Experienced Real Estate Agents


Think back to the last real estate agent you hired. Is your agent still in the business? Good agents stay in contact with past clients. Were you satisfied with your representation and the service provided? Odds are if your agent is still active in the real estate business — and you were happy with that agent — you probably had hired a real estate agent with experience.The bulk of letters and e-mails I receive from readers are complaints about their real estate agents — griping about lousy service and bad advice or agonizing over how to fire an agent, often a relative, without causing a family riff.

How Much Experience Should Agents Have?

Instead of asking how much experience an agent has, ask how many times the agent has renewed his or her real estate license. In Oklahoma, for example, real estate licenses are issued for three years; in California, they enjoy four-year terms and in New York the  term is two years . You have probably heard the adage that 20% of the agents do 80% of the business. That’s because top producing agents are consistent, and this consistency comes from experience. The minimum number of transactions many brokers expect an agent to complete per year averages out to about ten, which is almost one per month. Not a lot by a top-producer’s standards, but adequate in most real estate circles.

Why Do Real Estate Agents Quit?

The number one reason real estate agents leave the business is because they aren’t making enough money. The median salary for an agent in the United States is less than $35,000 a year. Subtract from that figure normal business expenses and taxes, and let’s hope nobody is trying to feed a family of four on what’s leftover. Although experts advise new agents to keep six to 12 months of salary in reserves, few heed that advice. The business appears to be very easy to outsiders looking in, but real estate is complicated, time consuming and the average Joe or Jill are typically ill equipped to become a real estate agent. Unfortunately, many don’t find that out until they’ve weathered many months without a paycheck.

Here are some of the skills successful agents possess that help them to prosper in the real estate industry:

Time management
Patience to handle conflict resolutions
Marketing expertise
Self promotion
Projection of an outgoing personality

The Benefits of Experience

An experienced agent is one whose mistakes are new. Successful agents learn something new every year; while lesser agents tend to repeat past mistakes. Top agents treat each client as though their business depends on the client’s success. Because it does.

Agents who are experienced:
Offer solutions based on previous results
Anticipate problems before they occur
Enjoy solid reputations with other agents
Have practiced strong negotiation techniques
Refer time-tested vendors such as mortgage lenders, title companies, home inspectors, appraisers, general contractors, pest inspectors
Understand the complexities of changing real estate markets
Provide statistics and crucial market data to clients
Professionally guide clients to smooth closings

Should You Hire a DNA Agent?

DNA agents are relatives. As such, relatives are often careful not to offend each other. Agents who are related to you might not want to counter your opinions or ideas, even if it’s in your best interest to do so. You might not feel comfortable demanding what you deserve, as you would with an agent who was not family.

The bottom line is you might want to compare competitors, use tips to finding a real estate agent and interviewing a real estate agent, before making your final selection.

Finding a Real Estate Agent



Finding a good real estate agent / broker is essential to enjoying a painless real estate transaction. The saying is “20% of the agents do 80% of the business,” and it is true. The question is how can you find a good real estate agent? The best agent for you doesn’t necessarily work at the largest brokerage, close the most transactions or make the most money. The best agent for you is an experienced professional who will listen to you, conduct him/herself in an ethical manner and knows your market.


1.  REALTORS® and Real Estate Agents

All Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate as an agent or a broker but not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Only Realtors® can display the Realtor® logo. Realtors® belong to the National Association of Realtors and pledge to follow the Code of Ethics, a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice, which establish levels of conduct that are higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law.

2.  Referrals

Most real estate agents stay in business because satisfied clients refer them to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. Ask the people around you who they have used and ask them to describe their experiences with this real estate agent. Successful agents make customer satisfaction their number one priority and put their customers’ needs before their own. Try to find an agent who goes above and beyond her responsibilities. They’ll be the agent whose praises your friends sing the loudest.

3.  Search Online for Agent Listings

There are plenty of websites that will refer agents to you but that is no assurance of quality. The agents they refer are those who have paid the website owners a fee to be listed in their directory. A better bet is to Google the top real estate companies in your area, go to those websites and look up profiles of individual agents at offices near you. Agents who are experienced will tell you in plain view on their websites, but newer agents might have more time to spend with you. Look for customer reviews.

4.  Attend Open Houses

By going to open houses, you can meet real estate agents in a non-threatening working environment and interact with them. Collect business cards and make notes on them. If you’re thinking about selling your home, pay attention to how the agent is showing the home. Are they polite and informative; appear knowledgeable? Do they hand out professional-looking promotional material about the home? Are they trying to sell features of the home? Or are they sitting in a corner reading a book, ignoring you?

5.  Track Neighborhood Signs

Pay attention to the listing signs in your neighborhood. Make note of the day they go up and when the sign disappears. Don’t wait for a sold sign because not all agents will post a sold sign. The agent who sells listings the fastest might be better for you than the agent with the largest number of “for sale” signs. Results speak volumes.

6.  Using Print Advertising

Real estate agents run real estate ads for two purposes. The first is to sell specific real estate. The second is to promote the real estate agent. Look in your local community newspaper for house ads in your targeted neighborhood. Then look up the websites of the agents who are advertising. These agents could be specialists in your neighborhood. Call and ask them about their experience.

7.  Recommendations from Professionals

Ask other real estate agents for referrals. Agents are happy to refer buyers and sellers to associates, especially if the service you need is not a specialty of the agent who is referring you. Some agents specialize in residential resales while others work exclusively with new home builders. Other agents sell only commercial or investment property. Mortgage brokers are also a resource for agent referrals as many brokers have first-hand knowledge of exceptional agents. Professionals tend to refer other professionals like themselves.

5 Summer Projects That Will Improve Your Home and Boost Its Value

You already know that remodeling is a great way to improve your home’s appearance and raise your property value. The question is: Which improvements are worth tackling today? Here are five that you can easily complete before the leaves start falling.

1. Add a Deck 


Creating enticing outdoor living spaces is one of the hottest trends in home improvement. When it comes to outdoor living spaces, the right deck makes all the difference, and is especially important for those who prefer to spend most of their summers relaxing or entertaining outside. However, adding a deck does more than improve your yards livability, a well-designed deck improves your home’s value and is a feature that has the potential to really set your house apart. Tackling the project now ensures you’ll be able to enjoy your new deck this summer and for summers to come.


2. Upgrade Your Air Conditioning 

air conditionerMaybe you’re tired of paying those exorbitant utility bills. Or perhaps you’re tired of having no air conditioning whatsoever. If so, an A/C upgrade is a home improvement worth making. From lowering your bills to improving the comfort and salability of your home, installing a new high-efficiency air conditioning system is one home improvement you’ll be glad you made. Concerned about the price? Getting quotes from at least three HVAC pros will ensure you get the best price. They’ll also be able to tell you about any rebates that your local utility might be running – making your new air conditioner a lot more affordable than you expect.

3. Replace Your Siding

Siding is responsible for protecting your home from the elements. It’s no surprise then that worn out siding can really affect your home’s appearance. Equally unsurprising is that replacing your siding can greatly improve your home’s appearance and increase your property value.

When considering replacement siding, look to your environment for clues as to which choice is right for you. In the southwest, stucco offers a regional look and provides extraordinary durability; in the northeast, wood (or vinyl that looks like wood but requires less maintenance) will give your home a more classic look. However, don’t just consider your climate, consider your neighborhood, too. If every house on the block is clad in vinyl siding, would stone or brick set your house apart or make it stick out? A siding pro will be able to help you figure out the right siding solution for your needs and your budget.

4. Replace Your Roofing


If your roof has been hit by severe weather or is simply at the end of its lifecycle, installing a new roof is a project best completed sooner than later (or immediately if your roof has been severely damaged and is leaking). So, what do you need to know about replacing your roof? First, talk to your insurance agent to see if the replacement is covered by insurance. Second, make sure you talk to at least three roofing pros before making the hiring decision (HomeAdvisor is here to help you find a roofing pro you can trust to get the job done right). Third, your new roof’s durability will be directly related to its cost. Asphalt is the most affordable and the quickest to wear out; tile and slate are the most durable and by far the most expensive. Metal falls somewhere in the middle; its quick installation, moderate price, and 40+ year life expectancy make it a popular choice among homeowners who want a good balance of value and durability. To find the best solution for your home and budget, we recommend talking to a roofing pro.

5. Improve Your Landscaping


No list of remodeling projects is complete without mentioning landscaping. For good reason too, as a well-designed and properly installed landscaping plan can have a big impact on your home’s curb appeal and value. However, in many cases improving your landscaping involves more than adding plants and cutting the grass, especially if you’re looking to make significant changes or have challenging design features to work around. We recommend talking to a landscape designer or landscaping pro to figure out the best solution for your yard and your budget.

Pick Your Project and Go

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your to-do list. The key is to prioritize your list of needs and wants to focus your attention on the project that makes the most sense right now (obviously, any roofing or siding issues affecting the structural integrity of your home need to be addressed ASAP). On that note, if you’ve been considering that new deck or new air conditioner, there’s no time like the present to get started. After all, completing the project now means you get to relax and enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Lead Generation Tips

asdaLike any business, marketing is an important part of the real estate game. And more so than in many types of industry, you as an individual are at the forefront of your brand.

So what separates a solid real estate brand from the other guys? Not surprisingly, the Internet has some suggestions.

(It goes without saying that if you are part of a larger real estate company, you should adhere to standards set forth by your employer.)

  1. First and foremost, know your market — which means knowing your competition. What lines and imagery do other agents use? What specialties (“green,” “luxury,” “low-cost”) or neighborhoods are well covered, and where might there be opportunities? Find a niche that you are both comfortable with and where opportunities exist.


  1. Next: Know your customers. the ever-invaluable Inman News website digs into the psychology behind the Realtor/client relationship and suggests four questions you should ask yourself to better understand your clients’ mindset. For instance: “What emotions do I want clients to feel when they use my products or services?” If you can get to the root of questions like these, you can build your brand to support those needs.


  1. Get comfortable with social media. You may have multiple accounts on every social media platform out there — you may even still use your MySpace page! — but we’re willing to be a few of you don’t know a hashtag from a hand grenade. It’s time to get up to speed. Many community colleges and other schools offer courses in social media for business or communications, and even if you don’t have the time or money to put into a class, we’re willing to bet you can find someone who will help. Choose which platforms are right for you; Facebook and Linked In are probably musts for professional Realtors, while Twitter and Instagram may depend more on your tastes and talents. Once you’re on these platforms, be yourself and stay on-brand. If you want to have personal accounts, restrict access to them and make sure there’s no confusion between them.


  1. Once you find your brand, “wear it.” Make sure that everything you put out represents you and your personal brand, from signs to e-mails, from pens to letterhead. From Trulia: “Not every agent can be the top salesperson in town, but each can find their own branding niche: dog-friendly agent, houseboat sales team, modern design brokerage, stone-cold investment-negotiation expert .. Then find visual guidelines and a business process to inform your specific customers that you are the right professional for their needs.”


  1. You absolutely have to walk the talk: Many Realtors build their brand around trust and competence, which means you must follow through for your clients.

Online Marketing Techniques of Successful Real Estate Agencies

37193912Now more than ever, the Internet has become the primary method used by home buyers when looking for a new home. Online searches and listings have made it easier for prospective home buyers to find their dream homes.

In 2013, 90 percent of home buyers did research online before choosing to buy their homes. Additionally, 76 percent of home buyers actually drove by homes that they found on the Internet.

It’s clear that the Internet has become a staple in the world of real estate. This is great for home buyers and realtors too.

However, this paradigm shift has created new challenges for real estate agencies and realtors. The advent of social media and content marketing has given everyone a voice. Realtors no longer have to rely on traditional advertising to gain exposure.

While this has made it easier for agents to market themselves, it has also brought new challenges. Since any real estate agent can build a website and begin spreading their message online, it’s now become harder for firms to differentiate themselves from their competition: How do you stand out from all the other real estate firms in your area?

This post will provide you with some sound online marketing techniques that will help you distinguish your firm. With hard work and focus, you can successfully build a viable and prominent brand in your community.

Online Marketing Rule of Thumb

The main rule of thumb that online marketing firms should follow is simply this: you must provide as much value as possible.

Your online efforts will be pointless if they don’t provide a distinct benefit to your readers. Everything you do online should be done in a way that provides useful information, solves a problem, or answers specific questions.

Create Guides

Create guides that help your readers better understand your market. These free guides should give value to your readers.

Here’s some examples:

  • A definitive guide to the local nightlife in your area.
  • A guide that discusses the most kid-friendly places in your city.
  • Annual guides that discuss the changes in your local real estate market.

Guides such as these can help you provide relevant and helpful information to prospects that may be looking for a real estate agent in your area. They are also a great lead generator.

If you offer the guide in exchange for the reader’s email, then you will be able to help them while earning the right to reach out to them.

Create a Brand that Stands Out

It’s not enough to use online marketing only to offer your services. If you want your firm to stand out from the others, you have to create a winning brand that makes your prospects want to engage with your firm.

Creating an effective brand isn’t easy, but if you do this right, you will be able to position yourself as the authority that your readers need. Creating a great brand involves several components:

  • Personality — Are you funny? Authoritative? Hard working? Every real estate agent has personality traits that make them a great choice for a prospect. Figure out what those are and make sure they show through in your online marketing efforts.
  • Voice — What does your brand “sound” like? What tone will you take when you’re engaging with your readers? This is related to your personality. Use a voice that will resonate with potential leads.
  • Story — What’s your brand’s story? Why did you decide to do real estate? What do you stand for? An essential component of a great brand is a great story. Craft your brand’s story, then make sure elements of your story are present in each piece of content you create.

Real Estate Newsletters

A great way to keep your clients engaged (even after you have already helped them) is to have a regular newsletter. Creating a newsletter will further position your firm as an authority in your area.

As a real estate agent, you can use newsletters to provide relevant and helpful content to your audience on a continuous basis. Your newsletter should provide timely information about your community, information on events going on in the city, and other useful content. You can also use it to alert your audience to new blog posts.

Real Estate Blogs

As a real estate agent, your primary online marketing tool should be your blog. Your blog is where you will share your most relevant and informative content on a regular basis. When you maintain a blog that regularly features unique and interesting information, it shows prospects that you are the expert at what you do.

Your blog will help you set yourself apart from the other real estate agents in your area who aren’t taking their online efforts seriously. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a successful real estate blog:

  • Post on topics that your prospects will care about. Answer commonly-asked questions. Give updates on the community. Spotlight local businesses. Educate your readers on your city.
  • Write in a friendly, casual tone. Don’t be too wordy. Your blog isn’t the place to show your reader how brilliant you are. It’s where you will provide as much value as possible.
  • Do not use your blog to promote your services or try to sell yourself. There are other places on your website for that.
  • Try to make sure that your brand’s message comes through in each blog post you create.

Guest Blogging

A sure fire way to build authority and influence is to share your content on other blogs. This gets you more exposure and shows potential prospects that you are an expert in your field.

Find blogs that are relevant to your profession and become involved in the community. Then, pitch a blog topic on which to write.

Not only does guest posting give you a platform to showcase your expertise, it can also increase your blog traffic and provide useful backlinks. This is great for your readership and SEO. Try to do as many guest blog postings as you can.


If you’re a real estate agent, effective online marketing is essential to your success. When you’re engaging in online marketing, there’s one key point to remember: it’s all about providing value. It’s likely that one of the main reasons you decided to become a real estate agent is because you had a desire to help people.  You get to be a part of one the most important decisions a person can make: choosing a home.

Your online marketing strategy should flow from this desire. When you’re creating content, it should be designed to make it easier for your prospects when they are considering where to live. If you create content that actually helps your prospects in their search for a home, they will be more likely to hire you. In the end, a successful online marketing program will help you generate and convert more leads into actual clients.

Real Estate Agent Photo via Shutterstock

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