Increasing your trusted advisor status

Increasing your trusted advisor status

Real estate agents have many opportunities to build long-lasting relationships with their clients. Many successful agents will know the value of repeat clients and find that one way to achieve this is by increasing their trusted advisor status.

A trusted advisor is someone who a client trusts and follows the advice of. Real estate agents are in a unique position in order to become a trusted advisor. This is because their clients are often making one of the largest transactions in their life when they buy or sell a property.

One way to increase your trusted advisor status is to show that you take your clients’ objectives seriously. Take the time to get to know your clients and glean as much information as possible about the type of property they want. This information can be valuable when you are matching your database to the specific wishes of your clients.

Another way to increase your trusted adviser status is to try and work for your client’s financial well-being. An effective way to do this is to recommend the services of other businesses who you know will work for your clients’ best interests. This can include the services of accountants, property managers, quantity surveyors and tradespeople.

The most important aspect throughout this process is communication. In order to build your trusted advisor status as a real estate agent, it is vital that you communicate effectively with your existing and potential clients. Look for ways in which you can help your clients, and then tell them about it.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 31/08/2015 at 4:57 PM | Categories:

The iconic CENTURY 21 gold jacket

The iconic CENTURY 21 gold jacket

The CENTURY 21 gold jacket has become an iconic symbol of the world’s largest real estate sales network. It has become much more than a uniform and is now a powerful marketing tool and point of difference for the network.

A brief history of the jacket
When CENTURY 21 was first founded in California, USA in 1971 it was common for real estate agents to have a coloured jacket. The gold jacket was introduced by CENTURY 21 co-founder Art Bartlett, although he originally wanted the jacket to be brown in colour. Over the years it became something that set the company apart and made their agents easily identifiable.

The CENTURY 21 gold jacket has become synonymous with real estate around the world. The gold jackets have featured in the films Ghost Busters and War Games. They have also appeared in numerous commercials in Australia and in other countries.

Why it's important to wear your gold jacket
As well as it being a part of the CENTURY 21 uniform, the jacket is easily identifiable at open homes and auctions. Any CENTURY 21 agent seen in public wearing the gold jacket is a walking advertisement for the network and the sight of them may influence a potential buyer to contact their local CENTURY 21 office.

In recent times the jacket has also become part of CENTURY 21's philanthropic activities. 2014 marked the inaugural year of CENTURY 21's support of Cancer Council's Pink Ribbon month, in which agents wore limited edition pink jackets instead of gold ones for the duration of the Pink Ribbon campaign.

Today CENTURY 21 agents throughout Australia and the world proudly wear their gold jacket. The jacket embodies the core values of the network and to the public it represents high quality service and reliability.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 31/07/2015 at 11:26 AM | Categories:

Maximising your efficiency

Maximising your efficiency

A key factor of success in the real estate industry is time management. Without proper time management your day can spiral out of control and result in being unproductive. Having a plan to accomplish goals throughout the day but also preparing to adapt to new opportunities will help you maximise your efficiency.

Bellow are three tips that may help in this area:

1. Set Goals
Defining your goals can help you to achieve those goals, whether they are in the short or long term.  Set goals for a day, week, month or even year and systematically go back to those goals and review whether you have achieved them or what you can do better to achieve them.

2. Prioritise
It may seem like such a small thing, but writing ‘to do’ lists every day can be very effective.  Try to make two lists; one for urgent and important tasks to be completed that day and a second list for tasks that can wait.  Setting out clear lists may increase efficiency and help to reduce stress as you check items off the list. 

3. Schedule time for interruptions
Interruptions such as emergencies, unpredictable traffic or clients running late for appointments are inevitable in the world of real estate. One way to overcome this is to prepare for interruptions.  When you plan your time at the start of each day, allow some time for unscheduled items.  Accepting and planning for interruptions means that you can still try to stay on schedule and also achieve the objectives on your list.



0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 24/06/2015 at 3:48 PM | Categories:

Tips to improve your communication skills

An important feature of a career in real estate is communication. This occurs across a broad range of mediums including written communication, phone calls, and communication in person.  There is no doubt that meeting someone and having a conversation in person is a great way to communicate, and that real estate agents have ample opportunities to do this. But it’s important to keep on sharpening your skills, no matter how much practice you have had at something. Below are three tips to help improve your communication.

1. Plan your conversation before it happens

It can be useful to determine what is it you want to accomplish with the conversation before you actually have the conversation. This can almost be thought of as setting goals and making an action plan for communication. Set your communication goal, and write down a way to accomplish that goal. Doing this may help you to stay focused during a conversation, and to not be distracted by any tangents.

2. Move forward with the conversations you don’t want to have 

Sometimes it can be tempting to repeatedly delay having tricky or awkward conversations. One way to overcome this is to actually tackle all your difficult conversations as soon as possible by scheduling them to be one of the first things in your diary. You might find that this takes a weight of your mind and that it makes it easier to deal with issues as they occur.

3. Ask questions

Asking questions is a great ability to add to your list of communication skills. By asking questions, you can show that you are interested and involved in the conversation and your audience. It can also show that you are listening and that you place value in the conversation. If the other participant in the conversation feels that they are being heard and that they are important, you are more likely to achieve the goal that you set for the conversation.



1 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 27/05/2015 at 12:16 PM | Categories:

Dealing with Conflict

Success as a real estate agent can lean heavily on your ability to communicate and deal with people. Like any other industry, there are times when conflict and difficult situations can arise.

 

Here are 3 tips to help overcome conflict:

Listen.

This may seem like the last thing you want to do in a difficult situation, but it will help you to resolve the issue or conflict that may have arisen.  If you are able to let the other party explain exactly what their concern is it will give you a chance to determine how you can fix the issue. Listening is also likely to bring calm to the situation because it can help to make the other party feel valued.

Remain calm and professional

Even if the other person involved isn’t keeping their cool it is important that you do.  If you get flustered or frustrated it may only escalate the situation. Remember that can excuse yourself from the conversation and take a few seconds to compose yourself before resuming. 

Get creative

 

If you’ve attempted for some time to find a solution and there does not seem to be a way forward, find a more creative way to fix the problem.  Often giving examples can help, and also finding different ways to describe the solution you envisage; this may help to overcome a communication issue.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 29/04/2015 at 10:04 AM | Categories:

Is it time to give your business a financial health check?

The business environment can be fairly dynamic. And implementing corporate changes, such as hiring more staff, rolling out marketing campaigns, and adjusting operations to marketplace fluctuations, can all impact your business’s financial position.

This is why it can pay to frequently assess your company’s financial health. Below are four aspects to consider when doing so.

BUDGETING

Keeping your budget up to date can help to ensure all costs are accounted for. This is important because, as the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. By tracking your spending, you are able to identify where your different expenditures are occurring. Doing so may then allow you to assess whether your cash flow is being invested in the most efficient manner, or whether certain adjustments are necessary.

FINANCIAL SAFEGUARDS

An important aspect of your financial health includes financial safeguards, which can include insurance, reserve capital, and overdraft facilities.  Not only is it important to have these measures in place, but ideally they should reflect the business environment you’re currently operating in. Insurance policies can be tailored to suit the specific needs of the business, as an example, so it can help to review your policy and ensure you’re covered for everything you need – and nothing you don’t.

STAFFING

Staff can often be one of the most expensive elements of any business, so ensuring the correct level of staffing can play a vital role in maintaining your business’s financial health.

There is often an industry average regarding the percentage of costs that should be directed toward staffing. If your staff costs are higher than the industry average, it may be time to assess whether cost cutting can be made in this area. If they are lower, you may have some space to add on more staff to potentially increase your business’s output.

INTEREST RATES

Banks are constantly offering a range of financial products with varying interest rates and time frames. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reviews the official cash rate monthly, so if there is a reduction you might want to consider whether your current rate is competitive. Calling your bank or broker in order to maintain pressure to receive the best rate possible may result in a lower rate, potentially saving your business money in the process. Otherwise, it may be time to find a better deal.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 25/03/2015 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Three questions to ask yourself about your time management

As the year in real estate moves into full speed, it’s possible that your to-do list might already be getting out of hand. Tasks may be starting to building up, and your ability to manage time effectively may be spinning out of control.

Below are three questions that could help you think objectively about your time management.

1. Are you managing effectively?

An effective plan needs to be utilised easily. If you are used to a diary, but use your smartphone for planning, chances are that the plan isn’t going to work out. Use a method that you are familiar with and enjoy. Consider spending some time at the beginning of the year, month, week, and day in order to set yourself goals in those time periods. Keeping track of priorities is also vital, but leave room in your plan to adjust what you need to do in order to get the most important things done.

2. Do you say “no” often enough?

Sometimes time management is poor simply because there are too many things vying for your attention. It can be tempting to take on too many work or social activities, and this can end up causing trouble. Saying no to some invites might be necessary in order to make sure that other tasks and activities are completed.

3. Do you just wait for time management to happen naturally?

Time management will not occur on its own, it requires discipline and practice. Counter this by being proactive - don’t wait for the right moment to come, in which you will automatically become great at time management. If you don’t already manage your time effectively, you could sit down, and start a plan. The time that you spend planning could save you from missed deadlines, countless hours of procrastination and many unproductive days.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 25/02/2015 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Three tips to enjoy the outdoors at home

 

Enjoying the outdoors is at the top of many people’s list of priorities. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the time to head off for a day at the beach, bushwalking or camping out. However, enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your own home can easily be achieved by taking a few simple steps to ensure you have a practical and pleasant outdoor living space.

Below are three tips to help you create an ideal outdoor living area at home.

1. Use the right furniture.

Every home is unique. This means it’s a good idea to use outdoor furniture that fits in with the décor of the rest of your home. If this can be done, a feeling of continuity between inside and outside living areas can be created. It’s also important to choose furniture that is appropriate for the setting. Heavy furniture can be well-suited to balconies, as this may reduce the chance of wind affecting the furniture. Dining tables and sun lounges, on the other hand, are great for those larger areas, while lighter style furniture can work well in an area that is guarded from wind and storms.

2. Protection yourself from the elements.

It’s possible that too much sun, wind or rain is what is keeping you from spending more time outside. However, it is possible to escape these elements while still enjoying time spent outside. There are a great number of options ranging from simple deck umbrellas, to permanently constructed sails which protect you from the sun. If you want to really invest, you can even look at remodelling your backyard or landscaping to make best use of the space you have. If you do choose to remodel, you may wish to keep in mind the different ways you can style the area to protect yourself from the weather.

3. Maintain your furniture.

Well maintained, clean furniture can really enhance your outdoor living area. Re-oiling timber every three to six months will mean that mould and dirt will be kept at bay, and will also aid in protection from the sun’s UV radiation. Metal furniture should be washed every six months with soapy water, while powder-coated metal furniture should be kept away from grass and dirt in order to avoid corrosion.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 18/02/2015 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

What do tenants want?

Investors cannot afford to be complacent about the condition of their properties because, if no one is willing to pay rent for a property, they will end up in trouble. 

With the rental tide turning in favour of tenants it is important to consider what tenants want from a property. 

 

The best way to keep a tenant in your property and paying rent is to make sure that they have nothing to complain about. 

According to property industry veteran Margaret Lomas, there are a number of simple ways to keep existing tenants happy. 

 

"What usually sends a tenant looking elsewhere is when there are repairs or desperate renovations which are left unattended, and they feel they might as well pay the same elsewhere for a property in better order." 

"Might as well pay the same elsewhere for a property in better order." 

 

Her top tips for keeping a tenant long-term are: 

- Ensure your property is well maintained 

- Have a good property manager who has the relationship so you can avoid any confrontations 

- Increase rents when the market moves, but only if your property is competitive 

- Attend to repairs and maintenance as quickly as possible 

- From time to time, carry out a repair or renovation just before it's needed to improve the tenant's lifestyle 

- It is also a good idea to update any furnishings provided every couple of years and to keep carpets and interiors professionally cleaned. 

 

However, if you are a new landlord, or your tenant has moved out, there are a number of ways to attract the right occupant. 

Working out who your property best suits and creating the perfect setting to attract that type of tenant could save you the cost of having an empty property. 

 

To do this, consider: 

- What kind of tenants would want to live in the property 

- Whether it is best suited to a family - ie: is it in a family oriented area 

- Whether it is in the CBD 

- Whether it is best suited to an executive or professional couple 

- Whether it is best suited for students - ie: is it near a university 

- Would it be better suited for single room accommodation 

 

Once you have matched your property to a tenant type, carry out small but targeted upgrades to make your property irresistible to that tenant type. 

 

If your property is best suited to a family: 

- Add an air-conditioner or ceiling fans 

- Update the garden and yard 

- Include a washer and dryer 

- Make sure the bathroom has exhaust fan, towel racks and hooks 

- Ensure the yard is fenced and safe 

- Allow pets 

- Get the property - including carpets - professionally cleaned before the open house 

 

If your property is best suited to an executive or professional couple: 

- Add a touch of luxury by adding modern light fixtures and hanging deluxe curtains or blinds 

- Add stainless steel appliances in the kitchen 

- Install a dishwasher 

- Repaint the walls if they look dull or uninviting 

- Get the property decorated for the open house 

- Ensure the property smells inviting with flowers or scented items 

 

If your property is best suited for a student or single room accommodation: 

- Offer to provide the room or property furnished 

- If not, then add a bed and desk 

- Add microwave and sandwich press for quick meals 

- Offer first week free 

- Make sure your property has a high-speed Internet connection 

- Add a couple of extra power points in each room 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 03/02/2015 at 10:59 AM | Categories:

Stay ahead of the pack

One of the most important aspects of any job is to continually show your value above your competitors. Below are three tips to keep you ahead of the pack, and cemented as the number one real estate agent in your local area.

Show commitment and consistency.

It might take years for someone to decide to sell or buy a house, but if you have shown that you are committed and consistent, your chances of winning the listing and selling it increase substantially. However, your commitment won’t mean much to your clients unless they can actually see it. This is why it’s important to actively take a number of different steps to stay front of mind in your local area.

One option could be to make contact with your local media – a friendly property editor in the local newspaper can really be worth their weight in gold. It’s also likely you’ve been vigilant in expanding your contacts data base, but it’s important not to forget to use it. A phone call every now and again will remind potential clients of your commitment to them. Finally, there are also now a host of social media opportunities available to demonstrate your commitment and consistency in the area relatively easily.

Be the person who knows everything about everything.

If you can demonstrate to your current and potential clients that you are up to date on the range of factors which can impact on property sales, you can easily demonstrate your ability to deliver more value than your competitors. In fact, possessing in-depth knowledge on the local area, the economy, changes to legislation, state and national developments and even international relations could move a client from being potential, into definite.

Make a commitment to keep on educating yourself in 2015. By having an expansive general knowledge, you will be able to engage with people on a wide range of topics, and not seem like you’re just waiting to sign them up to a contract.

Go the extra mile.

It’s an age-old adage, but it’s so important. The agent who takes the time and effort to send out handwritten thankyou notes or a “welcome to the neighbourhood” hamper is probably going to stand out above the crowd. By showing that you are willing to go the extra mile in the small things, you demonstrate that you are also likely able to go the extra mile in the bigger things, where it counts. And the best part is that even though it probably won’t cost you much, it could pay huge dividends.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 28/01/2015 at 12:00 AM | Categories: