real estate agents

The iPhone® Turned Ten in June and Changed How Real Estate Agents Operate

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Whether you are an AndroidTM fan or an individual like myself who could not bear to part with the iPhone, the disruptive impact that smartphones have had on many industries has been proven time and time again. Steve Jobs described the first iPhone as a “truly magical product.” Looking back, as well as into the future, it’s hard to imagine another device that will ever be more readily used each day by the majority of the population than our smartphones. In 2016, Apple® stated that the average iPhone user unlocked their phone 80 times a day and checked their phone over 150 times a day!

The mobile phone started as a way to increase communication and now the idea of owning just a “mobile phone” is considered ancient. It’s not only mobile phones that were replaced by the invention of the smartphone. Think of cameras, personal computers, GPS devices and even Apple’s own product, the iPod® – all have been replaced by smartphones. It’s not hardware makers alone that have been affected; new industries emerged and disrupted other traditional businesses with the invention of smartphone applications. You now have a computer, video camera, gaming device and movie studio in the palm of your hand. With those capabilities available on our phone, it is easy to get distracted. What are we doing when we constantly check our phones?

Yes, we still spend a lot of time talking and texting on our smartphones, but for many our phones have replaced our computers for website searches, email and have become the main vehicle for interacting on social media and with our community, in general.

A great deal of time and money has been spent by real estate brokers and agents to make their websites mobile friendly and responsive to help facilitate the interaction with buyers and sellers. This shift to mobile responsive websites was caused by the majority of real estate searches being performed on mobile devices. The amount of online research that potential home buyers and sellers conduct continues to increase each year as connectivity and the smartphone ease of use improves. Mobile search and key terms are definitely critical for an agent’s online success. But with the easy access to information and time on our hands, another search category has developed.

Home buyers and sellers are no longer looking at real estate properties, neighborhood demographics and valuation trends alone, they are researching prospective agents extensively too. Two out of three people interested in buying a home are researching prospective agents comprehensively online prior to working with them (see graph below).

It’s no longer enough for a REALTOR© to be proficient at their trade, they now need to pass the Google® test and be seen as the most competent choice online. The first step in this new process is being certain you, as a REALTOR©, dominate a consumer’s search. How do you accomplish this? First, you should own your own website domain with a personal URL and have a website with relevant content. You also need to have a professional profile on dominant national consumer real estate websites, a presence on social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook) and participate on consumer review sites.

The next question to ask yourself is, have you shifted your mindset to that of a media company? The reality is that when you are being extensively searched online, you are your own brand! With the mindset of a media company, you move past checking the box and being found on the Internet or social media and move towards properly promoting and managing your brand. This means you have to develop content, distribute content and be readily seen as a market expert – you have to be someone people want to do business with. The impact of the smartphone will continue to be felt by all brands. Take this opportunity to promote your real estate brand beyond what your competition is willing to do. The rules for winning at this brand game have been already determined. You need to fully commit to the new personal promotion strategy to win.

As you finish this article, take a moment to search yourself using your smartphone and see what results appear on the first page. You would be prepared for an in-person meeting with a client – you need to be prepared for the client meetings that are happening online without you. Be certain to be Google and smartphone prepared because your customer base expects it.

Check out the United Intranet for the latest training on building your brand presence.

Peter

Six Characteristics to Being Successful

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What do successful people have in common? If you study people that have navigated the ever-changing world we live in and became successful in business and life, you will see them all share similar characteristics. Develop these six traits and success will follow you.

Vision

Vision is a mental picture of what the future will or could be like. It is the foundation for the changes you will make and actions you will take to support your idea of the future. With the correct vision, you are willing to go to extreme measures to see that vision through. Your vision for your life, your career or your business should inspire you yet be simple to understand. For some people, this is a statement. For others, it is a pictorial collection of what they want out of life and serves as a visual reminder of their goal. In either case, carrying that vision every day moves us toward creating the future we want and then to the future we must have.

Attitude

It isn’t very often that we get anything more than we expect. Your vision has you expecting to obtain great success. Don’t let the wrong attitude set you back. What you project outwards in your personal and professional life is what you will get back. What you think your career will be is likely what it will be. You will not have the motivation needed to succeed in life if you are fighting yourself. Don’t focus on what you haven’t done; focus on what you will do to achieve your dreams. Successful people have a positive attitude and stay positive in all circumstances.

Planning and Goals

Having a plan and establishing goals will point you in the right direction to start achieving your dreams. It is your map that will guide you to your final destination. Planning starts the process of building commitment to achieving your goals. The vision may be there, but without a systematic plan with measurable goals in place, it will remain just that – a vision.

Taking Action

The best-laid plans means nothing without action. Your actions will determine how people see you and how successful you will be, not your words. Leadership is an action not a position. Successful people are leaders of their future and take action each day to move forward. Make up your mind to move forward and turn your vision into a reality.

Continued Learning

Starting a career or business is the beginning of your learning process. Anyone who achieves outstanding results and lives a full life without regret became committed to continued learning and development. That person will read more, practice more and do more throughout their life. In all professions – from doctors to teachers to corporate executive – the top performers will commit to continued education that goes beyond the minimum requirements to keep professional certifications current or to please a boss.

Persistence

Persistence means you have the discipline to stay on track for obtaining your dreams regardless of what obstacles come your way. Persistence is essential to achieve the life you deserve and keeps you on track when others around you don’t provide positive reinforcement. Below is a quote that sums up an important component of persistence.

“The one who once most wisely said, ‘Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.’ Might well have added this to it, ‘Be sure you are wrong before you quit.”

Creating a great life and business takes time – you should plan on it taking lots of time. Getting there will take persistence. There will be setbacks, but does that mean you stop chasing your dreams? If your dreams are your passion, then you won’t give up easily and you will reach that goal.

Success leaves clues. Be sure you are working on fully developing these time-tested characteristics each day!

Best wishes in creating success as you define it.

Peter

Unitedpalooza was an Epic Event!

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If you were at the 2017 United Real Estate Convention in Austin, Texas, you know the event lived up to its name! Unitedpalooza was an epic event that brought together like-minded individuals for entertainment, education, information, fun and life changing messages.

The late Jim Valvano, who rose to fame coaching North Carolina State to an NCAA National Men’s Basketball Championship and later as a broadcaster and proponent for cancer research, famously stated in one of his last speeches: “If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” 

I’m always excited to witness our convention produce those types of emotions in our attendees. It is emotions that move us to take action to improve our businesses, improve our lives and improve our communities.  If you missed the convention, you missed a lot of great days filled with emotions that remind us why we do what we do. Starting with our charity golf tournament, the opening networking session featuring local Austin musicians, two full days of education sessions, and a high energy awards session and dance party, the convention had nonstop positive energy that created something special each day.

I personally wish to thank all of our staff, brokers, agents and sponsors who attended Unitedpalooza. I stated that this convention would be an industry leading event and our best convention yet and the feedback we received from attendees confirmed it was just that! Take some time to look through the photos and tag yourself, friends and office.

Charity Golf Event

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758602047499977

Opening Night

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758588364168012

Day 1

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758571620836353

Day 2

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758558964170952

Awards Celebration

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1752480961445419

You will not want to miss next year’s convention in Miami as we again raise the energy level of the event and the growth opportunities available to our brokers and agents. Be on the lookout for our 2018 convention theme and dates!

All the best,

Peter

5-4-3-2-1…Go!

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Writing unique weekly blogs is not always an easy task. You need a compelling topic with enough content to be meaningful to your audience. Recapping the United Real Estate convention held in Austin last week is difficult – it was not just a conference, but an event built around the idea that we are all different, but have the same growth needs. We can all find information online and through education courses. What we can’t find online is a human connection. If you miss an event like our convention, you miss out on the stories that move us as people to be more and do more.

The convention was designed to have the energy of a rock concert, with the comradery of family alongside you to ensure that you not only have fun, but are open to learning. Most real estate brands speak about expertise in selling some definition of lifestyle real estate. At United Real Estate, we have agents that excel and specialize in selling all types of properties and represent all segments of buyers. Our guiding values ensure that we have the interest of our clients at the forefront, to make certain we are the trusted advisors they desire and need to have on their side.

However, as a company we want to do more than that. We want to help all agents stop viewing real estate as a job and start thinking of the lifestyle they can create for their family by focusing on being an entrepreneur instead. Real estate agents, on average, are already working over 40 hours a week. Those hours should be viewed as owning and building your own business, not having a job!  As an entrepreneur, your top task is to grow your revenue. In real estate, this means generating and following up with potential new clients.

While there is not a singular way to be successful in real estate, there is only one way to ensure success – that is to start taking action. United Real Estate and our partners can teach you to generate leads and be a market expert in real estate. You have to believe you deserve a new level of success and invest in yourself and your business!

If you missed the convention this year, you not only missed the valuable opportunity of connecting with peers, but also great educational opportunities. To quote Mel Robbins, a leading expert on personal development and one of our convention presenters this year – “There’s only one thing standing between you and the life you have always wanted – and that’s YOU.”

Take the next step to being a successful entrepreneur and buy her new bestselling book, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” In doing so, you will be armed with the skills to live your life with courage as a true entrepreneur. You can accomplish things most people won’t try and spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

5-4-3-2-1…Go! See you all at our next convention in Miami, Florida!

All the best,

Peter

United Takes New Orleans

  • Get ready for the 2016 Convention

    Get ready for the 2016 Convention

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Its official, we’re heading to New Orleans for our 2016 convention. Even though it might seem like the 2015 convention just wrapped up, we’re already planning for next year.

With our dedicated agents, brokers and industry experts all in attendance, our conventions are always a great success.  The convention is a fantastic opportunity to uncover new ideas, learn tactics for advancing your business and gain amazing insights from industry experts. The agents and brokers in attendance are able to set new goals, build connections with a powerful network of industry experts and build momentum for the coming year.

Haven’t been before? Here’s what you need to know:

Who

United Real Estate agents, staff, vendors and strategic partners are all invited to join us for our 2016 Convention. We use this as a time to recognize past accomplishments as well as gear up for the future.

What

Our annual convention is an opportunity to learn from educational speakers, mingle with United executives and be recognized for past years’ accomplishments.

When

The convention will be held February 19-21, 2015.

Where

To make the event even more enoyable, we’re hosting it at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside located along the Mississippi River and at the edge of the French Quarter.

Interested in learning more? Contact our support team at 855-441-6288 or eventteam@unitedrealestate.com. They’d be happy to help.

Translating CaptURE Success Into Personal Success in Your Real Estate Business

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All too often, it can be difficult to translate ongoing training into success in your business. Let’s face it: we attend a convention, network a little, and return to business as usual the following week.

Luckily, the United Real Estate CaptURE Success Convention breaks this archaic mold.

Known for its renowned speakers, extensive networking and training opportunities, and exceptional value for your personal real estate business, the CaptURE Success Convention offers you a comprehensive resource quickly approaching March 19-21 in Dallas, Texas. And if you want to boost your business in more ways than one, attendance is required.

Speakers in a Variety of Disciplines Offering Diverse Expertise

With speakers from within United Real Estate and outside of the company, this year’s speakers offer a diverse range of expertise in real estate coaching, speaking, social media, online marketing, and personal development.

As such, attending agents can expect to learn the information necessary to optimize their online presence, improve their interpersonal skills, and offer their business a unique boost upon returning home after the convention.

Helping You Adapt to a Changing Real Estate Environment

Like all fields, the real estate industry is constantly evolving with new technologies, tools, and resources you can use to succeed in your business. And, for simple access to everything you need to know, CaptURE Success is where you want to be.

Networking Never Before Possible

With attending agents from all over the country, the United Real Estate Convention is also a simple way to connect and network with agents you otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet.

Of course, networking is vital to success, particularly in today’s competitive environment. And as such, the connectivity offered by the Convention is simply another reason why the event draws increasing numbers of attendees on an annual basis.

Take Advantage of Everything the CaptURE Success Convention Has to Offer

Packed with keynote presentations, education breakout sessions, the expo, sponsor and exhibitor happy hour, awards recognition reception, banquet, and celebration and more, there is plenty to do the entire weekend!

Don’t worry, you still have time to register if you haven’t yet! Simply click here and enter your information for speakers, events, and networking that can take your business to the next level.

10 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

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When it comes to buying and selling homes, part of walking the walk is talking the talk. After all, it will be difficult to search for and land your dream home or sell your current home if you aren’t quite sure what all the terms mean.

Below, we’re going to detail 10 of the most important real estate terms you’ll encounter as you look to buy or sell your home. And by learning them all, you’ll have the tools you’ll need to go through either process with confidence.

  1. Buyer’s Agent vs. Listing Agent

In any home-related deal, there are two agents: the buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer, and the listing agent, who represents the seller. Both will get a percentage of the final sale price of the home as their commission, meaning that you don’t pay your realtor regardless of whether you’re buying or selling.

  1. Fixed Rate vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Many individuals, including you, might need a mortgage to purchase a home. Fixed rate mortgages have a fixed interest rate for the entire loan (which is generally about 30 years) whereas adjustable rate mortgages have variable rates (which are generally 5, 7, or 10 years).

  1. Pre-Approval Letter

If a buyer needs a mortgage, it’s important to seek pre-approval from the bank to determine how much they’ll lend. This will determine which properties buyers can consider and show sellers whether or not a buyer is qualified.

  1. Listings

Homes that are on the market are commonly known as “listings.” Listings will provide vital information about a property such as the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and other details.

  1. Inspections

After making an offer, it’s essential that a buyer gets an inspection on the home they’re interested in. An inspector will evaluate potential issues like plumbing, electric, heating, appliances, the foundation, and more.

  1. Appraisal

Lenders require property appraisals to determine the home’s value. Typically, appraisals are based on the sale prices of homes that have sold in the area as well as the current condition of the property.

  1. Contingencies

Contingencies are included in offers on a home and specify conditions that must be met in order for the deal to get through. Of course, there are other contingencies as well, including:

  • Financing Contingency – Demonstrates a buyer’s loan approval.
  • Inspection Contingency – Demonstrates inspection results.
  • Appraisal Contingency – Demonstrates the appraised value in comparison to what you’re willing to pay.
  1. Offers

Offers are often made by agents or attorneys to show sellers the potential offers being made by buyers on a property. It’s common for sellers to counter an offer as well.

  1. Closing Costs

There are several fees that come with purchasing a home, commonly known as closing costs. Often, closing costs total 2 to 5% of the purchase price of the home (not including a down payment).

  1. Title Insurance

Once a seller has accepted an offer, buyers should receive a home title report that shows whether or not the seller has rights to the title and there are no liens on a home.

Looking for Assistance in Buying or Selling Your Home?

An agent is an indispensable resource when it comes to buying and selling homes.

And, when you’re looking for more than just terms to negotiate on your dream home or obtain an offer on your current home, United Real Estate can help. Contact us today to get started!

100 Percent Commission Model Works for Agents and Clients

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    SONY DSC

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It’s common for real estate franchises to have brokers and agents split the commission on each transaction, ranging from 50/50 to 80/20. With United Real Estate, our agents receive 100 percent commission on each transaction they complete.

Our 100 percent real estate commission works well for both the agent and client. Agents work even harder to find the right home for a client and help them get approved for a home loan. Our commission model also provides agents with a big morale boost because it’s a way to acknowledge all of the hard work they do in marketing properties and assisting clients. Agents only have to pay a low office fee per month and a small transaction fee for each side, which is a much better deal than handing over up to 50 percent of the commission they’ve earned to a broker. Clients benefit from this model by having a reliable agent who has their best interests at heart during the buying process, from getting a pre-approval to closing on a home. Our commission model is just one of the many benefits we offer.

Want more information on joining our real estate franchise? Visit United Real Estate and our Facebook page.

Three Reasons to Invest in Your Own United Real Estate Franchise

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    URE franchise

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You should check out United Real Estate if you plan to start up your own real estate and property business in the future. No matter which area of property sales, purchases or rentals you’re looking at, you’ll find real estate franchises from United will offer you the best way into the real estate business, whether you are experienced in this field or not. We continually provide fantastic agent training that’s tailored to your level of expertise.

Three top reasons to invest in a United Real Estate franchise are:

  • We are a recognized and highly regarded business with a long history in real estate and offer you an opportunity run your own business which will succeed now and in the future.
  • Our franchisees receive business tools and support that give them the edge over competitors, ensuring you will outperform rivals time after time.
  • Our leadership team has the professionalism and experience to help grow your business. You’ll find it easy to recruit top agents to your fast-growing real estate business, in whatever area you decide to operate

Contact United Real Estate now to discuss setting up your new franchised real estate business and find out area availability.

New to Buying a Home? What Home Buyers Need to Know

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    colleagues

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Thinking about buying a home for the first time? There are several benefits to becoming a homeowner, but you shouldn’t make this decision lightly.

Keep these home buying tips in mind if you’re considering taking the plunge into homeownership:

  • Talk to a real estate agent. Friends and family members mean well, but they might not offer you the most realistic advice about purchasing your first home. An agent can help determine how much you can afford to spend and whether or not you’re financially ready to buy a home.
  • Think long-term. Since you’ll most likely be in your home for several years, think ahead when choosing a home. Look for one that’s near good schools, even if you doubt you’ll have kids, since this boosts your home’s value. You should also look for a home that doesn’t stand out too much from the rest, such as one that’s much bigger than other homes near it.
  • Take your time. You don’t have to rush into purchasing a home for fear that you’ll miss out on a good deal. Take your time, and make a wise decision instead.

Need more home buying tipsContact United Real Estate, and follow our Facebook page.