Real Estate Best Practices

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

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

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

Trending blogs on Real Estate Best Practices
By Roy Kelley
What I love about niche markets is that they provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase an agent's area of expertise.       What's Your Niche Market Today, I wanted to talk about niche markets. A niche market is defined as a smaller part of a larger market with its own defined area of specialization. The perfect example of a niche market in real estate is waterfront property. I happen to live on a lake and I have learned a thing or two about lake front living that I had no idea about before I became a lakefront property owner. I've now been here for over 14 years and in that entire time period I would say I have probably received maybe half a dozen pieces of really good marketing information from a real estate agent stating that she knew a little bit about lakefront properties. However...
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By Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time
(House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373)
 This is unprecedented times that we have never seen before.    Some households are ordered to "stay at home" with parents working from home, and children at home needing to do school work.    I personally could not imagine trying to do all this and having to keep the kiddos busy and out of trouble too. The BEST example of helping others was in my very own neighborhood.   I have many elderly neighbors and many have underlying conditions.   I don't, so I ask all of those I know what they need at the grocery store before I go.   Sure feels good to know they don't have to get out and possibly contract this awful disease.  We have already had a few ambulances this past couple of weeks, and hope they are OK. Shortly after the mandated "stay at home" orders, I started texting those in my cont...
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In 2014 a highly-experienced criminal lawyer, Malcolm Howard Simmons, become one of Kosovo’s most powerful judges. He ruled on many critical cases in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina during a span of 11 years.Malcolm Simmons was born on 14th September 1965 in in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon the Thames. He attended Richmond upon Thames College and then went on to pursue a law degree at the University of Wales from where he graduated in 1989. In 1992 was admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales. He worked for three leading firms in the City of London and was a Deputy Coroner for the Eastern District of Greater London from 1997 to 2001.Judge Malcolm Simmons was also an employee of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and served as an international criminal jud...
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By Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
My single peony bush is blooming beautifully right now.  With so much time being spent at home and looking at my garden, I resolved yesterday to finally get a second and third bush so that my collection of peonies will be expanded - and I will look back fondly at those two new bushes in years to come as my COVID bushes. I have been meaning to get a new bush or two for several years now - and when every year goes by, I am annoyed with myself that I didn't buy the bushes when I thought about it.   Peonies take a little while to root and get happy before they start to bloom, so these are not plants for instant gratification - sort of like farming! I set out yesterday to combine a trip to the local nursery with a short trek through the grocery store.  I could have gone to Home Depot or Lowe...
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Remarkable packaging makes a business stand out. It also makes that business or individual memorable. In our never ending quest of discovering new  dark chocolate, we discovered the Tcho brand.  Someone decided to think outside the box and shaped one into a rhomboid.  A rhomboid is a parallelogram with no right angles and unequal sides. The chocolate bar is square shaped.  It fits snugly with it companions leaning against each other in the box on the square side (short side). Here is a picture of our latest favorite discovery.  We were equally impressed with the chocolate as with the branding and packaging.  And all their chocolate bars are square.  For those of you who like different percentages of chocolate, has an incredible assortment of bars. Remarkable packaging makes a b...
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By Realtyna Inc, Realtyna- MLS RETS Integration software & services
Considering the uneasy situation we have right now with COVID-19, it’s important to present your listings in the best way possible. In this series of articles, we will discuss how to take photos of your listings, how to prepare the home for the real estate photoshoot, and how to market, distribute on social media and other lead generation channels.In this installation of the real estate photography guide, we will touch upon showing preparation: how to clean, sanitize and prepare your listing for photoshoots and how to keep yourself safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.Have a Sanitizer With You… AlwaysHand Sanitizer is your best friend right now. Clean your hands often, once you enter or leave the house.Clean the Surfaces You’re Going to TouchTouching surfaces is not really advisable. But i...
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By Michelle Spalding, Time and Money Saving Solutions for Savvy Realtors
(Transaction Management Consultants)
If there is anything I have learned in being an entrepreneur, it’s that there really is no one right way. There is no magic formula, no secret method you can buy, and no matter how much you learn, there will always be more. Over the years, as the owner of a transaction coordinator business I did a lot of striving and hustling to try to keep up with what I thought was the right path of a successful business owner. And oh, the mistakes I made and the abuse I put myself through. After nothing shy of a breakdown, then thankfully a breakthrough, I discovered that my path as a business owner was exactly that, my path. I could choose to walk it as fast or as slow as I wanted. I could stop along the way, enjoy the scenery, and even pause there for a much-needed rest occasionally. What I could n...
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By Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ
(Arizona Focus Realty)
I am sure that the clients of Kathy Schowe enjoy receiving these, I know that I would enjoy receiving something like this! I have always tried to think outside the box with my closing gifts.  Some clients appreciate a personal gift, while others would be just as happy with a restaurant gift card.  Sometimes I choose to share my artwork as a token of appreciation for my clients trust in me with their real estate transaction.  Many of my sales are second homes that my clients use during the winter season, then they return to their permament residence for the summer.  I give them a  work of art that they can take home with them to remind them of their new "happy place" in the desert.   I create the home portrait with a drawing app. called Paper by 53. (Paper by WeTransfer), and usually hav...
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By Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor
(MBA Broker Consultants)
Photos at welcomes the start of non-stop sunny weather here in California, and we know our buyers are looking for key features to enjoy the indoor/outdoor lifestyle.  What’s the difference between a pergola, palapa, and pavilion?  Looking at a luxury home with a cabana and a crow’s nest?  Don’t get tongue-tied… learn the lingo and be confident of your terms.Year-round sunshine draws buyers to the sunny California coast where home owners enjoy family barbeques and outdoor entertaining.  Want to brush on the terms before your next seller listing appointment?  Here’s our all-seasons guide to the industry jargon you’ll need to know when navigating your buyers through beautiful properties this selling season! Arbor A wo...
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By Lisa Perry - NMLS # 276329, Northern VA - VHDA, 100% Loans - Jumbo Loans
(FHA, VA, Jumbo, Downpayment Assistance, Conv.)
Credit scores measure credit risk. Lenders and creditors use the credit score to determine how much of a risk you are as a borrower or a creditor. You’d be surprised at how your actions as a creditor can affect your credit score. For example, did you know that closing out an account that still has a balance lowers your credit score? Indeed, it does. Read on to find out more behaviors that affect your credit score. *Pay Your Bills on TimeThe best thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Late payments have the biggest impact on your score. If you find that you cannot make a payment, make arrangements with your creditor or lender as soon as possible. In many cases, your creditor or lender can work with you to waive a monthly payment.Many banks have online...
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By Alan May, A moving experience!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
The question was recently asked whether you should bring your political slant (and let's admit, shall we, that everyone has one) to your Facebook posts, knowing in fairly strong certainty, that anyone reading your posts can easily figure out that you are a real estate practitioner... and your opinion may be different or clash with theirs, thereby potentially costing you business?  (phew, hold on a second... I need to catch my breath after that sentence).I think we've all been guilty of displaying our political bias in one way or another online.  And it only takes a few clicks to go from your personal Facebook comment, to your Facebook business page... or perhaps a brief google search will bring you to your agency's page.I live in a predominantly blue area... and I've been guilty of publ...
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By Abby Stiller, Professional Bilingual Realtor (239) 284-8637
(REMAX Realty Group)
These are great tips to improve your credit score.  Credit scores measure credit risk. Lenders and creditors use the credit score to determine how much of a risk you are as a borrower or a creditor. You’d be surprised at how your actions as a creditor can affect your credit score. For example, did you know that closing out an account that still has a balance lowers your credit score? Indeed, it does. Read on to find out more behaviors that affect your credit score.   *Pay Your Bills on Time The best thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Late payments have the biggest impact on your score. If you find that you cannot make a payment, make arrangements with your creditor or lender as soon as possible. In many cases, your creditor or lender can work wit...
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By Tommy Wyher, I am an freelance writer and professional marketer
(Husky Marketing)
Finding the right investment property can be immensely profitable for an individual. The best-case scenario is having long-term renters that take care of the property without very much contact. The home value of the home is sure to increase of the course of the years if the housing market in the area is healthy. Managing the property can be tough but you do have a few options. You can hire a property management company that will find the renters, collect the rent, and handle all communications. For people that have purchased an investment property out of state from their primary residence, this is the best option. Below are a few tips that will allow you to manage your investment property in the most efficient manner possible.Find Reliable Home Services ContractorsFinding the right peop...
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By Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man, The Pumpkin Man
In the past 60 days, I have seen people who were referred to me, and former clients use a different Realtor at a total costof over well over $40,000 in commissions.After being in the business 39 years, this has been a bigger hurt than I have ever experienced in the real estate business.One of them I questioned after spending three days with them showing homes in four cities, and a total of over 25 homes and they purchased a home 45 days later from another agent at the tune of $554,000.The mother who referred her children, finally told me her daughter thought I had Alzheimer's!My response was when during the three days and four cities and over 25 homes we looked at did they feel I had lost my memory?Why didn't they tell me on the first or second day, we think you have lost it, and we are...
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By Alan May, A moving experience!
(Jameson Sotheby's International Realty)
If'n you say you're gonna do it, then tarnation you should oughta follow through and do it.This is not the first time that an agent has given me a road-map to helping my buyer craft an offer than the seller would accept.  "My seller" he tells me "says that if you're willing to meet these terms, he'll accept your offer".I confer with my buyers, we modify our offer to meet their terms... and what do they do?  What do they DO, I ask you?  I think you already know what they did.  They did not accept our offer, but moved the cheese.This perturbed my buyers, understandably, and even though the seller has since decided to return the cheese to its original location ... my buyers have decided to move-on, as it's left a bad taste in their collective mouths.  The liked the property, but they didn'...
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By Leanne Smith, Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom
(Dirt Road Real Estate)
With all the talk about a "new normal" how to pivot in these turbulent times of uncertainty, those savvy small business owners and yes that means you as a realtor or real estate agent have already returned to their strategic plans. They are researching, analyzing, and making the necessary course corrections to transition their businesses to this "new normal." Outstanding strategic plans are goal driven with key performance indicators (KPI) to ensure the goals will be achieved. For example, one real estate KPI that most Realtors share is inventory. Without inventory, there will be no sales, no growth, no sustainable business. From my experience as an executive consultant and sales coach, I can personally attest to those who have a solid, goal driven plan know to consistently review it an...
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By Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!
(Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team)
 This is such great information and I am sharing with others that may have missed it.  Selling During COVID-19 - The Key is Over-Communicating    Channeling my short sale days, pivoting with one simple plan was the key to successful Closings for me last month. Over-communication became my mantra the minute we got wind that we may be entering a period of quarantine.   I remember the days of short sales well - as though they were just yesterday! No, this is certainly not the same market as during The Great Recession but, one commonality remains critical - good communication is key to getting to the Closing table.   I remember letting the agents on the other side know, WEEKLY, how the process was going after phoning the bank and my sellers. One secret that I learned - and found most challe...
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By Kristal Wilson, Cause We Like 'Em New ~ New Home Specialist!
(KB Home)
Zooming Around The Room! It looks like Zoom meetings are here to stay even as the restrictions are slowly easing, and FYI there so many uses for this tool.1. Zoom Broker Previews2. Zoom personalized virtual tours3. Zoom Team Meetings A few tips for zooming around the room.Patricia Peyton posted an informative article titled “Body Language Consultant shares how to relax and be confident on Zoom.”She offers research that indicates 55% of communication comes from body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% word choice. Breathing with an open and expansive body posture reflects confidence. Eye contact, looking directly into the camera, builds  a warmer feeling of connection and trust. However smiling into the camera is more personable. (Personal tip remembering to smile at the beginning  and th...
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By Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS
(CastNet Realty)
How long does it take to change a habit?  I used to tell my children what the experts recommended was 30 days.  If you could stop biting your fingernails, or blinking your eyes, or whatever your little idiosyncrasies were for 30 days, you could conquer the urge to do those simple things.  I practiced it and it worked most of the time.  During my real estate career as a broker/owner I would teach my agents the same thing.  If they would practice getting to the office on time, setting up blocks of time to call clients, cold call, study, after 30 days it would become a habit.  A good habit.They would only have to try hard for 30 days and then it was automatic.  Human nature.  We can change it with just a little bit of the same behavior for a certain period of time.Do you believe this?  Hav...
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How successful has video streaming enhanced? Well, you have been sleeping for a really long time, then you are informed of the prevailing triumph of video sites such as YouTube.Arriving late at the party, but coming nevertheless, is the different network and cable channels.Note: Old adopters of the technology linked with offering full experiences of network programming accessible have seen amazingly positive customer acknowledgment.The cases of the writer’s success that closed in early 2008 focused on how writers may be rewarded for their work when it beat the Internet, and it is cracking the Internet.With many computer systems allowing both DVD playback as well as high definition capacities, customers are downloading videos online as well as exploring full episode playback.Pro Tip: The...
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