Posts Tagged ‘Real estate broker’

Curb Appeal is a Must!

downloadIf your home has curb appeal, you’ll be able to sell it quickly and for top dollar. That’s why REALTORS® rate exterior home remodeling projects as the most valuable homeowners can make.

Many homeowners are confused about which projects will provide the most return on investment as they prepare their homes for the market.

The 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, co-sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine, outlines the costs and resale returns on the most popular home improvement projects.

Realtors know which home features are important to buyers in their area. Projects such as a new entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale.

So why remodel anything if it’s not going to give you back 100%? It’s because the first impression a homebuyer gets is priceless. You want the buyer to choose your home, and quit looking for something better.

If the buyer doesn’t like what he sees, you won’t get another chance to make any kind of impression.

So which home improvement projects will net the most return?

Eight of the top 10 most cost-effective projects are exterior projects.

Replacing your front door with a steel entry will cost $1,100 on average, but you’ll get nearly 97% of what you spent back in your pocket.

The second most popular improvement is a wood deck addition, which will return over 87 percent of costs, similar to the return on fiber-cement siding. Vinyl siding returns a little over 78 percent of costs.

A midrange garage door replacement returns nearly 84 percent while an upscale garage door replacement offers 82.9 percent of costs recouped. Wood window replacements recoup over 79% of costs and vinyl windows return nearly as much.

Rounding the top 10 projects are an attic bedroom and minor kitchen remodel. These are important too, but you’ve got to pique buyers’ interest first.

The good news is that the return for all projects is higher in the last two years. To find out what the best return on home improvements is in your area, talk with your REALTOR.

Written by Blanche Evans

RE/MAX Myth Buster

Nicki ThompsonA Colorado top producer discovers that rumors don’t match the reality of RE/MAX

By Keith Miller

Nicki Thompson sums up her decision to join RE/MAX with one word: harmony. “I’ve found harmony in my life at RE/MAX,” says the top-producing agent with RE/MAX Alliance in Arvada, Colo., near Denver.

“I’m in a very good place. I’m content, but never complacent.”

A former Coldwell Banker agent, Thompson says her career has blossomed since joining RE/MAX in 2008. Last year, she reached Platinum Club status after two years in the 100 Percent Club.

At the same time, she has more time to spend with her family and get involved in the community. Thompson is an active member of her local chamber of commerce and has chaired the Arvada Young Professionals group. She’s even found more time for her favorite activities: swimming, competing in triathlons and having fun with her three children.

It wasn’t always this way. At Coldwell Banker for six years, Thompson began feeling like she had reached her peak. She worked long hours, and although she was a top producer in her office, she felt constrained.

“I was a big fish in a little pond,” Thompson says. “I reached a place in my career where I wanted to be challenged.”

Thompson often sat across from RE/MAX agents at the closing table. They appeared happy and very productive. She began considering RE/MAX herself. Then the voices of doubt would come, as she recalled the cautionary tales she heard around the office: “RE/MAX doesn’t offer any support,” “You’re on your own at RE/MAX,” and “So long to education.”

So what ultimately tipped the scales? How did Thompson know RE/MAX was the right choice?

She researched and ultimately debunked the RE/MAX myths.

myth 1

There’s no education.

nicki busted

After she made the switch, Thompson discovered a world of education. She regularly takes advantage of RE/MAX University programming and earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation right after joining the network.

“The reality turned out to be much different than what I had thought,” she says. “The amount of available education was one of the biggest surprises for me.”

myth 2

You’ll be on your own.

nicki busted“My concern that I was leaving a family atmosphere and would be by myself ended up being completely unwarranted,” she says. “Once I joined RE/MAX, I was amazed at the support and culture of teamwork and mentorship.”

Now, as a more experienced agent, Thompson thoroughly enjoys sharing her own wisdom with others.

“It’s not just a receiving relationship; you have to give as well,” she says. “I know numbers and analytics, and enjoy sharing that expertise. It creates a very collaborative and empowering work environment for everyone.”

myth 3

The fees are prohibitive.

nicki bustedThis myth was crushed with a spreadsheet. As a numbers and statistics enthusiast, Thompson tallied her potential income with RE/MAX and saw the stark difference for herself.

“This one was easy,” she says. “The numbers made sense from the get-go. It was overcoming the other concerns that initially made me more hesitant to change.”

myth 4

There will be no time for yourself.

bustedWhen Thompson worked with RE/MAX agents at closings, she got the sense this was far from true. Her RE/MAX Broker/Manager, Phil Shell, made a statement that ultimately tipped the scales for her to join.

He told her, “Don’t let your business run you; you run your business.”

With RE/MAX, Thompson found the work-life balance she was looking for.

“When I walk in the house, my phone is off and my attention is on my family,” she says. “I’m able to leave my business at the office.”

MORE GOOD MOVES

These experienced Associates can definitely relate to Nicki Thompson’s journey. Here’s why they recently joined RE/MAX.

I wanted to be part of a highly recognizable, global brand with a local presence. The office I joined is centrally located in an up-and-coming resort town, and the brand presence of RE/MAX provides a huge advantage. My Broker/Owners and the office staff provide everything I need to be more effective.

– MARY BETH BUCKLES, RE/MAX SIGNATURE SERVICES, DANA POINT, CALIF. (JOINED 2013)

The RE/MAX brand is powerful. There’s a sense of pride and name recognition that was absent when I worked for smaller companies. After 20 years in real estate, I was very confident in my knowledge, but I’ve been blown away by all that I’ve learned through RE/MAX courses and education – and particularly how much is offered through RE/MAX University.

– DARLIN GUTTERIDGE, RE/MAX MOSAIC PROPERTIES, GILBERT, ARIZ. (JOINED 2012)

I’ve been very impressed with the strategic, administrative and transactional support. I’ve also been surprised by the corporate support. In one instance, I called asking for materials for The RE/MAX Collection. They delivered a package the next day, and I was able to use everything in a presentation. I ended up getting the listing. I should have joined RE/MAX sooner!

– NATALIE VIZIR, RE/MAX SIGNATURE SERVICES, DANA POINT, CALIF. (JOINED 2013)

My Broker/Owner’s marketing expertise and real estate knowledge are incredible assets. I love that I can truly be an independent contractor in charge of my own destiny and success. I can achieve this with the support and opportunities for growth through REMAX University and Mainstreet. The RE/MAX Design Center gives me countless ways to make my listings stand out and wow clients. There’s no other real estate company that offers anything close.

– NANCY BENARD, RE/MAX ULTIMATE PROFESSIONALS, SHOREWOOD, ILL. (JOINED 2012)

We wanted to take full advantage of the recovering market and evaluated several companies. By joining RE/MAX, we affiliated with the strongest horse in the race. RE/MAX has proven to be the most powerful and easily recognizable brand in real estate – and the most dominant in our local market. When we told our clients about our move to RE/MAX, they were very pleased, and liked knowing how much more exposure their listings would receive.

– GERRY FRASER AND GEORGE PATRIDGE, RE/MAX KELOWNA, KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (JOINED 2013)

Can A Monkey Sell Real Estate?

By Anthony James

Recently, I heard a local REALTOR® make this statement over the radio: “Even a monkey could sell real estate in this market.” As a professional in the industry with over 11 years of experience, I get it. I understand the message this REALTOR® was trying to convey: The market is hot and homes are selling quickly. However, I don’t think a monkey could do our job.

Surviving the downturn of the local California real estate market and pressing forward in my career has helped me understand the true meaning of being a broker/manager. When the game changed in 2007, many REALTORS® were left to either sink or swim. This was the defining moment in a REALTOR®’s career. During this time, the monkeys were definitely scratching their heads and eating bananas while the real professionals rose to the challenge and figured out a way to claw through one of the toughest real estate markets our nation had ever seen.

And don’t just take my word for it, let the numbers speak for themselves: According to the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the amount of people entering our industry has substantially slowed. In 2007, California issued about 44,000 salesperson licenses—a relatively high number—but only 11,434 salesperson licenses were issued in 2012.  If the business of selling homes could be taken care of by a monkey, why is this number dropping at such an alarming rate? Wouldn’t everyone want to get in on the act?

Further, the misconceptions about our industry happen in mainstream media too. The  lives of typical REALTORS® are hardly as glamorous as they seem on reality TV shows like “Million Dollar Listing.” The average real estate agent is earning less than $38,000 per year and it makes my stomach turn to see our industry misrepresented on television. The truth is, we work long and hard for our money and sometimes go weeks without a paycheck. Let’s recognize the reality and not attempt to minimize the importance of our role and what we do as professionals.

But the other issue I take with the “monkey” statement has to do with its source. As a community of REALTORS®, we must always be aware of what we are saying and how we are portraying ourselves to the public. Making a statement that a monkey could do our jobs gives off the worst possible perception of how valuable we really are to our clients. I can assure you that no monkey would be able to complete the hundreds of short sales and REO transactions I’ve been involved with in the past 11 years. If I would’ve asked a monkey to help me figure out how to close the 10-month short sale with delinquent taxes, liens, HOA dues, back child support, a seller who left the country, property damage, and three loans at three different banks, I know the monkey would have no answer.

Today, I want to challenge us to rise up as a community of young professionals and be extremely aware of the statements we put into our markets and give to local media. As the tide turns and the market continues its recovery, please press forward with a level of character, dignity, and integrity that shows our clients how essential we are to the success of their real estate needs. Our jobs are challenging enough and the last thing we need is to be compared to an animal by one of our own. Rest assured, this ain’t no monkey business—and you can quote me on that!

Anthony James is a Broker Associate and Regional Manager at RE/MAX Gold in Northern California.  He’s been a REALTOR® for over 11 years and now helps hire and train agents for the 21 offices he manages.  Connect with James at www.facebook.com/SacHomeMarket or ajames@remax.net.