Real Estate

Rainy Days and Real Estate

What’s a REALTOR to do on a rainy day in California? We don’t get much rain in Southern California, but when we do it pours! Days like that can make it hard to get into the office and go to work. And once you get there, what the heck do you do?

Whether you choose to go into the office or stay home on rainy days, don’t let the day pass without doing a few activities for your business. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.

Photo of real estate agent working at their desk.

Here are my Top 10 Rainy Day Ideas for Realtors:

      1. Make a minimum of 10 prospecting calls

      Call your sphere of influence (SOI) to see how they’re doing. Ask how the rain is affecting them and their family.

        2. Update your Client Relationship Management System (CRM)

        Rainy days are a perfect day to update your client database. Add their birthdays, anniversaries, spouse’s name, pet’s names….. Make sure to add the anniversary date of their home purchase. Our Century 21 Discovery agents have a CRM tool through MoxiWorks and have the ability to send email through that system which allows them to see who is actually opening the email.

        3. Write and mail a minimum of 10 notes

        Sending a handwritten note to people in your database is a nice touch and a great way to stay top of mind.

        4. Update your online profiles and bio

        Make sure all your online and social media profiles and bios are up-to-date. Update your profile photo and any certifications or awards you have received. Have you claimed your Realtor.Com profile? Claim it and update your profile by adding your photo, contact information and any additional relevant information.

        5. Set up an email campaign

        If you use a CRM, it probably has the capability to set up an email drip-campaign for your database. (See No. 2) These are a great way to remind them that you are in real estate. Even on rainy days!

        6. Review the active listings in the MLS for your city of choice

        You want to stay on top of the market activity and the best way to do that is to review the listings in your market regularly. Educate yourself to have intelligent conversations about the market, because you know you’ll be asked.

        7. Set appointments to show property

        Are you working with Buyers? By reviewing the active MLS listings daily (see No. 6) you will know what’s new to the market and can schedule a tour for your Buyers.

        8. Schedule an Open House

        No listings? Ask an agent with a listing if you can hold an Open House for them. Once you have it scheduled in the MLS make sure you post it on social media. Also, invite the neighbors to your Open House. Maybe they know someone who would love to live in their neighborhood. Ask them!

        9. Write a blog post

        If writing is your thing, write a blog post. Don’t have a blog? Ask a real estate blogger if you can write a guest post on their blog.

        10. Subscribe and listen to our podcast

          For more tips and education about your real estate career, subscribe to our podcast “Discover Your Real Estate Career”

          Implement some of these ideas to stay focused on your business on those rainy days when you’d rather stay in bed and watch Netflix.

          Joe Lins

          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services, training and coaching we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Contact Your SOI

          The holiday season is the most wonderful time of year for real estate agents to contact their Sphere of Influence (SOI).

          Real estate agents should call their SOI because it can be an effective way to generate leads and build their business. The term SOI refers to the network of people that an agent has a personal relationship with, including friends, family, former clients, and other professionals in their industry. These individuals can be a valuable source of referrals for the agent, as they are more likely to trust and recommend the agent to their own network of contacts.

          At Century 21 Discovery, we teach our agents to regularly reach out to their SOI because it helps them stay top of mind and build stronger relationships with these individuals. Often, an agent will comment that they don’t know what to say when they make the call. Well, right now is the perfect time of year to reach out to your SOI because you have a good reason. Call to wish them a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday. Who wouldn’t love to receive a call like that! Continue the conversation by asking about their family, holiday plans or plans for 2023. Keep notes about the conversation to refer back to the next time you call them. Which should be regularly.

          If real estate is a new career for you, this is the ideal opportunity to let them know. It can open the door to a good conversation about the market because everybody has an opinion about real estate.

          When you make the call be ready to answer questions about the real estate market, interest rates or homes for sale in their area. Be prepared! Staying in touch with your SOI can help you stay informed about potential real estate opportunities, as these individuals may be aware of upcoming listings or sales in the area.

          These calls are ideal for staying in touch and if done consistently, can lead to more referrals, which can help grow your business and increase your income. Make time during the busy holiday season for these calls. Plus, getting used to making these calls will give you more confidence for the next time you pick up the phone.

          Photo of Suzy Lins
          About the author: Suzy Lins is the Communications Director for CENTURY 21 Discovery and a Business Etiquette Consultant. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

          What is Title Insurance and Why do I need it?

          By Joe Lins

          August 11, 2021

          I sat down with Collin Frangie of Ticor Title to talk about title insurance and why we need it in this latest episode of our podcast. Here is a partial transcript of our podcast. For the full podcast see the link below.

          Joe Lins of Century 21 Discovery and Collin Frangie of Ticor Title talking during the podcast recording.

          What is Property Title Insurance?

          A Property Title is similar to a record of ownership with a vehicle. When you purchase a car, there’s a history of who owned it. The DMV keeps that title record. Property title is very similar. It’s a record of ownership of the home, which is kept at the county recorder’s office where your home is located. Title insurance companies insure that the person who owns the home has the legal right to ownership of the home.

          What is a Title Search?

          A Title Search is a search to see who actually owns the home and if there are any loans or liens against the property. Title searches are done by title companies, like Ticor Title. You can do your own title search if you want. You can go down to your county office and look through documents or on microfiche for properties built before 1975.

          How Long Does A Title Search Take?

          A typical search, if everything is digital, meaning the property was built after 1975, is usually one to three days. Now if the property was built prior to that, and it has not changed ownership since then, you’re looking at about a week. The title company has to hire someone to go down and do that microfiche search and compile all those records. Hiring someone to do this takes a little bit more time.

          What about the property that was built in 1935, and it’s sold the 1956. And then it’s sold again in the year 2000. And now it’s getting ready to sell again, and they have to go back to 1935? How does that work? According to Collin, if it has been insured since 1975, they can go back and use that old insurance policy to date and then insure it forward from that date.

          What type of issues can delay a policy and what happens if an issue surfaces?

          One issue that can happen is when there is a private lien holder who has placed a lien against the property. If the title company can’t find the private beneficiary to get the reconveyance showing the loan was paid off it can hold up the title insurance. That is why agents should be getting a preliminary title report as soon as they take the listing so they can see if there are any issues that may come up.

          How Are Costs Determined?

          The cost for title insurance are fees that are filed with the state. They are pre-determined by the title company attorneys and increase about 3% per year with inflation. The fees are tied to the value of the home. The higher the value of the home the more liens that can be placed against it. Which means a bigger title insurance policy will be needed.

          What is a Preliminary Title Report?

          The preliminary title report, or Prelim, pulls the full chain of title for a property title search. Title companies also run the individual’s names to see if there are any judgements against them. It will also show any easements on the property. Everyone who is part of the transaction: Agent, Escrow, Title, Lender, should be reading the Prelim.

          Listen to the full podcast on the link below. If you do you can also learn about an exciting event happening in Collin’s life!

          Ep. 45 | What is Title Insurance and Why do I need it?
          Joe Lins

          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          Why Buyer Letters Are A No-No

          By Stephanie Goedl
          June 11, 2021

          (Transcript of our Podcast Ep. 41)

          Hey, everybody, and welcome back. It’s Stephanie Goedl here. You know, it’s been a few months since we’ve recorded, we decided to take a short break to reevaluate our content and make sure that the education we are providing is relevant for what’s going on today. So, with that, let’s hop right in and jump into buyer letters.

          Most of you are aware of Buyer Letters especially if you’ve been in the business for a long time. One way to really assist buyers in standing out when writing offers and when you’re up against multiple offers has always been to submit a Buyer Letter. However, now, that is kind of a No-No. I want to talk about that today and dive in just for a few minutes and talk about why that is. 

          With everything that’s been going on in our country lately, there’s a lot of talk around discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional. When you dive into Buyer Letters, it’s something to really consider because your sellers sometimes are making a decision that’s based off of those letters, and not necessarily on the terms of the agreement.

          The California Association of Realtors as well as our National Association of Realtors, have taken a stance against Buyer Letters and are really pushing that we should not be submitting those if there’s personal information or photos attached to those offers. To avoid that intentional or usually it’s unintentional bias or discrimination against those buyers.

          Let’s just talk about an example really quick. Fun fact, actually, before we dive into that example, did you know that as of November 2020 there were 22 protected classes in the state of California. Back to my example. When you receive a letter, many times the buyers pour their heart and soul and tells their story as to why they want to purchase the home. Example: “This big backyard is perfect for my children to run around and play and get some fresh air.” Now, if you know that discrimination is not even in your mind, you can look at that and say, Wow, that’s wonderful, these three kids definitely need a place to run and play. I want to go with them. What’s the problem with that? If you are picking that offer, based on the fact that the letter really tugged at your heartstrings as a seller, you can be considered to violate the family status, which is a protected class. Especially when you’re looking at another offer from a single person who has no children.

          You really want to avoid Buyer Letters because they have the potential to create a level of unintentional discrimination. If you’re a buyer’s agent you should avoid submitting those letters on behalf of your buyer. If you’re a listing agent, you want to have that conversation with your seller. And let them know that again, 98% of the time, I would say it’s very unintentional bias. But that being said, it’s still there, whether or not it’s being recognized. Let them know about the possible hiccups that can come with reviewing those offers and highly encourage them to look at the terms only, because this is a business transaction. As a professional REALTOR you need to encourage them to look at just the terms of the offer.

          So how do you have that conversation with your seller? The California Association of Realtors has a great piece that you can actually share with your sellers that goes into this in a little bit more detail. And then get it in writing from them that they will not be accepting Buyer Letters. Also, put that into the MLS and have that conversation with the buyer’s agents on the other side and let them know the seller has decided not review any buyer letters. That keeps it very neutral and everybody in a really safe space. So, with that, I just wanted to pop on and give you a quick update on what has changed in our industry over the last few months. If you have any questions as always, do not hesitate to reach out. Can’t wait to see you on the next episode. Have a great day.

          Listen to the Podcast here:

          Ep.41 | Why Buyer Letters Are A No-No Discover Your Real Estate Career

          Stephanie Goedl

          About the author: Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer and Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide contact us at 714.626.2069 or Careers@C21Discovery.com.

          Communicating With Confidence

          By Joe Lins
          August 12, 2020

          Communicating is crucial in every industry, but in real estate it’s our life line. Every step of a transaction requires communication in some capacity. In this episode of our podcast we sat down with Bill Kurzeja of Professional Success South to learn his tips for communicating with confidence.

          Listen to the podcast here:

           

          Prefer video? Watch the video of the podcast here:

           

          Joe Lins
          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of 
          CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          Build A Database From Scratch

          By Joe Lins
          July 23, 2020

          A database is a fundamental piece of a real estate agent’s toolkit. Creating a database and keeping it current requires diligence on the part of the agent. In this episode of our podcast we discuss how to create a database from scratch. Ticor Title Executive Collin Frangie provides valuable insight and tips on the process.

          Listen to the podcast here:

           

          Prefer video? Watch the video recording of the podcast here:

           

          Joe Lins
          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of 
          CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          Mindset

          By Joe Lins
          July 9, 2020

          The proper mindset is crucial in any business but it’s extremely important in real estate. As sales people, real estate agents deal with rejection almost on a daily basis. Agents have to go out and “pound the pavement” each day to earn a paycheck. Having the right mindset can make or break a career. Right now, we’re in the middle of COVID-19 and a positive mindset will keep you on track, even on the most challenging days.

          This episode of our podcast talks about having that positive mindset as you pivot to the new way of doing business.

           

          Prefer video? Watch the video recording of the podcast here:

          Joe Lins


          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of 
          CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          How to Master Client Relationships in a Virtual World

          By Joe Lins
          June 25, 2020

          Real Estate is all about relationships. Right now, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be a challenge to establish and nurture relationships when our face-to-face meetings are limited. In this episode of our podcast I talk with real estate agent Jacob McCann to learn his tips on how to master client relationships in a virtual world.

           

          Prefer audio? Listen to the podcast here:

           

          Joe Lins

          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          How Do I Buy A Home During COVID-19?

          By Joe Lins
          May 5, 2020

          Serious Buyers are asking “How do I buy a home during COVID-19?” People still need shelter and are looking for a home to buy. Let them know they can go through the home buying process while maintaining physical distancing and safe standards with these steps. These talking points will help you guide your Buyers as they find and purchase a home.

           

           

          Joe Lins

          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

          How do I sell my home during COVID-19?

          By Joe Lins
          April 30, 2020

          What are you telling your Sellers right now about selling their home during COVID-19? I put together these steps a Seller can take to stay safe and healthy as they sell their home during this time. This video provides some important talking points to help guide your seller in the process.

           

          Prefer audio? Here’s a link to the podcast.

           

          Joe Lins

          About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide contact Joe at 714.626.2069.