One of the biggest traps a seller can fall into is confusing features vs. benefits. Often when selling a product or service, sellers merely present a list of features--and that's simply not enough to make a sale. Both features and benefits are equally important for effective advertising copy, but at the end of the day, it will be the benefits that give you the best advantages for converting customers.
One common mistake real estate professionals (and salespeople in a variety of industries) make is focusing too hard on selling the house, and not enough on selling a solution to the buyer's problem. The house is the product. It's the center piece of the transaction. But it's your buyer's lifestyle, family situation, age, income, career, and a multitude of other factors that determine whether or not a specific house is a good fit for them.
Focusing on your customer's pain points and the ways your product or service can provide the solution to their problems is known as solution selling. In order to be successful in solution selling, you must understand the difference between features and benefits, and the most effective way to present both as you walk through the process of selling the home.
Features are Generic
A feature of a particular property is a tangible characteristic of it. A two-acre yard, a new furnace, multiple bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen are all features. As the person selling the home, you need to know the features. Potential buyers like to compare features of all the homes on their radar. Think of the features like a checklist clients have in their head that helps determine whether or not this particular home is even on their radar for consideration. The features of the home you are selling will likely come into play very early on, possibly before you even speak to a potential buyer.
Benefits are Personal
Benefits are what your customer has to gain from the particular features of the property you're trying to sell. Benefits are usually intangible and represent value to a particular buyer. They vary from buyer to buyer, depending on their needs and interests. A two-acre yard is a benefit to a buyer with three young children who need some space to run. To a retired couple without any nearby grandchildren, it might simply represent a lot of hard work they don't have the time, interest, or energy to perform. Benefits illustrate how the features solve the individual customer's pain points.
Bringing it Together with Solution Selling
Features definitely play a role in the real estate sales process. But solution selling is where you really have an opportunity to bring value to the transaction by understanding what a buyer is looking for, and clearly demonstrating how the features of a given property fill that need. Don't simply sell the same home to every buyer, in the same way. Adjusting your sales pitch to match the needs of the buyer demonstrates sincere interest in providing the best possible solution for them. Use features as the arsenal of tools at your disposal when trying to solve a buyer's problem with benefits. Sometimes, one particular feature will do it. Oftentimes, it's the combination of two or three features that serve a particular need. Even if the buyer doesn't purchase that particular home, it's a great strategy for demonstrating your client care skills and prospecting new buyer clients at an open house or a showing.
For many Americans, July 4th is a day to lounge by the pool, barbecue, and watch fireworks. But before you celebrate with a bang, make sure you're prepared. Many assume homeowners insurance will cover any damage they cause. Although this usually is true--there are exceptions.
There has been a lot of talk regarding when the next recession could be, we all remember that the housing crisis in 2008 caused the last recession. Is there a likelihood of that repeating itself?
Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. They also know that a recession can't be too far off. A recent report by Zillow Research shed light on a survey conducted by Pulsenomics in which they asked economists, investment strategists and market analysts how they felt about the current housing market. That report revealed the possible timing of the next recession:
That timing concurs with a recent survey of economists by the Wall Street Journal:
Here is a graph comparing the opinions of those surveyed by both the Wall Street Journal and Pulsenomics:
Recession DOES NOT Equal Housing Crisis
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a recession is defined as follows:
A recession means the economy has slowed down markedly. It does not mean we are experiencing another housing crisis. Obviously, the housing crash of 2008 caused the last recession. However, during the previous five recessions home values appreciated.
According to the experts surveyed by Pulsenomics, the top three probable triggers for the next recession are:
Others agree that housing will not be impacted like it was a decade ago.
Mark Fleming, First American's Chief Economist, explained:
A recession is probably less than two years away. A housing crisis is not.
Home buying can prove to be a long and tedious process that could take months on end. This is what happened to Melvyn Diaz, a homebuyer who worked with a realtor in search of a new home. Mr. Diaz and his realtor worked together for over a year, looking at multiple units in different locations and still end up empty-handed. We can only imagine the time, effort and resources wasted on waiting that long.
Enter Kavita, a seasoned agent from New York Real Estate Experts who puts client satisfaction on top of her priorities. She partnered with Heather of Contour Mortgages and attorney Paul Solomon and met with Mr. Diaz, she showed him one unit that fits his preference and helped him all the way through closing the deal.
This is an excellent display of team effort and a wonderful demonstration of customer service. Good job everyone!
Some say the first is the hardest, in some levels this saying applies in getting your first real estate client if you're a newcomer. But worry no more for we will be giving you three ways to get your first client.
There are over 2 million real estate agents in the United States. New agents may find it cumbersome to understand how to get started. Although brokers and franchises have a number of tools available to new agents, it can be difficult to understand how to best make use of them. There isn't a silver bullet or industry secret to starting a successful real estate career. The principles of success are actually quite simple...it's the execution that ultimately trips up most new agents. If you want to generate consistent business as a real estate agent, the best thing you can do is ask everyone you know for a referral. Everyone you know likely has a friend, family member, or coworker who is moving in the next three to six months.
Over 45% of millennials seeking a real estate agent ask friends and family members for recommendations. The next generation of homebuyers is very keen on using website reviews, testimonials, and star ratings to assist with buying decisions. The same can be said for selecting a real estate agent. In addition to the web, they're turning to people they know and respect to provide input and reviews. As a new real estate agent who doesn't have any clients yet, you may be overwhelmed by the prospect of finding your first client.
Here are a few simple tips and procedures to help you to ramp up your business:
1. Ask friends and family first. Your friends and family know and trust you. They're very willing to help you, and they want you to be successful. Let them know you're licensed and are actively seeking buyers and sellers to build your book of business. Let them know you intend to work hard for your clients, and you will leave a great impression on anyone they refer to you. They'll be glad to help!
2. Keep asking! Over 70% of millennial home buyers are so happy with their agent that they would hire them again, or send them a referral of a friend or family member or someone that they know. That's a lot of new client potential! Make sure you are the "top-of-mind" real estate agent they think of when they talk with your next potential client.
3. Let them know you appreciate it. One great way to keep your friends and family referring your services is to write a "thank you" card. Send your best referral sources something special to let them know you sincerely appreciate their help in starting your business.
It's not easy getting started in real estate, and many new agents aren't prepared for the constant networking efforts and hard work it takes to be successful. You've earned your license and demonstrated a commitment to your new career. Don't become a statistic. The most critical step you can take toward building a successful real estate business is a simple, three-letter word: ASK.
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"NEW AGENT! I'm honored and excited to welcome Glenroy (Glen) Samuels to our team here at the New York Real Estate Experts.
Glen is a lifelong and established professional musician who has played with well-known names such as the Fab5 Band, Freddy Jackson, Percy Sledge, Ray Goodman & Brown, Lauren Hill, Chi-Lites, Sanchez, Luciano Etc etc. He's presently playing with Chaka Demus & Pliers.
Glen has had a life long dream of doing real estate and we are super excited to have him join our family of Realtors for the leads, the systems, the mentoring and motivation we have to provide for success. We are looking forward to seeing Glen grow and thrive in real estate.
Please help me welcome Glen to our team."
Home purchases are big decisions made not without hesitation. It's normal to question one's self-capability to pay for such at first. Nevertheless, some brave through this intimidating ordeal and managed just fine.
We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of Realtors' most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first-time buyer:
You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first homes. If you're still hesitating or debating whether or not you should go for it, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you determine if your dream home is within your grasp today.
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We have a lot of potential homeowners and families having second thoughts about buying today. Current mortgage rates and home prices intimidate buyers and it's completely understandable.
With both home prices and mortgage rates increasing this year, many are concerned about a family's ability to purchase a major part of the American Dream - its own home. However, if we compare housing affordability today to the average affordability prior to the housing boom and bust, we are in much better shape than most believe.
In Black Knight's latest monthly Mortgage Monitor, they revealed that in the vast majority of the country, it is actually more affordable to purchase a home today than it was between 1995 to 2003 when looking at mortgage payments (determined by price and interest rate) as compared to incomes. Home prices are up compared to 1995-2003, but mortgage rates are still much lower now than at that time. Today, they stand at about 4.5%. Here are the average mortgage rates for each of the years mentioned:
Black Knight's research revealed that, when comparing "the share of median income required to buy the median-priced home" today, to the average between 1995 to 2003, it is currently more affordable to purchase a home in 44 of 50 states.
Here is a state map of the percentage change in the price-to-payment ratio. Positive numbers indicate that it is less affordable to buy while negative numbers indicate that it is more affordable.
Whether you are moving up to the home of your dreams or purchasing your first house, it is a great time to buy when looking at historic affordability data.
Our growing real estate company is hiring Real Estate Agents to join our team and add value to our business.
We will provide training, coaching, and marketing materials to help you produce results.
Mistakes are inevitable but don't let it get to you. It's only a small bump towards your success. Treat it as a lesson and learn from it. Don't be afraid to fail because it's part of the journey. Instead, use it as your stepping stone towards your goal.
Price plays a crucial role in deciding whether an owner will sell his/her home or a buyer will buy it. But how does one set a price that's neither too low not to earn profit nor too high to deter potential buyers?
Today we'll talk about how the home appraisal process works. A home appraisal is a required part of the loan process and is conducted by a certified appraiser who evaluates and determines the property's fair market value.
The appraiser's report includes a detailed look at the home's general condition and a review of the surrounding area. Since housing markets fluctuate--as do home values--appraisers rely heavily on recent home sales within the last six months in the local area to determine fair market values.
Appraisals also take into consideration any improvements and upgrades, as well as the land's value. It is important to note that appraisal guidelines are dictated by legal requirements as well as the type of loan being issued. The appraiser's job is to provide an objective, impartial and unbiased assessment of the property's fair market value.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the home appraisal process, get in touch with a professional.
Focus on today instead of worrying about tomorrow. Be productive, create meaningful experiences and make the right decisions. Remember, it is your present action that will define your future.
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In one of our previous posts, we have discussed why now is the best time to sell your home why-sell-your-house-now.html. For those who have realized and recognized the opportunity, you may find this information very helpful.
In today's market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are the top five reasons:
1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers
According to the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, last year 95% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 15% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
2. Results Come from the Internet
Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent's commission. The seller and buyer can't both save the commission.
A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don't actually save anything, and in some cases, may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is:
If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property. The study showed that the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6% this year.
Why would you choose to list on your own and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more?
Your time, effort, and money means a lot and you get to save more of them if you seek help from a professional. Nevertheless, before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
Take your career to the next level.
Join us this Thursday for our Career Night at 6PM-7PM.
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For registration and inquiries:
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Sulking over the past won't help you. Don't let past mistakes get in the way of your success. What matters now, is that you get on your feet and make a difference!
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Baby boomers are leading in the market. They have the highest number of home buyers compare to other generations. See the comparison.
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Don't let anyone tell you what you can't do. You are your own boss.
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As exciting as it is, real estate can truly be tough to those who venture into it unprepared. It's just fair given that the rewards are just as wonderful. Nevertheless, here are five things you should have not just to survive but to thrive in real estate sales.
Without the right mindset, it will be difficult for you to build a solid foundation for a successful real estate career. Having a clear purpose will be imperative to get over the bumps and bruises in your career. Also, it is crucial that you are constantly feeding yourself with positive reinforcement. Hang around with successful, positive people to increase your own chances of success. This leads us to the next point.
Mentors have invaluable experience and knowledge...and they can provide you with a map to guide you on the road to success!
Learning and Training
In the real estate industry, you must be a learning-based person. The real estate industry is constantly changing, and you need to adapt and grow with the times. By attending great real estate training programs, staying current with your education, and really expanding your knowledge base, you will be able to keep up with the competition and expand your business.
This is the fuel for your real estate business. Without clients, you are going to struggle to sell real estate. If you are just starting out in real estate, you must understand that in order to be successful, you need to be in both the lead generation and real estate business. If you maintain a constant focus on lead generation, you will not only increase your business, but you will avoid the ups and downs of the real estate income roller coaster.
Once the first four steps are in motion, you will most likely feel a bit overwhelmed. This is natural when starting a successful business. When it becomes too much to handle, you should look for help. In most business, including real estate, the first place to look for help is on the administrative side. If your focus is sales, you don't want to get bogged down by paperwork. An administrative assistant can be one of the best decisions you will ever make for your real estate business.
The best thing about a career in real estate is that you get out of it what you put into it. If you give it your best effort, connect with positive people who can mentor you, and continue to train and learn about the business, then you can look forward to a long, successful career in real estate.
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All successful people have their own stories of failures, rejections, and regrets. But, one thing they have in common is that they never let these factors hinder their way to success. Remember to keep on going and never lose hope.
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Should home buyers and savers be worried about the Fed rate hike? Here are a few things we should know about to help us prepare for this impending change.
With the Fed announcing another rate hike Wednesday, borrowing costs will head even higher for consumers. The good news is some bank customers will start to see noticeably higher savings rates.
Americans with credit cards, adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit will see their monthly payments rise now that the Federal Reserve has lifted its key short-term interest rate by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.
All are revolving loans with variable rates that are directly affected by the Fed's move.
Car buyers may feel it, too, though they're still benefiting from a competitive auto loan market that's keeping borrowing costs low. Any effect on 30-year mortgages and other long-term loans would likely be muted.
But consumers with bank savings accounts and CDs will benefit.
"While rising interest costs constrain borrowers... savers are finally getting their day in the sun," says Greg McBride, chief economist of Bankrate.com.
The rate hike Wednesday becomes the second this year and the seventh since the Fed began bumping them up in late 2015. Two more hikes are now expected in 2018.
Here's how the moves could affect consumers:
Credit cards, HELOCS, adjustable-rate mortgages
These loans will become more expensive within weeks since their rates are generally tied to the prime rate, which in turn is affected by the Fed's benchmark rate.
Average credit-card rates are 17 percent, according to Bankrate.com. For a $10,000 credit-card balance, a quarter-point hike is likely to add $25 a month in interest, according to Steve Rick, chief economist of CUNA Mutual Group.
Four rate increases this year could mean an additional $100 in monthly interest. LendingClub advises people to consolidate their credit-card debt with a personal loan.
Rates for home equity lines of credit are much lower at 5.92 percent. A quarter-point increase on a $30,000 credit line raises the minimum monthly payment by just $6 a month.
By contrast, rates on adjustable-rate mortgages are modified annually. So the impact may be delayed, but then it could bite. Four quarter-point hikes in 2018 likely would boost the monthly payment on a $200,000 mortgage by $84 to $112.
The Fed's key short-term rate affects 30-year mortgages and other long-term rates only indirectly. Those rates correlate more closely with inflation expectations and the long-term economic outlook.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate already has climbed from 4.15 percent to 4.54 percent since Jan. 1 largely because investors expect federal tax cuts and spending increases to push inflation higher. But the rate is down from a recent high of 4.66 percent in late May. The likely rate hike on Wednesday is already figured into mortgage rates.
For home buyers, any impact on the monthly bill would probably be relatively small. By year's end, a quarter-point rate increase on a $200,000 mortgage would boost the monthly payment by about $30.
Existing fixed-rate mortgages are not affected.
Other Fed moves could also play a role. In September, the Fed announced that it's gradually shrinking the bond portfolio it amassed during and after the financial crisis in a bid to lower long-term rates. That likely has a greater effect on fixed mortgage rates, according to Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist of LendingTree.
A quarter-point rate hike theoretically would get passed on to new auto loans, increasing the monthly payment for a new $25,000 car by $3. Existing loans would be unchanged. But competition among lenders is holding down auto loan rates, McBride says. That could mean an even smaller monthly increase. Five-year auto loan rates are currently at 4.71 percent.
Bank savings rates
Since banks will be able to charge a bit more for loans, they'll have a little more leeway to pay higher interest rates on the deposits customers make.
Don't expect a fast or equivalent rise in your savings accounts or CD rates, many of which pay interest of 1% or less. Those rates have barely budged the past year despite the Fed's hikes.
Low rates on loans have meant narrow profit margins for banks for years. They can now benefit from a bigger margin between what they pay customers in interest and what they earn from loans, McBride says. And since they're still flush with deposits, they don't need to attract more to make loans.
Yet a handful of online and community banks, credit unions and money market mutual funds that are hungrier for deposits are paying as much as 2.5 percent on a one-year CD, up from 2.15 percent in March. Fed rate hikes this year should help boost the top rate to 2.8 percent to 3.1 percent by December, McBride says.
And top savings and money-market rates are nearing 2 percent. That's about the rate of annual inflation. "Being able to earn more than inflation is something savers haven't seen in a decade," McBride says.
Bottom line is, the impact of all these on our home buyers will be relatively small.