www.OwnACondo.com
22Jun/110

Summer Brings Realtors® to BankREOs.com

By Patty Boysen

So summer is here and the sun is shining. People are out and about going for walks, bike rides or playing on the beach. BankREOs.com is not only looking out the windows at the people walking by our beautiful new offices, we are watching them walk in! We are perfectly located, nestled right along the Chicago lakefront at 540 N. Lake Shore Drive and Realtors® are catching on to this quickly. They see opportunity in a place that is in the biggest hotspot in Streeterville. We get foot traffic and drive-by traffic and the location is convenient for people to stop by and see what we are all about.

Any agent who is looking to get into real estate or even veterans looking for a new change, should definitely swing on by and take a look. There is plenty of space for Realtors® to sit down, set up and start making calls. There are also multiple conference rooms and meeting rooms for you and your clients to meet in. This is the place where deals happen. There is an energy here that is untouched!

BankREOs.com is current with the market and sees opportunity in bank owned properties. People want to sell them and buyers want to buy them. There are multiple ways to buy and sell real estate and auctions is one way. The Realtors® here at BankREOs.com can assist you with the real estate auction process so that you are informed as to exactly what you need to know to sell or purchase real estate through an auction.

14Apr/110

Realtor

Realtor is the trademark used by the National Association of Realtors and designates that the person who has the Realtor designation has completed the required courses need to obtain a license in the state in which they wish to list and sell real estate and a member of the national organization.  Becoming a Realtor is a career choice that is not to be taken lightly and if you are entertaining this career make certain you research all that is needed to be licensed and the costs involved.

Over the past several years most states have revised and updated their requirements to become a Realtor and practice real estate.  Today most states require a certain number of hours instruction, passing the required state exam and paying the fees required by the National Association of Realtors, state and local fees.  Once you have passed the state test you have just begun the journey on your new career.  You must find a sponsoring broker in which to “hang” your license but it does not stop there.  Being a Realtor will require you to join a Multiple Listing Service in your area if you want access to properties being sold or properties that you are trying to sell.  This service exposes properties listed by real estate agents to their fellow agents and is where most people will look when interested in buying a home or condo.

Being a Realtor is a rewarding career that can take a lot of hard work but the satisfaction that you are in control of your own destiny and income makes it well worth the effort.

8Apr/110

Great Customer Service

How important is great customer service to you? As wedding planning has become a second full-time job, I have really had some experiences with customer service. Some experiences were good and others were just horrible. The companies that treated me well were prompt, efficient and friendly. The companies that did not have customer service were late on orders, non-responsive on follow up and rude and unapologetic when approached.

The companies that had great customer service were that way because there were systems in place. I would send in an order, get an order confirmation and a friendly email informing me that the order was being processed. A few days later, I would get another email with a tracking number that I could click on to link to UPS or FedEx and  see exactly where my package is.

The companies that had poor customer service had trickier websites and longer waiting times. They would send me an email a few days after I placed my order, saying the order was being processed. I would then hear nothing until days later, when I  finally called to see where my order was. They would never email back right away either. Instead, it would take a couple days and often, some would say, “Oh, it’s out of stock.” Others would say it will ship in a couple of days, or the order was still being processed. The out-of-stock response just kills me. It’s like, could you perhaps let me know that before I place the order? The companies that said that it would be arriving soon would then send me an email with no link to track the package, which would finally arrive later than expected.  A couple of them even contacted me and said that they could not fulfill my request! I can’t even imagine how these companies stay in business.

Anyway, this leads me to the point that in real estate, it is highly important to provide good customer service because this directly reflects how your company operates and is viewed. Bad customer service breeds bad reviews which breeds bad business or no business. A reputation for great customer service will spread fast and serve your company well.  As real estate agents, it is extremely important to give your clients good customer service. Great customer service goes a long way!

8Apr/110

Moving

Moving is never easy and most of us hate to do it but for most of the moves we make we are not only moving our possessions but moving forward with our lives.  Probably your first experience with moving was when you went to college.  Remember how exciting it was to unload the car into your new apartment, meet your roommates and feel that excitement but also the uncertainty of being in a new place with new people.  This most likely will be the first of many moves whether it is new job or just a move across town to a home more suited to your needs. 

Moving into your first home or condo can be the most exciting move of your life.  Moving your possessions is just a small part of making a move.  The psychological aspect of moving can be both exciting and somewhat intimidating but it is an indication that you are moving forward with your life, career and maybe even family.  We still look at owning our own home as one of the major goals of our lives giving us the satisfaction of a place we can call our own.  That sense of satisfaction is what motivates many of us to move forward with life, family and career

Moving can also mean moving your business as we have recently done.  This also involves moving possessions but more importantly it is moving forward with your business life offering many more opportunities and relationships that can mean a step to a more rewarding and successful life.

25Mar/110

Real Estate Agent

Are you getting tired of your career and not making the kind of money you know you are worth.  It may be time to give some serious thought to becoming a real estate agent.  There are a lot advantages to becoming a real estate agent not only for the potential for income but the freedom allowed by “owning your own business”.  Most real estate agents are independent contractors who work for a sponsoring broker which means they have much more freedom to set their schedules than working for a traditional type of company.  Once you have made the decision to embark on your new career what are the next steps.

The first thing to consider is do you have the skills needed to be successful.  The biggest obstacle to succeeding and making those large commissions are clients.  To acquire clients you must be a people person who can communicate well and establish the trust needed to help them buy or sell their home.  Real estate agents must also be timely and prompt.  When you set up an appointment with a client be there on time or before because if you are consistently late you will be losing that trust in which your business depends.  You must be dedicated to your new career and be ready to work hard.  Real estate agents work long hours and have a commitment to their career that can require sacrifices.  To minimize those sacrifices you must be disciplined and an expert at time management or run the risk of your career overtaking your life and the lives of your family.  

So, do you have what it takes?  Being a real estate agent can be a rewarding career as long as you realize the work and commitment it takes to be successful.

18Mar/110

ABR Designation (Accredited Buyer Representation)

There are plenty of opportunities for Realtors® to stand apart from the rest. One of the ways a real estate agent can do this is by obtaining a designation. You can educate yourself on your specialty and participate in continuing your education. Many of the Realtors® at OwnACondo.com for instance have their ABR® designation, for Accredited Buyer’s Representation. They truly specialize in working and servicing buyers.

In order to obtain the ABR® Designation, you need to complete a two-day course and receive an 80% or higher score on the exam. You will then have three years to complete the other ABR® requirements. These requirements include: successful completion of the ABR® elective courses with a passing grade of 80% on the exam; documentation verifying that you have completed five transactions in which you acted only as the buyer agent; and finally, maintaining an active and good membership status with the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council and the National Association of Realtors®.

In the real estate industry, it is important to stand out in the field. There are many Realtors® and all are after the same goals: Closing transactions and making money. Do something unique and special so that you are more easily recognizable, such as earning an ABR® designation. You can then add this designation to all of your marketing and advertising. Add this designation to all social networking sites and you are already ahead of the rest.

Our condo buyers really love our ABR Agents, because our buyers are assured of unparralled expertise and service.

16Feb/110

Spring Time

As the snow melts and the sun shines through, we have something to look forward to… Spring time! The groundhog did not see his shadow, so spring shall be arriving early. All real estate agents know what this means. Spring is the best time of year for most real estate agents and companies. This is because a lot of properties get listed around this time of year and many people start searching this time of year as well.

Many people do not want to search for homes during the holidays as it is usually a very busy time of year. On the flip side, many people do not want to put their home on the market because they are too busy during this time. So when the holidays pass and the sun begins to shine again, the real estate market experiences a spike!

One of the reasons why spring time is such a great time of year for real estate is that many people start searching now, so that their kids can finish up the school year before the move takes place. Then once summer hits, they can move. The market usually experiences a decline around September, for the same reason. People would have already had to have moved  if the kids are enrolling in a new school.

Spring time should be a great time for real estate agents to go out and get that business and this is also a great time for those home buyers to get in their dream homes!

8Feb/110

Online Studying

Online courses seem to be the answer for most of the population when it comes to studying for an exam. It is convenient and as some commercials put it, “you can study in your pajamas!” But is online studying for everyone? I don’t believe this to be true. Some people need the discipline to have to show up and attend classroom training.  In real estate however, I believe online studying is the key.

Most real estate agents know what it takes to run their own business. They need to be able to work from home and get work done. Granted, some agents do work out of the office, but most do not. The main reason most people do not participate in online studying  is because they do not have the discipline to actually study while they are in their home. They are too easily distracted, so they decide to attend classroom study.  If you want to be successful in real estate, you MUST have self discipline. Testing your “at home study skills” by studying for a real estate exam is a good way to see if the real estate industry is for you.

Again, this is just an idea, as I am sure there are many advocates of classroom study because there certainly are benefits. It all just depends on the type of person you are. This was just a thought I had and I am curious to know whether or not success in real estate is linked with self discipline and at home/online studying?

3Feb/110

Real Estate License

Most people who are buying or selling their home or condo will engage the services of a real estate agent.  Real estate agents in most states are licensed and must adhere to not only state laws but federal laws as well.  To get a real estate license in any state is no easy task and by passing the exam indicates the work involved and the level of professionalism of the person who has chosen this as their profession.

There are certain requirements to obtain a real estate license and most states will follow similar guidelines.  Listed below are the most common requirements:

  1. You must be at least 21 years old.
  2. You must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED)
  3. Successfully complete the pre-license 45 hour basic transactions real estate education course.
  4. Pass the state exam.
  5. Be sponsored by a licensed broker.

The first two of these requirements are self-explanatory but the rest need a little more information to understand if you are interested in getting a real estate license.  The 45 day pre-license course is mandatory in some states.  It will cover all areas of real estate transactions including financing, real property laws and ethics among others.  Today the course can be completed a number of different ways but most commonly is done online.  The next area that needs explanation is the state exam.  State exams can be difficult and lengthy but are necessary to insure the professionalism of each agent.  Once you have passed the exam you will need to be sponsored by a licensed broker in the state you intend to practice.  This simply means that you will work under the umbrella of a licensed broker who is responsible for your actions.  Getting your real estate license can be time-consuming, costly and no easy task but the benefits far outweigh the efforts.

28Jan/110

Real Estate Market

Many buyers enter the real estate market when sales are slow and there is a glut of homes.  Many times they will want to jump into the market, and there is nothing wrong with that, but you may need to show some restraint. Since most buyers are buying for themselves there can be a great deal of emotion involved.  Sometimes knowing just when to jump in to the real estate market can save you thousands of dollars and make you feel really good about yourself for making not only a sound business decision but finding that home you desire.

They key to buying is doing some research before you make a decision on the area and type of home or condo in which you are interested.   Today there are so many places to look that it can be confusing.  Prospective buyers need to know where they can get the best information which often times is the internet.  The internet has a plethora of information about the real estate market that otherwise was not available just a few short years ago.  Today most real estate companies have websites which provide you with all the information you will need to make a good decision.  Information from websites range from tips about how to make an offer and what type of financing is available and is best for you.  You can get information about when the property last sold and for what price which can help you with that first offer.  All in all, do your research about what is important to you and start the process of finding your dream home or condo.