY KEEP THEIR SALES PIPELINE FULL It's one of the things you hear with any real estate sales business. Always be selling. If marketing and prospecting for new clients is a part of your every day routine, you'll never have to worry about a seasonal slow down or slump, because you know that the marketing system you have in place will have the next client through the door soon. Also, if your Facebook ads aren’t doing as well as they normally do A/B test the ads to ensure that you are staying on top of social media trends. Don’t ignore door knocking and telephone prospecting either. These activities might not be the most relished by the real estate professional but they are sure to give you more control over your pipeline. Hit a slump? Talk to more people. DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS AND MAKE CONNECTIONS WITHIN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY Successful real estate agents take the time to build a large network of people in the market that they serve. They don’t limit themselves to creating a database of only past, current, and potential clients. Great real estate agents should also make contacts with other experts within their industry, including appraisers and mortgage loan originators. You’ll have a ready list of vendors to refer your clients to and potentially be on the receiving end of referrals when the time comes. You should also consider building a network of other brokers and agents in outside areas. Remember, it is customary for one broker to pay another broker a referral fee for a client upon closing. (Not among service providers though, that would be. RESPA violation) THEY USE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AND THE INTERNET TO THEIR ADVANTAGE The impact that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have on business are undeniable. Formerly, these platforms were looked at as only a way to connect with friends and family or share photos but they have made their way into the fabric of our society. According to Statista, 91% of U.S. businesses will use social media for marketing purposes. Some of the largest companies in the world are using social media as a way to connect with their customers and potential customers. Why would the individual real estate agent be any different? As a real estate agent, if you aren't using social media, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. At a minimum, each agent should have a Facebook page to reach their potential audience. If you have the budget, a highly-targeted Facebook ad can provide additional reach to new potential clients you may not be able to find through your more traditional marketing mechanisms. THEY ARE PARTICULAR ABOUT THE DETAILS When it comes to selling real estate, the smallest details can make the biggest difference. Things like staging a home or how to position a property in certain markets can be the difference between a good and a great real estate agent. Also the intricate details of the purchase contract or the listing agreement are critical to ensure that your client’s interests are protected. THEY ARE AWARE OF SPEED TO LEAD A saying that I live by in business is that “Time kills all deals”. The best agents know that the sooner they can get back to a lead the more likely they are to convert that lead to a contract. This is especially true regarding Internet leads. Whether you are selling residential or commercial real estate, the best agents know that the sooner they respond to an inquiry the more likely deals are to close. I can’t emphasize this enough - in this day and age speed is probably the most important aspect of sales. The faster you move the more likely you are to win. I’m always looking to bring you value. If I can be of service to you please let me know on Instagram or Facebook. Of course if you are looking to get enrolled in real estate license school, reach out here. Feel free to also call the office at 888 768 5285. Many of our students have gone on to be very successful real estate agents! Click on the link to read success stories from past ADHI School Students! Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

How Real Estate Agents Can Retire

Green car driving along the coast

Those considering a career in the real estate field are frequently drawn to the amount of money they can make on each property they sell. Each commission check can be upwards of $10,000, $20,000 or even

Those considering a career in the real estate field are frequently drawn to the amount of money they can make on each property they sell. Each commission check can be upwards of $10,000, $20,000 or even more. This is great for today because it means when you do work hard you will be rewarded handsomely. But what about tomorrow? What about when you get a little older or lose a little bit of that drive? When you become a Realtor, it’s important to remember that you are in business for yourself and should have a solid financial plan in place that provides for your post-retirement needs. It's exciting to finish real estate school and obtain your real estate license. The early phase of your career is a time to build relationships, learn the trade, and earn money while you establish yourself as a professional. But it's always wise to remember that time waits for no man woman or Realtor. At that point, all your financial planning and regular saving will pay off in the form of a stable, secure retirement income. What about retirement? To be clear, there are a lot of great real estate salespeople and brokers that have absolutely no intention of ever retiring. But there’s a difference between wanting to work and having to work. I think we can all agree that not having to actually show up at some place at some time and have money coming in and available to you would be a great thing. With that said, many Realtors often wonder how secure their retirement will be. After all, if you become a Realtor and work for yourself then you'll need a financial plan in place to take care of your retirement years. Earning a real estate license is simply an early milestone in your career. But what about life after real estate school and your sales career? You'll need to create the right kind of retirement plan for yourself. You can do this alone with some help from a CPA and Google or hire a financial planner to lay out the plan for you and keep you disciplined. Here are some things to bear in mind when thinking about long-term financial security: Consider investing in real estate. Early in my career I heard brokers tell me “Kartik you have to become your best client.” Since then a stated goal of mine has been to buy one piece of real estate each and every year. Imagine over a 20 year career in our business owning 20 properties, each with a positive cash flow of just $200 per month. That amounts to $200 per month x 20 properties = $4,000 per month. Over time the values on these properties are quite likely to rise and the loans will eventually be paid off - adding to your wealth in retirement. Of course in order to buy one property per year, you have to ensure that your income is sufficient to obtain financing - a solid real estate sales career will make this easier. Properly managed, a "nest egg" of real estate can be a smart way to diversify your retirement income resources. There are other ways to set money aside in retirement funds: You can opt to put money into a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, a solo 401(k) or a SEP IRA. All have their pros and cons that should be discussed with an appropriate professional. For example, traditional IRAs have no income limit but there is an annual contribution limit. If you pull finds out before retirement, there is a stiff penalty in most cases. Traditional IRAs are funded with your pre-tax earnings, so you'll get a nice deduction and lower your tax bill in most cases. Roth IRAs are funded with your after-tax earnings, so you get no deduction right now. The upside to a Roth is that you can take out the contributed funds any time for any reason without paying a penalty. It's also possible to set up a solo 401(k) for yourself, even if you have no employees and work as a sole proprietor. Contributions come from your pre-tax earnings but there's currently a pretty high annual limit on what you can put in. SEP IRAs are a little more complex but are a good option for real estate professionals who have a few employees. You can contribute up to 25 percent of your earnings but keep in mind that you have to do the same for each employee you have. If you withhold 10 percent, for example, from your earnings for the SEP IRA, you'll need to withhold 10 percent of each employees' earnings as well. A one-hour consultation with a reputable financial planner can resolve most questions you have about which is the best kind of retirement savings plan for your particular situation. It’s also important to remember that I’m not a financial planner and laws and rules can and do change. Make sure you’re planning properly and not relying on my blog alone to plan for your retirement. =) Please call my office at 888 768 5285 or send me a message if I can be of service. For information on real estate classes visit Always looking to bring you value. Love, Kartik
Practical advice for real estate agents

Bad Real Estate Agent Habits

Ipad with calendar app open next to keyboard and apple computer

Once you complete our real estate school and pass the real estate exam you’ll be out on your own to start your career. Hopefully you’ll be ready to land your first client and take home a big commission!

Once you complete our real estate school and pass the real estate exam you’ll be out on your own to start your career. Hopefully you’ll be ready to land your first client and take home a big commission! =) After doing well on your real estate license exam, you'll get your desk set up with your broker and start working some leads. You’re probably going to start reaching out to your sphere of influence and let them know you’ve started a real estate career. As a newer real estate professional, the goal should always be to compress the time between finishing real estate school and cashing your first commission check. To this end, I wanted to write a quick article exposing some bad habits that real estate agents can develop if they’re not careful. Remember That Self-Employment Is Vastly Different From a 9-5 A self-employed person is solely responsible for his or her workday. In the real estate industry, it’s a common misnomer that once you pass your real estate exam, you’ll have leads pouring in and homes to sell. That’s not what happens. Instead, you need to work to create your own business. This often means spending time daily working to drum up business, cultivate leads, market, and respond to internet inquiries. Here are a few of the bad habits real estate agents create that virtually prevent them from becoming a successful Realtor quickly. You’re Doing "Busy" Work You’ve ordered business cards. You cleaned up your desk. You have talked to a dozen other agents today about what’s going on in their business and personal life. You may have even touched up your LinkedIn profile and posted a picture of the salad you had for lunch on Instagram.  All of these “tasks” might feel necessary but the bigger question is what did you ignore by doing these things? Are you prospecting for buyer and seller leads? Are you following up on existing ones? In short, it’s easy to “feel busy” without actually building your pipeline, which ultimately cuts into your income. You’re Frustrated with Your Workday There are a dozen calls you have to make today for various reasons. Each one of them could be a lead. Perhaps you have some really good leads, but there’s so much on your plate to do right now that you miss those key opportunities to connect. You’re in and out of the office, forgetting appointments, and not seeing the kids. And, you thought this career was flexible? This is a common concern. The problem is that without any oversight into your activities and a consistent schedule, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. To be successful as a real estate agent, you have to be organized. You also have to create a schedule that works for you and stick with it. This