Real Estate Careers

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 Real Estate Agents Work Virtually During COVID-19?

By Joe Lins
April 21, 2020

Are you curious how a top real estate agent works virtually during COVID-19? I had a Zoom chat with CENTURY 21 Discovery top agent Ismael Chavez about how he’s conducting his business, what tools he’s using and the advice he’s giving his Buyers and Sellers right now. He shared some great advice and words of wisdom for other agents. Give it a listen.

 

Picture of Joe Lins and Ismael Chavez

 

To listen to the full podcast click on the link below.

 

Prefer video? We’ve included a link to the video of the podcast too.

 

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.

Tools For Real Estate Agents To Work Virtually

By Suzy Lins
March 30, 2020

Most everyone is working from home at this point due to the Coronavirus, but with real estate you still need to talk to and interact with people. How exactly do you do that, especially if you’ve never done it before? Here are specific tools you can use to work virtually and keep your real estate career on track as you work from home.

Meet with clients virtually
Meeting “virtually” with your clients means to interact with them via apps and software that allow you to see each other and have conversations as if you were there in person. Here are a few different ways you can meet with your clients without leaving your house:

Video Conference Apps
These apps are perfect if you want to have a face-to-face conversation with a client or prospect.

  • FaceTime – This is an Apple app and only available on their devices. It comes pre-installed on your iPhone and iPad so it’s already at your fingertips.
  • WhatsApp – This is a messaging app that also supports voice and video calls. It’s available for Apple and Android devices in the App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Skype – This is a video calling platform available for Apple and Android devices. This platform requires the user to log in. This is a great option for computers and tablets.

Find out what kind of phone your client has to determine which app to use. Get familiar with more than one of these video conferencing apps so you’re ready for any scenario.

Video Conferencing Software/Apps
These platforms are an easy way to do a virtual property tour or hold a virtual open house. You log into a website and create a virtual meeting with your client. Once you send them a link, you both appear on the screen and are able to talk as if you were in person. To do this, both users need to have cameras on their computers.  Here are some of the most popular:

  • ZOOM – This is the one that we use and have had great results with our virtual meetings and agent training. There’s a free version that allows up to 40 minutes of video conferencing. Paid versions start at $14.99 per month. For personal meetings the free version should be sufficient. Find it here at Zoom.us.
  • GoToMeeting – This is another platform for video conferencing. There’s a 14-Day Free Trial and the paid versions start at $12 per month. Check it out at GoToMeeting.com
  • Google Hangouts – For this option, it’s easiest if everyone has a Google account. If someone doesn’t have an account, then the inviter or another invitee needs to have a G Suite Account in order for everyone to participate.

Show properties virtually
Once you have a chance to talk to your clients or prospects face-to-face you’re going to need some way to show them properties. By using one of the virtual conference software programs I mentioned above, you can share your screen to show them a virtual tour (video) or photos of the listing. They can ask questions and you can interact with them via the camera on your computer.

Virtual Showings
Select a day and time to meet “virtually” with your client and send them a link to the video conference. Have the property photos and virtual tours of the properties ready to go on your desktop. Share your desktop with them and give them a tour of the home with the photos and virtual tour.

Virtual Open Houses
Publicize the day and time you will be holding the virtual Open House and have guests request the video conference link. This gives you some control over who is coming and going at your Open House. If you decide to post the link publicly, take precautions to eliminate Zoom-Bombers coming to your Open House. A Zoom Bomber gets the public link to the meeting and once in the meeting wreaks havoc or displays inappropriate pictures on the screen. Don’t worry, there are several ways to prevents this from happening. Here are some reminders to keep those party crashers out.

During the Open House show the photos and video of the listing and answer any questions visitors may have. Depending on the length of the Open House, you’ll probably have to run the video tour and photo slideshow over and over again depending on how many people attend and when they pop in.

Video Conferencing Tips:

  • Set up your video conference in a room that has a distraction-free background.
  • Make sure the room is well-lit and that the lighting is not behind you. Back lighting will make your face difficult for them to see.
  • You’ll be on camera so make sure you’re dressed properly.
  • Look into the camera when you are talking to them instead of looking at their face on the screen.

I recommend that you practice using these apps and tools with a family member or friend before you use them with a client. A couple of practice runs and you’ll be open for virtual business.

 

About the author: Suzy Lins is the Communications Director for CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

5 Things Real Estate Agents Can Do Working From Home

By Joe Lins
March 24, 2020

Are you quarantined due to COVID-19? If so, there’s some things you should be doing for your real estate business to stay on track. First, don’t be watching the news 24/7, it’ll drive you crazy. Here’s 5 things you can do working from home during this period of time that you are quarantined or self-isolating.

#1 – Get on your phone and call your clients.
Call your sphere of influence (SOI), call your past clients, call your prospects. Check in with them and see how they’re doing. Everybody likes that kind of a phone call: “Hey, how’s it going….”

#2 – Update your Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
Whatever CRM that happens to be, you need to be updating it on a regular basis. Our agents have access to a great one on 21Online called Business Builder. Everyone asks, “What’s a good CRM?” Well, it’s the one you actually use. Find one and use it.

#3 Update your Listing Presentation.
How does your current listing presentation look? Make sure it’s ready to go when you get a call to go on a listing appointment. Update it and make it unique to you and the value you provide your sellers.

#4 Set up an email campaign.
A wonderful tool for email campaigns that our CENTURY 21 Discovery agents have access to is also in Business Builder. Set it up, get a campaign going where you don’t have to do anything and every couple of weeks something is going out. This will help you stay top of mind with your clients who are also quarantined or self-isolating. Tip: Copy yourself on the campaign so you can see what it looks like when it goes out.

#5 Clean up your emails.
Go through your emails and unsubscribe from all the bright shiny objects someone is trying to sell you. Unsubscribe and clean it up so you’re not getting 250 emails a day.

There’s a lot of things you can be doing when you are forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 situation. Stay focused on your business during this time so you can come out on the other side of this stronger and ready to go.

For now, wash your hands, stay healthy and Charge On!

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 We Love Real Estate

By Joe Lins and Stephanie Goedl
February 12, 2020

In honor of Valentine’s Day and the month of Love, we talk about why we LOVE real estate in our latest podcast episode. We share the day to day things that make us love this business as well as the special things like handing a first-time home buyer keys to their new home.

We encourage you to figure out what you love about what you’re doing, real estate related or not. If you’re looking to fall more in love with real estate, give us a call and we’d be more than happy to help you find your passion.

Listen to the full podcast here:

 

Joe Lins

 

 

 

 

About the authors: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. Stephanie Goedl is Broker, Chief Operating Officer 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.

Stephanie Goedl

How To Find Sellers

By Joe Lins
September 26, 2019

Today we are talking about how to find sellers. There’s a ton of opportunity to be had in regard to sellers. But where do you find them?

If you’re paying attention, there are many signals that can indicate a home is getting ready to be sold. This information is available as a public record or you can use services to help you mine the data for the information you need.

It requires awareness of the neighborhood and the desire to assist the seller achieve their desired outcome.

This latest episode of our podcast covers what you should be paying attention to in order to get listings.

Listen to the full podcast here:

Joe Lins Author


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.

Don’t Forget The Homeowners Insurance

By Stephanie Goedl
June 26, 2019

Don’t Forget The Insurance

Have you ever had a real estate transaction that was held up until the buyer could obtain homeowners insurance? In this episode of our podcast insurance agent Michael Williams of Williams Insurance discusses the importance of starting the insurance process early and situations of fire-risk, flood insurance and past claims that could hold up the transaction.

Why Order The Policy Early?

Homeowners insurance is such a big piece of owning a home but it’s usually one of those last-minute items buyers think of in the home buying process. It really shouldn’t be. Michael suggests that once you open up escrow the buyer should contact their insurance agent. It’s not that hard to get an initial quote even before escrow or the lender start requesting information. One of the main reasons to start the process early is due to the fire exposures in our state. Unfortunately, the wildfires have been tremendous and Michael explained that they are reshaping how the industry works. He said that people are going to be very shocked to see their premiums change and a lot of non-renewals. Houses that you wouldn’t think are fire-risk are going to have a much more difficult time getting coverage.

Fire-Risk

I was in Sacramento recently for the annual California Association of Realtors conference and this was a hot topic. Fire-risk on properties is impacting the housing affordability. I asked Michael about the how the insurance industry is dealing with this. He explained that there is a system called “Fireline” that assesses the “score” of the house and the likelihood of exposure to a wildfire. That number combined with a special hazard square that they come up with determines whether a carrier wants to write a policy for a house in that area. The mapping for that is changing and also the acceptable scores are changing. Michael said carriers used to be much more lenient than they are now. Houses that you wouldn’t think have a brush exposure are getting denied.

There are a number of things that come into play when a home or area is “scored” through this system. They look at road access, utility quality, the wind and a number of different things that go into deciding whether it’s acceptable. Michael told us about a program the state runs called Fair Plan and how the insurance carriers partner with this government fund for hard-to-place risks. It can be a lot more expensive, on average a 25% increase over what most people expect their premiums to be. They will take higher risk properties but it’s more complicated and there are multiple layers of the policy.

Here’s a scenario that happens more often than you think and it is the exact reason you should encourage your buyers to start the insurance process early:

You’re nearing the close of escrow, the lender is requesting proof of homeowner’s insurance, you’ve removed contingencies and the buyer learns that the property is in what the insurer considers a high-risk area. Two things could derail this transaction – 1) The policy is more expensive than they can afford or 2) The property is uninsurable. What do you do now?

Flood Insurance

Another thing to consider is if the property is going to need flood insurance. Michael explained that they are re-mapping the flood zones which means that flood insurance is another policy that could be required by the lender. Homes that have not been required in the past to get flood insurance are now needing it. He reminded us that this requirement will be an additional cost to the buyer, so it‘s in everyone’s best interest to call the insurance agent as soon as possible to avoid surprises at the close of escrow.

Past Claims

Michael explained that insurance companies also look at “claims history” on the property. The claims history of the property made by the prior owner could affect the eligibility and rate for the buyer. Not all carriers have that stipulation but a number of them do. Another thing to keep in mind is the claims the buyer has had at their current property could actually follow them to the new property they are purchasing. This could also affect the rate and insurability of the property.

We hope this information will help you guide your buyers as they start the homebuying process. You don’t want to hold up an escrow with something that could have been avoided with a little bit of forewarning. Knowing these potential hold ups will allow you to get your buyer on the right track from the start.

Listen to the show to discover more about the insurance process for homebuyers.

 

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.

 

Michael Williams is the president of Williams Insurance in Fullerton, California. They have been around since 1941. They are a Property and Casualty Agency that handles home, auto and umbrella policies as well as commercial, health and life insurance. You can reach Michael at 714-526-5588 or mwilliams@williamsinsurance.com.

Stay out of the Realtor Doghouse

By Stephanie Goedl
June 5, 2019

One of my goals as a Broker/Owner of a real estate company is to have our agents be the most professional and ethical Realtors in the business. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Pacific West Association of Realtors and there are some issues and common themes that are coming across our violations desk. Some of these issues include “Coming Soon” signs without the proper exclusionary forms filed with the MLS and another is improper outdoor signage. It drives me crazy because these violations are completely avoidable if you know the rules.  In this episode of our podcast I discuss how to avoid these and other violations to stay out of the “Realtor Doghouse”.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

 

 

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.

Day In The Life Of A Successful Realtor

By Stephanie Goedl
April 25, 2019

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of our top agents about what a day in her life looks like. This was a great conversation with Shonnie Jones of Jones Team Real Estate and she gave some valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful Realtor.

Listen to our podcast to learn how a successful agent spends their day.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

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.

Are You Trained & In Shape For 2019?

By Stephanie Goedl and Joe Lins
January 15, 2019

To succeed in real estate you need to continually work on your presentation skills, negotiating skills and be up to date on the current industry forms. In this episode of our podcast, Stephanie Goedl and Joe Lins discuss the importance of training in your real estate career.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

About the authors: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer 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.

Stephanie GoedlJoe Lins