By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Meeting Prospects: Make it a Conversation, Not a Presentation
It’s hard to act as a trusted advisor when meeting with clients and prospects if you don’t know the answer to client questions or worse yet – can’t look them up (we can’t all know everything). And when you’re giving real estate presentations to potential clients, the trusted advisor perception becomes even more important.
That’s why the ability to change and update your real estate presentations on the fly is an absolute must. MoxiPresent, our interactive CMA and presentation tool allows you to do just that. Below are some of the many ways MoxiPresent allows you to be agile in front of clients – without the mad scramble.
Make changes on the fly/add in new data
Did your prospects’ neighbor’s house just go on the market this morning, but you made the presentation yesterday? No problem. You can add in or take away homes on the fly while you’re sitting next to your potential clients. This is a great way to showcase how nimble you are as an agent and your presentation will become more of a conversation than a presentation, which is the ultimate goals.
Edit the remarks
Did you know you can edit the listing remarks in your presentations? While the normal remarks are most often just fine, that doesn’t mean they’re tailored to your prospective buyer or seller. If it’s a buyer presentation, edit the remarks towards what you know they’re looking to buy. Does it have enough bedrooms? Is it close to a school? Put all the info you want them to see first in the remarks, that way they’re front and center and your guidance becomes invaluable. If they’re a seller, edit to the remarks to showcase how their house ranks compared to others.
Up-to-date MLS data
Okay, this one is awesome because agents don’t actually have to make any changes here. With MoxiPresent, MLS data is always up-to-date. You never have to worry again when walking into a potential client meeting because all property data will be updated the second you click that presentation link.
In many ways, MoxiPresent is the shoes to your outfit. While it might feel like a great real estate presentation can make or break a meeting, what’s more vital is how you come across as a whole. MoxiPresent is special because it puts the agent in the spotlight, allowing them to be the star of the show, winning clients over time and time again. Honestly, what’s better than that?
Find out more about MoxiPresent here.
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
California has long been known as a trendsetter within the realm of green energy, but it recently had a “mic drop” moment that could set the tone for the future of renewable energy integration in homes.
That moment took place during May of 2018, when the Golden State became the first to pass a requirement for newly built homes to have solar panels on their roofs. The new standards are part of a major step towards California’s goal to make renewable energy the producer of a whopping 50% of its overall electricity by 2030, which was set in 2015.
Although the mandate issued by the California Energy Commission won’t go into effect until 2020, it’s likely at the top of minds of many who are considering buying a house in the not-so-distant future.
What does solar power currently look like in California? An article by The New York Times regarding the new requirement states that, as of the end of 2017, solar power makes up “almost 16 percent of the state’s electricity, and the industry employs more than 86,000 workers”. This makes California the undisputed leader in the realm of solar power energy in the US.
How will the requirement affect home prices? The addition of solar panels is expected to add $8,000 to $12,000 to the initial cost of participating homes. Not to worry – the California Energy Commission claims that “based on a 30-year mortgage, (it is estimated that) the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills”. That being said, what may seem like a hefty chunk of change in the minds of your clients at first is really a massive money saver in the long-run.
How does this affect you, the agent? As renewable energy sources such as solar power slowly become the norm, they will likely become increasingly expected by homeowners. For now, you can utilize the coming changes as an opportunity to highlight existing solar power features in homes as being ahead of the game. If you want to emphasize the cost saving benefits they can provide to clients, visit a site like Project Sunroof to get accurate estimates of their solar power savings potential.
What about the other states? California may be the first to make groundbreaking moves when it comes to solar power, but it is unlikely to be the last. California will serve an experiment for other states to observe and study before they attempt to implement rules and requirements of their own towards the adoption of renewable energy.
Want to see how your state stacks up in the ranks of solar power integration ranks? Find the rankings here.
By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
In case you aren’t already aware, you, the agents, are the real deal superheroes of the real estate market. Not only do your clients look to you for advice, guidance, and as someone to save the day when they get lost in the process, but they also expect you to seamlessly guide them into the next phase in their life (no pressure). In return, you look to your clients for clarity when it comes to what they are looking to gain from your relationship and what they are expecting from you specifically as their chosen agent. Clearly, real estate is one giant tango.
These expectations can vary greatly depending on whether your clients are in the process of buying a new home or selling their current one. Buyers, for instance, expect you to be a miracle worker, taking all of their Pinterest inspired must-have lists and miraculously finding the home they have been dreaming of, all for a price far below the budget they seem incapable of agreeing upon. Sellers, on the other hand, are focused on the cold, hard cash. They expect you to not only make their neglected home look like a million dollars (more like several million these days), but to also be the expert hardball negotiator that will pull the necessary strings in order to get them an offer that is well over the listing price you initially prepared them for.
These differences between buyers vs sellers require you to constantly adjust how you go about your role as an agent. Below are a few ideas for ensuring your sales strategy truly delivers on your client’s expectations.
When working with buyers:
Be helpful. The task of buying a home is clearly daunting enough as is, which is why buyers depend on you to provide them with information that will help them make the important decisions – not attempt to make decisions for them. Avoid applying too much pressure, and instead prioritize being a source for them to turn to for guidance. Keep in mind that the word “helpful” has been found to be a leading phrase found in 5 star agent reviews, and who doesn’t want one of those to tout?
Remain calm. The median home price in the US has risen to a record high of $206,300, although values are significantly higher in urban markets like San Jose, where the median home value is a whopping $1,171,800. Buyers are very aware that they are about to drop some serious cash, which understandably leads them to become stressed, indecisive, and severely sleep deprived. Even if you, yourself are eating copious amounts of ice cream to ease the stress, your communications with clients should reflect a state calm, cool, and collected. Put the ice cream aside, you’ve got this.
Be the fire extinguisher. Inventory has reportedly decreased by 10% in the last year, meaning competition between buyers is on the rise. If bidding wars are heating up, send them a bouquet of flowers or a certificate to a dinner out to put a smile on their face and reassure them that it will all work out.
Stay in touch. We know that your personal lives are important, but the last thing you want is to watch your clients dream home slip away in front of your eyes simply because your response time wasn’t up to par. This requires you to remain constantly available to them, as well as those selling the prospective homes. 94% of agents say they prefer to communicate with their clients through email. If that percentage includes you, make sure that your notifications are turned on to ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to impress them with a quick response.
When working with sellers:
Show and tell. It is quite obvious in today’s market that sellers are in the driver’s seat, and you bet your clients will be fully aware of it. Remaining transparent with them throughout the process regarding your marketing efforts and outreach strategies will ensure that they remain confident in your determination to get them the highest price possible.
Know the right people. In most cases, sellers are motivated to do anything they can within reason (and budget) to increase the value of their homes. Taking initiative in providing them with suggestions and having trusted sources on hand to get the work done will let them know that you are knowledgeable and the person to look to for related advice.
Keep them in the loop. According to NAR, homes sold in 2017 were typically on the market for three weeks. That is likely three extremely stressful and life altering weeks for your sellers. As their agent, you should be sending them regular updates throughout regarding the status of prospective offers to keep worries minimal and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Go above and beyond. Sellers want to work with agents who they are confident will get them the best offer, period. That’s likely why 67% of sellers claim that they would use an agent that they previously worked with again in the future. This means celebrating the closing in a memorable way is a must and staying in touch even after the sale is long over should be an ongoing priority.
Although your experience has likely already proven the importance of these points to you already, it can be easy to get caught up in the fast-paced industry that is real estate and forget that sales strategies are not one-size-fits-all. The “tomato, tom(ah)to” mindset isn’t one that works well when it comes to buyers vs sellers, so be sure to constantly be reminding yourself of the differences!
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
It’s open house season! It’s exciting and traumatizing all at once. So much to do, so many shoe covers to put on. It also means it’s time to think outside the box when drawing people in and forcing them to stay. And by forcing we don’t mean tying them to the chairs, that would be illegal. We mean enticing them to stay so well they’ll want to buy the home and stay forever.
Here are 10 wacky, awesome ideas for your next open house:
One. Speaking of shoe covers… I think we’re all tired of bending over to pick them up. Think about not keeping them in a little basket on the floor and instead putting them in a nice display on a table. Sore backs everywhere will thank you.
You know what would be even better? Custom shoe covers. We did a quick search and yes, it’s possible to get some booties with your logo and everything. It’s not groundbreaking, but hey, everything makes a difference.
Two. While we’re on the topic, get some cookies with your logo and maybe even your phone number on it! It’ll look so good, open house guests will never want to eat ‘em. Get them individually wrapped so everyone can easily take one with them and have your number on hand. We recommend this place. We’ve used them before and they’re delicious. In fact, we’re kind of obsessed! Your open house guests will be too.
Three. Fill the bath (if there is one) with bubble bath, some rose petals, and champagne flutes filled on the side. I don’t care who you are or what kind of house you’re looking at, everyone loves to kick back and relax. Help them imagine themselves in the home by staging some relaxing spots.
Four. If it has a beautiful garden, pick a few flowers and put them in the entryway and kitchen. Put a cute little sign showing that they’re from their future garden. It’s all about the vibes, people!
Five. Buy some poo-pourri. Yes, you read that right. It’s not very expensive and it could save your open house from a nightmare situation. An open house is a great time, especially when it’s packed with people constantly coming and going. It turns into a bad time when someone decides to go, and the paint starts peeling off the walls. Avoid at all costs. Invest in this.
Six. Buy a cake. Buy a huge, delicious cake, with the listing photo as the top. It’s possible, pretty much every bakery can put an image on one. It’ll make your guests feel like they’re already celebrating (even though you’re about to get them into a bidding war and get over the asking price for your clients – ayoo!)
Seven. I’m going to make this one short and sweet. If it’s a family home with a backyard, buy a bubble maker and stick it back there. Kids love that stuff. Adults do too, but we’re not allowed to admit it.
Eight. Pay an ice cream truck to stop by during the open house’s hours. It will draw major attention and have people running from all directions. Alternatively, a food truck works great too! There will be more options if you go that route, but it just depends who your target audience is.
Nine. Have everyone enter their names into a raffle that is drawn the following week. Don’t make the raffle lame, though. We’re talking a very, very nice bottle of wine, a $100 Amazon gift card, maybe even an iWatch! It’ll keep you top of mind for the following days, which means the house you’re selling will be too.
Ten. Last but not least, if you’re looking to really show your guests who the real estate boss it, get a valet. Obviously if there’s plentiful parking, it’s not an issue, but there are lots of neighborhoods and situations where parking can be rough. Simply hire a valet to wow them, but also make it easier to get to the house itself.
There you have it. We hope you try at least one of these at your next open house! And that this selling season is bountiful for your real estate business. Just don’t forget the poo-pourri.
By Tiana Baur
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Zestimates are the bane of being in the real estate business. They’re the unfortunate misfire in a consumer lead industry and that bell can’t be un-wrung. When reports came out that a Zestimate for a home was 700 percent off, it wasn’t surprising; we have learned to expect it.
The thing is, data integrity will be an issue for the foreseeable future. You can get upset about that fact or you can see the data for what it is really is: a starting point. That’s what Zestimates are. No more, no less. The world of real estate might not be able to pretend they have ceased to exist, but as consumers, we can all be smarter about the information they provide to us.
Pick up the phone and call your agent.
Some fun facts for you: The median error rate of Zestimates is five percent. That may sound menial as a percentage, but when computed with the median home sales prices, it can be tens of thousands of dollars lost to the bottom line, and that’s if you’re lucky. According to the Washington Post, “Zestimates are within 5 percent of the sale price 53.9 percent of the time, within 10 percent 75.6 percent of the time and within 20 percent 89.7 percent of the time, Zillow claims.” And people wonder why agents bristle when this topic is brought up.
Agents, of course, have access to information that no algorithm can. Zestimates can’t know what makes a home and neighborhood awesome. So, wouldn’t it be nice to find out what your home is really worth? A thoughtful, agent expertise-driven valuation is the only way to truly understand what your home is worth.
Pick up the phone and call your agent.
It’s not a revolutionary idea, just one that is way undervalued and underutilized. As you can imagine, MoxiWorks CEO, York Baur, had some words on the topic this morning, saying, “We have more than 100,000 agents that can provide you with a thoughtful hand-built evaluation for your home. If you don’t have access to one of those 100,000 agents, find someone that does.” He went on to say that, “As a man of tech, I don’t say this lightly: there is no replacement for hyper-local knowledge that your agent, your trusted advisor can give you. No algorithm will ever replace that vital, human piece of the puzzle.”
That home evaluation tool is called Moxi Present and you’ve likely seen a presentation built on it before. There were over 300,000 Moxi Present interactive presentations that went out in 2017. They showcase what the Zestimate was on all selected comparable properties to your current listing versus what they actually sold for. Want more info?
Pick up the phone and call your agent.
With the rise of social media and digital marketing, video is becoming a consistently effective form of communication online. The real estate industry is buzzing with reasons why you shouldn’t skip video marketing, so how can you seamlessly add video to your current marketing routine? We decided to explore why and how agents can add video content to their listing presentations. Leveraging multimedia can create a much more engaging listing presentation and set you apart. Here are some listing presentation tips to get you started!
Why should real estate agents be thinking about video?
• 85% of buyers & sellers want an agent who uses video marketing.
• 55% of people consume videos thoroughly – the highest of any content type.
• 43% of people want to see more video content in the future.
Agents are always looking for tips on how to make their listing presentations stand out. Differentiate the property by adding engaging video content highlighting the home’s unique selling features.
Here are four listing presentation tips for how to incorporate video:
1. Home Tour / Listing Videos
Create a listing video to add visual interest to your presentation. Focus on the property features and unique selling points of the house. If you don’t have a professional camera, no problem. Most smartphones have cameras that will produce videos with high enough quality and resolution for your presentation. You can add a voiceover, narrate the video, or edit it to play to music.
2. Neighborhood Tour
Consider that your clients aren’t just buying a house, they’re joining a community. A neighborhood tour video can put the neighborhood on display in an engaging, personal way. Talk about local businesses, local activities and events, and community amenities. Buying a house is an emotional decision, so giving clients a taste of what it will be like to live in their new neighborhood can add a lot of value to your listing presentation.
3. Testimonials (Client Interviews)
Use video to put a new spin on testimonials. Show client interviews, with clips of them talking about what it was like to work with you and what their experience was like. Hearing a testimonial straight from a past client can be incredibly valuable.
4. ‘About Me’ Introduction Video
Instead of a generic ‘about me’ overview or a list of bullet points, try out a bio video to add a personal touch. Introduce yourself and talk about what your process is like and what it’s like to work with you. It’s an opportunity to not only show off your experience, but also let your personality shine through.
These listing presentation tips for adding video are just the beginning. Video can be leveraged in buyer presentations, open house presentations, CMAs, and more. What type of video will you try out in your next presentation?
Moxi Present allows agents to include video, along with other rich media, into their presentations. Adding a little visual interest, personality and emotion helps agents win more business.
This post outlines the primary skills and activities a real estate presenter needs to increase their presentation effectiveness, which in turn affects their close rate. Today, in the summer of 2013, there is limited inventory, rendering quality presentations indispensable. In this post I’ll discuss how to research a prospect, choose the right format and delivery, and making the appointment conversational. Continue reading
Long Live the Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent is dead. Wait – what? More than a few tech mavens of the Internet Era have predicted the demise of the real estate agent and yet here we are: after 15 years of naysayers and the most profound housing crisis of our lifetimes, we have one million agents in the USA – more than when those predictions were first made. Moreover, FSBOs are at a historic low and agent-assisted transactions are at an all-time high of 88%, per NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
The question is why? The Internet has largely fulfilled the promise of delivering rich information to prospective home buyers and sellers and now arguably provides consumers easy 24/7 access to more information than even agents had at their fingertips in years past. In fact, NAR’s 2013 Digital House Hunt study points out that 90% of consumer home searches involve the Internet, up from 71% in 2003.
Why You Need to Invest in Technology
The reason that the real estate agent hasn’t gone the way of the cassette tape is that data isn’t enough. When consumers are about to make what for most will be the single biggest financial and lifestyle decision of their lives, they want someone there that has the expertise and experience to advise them no matter how much data they already have.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that, as an agent, you can no longer rely on being the data gatekeeper to impress your prospects. You can bet that they’ve been on Zillow 30 minutes before your meeting and probably several times every day in the past week. This means you have to take your game up a few notches and meet your prospects where they are with real-time data, ditch the carrier pigeon and the cryptic paper printouts, and prove that you’re as up-to-the-minute as they are.
Interested? Great, because there are several Realtor-friendly tools like this. First is TouchCMA (now Moxi Present), the real-time CMA, market analysis and presentation tool. TouchCMA gives real estate professionals access to live MLS data from within their CMA presentation using either their laptop or iPad.
Second is Realtors Property Resource (RPR), a member benefit for NAR members that allows you to access and analyze the vast amounts of data that have been aggregated by RPR so you can demonstrate your expertise.
Finally, check with your MLS; many of them are starting to offer mobile data access tools either as a member benefit or for a fee.
But investing the time and money into buying and learning these new tools is a hassle, you say? That may be, but if you don’t do it others will. If a prospect interviews three agents, two of whom have only paper and one of whom brings an iPad and engages the prospect in an interactive conversation, who do you think will win their business?
It’s All a Matter of Perspective
Still not convinced? Instead of looking at learning new technology as a necessary evil, turn that around. Since prospects today already have a lot of data before they engage you, you get to skip right to the part where you get to show your expertise. If you pick up where their data leaves off, it’s a shorter path to convincing a listing client of the right price to list their house at, or the potential buyer to narrow their search so you don’t spend countless hours chauffeuring them around.
In addition, the benefit of embracing the technology that gives you and your prospect real-time data is something most agents don’t think about enough: time savings.
The more you can cut time out of winning a client and managing a client, the more you’ll be on your way to doing what high performance agents do, namely closing more deals faster.
That’s the real promise of all this computing stuff anyway, to save time and make people more efficient. For example, the NAR study tells us that the average buyer takes 12 weeks to buy a home, but contacts an agent three weeks into their search. That means agents spend an average of nine weeks with the buyer to help them buy their house. What would it mean to your business if better collaboration with real-time data cut that to eight weeks? That’s 11% faster, which means you just got back a lot of time to find and work with new clients.
So while you might have to invest some time to learn it, this new crop of real-time search and presentation tools for the iPad and Internet will save you a lot of time down the road. Which means they’ll help you get and close more listings, and who doesn’t want that?
That’s how much time it takes to make a first impression. As an agent, your first impression has to be fantastic in order to convince a seller to list with you. Proper planning and preparation will gain you an edge over the competition and earn your potential seller’s business.
In this post, you will find an extensive list of listing presentation tips to help you stand out, look great and increase your chances of winning the real estate listing.
One of the great things about being a real estate agent is the flexibility. If your client can’t meet for lunch, you can see them at a coffee shop after dinner. You can meet them at a park, your office—even their own home.