5 Essential Skills to Master the Market

September 16, 2016

Starting Monday, Sept. 19, the Council of Residential Specialists will be celebrating the fourth annual CRS Week by offering five free webinars to agents, which offer both invaluable education and credit toward a CRS Designation. Pro tip: Even if you’re not sure you’ll be able to sit down for the live webinar, it still pays to register because that’s how you’ll get access to play back to webinar later.

In preparation for CRS Week, we gathered tips from each of the five presenters of next week’s free webinars. You can also find links to register for the webinars below.

Manage Your Schedule Wisely

Monica Neubauer, ABR, SRES, CRS, speaker, and agent with Benchmark Realty, LLC in Franklin, Tenn. not only wants to help webinar participants think more objectively about how they use their most important resource, she also wants to impress upon them that not all time-saving tools are equal.

“Use technology to save you time and improve your systems; don't use technology that distracts you during working hours,” she says. She also says it helps to start each day with a plan and a shot of optimism: “Develop a morning routine that includes sometime positive, like affirmations or a thought of gratitude.”

Always Be Prepared

Just preparing a presentation won't be enough to get potential sellers to list with you; you really have to know your stuff. Sean Moore, CRS and an agent with RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia, Mo., hopes to help participants gather the tools, knowledge, and techniques to wow sellers and get more listing leads. He says it’s tough to overemphasize being prepared and understanding the facts thoroughly. “Real estate is data, so knowing the numbers well when you sit down at the table during your listing interview shows the seller you took time to prepare for the appointment and that you mean business,” he says. “This way, you can and will set yourself apart from the competition.”

Find the Right Tools for Your Business

Matthew Rathbun, CRS, ABR, CIPS, trainer, and vice president of Coldwell Banker Elite in the Fredericksburg, Va. area, knows there’s a lot of technology solutions competing for your attention. He cautions real estate pros against following what the crowd says about which apps are best for real estate. “There will always be various opinions about what app you should use, but the reality is that you should use the one that resonates with you and is easiest for you to use,” he says, noting sometimes it just takes a bit of dedication to master the tools. “You can chase the best-of app lists all over the internet. If you’ve got an app that you like, push all the buttons and know it well. Then stick with it.”

Rathbun also warns real estate pros against abandoning in-person communication in client relations: “Never ever let the technology get in the way of the human factor. Mobile technology is very cool, but we’re in a people business. Know when to abandon the tech and focus on the face.”

How to Survive Home Inspections

If you want your transactions to run smoothly, one place to concentrate your educational efforts is in the home inspection realm. Rachel Oslund, a home inspector with Pillar to Post in Maryland, cautions that because some 80 percent of all real estate deals are conditional on a home inspection, it’s vital that you and your clients know how to find and hire an experienced professional who’ll do the job correctly.

“Not all licensing and certifications for home inspectors are created equal; you have to learn how to ask the right questions in the hiring process,” she says. She also notes that it's important sellers understand that costs and credits rarely equal out to the same amounts: “For every $1,000 of perceived defect, the buyer will ask for a $3,000 to $5,000 credit in the asking price.”

Keep Your Client Pipeline Filled

Snagging and converting more online leads is a popular, if slippery, goal for many real estate pros. Mike Parker, a CRS Certified instructor in the northern Kentucky area, has a whole host of ideas for how to make your profile stand out on crowded lead-generation sites, including short, personalized videos and past sales data.

But above all, agents should seek to be helpful to potential clients, he says: “Fill your profile with information that buyers and sellers find valuable and useful. Provide information and links to things like schools, weather, local events, transportation, tips, local resources, and more.”

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