The Field of Dreams…remember that movie? The one with Kevin Costner in Iowa (where I am from) and he hears these voices that say “Build it and he will come”? Then Kevin Costner proceeds to destroy a chunk of his crops and everyone around him thinks he is crazy for doing such a thing! Well, you will have to watch the movie to find out how it ends but let’s just say that what Kevin Costner did, and the sacrifices he made worked out amidst the disapproval of those around him.
When I moved to the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area in June 2012 I started a new Title Company venture with Stewart Title and Escrow located in Fairfax, VA. I soon learned that I was working at a great company with really nice people who had great knowledge of the Title Insurance business. Two years later and having closed hundreds of transactions and working with a lot of new Realtors and Lenders, Stewart Title and Escrow has made the decision to expand! We are proud to announce that we are opening a new office at the One Loudoun area out in Ashburn, VA on Monday August 4th.
Last week I saw the most amazing video. I watched it…then I watched it again…then I watched it a 3rd time. It was about a Real Estate agent in Australia (Scott Wagner) and his push to go completely digital and shift his business to online marketing and most specifically…Video. He talked over and over about the power of video and a term called Video Momentum. So…what is Video Momentum? It is using Video in your Real Estate business to propel you into the future with clients and sell for you 24/7. Let me ask you a question. Could a property video, talking head video, or any other video that has value generate business for you next week…next month…next year? YES it can! Let’s talk about Video Momentum and how it can help grow your Real Estate business today and going forward indefinitely.
As a busy Real Estate agent or Mortgage Lender sometimes you wish there were 2, 3 ,or even 4 of you to take care of all things that need to get done. Lead generate, negotiate deals, show homes, attend closings, etc. We know that isn’t possible in the present day so you just work as smartly as you can to get as much done as possible in a day. Well, in the Title Insurance business we can do our best to duplicate our sales people and essentially have our footprint in as many places as possible…all at once. If you have followed my website for a while you may know that I have been in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area for about 2 years (Wow time flies!). When I first moved here I didn’t know anyone and started my Title Sales Business from scratch. In the last 2yrs or so the business has grown and the model has proven to be successful. Now Stewart Title and Escrow is ready to grow and expand. With that being said…Stewart Title and Escrow would like to introduce Shannon Tillman to our team as the latest and greatest Title Sales Representative!
One of the beauties of using a great platform for your website/blog like WordPress is the many Plugins that it has available. If you are thinking “what the heck is a plugin?” I will tell you. A plugin is like a application for your smartphone. The app store allows you to download all kinds of things that can turn your phone into whatever you want. The same goes for using WordPress. The plugins that you can install or add to your site can make it do wonderful things. Most importantly they can allow your content to get “Found” and ranked by Google, Yahoo, and Bing so your ideal client can find you when they do a search. Also, plugins can help capture leads or get consumers to follow you on Social Media platforms or watch your videos. There is really no limit to what they can do. Don’t get too excited because you need to choose your plugins carefully. Having too many can cause your site to run slow or even crash. So…what are the best plugins to install in your website? Each person’s site is different, but here are a few “Must Have” WordPress Plugins for Real Estate. They will make you life easier, get you found online, and help you capture qualified LEADS! Here the are:
Coca Cola–Nike–Under Armor–Jordan–what do these all have in common? That’s right…they are all a BRAND! When you read those names you probably had images of each one pop into your head and what that brand means to you. When a consumer hears “Real Estate Agent” or your name…what do they think? What is your Real Estate Agent Branding? I think this gets lost in the shuffle with Realtors because they are focused on so many other things and also trying to be all things to all people instead of being just something to someone. Creating a Brand is important because it allows you to “stick out” from your competition and be recognized instead of being just another Realtor swimming in the Sea of Vanilla. So what is Real Estate Branding? How do I create a Brand? What are the benefits of Branding to my Real Estate Business? Great questions…lets chat!
Do you have an FHA Loan? An FHA Loan is a mortgage loan you might currently have on your home. If you do, you should refinance your FHA loan before June 3rd as some changes are on the way that could cost you more money. The main selling point of FHA (Federal Housing Administration) is the down payment is only 3.5% vs 10%-20% on a home. This allows more people live the “American Dream and own a home. The main kicker of FHA is that you must all carry MI also known as Mortgage Insurance. This is a an extra fee you have to pay on top of your mortgage payment since the Federal Government is “insuring your loan.” This fee helps soften the blow if you ever default on your payments and stop making them. This is a great loan to have but FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is announcing a$16.3 billion deficit for the fiscal year of 2013. This doesn’t mean that FHA is going away but it does mean that some new guidelines are taking a affect starting June 3rd that can have impact on you…the homeowner.
Back in the day I used to have a Blackberry…great phone(at the time) and I used it like crazy. You could say that I was almost addicted! It had many bells and whistles and it had the capability to make my life and my business run easier. Then something called the iPhone came out. I still didn’t budge away from my Blackberry. I didn’t want to move away from what I knew worked for me. Finally, after a couple years on my Blackberry I decided to give the iPhone a shot and within a couple days of owning it (iPhone4S) I was kicking myself for not switching over sooner…ahhh!!! What was I thinking!? The iPhone4S has SOOO much more capability to enhance my business and life with the seemingly endless apps and technology. Why am I telling you this story? Well, the same applies in business as it relates to Title Companies that Realtors and Lenders use. Here are the 5 reasons WHY Real Estate agents are switching to Stewart Title and Escrow to handle their marketing needs and close their transactions:
I know that this doesn’t get verbalized all the time, or much at all but it has to be played over and over in the mind of a Real Estate agent that just got their license….”I’m just got my Real Estate License..Now what do I do?” If you think about it, its a weird thing to say. In other industries that is not what happens. You go into a profession with an understanding of what is expected of you and usually there are people already waiting for your services. Real Estate is the exact opposite. You pay a fee, pass a series of tests and then BAM, you are a Real Estate agent with no clients lined up for your services. It is now your job to get clients who want to List or Buy a home. Ok…easy enough right? Well not so fast…the reality is that most Realtors FAIL in the business and many others don’t make over $50,000 a year. In the massive sea of “Vanilla” that is the Real Estate industry…how does a newbie get started? How do they standout? Let’s talk about it: