real estate insights

How the Three C’s of Selling Will Boost Your Income

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The sales profession is one of the largest occupational groups in the United States. It is estimated that over 15 million people work in sales related jobs.  In the real estate industry there are currently over 1.2 million Realtors. Across all industries, sales is a very competitive occupation, and one that allows the top performers to be highly compensated.

Being in sales is very similar to running your own business and in commission based sales occupations, such as working as a real estate agent, you are in-fact running your own business.  In any entrepreneurial role you must have daily habits that will ensure you manage your time effectively.  Moving past the general sales training that is made available to all individuals in a selling occupation, there are certain skills that top performers have developed that have made them excel. Here are the three “C’s” that are not taught in sales training courses and make up the intrinsic skills that separate the top 5% of sales performers from their counterparts.

Caring – All successful sales people have come to understand that they should listen to their potential clients more and speak less when they are meeting with them.  This becomes the formula for any successful sales person in both Business to Business sales and Business to Consumer sales. It is the basis for being a highly paid advisor as opposed to a sales rep. Not only do the top sales people ask more questions of their potential clients, they listen better.  Their listening skills are superior to others who just hear but don’t really understand the needs of their buyers. The top sales people have empathy for their potential clients and are able to understand the buyer’s problems or their unmet goals.  They relate to their feelings in a way that allows them to become trusted with helping the buyer reach a new level of satisfaction by guiding them to solve their problems with the solutions they have to offer.

Candor – A top sales person will focus initially on the buyers needs and not on the services they are offering. When the buyer realizes the seller cares about their problems and why those problems matter, the sales person becomes a trusted advisor.  A trusted advisor, in comparison to someone who is just selling a product, earns the right to be straight forward and honest with the potential buyer. Top sales professionals not only ask more questions than their counterparts, they also ask better questions. More developed questions stimulate thought by the buyer of what their unmet needs or desires truly are. The top sales pros do not worry about losing rapport with a buyer, as they have established trust. When you care about your profession and develop a trusted relationship with your buyer, the ability to ask them difficult questions about why they are doing things in a certain way is earned. This honest dialogue is respected by the buyer.  The odds that the buyer will choose your services or product over a competitors greatly favors the sales person who has the ability to have candid conversations with potential buyers.

Competence – Most sales professionals know how their products or services function and how they can fit a buyer’s needs.  The difference between top sales people and others is the top performers know how their services or products solve the specific problems of the buyer they are working with today. Top sales people are not generalists, they are experts in their field. This means they know more about the future of an individual buyer’s business or investments than their client does. In order to gain this expertise, the top sales professionals spend the time necessary to study their industry and work on developing their own personal skills. This gives them more experience, which allows the top sales person to express that knowledge using a question based methodology, therefore putting the buyer’s needs at the forefront.

To boost your income and separate yourself from your competition, it is not enough to commit to only completing your company’s standard sales training or your industries continuing education requirements. The key to long lasting sales success is mastering the three C’s of selling. Be certain to commit yourself to continued learning opportunities. To learn more about boosting your income in real estate to a new level, join us at the 2017 Unitedpalooza.

All the best!

Peter

If You Give, You Begin To Live

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One of the founding values of United Real Estate is to be a positive contributor to the communities we live in. In order to do so, we must give back. United Real Estate is a company that has been rapidly expanding through franchising across the United States for only three years, while obtaining more than triple digit growth in agent count and transactions each year.  It would be easy to say we are “too busy” to make certain that important cultural aspects of giving back are occurring inside the company, but that is not the case.  I am always proud to see United Real Estate offices and agents volunteering to make the world a better place.  I am always happy to give a like on Facebook or shout-out to any and all who make the time to improve a community or make an individual’s life better.

Individuals search for personal fulfillment in a variety of different ways. Some are positive, but some actions unfortunately lead to negative habits that instead work to the detriment of what the individuals are searching for – happiness. There are plenty of articles, graphs, quotes and lists that can be easily searched and found on the Internet of how successful people behave to reach fulfillment. However, even with an abundance of information available at our finger tips, a recent Harris Poll concluded only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves to be “very happy”.  I truly believe we were created to do good, and in order to reach our full potential and be happy; we need to address and fill two advanced human needs. The first is our need to grow.  In order to reach the state of being happy, we need to continuously develop and expand our dreams. Second, is the need to contribute. Understanding the world is not just “about me”, it’s “about we” which allows us to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, something worthwhile. It produces a true, visible change of things being better because we gave beyond ourselves.

Through the dedication of our employees, we have reached a new milestone in supporting our corporate charity, Autism Speaks. By redesigning our internal processes, every United agent can now voluntarily contribute to Autism Speaks at each closing, either a specific amount or a percentage of commission earned!  Together, as a United family and community, we can help a charitable organization that is making massive positive changes to the individuals diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. To learn more read our press release.

I also believe there is a greater chance, than just a hope, that more than 1 in 3 Americans will become very happy. While millennials are known as being experts in digital communication, they are also unknowingly geared to do well by positively contributing to their communities. In the book Meet the Millennials, the author noted giving back and being civically engaged are the millennials highest priorities. This is a great step towards fulfillment when you realize it is tough to feel bad about yourself when doing good for others. It’s also an important factor for prospective employers and businesses that are wanting to sell to this generation. Millennials absolutely expect their employer to give back and contribute. As a customer, they expect the company will live up to those same set of values, as well.

One prime successful example of the power of donating a portion per transaction is seen through the generous contributions by the Dave Mathews Band. Through its Bama Works Fund charitable foundation, the band has raised and donated over $40 million to benefit the people living in the Central Virginia area, as well as internationally.  The band was able to generate this by setting up a per ticket sale, per album sale, per download sale and directing a portion of each sale to charity, as well as from fans who wholeheartedly support these causes making direct online donations. This has undoubtedly made a huge impact.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to the major positive impact our fast growing network at United Real Estate will make to the individuals and families who are living with Autism.  It is estimated that it takes $60,000 a year to effectively support someone diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.  At United Real Estate, we are now closing over 12,000 transactions a year, and that number is about to double!  Our collective contributions at each closing will do more than just fulfill a guiding principle. It will change lives.

Let me also give a shout out to the Dave Mathews Band and pay respect to them for giving back. It’s a verse from a complex song, and I see the positive in the lyrics, “If you give, you begin to live. You get the world, you get the world.” The path to fulfillment will include growth and contribution. May this inspire you to start or continue your journey!

On behalf of everyone at United Real Estate, thank you, for not just being part of our company, but for being active in supporting the communities we all live in. Happiness is not guaranteed, and giving should not be mandated, but should be heartfelt.  The reward is waiting for you.

All the best!

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate

The Problem with Pricing Your Home too High

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    Can you use gift money for a downpayment?

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Homes can be expensive and often a lot of work, making it seem like your home is valued at much more than it is. But the truth is, your home is only worth what the market is willing to pay. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer and cause your property to sit for months, which is never the goal.

Unfortunately, it often doesn’t matter what’s included in our offering – or what your mortgage is. The number of days a property has been on the market is the major determinate of a correctly priced home. If you haven’t received an offer in a 30-day period, the price is too high. The longer a house is on the market, the less valuable it appears to buyers.

Appreciation and depreciation can be difficult to calculate without a firm grasp on your local market. As someone who looks at multiple houses every day or week, a professional real estate agent will know what the market is willing to pay and should be able to guide you with your pricing. There are certain things that homeowners can do to influence buyers’ perceptions of their home’s value and increase the price buyers are willing to pay for it. Ultimately, it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to make a timely sale.

Overpricing your house in the beginning can make the selling process much more difficult. The first days of listing your home should garner the most interest and overpricing will cause you to miss that window. If you’re interested in talking to a local real estate agent about what an appropriate listing price would be, let us know. We’re here to help.

Seven Easy Ways to Prepare for an Open House

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    Is your home ready to sell?

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As the busy selling season winds down, it’s important that real estate agents and home sellers are taking advantage of every opportunity to sell properties before winter – including open houses. More than cookies and cleaning – there are several things you can do to ensure that your house presents at its best.

Organize Everything – Storage space is a vital selling point for any property. Cluttered closets and cabinets make it appear that the home doesn’t have enough storage – even if there is ample. Combat this misconception by making sure everything is well organized. You’re guaranteed that the buyer is going to be inspecting every nook and cranny.

Make Small Repairs – Potential buyers won’t overlook anything, from scuffed paint to leaky faucets you’ll want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape before holding an open house. Ideally, you would start this process one month out and have an agent guide you in the most important changes.

Update Your Interior – When you home is staged with nice décor and you’ve made simple updates, buyers will more easily be able to visualize themselves in your home. It’s often inexpensive to give your home a more modern look.  If you are in the process of moving out, a few strategically placed pieces of furniture can do wonders.

Door Hangers – Old school door hangers tend to work. Neighbors are likely interested in the listing – so let them know about it. Instead of lamenting on the fact that the only traffic is ‘nosy neighbors’ embrace the fact that neighbors can help sell a home. Share the home with adjoining neighborhoods as well. Lots of people want their friends and family to live nearby.

Declutter – Experts recommend eliminating up to half of your home’s clutter, either by renting a storage unit or a portable pod. You might even have a friend or family member who would help out with storing items. Keep aesthetics minimal and see what you can do to depersonalize the house. Buyers want to see themselves living there – not you.

Be Invisible – If possible, try to avoid being around the house. If the owner is absent, buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions to the realtor and discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the home.

Collect Contact Information – Make it easy for visitors to sign into the open house. This is a helpful safety measure and it also allows you to grow your database of interested buyers. Registrations can be done simply with a piece of paper and a clipboard or an iPad.

This just skims the top of the list of things to do before an open house. If you are looking to sell your house and need expert advice, contact us. We’re happy to help.

No Yard Maintenance – and Other Reasons to Invest in a Condo

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If you like the thought of owning a home but don’t like the thought of doing yard work, a condo could be the perfect solution. Condo ownership is becoming more popular thanks to it’s ease of ownership.

Need a few reasons to invest in a condo instead of a house?

  • Low-maintenance: You don’t have to deal with mowing the lawn or raking leaves when you buy a condo, since you only own the interior of it and part of the the building’s common area. You just have to keep the inside in good shape.
  • Convenience: Buying a condo in an urban area will put you close to plenty of restaurants and stores. That means you can save money on gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.
  • Amenities: Some condos come with impressive amenities, such as fitness centers, business centers and resort-style pools that you wouldn’t have with a house.

Ready to start looking for a condo to call your ownVisit United Real Estate to see what properties are available, and stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us.

Dallas on the Rebound: Housing Market on the Rise

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    city III

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The housing market in many cities throughout the US suffered during the market down turn, many markets are making strong comeback. Dallas is ranked among 2013’s fastest-growing American cities, making it a great place to buy or sell a home.

Dallas came in at number six on Realtor.com’s list of “Turnaround Towns,” thanks to a growing demand for homes. Builders have been kept busy constructing new homes for those who are looking to move to this booming city. The city’s population has been on the rise, and the city has experienced strong job growth. The housing market has shown major improvement in terms of stability. Homes in Dallas have an average listing price of a very affordable $210,000. For those who need to sell their home, now is a good time to do so. Currently, the demand for homes has surpassed the available number of homes for sale, meaning that you may earn a higher price for yours.

Planning on buying a home in Dallas? Check out United Real Estate’s available properties. Selling? VisitUnited Real Estate to find a local agent. Stop by our Facebook page for more tips on buying and selling a home.

Selling 101: Maximizing Small Spaces With Big Colors

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The bathroom is one of the biggest selling points in a home. If yours is a smaller one, it’s important to make it seem as roomy as possible. This will help you attract buyers and get a good price for your home.

Maximizing small spaces can be done with simple changes versus a total renovation. One of the most effective and easiest ways to make your bathroom look larger is by redoing it in a bold color. Choose something like a striking shade of red or a vivid blue tone to focus on. Paint the walls that color, then add accessories, such as hand towels and a toothbrush holder, in the same tone or in complementing colors. If your bathroom has a window, put up curtains that match as well. When choosing a big color, try out a sample of it on your wall first to see if you like it. If not, you can cover it up and try a different color.

Ready to start the selling process? Visit United Real Estate to find a local office, and stop by our Facebook page for more advice and tips on selling a home.

United Real Estate Spotlight: Five Major Perks of Living in DC

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You don’t have to be a member of Congress or the White House administration to benefit from living in Washington DC. Our country’s capital has plenty to offer all of its residents.

Here are five perks of living in DC:

  • Different cultures: From Korea to England to Uruguay, you can enjoy international events, food, clothing and art. Try some Iranian baklava, catch a West African dance performance and buy French-inspired clothes.
  • Rewarding job opportunities for women: Women who live in DC will find a lot of job opportunities that allow them to work toward ideals that they believe in, especially if they’re willing to delve into the political arena.
  • A good mix of things to do: Living in DC feels like being in suburbia, but you also have access to big city attractions and events.
  • Major companies: Big name employers are moving to DC thanks to its lower cost of living, three major airports and abundance of educated workers. These include Hilton Hotels and Volkswagen.
  • Convenient Location: Washington DC is conveniently located near major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. With two major airports inside the perimeter, and one in the northwest suburbs, business and leisure travel can be very efficient.

Ready to start your search for a home in DC? Contact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page for buying tips.

Text UNITED to 59559 for Updates About Current URE Listings

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    woman texting

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Finding the perfect home can be an arduous process. There are so many things to consider, like size, price, neighborhood, proximity to job prospects, just to name a few. Once you have narrowed down the parameters, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to be able to get immediate information about any home that meets your specific needs? The current United Real Estate listings are as close as your cell phone.

United Real Estate has been selling homes since 1925 and now has developed a nationwide network of franchises and agents ready to meet all of your real estate buying or selling needs. We have a long history and have kept up with the times, which offer many innovative technology based services.

Our automated information system can be easily accessed from your mobile device. All you need to do is text UNITED to 59559 and everything you need to know about the listed properties is available to you.

To learn more about accessing the current United Real Estate listings from your mobile device, visit the URE Facebook page.

 

Financial Considerations: Four Things Not to Do After a Loan Preapproval

A loan pre-approval is an important step in the home buying process. It shows how much of a loan you can realistically afford, based on your credit rating, income and expenses.

Keep in mind that there are certain things to do after a loan pre-approval to boost your chances of getting a final approval. These include:

  • Don’t apply for new credit: Since your lender will do another credit check before approving your loan, don’t do anything that will negatively affect your credit rating. Applying for new credit means that your score will take a hit.
  • Don’t pay off all your debt: You could be using up money that you might need for your new house. Also, closing credit cards can lower your credit score.
  • Don’t co-sign loans: These factor into your debt-to-income ratio and affect your credit score. Avoid co-signing any loans, including car and student loans.
  • Don’t change jobs: This can cause delays with the lender because they’ll need to verify your employment.

Now that you know a few things to do after a loan pre-approval, are you ready to get started with the home buying processVisit United Real Estate and our Facebook page to locate an agent.