Living in Las Vegas for the summer is not always ideal. With temperatures over 100 everyday it is hard to find things for your little ones to do during the day. Kids love the summer because that means no school (in most cases), but sometimes it gets way too hot for even them to enjoy playing outside! When you are thinking of all the fun things you can do with the kids, start thinking INSIDE the box. You do not have to go to extremes this summer to have fun with kids. Start off with something simple like a slip and slide; it will burn a ton of their energy while keeping them cool in the water. If that is not something that would work for your family, try something a little selfish; have the kids wash the outside of the family car. Playing with soap and water outside with the family is so effortless but will satisfy not only the kids but you as well. The best part about washing the car is not that the car will be clean, but it is the fact you will be spending quality time with your little ones. Let’s stay outside; get a big bag of water balloons. You do not only have to have a water balloon fight, there are TONS of games on the internet that you can look up to have hour’s worth of fun outside with your kiddies. If you have smaller kids, get a pack of those colorful kitchen sponges that come in multiple packs; cut them in to strips, and tie them together, then soak them in water and they will turn into fun sponge ball! They soft, easy to grab, and they do not break like water balloons so they are safe for kids. Take the kids swimming, or to a splash pad; that way they can burn all their energy running around and playing in the water. Both of those are also really good for kids without siblings because they will not have to play alone; there is ALWAYS other kids playing at the pool and the splash pad just waiting for a new friend. How about a frozen drink to cool everyone down? All you will need for this is water, ice, Kool-Aid and a blender. Mixing all of that together to make the family a home-made slushy to enjoy while they are trying to beat the summer heat. Never underestimate the power of a well-place hose in your yard. Hanging a hose from a tree branch with a sprayer on and letting the kids run through it will kill two bird with one stone, not only will the kids enjoy a day in the hose, it will also water your thirsty grass on this very hot summer day. Finding water guns at places as cheap as the dollar store can really make your kids day; set up “safe zones” where they can run to, and put out things like trash cans, cars, and having the kids hide behind trees for them to have a full day real life Modern War Far. There are multiple things you and the kids can do to be this summer heat; get out there and get wet!
If you are an agent in the Las Vegas area, and you are not hiring a professional photographer there are some tips I can give you to make your listing look more appealing to the buyer’s eyes. In this blog we are not only going to talk about tips to make your listing stand out, we are going to talk about things to avoid when taking photos of your listing. First thing you are going to need to think about is the equipment you will need when photographing the home; recommended things are getting a tripod, and more than one lenses. When you bring a tripod you are ensuring that your photos will be at a good angle, and also your photos will not end up being blurry when balanced on a tripod. After you have your tripod think about what lenses you will want for the home, yes when you are photographing big rooms and closets you will want a wide lens, but if you want to photograph things like details on the stairwell you will want something a little more precise than a wide angle. Going to the home before the initial shoot will really give you a good idea on how you would like the photos to come out. After you think about all the ways you would like to photograph the home, sign a contract with your seller. This might be a no brainier for most people, but if you are naive like me, you will show up thinking the home is ready and what was supposed to be a 30 minute shoot will turn into a 4 hour process of cleaning, staging, and then photographing. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you go to the home. Signing a contract with them will make sure both you and them are covered in this process. After the photo shoot, use regular editing. Yes, everyone wants their photos to look amazing and make the home look better, but over editing your photos can really turn your buyers off when they come to home and it is not at all how it looked in the photo. After you have done the shoot and edited, try and have a quick turnaround the faster the photos are taken and uploaded, the faster you can upload them to attract the buyers. When thinking about all the good things in photographing your own homes, you have to think of the negatives as well so you are not blindsided. Unless you have your own good lighting you will really need to plan out the time you are going to photograph the home so it is not too bright but also not dark. Nature lighting is the best lighting, but the weather does not always work out in your favor. When you are planning to photograph the home, really explain the importance of having it staged and cleaned to your seller so there is no confusion. Maybe even rearranging their furniture so that it makes the home more bright and open can really upgrade your photos. Starting to photograph you homes can be tricky at fight, but after you get all the equipment and editing soft wear the photo shoots will become a breeze.
The real estate business is constantly growing with competition. Most agents find it very hard to make their business different from others; it is difficult but not impossible. If you look at other brands like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s they are all basically the same thing, but they are all successful because they all offer different things that make their business stand out from the rest. Thinking out side of the box will really get buyers and sellers reaching out to you to try and get you to help them. Most people have a big plan for their business, but do not have the resources to start it. Here are a couple different ways you can stand out from the competition; first thing, provides legendary customer service. Most people think this is a no brainer, but it is actually one of reasons people will shy away from you as a Real Estate agent. Finding out exactly what your client wants, and not trying to figure it out for them will really help you when helping keep your client. Having a good attitude even after showing them 15 properties they did not love will keep them around for you to make your commission at the end. When you have good customer service with your clients you build relationships with them, which help you when find them home! If you make a mistake, something big or small, let them know and see what your best option is to fix it. Keeping your clients trust is what will keep them as your client, once you break their trust they will no long want to work with you. Going along with that, being honest with your clients about what you offer and what you can help them with is what will make you stand out from the all the other real estate agents in the Las Vegas area. Can’t deliver by a due date? Call and let your buyers know. One of your field reps messed up on a bid? Immediately have a tough conversation with your client. Lying to customers is like shooting yourself in the foot. If your customers catch you lying, they will lose faith in you and may even spread negative feedback about your business. One common form of dishonesty in business is failing to share bad news. When you are thinking about the things you can make different about your small business, try starting a blog. If you are tired of being looked over, get on here and start writing. Write about fresh ideas, write about the market, people love to read things on the internet, start being one of those things; be sure you are not just shoving your business down people’s throats not only can you talk about the market and your business, write about entertaining and educational content. Offer your clients a guarantee. Can you guarantee next-day delivery? Are you confident enough in your product or service to stand behind it 100%? If so, guarantee it. Adding this type of assurance to your marketing message shows customers and prospects that you truly care about their satisfaction. Here’s the only thing you need to remember: you must back up your guarantee if and when the time comes.
When you pass your Real Estate test, and become a new agent you see a heap of opportunities lying right in front of you, but sometimes you do not know where to begin. The excitement you are feeling could potentially be replaced with frustration and self doubt very quickly. Reality hits new agents very hard when they realize this business is not cookie cutter, and a lot of hard work has to go into building your business at the beginning. When you first start in Real Estate you will need to turn the role of an employee collecting a commission check in to an entrepreneur both mentally and financially. If you are always waiting on the next commission check, you will forget to build a relationship with your current client. When you build a relationship with your client it will help you a lot with future clients. Not only will they keep you in mind when they want to buy or sell, they will also recommend you to friends and family who are looking. When starting out in Real Estate, it highly recommended you go to small-business training seminar. Those seem silly, but when your pay is sporadic is very important you learn about money management. You might close three big deals in a month but then will not close one for 6 months, and when learning how to manage your money and business, it will help you stay afloat when no money is coming in. A lot of people when they first start out in Real Estate typically have another job, and try and do real estate on the side that will eventually frustrate not only you, but your client as well. Clients want someone who is willing to show them homes anytime of the day, and on any side of town, not being available to work around your clients schedule will push them to want to work with someone else. When you become an agent in the Las Vegas area it is very important that you choose the right brokerage for you and your future business plan. Starting out for the very first time in a very big office with no help from other agents can put you behind in learning how to do things they do not teach you in school, but going to a smaller business where the broker has time to sit with you and help you when you are having a problem can really help you when you are first starting out in this business. Also when you are first starting out in real estate, it would be very smart of you to find someone who has experience and is willing to mentor you. They will teach you the in and outs of this business, and will help you in difficult situations. They may even give you some of their leads, and help you through them with just a referral fee. Starting out in Real Estate seems so easy, with easy fast money, but there is a lot of work that needs to go into your small business. Read about Real Estate and schedule an appointment with a broker and see if this job is right for you.
Do you as an agent feel like you could save your client’s way more money? Not only money on properties, but also save them on money monthly with their current lender. Most home buyers go with the first quote on their loan that they get, but if you have your buyers shop around for a lender who is going to give them the best monthly rate and the best interest rate, they will not only save money monthly, but will save money in the long run when the interest is racking up. Lenders can offer a wide dispersion of rates all depending on your monthly net worth and your credit score; but even though your credit score is not going to change if you talk to a different lender, they have ways to get your interest rate down, and get your qualified for more money. If your client does not have room to budge on their loan, try looking for homes that are already flipped and move in ready. Lately, flipping homes in Las Vegas have been the thing to do, almost every home on the market, has upgrades some as little as new landscaping, to as big as having the entire kitchen re-done. Depending on the neighborhood they are looking for and the amount of money they get approved for, the homes that have upgrades are a being “flipped” could potentially make the price on the home go up, but when they purchase it they will not have to put any more money into it. Looking out for the best interest of your buyer will not only gain their trust, but will leave an imprint on them where they will want to refer you when friends and family are looking to buy or sell a home. When you are representing the seller, and you are looking for ways to save them money, look up the current or recently sold homes in the neighborhood and see what kind of upgrades are happening in the neighborhood. If all of the homes on the market have upgraded kitchens and your sellers does not, it will most likely sit on the market longer than the other ones, or will not sell in the same price range; unless you are selling it to someone who is going to flip the home! When you run into someone who is going to flip your home, they will more than likely try and purchase your Las Vegas home for less money; and a lot of the times they will be a cash buyer, so they will not need a loan on the property; so that is something to look out for if you are trying to sell your clients home with no upgrades in it; back to representing the buyer, when you are trying to save them the most money for them, look for the key points we hit earlier in the blog; things like, upgraded kitchens/bathrooms, looking around for a lender and not just going with the first quote you get, looking for a home that is cheaper but has the potential to have your own upgraded done to it to make your Las Vegas house start feeling like a HOME!
As an agent, you are going to want to know what your clients really want when they are looking for their forever home; maybe that is something as simple as having a large kitchen, or having a stand up shower in the master! Before getting their price range, and what area they plan on living in, find out the small details that are really going to make homes you have to show stick out versus the ones that do not have small details. According to realtor.com more than half of home buyers are looking for a three bedroom home, and seventy-five percent of home buyers are looking for a two bedroom condo. Not only focusing on every day home buyers, start getting together a list of homes you can show to your investor that would be good flip properties, and good rentals. Working with investors is proactive not only because you will get the commission from representing them, you will also get a referral fee if they decide they want to transfer it over to a property management company. When you are putting together your lists of properties, make sure you are looking for key things like large back yards, garages, and upgraded kitchen appliances; also make sure you are looking at homes with easily maintained landscaping, no one wants to buy a home and have to have the entire front and back yard re landscaped. When focusing on what you clients want, take into consideration what life style they plan to live, if they are a couple with little kids, they might want a bigger back yard for them to play in, if they are an older couple they might want a porch to sit and drink their morning coffee on! According to realtor.com the most desired room in the home is the kitchen. When pulling homes for your clients check to see if the kitchen is either already upgraded, or if upgrades would not be a pain to do. The most desired home style in the Las Vegas area is modern; having beautiful flooring and stainless steel appliances will try turn your home buyers on to the home before they even see the entire home. The top goal when shopping for a home is privacy; in the new homes being built in the Las Vegas area, majority of them are built 5 feet apart, with no back yard, and rarely have a front yard. Forty Five percent of home buyers are looking for a home with a stretch from their neighbors. What is motivating people across the Las Vegas area to buy homes in 2017 are family desires; sometimes that means they have just gotten married, got a pet, or even had a baby. Not only are those things motivating people to buy and sell, people are also moving to be closed to the school they want their kid to go to, or to be closer to their work. All in all, when you are putting together your list of things your buyer or seller is looking for, getting the little details they want for their next home buy is very important.
As spring approaches quickly in the Las Vegas area, the trees are changing leaves, the flowers are booming, and the grass is getting greener; sounds like it would be beautiful, but with that, you are going to want to maintain your yard while the market is booming and you want to list your home. When people think about yard clean up, they think they will be hundreds of dollars, but in this little blog I am going to give you a couple of tips to turn your yard from drab into fab with less than a couple hundred dollars on the entire landscaping; with a little elbow grease and a couple trips to your local hardware store you raise your Las Vegas homes curb appeal with less money. Having over grown grass is one of the biggest hassles to take care of, but the easiest one to fix, and yes I know no one wants to go stand outside in 90 degree weather; but just getting the grass mowed one time can really upgrade your property and make the front really stand out to future buyers. If you are looking for a landscaper and do not know one personally, you can use things like yelp, or group on and see if you can find a deal for a one time mow if you do not have a mower yourself. You would be surprised how many people are willing to stand outside your home and mow your lawn for you. After your lawn is mowed, try trimming the bushes, flowers, and trees yourself before hiring someone to come do it, it will be a pain but it will save you A LOT of money while you are trying to get your home ready to list; if that is not possible finding a landscaper in this day and age is not very difficult; and they can usually knock out the mowing and trimmings at one time, which will save you more money. Next try power washing your drive way, even if you do not think it looks dirty, cleaning it will make all the difference and your hard work will definitely be able to tell. Even just hosing it off if you do not have a power washer, you can just hose off your drive way washing away the dirt. When thinking about outside maintenance on a home, you typically do not think about the actual home being in that picture; but doing little things like re-painting the front door, and sweeping the porch can make all the difference when a buyer pull up to your property. With that being said, as a buyer those are also the things you will want to look for when you pull up to a home. If they cannot maintain their front landscaping, what makes you think they kept up with the inside of the home? All in all you can upgrade the front of you home with a couple of simple things, but doing those little things that might seem like the end of the world will really improve the outside of your Las Vegas home.
READY. SET. SPRING. In the Las Vegas area we typically have no rain; unless it is the end of March/ beginning of April. For the past couple of weeks have been getting more rain than we have gotten all year, and I am sure you know by now if you do or do not have a roof leak. Roof leaks are very important to manage because it does not only ruin the roofing, it ruins the dry wall where it was leaking, and everything under it if it is not caught in time. Having a home warranty that covers most if not the entire repair really comes in handy this time of year. The next thing you are probably thinking is “how do I know if my home warranty covers roof repairs/leaks?” Roof damage can happen at any time, but there’s never a convenient time to get a roof leak. Whether it is hail, heavy rains, trees, or simply aging shingles, roof leaks can allow damaging moisture into your home. With home warranty roof leak coverage, you can take care of roof leaks quickly before they become a larger problem. Roof Leak coverage is not standard in your home warranty policy, but you can easily add it on, or call your home warranty and see if they have the package available to purchase. Even though this is not typically in your package, adding it is very smart because it can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs if you do end up getting a roof repair. Roof leaks are very bad for your home, even if you have a minor leak repair, it can cause MAJOR damage to your home. Roof leaks hardly ever make themselves known on sunny days, but when it is pouring rain and all of a sudden you have a puddle on the kitchen floor. When calling your home warranty company and reporting even a small leak repair, they typically send out a vendor to repair the roof immediately, because of the damage that can be caused if it is not repaired properly. Before you even get a roof leak there are some things you can do to keep your roof in good condition and to prevent leaks. Keep it clean! Even the smallest debris can rot and cause damage to the top of your roof without you even knowing. After your roof is clean you are going to want to check for loose shingles or broken ones and get those repaired before it allows rain/ moisture into the roof of your home in Las Vegas. If you have trees next to your home, try and keep the branches trimmed and away from your Las Vegas home, because that will avoid them to damage the top of your home. It will also discourage animals not to climb on your roof. After a heavy rain storm, you will want to check your attic for any water damage that might have gotten through before it starts to damage other parts of your home. Those are just some of the ways you can keep your roof in good condition during this rainy time of year. Maintaining a healthy roof will not only save you money, but will also save you a home warranty deductible you will have to pay. Get out there and check your roof!!
Spring has finally sprung in the Las Vegas area. The spring market is traditionally the hottest Real Estate market across the valley. This is the time where it starts getting warmer, and people are not only ready to buy and sell, but also ready their homes. When you are a real estate you will want to inform your clients of all the changes going on in the spring, and also how competitive the market is going to be. A Las Vegas home comes on and off the market like it is going out of style, so you will not want to wait on a home if you really love it, because it can be gone the next day it will be gone. If you are representing the SELLER, they will have a lot of questions on how to prepare their home for the new owners, such as set ups, marketing tactics, and open houses. You will only get one impression when you are showing your home, so encourage your seller to take the walls, shampoo the carpets, and get the landscaping done; also something you could add to your presentation is before and after pictures! Everyone likes to think they are getting their monies worth, and if you show that you put effort into your home, the buyers will most likely get your home in mind while they are searching for a new home. Pricing in the spring is also very important. If you overprice, the home may sit and you may have lost out on your best buyers. Clients are always afraid to under price the home, but in a strong real estate market, this can be a great play by creating multiple bidders. Having multiple buyers is good for your home because people are more than likely to out bid each other making them pay more the home getting you your desired price. When you are representing the BUYER, the best thing you can do is educate them on the Spring Market, how it works and the pricing. Try getting them with a lender; getting them pre-approved will save you both a lot time searching for homes in their budget. Get to know the seller, a lot of buyers have won because the seller wants their home to go to a family, and hand writing a letter to the seller about why you love the house and how well you will take care of it, might actually make you stand out and make them want their home to go to you. As an agent you also have a lot to do to prepare for the spring market, study up on certain areas that you will want to take your future clients too, and know about the neighborhoods. This is a great time to find new clients and help clients who didn’t accomplish their real estate goals the year before. I like to focus on listings in the Spring, they sell fast and for top dollar. Also, listings turn into buyer clients via sellers buying another home, open house leads, sign call leads, etc. There are plenty of buyers and lots of sellers out there, so go get ‘em!
Have you been marketing your listings like crazy, and it seems like nothing is working? There are tons of different ways you can get good marketing without paying for it. In this blog I am going to give you some tips and tricks to get your listing BOOSTED to the top if every marketing page with less work. Like momma always said, work smarter, not harder. Start at the basics; think about inbound marketing vs. traditional marketing. It’s not just about the advertisements in magazines or online. Inbound marketing focuses on providing customers with valuable content, instead of pushing out a specific message. Traditional marketing does work though, especially social media marketing, nine out of ten people in Las Vegas run to their cell phone or computer every time they need something. That is not any different when they are looking for a home, or an agent to assist them with their home. With that being said, people will always come if there is content involved, do not just post blasts on your pages with only properties, start getting people engaged in your posts, that’s what is going to make them think of you when they are looking for an agent. Not just someone who knows how to post a listing, but someone who gets involved. Start blogging, and no I do not mean once a month, I mean at least two to three times a week with good content, and with posts people actually want to read and learn about, like the market, the economy, and such. Everything in your marketing should be data-driven; do not repeat the same mistakes over again by not looking at your stats. Carefully evaluate what your data is telling you about you audience and about their likes and dislikes. If they give better feedback about blogs that are about chicken nuggets, start blogging about chicken nuggets. Check your website, email, and social media analytics at least once a week. With that being said, if you try to please everyone in your blogs, you will please no one. Think about the audience you actual want to come to your pages and interact with you, and then let your words drive from there. Try thinking about your ranking in the Google search engines as well; if you are not ranking higher than your competitors than you have a serious problem…. Think about it, people who live on social media want to do nothing less than to spend their time searching through Google to find you on the 5th page with half content. They typically go with the first ten (and that is pushing it) and compare and pick the best one. Start thinking about your content building and how you are going to get your website on the first page of Google. Seventy-five percent of content gets zero links, and 50 percent gets two or fewer facebook interactions. Try to get others to start reading your content. Think about a three-step plan: Research topics and issues your audience cares most about to use as the basis of your content; write high-quality and 500-plus word articles about those issues; and have a plan to promote your content via email and social media. There is plenty of blogs you can research to get ahead of your competition in marketing, the real question is; Do you have what it takes to be the best in this business? That gives you something to think about.