Scam Alert — Real Estate-Style!

real estate agent scamAt some point in the past 10-15 years, it is safe to say that everyone with an email address has received an official-looking email about a very high-ranking official in a country you probably never heard of who recently passed away leaving a large, unclaimed inheritance. How lucky it is that they picked you, YOU, out of everyone else in the world, to claim this inheritance and retire into a life of excess and opulence… BUT, the only catch is you have to send them a few hundred bucks, or your bank account information for the money transfer. Sounds good? Well, to many people, it did. The Nigerian Money Scam, as this email scheme came to be called, became one of the most popular scams in the civilized world. Anyone with an email address can attempt the scam, and anyone else with an email address can become the victim.

In the Real Estate field, scams are a little more daring and elaborate. After all, even the most talented grifter would be hard-pressed to convince someone to put down a mortgage deposit over email. Below is a rundown of some of the more common intricate schemes con artists posing as Real Estate Agents use to prey on unsuspecting victims:

Borrowing Without Permission

Scenario: Homeowners left for an extended vacation, moved to Florida for the winter, left for a job out of state or got deployed for military service. The house is empty. Scam artists scope out these houses, make duplicate keys and/or change locks, and the house is pretty much theirs. Some of these scammers even go as far as having full open houses to get potential renters or buyers interested! Once a buyer is lined up, the scammer takes the deposit and disappears. In case of a renter, the scam artist can even allow the renter to move in and wind up collecting rent money up until the point the real homeowners show up… and disappear then.

The same scenario can also be used on homes that are in foreclosure or up for sale… as long as the house is empty for the foreseeable future, it is a prime target for a Real Estate scam.

Renting Nothing

Scenario: A potential renter is moving into town and found an incredible deal on an apartment… the price is almost too good to be true, they just have to wire money for the deposit and paperwork. In truth, the apartment is either already rented, or doesn’t exist at all. By the time the renter gets in town and figures out their incredible deal doesn’t exist, the scammer posing as an agent who got the deposit wire is long gone.

This scam is particularly popular with out-of-towners who do not have the ability to see the place in person.

Protecting Yourself Against These Scams

Now that we’ve scared you sufficiently, here are a few tips that will help you from becoming a victim. First and foremost, do your homework. This goes for both the property you are interested in, and the agent you are working with. Unless they came recommended by someone you know well, go online, read some reviews, see what places they’ve rented or sold previously, and what people are saying. See if they belong to an online directory like RealEstateAgent.com… scam artists are highly unlikely to have legitimate Real Estate transactions under their belt. As far as the property, make sure you see it prior to agreeing… a night in a hotel is worth a lot less than a lifetime of regrets. Secondly, do not wire money, or send money directly into escrow accounts. You can always make exceptions for agents you trust, but if someone is immediately asking you to wire or escrow a large sum of money, they are most likely as genuine as a Nigerian prince with a million dollars in the bank waiting for you.

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How Smart Is Your Home?

If you believe the term “Smart Home” refers to the amount of college degrees in your household, please, please read on! If you have an idea of what “Smart Home” is, read on anyway, and find out more!

To put it simply, the term Smart Home or Home Automation refers to the method and technologies that integrate your home’s electrical devices with each other, to be centrally operated by a control panel, or even remotely via your smartphone.

If you really think about it, automation of household activities and chores has been around for a while. We are no longer walking down to the river with a basket of dirty clothes to rinse them out, and hang them on cloth lines — washing machines and dryers do that work for us. To bathe, we no longer need to heat up pots upon pots of water to dump them into a bath — water heaters significantly reduce the time it takes for us to take a bath or a shower. Sophisticated alarm systems have replaced angry dogs as effective methods of security and intrusion prevention, so that our four-legged protectors can nap by the fireplace and get petted instead of holding vigilant guard duty. Home automation is simply the next step, using Information Technology and the Internet to further simplify our household tasks.

How Does it Work?

Without getting into the technical details of computers, the concept is quite simple. Instead of having every light switch, thermostat and garage door wired to their separate appliances, everything in the home is connected to a computer, that is, in turn, connected to you via a control panel, tablet, or smartphone. From these display outlets, you can control your home’s lights, automatic doors, alarms, HVAC. If you go on to integrate more devices into the home automation system, you can even control TVs, water faucets, water heater, washing machines, stoves, smoke detectors, and even your pets’ automatic feeders.

Why Do I Need It?

In addition to it being extremely convenient and impressive to control every appliance in your home from the palm of your hand, home automation can also save you money, and provide increased safety. Ever leave for a business trip or vacation and forget to adjust the HVAC, or leave some lights on? A cold spell in the middle of winter or a heat wave in the summer while you are away could spell a hefty and unexpected electric bill when you return. A simple tap of a screen on your phone can take care of that issue remotely. What about forgetting to turn off your gas or electric range? Now you don’t have to rush home from work to avoid a fire… simply turn it off remotely. If the system is tied in with your smoke detectors, a detected fire can automatically turn off all audio and home theater components and turn on lights to alert you and your family to possible danger.

If you have not yet considered Home Automation, give it a shot during your next home improvement project. It may save you money in the long run and make home operations smoother and more convenient!

 

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This Skyscraper Doesn’t See Its Own Shadow – Spring Will Come Early!

As we’ve mentioned many times, Real Estate is everywhere. When we think of Real Estate, we mostly associate homes with a “sold” sign, and a happy family plus fluffy dog frolicking in the front yard. Not to call a single family home “small,” there are much bigger examples of Real Estate out there.

This time, let’s go big… really big, no, really, really big! How big? Skyscraper big! The significance of skyscrapers in Real Estate has everything to do with space, or rather, lack of it. Prior to the invention of the safety elevator as well as the reinforced concrete and steel structures, building above 6 stories were not very practical. After all, most cities’ infrastructure did not have enough water pressure to provide water to the top floors. Also, climbing up more than 6 stories several times a day would be a tall task (pun intended) for anyone.

Then, things kind of happened at the same time… stronger materials stemming from the technological advancements of the industrial revolution allowed for stronger construction. At the same time, millions of people flocking to major metropolitan areas for work created an imperative need for a lot of Real Estate in a very tight space. The solution? Build upward! The first skyscraper booms were observed in New York City and Chicago, areas where limited land did not allow for perpetual horizontal expansion. Melbourne, Australia, also saw a large boom skyscraper building around the turn of the century. However, a lot of those buildings were built from older, less-sturdy materials, so few of them are around today. New York and Chicago, however, still feature many tall buildings from that era.

Maybe it was because the skyscraper-laden New York and Chicago metropolitan areas also became synonymous with commerce, business might and wealth, or maybe it’s just because we love really, really tall things, skyscrapers became city, or even country-wide status symbols of opulence, status and achievement. Today, skyscrapers adorn the skylines of most major cities, including many without the glaring lack of horizontal space. New York and Chicago no longer host the tallest skyscrapers. Today, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, a giant, 829-meter spire sticking out of the Middle Eastern sand holds the title of the tallest continuously inhabited building in the world.

As ever-taller skyscrapers are popping up all over the world, city planners are faced with quite an irritating problem – shadows. Every building casts a shadow. When a building is 100+ stories tall, it casts a very big shadow on the rest of the city. With multiple city blocks, buildings and residential structures blocked from the sun by these mammoth structures, vegetation, morale, and real estate values tend to suffer. With multiple mega-tall skyscrapers in a city center casting multiple shadows, the problem, just like the shadow space, can grow exponentially.

A London Architectural firm decided to tackle the problem in an ingenious way: they created a computer model of two skyscrapers where one building works to cancel the other one’s shadow. Specifically, a reflective surface of one of the skyscrapers is carefully shaped to reflect sunlight into the space occupied by the shadow of the other skyscraper. The shape of the first skyscraper also allows for this reflected light to follow the shadow of the other building throughout the day.

Why is this important? Real Estate values! An area that is supposed to be in the shadow of a giant building that is still bathed in reflected sunlight will be much a much more desirable downtown space for offices or luxury living.

 

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Deciding to Bring a Dog Into Your Home?

Ever since a mutation in the stress hormone of ancient wolves led some of them to not be afraid to interact with early humans, dog and man has been inseparable. In fact, every dog breed in the world is a direct descendent of this friendlier breed of wolf. Long ago, dogs have accepted the comfort of human-provided steady meals and shelter in exchange for unwavering devotion, friendship and security.

This bond between dogs and humans lives on to this day. In our modern society, an average family may not be in as much of a need for the security a dog provides as in need of companionship. In our country specifically, the “American Dream” refers to owning a home, having kids, and, of course, a dog.

So, you have the “home” part checked off. Maybe “kids” are checked off as well. If you are a recent homeowner considering adopting a pet canine for the first time, here are a few things to know and consider.

Breed

Just like different car makes and models, different breeds of dogs come with different responsibilities and worries. The Husky, for example, is a very popular breed of dogs because of their gorgeous looks, however, the breed is kind of like a sports car… very pretty but also very hard to handle, and is very high-maintenance. First-time dog owners may want to start with a friendlier, more obedient and easier-to-train dog breeds. The Golden Retriever and Labrador, for example, are both extremely easygoing breeds.

Allergies

Make sure no one in your household is allergic to the breed of dog you are adopting. Different breeds have different concentrations of hormones and fur oils. Just because you may not be allergic to some breed does not mean you are not allergic to all. If allergies are a concern, hypo-allergenic Poodles, Labradoodles and Samoyeds may be the answer.

Care

Be prepared for a lot of work at first, regardless of the breed. Training requires a cooperative environment and a lot of patience. If you have a full household, assign tasks and duties so that everyone in the family is involved in the care of the new puppy.

Get Supplies

Be sure to stock up on chew toys, food and any other supplies you may need, including a dog crate. Dog crates seem like puppy jail cells, however, the Humane Society actually recommends getting a crate for your new puppy. Dogs, going by their deeply-engrained wolf instincts, love dens. The crate can act like a den, and make them feel safe, simultaneously acting like your dog’s home and transportation box.

Do More Research

To put it mildly, the information contained is not nearly enough. Read up, research and get as much information as possible prior to adopting a pet. With knowledge and patience, adding a four-legged friend into your household will be an extremely rewarding experience.

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Take a Break from the Freezing Cold!

This February, most of the Eastern United States has been experiencing record lows, long freezes and epic snowstorms. Cold temperatures and snow can be fun occasionally (think snowball fights, days off school and work, snow angels, etc) However, prolonged cold temperatures can leave your body drained, your car battery drained and your wallet drained from the heating bills.

Yes, keeping your home warm during weeks of below-freezing temperatures can be quite difficult. If you have a large home, or a tall but narrow townhome, maintaining a comfortable temperature is next to impossible. In tall, narrow townhomes, it seems that regardless of what temperature you set on the thermostat, it is perpetually 90°F on the top floor and 30°F on the bottom. In large homes, thermostat settings seem more as an inspirational, vague, utopian numbers rather than a temperature the inside of the house actually needs to be. Keeping your house warm is a tall order when a comfortable indoor temperature of 70°F to 75°F is 40 to 60 degrees higher than the bone-chilling winter air. Heating a house is a constant battle against heat loss via cracks, open windows, doors, worn-out seals and typical, inevitable static heat loss through windows and walls.

The Better Way To Keep Your House Warm

Rather than cranking up the heat and paying the monthly energy bill of a Walmart Superstore, open your shades or curtains, and let sunlight in during the day. It surely doesn’t feel like it, but the sun is still very strong in the winter. Letting in sunlight creates a mini greenhouse in your home, retaining most of that radiant heat, and raising the temperature inside. Be sure to draw the curtains at night. Darkness and low temperatures will zap all that daylight heat gain. To keep the bill low, install a programmable thermostat. Chances are, there are many hours throughout the day where your house is empty. Programming a lower temperature for those hours may save you money in the long run.

The Best Way To Keep Your House Warm

Although the aforementioned methods are great for keeping your house warm in the Winter months, without a doubt, the best way to keep your house from freezing solid with frigid winter temperatures is… (you will hate us for this one…) to buy a house somewhere where there aren’t any freezing temperatures! RealEstateAgent.com can give you access to thousands of listings in warm, tropical Florida, so you can spend next February in flip flops and sunglasses rather than knee-deep in snow!

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Fifty Shades of Cleanup – Tips for Cleaning Up Your Valentine’s Day Mess

Fifty Shades of CleanupIf you celebrated Valentine’s Day the way it was meant to, your house should look like a rose-petal covered, candle wax, chocolate and wine paradise, or a set of Valentine’s Day, depending on how thorough you were.

Now that Valentine’s Day 2015 is over, and all the red, heart-shaped candy boxes and stuffed animals with cupid arrows are sitting in a clearance bin at your local pharmacy, it may be time to clean up the mess and get your house back into “normal” mode.

Candle Wax

The amount of candles required for a properly romantic Valentine’s Day home setting is enough to make any Fire Marshal toss and turn at night. However, all those candles mean a lot of dripping wax, and a LOT of mess to clean up. We are kind of hoping you did not try to clean up hot wax the night of… going to the emergency room on Valentine’s Day with a non-romantic medical emergency is disappointing and probably humiliating. No, the best way to clean up wax is to let it set — let it solidify into the waxy solid that it is on the candle. Once solid, most of the wax can be broken off and lifted in big chunks. For whatever is left over, lay a cloth over the leftover wax, and apply gentle heat. The wax should lift right off.

Another cool home tip for Valentine’s Day candles is to put them in the refrigerator or freezer prior to setting them out. The cool wax will burn slower, and cause less mess.

Heart-Shaped Chocolates

Granted, this will work for any chocolate, but really, we are mostly talking about the heart-shaped ones. Let’s just say that Valentine’s Day is a day in which chocolate is consumed in more places than just the dinner table. If chocolate found its way onto surfaces throughout your home, use much of the same principles as wax. Dried, solid chocolate can be flaked off in chunks. For everything that does not come off that way, use a mix of dish soap, or a household fabric or carpet cleaner.

Red Wine

If you JUST spilled red wine on your clothes, furniture or carpet, there are about a million and a half methods to get the stain out: club soda, milk and salt are all good ideas for lifting the stain before it sets. However, let’s face it… who is going to stop their Valentine’s Day fun to battle a stain? Come on! Most likely, the discovery of a wine stain happens a week or so after Valentine’s Day, when you finally notice a spot during cleanup on the clothing you wore that night. No worries, your clothes are not yet ruined. Grab some shaving cream, (yes, shaving cream!) and work the lather into the stain. Let it set for a few hours, and wash as usual. The shaving cream should be able to lift the stain!

Good luck, and happy cleanup! Just one more way for RealEstateAgent.com to help homeowners… after all, wax and chocolate on the floor, and a wine stain on your shirt is certain to detract potential buyers! All of us at RealEstateAgent.com hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend!

 

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RealEstateAgent.com — Like, Share, Follow, Connect… We Love Social Media!

Social Media Marketing for Real Estate AgentsTo be an effective business nowadays, slapping a quarter-page ad in the local Newspaper is simply not enough to attract the business a company is looking for. For most businesses, having a top-notch business website is not enough either.

Today’s world is more transparent than ever. With the advent of Social Media, millions of people are communicating across various Social Media platforms, stating their preferences, keeping up with news, trends and their favorite businesses. This “business transparency” is achieved through on-going direct-to-consumer communication through Social Media by businesses. This is a new, revolutionary concept in Public Relations, and Customer Relations that allows any business from the corner bakery to a worldwide corporation to interact with fans, manage a brand image and engage new customers.

RealEstateAgent.com took a head-on approach to this emerging world of Social Media for businesses by taking control of our presence across multiple platforms. Choosing to do so places us in a powerful position to drive new leads to the agents listed in our online real estate directory. Monthly we receive calls from homeowners who have found us on social media, asking for help finding an agent. Just one more way RealEstateAgent.com provides value for their clients.

RealEstateAgent.com’s Commitment to Clients via Social Media:

Facebook: we manage a highly-successful business page with an interactive network of homeowners and an Ad budget that helps us reach homeowners nationwide. Periodically we run and promote contests and giveaways to engage our followers, and reward customers for their brand loyalty. Realestateagent.com’s Facebook community is made up of homeowners who want to stay up on the latest trends and receive advice on the market. We also utilize Facebook Ads advanced targeting engines, to engage new homeowners to “Like” our page as well as to visit our website and browse our directory of dedicated agents.

Twitter: we use this sharing-oriented platform to engage prospective homeowners with interactive content and tips on staging, decor and home improvement. We also engage existing homeowners who are looking to sell or trade up with relevant financial and real estate information. Ultimately our Twitter network is guided to the website where reputable real esate agents listed in our directory can be found.

Pinterest: the perfect tool to share beautiful photos of homes, decor and renovations. Pinterest is also the platform on which we ran a fun, zany contest called the “Ugly House Sweepstakes.” We asked participants to submit photos of the messiest, scariest and most dilapidated rooms and homes they had — the awarded winner got a chance to improve their surroundings with a $500 gift card. Our interactive Pinterest platform promotes a community of sharing ideas with each other, while positioning us as a credible resource for fun and engaging content among homeowners.

Google Plus: To engage both homeowners and real estate agents, we utilize Google’s own Social Media platform, Google+. By sharing videos, blogs and other content from RealEstateAgent.com that is highly optimized with specific keywords, we increase our search engine ranking on Google, making us visible to more people. When homeowners find the realestateagent.com Google Plus page through search engines, they are more likely to click to our website, browsing the directory for the agent who is the right fit to find the home of their dreams.

LinkedIn: the platform for engaging business-to-business partnerships. We utilize LinkedIn to provide helpful information for our agents, while simultaneously attracting new agents and industry related topics through group conversations and articles on our company LinkedIn page. Utilizing LinkedIn’s new Pulse feature, you can find our blogs and helpful agent articles there to guide you along your real estate journey. We welcome all of our agents to get involved on our company page and encourage everyone to share articles and information that is helpful to fellow agents.

Blogs: Last but not least in our engagement strategy is what you are currently reading: our blogs! Here we mix it up with topics for both homeowners and real estate agents. Homeowners can find helpful industry tips, mixed with fun , zany topics like Real Estate on Mars, and odd ways to sell your home like making doors purposefully squeaky or dressing in yoga outfits… If it’s fun, interactive and enjoyable to read, it’s up our alley! Agents find helpful Marketing information via our blogs to help them land more clients and understand how to improve their customer experience.

Through all of our Social Media efforts, one goal and result remains the same: increasing our network, widening our directory and exposing you, your Real Estate search and your listing to a perpetually growing network. This separates us from the competition that only focuses on search engines like Google, leaving a wide open “social space” to attract new buyers and sellers for our real estate agents.

 

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Real Estate… IN SPACE!

Real Estate In Space, Real Estate On MarsLet’s face it… the future is here. Widespread space exploration and colonization, the stuff of science fiction, is slowly becoming reality. We’ve walked on the moon, landed on an asteroid, flew the whole length of our solar system, and are finding new planets in other solar systems almost daily.

It wouldn’t be long before humanity starts legitimately exploring, and colonizing other planets and moons. The real estate community needs to be ready!

As far as real estate in our cosmic neighborhood, Venus may be a tough sell — sulfuric acid rain and 200 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth may really put a damper on profitable real estate values. After all, every probe we sent there either imploded, exploded, or disintegrated due to the 700+ degree temperatures.

Mars, our other next-door neighbor, seems to be a much more viable candidate. Between all the missions we’ve sent there over the years, there is more hardware on Mars than some Radio Shack stores. Several state and private space agencies are currently planning manned missions, and one even planning putting permanent citizens on Mars by the 2030s.

Getting in on the interplanetary real estate action is easy: there are websites out there selling land on Mars for $40 an acre, a steal compared to Earthly land. Considering all the future planned exploration, mining and colonization, owning a piece of land on the Red Planet may actually be a worthwhile investment.

But don’t break out the checkbook just yet… unfortunately, there is no way to actually own land on Mars. A 1967 accord called the Outer Space Treaty basically prohibits private, or national ownership of any part of space, moon or territory of other planets, treating them as “benefits for all mankind.” Of course, that does not stop many savvy entrepreneurs from claiming to be the “official owners” of space land, and selling it accordingly.

As of today, $40 will get you a shiny, official-looking certificate, and perhaps some sci-fi toys, none of which make you the legal owner of any land. However, if the Outer Space Treaty was to be abolished in the future, where on Mars would make the best real estate investment?

Mars has no surface water, so beachside property is out of the question. At an average temperature of  -80°F, and barely any atmosphere, being around the equator is pretty much useless. The best land to grab on Mars would probably be around Olympus Mons, Mars’ giant, dormant volcano. Why land around a volcano? Most likely, Olympus Mons is extinct, however, the old underground lava tubes round the volcano may serve as perfect living quarters, protecting inhabitants from radiation and planet-wide dust storms.

If you have no luck with Olympus Mons’ highly-competitive seller’s market, your next best bet may be on the poles of Mars. Mars’ polar regions are covered in ice, and possibly water ice under the surface, making the polar region ideal for habitation. The areas are also suspected to have tremendous amounts of minable minerals and other natural resources. Staking your claim to pieces of land ideal for building refineries as part of a profitable future mining operation may prove to be an excellent investment.

For now, this is all just speculation. The Outer Space Treaty prevents us from owning any extraterrestrial piece of land. Colonization of Mars has not even begun, however, once it does, we imagine territorial disputes are soon to follow, with it, the necessity to amend or abolish the Outer Space Treaty. Rest assured, that if the space Real Estate race was to start soon, RealEstateAgent.com would be right there with you, helping Earthlings and Martians alike find the best piece of property on any planet.

 

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Crazy Home Selling Tips You’ve Never Heard Of

Home selling tips have come a long way from just making sure there was a roof overhead and an outhouse in the back. Although in years past, those may have been some of the bigger selling points when home buying, most homes now have a built-in bathroom and a roof with shingles that keeps the rain out. However, there are still some tips that should be adhered to when selling your home, and if they are followed, you can be assured of top dollar when the “sold” sign is placed in the front yard.

Size Up Your Potential Buyers

If you are going to be showing a home to young hipsters or liberal free spirits, make sure you aren’t wearing any shoes and that you are wearing a clean pair of yoga pants. In every room you enter, say, “Yes, I feel the warmth and love here.” Be sure to stress how unique and one-of-a-kind your house is.

For those conservatives on the list ask not what the potential buyers can do for you, but what you can do for the potential buyers. Nothing speaks better than a suit and a tie, no matter what gender you are, and make sure to have several Ronald Reagan buttons attached to your chest. When you enter every room and begin describing it, always end the selling points with, “Read my lips.”

Squeaky Doors

There’s an old saying in the realty business, and it goes like this: “Quiet doors sell houses, squeaky doors sell homes.” Virtually everyone who was growing up always remembers the squeaky doors in their home from when they were young. Before breaking out the WD40, consider giving the prospective customer a warm and fuzzy feeling from their youth and leave a few doors in their natural state. If no doors are currently squeaking, a towel and a hair dryer pointed at the hinges should do the job nicely.

The Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose Initiative

Make sure that any potential customer knows that Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose have already looked at the house and are ready to buy. You know the type. Bertha and Tenoose are loud, overbearing and obnoxious. If they were to buy the house, the neighborhood would never be the same. You can use the Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose Initiative and tell the prospective buyers that it is up to them to save the neighborhood, buy the house, keep Bertha and Tenoose away and everyone will be happy. It works every time.

Every realtor sometimes need the proverbial “ace in the hole” to sell a home. Using these tips will close the deal when other methods won’t, and can give you an edge over any other selling method. Best of all, they’ll keep Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose from causing havoc in virtually any neighborhood they might want to buy a house in. And that’s the best reason to incorporate these tips every time you are selling a house.

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Where Agents and Realtors Failed in 2014

Real Estate FailThe year 2014 saw some of the best housing interest rates coupled with some of the lowest prices on the realty market. Although many realtors and agents were able to take advantage of these factors, many more failed in a market place that was exceptionally profitable for others. So let’s take a look at some of the major failings of agents and realtors in 2014.

Going At It Alone

Many agents and realtors have a bit of success in a company or a partnership and decide to go at it alone. However, a substantial portion of realty failures in 2014 were by people trying to be independent. Certainly, it was a buyers’ market and there were plenty of buyers, but the information and exposure by working with a partner or a company cannot be understated. Partnering with directories like RealEstateAgent.com exposes your listings to a wider local, and national audience, significantly increasing your chances of getting more interest, and eventually, getting a better price. Granted, you may gain more profit by selling one property by yourself, but statistics show that partnerships sold more properties than independents, and selling more properties, even if you have to give up a piece of the earnings pie, inevitably means more sales, more profit and more experience in the long run.

Learn the Business First

In 2014, start-ups, branches and independents had the biggest failures in 2014. The major realty companies raked in the profits, while everyone else got the leftovers. Now, that doesn’t mean that “everyone else” wasn’t doing their jobs, and in some cases, branches, independents and start-ups flourished. But the main reason that the others failed was lack of understanding the business end.

Every agent and realtor needs to master the business end of the realty business before they strike out on their own. Know the basics and implement them for a successful business. Realty is based on tried and true basic techniques that have worked since selling real estate began. The nuts and bolts of the real estate business will never change, and these principles work for the big companies as well as they would work for independents. Master the basics, learn what a successful business model is, and use it. Those that tried to reinvent the realty world in 2014, payed a big price in limited sales and profits.

Quality Over All

Agents and realtors that offered quality listings had a higher rate of success in 2014. Professional looking pictures and compelling property descriptions sell more than sloppy looking presentations, no matter how nice the property really is.

In many cases, realtors just want to “get something up” and put in as little time as needed to showcase a property. The reality is that, by taking a little extra time to make the presentation as appealing as possible, it will go a long way towards selling the property. A thoughtful description that is grammatically correct, coupled with pictures that attempt to fully capture the area and the uniqueness of the property, went far to sell real estate. Sloppy pictures and dull descriptions all played a part in why agents and realtors failed in 2014.

2015 may become a banner year for real estate as a whole, but learn the basics, offer quality listings and don’t go at it alone until you master the business, or you may end up failing while everyone else profits.

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