Payfully chatted with New York real estate agent, Kevin Bendis from Branco Group who specializes in apartment rentals and digital advertising for real estate listings. See what real estate advice and tips he has for the real estate community.

Why did you want to get into real estate?

I got into real estate for a few different reasons, the principal one being that I came to understand it to be a field that was friendly to the arts. Actors, dancers, painters, and musicians often end up finding real estate to be a worthwhile career because the hours can be flexible.

Nine or so years ago when I first began working in real estate I was an active musician and I wanted a job where I could balance my time between making money and playing music. Showing apartments allowed me to do that. Depending on the brokerage you work for, making your own hours is a real perk of the job. You could work for six straight weeks and do well and then take off time to go on a tour for instance.

Having a schedule that was on my terms and being around people who are in the arts really appealed to me and still does. I think this aspect of the job isn’t mentioned enough. Real estate is incredibly demanding and requires many hours of work, but you can also make the time for your passions if you choose to.

Since real estate agents don’t get guaranteed compensation, do you have any tips on how to manage your finances during high and low season?

This is the most difficult aspect of any job that involves sales and in New York real estate it can be grueling. I think this ties into the last answer a little bit, but balancing your finances during the changing seasons is tricky. If you’re new to real estate and begin during the summer, the market seems saturated with deals to be hade. However, winter is the opposite. You don’t think of New York as a college town, but the market ebbs and flows around the school year.  If you’re not careful and don’t balance your budget you can wind up with little income during the winter months.

My advice is to be practical. August can be one of the most lucrative months. If you’re able to save and put away money from summertime deals it’s imperative that you do so. Many brokers take what they’ve earned during the busy season and go for long vacations during the winter. Conversely, I’d say there is an opportunity during the winter. Everybody needs to move at some point and some of us end up doing that in the middle of January. I often like to switch gears and try to focus on making bigger deals during this time. It’s easy to close a number of smaller deals across the summer, but I try to focus on properties outside of my comfort zone. Preferably properties with a bigger budget than I’m used to. It can be more challenging, but the payoff can be great.

Do you use any apps or technology to keep your business organized, or to generate more leads?

At my company, I think the most used resource for us is Nestio.com. I wish it were in app form, but the site is easy enough to navigate. A few years ago mine and other companies switched over to Nestio as the home for all their listings. It has since become a necessary tool we use. Nestio links listings with brokers. This is where we publish our own listings and where property owners list their homes as well. Nestio is raw data on specific units, but its precise and up to date. Of course, StreetEasy is probably the most used and most effective app for prospective buyers and renters. The way it streamlines listings and images is pretty great. From the agent side, I find I’m using Nestio more than anything else. It’s best for checking a property’s status and details, especially when in the field.

What’s your strategy to close a real estate deal?

Every deal is different, but the best advice I can give is to communicate with your client as clearly as possible. From the get-go, you need to establish a relationship with clients. When people are looking for homes they’re also seeing ads, listings, and emails from other agents. It’s difficult to stand out and to lock someone down. These days we communicate via text and email so often it is easy to lose personal connection. It’s becoming more old school, but picking up the phone and speaking to someone is the best way to start and close a deal. Agents just beginning may roll their eyes, but I can almost guarantee that if you speak to someone or meet them face to face your odds of them sticking with you and closing the deal will increase dramatically.

Any broker can show a client any unit in the city, and so you need to be yourself and demonstrate you have a client’s best interests in mind. Take the time to break down every detail of a deal to a client. The idea is to make sure they understand, but you never need to go for the hard sell. Most people find it off-putting if a broker is so pushy.  However, you do need to highlight what is great about the unit you are showing. It’s true for all sales, no matter the product. People are looking for human connections and if they trust you with their housing needs not only will they move forward with you, but they will recommend you to their friends.

The more you know about how taxes work, the better off you’ll be during tax season. How to file taxes as a real estate agent isn’t the simplest process, however, we have tips that can make it easier. Many real estate agents figured out that being in this industry means that you wear a lot of hats. You are agents above all else, but you find yourself doing marketing and advertising work, or keeping the books in order. With this in mind, it makes sense that come tax season realtors are opening up their 1099 forms and preparing to file their own business taxes. Calculating income tax payments takes preparation and understanding of tax code. However, this can be easier with a little research and the right tax software.

What Is Form 1099?

There are around 20 types of 1099 forms. Various types of income inspire the need for a 1099 form to be filed. Money made off of commodity trading, forgiven debt, changes in capital structure, distributions of capital gains, unemployment benefits, interest income, and more types of income need to be filed with the IRS by tax day. Most Independent Contractors will receive a 1099-MISC from their broker. Any broker that pays their agent more than $600 will file a 1099-MISC for you. Your 1099-MISC will include each individual commission made throughout 2018. If the total of one commission is under $600, then it is not taxable, but you must still include it when it filing your business taxes for the year.

Income Tax Calculations

Some new real estate agents get nervous staring at their 1099-MISC and wondering what to do next, but don’t worry it’s as simple as high school Algebra.

A realtor must calculate the following to complete their taxes:

    • 2018 Net income
    • Total deductions
    • Self Employment Tax
    • Personal Exemption
    • Tax Credits

    • Total Estimate Federal Tax Due

Once those numbers are plucked from your paperwork calculating quarterly income tax payments will be a breeze.

Itemized Deductions

Keeping track of mileage, office expenses, and other purchases that can be deducted is essential for real estate agents. Agents are able to deduct lots of their expenses from their net worth before calculating income tax payments.

These are some essential real estate agent deductions to track throughout the fiscal year:

  • Gas, Mileage, & Vehicle Expense
  •  Marketing & Advertising
  • Desk Fees
  • Home Office & Supplies
  •  Meals, Entertainment, & Refreshments
  •  Software & Business Tools
  • Networking & Continued Education
  • Insurance, Fees, Memberships

Tracking purchases can be more streamlined than keeping a bag of receipts. There are apps that can track & categorize mileage before actually putting it into an easy-to-read spreadsheet. Some real estate tech lets you store pictures and information about receipts throughout the year to keep data safe and readable. Itemizing your deductions is a necessary step for any real estate agent filing taxes. Moreover, being prepared and keeping track throughout the year can make the process of compiling and reporting deductions easy as pie.

Choosing The Righ Tax Software

With quippy marketing campaigns and ultimate branding, the stress of picking a tax software can sometimes be immense. For someone who is self-employed, choosing the right software can mean saving a hundred or so dollars. We took a look at some of the best breakdowns of real estate tax software to help you figure it out. For the best support, H&R Block is the way to go. It costs around $200 for self-employment with all the fixin’s. This tax software would be the best option for someone looking to pay for a strong support team and savvy interface.

For a more frugal agent, TaxSlayer offers quality tech for a low price.  Tax help, a great app, and even Audit Assistance are included in the Self-Employed software which retails around $50. If you want a completely hands-off approach, Bench will handle all of your bookkeeping, and package up your deductions, revenue and expenses for your CPA.

Know You Business Finance

Being a good real estate agent means being flexible in a malleable industry. Part of that challenge is being able to be intelligent when managing business finances. Know about taxable income, understand the tax payments ahead, itemize all deductions, and always take the time to choose the right tax software. This will point any realtor to success when filing your taxes this year.

Self-employment tax (SE Tax) is a combination of Medicare and Social Security Tax paid out by people who qualify as self-employed. The W2 employed pay half of this tax on their paycheck throughout the year. But for the self-employed, you cough up the SE Tax after processing taxes for the year. A lack of understanding if you’re paying too much and not taking advantage of tax deductions for real estate agents can hurt your finances in the long run. Real estate agents fall under the category of self-employed, which is why many will budget for their tax payment throughout the year.

Another preparation that successful real estate agents never pass by is tracking their expenditures and bills to deduct from their tax payment when they file. Startup expenses, advertising, continued education, travel & automobile expenses can all be counted as deductions on our tax return. Even a percentage of our cell phone might be deductible. The most prominent tax deductions for real estate agents are the home office deduction and the travel deductions. For a comprehensive list, read this. 

Calculating SE Tax

Before even calculating deductions you should calculate your SE Tax payment. To do this, start with projecting your yearly income on the job. Take last year’s earnings and compare, if things are going the same way as last year then use that number. Once you have the amount, multiply it by 0.153 to calculate the SE tax payment at the Federal rate of 15.3%. From there, there is a self-employment tax deduction of 50%.

So, calculating the SE Tax would look like this:

(Yearly Earnings x 0.153)/2 = SE Tax

The number that you produce from that equation is the starting number for your SE Tax before deductions.

Home Office Deduction

First and foremost a home office can only be deducted if it is used absolutely exclusively for the business. To begin with the home office deduction you should fill out IRS Form 8829, but for those operating in an office space under 300 square feet, there is another option. The IRS lets those who want to deduct $5 per square foot, the caveat is that it caps out at $1500.

After this, you should take a look at the rules to claim your home as a home office:

    • You meet clients at home.
    • A separate structure on your property is used as an office.
    • You exclusively use your home for business and have no other fixed location for this.

    • Your principal place of business is in your home office.

If all of these or even just one of these apply, then you’re officially set to deduct your home office, and expenses therein, from your SE Tax payment.

Travel & Mileage

Agents very frequently find themselves driving clients all over town, floating through rush hour traffic to put up or take down signs, bustling around for open houses, and more. Basically, driving around town is just a part of the job. In 2018 the tax deduction was $0.58 per mile on business travel.

To get the biggest deduction we need to track our mileage when going to meet clients, pick up supplies, drive from the office to the brokerage, etc. The IRS does have specifications for logging business miles, they’ll need:

    • Date of travel
    • Mileage
    • Places you drove

    • The business purpose of the trip

Some agents also track their gas mileage to maximize their travel deduction, but the gasoline log and mileage log aren’t exactly the same. For those looking to apply the gas deduction, be sure to keep all gasoline receipts in case the IRS decides to audit you.

Once we’ve calculated our prospective tax payment we should also take a look at what deductions we might be aiming for. Don’t pay too much, be prepared and apply all relevant tax deductions for real estate agents.

For more helpful tax tips, read the 5 Costly Tax Mistakes Real Estates Agents Make. 

Our first insider, Chelsea Werner, is a senior real estate agent for Bold NY, focusing on luxury sales. Chelsea has been in the real estate industry for almost 10 years from up and coming neighborhood rentals to upscale, luxury condominiums.  We’ve asked Chelsea to give us her expert perspective on the luxury market and tips that will help real estate agents close deals faster.

You can follow Chelsea Werner and stay up to date on the Manhattan luxury marketing on your Instagram, @chelcjw.

What are the best tips for an agent when selling a luxury home?

I think the best tip is really to take the time prior to listing to get all of your ducks in a row. Once a seller decides to list their apartment, they typically want to get the ball rolling quickly and go to market. As an agent, you want to make your client happy. However, you also have to set appropriate timelines and expectations to give yourself time to prep.

There is a lot that goes into listing an apartment. I am a firm believer in making sure the apartment is in peak condition—even if that delays the process a bit.  Some units can benefit massively from small upgrades. For example, hiring an organizer, or a professional deep cleaning service will give the space a polished feel.  You can also bring in a visual expert to re-arrange or add to the space in its current state. It is important to take the time to go that extra step as it will definitely help in the long run!

Typically, the luxury market is also slower to move. Therefore, having direct buyer pools and targeted lists of people you can reach out to prior to listing a home can help expedite a sale. Anything you can do to create awareness around a space prior to listing it can help move the needle. Additionally, consider hosting a broker event where you can generate more leads. Or reaching out to other brokers who have similar inventory in the area. All of this can help attract more people to the space.

What do you find challenging as a real estate agent and how do you overcome them?

In my opinion, the hardest part is getting someone to agree to work with you.  Especially when it comes to purchasing or selling what is most likely one of their most expensive assets.  Is it a huge personal and emotional process to buy or sell a home, even if it is more of an investment. You need to be able to showcase yourself and connect with someone so they feel safe with you.  Just like any other relationship, there needs to be a level of trust between a buyer or seller and their agent. You also have to set yourself apart from the competition. There are some real estate brokers that will say whatever they think they need to say in order to get a client. However, this practice ultimately becomes a detriment to the profession and to themselves.

What are your go-to strategies for closing a deal?

I don’t have any “go to” strategy because I like to take each person on as their own situation.  I do think it is really important to have a face-to-face meeting with a client prior to working with them. This enables you to connect with the client and get a better sense of who they are.  It is also an easier way to establish a genuine connection. I’m always very careful and diligent about following-up and putting things in writing. Even if it is just outlining a call, it’s better to have a concrete understanding of their expectations and my game plan. The last thing you want to do is make the experience for a client like a second job for them.

I figure out based on the clients needs what is the best way to communicate with the buyer or seller. They need to feel comfortable and supported throughout the process. I also think finding ways to stay organized is the key to success. Always keep lists and save everything so you can refer back to something in an instant if you need.

What are 5 mistakes you’ve seen rookie agents make?

  1. You cannot want a deal more than a client.
  2. Time management is a huge part of this business as you are pretty much your own boss. You need to make sure you are organizing your time wisely as it is really all you have.
  3. Stay organized! Keep track of everything—all your deals, all your clients, set reminders for follow through etc… It is really easy to get sidetracked and not make this a priority, but it’s essential to success in real estate.
  4. Align yourself with the right people in the industry. When starting out, you want to soak up all the experience you can and start making money as fast as you can.  Make sure you are not just working for the sake of working, but that you are learning as you go. Make a conscious effort to seek jobs you think will be as much of a learning experience as it will be money in your pocket.
  5. Don’t burn out too quickly. It will take time to learn the business and to start earning real estate commissions. 

To the federal government, real estate agents are sole proprietors or self-employed. This means that when it’s time to file taxes a broker will generally send over a 1099 form. It’s at this point that an agent will have to pay taxes on their commissions for the year. This can sometimes be a costly process. Avoiding huge tax payments and ensuring the ultimate deductions can be easy if you follow some simple tips.

Commission Split

Most real estate agents calculate their possible income for the following year. When doing these calculations it’s very important to pay attention to the commission split agreed upon with your broker. A successful real estate agent will save for their tax payments throughout the year.  However, if they are using the incorrect commission split it’s possible they haven’t been saving enough. If this does happen some agents will end up gouged by their tax payments. Be sure to know your broker commission split before calculating your budget and taxes.

Knowing Your Deductions

One of the most essential components of filing as a 1099 employee is to understand and apply all possible deductions. Generally, an independent contractor will file for a 1099. With that distinction, your taxes aren’t removed from your commissions—a real estate agent falls into this category. Many are costing yourselves big time by not researching every available tax deduction for real estate agents.

Real Estate Tech

There are software companies that provide accounting services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. One of the most well-known and widely used tax software is Quickbooks. However, as the tech industry advances there are new, more niche companies emerging. RealtyZam is an accounting software built just for real estate agents. Track expenses and generate tax reports in just moments with this must have real estate tax software.

Mileage Tracking

Many real estate agents are attracted to the freedom that comes with working independently out of a brokerage. But with this freedom comes a lot of driving. Driving clients to viewings, open houses, and to your brokerage for paperwork can all add up. Before modern technology, you were stuck keeping diaries to track this driving. Now you can simply download an app that will track and organize your trips into the ‘Work’ or ‘Personal’ category. Everlance is one mileage tracking app that doesn’t only keep count of our work trips, but can also generate easy to read reporting and spreadsheets.

Self-Employed Health Insurance

One of the costs of self-employment is health insurance. Without an employer there isn’t any coverage, so your health insurance comes out-of-pocket. With the Self-Employed Health Insurance deduction, you don’t have to itemize individual receipts to deduct your premium. In order to do this, your business must turn a profit in the last fiscal year. Another rule is that you shouldn’t collect any form of group health insurance to be eligible for this lucrative tax deduction for real estate agents. For those that fit the bill, this can be a must-cite deduction to avoid costly tax payments.

While for some these tips are basics, it’s essential to stay organized and manage your time all year to ensure the lowest tax payments. Being a real estate agent implies freedom and entrepreneurship, but to be successful you must also be ultra-organized. Luckily, in most accounting cases you can download some tech to help.

Around tax season many real estate agents find themselves stressed. Between gathering their receipts to organizing their write-offs, many tax tips for real estate agents start and end with hiring a professional accountant. But having a CPA on staff isn’t something that every agent can afford. With that in mind, these tax tips can help an agent who has a CPA and an agent who is filing on their own this year.

What is a 1099 Form?

Anyone who is paid by a person or entity should be filling out a 1099 tax form, and there is more than one type of 1099. There are 1099s from the bank for interest paid on our account. Some will get the form from the entity that pays their IRA or even from the state who paid your tax return out last year. Freelancers also often get 1099 forms from their clients in the first weeks of the new year.

A real estate agent who is an independent contractor will generally get a 1099 form from their brokerage. The receipt of this form means that there were no taxes withheld from our commissions. But it also means that it’s time to pay up on that income. For this reason, it is recommended that agents keep track of all possible tax deductions throughout the year. This includes mileage traveled, home office & other business expenses, and more. This is the most important tax tip for all real estate agents. Now that you know expenses can be deducted, keep track of them so you don’t have to scramble during tax season.

Build A Good Foundation

Budgeting our business and organizing our time can be the best foundation for an entrepreneur. Being on top of our time management with techniques like batching can help us monetize our time and ensure we’re making the most of every day. Time management can also ensure we have our tax paperwork organized and sent to our accountant expediently each year.

Before even setting a budget we should take a very hard look at our business.

  • What is our yearly and monthly revenue?
  • What expenses can we expect in these time frames?

Subtract the revenue from the expenses and this will be your profit. Once you are aware of your profit you can use that number to calculate your potential tax bill. Knowing in advance what type of cash you need to be putting aside each month for taxes can help ensure that you don’t get sideswiped by a huge bill in April. It is also important to reassess your budget monthly to ensure that the amount hasn’t changed.

Take Advantage of Real Estate Tech

Being able to track business expenses for the tax man throughout the year has been a yearly challenge for many. But now, there’s an app for that. Everlance is a slice of real estate tech that every agent can get behind. The app is built for self-employed entrepreneurs in mind. Everlance will track our business mileage and each of our individual business expenses to maximize our tax deduction come the new year. Aside from these easily applicable uses, Everlance will also help us know the taxes to pay and when. It will also compile and send all of our information to our accountant when it’s time to file.

Everlance isn’t the only real estate tech built to help during tax season. QuickBooks can also streamline our yearly business filing. As we mentioned, not every entrepreneur can bring on their own CPA and QuickBooks is built by people that understand that. You can keep all of your accounting, expenses, payroll and more in one place using this software. It will even let you connect your bank accounts to categorize transactions and ensure the most optimal deductions. Use the analytics, and always know where the business stands. Lastly, real estate agents without a CPA can e-file taxes through software like TurboTax, a company that guarantees you get your biggest possible tax return. With the help of this software and technology, you can be sure you’ll be ready for taxes come filing time.

With the help of apps, tracking purchases and expenses throughout the year becomes easy. Just be sure to know a 1099 form from the inside and out so that you can get the biggest tax return possible as a real estate agent.

Something that is always on the mind of top-earning real estate agents is the art of closing deals. Knowing who would be looking for a certain piece of property and why is the best way to close a deal, and fast. One of our favorite real estate tips for getting the job done is to create a real estate buyer persona before even marketing a lot.

What is a buyer persona?

Those who have worked with a marketing agency has likely been introduced to buyer personas, and this tool is just as important for real estate agents as other industries. A buyer persona is a conglomerate of specific goals and motivations for buying a home applied to a fictional person. Once the personas are in place we can be more aware of who we’ll be speaking to throughout the home sale process. Real estate agents use buyer personas to formulate what their conversations will look like. This way we can use the most impactful language while also ensuring we don’t say the wrong thing.

How do we create buyer personas?

Creating buyer personas takes a bit of insight into the real estate industry in our area. To best understand how to categorize personas take a look at this short list of possible personalities.

  • Single Female, Male or Parent
  • Unmarried Couple: Roommates, Domestic Partners
  • Married Couple Without Kids: Dual Income No Kids (DINK), With Dogs
  • Nuclear Family
  • Multi-Generational Family

When we’re looking to figure out which personas are right for us we should first take a look at our past successes. First take a random group of client files whether we closed deals with them or not. From these 10 or so clients, we can assess which were positive interactions and pinpoint these peoples’ specific traits. After we’ve identified the 3–5 personas we simply need to give them a name by giving them an adjective alongside their names like Single Stan or Married Marsha. Once we’ve given our personas identifiers some top earning real estate agents find it easier to visualize with a face attached to the personas. Once the visuals are in place it is essential to identify the demographics and create a story for the potential buyer.

Using Buyer Personas to Close Deals

A real estate buyer persona can help identify future problems a potential buyer might have with a certain property. Let’s say a multi-generational household needs a bedroom on the ground floor for grandma. An agent with a buyer persona for this person would know to mention that installing doors on the den could turn it into a lovely bedroom. With these personas, we can also identify the goals and needs of these generalized groups of people. A married couple with dogs would definitely prefer a house with a large and secure yard while a DINK wouldn’t find this as necessary in their chosen property. When we have a home that we think would be perfect for one of our personas we have the tools to write a posting that would attract their eye.

Taking time to understand the buyer personas floating around our real estate market will help us close deals. The top-earning real estate agents use them for business insight, and these real estate tips help us make our own.

What buyer personas are prominent in your area? Let us know in the comments!

Learning the ins and outs of a property can really help a real estate agent know what they’re selling. It can also let us in on exactly what could be slightly upgraded. Upgrades, renovations, technology, and more can be built or installed to add value to our home for sale. Sometimes it’s a real estate trend and sometimes it’s as simple as painting the kitchen; check out our favorite tips in this post.

Assess Renovations & Decor

One of the best ways to build value when selling a house is to renovate or update the decor. A homeowner who is serious about getting top dollar for their property should sit down with their realtor and have a serious talk about what sort of updates would be worth the cost and effort. Creating an open concept kitchen, adding a new shower, or landscaping the backyard space can transform a home. Similarly, a homeowner should take a look at their walls, drapes, and furniture. When a property is decorated to an eclectic or specific taste it can sometimes stop a potential buyer in their tracks. A realtor would be wise to let sellers in on these details so that the property gets snatched right off the market.

Source: Pinterest

Tech for Realtors

From Customer-relationship Management and other helpful software to gadgets that make showing and securing a house easier than ever; there’s tons of tech for realtors nowadays. Some realtors use software to help them keep track of visitors at an open house. Others use a special app to make copying keys easier than ever. There are bits of software and technology to solve every problem in the real estate industry. To avoid falling victim to real estate trends it’s best to sit down and decide what problem we’re trying to solve in our business. Once we know what we want to accomplish with bringing on new tech then we’ll be able to really figure out what the perfect product is.

Hire a Certified Home Inspector

A home inspection is an essential portion of the home buying process. Knowing a certified home inspector has checked out the place can be a great incentive for buyers. It serves as proof and insurance that whoever is purchasing the property knows exactly what they’re getting. Hiring a certified home inspector on staff and building a relationship with them is a very good idea for a realtor. Knowing that we can trust a home inspector is essential because they will ensure we don’t miss anything that could bring down the home value. Having a certified home inspector can protect an investment, and ultimately create value when selling home. We should have one to three certified home inspectors in our contacts.

Upgrade To A Smart Home

The real estate trend of smart homes is the buzz of the industry. There are some really phenomenal ways to invest in a property for sale. Adding smart home technology to a space can also greatly increase the value when selling a home, but the trick is to know which technology will be the best investment. At the moment, buyers are most interested in smart home tech that has a name brand like Nest or Control4. 

Source: HGTV

Upgrading the home with renovations, using software during the selling process, and investing in smart home technology can add value to any property. And adding value to a property is a wonderful way to beef up our real estate commission. Not every home needs each tactic, know what’s right for each specific property by working directly with the homeowner.

Being a real estate agent means that we often represent ourselves. It’s our face on the fliers and our voice that people first hear when inquiring about a property for sale.

With that in mind, a lot of newer agents tend to be nervous. This can come off negatively in our interactions with clients. Establishing authority within the real estate industry is a phenomenal way to not only build confidence, but it can also establish immediate trust from client to agent.

Every real estate authority knows at this point that blogging is essential. But in addition to blogging, there are some other actions worth taking that can allow you as an agent, to stake your claim in a saturated real estate sales industry.

Film Video Content

Video content is currently the most impactful for marketing purposes. The unstoppable craze of social media has shown that people like to engage with other people, not with a robot-like brand. Video content is popular because it is exactly that, people talking to people. Filming informative, simple videos is a wonderful way to engage both future clients and peers.  We recommend creating videos under a minute to ensure greater consumption. These short and fun videos can contain a real estate sales tip or fact. They can drastically increase our click-throughs on e-blasts and comments on social media. All of these outcomes work together in giving us a foundational authority in real estate sales.

Stay Active on Social

Many agents have trouble knowing what to post and how often on social media. While our followers don’t want to hear from us hourly, it’s important to post on business accounts every two to three days. Staying active on social media can engage your followers igniting the social algorithms. This ultimately helps us reach even more people. Staying active on relevant social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn not only keep us relevant among our peers. This real estate social media also lets us continue reaching more people to take on as clients.

Get Networking

Becoming an authority in real estate sales don’t just come easily after selling a house. It is not that simple. A real estate agent with their eye on authority status should be active in the local real estate networking scene. Rubbing elbows with our industry peers is a great way to become more knowledgeable about the local and state-wide real estate. Another great reason to stay prominent at real estate networking is to keep hip to the latest real estate trends. Word moves fast at industry events and being on the front end of a new trend in the market can be gold for agents.

Reaching out to clients and business peers through video content, social media, and networking events, are the way to becoming an authority in any industry. To make the most impact go forth in an authentic light. People don’t want to engage with people who present themselves in a false light. Being professional with a twist of our personality is the best way to build a following large enough to be considered an authority.

The listing of a piece of property is an essential tool for all realtors. They serve as a connection between a property and potential buyers. Effective real estate ads will not only properly describe the property’s information, but also entice the viewer to take action. The art of the perfect real estate listing comes down to three components. Whether it’s a national site, like Zillow & Realtor.com or regional most comprise of a property description, visual marketing, and the property’s information.

Property Description

Some realtors will make the mistake of simply listing bullet points of the features and benefits of the property for sale in this section. However, a property description should comprise of much more than that. The description section in real estate ads will tell the property’s story. In this copy, a realtor has the opportunity to show the buyer what it would be like to live there.

Imagine the type of person or family that would be interested in the property and then cater the language and lifestyle to them. In the description, space make sure to include the listing amenities and special features. Also, list any name brand doors, windows, or appliances that may be installed in the space. This will all converge to make the most compelling property description a realtor could write.

Visual Marketing

Every listing has a space for photos. These images serve as the hook for real estate ads. Engaging, beautiful photos that transport a viewer into the property are essential. A good picture will catch someone’s eye in a sea of other listings, enticing them to read more. In addition, lighting is fundamental when snapping a photo for real estate marketing purposes. Generally, natural lighting is the most engaging for buyers but it can make it difficult to capture quality images. Always use a tripod to capture the best photos. Also, remember to always use the landscape orientation.

Although they’re essential, pictures have become just one aspect of visual marketing for realtors. Now, real estate agents have access to 3D video tours and drone footage of the property. While these aren’t always able to be posted in the listing itself, but their value is irrefutable. That being said, we’re realtors not professional videographers. To capture video footage or drone tours of property for sale consider bringing on outside marketing help.

Property Information

This is the section we’re all familiar with. The property information includes all of the usual property specs that a buyer would be interested in.

Integral information includes:

    • Rooms
    • Bathrooms
    • Square Footage
    • Parking
    • Heating/Cooling
    • Building Features
    • Surrounding School Districts
  • Utilities

The property descriptions, visual marketing, and property information all make up a real estate listing. But effective real estate ads will connect the person viewing it directly to the space. These tips will help those selling a house or condo to get more interest from their listing.