Tips and Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent

There are a lot of real estate brokerages in any major city. Some of these real estate brokerages have hundreds, if not thousands of agents spread out over an enormous city boundary. How do you interview the different real estate agents and brokers to find the one that is right for you? I think the biggest thing is to find someone you are comfortable with, but there are a few blocks you should check in an interview before entering into an agreement with an agent to represent you.

1) Check for Real Estate Agent Personality: How personable is the agent? Is the agent friendly when corresponding with you via email? Can you easily get in touch with them throughout the day and when you do, are they easy to speak with on the phone? Do they take the time to get to know you and your family? Do they seem in touch with your style and adjust your searches accordingly?

2) Inquire about Real Estate Agent Knowledge: How knowledgeable are they? While it should be very important that a real estate agent is personable, they also need to know what they are doing. If not, you should be friends, not having them quarterback one of the largest financial purchases of your life. For example in Houston, with it’s geographic size, one agent can’t know it all. Don’t measure knowledge by experience. Experience can often lead to a great deal of knowledge, but I’ve run into many agents that have been around for awhile and don’t now real estate: the area, the process, and the market. You can get a food feel for an agent’s knowledge by asking them same basic questions about neighborhoods. See how much they know off the top of their head and how comfortable they are talking about homes in the areas you are interested. You can also find out what they specialize in. Their marketing will usually tell you a lot about that; however, don’t use that as your sole source for what they know. Just like experience can be misleading, so can marketing.

3) Inquire about Real Estate Tools Provided: What sort of services/tools does the agent bring to the table? There area lot of services available in the real estate market. Does the agent have a customized list they can send to you? Will they pick you up and tour you to the properties that you want to view? How easy is their website to use? If they are selling your home what mediums will they use to advertise your home? Are they creative with those mediums? Do they have examples to show you from past homes they have sold? Their services and tools for you to use in your search for a new home or sale of your current one shouldn’t be limited.

If you take a little bit of time to follow the above tips while interviewing real estate agents you will be amazed by the service a good one will provide. Buying a home or selling one doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right real estate professionals at the helm it can actually be a positive experience.

Tools Of The Trade: Becoming A Real Estate Agent

This article is the third in a series of six about getting started with a real estate career. This article covers the “tools” you’ll need and the “tools” that are nice to have to help you be successful in this career. We’ll briefly talk about creating a budget and things you’ll need to get started as well as things you can consider in the future.

Creating a Budget. Since you are essentially starting a business there will inevitably be some expenses you’ll have. The first ones are of course your exam and licensing fees, as well as dues you’ll most likely pay to belong to the local board of Realtor. Since these expenses are mandatory we’ll skip talking about them. We’re talking more about the expenses that you’ll incur as a result of doing business on a day-to-day basis. There are tons of businesses out there looking to sell you leads, or advertizing opportunities, or “guaranteed” programs of how to get 10 listings in your first 60 days of being in business. I wouldn’t consider these products until you’ve been in the business at least one year. The most important thing to ask yourself when you get started is “Do I NEED this product or service today?” If the answer is no then, make a note of it and set it aside. Get some experience and deals going on and you may realize you don’t need those products at all.

Everyday Tools. The basic items that most real estate agents use every day are:

1. A cell phone – Most agents have smart phones with internet connectivity so they can get e-mail, view online data, and use applications that help them provide better faster service to their clients.

2. Access to a computer – Preferably one with internet and a printer. You need to fill out and print forms online so you can create listing and sales documents for your customers. Not to mention all new listings will appear in an online database provided by your MLS(multiple listing service) which you’ll definitely need.

3. Business Cards – The most simple of business marketing materials, but definitely a must have. Get high quality cards that are professionally designed, not the perforated ones you buy at the local office shop. Those are cheap and it people will subconsciously connect that to you and your service. Most brokerage companies have a relationship with a large printing company that offers professional templates at a reasonable price.

4. Lock boxes, yard signs, electronic keys, a reliable vehicle. This list needs no full explanation but to typically cost a fair amount of money so you’ll need to look carefully and shop around. Ask around the office to see where other agents get their products and how much they pay to get an idea of what you’ll need to spend.

Additional Tools. These items you’ll want to consider getting eventually if not right away.

1. Professionally branded e-mail address. Many brokerages will give you an email on their domain, i.e. billsmith @ This is great, but what happens if you leave ABC Realty. You’ll have to contact everyone you know and give them a new address. The best thing to do is purchase your own domain. Many agents choose their own name which can be a good idea. Domains are cheap i.e. $10 annually and you usually get an email address or two for free with it.

2. Your own website. Professionally designed websites can be expensive, so until you have the couple thousand it will take to get a high quality interactive site you can do one of two things. Your broker may give you a page on their main site, or you can get a basic 4-5 page site designed by a free lancer that provides basic information about you and how to get in touch with you. Either is fine to start with.

3. CRM Tool - This stands for Customer/Client Relationship Management Tool. Essentially it’s a software program that helps you keep your contacts and activities organized. While they are a fantastic tool they do tend to be expensive and are often a monthly recurring bill. If you can afford paying $30 or so a month for the service then I would highly recommend it. There are many real estate specific programs like Top Producer, ACT, etc.

Thanks for reading. Please check back for our next installment “Getting Started In Real Estate: Where To Get Business”.

To get more information about obtaining a real estate license in your state visit our site and get

Looking For A Letting Agent In Your Local Area?

Letting agents can provide you with valuable advice and support, but how do you know which letting agent is right for you?

There are different levels of services that a landlord may require from a letting agency.

1) A Basic Introductory Service
This is where the letting agency find a tenant to live in your property and they will also provide a tenancy agreement for you and your tenant.

2) Rent Collection
Agents will find you an appropriate tenant, draw up a tenancy agreement, and they will also collect monthly rent, so you don’t have to worry about it.

3) Full management of the property
This is where the agency will find a tenant that suits your description, they will arrange the tenancy agreement, collect rent monthly, and they will also arrange for any maintenance repairs if there are any problems in your property, they will also help and advise you on ending your tenancy.

Using a letting agent may seem like an expensive option, but in reality it can save you both money and time. Letting agents can act like a go between for you and your tenant as it can be quite a stressful process attempting to deal with problems that may crop up at in sociable hours.

A letting agent will have experience and will know the local property market, they can offer a helping hand to if you’re looking at buying a property as they can advise you on what properties are in demand and which will be a waste of time and money. They can even advice you on furnishing and fixtures which you may require in your property, as your property does need to comply with legal standards.

There is financial advantage in using a letting agent as you can gain a higher amount of rent which will lead to more profit for yourself.

Shop around for a reputable letting agent, don’t just settle for the first one you come across, ask as many questions as possible, you need to ensure that the agent is right for you. If you’d like the letting agency to collect rent for you then be more thorough.

Perhaps some suggested questions you may find useful would be:
1) How long would it take for the tenants rent to clear?

2) If tenants require maintenance: Who would they call? What number would they call? Would they have a special maintenance man or would they have to refer to the yellow pages?

3) What telephone number would tenants call out of office hours?

4) How often would the property be inspected?

5) What will the inspectors look for when they visit?

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How Can You Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent?

There are a lot of real estate agents that can be found everywhere, and they can be categorized as a professional and a salesperson. A professional is someone who can provide you with advices regarding real estate properties; something that will be beneficial for you or your business. A salesperson is someone who will do anything just to convince you to purchase the property, and this is the person whom you don’t want to deal with.

Here is the step by step guide that you can follow whenever you are looking for a reliable real estate agent:

Search the Internet and create a list of all the agents that you found.
Look for their website or contact details to learn more about them.
Contact them and try to start a conversation with them.
Try to categorize the way they talk to you, and this will show you who the professional really is.

A professional agent can provide you with advices based on facts! Fact is the keyword. If he can provide you with information that will be useful for you, then he is a reliable real estate agent. For example, you ask them;

“There is someone who told me that the prices of properties will go down this year, is that true?”

A professional real estate agent will tell you;

“I cannot answer that because no one can pinpoint whether the prices of properties will go up or down, but based on my records for the past few years, the prices of real estate properties had an average increase of 3.5%. Using this information, I can tell that you that a 30% decrease in value is farfetched.”

A salesperson will tell you;

“A downfall in the market is farfetched and is very impossible. I have here a list of all the properties that are downfall-proof, and you can be sure that they will remain stable regardless of the condition of the market.”

From here, we can already tell which of these agents is more professional. Both believe that the price of properties will remain the same, but the base of their answers are different. A salesperson is someone will tell that you everything just to get you to purchase a property. He’ll even tell you that a property is a prime commercial space even though it is located in the middle of the forest.

This is one of the best methods that you can use in order to find a reliable real estate agent. It is true that agents are eager to sell a property for you, but a professional is not “that” eager that he’ll do sales talk just to get you to buy a property and spend your money on something that is not worth your money.

If you want to find a reliable Las Vegas Real Estate Agent, then it would be better if you are going to contact us now! I can provide you with all the information that you need, and you can be assured that everything is based on facts and professional advice. Visit my website now to find a reliable Las Vegas Real Estate Agent who can help you with your purchase.

Advantages of an Exclusive Property Listing Agreement With Your Real Estate Agent

Property buyers are always exposed to lesser options than the availability. This is because of the unwillingness of estate agents to share the information about different properties at their disposal with each other. This may also give problem to the seller because the property gets exposed to lesser market, and it has fewer chances of getting the highest possible price. The seller is also vulnerable to losing track of the entire procedure, something that can have serious ramifications in the future. However, there is a simple yet efficient solution to this problem. And that resides in the formulation of an exclusive listing agreement between the realtor and the seller.

How does an exclusive listing agreement weed out the flaws of the current system? And how does such an agreement facilitate all the three parties involved.

  • An exclusive listing agreement works both for the seller and the agent. The agent is assured of being financially rewarded if he sells the property for a higher price and thus is more motivated to achieve the same while the seller is most welcome to any high bids that the agent brings in.
  • By law, an exclusive listing agreement allows the agent to put up a yard sign in front of the property for sale. Historically, 60% of all buyers are attracted to properties after noticing yard signs. So when a yard sign goes up, the seller is assured of a higher market for his property which increases the chance of him getting a better deal.
  • Carrying on from the first point, if an agent is assured of his financial future with the property, he will also invest more in advertising the property which will of course attract more potential customers, driving up the demand for the said property and along with it, the price.
  • Through an exclusive listing agreement the property is provided with exposure to other agents resulting in the increase of the demand of the property and involvement of more buyers. A better selling price can be achieved by this procedure.
  • The exclusive listing agreement keeps the property seller involved throughout all of the stages of the transaction. The agent shares all information with the buyer and ensures that it goes without any hindrance.

With an exclusive listing agreement the seller and the agent merge into one team and collaborate collectively towards one single goal; exacting the maximum price of the property. For obvious reasons, such an arrangement is better than a seller working alone trying to sell his property while juggling the task with his other daily activities. Team work has always been considered more beneficial. Therefore, you are recommended to have an exclusive listing agreement with your real estate agent. This will surely make things easier for you.

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Characteristics of a Great Realtor

Wanting to sell your property may also indicate that you need cash immediately, thus selling your estate requires a great realtor to get the deal done in no time. So here are some characteristics of a great realtor that you ought to find

  • In control – A true realtor knows what he’s doing and is proactive and can adjust to any situation.
  • Dedicated to their job – be it day or night he would still take phone calls and look up properties
  • Unbiased they don’t make any prejudgment to what the buyer can or can not afford
  • Honest to what they sell. They don’t just sell to make money but they market properties for the benefit of both the home seller and the buyer
  • Hospitable – they know how to treat customers gleefully
  • Organized – They keep meeting minutes, they keep records of essential information from their conversations with the prospects to protect themselves against the inevitable.
  • Patient – they don’t complain even when it’s getting dark outside and their client wants to see, the first home they have shown, again.
  • Straightforward – Ask them with direct questions and you’ll get direct answers
  • Keen observer – They take time understanding their clients’ needs, culture and buying habits
  • Good listener – They don’t just hear what their clients have to say but they feel them and do necessary actions to meet their clients’ needs.

What realtors expect from their clients?

Honesty – Seeking the help of real estate experts would really be very beneficial on the part of both seller and buyer. But while they assist clients in the contracts and lending process, all they require from them is honesty. Hiring a realtor will be of no use if sellers would mistakenly deal with a person who is financially incapable to buy a real estate. Clients should realize that they don’t produce money if they pretend that they’re qualified for a mortgage even when they’re really not.

Cooperation and Punctuality – Clients need to be punctual. Realtors don’t work for free and they’re not only working for you, there are also many important clients that require their quality time during work days. Business means money, so the more deals you close the more money you make – that makes every minute absolutely important especially for realtors. Therefore be considerate to other people’s golden time and don’t delay any appointment with a realtor or make lie when you’re late – that will only lose realtors’ interest to help you out.

A home with the right price tag is faster to sell. For sellers, do not overprice! For buyers, stop asking for too much discount! Period. And one more thing, buyers should know how much their budget is, if all you can afford is up to $100K, then there is where the search begins, refrain from insisting to realtors that you want to see homes starting at $300,000 “just to look”. There are many sites on the internet today that offer you to see MLS listing of properties for free and no hassle, so before you make an appointment with a real estate agent, make sure you know what you’re looking for or else stop complaining to realtors that they don’t know what they’re doing.

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Choosing A Real Estate Broker To Work For

This article is the first installment in a series of articles about starting a career in real estate. This article is about choosing the right brokerage to work for. The first step after you’ve passed your real estate exam is to choose which broker you’ll go to work under. This is a very important first move and one that needs to be carefully made. It can be difficult to switch brokers after you start doing business and have marketing materials and business cards printed, signs made etc. not to mention if you’ve started working with buyers or sellers and having to explain why you are changing companies. Things that are important to examine are the following:

Commission Percentage – Often referred to as the commission split; this is the amount of money you keep as compared to what the broker takes. It might be 50/50 or you might get a slightly larger share. Obviously more is better.

Reputation – You basically want to make sure the brokerage company is well-liked and well-respected in the local industry as well as the community. Working for a big, well established company can be an advantage for a newer agent by simple virtue of the fact people will have heard of the company and this will buy you some instant credibility.

Facility and Resources – This simply refers to the type and quality of office space available for you to use. In addition are there office administrators available to help process transactions, issue checks, and basically keep the office running? Ask any established agent how important this last part is and you’ll get explanation of how critical having quality office staff is.

Training – It is incredibly important, in fact it is mandatory, that you continue to learn about the industry and keep up with laws, regulations, and practices. Agents are required to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain their licenses. Many larger offices may offer this training at low or no cost to their own agents. Take advantage of this benefit if you choose a larger brokerage to work for.

Culture – One of the final things to consider about choosing a brokerage is how well you feel you would fit in there. Even though all of the agents are technically self-employed, there are many organizations that promote working together and assisting your fellow agents. Getting help as a new agent is a must as there’s no real class you can take to learn how to be successful in real estate. Learning where to get business, how to handle certain situations, or how to process a transaction from start to finish is best learned by doing. Getting a mentor to assist you is the best move you can make. See if you can find a brokerage that offers a mentor program. If you can’t find one that does, make sure you pick one that offers a great culture where helping each other is valued.

The next article in the series will talk about how to get organized and how to start getting business.

To get more information about obtaining a real estate license in your state visit our site

How to Start Off With Little Steps and End Up With Large Rewards As a Realtor

Many of us start of as realtors with big intentions to do big things. Although I love dreaming big; I find that there is power in starting small for the majority of us.

Starting small gives you permission to start where you are right now. Whenever your are establishing any kinds of goals its important to make sure you come from your present resources. Including skill level, financial and so on.

In this article I am going to share with you a few ways you can start of with a small focus and end up with big results from you real estate business.

Share small but deliver in a big way

There might be someone or multiple people in your life that are interested in your life. When we are just getting started it can be easy share our goals with people and find out later that our path to those goals was a little longer than we expected. There is nothing wrong with this. Unless their opinions show lake of faith in your success and effect your belief in yourself. This can happen sometimes if we have tried multiple times to start businesses in the past and didn’t follow through. If that is the case just communicate that you expect moderate results and do your best to surprise them with exceptional results.

Make your goals Small and Get Big Momentum

When we give ourselves small goals that we can reach regularly we build our confidence as realtors. Our confidence will have a big effect on the overall momentum we establish in our business. Take some time and establish small bench marks that give you an indication that you are progressing with your goals.

Big wide focus vs small narrow focus:

Many people think they have to learn each and every part of a their business right away. So they add all these activities that aren’t necessarily responsible for generating revenue. The truth is you only need to master the phase of your business that your in right now. Focusing on anything else can wast time, focus, and other tangible resources like money. If your just getting started with your real estate business then just focus on your first steps.

Focus on your first commission:

Just focus on a plan to make one commission. The more you can narrow your focus on your first commission the easier it will be to stay on task and not get distracted with anything but the actions that is going to get you to that first commission.

Narrow your niche:

Many people think they can be a realtor to anyone and everyone. But your marketing material will be 100 times more effective if you can think in small groups of potential clients. Your marketing materials will be effective because you can speak to the exact needs and wants and concerns of those people. This will help you to stand out from all of the other realtors out there that are generalist.

Start small by starting part time:

I hear a lot of people that are embarrassed because they have a job and also sell real estate. Like somehow that isn’t good idea. These people many times will end up leaving their job before they should and putting unneeded stress on themselves and their families. If your just getting stared give yourself permission to be part time. Just make sure that you block aside a specific amount of time that isn’t under 10 hours a week to work on your business.

Think small with your marketing

Mastering one marketing process or one way to bring in new business is more important than starting 100 customer getting activities that never really bring you any benefit. Have you ever seen neglected twitter account or facebook business page? When we choose to master one marketing process we can maximize our return from the resources we invest in making that marketing process work. Starting small with your marketing process is more effective approach for most realtors because when we start small with a marketing process we can take the time to master the parts that incrementally create a more profitable marketing channel

Think small commitments

When you bring your prospects down your marketing funnel the fewer decisions you can make the more likely they will be to make one. Not only that the smaller the step you can give them the easier it is for them to take a step when you ask them to contact you.

Think small Budgets and save big dollars

Thinking small budgets forces us to get more creative and become smarter at our craft. It forces us to keep from wasting resources. Thinking small budgets will help prevent missus of finances and insure longevity through your first stages of business development. Its easy for many of use to try to through money at problems we don’t know how to fix. When we force our selves to figure it out we become more successful because we understand the ins and outs of the foundation of our business.

At the end of the day narrowing your focus on the important parts of your business is just a reflection on your ability to focus on the activities that are going to get your results.

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Real Estate Marketing: 3 Ways Realtors Can Brand A Home For Sale

Executing an effective marketing campaign for your listings can seem like a dreadful undertaking – specifically for newer agents – but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll likely find yourself asking, “How should I present this property to the public? How should I present myself?” The solution to this seemingly beleaguering problem is actually found in this simple answer: there are essentially three ways to brand any listing.

What exactly is a brand? For our purposes, we’ll define a brand as a design strategy associated with a product. The application of the brand to a product or service is called Branding or Brand Management. Through regular branding, the consumer is trained to remember & recognize your product by its direct association with your design scheme. A brand establishes a feeling for a product – a visual connotation of sorts – that is essential for effective marketing.

There are three ways to brand your listings:

1.) Utilize your company brand

A great benefit of hanging your license at a real estate firm is the ability to use its brand to your advantage. Depending on the company, the brand can be a powerful marketing tool because all of the Brand Management has been done for you through years of consistent presence in the market. Therefore, the general public is already familiar with that brand – even if they do not recognize your name – and you should use this to your every advantage. Sotheby’s International Realty, for example, caries such an impressive reputation that you can enjoy the brand’s benefits with little effort, allowing you to do what you do best – selling homes.

2.) Develop & use your personal brand

A second avenue for branding a listing is the creation of your own personal brand as a realtor. Many of the world’s top producers understand this. They have a consistent listing portfolio, they are known in their respective geographical areas & they advertise continuously to their spheres of influence. This is achieved through persistent Brand Management. An agent’s personal brand can be anything from a recognizable logo to a consistent color pattern to a unique type treatment – or any combination thereof. A smart brand integrates well with the brand of the broker. An agent’s personal brand should never clash with the company logo & should always be versatile.

How does this effectively brand a specific property? This approach communicates to the public that you are a consistent producer of not only sales volume, but of quality marketing. With your personal brand, you build the same level of trust with your clients & prospects as any mainstream commercial product, giving the public confidence in you as their realtor.

3.) Create a brand that is entirely unique to a specific property

We all know an exceptional property when we see one – perhaps it’s a well kept mid-century modern in the suburbs or an early 19th century Spanish architectural in the hills. These special properties deserve special marketing. A talented graphic designer or marketing team can tailor your specific campaign to reflect the soul of the property in its design scheme, creating marketing materials that reflect the personality of the home. This route not only wows your sellers, but signals to the public that the listing belongs in its own category & should be treated as such.

Now you’re ready to go!

Now that you’re familiar with the three ways to brand a listing, you can more easily structure your “plans of attack” when releasing your listings onto the market. Each of the three above methods can be blended together or used singularly as desired – just remember to keep your brands consistent & complimentary of one another.

And now it’s time to sit back & watch your listings fly off the shelves!

View Randall’s Design Portfolio.

Where and When Should You Find a Realtor?

If you are looking for a house that you can purchase, a realtor is one of the first persons that you need to look for. There are a lot of advantages that you can get from them, aside from the fact that you will be able to find the best deals in your area. In this article, we will be discussing where you can find a realtor, and when you should start looking for them. Reading this article will save you from all the hard work that is associated in finding a realtor, and will give you a clear idea as to when you should start looking for one.

Traditionally, realtors are the one looking for people who wanted to buy real estate properties. But now, with the help of the Internet, people can easily look for realtors who can help them find a property for sale. Aside from the fact that you can easily find realtors in your area, you will also be able to compare the services and the properties that you can get from them. This will give you the chance to make a more educated decision, and will ensure that you will only be dealing with the best realtor. Keep in mind that comparing the realtors will make it easy for you to choose the best, since you will be able to see them at work side by side.

Now, the problem is that there are a lot of people who are only looking for a realtor whenever they already need to buy a real estate property, which should not be your case. There are a lot of good opportunities if you are in the real estate industry, and if you are subscribed to a reputable realtor, you will be able to get the first-hard information on these investment opportunities. If you are only going to look for a realtor whenever you really need to buy properties, chances are you will be missing a lot of better opportunities. If you are going to start looking for a realtor now, you will be able to find the best deals and grab them as soon as you can.

People think that they should not buy a real estate property because they don’t have the money to buy it. Keep in mind that finding money to buy real estate is much easier compared to finding real estate opportunities. In most cases, you’ll have to wait for years, spend hundreds of hours, or look in other areas just to find a good deal. But once you have a potential investment opportunity from a realtor, it will be easy for you to approach the bank and ask for an amount to pay for the property.

There are a lot of advantages that you can get from a Las Vegas Realtor but you need to make sure that you will only be dealing with the best. There are a lot of options that you have, but if you are still having problems in finding the best in your area, you can simply visit my website now! This will help you understand why I am considered as the best Las Vegas Realtor.