Real Estate Best Practices

Coaches, books, classes and seminars aim to capture real estate agents dollars with promises to teach them any number of ways to improve their business. From sales skills to how to close more deals to how to win with expireds (expired listings) and more, everyone has something to teach you.


There's nothing wrong with continuing education, whether it's keeping on top of new laws and regulations or learning how to be more productive. But before you spend an arm and a leg on any of those things, pull up a chair, put on your glasses and peruse the pages in this section of ActiveRain.


It is only here that you can tap into the world's largest online real estate community and actively engage with your peers. Find out what works and what doesn't from those that actually put into practice what others merely teach. Read how-to articles, advice on designations, certifications and continuing education classes. You never know where you will find the inspiration to take your business to the next level. So, pull up a chair and dig in!

Trending blogs on Real Estate Best Practices
By Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols, Overland Park Residential Real Estate
(ReeceNichols Real Estate)
Comments 23
Most homeowners don't realize that when they interview a real estate agent to list their house for sale, the agent is also interviewing them too.  As Realtors, we don't always take every listing that comes our way.  Well, okay ...maybe some of the most desperate of agents do.  Not me.  The truth is, we CAN be selective about who we do business with.  While I don't normally turn down business, there are a few reasons why I have.  The obvious would be because I felt the homeowner might not abide by fair housing laws.  Another reason I might turn down business is if I felt there was something unethical and/or unlawful.  The last reason would be the homeowner.  Yes, that's right.  Homeowners can scare me when the chemistry is not right. Every man thinks his home is a castle and it's worth m...
By Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols, Overland Park Residential Real Estate
(ReeceNichols Real Estate)
Comments 4
The typical listing appointment discussion::  So what do you think a buyer would be willing to pay for your home?  I ask this question.  I listen.  I take a deep breath and then I give MY pricing opinion/strategy.  I watch their jaws drop to the floor.  Once again, the sellers are confused about list price vs. value.  And, why is this? ...Looks like it's time for a little reality check. It's been said that a man's home is his castle and it's worth more to him than it really is.  That said, how did the homeowners arrive at their numbers before I arrived at their home with tons of documentation and statistics from all my time spent on preliminary research?  As a Realtor, I'm positioned to give my pricing opinion which is always supported by documentation.  But, before sharing I want to he...
By Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes
(Performance Development Strategies)
Comments 15
We had another AR Zoom meeting today and I was interested in the topic.  Jeffrey Richman talked about hiring virtual assistants. I have thought about this from time to time and I found Jeffrey's in depth discussion very useful.  He took us through the site he uses Onlinejobs.  This is a job site for vitual workers based in the Phillipines.What I found most useful is the method uses for allocating talent in his virtual workforce.  He gave us a set of question that he useds to vet workers.  This was very useful information for me.  Thanks for the session Jeffrey.
By Roy Giordano - Top Real Estate Expert, Top Agent Marlboro NJ, Marlboro/Manalapan Homes
(RE/MAX Central, Marlboro, Manalapan, Freehold, Old Bridge NJ)
Comments 4
Why do Open Houses? Read on.Some agents do not like to do open houses, many feel it's a waste of time or they are just going to appease the sellers. I find this to be especially true with Agents that have been in the business for a long time.I've been in the Real Estate business for over 20 years and I still do open houses.I write this blog because of my open house experience just yesterday. I took a listing as an office exclusive for a nice home in an adult community, priced it right and held a 3 hour open house.The result - I wrote a contract for over asking price ( all cash deal ) one hour after the open house started and  received 2 additional offers. I had 3 people ask me to perform a CMA for the sale of their homes and picked up 4 buyers!  All in all I'd say it was a really good d...
By Shannon Miller-Lutz
(Keller Williams Realty Centre)
Comments 12
    A Buyer’s Christmas Story   This past weekend (yes, the weekend before Christmas) I had a buyer in a multiple offer situation. There were 3 other offers that came in on the house she loves – after being on the market over 2 months! Who says this time of year is slow???   Anyhoo…   I really wanted my buyer to be the winning bid, so I pulled out the old trick of the trade  – a letter to the owner. Now, we had lucked out in that the owner had stopped by the house at the end of our showing. He got to meet my buyer and they found out that they had a lot in common. He obviously loved the house and was sad to move. I knew that a letter would really touch his heart. He wanted to sell the house to someone that would love the house like he did. So, I asked my client to write a letter.   The l...
By Dan Papadapoulis, Home equity loans, second mortgages Toronto
(Mortgage Central Nationwide)
Comments 1
Remember Sherron Watkins? You might not. It’s been almost two decades since Watkins was the vice-president of corporate development at the disgraced Enron energy company, but today is most often referred to as its whistleblower. A certified public accountant with a master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Texas, Watkins joined Enron after working for the poster child of accounting fraud, auditing firm Arthur Andersen, for eight years.Why was the Enron financial scandal not exposed earlier? Why did it take years before a concerned employee came forward? Why did no one stop the “smartest guys” when the lights went out in California? Ms. Watkins cited four key factors that could be applied to many organizations and their employees: fear of losing one’s job fear of ...
By Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940
(Long Island Cash Home Buyer)
Comments 4
 Business Tip ... An important realization for YOU right now. Our dreams and goals won't just land in our laps. Think about this, "Who do you know who did nothing at all and had their dreams come true"? You hear about success stories from agents who do 30, 40, or 100 plus deals a year/ these stories get us excited and motivated to take action. Then when we start working and we don't quickly see the results we want we tend to become disappointed in ourselves and oftentimes stop doing anything. Remember, agents who do a lot of business consistently have paid their dues to get where they are today, they have set goals, they have made and executed plans on how to reach their goals; they continue to work hard daily to maintain their level of success. If you want to increase your production, ...
By Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR
(Red Rock Real Estate)
Comments 8
 Par écrit s'il vous plaît.    In French, the phrase, par écrit s'il vous plaît means 'in writing please' and is clearly a requirement in any industry that involves: financial matters exchange of goods trust between parties  After finding a home buyer clients wished to purchase, I submitted an offer on their behalf. The listing agent immediately calls me upon receipt, asking me to re-write the offer for a higher dollar amount. He must have thought to shorttrack the transaction by throwing out a number, in an effort to negotiate without consulting the sellers. Verbal has no place in our industry, it means virtually nothing. Effectively communicating with buyers and sellers so they can make informed decisions is crucial. The listing agent finally responded in writing but my clients had mo...
By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
Comments 25
Being at the top of your game in the realm of marketing luxury products or services requires being consistently remarkable, especially with your presentation materials.  To stand out everything you present must communicate your core identity, be congruency and fully engage your your target market. Here is an example: Pictured above is the invitation to a zoom meeting by Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave (Cellar Master and Head Winemaker). This package was sent just to Private Clients of Dom Pérignon who were invited to this exclusive tasting event. A bottle of 2010 Champagne was rated with 100 points by wine experts and two glasses were part of this box.. This included the instructions for the meeting.
By Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR
(Red Rock Real Estate)
Comments 12
Nerdin Gardens: A Midnight Snack!  Once the the tomato vines begin sprouting vertical growth, branching out, producing blooms that will become pollinated by winged creatures, it's all up from there. We introduced a new variety into our raised garden beds. Called the Midnight Snack variety, these delicious, indigo orbs start as black/deep purple, then turn black/green as the fruit begins to mature. When ripe, they become a brilliant red with splotches of black on their skins. Word is that indigo tomatoes are healthier because they are packed with a much higher level of antioxidants, making them the absolute healthiest and most disease-fighting varieties to be grown. Talk about a win-win!  When you pop one into your mouth, you will experience a flavor explosion, they are scrump-dili-itiou...
By Dan Papadapoulis, Home equity loans, second mortgages Toronto
(Mortgage Central Nationwide)
Comments 0
In a recent case investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the senior executives of a publicly traded company were charged with fraud related to the financial statements of the company. The RCMP stated that the accused created an elaborate scheme of paper trails that exaggerated the financial position and the performance of the company in order to mislead investors, creditors and auditors. Revenues were overstated in successive quarters, false sales were recorded in the accounting records and high interest loans were not recorded.  The company eventually went into bankruptcy, at which point the deception was uncovered. Creditors and investors lost millions and employees suffered through unpaid wages.Financial statement fraud is the deliberate misrepresentation of the fin...
By Victoria Carter Guaranteed Services, TwoMoveYou
(TwoMoveYou Guaranteed Real Estate Brokered by Century 21 Percy Fulton Ltd., Brokerage)
Comments 0
It is really heartwarming to get a positive feedback from our clients regarding our performance. We make this as our motivation to make our services more client oriented reaching for excellence. Thank you from the TwoMoveYou Team.
By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Comments 8
Take time to recharge your mind and learn something new. Lily, Oriental Magic Star, Kentlands Photowalk, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA IMG 8688 If you are going to respond pro-actively to the ever-changing world we live in, it is important that you sharpen your strategic thinking.   This will help you to out-think your competition.    Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving a goal or set of goals in a game or other endeavor. As a cognitive activity, it produces thought. Wikipedia.     Here are three simple ways to begin your strategic thinking process: Take time to re-examine your opinions.  Challenge your own premises, and be open enough to admit you may be wrong.  For instance, many real estate marketing professi...
By Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827)
Comments 2
Lots of CRM's overpromise and underdeliver. The problem is it takes many months and tens of thousands of dollars to find out if you made a good selection.Here is my brief guide to selecting a CRM. Make a list of the features you require. Prioritize by importance. Ask your successful Realtor friends what CRM they use, what they like and don't like about their system. Modify your requirements list, if needed. Create a product comparison sheet, listing your required features and a place to document how well your candidate CRM's deliver. This is easy. Go to Google Images and search for "Product Comparision Sheet" and you'll get hundreds of sample formats. Recreate a format you like in a simple spreadsheet. No need for paralysis by analysis. Schedule in-depth demos with your top five choices...
By Rich Gaasenbeek, Real Estate CRM & Marketing Made Easy!
(IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM)
Comments 47
You know that the loyalty of your clients can be the factor that determines what kind of year you have in real estate sales. But do you know how much of a difference loyal real estate clients make to your business? Consider this; a 5% increase in your customer retention can increase your profitability by 75% (Bain and Co). In spite of the astounding value in retaining clients, many REALTORS® struggle with gaining loyalty that translates into repeat business. The foundation of building loyalty with your real estate clients is in offering them value.  Check out this list of 10 ways you can offer value and foster relationships that result in more home sales. 1. Homeowner’s Check-Up Primarily intended for the top 20% of your clients who generate consistent referral and repeat business, a ho...
By Rich Gaasenbeek, Real Estate CRM & Marketing Made Easy!
(IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM)
Comments 12
Recently, Buffini & Company brought some key stats to our attention that we’d like to share with you. All of this information underscores how vital it is to stay in touch with your database and build relationships with those in your real estate sphere of influence (SOI) over time. 1. 82% of all real estate transactions come from repeat and referral business. - Your database of past clients is your most valuable business asset. What are you doing to nurture it in the long haul? 2. 25% of agents generate more than 50% of their business from repeat clients. -  If you want to be in this 25%, you need to have a keep in touch strategy and grow the relationships with those in your real estate database. 3. 21% of agents get more than 50% of their business from referrals from past clients. - We ...
By Joeann Fossland, Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents
(Advantage Solutions Group)
Comments 5
    "Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions.  Small  people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."–Mark Twain   Charismatic, powerful people have a way with words. Perfecting your communication skills can attract and increase your business. With words, you can empower, or you can diminish.  When you speak: Do you your words connect with others?  Do they feel understood, appreciated and acknowledged?  When you talk to yourself, does it create a reality that is empowering?   The words we say to others and the words we say to ourselves all shape our experience and reality.   Let’s explore three areas and look at some ways to enhance your effectiveness:  How You Speak To Others A good communicator is aware of other’s points of view an...
By Joeann Fossland, Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents
(Advantage Solutions Group)
Comments 10
  Bottom Line about Business PlanningI have lived most of my life believing that a business plan will help make it more likely to achieve what you really want. I have even perpetuated the statistics of achievement, citing that people with a business plan achieve more! I have watched people struggle, feel guilty about not doing it right, try to create more self-discipline to manage themselves. For the most part, it seems, all of this struggle not only does not achieve the result, but leaves people feeling like a failure. All that detailed business planning is the old school way.......So, to risk being classified as a heretic….. there is a better way. Over the last 20 years or so, the teachers of Law of Attraction have been enlightening folks to the easier, happier way of doing things! Th...
By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
Comments 34
If you are going to respond pro-actively to the ever-changing world we live in, it is important that you sharpen your strategic thinking.   This will help you to out-think your competition.  Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving a goal or set of goals in a game or other endeavor. As a cognitive activity, it produces thought. Wikipedia.   Here are three simple ways to begin your strategic thinking process:Take time to re-examine your opinions.  Challenge your own premises, and be open enough to admit you may be wrong.  For instance, many real estate marketing professionals are quick to tell you that print advertising is a colossal waste of money. In our research and experience we have found that in some luxury m...
By Jim Lord
(DeLex Realty)
Comments 1
Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I suffer from ADHD. I am like the dogs in the movie UP, I see a squirrel and I am off and running. It is easy to throw me off with the mention of almost anything, boom, I am off in that direction while what I need to do is left undone. I flip homes for a living (currently am flipping 30 homes at one time), teach classes on flipping and own a rental company. I am very busy and find myself working well into the night because I waste part of my workday with things that have zero impact on my business or family, Jim Rohn is someone I enjoy listening to, he has a calming voice and while some of his ideas are out there, he has some great ideas as well. I listen to him often in my car. One of his themes is not allowing yourself to worry about things that...