Tips for Building Real Estate Listings

Good Real Estate Listings are a must for any successful real estate website. These listings are the way real estate agents communicate the information about the real estate properties with their clients. A major part of the Realtor’s job is done if he is able to build a good real estate listing. Once a person visits your real estate website, the first thing he will look for is information about the available homes. It is this information based on which he will make his decision. If he does not find the information useful, he may simply search for some other similar website that gives him better knowledge about the real estate area.

Ever since the Internet has become a major communication highway for millions of users, online real estate listings have started playing a significant role in generating leads for real estate agents. If you want to put real estate listings on your own real estate website, you would find the following tips useful:

Put the Listings on a Separate Page

Assign a separate page on your website for property listings and link to it with apparent links from all other pages.

Keep Your Lists Simple

The user should be easily able to access the online real estate listings on your website. Remember, listings are what most people will search for when they enter a website.

The Sort Tool

Power your listings feature with a sorting tool, one that sorts the available properties on the basis of their location and prices. This tool makes it easier for a person to search specific properties. If a person wants to buy a home in Las Vegas, he can get the properties shortlisted appropriately with the help of a location-based-sorting-tool.

Relevant Information

Don’t hype about the properties on your listings. Be honest in how you present information about the homes on your website. The more relevant the information on your site is, the more trust a visitor develops for you.

Keep the Listings Updated

Nothing distracts a buyer more than selecting a property and discovering later that the property has already been sold out. If this happens, you will seem less reliable to him. In order that this doesn’t happen, you should update the listings regularly. Your real estate multiple listings should reflect the current status of the market, not how the market looked a fortnight ago.

Property Photographs

Photographs are also important to make the listings on your website more attractive. Provide a number of photos of the homes, taken from different angles. If a home has attractive landscapes or water bodies near it, you may take a couple of pictures showing these beautiful features.

Real Estate Listings – The Backbone of Real Estate Websites

A good Real Estate website is incomplete without proper Real Estate Listings. The website would do very little to educate and inform the visitor. Listings for Real Estate not only attract visitors but also enable the website to grab their attention. Listings are rather the “real” thing a visitor wants to see in a site.

Always keep in mind that these listings should be up to date. We know Real Estate agents love seeing “Sold” on every property, but people who would be visiting your website would end up losing heart. Updating your website regularly is a must to keep your visitors coming back. Make sure your listings are in proper price order. It is essential that you have devised ways for them to search through the properties and kept it simple to use.

Interested property buyers tend to check back to your website every week, in the hope of finding fresh properties. You have to ensure that New Real Estate Listings are put up on a regular basis, to aid your customers in making a better decision. To prevent losing business, make sure that someone is made responsible for uploading New Real Estate Listings on your website and keeping the old ones up-to-date.

Depending on the program used to manage the listings section, it might require some extra training to make sure that these updates are made as quickly and efficiently as possible. An investment in professional practices is a wise decision and will prove to be fruitful. Most Real Estate Marketing websites believe in making making worthwhile websites for their customers. The websites that are built also have automatic property alerts that send out new listings via email every day to prospective customers.

While putting down Listings for Real Estate, it’s always a good idea to mark them separately for Commercial Real Estate Listings and the Residential ones. This can help new agents get off to a good start and can work as a new beginning for veteran agents who have been around for a while. Remember, the higher the number of your listings, the better your chances of selling.

By keeping these points in mind, you should be able to communicate about your real estate site better. You also need to ensure that you are able to project a professional image online, increasing your marketing reach and your bottom line.

How to Prospect For New Commercial Real Estate Listings

PROSPECTING FOR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LISTINGS

Commercial Retail and Industrial Listings

Any Real Estate Agent or Broker who wishes to have a successful career in commercial and industrial real estate must regularly obtain marketable listings. Listings are the agents “stock on the shelf” and your income now and in the future depends on the quality as well as the quantity of the listings that you obtain. The more listings that you have the more buyers and tenants you will attract. This makes the deals all that more easy for you. More listings mean that you dominate your market and lessen the impact of your competition.

In the commercial and industrial property, listings commonly may include:

Land that is suitable for commercial, industrial or retail development
Commercial, industrial and retail buildings that are for lease
Businesses that occupy premises from which they serve and supply their markets
Commercial, industrial and retail buildings that are for sale to owner occupiers or investors both large and small

Developing a Client Base

The secret of success in commercial and industrial real estate is to have your own client base. Those clients who work comfortably with you and who respond positively to your advice in relation to their real estate requirements are the clients you need to develop. As it is the clients who pay your fees, and not the tenants or buyers, they are very important people in your business life and it is essential that you represent yourself strongly to them at all times. As these people and organisations readjust their property portfolios to meet their emerging real estate requirements, they will continue to provide you with listings. In addition, if they are satisfied clients they will refer you to other business leaders, friends and family, and so provide you with more business.

Knowing the Real Estate Market

To provide effective advice to prospective clients it is essential that you know the market – commercial, industrial or retail – that you are involved in and that you have detailed knowledge of the geographical area in which you operate. To do this effectively you will need to:

Canvass your territory constantly according to a plan and become well known to businesses and people in the area
Know every property that is for sale or lease in your territory
Maintain a list of property transactions that occur and have occurred in the last 3 years
Keep an eye out for private transactions by property owners
Involve the management of your office and other team members with what you are doing
In addition, you should understand the factors that motivate companies in your area to move to other space, and you should be aware of the forces that encourage investors to buy and sell in your area or precinct.

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL AGENT OR BROKER?

So what makes a successful agent or broker from the client’s perspective, and someone that the client wants to do business with and through? It is an interesting question to ask from a clients perspective, but history shows that the factors which stand out as being of prime importance to clients are the agent’s knowledge of the market and the quality of the advice given. The negotiating skills of the agent and the ability to act quickly are also important and rank highly. Adherence to client instruction, property marketing skills and confidentiality were seen to be of slightly lesser importance.

It is clear from this analysis that the factors which are going to have a vital influence on the successful listing of a client’s property are knowledge of the market and the quality of advice. Owners are looking for agents and brokers who know the marketplace and have readily available records information about companies and investors that are looking to make immediate decisions on properties they require, own, or occupy. Your clients want an agent who will immediately bring a listed property to the attention of such people.

So, at the point of listing, being able to communicate effectively with the owner about the commercial and industrial market place and the prospects that are available on your database could certainly lead to a successful relationship and hopefully an ongoing one.

PROSPECTING FOR LISTINGS

Where do you find new listings and how do you go about converting them? This list may help. As you get to know your clients and the geographical area of the market in which you operate, opportunities for obtaining listings will present themselves. For example:

Real Estate Transactions. The successful conclusion of any real estate transaction in your region implies that both buyer and seller may be looking for other options. Avail yourself of these opportunities.
Liquidation. A failed business is a prime target for agency activity.
Vacant Buildings. Be conscious of any buildings that become vacant or derelict as these represent business opportunities.
Intermediaries. Maintain close association with the intermediaries of the real estate business. Intermediaries include such people as financiers, bankers, insurers, builders, architects, engineers, lawyers and accountants. Their clients will at times require the services of real estate agents and a recommendation from these people is invaluable. You, in turn, can introduce your clients to such intermediaries and sound business relationships which benefit both parties are established and maintained in this way.
Newspaper Articles. Articles that are prepared by you or in which you are quoted, bring your name or your firm’s name to the attention of the public.
Direct Mailing. The regular mailing of letters that canvass for properties, when sent to a suitable group of possible investors or property owners, frequently result in listings.
Private Advertisements. These can indicate properties that are on the market and the owners may be encouraged to employ your services if initial advertisements have not been successful.
Developers/Builders
Neighbours in immediate area
Property Managements (Rent Roll)
Entrepreneurial Activity
Previous Vendors & Purchasers

Identifying Ownership

When you discover a property that you feel could provide a business or listing opportunity, it is necessary to identify the owner. The following avenues can often provide this information.

Your own office (In each agency there is substantial information from previous transactions and property ownership which can be consulted).
Local Government Records
Land Title Information
Electoral Rolls
The Telephone Directory (including the Yellow Pages in the case of businesses)

Further to this there are many other sources of information to be used when identifying owners. These are:

Property ownership lists
Historic Lands Sales Records
Use other agents signboards as a reason to talk to adjacent owners in the locale
Commercial property is transacted to a cycle of investment and history shows that it is about every 5 years. Look at the old sales records in your area for the next cycle of potential sales.
Tenants will usually tell you the property owner if you ask
Directory boards in buildings are a great source of leasing intelligence
Business Telephone Lists and CEO contact names
Stock Exchange Information and updates
Company Searches for large businesses in your area
Newspaper Stories & Articles
Be willing to dare and try something new

To undertake this process you must be diligent and thorough in your activities so that you do not leave any ‘stone unturned’. Nothing is more frustrating that another agent’s sale or lease signboard appearing in your territory that you just covered last week.

The above information may seem logical; however it is commonly overlooked or not acted upon in most cases, given that many salespeople do not have the personal and sustained discipline needed for the task. The best commercial real estate agents and brokers use this model as their source of listing opportunity.

In closing we should say that this prospecting process does require a good database program to record and channel your ongoing findings. The value of a good database program is high in list of tools of a professional agent or broker working on commercial real estate. Good hunting!

Real Estate Listing Agent – Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Listing Agent

So you’re a home owner who has decided, like about 90% of all home sellers, to hire a listing agent to help you sell your home. How do you choose from the hundreds or perhaps thousands of REALTORS® in your area? Here are some of the most important questions to ask your prospective Real Estate Listing Agent:

How long have you been in the business?

Reason for asking: With the lure of ‘quick and easy money’ (believe me, its NOT), every one with a few spare dollars and some extra time has decided to get into real estate. The joke is that in some States, liquor stores will accept, as forms of identification, your drivers license or your real estate license. I sometimes compare Listing Agents to Restaurants: Out of every 10 that start up, only 1 is still around after 2 years. Answer to look for: Minimum of 4 years experience.

Is this your full-time occupation?

Reason for asking: In many jurisdictions, it is NOT a requirement that a Listing Agent practice his craft full-time. While some places, such as my native Winnipeg, DO require that real estate be our ONLY profession, there are many places where your Real Estate Listing Agent could work on your file during the day, and then serve your meals at the local restaurant at night. Answer to look for: YES! Don’t list with a real estate listing agent who might have to choose between showing your home and picking up an extra shift at the local Piggly-Wiggly for some fast cash.

Where do you advertise my home?

Reason for asking: Nearly every Listing Agent uses the MLS®. Its a powerful way of getting your house noticed by buyers and other agents. But its not the ONLY way. Recent studies show that between 80% to 87% of home buyers start their search on the internet. so the answer you should be looking for includes not only the MLS®, but extensive internet presence.

Do you have a website?

Reason for asking: This goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. With such a high percentage of people looking on the internet, your Real Estate Listing Agent should have an effective website. I’m constantly amazed at how many agents don’t even have a simple site, let along a professionally managed, search engine optimized site. Answer to look for here is a definite YES, with some explanation of how effective the site is, Google ranking, Alexa ranking etc

If something goes wrong, who will I be dealing with?

Reason for asking: Many a Real Estate Listing Agent runs a ‘team’, and the only time you’ll actually be dealing with him is during your initial interview. And trust me…something WILL go wrong. Perhaps as little as spelling mistakes or poor picture quality in your listing, or it could be more significant such as the wrong price shown in the listing. Or perhaps you’ll just have some questions about feedback from the last showing. In all likelyhood, you will want to talk to someone about your listing, so make sure that you know who you’re going to be dealing with. the preferred answer here: “If any issues come up, you call ME directly anytime. You’re NOT going to be talking with my secretary, my assistant or my butler…. here is my cell number, it goes directly to ME”.

How many homes do you sell in a year?

Reason for asking: goes to experience. Find you how many homes the average real estate listing agent in your town or city sells and then compare. Answer to look for: Average is ok, but more experience is better. On the opposite end of the scale, if your prospective listing agent always carries in excess of 15 or 20 listings, how much time will he or she have to work on your home? Look for a nice balance.

How can I reach you?

Reason for asking: Chances are you will need to talk with your real estate listing agent, to ask him questions or to get updates. Make sure he or she has a cell phone, pager, e-mail and any number of ways for you to contact them.

Bo Kauffmann is a consistent top-producing Real Estate Agent with Remax Performance Realty in Winnipeg, MB Canada. He works with Home Sellers and Buyers, and has special knowledge in the field of Condominiums.

Real Estate Mailings – Get More Expired Real Estate Listings

Every real estate agent has used some form of real estate postcard marketing over the span of their career. Yet many of these agents waste thousands of dollars a year because they don’t make smart decisions about who to send their real estate mailings to and what the mailings should contain.

As an agent for the past decade, I have made a fantastic living by using real estate mailings to generate expired real estate listings. This article will explain how I do it and how you can use real estate postcard marketing to beat your competition and dominate your local market. The best part is, if you use these steps, you’ll save thousands of dollars every year on your mailings and sell more houses than you ever have!

Step 1: Target Your Real Estate Mailings

The biggest mistake agents make when starting a marketing campaign is to make their address list far too big. The common thinking among agents is that the more people they mail to, the more business they will receive. While this may be true, few agents know how to mail to a much smaller list and still generate the same amount of business.   Over the years, I have steadily reduced my mailing list size while dramatically increasing my revenue. Here are the tricks I use:

  • With rare exception, I no longer mail to entire neighborhoods (or “farm”). Instead, I target only expired real estate listings and those that have been withdrawn from the market.
  • Once I identify the expired and withdrawn homes, I identify the homes I want to market to. If a home is in a slow moving or depressed area, I take them off my list. I only target homes that have a high probability of selling. My knowledge of the market allows me to identify these homes quickly, but some homes I need to do more research on. While this may take 5-10 minutes per home, it will save time and money on the real estate mailings (see below)
  • I scan each of the expired real estate listings for the words “Short Sale.” If the home owner needs to negotiate a short sale with the bank, it is almost never worth my time or the cost to add them to my campaign.

It may seem tedious, but these steps will identify a list of homes in your market that are worth your complete attention. Having a highly targeted list of one to two hundred homes is far more valuable than having a list of thousands of houses that may not be looking to sell.

Step 2: Smart Real Estate Postcard Marketing

Now that you have spent the time to research and identify the withdrawn and expired real estate listings, you’re ready to out-market your competition.

While the rest of the agents in your market will have spent all of their money sending one postcard to thousands of people, you can now spend much less money sending several postcards to the small, targeted list you’ve created. Here’s a list of items I send out to my small list:

  • On the first day the listing comes off of the market, I send a jumbo, full color postcard to the homeowner. This postcard needs to be big and impressive, because the day the home is off the market, many agents will send their one and only postcard to the home. Make yours stand out.
  • On the second day, I send another postcard to the home. This is usually a smaller, full color 6 x 4 postcard. Make this postcard look similar to your first (i.e. same logo, colors, etc). For my real estate postcard marketing campaign, this postcard tells the homeowner that I really want to sell their home and I never give up.
  • On the third day I send another jumbo full color postcard. It uses the same logo, colors etc, and says something to the effect of “See, I told you I never give up.”
  • Two days Later, they receive another postcard asking “Don’t you want to sell your home? Why haven’t you called?” My competition gave up on day two. I now have 4 marketing pieces delivered to this homeowner. The homeowner knows who I am and they know I want to sell their home.

The response to this campaign is incredible and while I do spend the money to send four, full color postcards (and sometimes a fifth follow up), because I was smart about my list, I’m spending much less than my competitors and my real estate postcard marketing campaigns have an unbelievable rate of return!

Step 3: Save Even More Money on Your Real Estate Mailings

If you follow my steps, you’ll already be saving thousands of dollars on your real estate marketing while making more money. Here’s how to save even more on your real estate postcard marketing:

  • Use online printers and use a coupon! Many online printers that provide postcard printing offer promotions and discounts.
  • Order your postcards in bulk all at once. I use the same postcards for every home, so I order all of my real estate postcard marketing materials at the same time. I order them without postage and have them mailed to me. I then print out labels and affix the postage myself for each mailing. Most suppliers give discounts for orders over 500 pieces.