How to Choose the Best Realtor

There are many potential responsibilities in a real estate career, and true success requires ongoing hard work. Many tried, and few survived. A good realtor should be your trusted advisor. By understanding and appreciating what a Realtor does for you as a client, you can guarantee a good working relationship with your Realtor and ensure total success throughout the buying process.

Always, when I say “real estate agent” I want you to think Realtor, and to consider only a Realtor to represent you in your home purchase. “Realtor” is a professional designation for a real estate agent who has made a public commitment to a high level of accountability and professionalism. A real estate agent merely signs a license; a Realtor adheres to a code of ethics.

With a Realtor, you can expect someone who has invested time, money, and energy into the real estate profession, as opposed to someone who paid a couple hundred dollars, took some classes and passed a test. Yes, a license allows one to practice in real estate in the state of issuance, but it says nothing of the agent’s reputation. Most first-time homebuyers don’t even know to ask, “Are you a Realtor?” or even better, to check out the agent’s business card to verify their title. A Realtor can also take additional education to gain special designations, further proof of effort towards professionalism and competence. Usually, the more designations the better: few would spend the time and money on these designations without a passion for this business and the clients they serve.

Finding the right Realtor is hardly an exact science, but a little research can go a long way. In so many cases, the best agents are not the ones you see and hear about; on the contrary, the best agents are the ones who are so good at their trade and profession they don’t need to spend money on advertising. These are the agents who work primarily by referral or word of mouth and have qualified people coming to them every day. This phenomenon only happens to great agents who know their trade and have built their business over enough years for new clients to seek them out.

Referrals Rule

Many buyers start by looking at agents they have heard of. This could be the local Century 21 branch next to the coffee shop down the street, or it could be that nice old lady who walks down the block every Thursday with her funky flyers. That old lady agent is desperately hoping that her hard work pays off and that after years of delivering her funky flyer to you, one day you will pick up the phone and call her. Similarly, the local Century 21 branch is hoping that next time you get coffee, you will walk in and become their next lead (and potential client). After all, they pay good money for the visibility that has been building their brand awareness every time you passed by and saw their sign over the years.

These are some of the many examples of how agents try to get your business, but you should not concern yourself with them. You should actively seek out a Realtor. Essentially, the best agents are typically the ones who don’t need to spend time cold-calling or door-knocking to get their business. Business comes to them via referrals from past clients who are satisfied with their professionalism, honesty, and results. Take the initiative and give yourself the best opportunity to win: choose your agent carefully.

Let’s take a moment to clarify this issue about star agents and how they go about their business. Great agents did not get that way by sitting around waiting for business to come to them. Rather, their success is the result of years of hard work building their businesses and spheres of influence in order to get to the position where they no longer need heavy marketing. Please don’t mistake an agent’s aggressiveness for a bad thing. A proactive agent is a very good sign! He or she is just trying to see where you are in terms of the buying process. An agent needs to know whether you are looking to move next month, or are looking to start looking next month – there is a huge difference! Sometimes agents who don’t need to advertise do so anyway in order to maintain an identity in the community. Just as choosing the best agent is not an exact science, neither is the way that great agents market and advertise themselves.
Knowing what I know, if I wanted to find the best real estate agent for my first-time purchase, I would follow two basic plans: I would ask several people I knew and trusted for Realtor recommendations, and I would scan the online community consumer blogs for highly recommended Realtors.

As I mentioned before, the best agents are the ones who get consistent referrals. You should be one of those referrals! You should ask everybody you trust about his or her most recent experience in real estate. Preferably, you want to ask people who bought their homes within the past year or so, though a referral to an agent someone has worked with multiple times is a good sign. Always keep an open disposition for what people are telling you. In general, we humans have an innate need to share good experiences, so you should take any recommendations with open arms and then qualify them with questions about the experience. Whenever I get a referral from a past client or good friend, I am excited! I am already going to have a more solid connection to the referral, and there is a good chance the new client and I will mesh in terms of personality.

I will ALWAYS treat clients referred to me by people I know at a higher level than online “leads” or other unknowns. Without question, the level of commitment on the part of the buyer is so much more significant when it’s a referral from a good source. I don’t like admitting that my initial treatment of an Internet lead compared to a referral is different, but in practice it most certainly is! I can depend on a referral; I cannot depend on an online lead. For this reason I give priority to my referrals, and reserve the best service for them. Ask around, get referrals, check out the agents’ websites, pick out your favorites, and schedule a time to meet.

Before you meet a potential agent, write down your most pressing questions. This will really help with your interview. It may be necessary to let the agent know you are interviewing a few other agents. This will keep them on their best behavior and you will see the best that they can offer. Usually I dislike it when I am referred a client who is “shopping” other agents, but here’s the bottom line: If I were in your position, I would want to shop around until I meet the Realtor who is going to represent me in the most important buying decision in my entire life. It is a good idea to shop around, even if it hurts the agent’s feelings. The one you choose will probably forgive you.

In some cases, you may feel so strongly about a particular agent that you don’t find it necessary to interview other agents. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as you feel very certain about it. It’s typical to see that with a highly referred agent only one appointment is needed to see that they truly are the best fit for you. You’ll probably be sold on them after that initial consultation. After all, there is a reason they are that good in the first place.

The WOW Agent

Test-drive your potential agent during the interview! You’re hiring your agent primarily for their real estate expertise. Their most important assets are their local knowledge (of the market, prices and inventory), their ability to negotiate and handle contractual issues, their ability to manage emotions and surprises, and their ability to connect with you as a person and help usher you at your pace through the transaction. How do you know your Realtor’s skills before you begin? Ask questions! Your agent should leave you saying “WOW!” and feeling excited about the process ahead. Keep an eye out for that “WOW” agent. You will know when you find him or her, and you will be happy you did!

I cannot tell you how many times people have come to me looking for help after they have been working with a non-“WOW” agent. Sometimes the agent’s problem is a lack of knowledge, sometimes it’s a lack of communication, sometimes it’s an unforgivable mistake, but no matter what, if you have found yourself with an agent you thought was a “WOW” agent, and you turned out to be wrong, it’s OK to move on. My only suggestion is that as soon as you realize that your agent is not a “WOW” agent, you must cut ties with that agent as soon as possible! I say this because a lot of people are generally so afraid of confrontation that they negatively affect themselves in the process by not severing the relationship with the non-“WOW” agent. Do yourself a favor. Be bold. This will help you get what you want quicker, and it will be a wake-up call of sorts to the agent.

The bottom line is simple: go with a pro. Go with someone who knows the trade, and who is aggressive and tenacious (in a good way). Go with someone who knows how to talk and negotiate. Go with someone who has it together. Go with someone you connect with on a personal level – this will help you to build trust with your agent, and trust is the most important aspect of the agent-client relationship. Once trust and respect are established, the rest will fall into place. Just make sure you have the agent who will get you what you want!

It is important to remember that no matter how you choose your agent, being a good client will pay off in the end. Being demanding or demeaning to your agent will get you nowhere. Go in with the intention of keeping your agent as a trusted advisor for anything real estate-related from that point on. A long-term relationship is better for both parties, and no agent will tolerate an extremely needy or demanding or rude client for long!

Recently, I’ve been planning a wedding. I made a point of asking all our vendors what an “ideal client” is for them, and how we can work best with them in their service for our wedding. This would give me the idea of how to make our relationship and the task at hand as enjoyable and successful as possible. Similarly, when I work with clients who have this kind of commitment to the client/agent relationship, there is no end to what I would do for them to ensure that their experience is second to none.

Bonus: The Top Ten Traits of a Successful Client

A recent client of mine named Amanda embodies this mentality. Her purchase price was low, which meant I wouldn’t get much of a commission. The job entailed many hours of work, several offers, a long short-sale escrow and a couple of delays. All this was of no concern to me because of the type of client Amanda was. The time and effort involved didn’t matter, because she was top-notch. I wish all my clients were like her. In fact, I have said during the course of transactions with several clients that I wished all my clients were like the one at hand. Whenever I say this, I am saying that this particular client exhibits the following qualities, and no matter the challenge at hand, I am there without question to make sure everything goes right.

1. Be reasonable! Don’t get too emotional, ever. When clients get overly emotional, agents get impatient. This is a grown-up world and you need to act like an adult. I will hold your hand throughout the transaction, but irrational clients never get the best treatment.

2. Be responsive! Unanswered phone calls and ignored emails are never a good sign. This is a warning flag for an agent, signaling that you may not be as motivated as you say you are.

3. Be punctual! If I am on time, you must be on time, too. This is a simple thing, but it’s surprising how many people are late to everything. This is a slap in the face and you lose points in my book if you are late to confirmed appointments. If you flake on an appointment, start looking for some other agent; I probably won’t work with you any further after a stunt like that.

4. Be flexible! Sometimes your wants don’t quite line up with your budget, and you need to be OK with that! An irrational client is the last thing I want, a big waste of time. Really, it means that the client doesn’t know what they truly want, or that what is affordable for them (what the buyer can actually buy) will not work.

5. Be honest and upfront! The more honest and open you are, the better I can serve you. Sometimes I go weeks with a client, only to find out about a preference, financial condition, or special need that has not been addressed. This can seriously affect the client’s ability to find something that will work. Open yourself to your agent, and your agent will be better equipped to find you what you are looking for!

6. Be grateful! Show some love for your Realtor. Show that you appreciate all the time and hard work put in for your benefit. A grateful client is easier to work with and gets more appreciation than a demanding client.

7. Be respectful! This is a business, and you are dealing with a professional. Treat your agent like you would want to be treated yourself. When I am treated without respect, I have no problem moving on, letting go of a potential client. Sometimes clients seem to feel a need to act condescending or big or strong to establish control over the situation. This behavior is not conducive to a mutually healthy and beneficial business relationship.

8. Be trustworthy! I want to trust you and you should want to trust me. When both the client and the agent have a relationship built on trust, nothing can stop them. It’s only when I have clients who question me as to my skill or ability that the relationship becomes distant.

9. Be prepared! Be ready to move fast! I know you are a busy person, but buying a home takes focus and commitment. I don’t care if you had a busy week; we have a lot of documents to go over in a short time, and I shouldn’t have to feel bad asking you to go over things you should be going over through the course of the escrow. I am bringing to your attention items and issues that will directly affect your purchase and the home you end up with. I cannot want the home more than you do, and if you aren’t prepared and committed, it makes everything more difficult and stressful for me and for you.

10. BE COMMITTED! Being committed means that your heart and mind are in harmony with respect to the goal at hand. I have found that this is the number-one trait for all the buyers in my most successful and seamless transactions. When a buyer is committed, no matter the hurdle that may arise in escrow, the buyer will overcome. When the buyer is committed, the entire process is less stressful. When the buyer is committed, success is in the cards!

Bonus: Google Your Agent!

Today’s online community offers an exceptional ability for any consumer to check in on the history of their service provider’s reputation and work ethic: kudzu.com, yelp.com, and angieslist.com are a few stellar examples of websites geared to service providers for a specific geographic location. As time goes on, more and more of us will become connected, and this type of virtual “feedback” will become more and more pervasive.

Real estate aside, you can and should be doing this for any service provider, from your babysitter to your auto mechanic. That said, at least a nominal amount on online research should be called for to find any specific warning flags regarding the agent(s) you are considering working with. Check the agent’s website and see if there are written testimonials on the site, and if these testimonials match up with what you find online. Keep in mind that there are some people who just love to file complaints, even for good service, and this can tarnish your expectations of the person you are considering working with. Please know that the online community cannot be fully regulated for accuracy, but it is typically more helpful and accurate as opposed to being burdensome and untruthful. There is no doubt that this kind of research will become more common because it is user-generated and tends to offer a comparatively unbiased opinion of a given service provider.

Choosing the right agent won’t necessarily make or break your deal, but it can mean the difference between a satisfying deal and an unfulfilling one, a good deal and a not-so-good deal, a one-time transaction and a trusted advisor for life. Put simply, choosing the best agent gives you the best opportunity to realize massive success for your first home purchase. Choose wisely!

Selecting a Real Estate Agent

Purchasing a home, for most individuals, is the single biggest financial decision made in their life. Thus, it is clear that the selection of a real estate agent is a serious consideration that should not be taken lightly. But what factors should be considered in the selection of a real estate agent?

Reputation

Not all property agents are the same. Some real estate agents have a reputation for being difficult to work with. For example, agents who are pushy, argumentative, unprofessional, late for appointments, or missing deadlines can derail the buying process. A real estate agent must have a reputation for getting along well with all parties to a transaction, including buyers and sellers. An agent who takes a passionate advocacy approach like a lawyer for one party in a real estate transaction causes the other party to walk away from the deal. Communication and “people” skills are important, as well as diplomacy and tact if difficult situations should arise. And what is clear, honesty is the same.

Communication skills involve more than just communicating information – in fact, the ultimate test of effective communication skills is the ability to listen. An agent should listen to your needs, consider them, and then use that information to guide you to the perfect neighborhood and home for you.

Confirming a real estate agent’s reputation takes some detective work. It is wise to ask for references, on both sides of the transaction. Ask about problems that occurred during the process, and how they were handled. Talking to buyers and sellers about their experience dealing with a particular agency can provide insight into how you can expect your real estate experience to unfold.

Geographical Expertise

It is also important to make sure you are dealing with a real estate agent who is a “local specialist”. Many states technically allow licensed real estate agents to participate in real estate transactions anywhere in the state. However, local specialists will be familiar with local sales practices. For example, property transfer taxes vary by region, as does the party responsible for paying them. In some locations, there may be different customs duties for the distribution of city and county property transfer taxes. You want to make sure that you are dealing with an agent who is familiar with local customs to avoid paying unnecessary fees.

One idea is to investigate the neighborhood in which you are considering buying. If you see lots of yard signs for a particular agency in the neighborhood, it’s a good bet that the agent is a local specialist.

A local specialist will also be able to provide you with information on schools, recreation, churches and synagogues, shopping and entertainment options in the area.

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Word of mouth is usually the best and most reliable source of information about a particular real estate agent. This type of information is reliable because it has not been “rotated” by the agent and the source of the information has no particular motivation in one way or another, except to relate his experience.

Be sure to interview more than one agent. Before conducting an agent interview, make a list of the things that are important to you. These items might include proximity to a highway or commuter rail line, style of home, age of home, proximity to school, local tax rates, or any number of other items that may or may not be a “deal breaker” in your mind. In addition, you may be interested to find out if the real estate agent has support staff who will help with various aspects of the transaction. Also, making this priority list will help your agent find the perfect home for your family.

Ask the real estate agent you are considering for a referral to another real estate agent for an interview. An agent that is secure in its quality of service and reputation will not hesitate to provide you with the names of competing agents for you to consider. The agent who provided you with this information is most likely an agent who wants to do business with you.

Other factors to consider are whether real estate is an agent’s full-time career, the number of years of experience the real estate agent has, and any real estate designations the agent has.

Tips to Attain Financial Freedom

Financial freedom – a mere and simple 2 words and yet a complete statement in itself. A vision dreamt by most yet achieved by few. Many people believe that there is a secret mantra or that you need to possess something godly and unique to achieve the same. The question is, “Is there any level of truth to that statement”. Answer – a single syllable word NO. Like all other instances involving success, it just requires an out of the box thinking, commitment to it and hard work that shows itself.

What exactly is Financial Freedom?

In layman’s language, financial freedom is the ability of someone to work or not depending on his/her wish and still be able to provide more than enough for their family. Going a little technical, it means the state wherein a person does not have to depend on an external source of income or employment and still be able to provide sufficient wealth for a smooth functioning of both themselves and their families.

How to attain that freedom

The term “job satisfaction” is most certainly a good way to avoid the question of “Why you are at your current job”, but the reality is as small as 10% of people would prefer to choose job satisfaction over sitting in the comfort of your house and yourself being the one to decide if he wishes to work today or not. Also, there a handful of people who even like working let alone enjoy what they do. The question is how do you achieve the latter if you choose it?

Well, there are a lot of ways you can think of but all of them will take some time (provided you choose the right and ethical path to do so). All ideas are good enough to take you closer to your dreams, but they require perseverance, hard work and most of all the belief that if others can do it, so can you.

What to keep in mind

Before you go off gallivanting to chase your dreams, there are some things which need to be straightened out and sorted first. First of all, you need a foolproof plan and layout of what and most importantly HOW are you going to execute your plan. Secondly, do whatever you have thought of on the side. Don’t just quit your current job to tend to your dreams without thinking of future repercussions, because god forbid if your plan doesn’t work, all of your time and most importantly, money will be wasted – commodities that cannot be replaced at the pace at which they are lost.

Also, make sure that whatever you do, once it becomes a success, it should be the source of your happiness, not problems and worries. There are millions of people who have the money they always wanted but don’t have the peace of mind that is needed. There is always some variant of tension or troublesome thoughts that keeps circulating in their minds.

True that “money isn’t everything but without money there is nothing”. But what good is the money if you can’t take out time to spend with the people you love or for whom you went through so much pain and trouble. Think about all such things and go be financially independent!!

If you think there are very few opportunities to pave your way to financial independence, then my friend you are mistaken big time! Take out some time and research, and you will find thousands of ways to come up with something good. If you’re still struggling, check out [https://www.marketerfreedom.com]. They have some really unique and legit ways to make it big.

Top 10 Ways to Make Money From Your Phone

One best thing about using your phone to earn money is there’re many genuine customer reviews for every app, so you will get a better idea about which is worth your time and legit. Here’re some top 10 ways to make money with your phone:

App Bounty – Get Your Rewards

App Bounty awards you for trying out and downloading new applications. You also can make points for spreading out the word and liking them via Facebook and Twitter. Points are redeemed for Amazon gift cards and iTunes, and PS Network Points, Xbox Live, and paid apps free.

Swagbucks – Chance to Make More Points

In Swagbucks, you will earn points like SB that is redeemed for the gift cards, sweepstake entries and coupons. This platform is accessed through a laptop or via smartphone app for Android and iPhone!

CheckPoints – Watch Videos

They allow you to earn money just by scanning the barcodes, watching videos, taking quizzes, searching on the internet, and completing different offers. CheckPoints is featured on the Mashable and is iPhone and Android compatible.

Drop – Point Shopping System

In Drop, you will make points by shopping at an individual store. You just have to connect to your credit card on their safe smartphone app, and whenever you buy in a participating retailer, you will make points.

Field Agent – Complete Your Task

Field Agent enables you to earn money by completing different micro tasks, right from checking the shelf availability to display compliance and checking the demo. Field Agent generally works with the brands like Target, Tyson, Hershey’s and is featured on Forbes, CNET, and New York Times.

Easy Shift – Time To Make Your Shits

Easy Shift is the micro-task app where you will make money just by completing some shifts. Shifts generally entail checking out prices, seeing if the product is there in stock or clicking photos of the store display. When you’ve successfully done the shift, payment is made by PayPal within 48hours of your submission.

Foap – Sell Photos and Earn

Foap helps you earn money just by selling the photos that you take on iPhone. Download the Foap app on your phone and start uploading your picture. When your image gets 5 positive ratings from Foap users – then your photo is published for sale.

Embee Mobile – Earn Gift Card

Users can install this app and earn the gift cards from the places like Domino’s Pizza, Amazon, and Dell. Outside the United States, points are traded for the mobile airtime. It is not accessible in all the cities, so you need to install and see if it works in your location.

Getaround – Rent Out Your Car

Getaround is the smartphone app that helps you rent your car for short time. Just list your car in their market and download this app. When you are not using the car, people can rent out and unlock the car by using an app.

How To Run Your Home Business Like A Real Business

Many people dream of being able to work from home. This article has all the information you need to get started with your home business.

Make sure you keep accurate records of all your home business activity. It’s easy to put off pesky record-keeping tasks till you feel like doing them, but strive to keep everything pertaining to your business up-to-date so that you won’t be confused and stressed out later on.

Develop the discipline to set aside a certain amount of your earnings to pay income taxes. Even though home business owners get a decent number of tax write-offs, there is a very good chance that you will still need to pay something to the tax man. Make sure to set aside a portion each month to avoid taking a huge cash-flow hit all in one month.

Make sure you create a mailing list as your home based business grows. Be sure to have communication below spam levels. Mailing lists are perfect for announcing sales and special events within your company. Some businesses use the mailing list to circulate miscellaneous articles that contain relevant information. Add a signup area on your website for people to join your list.

Attend seminars that discuss how to start a home business. The Small Business Adminstration is one organization that offers such seminars free of charge. Look online for other organizations offering seminars or classes in your area. Be wary of anyone offering a seminar that promises dramatic results in a very short time frame. Starting and running any business takes time, effort and dedication.

Determine how much it costs to make your product if you run a home business. You should charge others twice this amount for wholesale and twice the amount of wholesale for retail. If you do not have an accurate estimate of how much it costs for your product, you will not be able to charge others the correct amount.

Starting a home business can often seem to be a daunting task, but by organizing yourself beforehand you will have more chance for success. The very first thing you should do is to sit down, and write out a step by step plan for how you can implement your business. This will help you to know what to do next.

When you are ready to write a business plan for your new business, get some help from experts. This does not mean that you have to spend hundreds of dollars to hire a business consultant. You can find many books in the library, containing sample business plans for every type of business imaginable. You can also find samples from online resources.

When starting your home business you will want to go the post office and get a PO Box for mail that is sent to the business. There are a lot of crazy people in the world and you do not want to invite them to your front door by having your home address as the mailing address for your business. A PO Box is a safe and affordable way to avoid hassles.

As this article has shown you, there are quite a few things that you’re able to do to make working at home successful for you. Keep what you’ve just learned in mind as you go about your business. Best wishes for your home business!

You Can Start A Home Business Today

A successful home business takes careful planning. The information here will give you basic ideas that will help you get your home business off to a good start.

You need to be able to listen to your internal time clock if you work at home or own your own business. It’s true that there is very little that you can do about when your employer wants you to get up, but when you are in charge, try listening to your own body to determine when you should start your day.

Keep home and work communication separate. Don’t send work e-mails from your personal account. Consider getting a separate work phone line. If that is not an option, get caller ID. Don’t take personal calls while at work. Don’t take business calls after work hours. Politely ask friends and neighbors to call before coming to your door.

Before you venture into a home-based business, ask yourself why you want to start a business. Your reasons might include: you want to be your own boss; you want to express your own creativity; you want to supplement your income; or, it might be others. Your reasons for wanting to start a business will influence your decision on what type of business you start.

If you want to run a home business, you need the space to do it in. Make sure you have a quiet office, away from the noises of the rest of the house and family. Make sure your space includes a comfortable desk and chair, as well as adequate storage for your needs. Setting your office up right will make you a more effective worker.

Don’t walk into a home business blind! There are many online discussion forums designed for small business owners to discuss the unique obstacles in this field. Look locally for other small business and home business organizations that meet in person. Either way you go, networking with other business owners gives you an excellent support system.

If you want make some of the products you sell in your home business, take careful account of how much it costs to product it. Two times the cost of the raw material is typically the wholesale price of a product. Two times the cost of wholesale pricing is the cost of retail in many cases. If the final retail price is prohibitive you will struggle to shift the product.

While conducting business in your sleepwear can seem enjoyable at first, you may begin to miss the interaction that you had with coworkers and clients everyday at your previous job. Make plans to meet people at other places besides your home during the week to stay in touch, reinforce your personal connections and meet the need for interaction with others.

Learning from the valuable information above, you will increase your chances of achieving success in whatever home business you choose. Nowhere is it written that this will be easy, especially in the beginning, but hopefully, this article has given you a good jump-start toward success!