Ok real estate agents!

Now for some fun- here are some fun real estate horror stories to get a laugh out of you. These are mostly true, slightly exaggerated, and totally funny!!!

Nicole from Oregon says, “ One time I was showing a house- this was back before cell phones- and the homeowners got a call.  Since they weren’t home, and we obviously don’t answer calls, the answering machine picked up.  Evidently this homeowner was selling the house in a rather bitter divorce, and the wife really wanted the house to not sell.  Lets just say she knew we were there (per the divorce agreement) and she proceeded  to tell us all the places they well…you know.  And then she told us what all the stains were on the carpet and how the house is cursed, and how awful the neighbors are. Needless to say the house didn’t sell that night….”

Michelle from North Dakota told us about an interesting habit a client of hers had, “

I had this client that had this horrible taste in furniture and color schemes. Well, she wanted her new house to match her current furniture- which was an odd array of colors and I’m not even sure where you buy that kind of stuff.  For every single showing she would, kid you not, bring her lounge chair and move it to every room to see if it matched.  Rain, sleet, snow, or wind…didn’t matter. I finally refused to load that thing and she eventually went with another agent. Bless them.”

Krysann from Washington told about some sellers that just didn’t quite get it. “My horror story isn’t really anything drastic or out of this world but it was horrific for me as a busy agent, Mom, and wife.  I had some sellers that had a beautiful home- custom and old, but redone perfectly.  It was every old home lovers dream.  Lots of rooms, turns, stunning wood work, and even stained glass windows.  However, the family living there were a bunch of slobs.  SLOBS.  Dishes weeks old would just be lying around, some even moldy.  I’m pretty sure they never vacuum or mopped.  It wasn’t quite hoarding status when it comes to filth, because it was still livable and functional- just messy.  The potential profit of this house, with a simple clean up, was huge for me.  However, no matter how many times I begged or kindly told or came and cleaned before a viewing- they refused to clean. They just didn’t get it. The house literally sat on the market for over a year before someone finally purchased it!  It was worth it in the end, but for that year I literally worked my butt off to sell it.  It’s something I still tell when my clients and I get talking. I’m slightly ashamed I was so stubborn, and proud.

Tracey from California tell us that even creepy old men buy houses….” One time I had a client that had inherited a good sum of money. He was clearly um, a little weird and proud of it. He had an addiction he wanted to keep doing (I shall not mention what it was) and he wanted a home that would help him continue this habit.  It wasn’t anything illegal or dangerous so I did my best to remain professional but he would explain in detail why he needed certain things certain ways and it took a very very very long time to find it.  But we did, and he’s happy now. “

Carolyn from New York once said,  “ This one client  was always late, and often times too high to pay attention.  She wouldn’t say a thing while walking through the home unless it was about the homeowners personal style, and her expectations were completely unrealistic- even for the wealthy.  After about five minutes (mind you it took an hour in traffic to get there, and then I would wait another hour as she  was late) she would be done and say no.  She would hop in her car with her driver and speed off.  We looked at hundreds of houses before she decided she wasn’t ready to move and wanted to think about things for a while. It was a complete time suck- I wanted to scream at her.  But, we always must remain professional!! After a year she called me back and said she stumbled upon a a place she thought she would really like- so we scheduled a viewing.  She bought the house full price that day and gave me quite the bonus to boot. All in all I made enough to retire on that one client.

Sometimes the struggles are worth it!

Open House?

Believe it or not, there is a lot of controversy as to hold an open house or not. Some agents swear by open houses, and others refuse to do them. Personally- I get both sides of the argument. On one end, it’s a complete time suck and most of the people that come to look are nosy neighbors. It takes a lot of work to prepare the home, and it’s work your homeowners have to do- so if they are slacking then it’s adds stress to your approaching open house date. However, on the other end having an open house provides a way to make it more accessible and out there. Sure, home-buyers can see the house for a scheduled viewing but what I like about the open house is the serious buyer will feel competitive with all the others there. It doesn’t matter if they are nosy neighbors, if the buyer likes the house and see’s another interested couple- they are more likely to bite. If YOU decide to host an open house there are a lot of things you can do to insure it is NOT a waist of your time.

One of the firs and most important things for an open house is to advertise it!! Put up signs around the neighborhood a week before it’s date, and then the day of change the signs to say the house is now open. List the open house in ALL THE THINGS. I mean ALL the real estate things that are know to exist. You cannot overly market this. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Put up balloons, streamers, and keep the door open if you can. Got it? Good!

On the day of the open house arrive an hour early to make sure the home is in good viewing condition. Clean up whatever needs to be cleaned, and put away whatever needs to be put away. Start that bread in the oven and offer snacks and drinks. Turn on all your lights, and turn that heat up. A warmer house is a wanted house. Unless it’s summer, then think the opposite.

Don’t follow around people at the house. This is just creepy and makes them feel like they have to ask serious questions, even if they are those neighbors taking a peak. Allow space, and kindly remind them you are there for any question they might have. Don’t be creepy. Ever.

Have fliers of the house and the price of the house throughout the home. Provide your number on that flier and give the homebuyers a lot of options to call you, email you, or talk to you- but without being creepy. I’m serious.

Leave the door open if possible. If it’s a nice day prop the door open and even play some nice music. People don’t want to feel like they are at the wrong house- so have signs out, balloons around, and little shoe covers because everyone secretly loves those. Plus, it makes the house seem far more fabulous and fancy. People are weird like that.

Know all the secret cool things about the house that people might miss, and bring it to their attention when the time is right. There’s nothing like showing off the garbage compressor, or double oven, or the rad laundry shoot. People love that stuff and it’s a great way to open up non creepy conversation.

Booze, offer it. This might be a bit weird, but if you’re in one of those higher class neighborhoods offering wine or champagne could be the perfect touch. Most couples love free booze, so go for it!
Think ahead regarding questions home-buyers will have and have them ready. Some examples of this would be a passed home inspection, cost, last purchase price, year built, type of plumbing, and so many more.

Use the features of the home that are selling points, if you can. If the house has a built in stereo system, use it. Now don’t be silly ad play gangster rap- go with Bach or something you know…pleasant. Unless you like gangster rap then go for it- but good luck!

Successful Real Estate Tips

Running your own real estate business can be really exhausting- the hours are unpredictable and the market is even more so. We would love to be able to help you on your journey, and offer some of our favorite tips to help you achieve your goals. Are you ready?

Here we go!
1. Get all the apps we recommended on the first article of this site. Or, DON’T get a few of them. Whatever we suggested, do it. Trust us on this one, yes?
2. Communication
Keep in contact. People need to be reminded you exist, so send them letters or cards often. You want them coming back to you when they decided it’s time to move again. This communication can be in the form of personal phone calls, postcards, emails, or just the good old thank you cards (hand written of course). We prefer postcards- they keep you in the clients mind without feeling pressured or pushed around. It will look like it’s just a generic postcard for everyone (which it is) and that actually helps them! It’s no commitment but your face on the postcard reminds them you exist. ;o)
3. Timeless Marketing
Make sure to take advantage of your automated emails and anything else that might help you and your marketing. You don’t want to spend all your time marketing yourself when a machine can do it for you. And if you have an assistant- make sure you aren’t paying him/her to do what a machine can do for free. Harsh? Maybe, but business is business.
4. Get your own blogity blog
I know, you didn’t join in on this real estate thing to be a writer- but people these days want to feel like they know you before they KNOW you. They don’t want to waist their time either, so get writing and offering enough advice to leave them wanting more.
5. Learn to copy-write
I’m not going to explain exactly what it is, like I said- learn about it. Then do it. If you don’t want to spend that time to do it, go to whitespark.com and pay them to do it. You can thank us later. Copy-writing is everything.
6. Learn to stage a home
If the home your selling looks like garbage, you’re going to have a hard time selling it. If the furniture in a room makes it look too small, people will be turned off by it. So learn the basics and apply what you know.
7. Time Sucker
Identify the people that aren’t truly serious about buying a home- and don’t waist your time with them. Put them at the bottom of the priority list. Learn the signs- and be wise. A telltale sign is if they haven’t even been approved yet. If they haven’t, I wouldn’t even bother. Also, ask a lot of questions when pre-screening and see if they stick around.
8. Press Please
Press. Photography. Pictures. I don’t know anyone that wants to just see the oustide of the home. Without a doubt, if you just provide pics of the outside your clients will assume the inside is essentially non livable. So even if the conditions truly are deplorable, add them anyways an be honest. Just assume everyone has an overactive imagination so your photos will HELP, not hurt.
9. Take GOOD pictures
If your house that you are listing isn’t deplorable, clean up a bit before taking pictures. Throw that garbage away, make the bed, de-clutter the house, and for the love get all those personal family photo’s off the wall.
10. When you have an open house bake cookies or bread in the oven. You want people to feel right at home and even want to stay longer! And offer the food too- we had an agent that had the stuff baking for effect, but didn’t offer any of it lol! I mean really, come on.

Real Estate Pro Tools

Are you a real estate agent that wants to take your business to the next level?

If so, you’ve found the right place!

We are the internet’s top choice for reviews of tools that help you- the agent. We will review apps, internet pages, software, and even offer our tips on how to get people to YOUR real estate businesses website. So welcome, and we hope you learn some new things!
The market for real estate is so fickle- as I’m sure you know. Being able to sell a home depends on your local economy, the national economy and so much more. It’s a fast paced business and you want to have the latest and most effective software and apps to help. We reviewed some of the most popular apps so you don’t have to go through them all! (you can thank us later)
1. Zillow
Let’s be honest, we all have used this one from time to time or still do. If you’re one of the agents that still does, I would either get a new one completely or add another to make up for where Zillow lacks.
Where does Zillow lack, you ask? Zillow lacks in many areas, mostly being accuracy. We found a lot of mistakes as far as listing price and their often used “zestimate.” Home prices change fast, and often, and Zillow seems to have a hard time catching up.
However, our biggest issue with Zillow was on the agent listing part of the app. Zillow does not actually list the real listing agent, but the agent that paid for the advertising. The listing agent is at the very bottom, which can be confusing to the majority of Zillow users- home buyers. Though it has some good uses, use with caution.
2. Trulia
Trulia’s home buying app is much better than Zillow. It takes care of all my issues I had with Zillow, and it’s less busy which is nice for my tired eyes. The listing agent is right there on the top, and they don’t even offer a zestimate- which is kind of nice because they are never accurate.
3. Real Estate Calculator

Home Mortgage and Real Estate Calculations
Hopefully you have an idea of what this app does, and it does it well! This is really nice when you’re busy and don’t want to do the math long handed. Which, honestly- if you still are than the 80’s called and wants it hairspray and simple calculators back. There’s no reason you as an agent should be doing long handed math in our modern world, so get yourself this app and thank us now….or later….whatever.
4. Apple Keynote
This APP is especially handy if you need to pull off a professional presentation at the office. Or say you have some clients that are wanting you to show them what you’ve got. This app will help you do that, and look awesome doing it! It’s beyond easy- almost stupid easy to use. So go get it, pronto!
5. Apple/Google Maps
OK, so this app is likely already in your phone but you must remember to use it from time to time! I know a lot of agents that use it to not only NOT get lost, but to be able to find a home so they can scout out the area. It’s always good to know if the neighborhood is too close to some sketchy parts of town, or of there are power lines hanging overhead, or if the neighboring house is a hoarder. All these things play a big role in the sale-ability of a home. You can use it to see what kind of stores and parks are close by. This is a must, so get the app open and refresh your memory a bit.
6. Trapster
Ok, so this isn’t really a real estate agent app PER SE…but it certainly will be your best friend. Have you ever been driving clients around a neighborhood and, in your distraction, run a stop sign or sped right past a police car? Embarrassing right?!! Well this app will warn you when an intersection is coming, a speed trap, or you know…that imaginary ghost. So look out!
7. Facebook
I know, so typical and expected. But do not underestimate the power of social media. Plus it’s free! We’ve had many agents post a listing and within hours the house was sold. Not even kidding. And yes, on their personal page. There’s always someone out there looking for the exact house you have for sale.
8. Carrot
Nope, this isn’t something to make you get in your veggies (unless of course you choose to let it help). This is a spitfire of a reminder app. Carrot will remind you to do whatever you ask her to, and nicely too. If you start slacking off- she’ll give you some attitude. Think of it like Suri- but with that southern Belle attitude we all love!!!
9. BananaTag
Do you ever wonder if that client, or potential client, got your email? Wonder no more!! Bananatag tracks all your emails and notifies you when they have been open, and if any links in the email were clicked. It’s like spying, but not.


10. Genius Scan
This is for all that scanning you need to do so you can email those important documents for your clients. It’s a game changer this one! Simply take a picture of the form, and wala! It’s turns it into a PDF document to be printed. Isn’t technology awesome?

While it’s not exhaustive, this article was a good review of some of the best apps for real estate agents. I know most of you are likely already ahead of the game and using those, but for us “older” folk this might serve helpful so we can keep up with you youngins! Now get yourself busy and sell those houses!


To your Success!