For quite a while, there have been rumblings in our industry about eClosings. If you are unaware about eClosings, they allow us to conduct a settlement with a buyer/borrower electronically over a computer. Essentially we are doing a “face-time” with the buyer and they sign their closing documents similar to DocuSign. The documents are “e-notarized” and “e-recorded.” If you think this is too outside the box, keep in mind, this technology has been used for years for many things we do in our normal lives. I can pay my mortgage on my phone through an app, or I can order Domino’s Pizza and know online exactly when it goes into the oven. Why not closing on a home? The eClosing process is very easy and Stewart Title has partnered with Pavaso to make things even easier for our clients. Here is a press release that just came out:
I recently taught a class at a Realtor association for new agents called: “I Just Got my Real Estate License…Now What?” The class was 2 hours long and covered a variety of topics to help these new agents get their businesses off the ground. When the class ended, each person was given an evaluation form of the instructor (Me!) and how I did. One thing caught my eye from one of the Realtors. The question on the form was “What are your biggest daily challenges?” The answer they gave was “Not enough Leads.” Unfortunately, the agent’s names were not on the evaluation forms, or I would have reached out to that agent to explain that the lack of real estate leads is hardly their problem.
It’s a new year, which means new goals and the implementation of new ideas. Having been in the Title business since 2005 and interacting with thousands of Realtors, many like to keep their business models and success secrets close to the chest. I admire people who take the time to share their story and how they built their business, whether that be in real estate or anything else. Last year, at a Realtor “Master Mind Event” I met Karen Briscoe from Keller Williams in McLean, VA. She had just finished writing a real estate book entitled“Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day-Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed.” I found this as pretty remarkable, since most high producing Realtors don’t want to share how they became so successful, let alone in a 400 page book!
For my last blog of the year, I thought I would discuss a subject that Realtors sometimes don’t like to talk about. Their real estate website. It’s like that crappy car you had when you were 16 years old. You know it’s not pretty, and not what you wish you were driving, but it does get you from point A to B. Now that a new year is here, it’s time to learn how to make your real estate website GO in 2018. Stop messing around with a bad online store front and start using one of the most valuable tools you have in real estate. I get it…you don’t know what to do or perhaps you think it costs a lot of money to make it happen. Here are some very simple things you can do, to increase your website rankings and get more eyes to your real estate website in the coming year.
Having been in the Title industry since 2005, I have seen many Title Sales Reps come and go with only a handful really “making it” and taking their business to truly lucrative levels. With thousands of Title Salespeople in the US, that means a huge majority either wash out or never find the level of success they are seeking. Why is that? The main reason is a massive lack of training for Title Insurance Sales Reps. When I started in the business, I received little to no training. Being the newest Title Rep of 20 for my Phoenix, AZ company, I “shadowed” a few people but none were eager to share how they grew a book of business or their success secrets. I was left floundering around for a while before actually learning the job and finding my way. That learning curve could have shortened if there was training available. Thankfully for me, I kept working hard and grew a successful business in not only Phoenix but 2000 miles away in the Washington DC area. With many Title sales reps reaching out for assistance for this very reason, let’s chat about why there is a lack of training for Title Insurance Sales reps and how we can fix it.
Ever since the new TRID rules came into effect in 2015 we have seen people opt-out and waive Owners Title Insurance on the final Closing Disclosure. Doesn’t help that Owners Title Insurance can be found under the “Other” section on the CD and “Optional.” It’s always been optional to obtain, but I feel they could have done a better job of not making it appear as a non-meaningful purchase. Every month, we have a handful of people that decide to waive Owners Title Insurance and find it as a useful way to save money on their real estate transaction. Waiving Owners Title Insurance may seem smart at first, but has a long-lasting impact on your largest asset, especially when you decide to sell your home. Before you decline his one time purchase–look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself these questions.
The DAAR Fall Convention took place this year on October 19th. If you don’t know about DAAR–its the Dulles Area Association of Realtors. The main focus of this Realtor Association is Loudoun County and the cities along the Dulles Airport corridor. These conventions are pretty cool, in that you get to meet and talk to not only great Realtors in the area but other vendors as well. This year I was asked to not only teach a 2 hour class, but also a smaller class that lasted about half an hour. I know many vendors across the country attend their local association’s conventions, but gaining the platform to speak at length is another type of experience. I wanted to share this with you and deviate a little bit away from my normal real estate marketing/technology posts.
Every week I get business cards from Realtors. We meet in a class I teach, or at an event. Either way, they are handing out business cards not only to me, but many other people. I realize that a business card doesn’t 100% reflect a person’s value or level of business that they conduct, but it does provide the person receiving the card an insight and upfront perception. Realtors are in the business of helping people buy and sell real estate, yet they usually leave 50% of their business card empty, or less than desired. I’m still curious as to why that is, but there are many things Realtors can do with their business card that can leave a far more lasting impression, AND get that person receiving the card to want to do business with them. Let’s discuss why Realtors lose credibility with and what better things are done with the business card.
Creating “loyalty” in almost anything these days can be hard. Why? Because we have so many options to work with people than ever before. To create that outstanding client loyalty in real estate is even harder. Thousands of Realtors in every major market, and most people who purchased a home, don’t even remember the Realtor who sold them the house a few years later. Tough to get repeat and referral business when your own clients don’t remember you. Let’s also not forget that with the internet options to pick and find a Realtor, and companies like Redfin running TV ads….Wow! In today’s world, creating client loyalty in real estate, lending, Title, and many other fields is becoming an increasing challenge. It can be done and here are several ways how.
School is back in session and vacation season is over. It is still technically Summer, but the Fall real estate market is officially here. Many Realtors/Lenders are refreshed and ready to make the push for a successful rest of 2017. Having an effective fall real estate marketing plan is key to ensuring that your current and past clients are touched, and the pipeline for Spring 2018 is filling up. The hard part is getting back into that business mindset and make the wheels start moving again. We all know it has to happen, but we need a plan. Running your business by design is far better than just “winging” it, so let’s chat about how we can set up a Fall marketing plan and close out the year strong.