R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S VO L N o . 5
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE LIVE AND WORK IS THE WAY WE STAY
CONNECTED TO WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN LIFE. Since 2010, Carrington Charitable Foundation
DI FFER EN CE
(CCF) has supported a variety of nonprofit causes, including those that impact children’s charities, food banks, animal shelters, military troops, and more through fundraising, in-kind donation drives, volunteer opportunities, and the annual Golf Classic. Through CCF’s signature program, Carrington House, the Foundation provides housing to our returning wounded servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country’s freedom. CCF honors their selfless sacrifices by building one-of-a-kind, permanent adaptive homes for severely wounded Veterans and their families across the United States. With these forever homes, CCF hopes to provide each Veteran and their family a place where they can live comfortably, and a home they can be proud of. TO GET INVOLVED AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CARRINGTON CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, OR TO GIVE A DONATION, PLEASE VISIT CARRINGTONCF.ORG. THANK YOU!
R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S c a r r i n g to n r e a l e s t a te . c o m
VIRTUAL REALITY THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY / PAGES 4–5 IS THIS THE NEW NORMAL FOR REAL ESTATE FINANCING? / PAGE 6 REAL ESTATE IS A BUSINESS, NOT A JOB / PAGE 8 HOW TO USE LIVE VIDEO PLATFORMS TO CONNECT ONLINE / PAGE 9 CARRINGTON BUSINESS SYSTEM / PAGES 10–11 CAPTURE THE COMMUNITY BEFORE TRYING TO CONQUER THE COUNTY / PAGE 12 ONLINE HABITS THAT GIVE PEOPLE THE WRONG IMPRESSION / PAGE 13 PLANNING FOR SUCCESS: STUDYING YOUR HISTORY TO PLAN YOUR FUTURE / PAGE 15 THE REAL ESTATE AGENT’S GUIDE TO SNAPCHAT & INSTAGRAM STORIES / PAGE 16 6 TIPS TO BREAK INTO THE LUXURY MARKET / PAGE 17 IT’S TIME TO SAY FAREWELL TO FORECLOSURES AND HELLO TO HOMEOWNERS / PAGE 18 VOL No. 5. FUEL is a publication of Carrington Real Estate Services, LLC. 111 Pacifica, Suite 160, Irvine, CA 92618. 877.330.2773 Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative. ©2016 Carrington Real Estate Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
E D I TO R ’ S N OT E ARE YOU READY TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL? NOW? We hope you are screaming YES, YES, YES because that is what this edition of FUEL is all about! Here at Carrington Real Estate Services our proprietary business system is the hub for all the tools and services that we commit to and invest in for our agents’ success every day. It is the cornerstone which drives the results of our productive sales professionals. So please get started NOW and check out all the details on pages 10 and 11. Another super result of our Carrington Business System is our culture of Success and Fun! There are always activities across our network that recognize performance, build relationships, provide networking opportunities that bring lots of smiles and giggles—essential in this business. On page 14 we have gathered some photos we thought you would enjoy looking at. So find a comfy place in the sunshine and invest your time in all the great articles found in FUEL—they will take your business to the next level—NOW. And just for fun we would love to send you our interactive marketing piece that demonstrates how the Carrington Business System works. Just email email@example.com and we will send it to you right away! Happy Selling!
Carrington Real Estate Services Leadership Team!
R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
VIRTUAL REALIT Y TH E N E X T FRO NTI ER FO R TH E R E AL E S TATE I N D US TRY
What is virtual reality or VR for short? Simply put, virtual reality is an environment captured or created and brought to life so that users can feel and interact with the surroundings without physically having to be in that specific area. Virtual reality doesn't technically have to include putting on a headset. It could also be presented on your mobile phone, tablet, television, or computer. 4
Virtual reality has been used in many
to be disappointed once arriving at the
there, an agent can find out exactly
applications including training scenarios,
property. If they walk through the virtual
what the buyer likes and dislikes with
video games, and even used as an
reality tour of the property and still love
that specific property and how to move
exploration tool. But imagine if you
it, chances are they are going to love it in
forward with it.
could take this exact technology and use
person as well.
it to help people with one of the largest
VIRTUAL REALITY &
purchases they are ever going to make?
HOW DOES VR HELP YOUR
THE INVESTOR MARKET
Now you can thanks to virtual reality
This is the fun part. Agents working
making its way into the real estate world!
In a crowded market full of listings, as a
with investors LOVE Matterport and
REALTOR®, getting a listing to standout
virtual reality properties. Being able
Thanks to programs like Matterport,
is one of the biggest things you want to
to send tours to an investor who is in
buyers now have the opportunity to
be able to offer your clients. What if we
another state, another city, or even
walk through a home that is currently
told you, thanks to the recent emergence
in another country has been the true
on the market without actually having
as well as just the fun factor alone,
genius behind virtual reality. Investors
to leave the comfort of their own home.
potential buyers are staying online to
are now searching for homes featuring
This means that they are able to digitally
look at virtual reality tour properties over
Matterport and virtual reality tours
walk through a property and see every
300%* longer than the average listing?
so they know exactly what they are
nook and cranny of the home they are
Makes properties utilizing Matterport
investing in. Condos, townhomes, multi-
and virtual reality a real game-changer.
units, and single-family homes have all
Now there has been professional listing
VIRTUAL REALITY &
to virtual reality giving everybody a
THE LUXURY MARKET
complete look at properties.
had investor offers presented thanks that
imagine what the home looks like without
Matterport and virtual reality help cater
having to step foot inside the home.
to the luxury market in a big way. Because
MATTERPORT & CARRINGTON
Those are great, but what virtual reality
of the busy schedules associated with
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
and Matterport specifically do is allow
most buyers in the luxury market, it is
We believe this great program can help
the user to control what they are seeing.
often difficult for REALTORS® to get
not only the properties of our agents
This means that the photographer
buyers into numerous homes to find that
standout on their local MLS, but it can
doesn't have the opportunity to use wide
perfect home for that specific family.
also help our agents standout when
angle lenses, proper lighting, as well as
Thanks to virtual reality, an agent can
going on listing presentations. Because
the best angles to make you believe the
now send these homes via email to
of this we have decided to pilot a new
home is better than it is. Because of that,
the potential buyers and those buyers
program in San Diego where we are
and thanks to virtual reality, the buyer
can walk through the property at their
investing in putting together these
isn't wasting their time as well as their
convenience instead of having to take
Matterport tours for all of our Carrington
REALTOR'S® time looking at a home just
time out of their busy schedules. From
properties that qualify. We will keep you posted as we discover the feedback from this pilot and our plans to expand into other markets. *VR MATTERPORT TOUR EXAMPLE my.matterport.com/show/?m =nPYtgaC9QUi To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
IS THIS THE NEW NORMAL FOR REAL ESTATE
FINANCING HOUSING MAY BE BACK TO PRE-CRISIS LEVELS, BUT MORTGAGE LENDING CAN’T CLAIM THE SAME.
that require as little as three percent down. Real estate agents should be aware the credit picture is getting better, particularly as more lenders increase their mortgage offerings to encompass a wide variety of loan types and products.
There are many indicators that the housing market has at last returned to “normal”. But can real estate agents and consumers expect these positive trends to be reflected in terms of financing for homebuyers? Unfortunately, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.
So what can real estate agents do to help consumers both better understand today’s mortgage picture and purchase the home they desire? By identifying and partnering with lenders that offer a wide variety of loan products—from programs for credit-challenged borrowers to government and conventional loans—agents can help a great number of consumers get into their dream home. Many lenders today are creating a diverse array of loan products to help a broad range of credit profiles, some with programs for borrowers with credit scores as low as 550. Agents should look for experienced lenders that have lower credit-score requirements, low, or no-down-payment programs, and manual underwriting. These lenders, with a full range of loan solutions, experience and serving a wide variety of credit profiles, can help potential borrowers with challenging or unusual credit. By partnering with lenders with diverse loan types, real estate agents can better help clients across a broad income spectrum get into the home of their dreams.
Credit availability has been tight since the market downturn, but many were hoping a return to “normalcy” in the housing market would result in something similar for housing finance, with more accessibility for responsible borrowers with lessthan-perfect credit. Although no one is advocating for a return to the fast-and-loose lending that led to the crash, many in the industry agree that credit requirements should be reevaluated to allow for more buyers to enter the market. Clearly, the somewhat confusing financial picture is muddying the waters for potential homebuyers. In fact, according to a survey from Bankrate.com, 45 percent of all non-homeowners point to finances as preventing them from buying a home, and nearly 30 percent say they can’t afford a down payment, even though many lenders offer programs 6
To learn more, call 877.277.7256 or visit CarringtonHomeLoans.com
Finding the right loan options
for your buyers just got easier! Now that your client has found their dream home, let Carrington Mortgage Services help them find the right financing. As a trusted lender, Carrington offers a wide variety of loans to fit almost any scenario and financial circumstance to make that new or next home purchase possible: n n n
FHA, USDA and VA Purchase Loans for FICO scores of 550 or better FHA 203k Full and Streamline Loans to repair or renovate “fixer uppers” Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages Options Contact us today to learn more.
866-288-5497 © Copyright 2007-2016 Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC headquartered at 1600 South Douglass Road, Suites 110 & 200A, Anaheim, CA 92806. 800-561-4567. NMLS ID #2600. Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) Consumer Access website: www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. AZ: Mortgage Banker BK-0910745. CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, File 413 0904. CO: Check license status of your mortgage loan originator at www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate/index.htm. GA: Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee 22721. IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. KS: Supervised Loan License SL.0000313. KY: Mortgage Loan Company License MC21112. MN: This is not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement under Minnesota Law. MS: Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Mortgage Lender License 2600. MO: Missouri Company Registration 14-1746-A. In-State Office: Missouri Residential Mortgage Loan Broker License 14-1746-A1. 251 SW Noel, Lees Summit, MO 64063. NV: Mortgage Broker License 4068 (Residential Mortgage Lending). NH: Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department. NJ: Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance. NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services. New York Mortgage Banker License B500980/107664. OH: Ohio Mortgage Broker Act Certificate of Registration MB.804213.000; Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration SM.501517.000. OR: Mortgage Lender License ML4886. PA: Licensed by the Department of Banking. RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender, Lender License 20112809LL. VA: Licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission MC-5382. NMLS ID 2600 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). WA: Consumer Loan License CL2600. Also licensed in AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, ID, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, MI, MT, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, WV, WI and WY. NOTICE: All loans subject to credit, underwriting and property approval guidelines. Offered loan products may vary by state. There is no guarantee that all borrowers will qualify. Restrictions may apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Terms, conditions and programs are subject to change without notice. This information is for mortgage professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers. Carrington Mortgage Services is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or any government agency. All rights reserved.
REAL E STATE IS A BU S INE SS, NOT A JOB.
big as some of the companies that Collins is talking about, but we need to have the right people on our team either way. Make sure that the home inspectors and other vendors you recommend are going to represent your reputation well. If they don’t, it’s time to find new people! B R U TA L H O N E S T Y I S T H E B E S T P O L I C Y Another trademark of great businesses is that they are able to make good decisions because they are brutally honest with themselves about the facts at hand. Whether we are talking with clients about a potential listing price or with ourselves about our year-end earnings goals, brutal honesty is a must if we are going to be able to make good decisions. D O N ’ T OV E R CO M P L I C AT E YO U R O P E R AT I O N Collins refers to what he calls “The Hedgehog Concept,” which means that great companies focus exclusively on what they do very well. They don’t let themselves get distracted with anything outside that framework. There are dozens of different ways to make money in the real estate world. But your best bet for long-term success is to find out what you do best and focus all of your effort in that area.
At some point early in your real estate career, you probably heard someone mention that the best way to ensure success as an agent is to approach your career as a business, not just a job. While that is absolutely correct advice, it is also a little bit on the vague side—especially for those of us who don’t have strong business backgrounds. Of course, no one ever said that you must have a ton of business experience to understand the basic concepts. And just about every bookstore out there devotes an entire section to books on the subject. One of the most popular business books ever published is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, who spent years analyzing the very best business practices before authoring this blueprint for taking your business to the next level. Let’s take a closer look at the seven principles that are discussed in the book and how we might apply them to your real estate business. ELITE LEVEL LEADERSHIP The first thing that Collins finds in every great company that he studies is an elite level leader at the top of the company. These leaders all exhibit qualities like humility, strong will, incredible diligence, and endless ambition. As the undisputed leader of your real estate business, you are going to want to make sure that all of these qualities are evident in the work that you do, both for clients and other real estate professionals. G E T T H E R I G H T P E O P L E O N YO U R T E A M Collins points out that before any business can make the leap from good to great, they must first ensure that they have the right people “on the bus.” If you don’t have an organization full of rock stars, finding those people should be your first priority. Our real estate organizations are obviously not going to be as 8
O B S E S S OV E R D I S C I P L I N E Creating a plan doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t going to stick to it. The great companies featured in “Good to Great” all instituted what Collins calls “A Culture of Discipline.” Since real estate agents don’t have an entire company of people to deal with, this discipline issue generally lies with just the one person at the top of the company. The most certain way to succeed in this business is to show up every day and work hard. The most certain way to fail is to lack that discipline. U T I L I Z E T E C H N O LO GY A DVA N TAG E S Back when “Good to Great” was written, social media didn’t exist in the way that it does today. But even back then, Collins pointed out that the best companies were using every new technology that they could to expedite the process of getting things done. In today’s world of constantly improving technology, the best agents are jumping onto any new ideas that can help them improve their businesses. That could mean anything from Snapchat video walkthroughs to using drone footage. There are endless possibilities. AVO I D T H E D O O M LO O P Collins uses the comparison of the Flywheel and the Doom Loop to illustrate the point that companies become great through consistent effort over a long period of time. There is no magic moment, and looking for one is a fool’s errand. The same is true in the real estate world. You can build a successful real estate business through years of consistent hard work, but searching for a shortcut to get there will almost always end in failure. Building a successful real estate business all comes down to staying motivated to show up and work hard. But keeping these basic business principles in mind will allow you to focus on building your business the right way, instead of just working at a job selling real estate. To learn more, email email@example.com
At this point, it’s not hard to see that live streaming video is the next frontier in terms of Internet marketing. After YouTube made the concept of publishing video easy for everyone to grasp, platforms like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Periscope have taken things to the next level. Each of these cutting-edge services allow you to film and share video in real time. And live video has a certain way of commanding attention that you just aren’t going to find with other forms of edited and formatted publishing. Starting a Snapchat, Facebook Live, or Periscope account is the easy part. The next step is to figure out what on earth you are going to film. In the real estate business, there are five surefire topics that all of your potential clients will be interested in.
HOW TO USE LIVE VIDEO PLATFORMS TO CONNECT ONLINE
Virtual Open Houses The first idea that comes to mind when talking about live video streaming for a REALTOR® is to hold a virtual open house. Edited versions of these have been popping up on YouTube for years, but by using one of these live video platforms, you can engage potential buyers in the moment, just as if they were physically at the open house with you. Another advantage of these live video platforms is that you will be able to instantly respond to questions from anyone watching. If someone asks a question about the closet in the master bedroom, you have the ability to walk right in there and show it to them!
Explore the Neighborhoods
Interview Local Experts
While the specific house is a huge part of any real estate purchase, we would be naive to think that the surrounding community doesn’t play a part as well. Take your live stream out for a walk around the community to show what it’s like to live there. This could include visits to local shopping districts, restaurants, and even the schools. Start by just taking a walk around the block and talking about the community, and let your audience tell you what they want to see next.
In addition to local buyers and sellers, there are also lots of other professionals that are involved in the real estate process who make for interesting interviews. Adding a regular live stream with your local mortgage broker, home inspector, or insurance agent can be a great way to cross-market your services and theirs.
Show Interesting Listings
Interview Buyers and Sellers
One of the biggest mistakes that many agents make on social media in general is limiting themselves to only showing their own listings. You don’t have to be so territorial. By stepping out and filming walkthroughs of other listings you find interesting, you will find yourself coming up with more and more content to fill your channel. You should pay particular attention to the listings with unique features, and it might be a good idea to get the listing agent’s permission before you share video of their listing.
Interviews are another popular source of content for live video channels, and you are lucky enough to interact with buyers and sellers who make great interviews every single day. Is one of your listings a recent flip? Why not interview the flippers about the process? They will be thrilled to talk about all of the details they put into making the house beautiful. You can also interview potential buyers to get their take on a listing, but keep in mind that this is live video and you might not like what they have to say!
R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
Having a local mortgage expert explain how to prevent a real estate purchase from falling through at the last minute can be valuable information for your audience that really helps them down the road. And if it does help them, they will absolutely remember you for it. Platforms like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Periscope are giving unprecedented power to content creators who are willing to hustle. If you are one of those hustlers in your local real estate market, these tools can help you engage with clients on a level that wasn’t even possible just a few years ago. The only thing left to do is start filming! To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org 9
REFUELING R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
As an entrepreneur in todayâ€™s market, the only way you will maximize your earning potential year after year is to have a strong business partnership with your brokerage. At Carrington Real Estate Services we think you deserve leadership, innovation, mentoring, and 24/7 access to resources that assist you in reaching your income goals. Our Carrington Business System is the hub for all the tools and services that we commit to and invest in for your success every day. Plus, we will share with you our expertise buyers and sellers are demanding â€” whether in retail sales, investments, distressed properties, short sales, or with firsttime buyers. Add both of those factors and you have a business partnership that is unparalleled in the industry. Carrington Real Estate Services is a full-service national brokerage licensed in 23 states. We are one of the Carrington family of companies under Carrington Holding Company, LLC. Together these businesses cover virtually every aspect of the single-family residential real estate transaction. This unique business continuum can effectively position our agents for success in any market cycle.
OUR BR AND PROMISE
GREAT FAMILY TIES
CARRINGTON VISIONARY CONTINUUM
THE FOCUS IS ON YOU
New Agent Orientation
Real Estate Brokerage
IT HELP Desk
Fabulous Fundamentals Unparalleled Service Exceeding Expectations Leveraging Opportunities
MY FUEL CENTER ONE-STOP INTRANET BUSINESS CENTER
DIGITAL NET WORK
DIVERSE INCOME PIPELINE
BUILDS ONLINE BRAND
Agent Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Website
Digital Marketing Store
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Promotional Stores for Signs, Apparel, Speciality Items
No Desk Fee
Listing Presentations, Open House Lead Generation Marketing System and More
No National Advertising Fee No Franchise Fee
Exclusive Lead Team Advanced CRM System Buyer Instant e-Alerts
LEARNING CENTER DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS Award-Winning Education Portal 24/7, Anywhere, Anytime Over 50 Courses JUMPSTART Sales Skills Series
TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN REFUEL YOUR REAL ESTATE CAREER, CONTACT US TODAY. 877.330.2773 / CAREERS@CARRINGTONRES.COM. 11
CAPTURE THE COMMUNITY BEFORE TRYING TO CONQUER THE COUNTY
Just about every real estate agent out there would love to be the top selling agent in his or her area. But with most agents targeting their marketing on the county level, the competition can be awfully thick. By focusing on just one hyperlocal area to start with, agents can be much more effective than their counterparts trying to market to the entire county.
Big Fish In a Small Pond Most agents see a single neighborhood or community as being too small of an area to focus on, but smart agents can use this shortsightedness to their advantage. Agents willing to focus the majority of their efforts on becoming the go-to agent in a single hyperlocal area are passing on the opportunity to compete with every other agent in the county in favor of becoming the biggest agent in one specific neighborhood or community. It’s much better to be the big fish in a small pond, instead of the other way around. Then, once you dominate a specific hyperlocal area, it’s much easier to expand into additional surrounding areas.
minute that a hyperlocal strategy works with just attracting buyers. Once sellers see that you’re the agent bringing all the buyers, who do you think they’ll call to list their home?
Build Your Hyperlocal Home Base Now that you understand the benefits of having a hyperlocal marketing strategy, it’s time to start building one. The most common way to begin is to add a blog to your real estate website and start creating content about each and every detail of the small area you are staking your claim to. You can create content about things like the best places to shop, school reviews, restaurants reviews, and local events. You should also cover the real estate side of things by doing reviews of each neighborhood, and monthly or quarterly market reports on what’s selling. Whether it’s in audio, video, or written form, every piece of hyperlocal content you create is an opportunity for people looking to buy or sell in your target area to discover you and your expertise.
Promote Your Content A Small Footprint Can Equal Big Reach In addition to the fact that you won’t have to be competing against all the agents who are targeting your entire county in their marketing, agents focusing on hyperlocal areas also have the benefit of publishing content that is closer to the phrases their potential clients are actually searching for. Think about the last few homebuyers you worked with. Were they looking for a house just anywhere in your county, or did they have a particular neighborhood or part of town that they wanted to live in? The same thing happens when our clients are searching for properties online. They’re going to focus their searches to the exact neighborhood or community they would like to call home, and if you are there with content relevant to the area they’re interested in, there is a good chance you could win them as a client. And don’t think for a 12
Creating content is the first step, but your work does not end there. Once you have some good content ready to go, the best way to get people to find it is to actively promote it on a few social media platforms. Facebook is a great place to start because you can run ads targeting people in very small geographic areas. This type of content also works great on the live video platforms that we have talked about on page 9. Getting to the top of the real estate mountain in your county is a noble goal, and it’s not impossible. But the best way to get there is to start by dominating a smaller, hyperlocal area and expand from there. With this type of approach, you’ll be dominating your chosen market in no time at all! To learn more, email email@example.com
profess your love for a particular candidate, keep in mind that there are always going to be people on the other side of your viewpoint who could possibly avoid hiring you just because of your views. With touchy subjects like politics and religion, it’s always best to avoid the topics altogether. This shows a level of respect for people who have different beliefs from you, and ensures that you don’t alienate them or keep them from doing business with you down the road.
Sharing Sensitive Client Information
Sensitive client information is another area where you need to be very careful. No matter how comfortable you feel about putting your personal information out on the Internet, always keep in mind that your clients might have very different thoughts in that area. For example, you might be extremely proud of the fact that the mortgage broker you work with was about to get your client a mortgage despite their poor credit, but sharing your client’s credit status online is a recipe for disaster—and maybe a lawsuit.
Abandoned Social Media Accounts
ONLINE HABITS THAT GIVE PEOPLE THE
While sharing inappropriate jokes, political and religious opinions, or sensitive client information can get you in a whole lot of trouble online, having social media accounts that haven’t been updated recently is a sin of equal magnitude. Much of the power that lies in social media comes from getting your message out to local buyers and sellers in a consistent way. If you go weeks, months, or even years without updating your status on any of the major social networks, you run the risk of looking like you aren’t in business anymore.
Just like having social media accounts without any recent updates makes your business look sketchy, so does having zero reviews on any of the major real estate sites. Make sure you are stressing the importance of reviews to your clients and helping them complete those properly.
Generic Email Addresses The Internet is clearly here to stay. The people who are investing their efforts in using it to build their businesses are being rewarded exponentially. But while the Internet offers tremendous power for building businesses, it can also rip your existing business to shreds if you aren’t careful. Online etiquette is a real thing that can have a real impact on your business. For that reason, we pulled together a list of seven common habits that many agents don’t realize are hurting their business.
You can be the life of the party by telling inappropriate jokes to the right people in small circles at dinner parties, but that approach just doesn’t fly on the Internet. The online audience is simply too broad to ensure that you won’t be offending someone. While many people online will still find your dirty jokes to be funny, you will also be exposing that side of your personality to plenty of people who won’t be laughing. They won’t be hiring you either.
Politics & Religion
These are the most polarizing topics you could ever think to discuss online. And while you might feel compelled to R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
If you’re still rocking that old AOL email address, you are definitely giving off the impression that you aren’t too serious about your real estate business. At the very least, you should be using an address from your broker. Much more professional and shows clients that this is your business not your hobby. Additionally you could spend the $10/year to have your own domain, even if you just use it for email purposes. This would mean your email address would then be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outdated Profile Pics
Having an outdated picture on your business card is a big red flag for many buyers and sellers. Well, the same principle holds true when it comes to your online presence. If potential clients are expecting to meet the 20-year-old version of you and the 40-year-old version shows up, things are going to be awkward right from the start. So keep those profile pics current! The bottom line for any type of online activity is that you absolutely have to remember that there is no limit to the people who can see the things you put out there. That means you need to be ultra-careful to make sure you conduct yourself in a way that reassures potential clients rather than repelling them. To learn more, email email@example.com 13
TOP 10 PRODUCERS UNITS
As a real estate agent, you are the head of a small business. The appeal of “being your own boss” is likely one of the reasons that you got into real estate in the first place, but it is also one of the things that could be holding you back if you aren’t focused on being the boss of yourself.
Where Did I Spend Money Most Effectively?
Any successful business regularly takes time to analyze where they stand, what resources they have at their disposal, and what the return on that investment has been. They then use that information to make decisions about future investments with the goal of raising long-term profitability. If you aren’t having these types of meetings with yourself about the state of your business, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. But don’t worry, because this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Your entire planning session can be broken down into five basic questions that you should be asking yourself.
While your marketing budget is a very important resource to monitor, your time is an even more valuable commodity… although many of us forget that fact in the middle of a busy week. During your planning session, take some time to evaluate where you are spending time in your business and what types of returns that investment is delivering. You might find that adjusting the amount of time you spend on open houses, showing properties, or working in the office justifies an adjustment in one area or another.
Who Are My Best Clients?
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS: STUDYING YOUR HISTORY TO PLAN YOUR FUTURE.
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. In this case, you can use it to suggest that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your clients. Who are those clients and what type of work are you doing for them? If your most profitable clients from the past year were all from investors looking for rental properties or businesses looking for commercial properties, being aware of that fact can help you locate more clients that have similar needs.
Where Did I Get My Best Clients? Speaking of your best clients, how did they become your clients? They might have found you through a referral group, your personal website, or they may have been referrals from previous clients. Identifying the sources that are providing you with your best clients will allow you to plan on spending more time developing those sources and less time focused on lead generation methods that aren’t working as well.
Using whatever accounting software you prefer, print out a report on where you spent your marketing budget over the past 12 months. What is giving you the best return on investment and what is not performing up to your expectations? By analyzing what marketing expenses are delivering the best results, you can make some educated decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget in the months to come.
Where Did I Spend My Time Most Effectively?
How Can I Best Schedule My Business? Once you have some answers to the first four questions, the next thing that you need to ask yourself is how you can adjust your calendar moving forward to accommodate those changes. Identifying who your best clients are and how you are acquiring those clients will cause you to rethink where you are investing both your money and your time. After deciding how you want those adjustments to shake out, write down what that looks like on your calendar and pick a date a few months out to repeat this process and review the results of your changes. Being the boss isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it does mean that you get to control all aspects of your business. Take that responsibility seriously and schedule a personal planning session every few months. You won’t believe how powerful the results can be. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE REAL ESTATE AGENT’S GUIDE TO
SNAPCHAT & INSTAGRAM STORIES IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO GET ON BOARD WITH THE NEXT BIG THING IN SOCIAL MEDIA, SNAPCHAT AND INSTAGRAM STORIES ARE THE TICKET. AND WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER A BASIC INTRODUCTION THAT WILL GET YOU SEEING SOME RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT IN THOSE PLATFORMS IN NO TIME AT ALL.
SNAPCHAT AND INSTAGRAM STORY BASICS So what exactly are these apps? What is Snapchat? What is Instagram Stories? And what makes them so different? At its core, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are about sharing pictures and short 10-second videos (taken directly from your phone) with your friends and the general public.
PLATFORM ADVANTAGES A key aspect of Snapchat is that the photo or video you share directly to somebody will disappear once it has been viewed by the recipient. When you decide to post the video to your “story” on both Instagram as well Snapchat, your video or photo will live for a full 24 hours (unless you decide to delete it before then) and can be seen by anybody who follows you on these social media platforms. The fact that the snaps are going to disappear creates a level of 16
scarcity that forces the people viewing them to actually pay attention to them, which is a very rare thing in social media these days! Because of this high level of engagement, you can start seeing some serious return on your snaps even when you only have a handful of followers. You don’t need to worry about getting thousands of fans to be successful like you do on other platforms. Even with just your phone's contact list you can reach 100s of people a day and share your information. Another big advantage for Snapchat and Instagram users are that people viewing your “story” will be able to see all of your posts grouped together in chronological order. So if you are telling a story about what you are doing that day, or giving a tour of a property, you can take your Snapchat audience along for the ride without interruption.
BUILDING A FOLLOWING Creating a Snapchat and Instagram presence that actually works for your real estate business requires you to focus on two things: building an audience and producing great content. Let’s start with the audience. The first step in building an audience is to find and follow all of your friends and family on both Snapchat and Instagram. Since there is no native search on Snapchat, you will have to ask around a bit. Don’t worry, it’s worth the time investment. One great way to kick off your Snapchat account is to promote it across your other social media platforms. Make your Twitter and Facebook profile pics your Snapcode (that ghost profile image) for a few days and your friends will start to follow. Once you establish a basic following, the next step is to print out that Snapcode and display it at the office and at your open houses and other events. You might even want to run contests encouraging local residents to snap you pictures of their favorite listings! Thankfully, there are ways to find your contact list on Instagram. When you first create an Instagram profile it will prompt you to find friends. You can either find a friend via your phone's contact list or by linking
your Facebook. Once you have the app created you can also add friends by heading into the Settings tab and from there clicking one of the "Find Friends" options presented.
CONTENT IDEAS As you are building your audience, you are going to want to share some great content with them. Luckily for you, real estate is an incredibly visual business, so we will have plenty of ideas to work with. The most common thing for agents to snap are pictures of their listings. You can then take this a step further by showing off the best aspects of different listings, using multiple Snapchat and Instagram videos to do virtual tours of your listings, and to promote your open houses. In between your listing-focused snaps, you can also try peppering in some pictures and videos of different aspects of your community. Showing what an expert you are about the community not only makes you look good, but it also gives people who aren’t currently in the market a reason to follow you. Finally, since Snapchat and Instagram are very personal platforms, you are going to want to include some things about yourself. Take some time at various points throughout your workweek to show what the life of a real estate agent is like “behind the scenes.” You want people to get to know you as the person as well as the agent. Now that you have a basic understanding of how Snapchat and Instagram Stories work, some ideas for building an audience, and the types of things that you should share with them, all that you have left to do is start capturing moments and watch your business grow because of it! To learn more, email email@example.com.
TO BREAK INTO THE L U X U RY M A R K E T How do you get that proverbial foot in the door? We’ve got a few ideas that will definitely help to get you moving in the right direction! E X P E R I E N C E I S N ’ T E V E RY T H I N G , B U T IT’S A BIG HELP Barring a miraculous stroke of luck, you probably aren’t going to have many million-dollar listings simply fall into your lap. But if you ask one of the top luxury agents in your market to mentor you, there is a good chance you can get some real experience under your belt before signing your own luxury clients.
P U T E V E R Y T H I N G Y O U H AV E I N T O E V E RY D E A L It’s important to remember that everyone you work with on any deal, no matter the size, is likely to have a lot of friends, family, and co-workers they can potentially refer you to. If you do the kind of job that causes those people to tell their connections about how great you are to work with, that information will eventually find its way to someone looking to sell a luxury home in your community.
Y O U H AV E T O L O O K T H E P A R T One of the oldest business quotes in the book is “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." And in this case it couldn't be more true. Luxury sellers and buyers usually want to know they are hiring an actual professional and that doesn't include shorts and flip-flops, even if you are in our California or Florida marketplaces.
U N D E R S TA N D Y O U R L O C A L L U X U RY MARKET We asked one of Carrington's premier luxury agents Raini Gordy from Del Mar, California, what the one piece of advice she would give to agents looking to break into the luxury market and she went straight toward knowledge, saying “More than anything, the people, buyers, and sellers in the luxury market are very educated people. They are very smart. R E F U E L I N G R E A L E S TAT E C A R E E R S
You want to make sure you are familiar with the marketplace. You need to educate yourself about the community and the local marketplace. Each and every community is different, so luxury homes in your area could be worth $300,000 or $300 million. You need to take some time on a regular basis to study the high-end listings in your area. Take note of which neighborhoods to focus on and what features those sellers are highlighting as well as what changes are going on frequently in that specific marketplace. You want to make sure that you are the smartest person in the room when it comes to real estate.”
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK Search local events that you believe would cater toward the luxury market and do your best to attend and network with anybody and everybody at the function. Once at these events, make sure that you are providing value in conversations. It is great to be personable and to be a friendly face but if the conversation turns to real estate, which let's face it usually happens once you state you are a REALTOR®, make sure you have some substance and facts ready about the luxury market not only in your immediate local marketplace but nationally as well.
DON’T BE SHY ABOUT PROMOTING YOURSELF If you want to break into the luxury market, you’re going to have to do a good job of promoting yourself. This can include a plethora of different online and offline advertising options, but make sure your message is constant across all of them. You should also make sure that your personal website conveys the message that you are an experienced agent who is willing to work hard to list and sell luxury properties. This is often the first place potential sellers will check to vet an agent. Becoming the go-to agent for luxury listings in your community is not going to be easy. So if you follow these basic steps and work hard, there is no doubt that you will see the average price of your listings start to rise over time. And that means more money in your pocket at the end of the day! To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 17
IT’S TIME TO SAY FAREWELL TO FORECLOSURES AND HELLO TO HOMEOWNERS
As the crisis begins to fade in the industry’s rearview mirror, former homeowners who suffered through delinquency and foreclosures are starting to come back into the market. According to Fannie Mae’s underwriting guidelines, seven years after the completion date of a foreclosure action, borrowers are once again eligible for a Fannie Mae loan. Borrowers with a short sale in their credit history are eligible four years after the sale.1 But are these and other potentially credit-challenged borrowers actually able to find financing to enter the housing market? By many indications, this remains one of the biggest challenges the housing industry faces.
According to data from Ellie Mae, the average FICO score for all closed loans was 724 this past May, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, although a slight year-over-year decrease from the average score of 730 seen in May 2015.2 Borrowers with a credit score from 600 to 649 represented just 8.76 percent of the closed purchase loans in May, and borrowers with a credit score below 600 represented a meager 0.47 percent of closed purchase loans. Even Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans still have relatively high average credit scores. Although the FHA allows for scores as low as 500 with a 10 percent down payment, or 580 with a 3.5 percent down payment,3 the average FICO score for a closed FHA purchase loan was 686 this past May, according to Ellie Mae. Borrowers with credit scores below 600 represented just 4.17 percent of closed FHA loans. Although foreclosure and delinquent debt no longer loom large over the industry, the shadow of its effects remains, and mortgage credit can still be elusive for many who seek to enter the housing market. Many lenders continue to require high credit scores and significant down payments, even for government-guaranteed loans with less stringent guidelines. Real estate agents with potential homebuyers who are falling between the cracks of the current lending environment should partner with lenders with a wide variety of loan products and with requirements that meet today’s financial realities. Even though it seems as though the majority of lenders are still looking for customers with great credit and significant cash reserves, more and more lenders are creating new loan products to extend mortgage credit across a broad range of borrowers. Real estate agents can help home seekers become homeowners by being knowledgeable about loan products and programs available to help a diverse array of borrowers. In fact, many lenders today have lowered their credit-score requirements and down payment minimums, as well as created programs to help borrowers with various loanrelated fee structures. Agents with clients seeking FHA or other government loan products should also seek lenders that specialize in government-sponsored loans that have manual underwriting capabilities to help potential borrowers with more challenging or unusual credit profiles. Lenders that offer a wide variety of programs, from conventional loans to FHA-backed products, may be best suited to help the diverse clientele with which many real estate agents work. Regardless of whether your business deals with short sales, foreclosures, or conventional purchases, real estate agents must be prepared to help their potential homebuyers purchase the home they desire. By partnering with experienced lenders that offer a diverse array of loan products for every type of borrower, agents can help improve and grow their own business while also helping clients secure the financing they need to become a homeowner. REFERENCES: (1) www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/trending-questions?taskId=task-47. (2) www.elliemae.com/origination-insight-reports/Ellie_Mae_OIR_MAY2016.pdf. (3) www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/fha-credit-score-too-low-696/.
To learn more, call 877.277.7256 or visit CarringtonHomeLoans.com 18
Jumpstart the home buying process
by prequalifying your buyers! Prequalifying is easy, doesn’t require your clients to disclose their Social Security number and creates no obligation — for them or Carrington. In return for completing this simple process, prequalification offers you and your potential buyers some serious benefits: n n n
Demonstrates the seriousness of your buyer’s intent to purchase Gives you and your buyer an idea of how much home they can afford Helps you better target the right homes to visit Get your buyer’s prequalification started by calling today
© Co© Copyright 2007-2016 Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC headquartered at 1600 South Douglass Road, Suites 110 & 200A, Anaheim, CA 92806. 800-561-4567. NMLS ID #2600. Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) Consumer Access website: www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. AZ: Mortgage Banker BK-0910745. CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, File 413 0904. CO: Check license status of your mortgage loan originator at www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate/index.htm. GA: Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee 22721. IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. KS: Supervised Loan License SL.0000313. KY: Mortgage Loan Company License MC21112. MN: This is not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement under Minnesota Law. MS: Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Mortgage Lender License 2600. MO: Missouri Company Registration 14-1746-A. In-State Office: Missouri Residential Mortgage Loan Broker License 14-1746-A1. 251 SW Noel, Lees Summit, MO 64063. NV: Mortgage Broker License 4068 (Residential Mortgage Lending). NH: Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department. NJ: Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance. NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services. New York Mortgage Banker License B500980/107664. OH: Ohio Mortgage Broker Act Certificate of Registration MB.804213.000; Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration SM.501517.000. OR: Mortgage Lender License ML4886. PA: Licensed by the Department of Banking. RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender, Lender License 20112809LL. VA: Licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission MC-5382. NMLS ID 2600 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). WA: Consumer Loan License CL2600. Also licensed in AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, ID, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, MI, MT, NM, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, WV, WI and WY. NOTICE: All loans subject to credit, underwriting and property approval guidelines. Offered loan products may vary by state. There is no guarantee that all borrowers will qualify. Restrictions may apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Terms, conditions and programs are subject to change without notice. This information is for mortgage professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers. Carrington Mortgage Services is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or any government agency. All rights reserved.
BOOST YOUR BUSINESS WITH JUMPSTART. There is no reason why you can’t take your business to the next level right now! At Carrington Real Estate Services, agents can plug into our proprietary training program called JUMPSTART. It shows you step by step how to get clients to come to you instead of you chasing them all the time. Sound good? Let’s talk!