Virginia Court Rules to Prohibit Title Company Home Warranties

Title Company Home Warranties
On January 4th, 2017, the State of Virginia ruled that Title Company Home Warranties are no longer able to be provided to buyers at closing in return for business. If you don’t know this practice it goes like this: In many areas of the country, including the Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas, Title Companies have offered “FREE Home Warranties” for buyers who close business with them. Essentially, it was a marketing tactic by the Title Company to “induce” business. I have said for a very long time this is not a valid practice and should not be allowed. I wrote this blog back in April 2016 saying this exact thing and explaining how the Title Company Home Warranty isn’t really free. Someone does pay for it. Here is the ruling for you to check out for yourself.

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5 Beginner WordPress Website Tips for Realtors

Beginner Tips to WordPress Do you have a WordPress website or thinking of getting one? In my travels in the Title Insurance industry and working directly with Realtors on their websites, I have seen the pitfalls Realtors go through learning how to use them. The $99 a month site, the real estate company websites (template), the site that isn’t set up correctly, and of course, the website that is a business card online and never updated. Even if a direct referral is given to a Realtor, that person is STILL going to look them up! When they do…what will they find? Perception is reality in real estate, so let’s talk about why Realtors should dump these crappy websites, and instead use WordPress. Knowing how to use this amazing tool can change your business. Here are some beginner WordPress Website Tips for Realtors when they are getting started.

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How Realtors Can Implement a Successful Video Marketing Strategy in 2017

Video Marketing StrategyAre you looking to implement a successful video marketing strategy in 2017? Perhaps you are just getting started using video in your real estate business? Either way, I have you covered in this blog. I’m sure by now you have (if you are a Realtor/Lender/Title) been asked to write or give your quarterly and yearly goals. One of those “goals” might be trying to figure out video, shoot a few, and post it to social media and YouTube. I want you to meet and surpass this goal. I started using video in my business over 4 yrs ago and it changed not only my business, but the entire way I look at real estate marketing in general. You have the Realtors/Lenders that “get it” and see the vast opportunity that video creates, and then you have the other 90% of Realtors/Lenders. Where do you fall? Let’s add video as part of your business in 2017!

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Pro’s and Con’s of Outsourcing Real Estate Content Marketing

As one of my last blog posts of 2016, I want to tackle a question that I get very often when teaching my real estate marketing classes in the Northern Virginia area. “Is it bad if I’m outsourcing real estate content marketing?” The answer to that question is YES…and NO. There are pro’s and con’s to each, and I want to discuss each below. I realize as busy real estate agents that delegation is part of your business. Without proper delegation it makes it hard to grow year over year. It also becomes impossible to wear all the hats and still keep your sanity. Many Realtor clients of mine have expressed their interest of ditching the company website and upgrading to a custom WordPress site, (I highly recommend it) and with that comes adding content to make it go. Think along the lines of adding gas to your Ferrari. Here are my pro’s and con’s to outsourcing real estate content marketing.

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Ben Carson Selected to Run HUD-Does No Experience Matter?

I don’t usually go “political,” but this news story caught my eye today. We have heard that Ben Carson was in the mix to become our nation’s next Housing Secretary but nothing was confirmed. That confirmation occurred today. It seems that in the new Trump cabinet, having little to no experience in the field which you are appointed means little. It appears the winning formula to gaining a place in the upcoming administration is “loyalty” to Trump in the past and ongoing. With that said, Trump seems to be also focusing on top-level professionals and plugging them into positions where they can lend their expertise. Does that mean that having little to zero leadership with government matters? And what does that mean for our real estate market and the people in urban areas who need help? Well…it could mean a lot.

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Do You Need to IOS Update your Real Estate Database?

real estate databaseIf you own an iPhone or any Apple product you know that they come out with “updates” for IOS software that makes the technology possible. Each time you update the IOS software your phone gets new and cool additions that weren’t there before. Sometimes these changes are big, other times they are small. Either way, if you NEVER update the software, eventually the applications on your phone will no longer become compatible and work correctly…or at all. I think that is very much the same as it applies to Realtors and their real estate database and overall business. As an agent, if you aren’t updating your business and database, eventually it also becomes stale and outdated. Think…when is the last time you sat down and went through your entire real estate database and updated it? Are you still doing the same marketing tactics you were doing 5-10yrs ago? Are you getting the same result? Here are some steps to take to update your real estate business and move forward to a successful 2017 and beyond.

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Title Commitment vs Title Insurance Policy-The Differences Explained

Title Commitment vs Title Insurance Policy

I had a client closing last month where the buyer (last-minute) needed a real estate attorney to draft up a document/agreement. The buyer went to the attorney who also said: “Do you want me to look at your Title Insurance Policy?” The buyer said sure. The attorney then started saying things like…”hmm, that isn’t good” and ” oh wow” while taking a pen and striking out items. Keep in mind this was a $1.4M dollar home. The buyer got upset and told the Realtor that the Title Company was ripping him off and not providing proper title insurance coverage. This was all taking place at another place than the closing. After closing, my client was not happy. I had to explain to the client in detail a Title Commitment vs Title Insurance Policy. They are not the same. The attorney was striking out items in the Title Commitment (Schedule B)…not the policy that is sent to the buyer AFTER closing. Once I explained everything the client was fine. She said…“you should write a blog about that on your site, as it could help educate a lot of Realtors!”  I agreed with her…so here you go:

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Prioritizing Your Real Estate Business-What Should Be Delegated?

Prioritizing your real estate business

Ever hear the saying–“If you don’t have an assistant, you are one?” The longer I stay in the Title Business/Real Estate I believe this is true. Delegation. This is a scary word for many, especially for people who have hard time “letting go” and trusting others with their business. In today’s real estate world, delegation is a must. As busy Realtors sooooo much to do and a lot of it doesn’t involve the actual act of helping someone buy or sell a home. You might be nodding your head “Yes” right now. When prioritizing your real estate business, what tasks do you give to others, and what should you be doing yourself? Lets chat about this and how you can break through to the next level of real estate production and get more things done!

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Converting Real Estate Leads – All the Money is in the Follow Up!

Converting Real Estate Leads

Let’s start off with a statistic. Roughly only 5.6% of all real estate leads covert to clients on the first phone interaction or meeting.  Very low number. That doesn’t mean that the other 94.4% of the people don’t buy or sell real estate over time (they do) but with conversion numbers so low it is easy for a real estate agent to give up early in the process and move on to lower hanging fruit. I don’t necessarily fault agents for doing that as your time is important, but I can tell you from experience…you are leaving money on the table. Lots of it. As a Title Sales Rep, it is very similar as we talk to agents and lenders and if we don’t get their business pretty quickly, we tend to move on. Mistake! When it comes to converting real estate leads or any type of lead, the real money is in the follow-up process.  Here is why following up is so important and how agents can expand their business at a rapid rate.

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Real Estate Company Websites-5 Reasons Why Google Won’t Rank Them

Real Estate Company Websites

How many Real Estate Company Websites are there in the United States?  There are around 1.4 million licensed agents in the US so you can guess that the number is pretty high.  Ever notice that these real estate company websites rarely (if ever) are ranked on the 1st page of Google for any type of searches…broad or hyper-local?  Does this mean that the Google algorithm doesn’t like real estate company websites completely? No…that’s not it.  The issue is far deeper than that.  I get it…Realtors are not in the website game. They are in the game of helping people buy and sell homes.  The issue is that “marketing and branding” is HUGE in real estate.  How do you get clients? Where do you send them to get more information about you? HOW do you get discovered on the platform where most people go for information?  Your real estate website is your HUB for all things real estate and you.  Learning how to use this amazing tool is a must to stay relevant to the consumer in the present and future.  Here are the top 5 reasons Google doesn’t rank that company given website.

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