Safe Travels: A Guide for Real Estate Professionals on the Road

1000 500 Sam Radbil

For real estate professionals, every day is an adventure. From meeting new clients to exploring properties, the life of a real estate agent involves a significant amount of travel. Whether you’re driving across town or embarking on a road trip to visit multiple properties, safety should always be a top priority. In this guide, we’ll explore some essential tips to ensure safe travels for real estate professionals on the road. For more information, on the safest places for driving which could be helpful to review, check out Checkr’s new report.

1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

man driving a car wearing wrist watch

Before hitting the road, take some time to plan your route. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the properties you’ll be visiting and map out the most efficient way to get there. Consider factors such as traffic patterns, road closures, and construction zones that could affect your journey. Planning ahead can help you avoid unnecessary delays and ensure a smoother driving experience.

2. Allow for Extra Time

In the world of real estate, time is of the essence. However, rushing from one appointment to the next can increase the risk of accidents. Allow yourself plenty of extra time to reach your destination, taking into account potential delays such as heavy traffic or inclement weather. Arriving early not only reduces stress but also gives you time to gather your thoughts and prepare for meetings with clients.

3. Stay Focused

person riding on vehicle

It’s easy to get distracted while driving, especially when you’re juggling multiple tasks such as navigating, making phone calls, or checking emails. However, distractions significantly increase the likelihood of accidents. Stay focused on the road at all times, and avoid using your phone or other electronic devices while driving. If you need to make a call or send a message, pull over to a safe location first.

4. Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is a skill that every real estate professional should master. Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate the actions of other drivers, and always be prepared to react quickly to unexpected situations. Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, and avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding or weaving in and out of traffic.

5. Take Regular Breaks

Driving for long periods can be physically and mentally exhausting. To stay alert and focused on the road, be sure to take regular breaks during your journey. Stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch your legs, grab a snack, and rehydrate. If you start to feel tired or drowsy, pull over and take a short nap before continuing your drive.

6. Keep Your Vehicle Well-Maintained

man driving vehicle with GPS system turned on

A well-maintained vehicle is essential for safe travels. Before setting out on a trip, perform a thorough inspection of your car to ensure that everything is in working order. Check the tires, brakes, lights, and fluid levels, and address any issues promptly. Regular maintenance not only reduces the risk of breakdowns but also enhances the safety and reliability of your vehicle.

7. Be Prepared for Emergencies

Even with the best planning and preparation, emergencies can still occur on the road. Make sure you’re equipped with essential items such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and a spare tire. Keep important contact numbers, such as roadside assistance and emergency services, readily available. Being prepared for emergencies can help you stay calm and handle unexpected situations effectively.

In conclusion, safe travels are paramount for real estate professionals on the road. By following these tips and prioritizing safety, you can navigate your way to success while minimizing risks and ensuring a smooth journey for both you and your clients. Remember, arriving safely is the first step towards closing deals and building lasting relationships in the world of real estate.

The Evolution of Real Estate Jobs in the Age of AI: Adapting to the Future

1000 500 Taylor Witt

In the realm of real estate, the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is heralding a paradigm shift, fundamentally altering the landscape of jobs within the industry. From property valuation to customer service and marketing, AI technologies are reshaping traditional roles and processes, paving the way for a more efficient and dynamic future. As we navigate this transformative era, it’s crucial to understand how AI is impacting real estate jobs and what the future holds for professionals in the field.

selective photo of gray key with heart key chain

  1. Automating Routine Tasks: One of the most significant impacts of AI on real estate jobs is the automation of routine tasks. Tasks such as data entry, paperwork processing, and scheduling appointments can now be handled swiftly and accurately by AI-driven systems. As a result, administrative roles within real estate agencies are evolving, with professionals shifting their focus from mundane tasks to more strategic endeavors. While some may fear job displacement, the reality is that automation liberates real estate professionals to concentrate on value-added activities such as client engagement, market analysis, and negotiation.
  2. Augmenting Decision-Making Processes: AI is augmenting decision-making processes in real estate by providing data-driven insights and predictive analytics. Real estate agents and analysts can leverage AI algorithms to assess market trends, predict property values, and identify investment opportunities with greater precision. However, this doesn’t mean that AI will replace human judgment entirely. Instead, it serves as a powerful tool for informed decision-making, empowering professionals to make strategic choices backed by data-driven intelligence.
  3. Transforming Customer Service: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are revolutionizing customer service in the real estate industry. These intelligent systems can engage with clients, answer inquiries, and provide personalized recommendations round the clock. While some may view this as a threat to traditional customer service roles, the reality is that AI augments rather than replaces human interaction. Real estate professionals can utilize AI to enhance customer experiences, streamline communication, and build stronger client relationships.
  4. Creating New Job Opportunities: Despite concerns about job displacement, AI is also creating new job opportunities within the real estate sector. Roles such as AI specialists, data analysts, and automation engineers are in high demand as organizations seek to leverage AI technologies effectively. Moreover, AI-driven innovations are giving rise to new business models and services, opening doors for entrepreneurs and startups to disrupt the industry with innovative solutions. As AI continues to evolve, so too will the demand for skilled professionals who can harness its potential to drive innovation and growth.

Looking ahead, the future of real estate jobs in the AI era is both promising and challenging. And according to a new study by AI experts, managers across all industries are excited about AI usage and the potential to save some money by replacing employees with the tools — something that real estate agents could likely benefit from.

Real estate agent woman analyzing real estate investment data on wooden table.

While AI technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and innovation, they also present certain challenges that must be addressed. One such challenge is the need for upskilling and reskilling of the existing workforce to adapt to the evolving demands of AI-driven roles. Real estate professionals must embrace lifelong learning and stay abreast of technological advancements to remain relevant in the digital age.

Furthermore, there is a growing emphasis on ethical considerations and transparency in AI-powered decision-making processes. Real estate professionals must ensure that AI algorithms are fair, unbiased, and accountable, especially in areas such as property valuation and lending decisions. By prioritizing ethics and responsible AI governance, the real estate industry can build trust with clients and stakeholders, fostering sustainable growth and innovation.

In conclusion, the impact of AI on real estate jobs is multifaceted, encompassing automation, augmentation, and the creation of new opportunities. As we navigate this transformative journey, it’s essential for younger real estate professionals to embrace AI as an enabler of innovation and efficiency rather than a threat to job security. By leveraging AI technologies responsibly and proactively adapting to changing roles and skill requirements, the real estate industry can thrive in the AI-driven future.

coworking for realtors

Coworking Options & Tips for Real Estate Professionals

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Many entrepreneurs and startups begin at home, especially Realtors and agents in our industry. But major issues are developing when it comes to at-home work — isolation and a lack of self-care are limiting productivity in certain instances. Some new research by Shinesty has even proven that many at-home workers are spending full days in their underwear or even working naked (absolutely crazy, right?).

So that’s why Coworking is a great alternative for entrepreneurs and real estate agents wanting to get out of their home office, their local Starbucks, or the local library to avoid those isolation issues mentioned above. 

With a coworking office space for rent, you’re free to get your business out of your home and into your first professional address with minimal risks. Think about it: if you’re writing awesome real estate blogs from your home and you’re getting clients to respond, you need a space to bring them in for meetings, right?

There’s more. If you thought that having your own professional office space would be difficult and expensive, think again! With help from services like My Perfect Workplace, you are bound to secure the perfect office space for rent in no time!

Here are 3 pros and 3 cons to consider:

Space You Can Afford

Two coworkers collaborating sitting on chairs holding a Surface laptop with Christmas decorations in the background

One of the biggest benefits to securing a coworking office space for your real estate operation is the affordability. While many conventional office spaces are priced per square foot, coworking spaces tend to be priced at fixed rates with the possibility of discounts depending on the season, vacancy rates, and securing multiple spaces. What’s more, most coworking offices only require a small deposit, first month’s rent, and allow short-term leases. Most coworking offices offer single offices, larger suites, and single desks. Whatever your budget and requirement, your own professional office space is feasible!

Are You Qualified?

Many professionals will tell you that the qualification process for a traditional office space for rent is not easy. You’ll need to get your financial statements, credit, and business history in line before applying to lease an office. Coworking offices on the other hand, omit background checks, credit checks, and financial history. This is especially useful for new business ventures who lack all of the above. The application process is usually simple, only requiring a current bank account to take monthly rent payments and one person to be named the official lessee. 

Focus On The Things That Matter

two men laughing white sitting on chairs

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of a coworking space for rent is the all-inclusive packages and amenities offered at most facilities. You may be thinking, “I qualify for a space within my budget, now what?” Now you relax and focus on growing your business! Most new coworking spaces are plug-and-play and are be delivered fully furnished with a desk, executive chair, and a guest’s chair so you ditch the hassle of purchasing new furniture or moving in your own. Office supplies, internet, telephones, and other utility costs will be included in your monthly rate, so you won’t have to worry about budgeting for those items. Don’t forget about common areas like a lounge, kitchen, and reception area. Most offices are stocked with snacks, coffee and tea, and a receptionist – all included in your rate to support your business!

Places like San Francisco or Los Angeles, are very popular for coworking offices and offer world-class amenities like gym memberships, gourmet catering, and leisure activities included in your monthly rent!

Not All Office Space for Rent is Created Equal

people sitting on chair

Perhaps not all coworking office space for rent is created equal and demands a thorough consideration of all possible mishaps. One of the cons of securing a coworking office is that it is generally within a shared space. While your office may be private, you share the floor with tens of other tenants/businesses. This may be an issue for some sectors who require a high level of confidentiality, professionals who thrive when the least distractions are present, or teams who meet or receive visitors regularly. Shared space means noise, scheduling and space restrictions beyond your control. 

Planning Ahead Means Really Planning Ahead

A growing business is usually a good sign of success! But we know by know, in 2021, that keeping employees of all ages engaged, satisfied and happy, just like we learned from a brand new survey, regardless of where they work is hugely important. When operating out of a coworking space for rent, it may cause some concerns. Depending on your facility, securing one, two, or three contiguous office spaces for your team may be possible depending on availability.

However, being that most other tenants on the floor operate on different length lease terms, it may not be possible to get that large corner office that would be perfect for your growing team or the small office next door for your new assistant. The burden of keeping up to date with vacancies and availabilities will likely depend on your relationship with the property manager, your resilience in finding opportunities and accurate business projections.

Not Suitable for Everyone

Coworking office space for rent is perfect for various types of industries and professionals (most of you reading this are in the real estate industry which is PERFECT for coworking options) but there is a definite and exclusive requirement for membership.

These offices are meant mostly for administrative and non-invasive type businesses that unfortunately omit a lot of sectors. These facilities usually have only gendered bathrooms located centrally on the floor and don’t meet specific health requirements demanded by some types of businesses. Medical professionals, for instance, are often disqualified from applying for an office being that facilities cannot cater to services like special waste management or running water individually in offices. Some tech professionals that require a large amount of data management find that the bandwidth offered in their coworking office space for rent is not suitable. Other businesses may demand ceiling height requirements or especially accessible hallways and doors.

Whatever your requirements or qualifications are, there is surely a coworking office space for rent for you in your city! Take your business out of your home and into a professional work environment!

why real estate agents fail

9 Tips to Put Your Realtor Career Back on Track

1000 500 Taylor Witt

If you’re a successful MN Realtor, you may not often ask why real estate agents fail. If your career has stalled, however, check out these nine tips to help you get back on track.

Don’t Get Complacent

Failing Realtor Easy Job

First, we have to warn you to be aware of how your market works. Did you know that 93 percent of real estate deals are done by on seven percent of your colleagues? In other words, you may be one of the large group of agents that are fighting for seven percent of the business. Don’t ever think that times are so good that you will always have enough business, because a bad economy can knock you down in a hurry. To be better positioned for a downturn, and to help you be the best you can be, follow these guidelines:

Back to Basics

You don’t have a “normal” job — you have a lifestyle. While a new study from GoodHire showed that Real Estate pros might be most unhappy with their bosses, we urge you to remember, you are kind of like your own boss when it comes to real estate and selling roles.

You have to learn how to use the best productivity apps to get things in motion and carve things out for yourself. Plus, it’s all about you, and if prospective clients don’t like you for any reason, they will go elsewhere. Cultivate and develop your personal brand and realize that it’s your job to make clients happy; while you’re in it for the money, that money will flow faster if you put your clients’ needs first. Treat your clients right and you won’t need to spend your spare time taking paid online surveys for extra bucks.

Remember — this can be one of the greatest careers on earth (just click play below and find out why).

It IS Your Job

So your contract says the clients have to prepare for an open house, and when you get there, you see a mess in the kitchen with a load of dirty dishes. Great Realtors step in and fix the issue without lecturing the client or referring back to the contract. Do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Respect the Big Picture

A string of unclosed deals doesn’t mean you are a failure. If you really want to know why real estate agents fail, one reason is that that they become mired in a few deals that have not closed. Your next listing will turn out better!

You Can’t Cancel

Clients can cancel meetings, but you can’t. Always be where you say you are going to be, and don’t be late. Client-facing time is invaluable, so don’t waste any opportunities.

Don’t Over Promise

A Realtor had a lead on a condo listing. He told the client, “OK, I’ll be there with my maintenance guy and my lead painter. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to get your unit ready for sale.” When the Realtor met the client at the property, the agent was alone, and said, “Sorry, my guys were stuck on another job and couldn’t make it.” No client wants to hear the words, Well, what had happened was…” This Realtor instantly lost his credibility.

Learn How Marketing Works Today

Real Estate Marketing

You can’t just read an AdWords article and expect to be able to do a proper AdWords campaign. Learn what your Facebook page needs to look like in order to be effective. Do you know what social media really consists of? Do you have an up-to-date website? If you move slowly in a fast-paced world, you’ll quickly find out why real estate agents fail.

Be Available

Some clients like to talk by phone. Others prefer email. Some like to text. Some use platforms like Slack to instant message. Can you do all of this stuff correctly and efficiently?

Know Your Market

Real Estate Market Trends

That’s a no-brainer, right? Check this out: You just sold a big suburban home for a wealthy client, but they have a campus-area four-family that they want to get out of. You took the listing, but frankly, you know nothing about that area of town. If you don’t want to be on the list of why real estate agents fail, make sure you do your homework quickly and learn that neighborhood, or you may be a one hit wonder.

All businesses and careers have rough patches. Make sure you can get through bad times by getting back to the basics and ensuring that you are consistent  and well-liked by your clients. And remember, just as good times don’t last forever, a period of slower sales will improve if you are diligent.

5 Tips for New Real Estate Agents

1000 500 Taylor Witt

You finally got your license to work as a real estate agent. For many new agents, they entered the industry due to their love for meeting and interacting with new people. If you are a “people person,” there might not be a better career than an agent.

selective photo of gray key with heart key chain

But, be warned. For most real estate agents, the first two years are the most crucial. Even worse, you might get very little interaction with people…despite that being the reason many new agents enter real estate. The reality is that most new agents struggle to find clients and need to find a way to grow their client list to use their people skills. 

For this reason, new agents should recognize that the first 24 months in the industry can make or break your career because these are the formative stages where you build habits and patterns that you carry on for the rest of your journey as an agent.

Thus, it is vital that you start your journey off on the right foot; many new agents, unfortunately, believe that this career means easy money, but that’s not entirely true. You have to put in the work, so here are some tips for you to kickstart your real estate journey towards financial success.

Don’t Be Afraid to Spend for Leads

As a new real estate agent, you might have plenty of hesitations when it comes to spending any money yet. After all, you are new to the business, and you might not have much money to spend in the first place. Even spending $20 a month is well worth it; you can sign that $10,000/month Zillow contract down the line!

This applies especially when you’re thinking about leads, which are not guaranteed clients or sales. However, as a real estate agent, one of the first things you have to learn is that all leads are essential.

It’s imperative as a new agent that you get as many “reps” as possible talking with potentially interested buyers and sellers. It almost matters less than if the lead turns into paying customers. What does matter is that you learn how to talk with, and add value to, a lead.

In short, take all the leads that come your way and use them to hone your skills as a real estate agent. Spend money, even if it’s just $20 a month, to get that practice in.

Utilize Your Network

Like most starting entrepreneurs, one of the earliest challenges you will have to face is getting clients first. Although it might be tempting to pour all your money into paid advertising (it’s vital for the practice you’ll receive), at this stage, you’re best off focusing on what we like to call your sphere of influence.

Simply put, your sphere of influence is that close network of relationships that you have a degree of influence over. This includes your friends, families, coworkers, and whomever you are in close touch with. Let them know of your new career venture as a real estate agent and that if they are looking to buy or sell at any time, they can contact you.

The main benefit of starting with your sphere of influence is your relationship with them already establishes an initial layer of trust, making it easy to jumpstart your career with them. However, make sure you practice as much as you can with the paid leads!

Cultivate Relationships

As a real estate agent, you should strive to be more than just a middleman between the buyer and the seller. With that in mind, you should realign your mindset towards cultivating relationships as much as you work for sales.

As a real estate agent, you are in constant communication with your clients throughout a prolonged period, and if you want to work your way up towards the ranks of being one of the top agents in your area, you will do well to be known not just by how much homes you sell, but by how trustworthy and reliable you are in the eyes of your clients.

Trustworthy, reliable agents start to get referral clients. Middleman agents do not.

Keep Learning

The journey towards success as a real estate agent is an ongoing one. You don’t stop becoming a student once you receive your license; in fact, real learning only begins once you start communicating with and working for clients.

The industry’s best agents didn’t get to where they are just by increasing the number of their sales. They got there because they constantly worked on their craft, treating every step as a learning process.

Throughout your career, you will hit slumps that will force you to reassess your strategies even though those same strategies have brought you success for years. Most real estate agents fail because they stubbornly stick to the systems they have grown accustomed to, even though those systems no longer brought them the expected success.

On the other hand, the top real estate agents are the ones who consistently reevaluated their approaches and applied whatever new knowledge they gained to their careers. No matter how long they have been in the industry, they are still changing and adapting.

Revenue-Generating Tasks

As a realtor, there is much potential competition for your time. In any one day, agents can be closing new leads, following up with past leads, working with existing clients, communicating with other agents, and the formal paperwork associated with an offer.

All of those tasks are revenue-generating and should be done by you as the agent.

However, there are plenty of daily tasks that can absorb your time that does not generate revenue. Transaction coordination, the dozens of tasks that must be completed between a signed PSA & closing, is one of those non-revenue generating time sucks.

That’s why more and more agents are outsourcing transaction coordination to a company like Close Concierge. That way, agents can instead spend their time with clients instead of spending ~15 hours per transaction on administrative tasks like scheduling inspections and documenting receipt of earnest money.

As a real estate agent, you will find yourself needing to be in multiple places at once, so efficiency is critical. Cultivate a mindset of efficiency, and investing in efficiency, while you’re still starting means building a solid foundation within your business. That way, when your business eventually grows, you won’t find yourself swamped with deadlines from all over the place.

real estate investing

6 Encouraging Reasons to Invest in Real Estate During COVID-19

1000 500 Sam Radbil

While many people think that the stock market has been the only investment game in town during COVID-19, savvy investors are looking for real estate opportunities. While the current set of economic conditions is certainly unique, there are six great reasons to invest in real estate during the pandemic.

red and white UNKs restaurant

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates are at record lows, and buyers with good credit can get a rate below three percent. Rates of six percent or more were not unheard of before the Great Recession that began in 2008, and the difference between a $250,000 loan at six percent and one at three percent is a healthy $400 monthly.

person using MacBook pro

While it’s true that rates for investors may be a bit higher than those for would-be homeowners, the purchase of a duplex is a great way to capitalize on these low rates since a duplex would be owner-occupied and therefore more easily qualify for better loan terms.

The Rental Market is Stable

Top apartment rental site ABODO reported in September, “Last month we said, until there is a therapeutic treatment or a proven COVID-19 vaccine, we’re predicting a stable rental market at best, and that is what we saw in September. There are some hopeful signs that the pandemic is easing in some parts of the country, and the much-anticipated vaccine seems to be moving to fruition. That said, even if the virus disappeared tomorrow, we still see a stable apartment rental market because we just do not foresee things returning to normal for a while.”

red and blue love neon light signage

A stable market means that investors can get the rents they need to cash flow their units. And if you’re prudent and careful as you screen tenants, you can help avoid the perils of the eviction process.

There Are Good Deals Out There

If you live in Austin, TX where Tesla just announced that it is building a new plant, you can forget about finding bargains. We found the following in a recent Boston Globe article, however, and this is beginning to ring true in some areas.

“As sales slump, home prices will fall later this year and early next in the ‘low single digits’’ nationwide, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. The declines may be more pronounced in West Coast markets, which were already overvalued relative to incomes, he said.”

Buyers need to be patient, but anyone that is selling their home during the pandemic probably has to sell it, so discounted properties can be found.

Values are Values – No Matter What

An investor who wants to cash flow $400 per month on a four-family and is able to find the property that makes that happen should pull the trigger regardless of the state of the housing market. If a low-interest rate can be locked in, and if property tax rates look stable, there’s no reason to wait.

The Worst May Be Over

At this writing, it doesn’t look like there will be mass lockdowns again in the U.S. The idea behind the first wave of lockdowns was to flatten the virus’ curve thereby not overwhelming the hospitals. While the site of refrigerated trucks commandeered to hold dead bodies was chilling both literally and figuratively, the health care system has been able to back off from that Armageddon-like scenario, and hospitals seem to be handling their COVID-19 patient load. Even if the pandemic trudges along, the economy may have seen its lows and things may just stay stagnant until a vaccine, therapeutic treatment and/or true herd immunity crowds out the pathogen.

Real Estate is Adapting

Some industries like restaurants, bars and caterers have been severely injured by the pandemic. In fact, the bedrock of many catering operations–the buffet–has been altered, transformed and may no longer be viable as a method to serve food.

The real estate industry, however, has stepped up to their own plate with an array of technological innovations like virtual tours. Landlords, for example, can rent apartments without having to physically show them, and that adds a sense of security to prospective tenants. The real estate industry has found a way to thrive even during this crippling pandemic.

Investing in real estate shouldn’t only be reserved for good times. And as shown above, there are many solid reasons to become a real estate investor even during COVID-19.

How Technology Can Help Improve Your Rental Property Business  

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Regardless of the type of investment property that you are renting, there’s a lot to think about when you are a landlord. Luckily, there are a number of technological advances that are here to help.

Rather than attempting to do everything alone and risking something being missed, you can rely on technology to help streamline things. Here are three of the key ways you can boost your rental property business with the help of modern technology. 

By Going Paperless

There’s no denying that paperwork takes up a lot of space and there’s a fair amount of paperwork that comes with a rental property. Not only do you need to store the hard copies but you also need to find time to file, organize, and locate the paperwork when the time comes.

That’s not including the likelihood of irreplaceable paperwork going missing, something that all landlords dread. This is why a lot of landlords are choosing to go paperless.

There’s also the major benefit that by going paperless and using better real estate software, you immediately reduce the costs that come with paperwork. Don’t forget, the cost of paper and printing ink soon adds up.

You are likely to find that going paperless is a budget-friendly option. There are a number of other benefits that come with going paperless as a rental landlord, for example:

  • There is no need to worry about storing paperwork.
  • There is no need to worry about paperwork becoming accidentally damaged. For example, a leak or fire may occur at any time.
  • When documents are cloud-based, they can be accessed from anywhere.
  • You won’t find yourself faced with hard to read handwriting and illegible applications from tenants.
  • It’s very easy to send paperless documents to tenants. 

By Handling Maintenance Requests Online

As a landlord, you are sure to have a fair amount of tenant maintenance requests to deal with. These can be hard to manage if they are done via telephone or in-person. To avoid forgetting about an important request, everything can be handled online. There are online systems that allow tenants to log maintenance requests with ease, while also allowing you to track and manage them.

As a landlord, it’s a lot easier to prioritize the importance of requests when they are all in an easy to manage the system; urgent ones can be handled first, with others being dealt with a little later.

It’s also very helpful when it comes to deciding whether or not to renew someone’s lease.

If the tenant has made a lot of complaints and required a lot of maintenance, are they someone you want to continue renting to?

Not only does it simplify the way you handle requests as a landlord, it simplifies the way tenants make them. Tenants are able to log a request at any time and from the convenience of their own home, something that is a huge selling point when it comes to marketing a rental property.

By Offering Online Payments to Tenants

When it comes to property management, there are certainly a number of benefits that come with the development of technology. One of the main benefits is online payments for tenants. According to Mobiliti, this can also be a huge help for commercial tenants and commercial real estate owners as well!

There’s no need for tenants to worry about sending a check on time or worrying about late payment fees if the office closes, as paying online is hugely convenient and can be done at any time. You could make it even easier by putting an app into place, allowing tenants to pay from their smartphones wherever they are. There are few things more convenient for tenants than allowing them to pay their rent online, but it’s also a major convenience for you. Even if you have landlord insurance in place, rent arrears are common and a headache for landlords, so making it easy for your tenants to pay you is win-win.

Think about the time and money that comes with managing rent and accounting – a lot of these are reduced when you take things online. There’s also the benefit of being able to quickly check to see who has paid and when, making handling payment disputes a lot simpler.

Landlords and tenants are all privy to the same information, meaning that arguments are unlikely.

 Thanks to technology, you can improve your rental property business by boosting production and efficiency. This will save you time and money in the long run, while also reducing stress. 

5 Tips to Recruit and Retain Skilled Real Estate Agents

1000 500 Sam Radbil

One of the most crucial elements for ensuring your real estate brokerage can steadily generate revenue is agent productivity. Indeed, it can be argued that real estate agents are the main income generators of a brokerage. At the same time, however, it’s not enough to rely on your current lineup of skilled, veteran agents.

You have to consider recruiting real estate agents who are still starting out, yet possess a desire to prove themselves. This can help your company earn more and sustain its growth. With fresh perspectives and a drive to succeed, young and skilled real estate agents can push your brokerage into greater heights.

The question is: how do you recruit and, more importantly, retain these young and skilled real estate agents? Here are some tips you might want to consider:

Be a Mentor

Young professionals, no matter the industry, and eager and hungry to learn from the best. They’re constantly looking for individuals and companies that can help them achieve their goals. If you can provide knowledge and training for young agents, they’re most likely to join you. Make sure to come up with programs that enhance your new recruits’ skill sets or even teach them new ones. When these young talents know that they are constantly growing with your brokerage, they will be more likely to stay.

Don’t be afraid that your new recruits will leave after they’ve received mentorship. Rather, focus on cultivating an environment suitable for their growth. Remember the quote from Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”

Build a Strong Online Presence

Young millennials and Gen Z-ers are digital natives. They are always online reading real estate blogs and thus expect brands and companies to be online as well. As such, make sure that your brokerage not only has an online presence but a strong and streamlined one. Don’t just post on social media; engage!

Get to know your potential new recruits instead of just posting for likes, shares, and retweets. More importantly, study how you can use each social media site effectively. For example, LinkedIn is ideal for knowledge sharing aside from being a recruitment platform.

You should also keep your website sleek and easy to use, not to mention mobile-friendly. Don’t forget to provide helpful content in the form of articles or videos. Use a sound SEO strategy; in fact, hire an SEO company to ensure that your brokerage will appear in relevant searches as one of the top results for potential brokers and customers alike.

Don’t Just Hound Social Media

It’s true that most young candidates spend a lot of time online and on social media. However, when actually recruiting candidates, it’s best to combine techniques. Use online platforms and at the same time consider more personal methods to really connect. One good way is to host industry events.

This is a perfect venue for networking, not to mention learning (which, again, young real estate agents are keen about). Think of recruitment as a form of dating. It’s not enough to create a dating profile and meet people online. After you get to know them digitally, it’s time to meet on an actual “date.” This shows sincerity and creativity on your end, and seriousness on the candidates’ ends.

Compensation Beyond Money

Everyone has to make a living.

However, for many young and talented candidates, compensation is more than just about money. While you have to think about providing just and livable wages, you also have to think about offering something unique to your recruits. In particular, young professionals are looking for companies with cultures and values that echo their own. Training and networking opportunities are also crucial since, as earlier mentioned, young recruits are always looking for ways to improve themselves. 

You should also think about providing and encouraging activities outside real estate. Indeed, there is life outside of work and you should be promoting this as part of your company culture. If you can provide other benefits such as health insurance and paid time off, then all the better.

Use Data to Monitor Progress

If you’re recruiting real estate agents, you need actionable data on two fronts. First, you need to track the performance of every recruiting activity you conduct. If something doesn’t work, then you either need to think about a new activity or optimize based on your data. Ideally, you should conduct a week-on-week analysis. 

Second, you should monitor the performance of your potential recruits. Ask them the same interview questions for a balanced result. Once they make the cut, you should have a standardized criteria to measure their effectiveness. If they’re lagging, make it your mission to find out why and initiate ways to help them improve.

Recruitment is not an easy process, especially if you’re looking for true talent. Every brokerage is after top-tier candidates, after all. Consider these tips to find and retain real estate agents that will help steer your company to greater success. Good luck!

What are the Pros and Cons of a Real Estate Lockbox?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

It’s really no surprise that the use of lockboxes is so prevalent in the real estate industry.

It solves a very specific issue that probably doesn’t even cross the minds of agents and brokers anymore. From its humble beginnings in the 1970s, the lockbox has been continuously improved throughout the years. It is now a feature-packed tool that every serious real estate agent should be using to its full advantage. Here are the pros and cons of a real estate lockbox:

History of the Real Estate Lockbox

The very first real estate lockbox was invented in 1955 by a man named Delbert Williams. Mr. Williams was a real estate professional himself; he wanted to solve a common inefficiency in the system that was also bogging his colleagues down at the time. Before lockboxes, agents, brokers, and realtors would have to first chase down the keys to the properties they were selling if they wanted to conduct a showing for a prospective buyer. Since leaving the key in an insecure location could leave the property vulnerable, Mr. Williams solved the problem directly: he made a secure location for the key. 

That first lockbox was only a container made of sand-cast aluminum, secured with a standard bicycle lock. While primitive, it served its purpose so well that other real estate agencies began to use lockboxes themselves. After his invention became a success, Mr. Williams went on to establish Supra Products Inc., now known simply as Supra, one of the leading global providers of key management solutions geared especially towards the real estate industry. To learn more about Supra lockboxes, visit this website.

By the 1970s, real estate lockboxes had become an industry standard. The basic design has been reimagined and improved upon in the intervening years, but the concept remains the same. Lockboxes are secure locations for keys to the listing so that realtors can come by and conduct showings or tours for interested parties without having to trouble the seller. 

The Pros

The main function of a lockbox is its foremost advantage. It was invented as a time-saving measure for real estate professionals by a real estate professional. By using lockboxes, an agent or realtor spends less time hunting down the listing keys, giving him more time to do his actual job, which is selling the property. 

Properties that have a lockbox get more showings, simply because they can be accessed more easily. The keys are often kept right on the property, eliminating the confusion of having to match keys to their respective properties. There’s no need to travel to the listing office, coordinate schedules, or inconvenience the seller. 

Lockboxes also offer convenient access to the property to individuals who aren’t real estate agents or buyers. For instance, workers performing improvements and renovations can simply let themselves in. The same goes for inspectors, as well as any prospective buyer’s agents. 

Real estate lockboxes also address some other minor issues. Having a lockbox on hand allows a seller to vacate the property quickly if an agent wants to drop in with an interested party. Why would a seller want to do that? Buyers can feel as though they’re intruding when they’re shown around an occupied property. That discomfort can make them less likely to speak their minds freely, and even make it difficult for them to envision themselves in the home. In most cases, sellers shouldn’t be underfoot while a showing is going on.

The Cons

Lockboxes wouldn’t be used so prevalently if there were glaring issues about their security. However, while most lockboxes are secure, some types can still be vulnerable to burglars, vandals, and other malicious actors. Mechanical lockboxes that make use of a spin dial or combination can be broken into using brute force. There’s also the danger of having one too many people knowing the code or combination.

Electronic lockboxes are equipped with advanced technology and more robust security features such as Bluetooth connectivity, two-factor authentication, infrared, or proximity sensors. Some models are even able to send usage data, such as the identity of who used it last and when, to an off-site location such as a security server. Certain lockbox models can be programmed to notify the listing office every time it is accessed; some can be programmed to work only during times set by the seller or the real estate agency.

However, the main issue with electronics is that they are not immune to human error. Lockboxes that require authentication from a salesperson’s smartphone, for instance, won’t be able to receive signals if cellular service in the area is poor, too.  

Overall, lockboxes are convenient for sellers who aren’t keen on being present for every tour or showing of the property, as well as real estate agents. Like every tool, though, they should be used carefully and responsibly.

real estate software

11 Software Products Realtors Need in 2020

1000 500 Sam Radbil

The old days of simply meeting a prospective seller, explaining your skill at moving properties, signing the client, placing the listing on MLS and waiting for the leads and appointments to roll in are long gone.

Sure, personal client contact and superb responsiveness to client needs are paramount, but if you’re not using all of the technological tools that are available to you, someone else one certainly is, and instead of growing your business, you will watch it fade.

Whether you’re working in a corporate office or a coworking spot, check out this list of the key 2020 real estate and 3d software products you need to consider using now:


If you’re not using this, you’re somewhere in the dark ages of real estate transactions. DocuSign has been used for years and allows you to collect digital signatures. Worried about the legality of those digital signatures? DocuSign says this:

“Thanks to a federal law passed in 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, and to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), electronic signatures cannot be denied legal effect (enforceability) solely because they are electronic.”

person using iMac


Sure, you can find multiple real estate software methods to build your unique real estate website, but MoxiWebsites was designed for real estate professionals. There is no sense fighting with a generic GoDaddy-type website builder when there is real estate-agent specific software available.

IXACT Contact

Customer relationship management or CRM is a necessary tool that will help keep your client information organized. IXACT Contact is a real estate software that can designate prospects as hot leads, for example, and it will track the status of your client interactions. When you get a lead, just immediately enter the pertinent information into IXACT Contact and watch your level of organization rise exponentially.

WPL Platform

If you choose to use WordPress, you can use this real estate software plugin to build your site and add functionality like thorough lead capturing, up-to-date map functions and more. You also can choose from over 35 add-ons, although you may have to pay extra for these.

flat screen monitor

The Wise Agent

There is a lot of CRM software out there, and we have alluded to some above. With The Wise Agent, you’ll get targeted real estate CRM solutions for only $29 per month, and that is after a free trial. Contact management, lead automation, transaction management, marketing and more functions are available.

Showing Time Appointment Center

Making appointments quickly and accurately and getting that information to all appropriate parties is what you do, and with the Showing Time Appointment Center, this can be accomplished seamlessly. Sarah D’Angelo (Keller Williams) says:

“If you’re not using a showing service, you’re missing out on a key piece of leverage. This technology acts as your virtual assistant so you can help more clients or spend more time with family.”

person holding pencil near laptop computer

Total Brokerage

This software is like an automated smart home app; it combines items like CRM, Lead Management, Marketing, Transaction Workflow, E-Signature, a Forms Library and even integrates with QuickBooks. This is one to absolutely check out.

two person shaking hands near white painted wall

RIO Genesis Office

Get your office up to speed with this all-in-one office software platform. One user said:

“I have converted my whole office over to RIO Genesis because it is fast and easy. It has allowed me to streamline all of my checklists and processes. The online offer submission is my favorite feature because I don’t have to send out fifty different emails to agents. I can now do this with the click of a button.”


Clients want to shop for homes online before they take the time to schedule a visit. This, of course, is Real Estate 101, but in order to facilitate this, you need a way to provide virtual tours of your sellers’ properties. This is what EYESPY does:

“Upload 360 photos from any 360 camera or mobile phone and create feature-rich 360 Virtual Tours, 3D Models and Floor Plans. Take advantage of our Tour-as-a-Service solution where all you do is simply upload the 360 photos and we do the rest.”

Follow Up Boss

This is another highly useful sales software that allows real estate professionals to follow up more quickly and to subsequently convert more leads to sales. This is a stand-alone product, but it may be very useful to those that have other real estate software programs but are missing this piece.

man holding black smartphone in front of a windowpane


Brokermint claims that they are the “last real estate back office management system you will ever need.” Their site further states that “brokermint has been designed to include everything your brokerage needs to effortlessly manage, assign, track and evaluate all of your back-office tasks. From setting custom commissions to organizing documents, to allowing agents and clients to digitally sign and secure their documents.”

As you can see, many of the aforementioned programs, platforms and apps are similar. They’ll all claim that they are the most sophisticated model, and many state that if you purchase their software, you won’t need anything else in order to run your real estate business efficiently. It’s best to carefully vet each of the products you are interested in and look for verified online reviews before you make a final decision.

Utilizing 14-day free trials is another great way to see if the product really fits your needs. Finally, there are third-party vendors like Software Advice that—for no charge—will help guide you as you attempt to choose the proper real estate software product.

Now, take the next steps to grow your awesome real estate business using great software and tools available!