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5 GOLDEN RULES of Excellent Real Estate Customer Service

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Providing great real estate customer service is an incredible way to build trust and loyalty. Apply these “Golden Rules” diligently to wow your clients and increase referral business.

Let empathy be your guide:

Having empathy means having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what that person is feeling. No matter the circumstances (first time buyer, investor, downsizer, re-locator) a real estate transaction is a big deal and it’s always personal. Whether you have to deliver bad news or you feel like a client is being a pest, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy not only helps you to relate to your clients, but feeling empathetic will also help guide your ability to communicate, problem-solve, react and at the very least make the customer feel understood.

Be engaged & responsive:

Clients expect immediate follow up (which makes lead nurturing software like Zurple great, especially for new leads). In real estate, you aren’t treated like an organization with business hours – you will get calls and emails after hours and on weekends.

The key isn’t necessarily being available to answer emails at 1am (work/life balance is a great topic for another day). Instead, the key is reacting in a timely manner – and if you don’t have all the answers don’t leave your customer hanging. Keep them updated and try to give accurate timeframes whenever possible. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will.

Pro Tip:

Let Conversations help! Our intelligent software automates fast, relevant, effective lead follow-up. See how it works.

Remember abc – always be communicative:

Good, clear communication is highly underrated in a high speed world of “lol” and “omg”. How you communicate and how well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Taking time to construct a thoughtful, well-written email or calling instead of texting for more important discussions will give your client great comfort that they are in good hands.

Go the extra mile:

Give your clients a “wow” moment whenever possible – and keep in mind that wow moments don’t have to be complicated. They can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Think beyond the stated question and seek the implied follow up question – so when your client asks “what are the HOAs at this condo?” don’t just provide the HOAs for that one unit. Follow up with more information – maybe some comparable condos where HOAs are lower and ask questions about what amenities are important to them so you can guide their search.

Show your appreciation:

You are nothing without your customers so be sure to show them how much you care. Make sure your clients feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. Many agents do this with a closing gift (already a great concept), but rather than going the generic route, choose something meaningful. We compiled a list of a few ideas here.

A handwritten “thank you” note makes a great impression too. To show true appreciation let them know why you enjoyed working with them (i.e. were they patient, funny, knowledgeable, easy-going?). Also try sending them a note or give them a call to wish them a “Happy Anniversary” to celebrate the date they closed or moved in. There are countless ways to make people feel special but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building personal connections with your clients.

Empathy may sound easy, but if you are having a bad day it can be difficult to see someone else’s perspective. It’s easy to have a great idea for a closing gift but it takes effort to make the purchase. It’s easy to find out the HOA fees on that condo but it takes enterprise to dig deeper. Real estate is all about relationships and the strongest relationships take effort. Source: zurple.com by Michelle Salatto

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10 Tips for a Successful Open House

Here’s a collection of actions you can take during an open house and immediately after to increase the payoff:

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  1. Don’t be a chatterbox. Greet your visitors, give them your card and a property brochure, and allow them peace and quiet while they tour the home.
  1. Be honest about the home’s features and improvements. A seven-year-old roof isn’t “new,” although the owner may describe it as such. Many owners think any improvement they paid for themselves is “new,” even if it was made more than a decade ago.
  1. Don’t drop vague hints about offers having been received for the home if that’s not the case. When the truth later comes out, the buyers may feel manipulated and back out of the whole transaction.
  1. Make copies of presale home and termite inspection reports available to prospective buyers along with estimates of the costs for any needed repairs or fumigation.
  1. If your state requires a disclosure form, have it completed ahead of time, and make copies available to prospective buyers.
  1. Display photographs of popular neighborhood amenities (e.g., local parks and recreation center).
  1. Have comparable sales data available.
  1. Give visitors property information sheets with important facts about the home and the community. Examples include a flyer highlighting the home’s features, summaries of room size, lot size, taxes, and assessments; and a map showing the location of schools, hospitals, public transportation, libraries, supermarkets and other services and retailers.
  1. Ask visitors for immediate feedback about the home. Also, use a guest book to collect visitors’ names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Follow-up with a telephone call or e-mail after the event.
  1. Don’t forget to turn off the lights, close the drapes, remove the guest book and brochures, and lock up before you leave.
  1. Provide visitors with a CD that includes information about the property, floorplans, views and anything else pertinent or unique about the home. This way they can review what they’ve seen and not just rely on memory. Source: realtormag.realtor.org

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Los 10 Mandamientos de los compradores de casa


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Si estas en el proceso de compra estos 10 NO’s ayudarán a que tu transacción fluya sin problema.

Descarga el flyer editable aquí>>

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Agrega tu información, imprímelo y ya lo puedes entregar a tu cliente.

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4 reasons you will fail as a real estate agent

MadRealtor

Success requires a particular mindset especially when life and clients throw you a curve ball.

  1. You won’t prospect.

Prospecting conjures up big-time fear in most people’s minds. We’ve been conditioned to associate the word “no” with rejection, failure and pain.

So you have subconsciously learned to associate “no” with not getting what you want. It’s normal — don’t feel badly about it — BUT you have to start getting back on track and reassociating “no” with what you want.

Real estate is a numbers game — no matter how you slice or dice it. I hear a lot of real estate agents say they aren’t in sales, that they just want to help people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to increase your business and help lots and lots of people, you have to work through the numbers.

If you are going to have success in real estate, you have to prospect. There are about a million ways to prospect in real estate.

  1. You won’t follow up.

Follow-up is everything in real estate. How many times have you talked to somebody for the first time and they say, “Yes, I want to buy or sell a home immediately! Where do I sign up?”

Yeah, almost never.

You can’t build a lasting, concrete, sustainable business that way.

Many agents give lip service to follow-up and tell people they’ll call when they are supposed to, but lack the decision to set up a follow-up task to do so. It fascinates me how many people I see in the business world (not just real estate) that say they are going to call me at such and such a date , or do something for me, only to find out it doesn’t get done! It’s actually more normal than abnormal, and that’s not OK.

If you want to last in real estate, simply be a person of your word. Everyone admires someone who does what they say they’ll do.

  1. You’ll let one bad experience throw you into a downward spiral.

This one is huge!!! As humans, we tend to enjoy drama. All you have to do is turn on TV and find all of the great reality TV shows out there (sense the sarcasm) and you know what I’m talking about. We love to wallow in how bad a situation is and give it all of our time and energy.

Stop it!

We know it’s hard but you have to train yourself to do it. Otherwise, you’ll end up broke, depressed and unhappy.

So what do you do when something bad happens in your business, like you lose an escrow, a client you thought was solid says they are going to work with another agent, you get a letter from the local department of real estate, a client yells at you? Is your stomach turning yet?

Here’s the secret: Keep moving. Deal with the situation and do the best you can to remedy, and if you have given everything you can into turning it around or finding a solution, move on and do something else productive. Don’t let it suck you down to the bottomless pit of anxiety. That isn’t going to help you get what you want. A good word to describe this is to compartmentalize your thoughts and actions. It’s crucial for your business success (and life success, really). What we mean by this is don’t let the bad feelings you have from one problem bleed over into other parts of your life.

  1. You’ll think the business is too hard, when the truth is you just haven’t made the decision to be great yet.

We’re sure we might get some backlash on this, but we believe it’s important to speak the truth. Real estate is not a complicated business. You find people who want to move from one place to another, and assist them in that process. Simple. We didn’t say it was easy — it’s just not complicated. If you talk to (the right) people, be genuine in your approach and have a proactive plan of follow-up, you’re going to do well. You just will. Source: inman.com by Matthew Coates

Your Loan in the Valley

Do You Have What it Takes?

WhatittakesYLV-650In order to obtain a VA home loan, you must first fill out VA Form 26-1880, the request for your Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is issued only through the Veterans Administration, and is the first step towards applying for your loan. Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve, and military spouses potentially qualify for this certificate. Keep in mind that the Certificate of Eligibility, while necessary, only allows an eligible individual to apply for a home loan; it does not guarantee a loan approval.

Eligibility for the Certificate is based on an individual’s (or a spouse’s) military service. Congress establishes eligibility with strict guidelines. Here are five common categories of those who normally qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility:

Wartime – Service During:

  • WWII: 9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947
  • Korean: 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
  • Vietnam: 8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975

You must have at least 90 days on active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 90 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

Peacetime – Service during periods:

  • 7/26/1947 to 6/26/1950
  • 2/1/1955 to 8/4/1964
  • 5/8/1975 to 9/7/1980 (Enlisted)
  • 5/8/1975 to 10/16/1981 (Officer)

You must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 181 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.

Service after 9/7/1980 (enlisted) or 10/16/1981 (officer)

If you were separated from service which began after these dates, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were ordered or called to active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 181 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1171 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability;
  • Been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances for the convenience of the Government.

Gulf War – Service during period 8/2/1990 to date yet to be determined

If you served on active duty during the Gulf War, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1173 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability, or
  • Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances, for the convenience of the Government.

Active Duty Service Personnel

If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.

Selected Reserves or National Guard

If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and

  • Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
  • Were placed on the retired list, or
  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves

Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

You may also be determined eligible if you:

  • Are an unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
  • Are a spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or a prisoner of war

Note: Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.

Eligibility may also be established for:

  • Certain United States citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in WW II.
  • Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with WW II service, and others. Source: military.com

¿Cómo puedo servir mejor a mis clientes?

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Todas estas respuestas deben estar basadas en las necesidades de tus clientes.

Por ejemplo: “dando un mejor servicio al cliente”, “garantizando mis servicios y/o productos”, “hacerles una encuesta para conocer más sus hábitos de compra”, “desarrollando un nuevo producto”

Y cuando hagas esto tus ventas crecerán exponencialmente.

No porque te enfocaste en simples técnicas de ventas que solo funcionan en el corto plazo sino porque te detuviste a pensar en qué era lo que realmente quería tu cliente y cómo podías satisfacerlo durante meses, años y décadas.

Porque recuerda algo: Las técnicas no te servirán en el largo plazo y mucho menos te ayudará a aumentar tus ingresos, las estrategias que implementas en tu empresa sí.

A continuación las estrategias de ventas que realmente te ayudarán a incrementar tus ingresos.

  1. Incrementa el número de clientes (A Más clientes = Mayores ingresos).
  2. Incrementa el valor de tu transacción (A Más valor de venta = Mayores ingresos).
  3. Incrementa el numero de transacciones (Más Ventas = Más Ingresos).

Imagina que pudieras duplicar los ingresos netos de tu propio negocio…

¿Cuánto más valor podrías agregar a la vida de tus clientes? ¿cuánto más podrías invertir en tu propio negocio? ¿qué cosas podrías comprar para ti y para tu familia que ahora no puedes? Source: nelsonportugal.com

Your Loan in the Valley

VA Home Loan Guidelines and Loan Limits

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The VA home loan offers incredible benefits to current and former members of the US Armed Forces. VA loans require no down payment, no mortgage insurance, and less money upfront.

Over 20 million veterans have taken advantage of the program since its creation in 1944. Some 630,000 obtained a VA loan in 2013 alone. The VA home loan program is catching on and gaining steam.

And for good reason.

Veterans enjoy low overall loan costs. VA mortgage rates today are 0.25% to 0.50% lower than those available for conventional loans and mortgage insurance is never required — regardless of your downpayment.

VA-eligible mortgage applicants save thousands in mortgage interest throughout their loan term.

ABOUT MORTGAGE RATES FOR VA HOME LOANS

VA mortgage rates are among the lowest of all available mortgage rates. There are several reasons why.

The first reason why VA mortgage rates are low is because VA home loans are guaranteed against loss by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Lenders assume very little risk on VA loans.

A second reason why mortgage rates are low for VA loans is that the program boasts some of the lowest default rates of any mortgage loan type. Lower default risk leads to lower future costs and rock-bottom rates.

A third reason is competition.

Lenders like to make VA loans for the two reasons above and the competition for veterans’ business creates downward price pressure.

Mortgage rates today are at 21-month lows with many VA lenders offering mortgage rates in the low-3 percent range.

Today’s mortgage rates are helping to keep home affordable for VA home buyers, and the VA streamline refinance program has helped reduce payment for thousands of existing VA homeowners since last year.

Just a few years ago, VA mortgage rates were in the 8s.

2015 VA LOAN LIMITS

Among the benefits of a VA loan is that the program allows for “jumbo” loan sizes in some U.S. cities without charging its borrowers extra.

For example, VA buyers can borrow up to $417,000 with no money down, which means that any U.S. home sold for $417,000 or less can be financed 100%.

However, this $417,000 limit is just a minimum. In certain “expensive” parts of the country, however, VA loan limits range much higher.

Consider that the average sales price in December 2014 for a single-family home was $255,800, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Yet, in San Francisco, California; or, New York City, buyers would be hard-pressed to find a home for even two or three times that amount.

To help its military borrowers, then, the Department of Veterans Affairs extends its maximum loan limits in cities in which costs are typically higher.

As a few examples of the VA’s extended loan limits:

Marin County, California home buyers: VA loans up to $625,500

Seattle, Washington home buyers: VA loans up to $517,500

Boulder, Colorado home buyers: VA loans up to $456,550

The 2015 VA loan limits chart tops out at $721,050 for home buyers in Honolulu, Hawaii.

These extended limits help VA-eligible buyers nationwide — especially as home prices rise. Via the VA loan guaranty program, veterans have a zero-down mortgage option for homes sold above the national average. Source: themortgagereports.com

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