How Realtors Can Get Started with Video On the Cheap

Integrating something new into your real estate business can sometimes be hard. It is especially challenging for some if related to technology or seeing yourself on camera. Scary, I know! With that said, the upside of using video in your real estate business is huge. First, take a look at the other agents in your office. How many have a practical video marketing strategy or use YouTube as a medium to post videos and gain subscribers? My guess is you can count them on one hand or none at all. That is the exact reason as to WHY you should start shooting educational videos. One of the main questions I get from agents, is how Realtors can get started with video…but inexpensively? There are many ways to make this happen. I want to not only walk you through HOW to do this, but what cheap equipment you can use.

Details

Real Estate Transaction Issues-75 Things That Can Go Wrong

When it comes to real estate transaction issues, there is a lot that can happen. We have all been there, whether you are a Realtor, Lender, Title, Buyer/Seller. One of my lender clients sent me this amazing list and I felt that it could help my readership as well. I hope this is helpful regardless of who you are in the home buying/selling process. The goal of all parties is to reduce any real estate transaction issues and get to closing smoothly and on time! Enjoy!

Details

Can Real Estate Agents Be Forced to Use Certain Vendors?

We have seen it many times…the managing real estate broker or office manager pushing hard for their agents to use certain vendors. Myself, have dealt with this when an agent says, “Wade, sorry…I wanted to send you the business but my office manager told me to use the Title Company where our office has the “relationship.” Ahh…the “relationship.” This is a very important aspect of this topic and we will address it a little later. In my experience, real estate brokers and office managers are there to help, inform, educate, and protect their Realtors. They are the greatest safety net and in many cases, a reason as to WHY an agent hangs their license at that particular real estate firm. Vendors however, are separate companies from the real estate brokerage and offer related services to the Realtors, such as Mortgage, Title Insurance, home inspection, technology, etc. With that said, can real estate agents be forced to use certain vendors?

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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!

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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:

Details