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NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development

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Rank #118 in Careers category

Business
Education
Careers
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NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry and is hosted by Monica Neubauer, an award-winning industry leader, speaker, and instructor based in Nashville, TN. The podcast discusses formal and informal sources of industry knowledge, including NAR education and credential programs. This podcast is for REALTORS®, REALTOR® associations, real estate and allied professionals, real estate educators, education providers such as schools, and consumers.

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NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry and is hosted by Monica Neubauer, an award-winning industry leader, speaker, and instructor based in Nashville, TN. The podcast discusses formal and informal sources of industry knowledge, including NAR education and credential programs. This podcast is for REALTORS®, REALTOR® associations, real estate and allied professionals, real estate educators, education providers such as schools, and consumers.

iTunes Ratings

51 Ratings
Average Ratings
48
0
1
1
1

Awesome Content

By Miscellaneous Documents - Nov 02 2018
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I wish they did more of these podcast! Just discovered it. And I love the content.

Great!

By Mommysaurusrex - Sep 05 2017
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I am really enjoying this podcast. Very informative and well done.

iTunes Ratings

51 Ratings
Average Ratings
48
0
1
1
1

Awesome Content

By Miscellaneous Documents - Nov 02 2018
Read more
I wish they did more of these podcast! Just discovered it. And I love the content.

Great!

By Mommysaurusrex - Sep 05 2017
Read more
I am really enjoying this podcast. Very informative and well done.
Cover image of NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development

NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry and is hosted by Monica Neubauer, an award-winning industry leader, speaker, and instructor based in Nashville, TN. The podcast discusses formal and informal sources of industry knowledge, including NAR education and credential programs. This podcast is for REALTORS®, REALTOR® associations, real estate and allied professionals, real estate educators, education providers such as schools, and consumers.

Rank #1: 023: Working with First-Time Homebuyers with Rich Sands

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First-time homebuyers are a niche market among all buyers. They all have in common that they have never bought a house before, so the processes involved are new to them. So much of the journey in working with first-time buyers is about educating them and asking better questions to understand where they are and what they need to move forward. In today’s episode, Monica and her guest, Rich Sands, discuss many ways that we as agents can help our clients who are first-time homebuyers.

Working with buyers and sellers are two different ends of the same spectrum. Having systems are true for working with both; you need effectiveness and efficiency. Thirty-three to 39 percent of buyers are first-time homebuyers. Some challenges that first-time homebuyers face in today’s market is that mortgages are harder to get and prices have gone up. The main thing that makes first-time buyers unique is that they have never done this before. As an agent, you have to have an educator mindset.

For many first-time homebuyers, you have to figure out what the money situation is. Will they be paying cash or have you arranged for financing? Most will finance their first property, and you can usually find properties that are less than or equal to the cost of renting. One of the challenges of being an agent is working with people from different generations. Each one poses a different set of needs and desires. What is important for agents is finding a good lender for your clients.

When looking for lenders, look for lenders who do the products that are most beneficial for first-time homebuyers (HomeReady and Home Possible®). You want someone who is able to effectively implement these programs, not just someone who knows about them.

Some of the associated costs with owning a home are the transaction costs — closing cost, fees, etc. — as well as maintenance costs like electric and cable bills or regular service. A good idea for agents is to have a checklist of some of the other costs homeowners have in addition to their mortgage. This will help your clients be prepared for all costs so they aren’t blindsided.

As we mentioned before, first-time homebuyers are not all young. There are first-time homebuyers from a wide range of ages; with that comes a wide range of experience, situations, and financial background. There are systems we can use to inform our clients. We can help explain the process of buying a home, both looking for one and then writing the contract. They also need help with financing and understanding the market. One of the best things we can do as a REALTOR® is to understand what they want and what they’re trying to accomplish. Working with first-time homebuyers also requires a lot of patience.

Being a great listener and a great asker of questions is crucial to understanding what your clients want. The three most important questions you can use to clarify are “What do you mean?,” “Why is that?,” and “What else?” When we give ourselves permission to slow down and really be with our clients, we will be able to hear them better and determine their needs.

An agent also has to be a great explainer. They have to be able to take any aspect of the process and make it concise and understandable and present it in a way that works for the recipient. Another requirement is that an agent be technologically flexible. It’s also important to have strong leadership qualities.

If you are someone who really enjoys helping people and wants to help first-time homebuyers, you can market to your sphere of influence to find those buyers. As a REALTOR®, it’s important to be aware of what’s important to different generations, so when you’re introduced to them and you want to move into something new, you’ve already learned about some ways to adapt. Another way to find first-time buyers is to make sure you have a good website and have a social media presence. You can find the right platform based on your skill set; if you can write, make a blog. If you have a personality, maybe think about video. And if you have a lot of information, maybe the podcast route is the way for you. You can get started by sharing to a wider audience your answers to questions from clients.

As a REALTOR®, we have to be the person that our buyers need. It’s not necessarily changing who we are, but being flexible so that we can understand and accommodate first-time homebuyers. Instead of thinking about them as a transaction, think of them as people who are going through one of the most fundamental aspects of the American dream.

Guest Links:

Mental Toughness Training for Sports: Achieving Athletic Excellence, by James E. Loehr

http://richsandsseminars.com

Guest Bio:

Rich Sands has been a teacher his whole life. He started out as a high school teacher and a running coach. He became a REALTOR® and also the Director of Education of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado.

There isn’t a time when Rich Sands doesn’t remember leading a class full of students. For fifteen years he brought out the best in high school students. He took that leadership to the real estate industry where he rose to the position of Director of Education, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Colorado and revolutionized the company’s training services for more than 2,000 managers, agents and staff.

Now, an experienced international presenter, instructor, and keynote specialist, Rich specializes in helping people master their sales skills in any situation. His flagship presentations, “Why Your Grandparents Should Direct Your Marketing,” and “Creating Listing Abundance” integrate the key practices needed to engage and impress consumers of all kinds.

Presently, he is President of Rich Sands Seminars and works closely with international real estate franchise systems, independent brokerages and companies in all industries that want to bring out the best in their people. As a NAR/REBAC and Certified CRS instructor, he conducts dozens of courses each year for the National Association of REALTORS® and Council of Residential Specialists.

Rich and his wife, Linda, live near Denver, Colorado. She is a kitchen and closet designer and an elliptical girl. He has two sons: Matt and Ryan and two step-daughters: Angela and Alicia.

Additional Links:

Training4RE.com

Center for Realtor® Development — Onlinelearning.Realtor

CRS.com

REBAC.net

ABR Course

CRDpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/Realtor

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Feb 05 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #2: 024: Creating the Customer Experience with Pete Blank

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Great customer service is one of the key ways we can set ourselves apart from other people in the industry. Everybody wants (and expects) a great customer service experience. Pete Blank joins Monica on the show today to talk about his customer service background working for Disney. They share ideas about customer service through a discussion of the seven guest service guidelines Disney uses, and fit them into the real estate industry.

Now that so much is available online to consumers, customer service in real estate has become that much more important. The face-to-face connection is something clients value and the way we present ourselves and our product contributes to the customer experience. This is similar to the idea at Disney that employees are always in “the show.” For real estate, this would involve staging, materials, etc.

At Disney, they teach that the relationship between you and the customer has to be number one. Pete discusses a little bit about these guidelines and relates them to the real estate industry. The first one is to 1) Make eye contact and smile. This is perhaps a bit easier in the real estate industry as much of the contact is one-on-one, but make sure you’re always presenting a good front when you’re meeting with clients, or in a situation where you may be around potential clients.

The second is 2) Greet and welcome each and every guest. This one is also applicable for when you are out and about. When you’re out in public in your community, it’s important to consider that you may be around potential clients. Note how you want to present yourself to someone who knows you’re in real estate but you may not be having a direct interaction with. You are your own brand.

The next guideline is 3) Seek out guest contact. This one is related to the second guideline in the fact that you may always be around potential clients. In terms of real estate, so many people own homes or want to own homes. There is a general curiosity about the market. As an agent, you can try to share some market research when you’re out in public (in appropriate situations). This will help you be top-of-mind for people that you’ve helped previously or they’ve heard of you through this sharing of knowledge in different environments.

One of the most important reasons is 4) Provide immediate service recovery. Pete shares a story about something he experienced during his time at Disney. What’s important here is if a client brings you an issue, we try to fix it with service first. Rather than offering a discount or some sort of bonus item during the time of the transaction with your client, we look for a way to placate the issue with service first. This will make your client feel valuable.

These standards (the rest to follow!) are non-negotiable. Big businesses may already have these established, but if you are a solopreneur starting your business, take some time to write down some non-negotiable standards for yourself that you will use to serve your clients.

Getting back to the guidelines, number 5) Appropriate body language at all times. As with any industry, when you see employees who look disinterested, this can skew your whole perception of the business. In real estate, this could you be how you look before you meet a seller for a listing. You don’t necessarily want to be wrapping up previous business when your new client shows up. Your body language should show your client that they are the most important thing during your meeting.

Number 6) Preserve the magical guest experience. We don’t want clients to see the nitty-gritty of how things work. This would involved keep the “backstage” parts of processes out of the customer experience. Monica mentions that in real estate there is a line between letting the public know what you’re doing (how much time it’s taking, etc) and also sharing too much. The important thing is how you’re sharing this information. It’s okay to express the work you’ve done, but it’s not okay to complain about the process, especially to your client. As a real estate agent, you can provide your clients with some information about all the different things you do for them, so they know you are creating value for them.

The last service guideline is to 7) Thank each and every guest. At Disney when you leave for the night, people are stationed on the way to say thank you for visiting and provide salutations. In real estate, the close of the transaction is not always the end. You want to make sure you close the transaction with a thank you. This differs from agent to agent — some may prefer different gestures of gratitude.

An important part of the close of a transaction is a review or a post-event survey. Some things to keep in mind are the length — you don’t want it to be too long or too involved; testimonials are usually a good bet because customers can put their own stamp on it. Even calling it a testimonial rather than a review, may get better results and more response. If you have an exceptional experience with a customer or someone involved in completing the transaction, you may want to consider a well-placed gift.

A new development in the industry is working with real estate teams. Many teams don’t have the same longevity as Disney employees, and it can be a challenge to keep up team encouragement. One of the most important things when working on any team is to set up some expectations for team operations, communication, etc. The other aspect is personalities; when you get the team together, take some time to do an activity to get know your team members outside of the business transaction.

The final topic Pete and Monica discuss is getting third-party vendors who share your customer service values and habits. This comes down to setting expectations and maybe also having a brief training with your third-party vendors so everyone is on the same page about the customer experience.

One of the main focuses of the Disney model is savoring the experience. Once the experience is over, we want our clients to look back on it fondly and appreciate how simple it was. As a real estate agent, you want to try to create an experience that clients will look back on and tell others about.

Guest Links:

Pete Blank's Website

BombBomb

Additional Links:

OnlineLearning.REALTOR® for NAR Online Education

www.Training4RE.com - List of Classroom Courses for CIPS, REBAC, and REBI classes.

CRS.com for RRC classes and online training

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Additional Bio:

Born and raised in St. Petersburg Florida, Pete and his family visited Walt Disney World Resort every year since the park opened in 1971. One day, while walking down Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom, he told his parents, “One day, I'm going to work here.”

In 1989, while attending the University of Florida, he spent a summer as a Disney Cast Member making memories for guests while working in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. That three-month adventure confirmed what he believed… that this was the right company for him.

After a stint as a television sportscaster, he returned to Disney in 1994. Over the next 13 years, he managed various areas of Disney's theme parks and resorts, where he learned what it takes to run a world-class organization.

Pete was blessed to spend the majority of his time working at Disney University. While there, he led the Traditions program, which is known worldwide as one of the premier employee orientation programs. He also facilitated college-level courses to thousands of Disney College Interns and was a Segment Learning Manager for Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and the Disney Cruise Line.

Today, he is the Training and Organizational Development Manager for the Personnel Board of Jefferson County in Birmingham, AL. In this role, he manages a department responsible for providing leadership and management training to over 7,000 local government employees across 23 agencies. His training team has won multiple awards, including Training Magazine’s Training Top 125, HR.Com's Leadership 500, and eLearning's Top 100.

In addition, he works with organizations and associations all across the U.S., helping them achieve their goals in the areas of leadership, employee engagement and customer service. Some of his clients include  DirecTV, Southern Company, LG, Regions Bank, and Coldwell Banker.

His first book is Employee Engagement: Lessons from the Mouse House. His next book, Pick Up the Roach! Why Great Leaders do the Little Things, is due out in 2019.

Mar 05 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #3: 027: Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) — Accessible Data with Veronica McManus

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Today’s episode is the final installment of a three-part series that highlights some of the NAR member benefits. RPR® helps REALTORS® provide and analyze data for your clients when they request it. Today’s guest, Veronica McManus, is the director of industry relations with RPR®. In this episode, she and Monica discuss some of the benefits of this program for REALTORS® and their clients, as well the many reports available in the system and how to engage with them.

Veronica is in her 7th year with RPR®, and she works with MLSs and associations to encourage their engagement and usage of RPR®. She and her team are the connection between RPR®  and the REALTORS® that use it. Realtors Property Resource® is a parcel-centric property database that contains over one hundred million property records from over 300 data sources on commercial, industrial, residential, and land parcels across the country.

RPR® originated when the NAR noticed that clients were coming to their REALTORS® with this data already. They housed it in a central location so their REALTORS® can provide accurate data to their clients. The public seems to love this data, so it’s important to know how you can best engage with the product. For a basic beginning webinar, visit the blog: blog.narrpr.com.

One of the key benefits for the RPR® is that once their client comes to them about a house or a piece of property, the REALTOR® can immediately look up the address of the property and access the data. One of the things that sets RPR® apart from accessing information on your MLS is the report section where there are many different reports that can be created, how they can be shared with the consumer, and the quality of data they contain.

Some of the reports they have on RPR® are property reports, mini property reports, sellers reports, valuation reports, market activity reports, school reports, and property flyers that can be easily linked to other platforms. They also have neighborhood reports that share economic, demographic, quality of life, and market statistics. The REALTOR® is able to put up to 10 PDF documents into their reports. Veronica describes how we may use some of these reports in our marketing.

Many of the reports are very long, but you can go into the report details and pick and choose which information is most pertinent or most appealing to you and your clients. You can go in and create a custom template that will easily generate your reports going forward. This also makes it easier to create a report that suits your clients’ needs, in a very short amount of time! This has helped REALTORS® get a client because they are able to connect with them quickly.

You have the ability to go into reports and suppress some of the estimated values for values. If you’re responding quickly to a lead, they don’t necessarily need to have the RVM. This keeps people from getting too far ahead with pricing with the customer.

The AVM is the automated valuation model, and the RVM is the REALTOR® valuation model market. This was one of the biggest data points NAR hoped to deliver with RPR®. This can be compared to the data that other places are using, such as Zillow. There are some differences between RPR® and Zillow. To determine the RVM, RPR® uses the averages of three different algorithms and also looks to the MLS for accurate and up-to-date information on active and pending list prices. The RVM also show you details, so you or the client can know which comps were used to estimate the price. The reports are also very helpful to share with your industry partners, as they add value to both you and your partner.

The REALTOR® is bringing their wisdom and experience when they interact with the reports within RPR®. They know what is going on in the markets and have often seen the properties, so they are able to change and engage the data in ways other companies are unable to provide.

Some of the other tools RPR® has to offer are traffic counts, flood maps, and heat maps. You can also view distressed properties on RPR® and provide resources to those homeowners. Some other ways REALTORS® are using the resources provided by RPR® are while door knocking and during open houses; utilizing the app has been a game changer for many people! When you can have some of the general information available for people asking questions, it creates a strong initial impression and makes the REALTOR® central to the transaction.

If you’re not using RPR®, now is the time to start! Your competitors are likely using RPR®, and they are closing more business. Visit the blog for more ideas on how to use this free member benefit to save money, save time, and close more deals.

Guest Links:

NARRPR.com — Realtors Property Resource®

Blog.narrpr.com — RPR® blog

Additional Links:

OnlineLearning.REALTOR® for NAR Online Education

Training4RE.com — List of Classroom Courses for REBAC and REBI classes.

CRS.com for RRC classes and online training

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Additional Bio:

Veronica McManus is a director of Industry Relations with RPR®. Before she joined RPR®, Veronica was a full-time agent, office manager, and education director. A REALTOR® since 1994, she was her association’s past president, REALTOR® of the Year, and Massachusetts Women’s Council of REALTORS® State President. A graduate of the Instructor Training Institute, Veronica is a certified continuing education instructor in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. She also has her broker’s license.

Jun 04 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #4: 025: Cultivating Financial Wellness with Kasey Stewart

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Now that you’re in the real estate game, what’s your plan for your money? What are your plans for retirement? In today’s episode, in an interview-style episode, Monica and her guest, Kasey Stewart, talk about defining financial wellness, how to achieve it, and what resources can help you manage your money for the future.

In 2017, NAR’s president wanted to help REALTORS® prepare for retirement. In a career where they get paid commission checks, planning can be hard for REALTORS®. The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness covers several different areas of investment. You can also set goals for yourself and explore the resource library.

Kasey shares some statistics about their members. 43% are not preparing for retirement and 42% are not prepared for a financial emergency.

What does financial wellness mean? For Monica, it means she is in a place where she doesn’t have anxiety about her finances. This includes having reserves, having some idea of retirement, and flexibility and finances to tend to personal or family issues. It’s a subjective term depending on your situation — it may be different for everyone. Think about what you need to feel financially healthy.

Every form of debt has interest that will compound. Debt can also cause anxiety and might even physically manifest itself. If you’re in debt, work on getting out of debt. There are people who can help you get out of debt, but be careful with the help you choose. Once you pay off your debt, it might be a good idea to roll those payments over into another account, maybe for retirement or a savings account.

As independent contractors, it’s important to keep your business reserves separate from your personal reserves. To create a budget as an independent contractor, write down all of your necessary expenses in your personal life. Also, do this for your business, so you have a number that you know you need to get by each month. At some banks, you can set up different accounts to set aside the money to pay your brokers, your taxes, and other anticipated expenses.

To build her reserves, Monica has a business checking account (you could also open a personal checking account for your business funds), and only uses it for business expenses. Monica also uses financial software to help her keep up with her finances. She uses QuickBooks, but there are many different financial software packages you can use. NAR members can get a discount on QuickBooks Self-Employed for $5/month. A couple of ways to build up your reserves are to take a percentage of each closing check and distribute it to your different reserves; if you find you’ve had a generous season, you can move larger chunks of money.

How do we prepare for retirement as independent contractors? Paying for retirement can be difficult if you don’t get consistent paychecks. One of the first things you can do for the future is to improve your amount of business today. You need to define what amount of money would make you feel comfortable for retirement. There are also different avenues you can use to fund your retirement: stocks, bonds, IRA’s, etc. Investing in stocks can be a good way to start funding an account to purchase real estate down the road.

The closer you get to retirement, the more conservative you should be. It would be wise to work with a financial investor that can help you modify for your level of comfort, and also help you understand how your real estate investments play into that. Invest in what you know! You can also determine which type of IRA you might want to invest in.

There are several different ways to invest in real estate: buy a rental property for long-term tenants, Airbnb-type rental, commercial properties, or a real estate investment trust. When considering these avenues, think about your tolerance for management and your tolerance for risk.

Estate planning is part of the financial wellness program. It’s incredibly important to have a will and a Power of Attorney, in case anything should happen to you.

For more information, visit financialwellness.REALTOR®. Financial planning is important for people just getting into the industry or people who have been in the business for a while and are starting to look ahead toward retirement.

Guest Links:

Financialwellness.REALTOR®

nar.REALTOR®/REALTOR®benefits

Additional Links:

OnlineLearning.REALTOR® for NAR Online Education

Training4RE.com — List of Classroom Courses for REBAC and REBI classes.

CRS.com for RRC classes and online training

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Additional Bio:

Kasey Stewart is the director of Member Development at National Association of REALTORS®, and the program director for the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness.

Nar.REALTOR®/REALTOR®-benefits-program

Nar.REALTOR®/center-for-REALTOR®-financial-wellness

Apr 02 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #5: 021: Helping Buyers with New Construction with Marion Napoleon

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In today’s episode, Monica and Marion Napoleon talk about helping buyers with new construction — a topic that is important to both of them. The population in America is growing and demographics are changing.There are more single family homes as people are marrying later and divorces at all age levels create a need for more separate housing. Another factor is that people are living in more multi-generational housing situations. This together has created a general need for more housing. They explain some aspects of the process, how you can provide value as a real estate agent, and some tips for custom builds. Hopefully, this episode will help you understand why they love helping buyers with new construction, and why you should, too!   

Buyers tend to like new construction because it gives them options. They are not worried about multiple offers and perhaps, most importantly, they are able to customize their homes however their budgets will allow. A lot of agents shy away from new construction, but it can be great for commission and helps to boost earnings. There is also a team that comes with new construction — a real estate professional, a sales agent, and a construction manager. All of these people are here to help the client get a new house.

One of the most important things for new agents is to get to know your area. Make note of what’s around you and connect with the new home agents so you can learn their processes and their products. You want to build up a “toolbox” so you can help your buyers make the right decision. Both Monica and Marion organize the information they collect into a Dropbox or Google Drive, as a buyer’s book. That way all the information is consolidated and easy to share with your clients.

There are several options when it comes to the payment. With home builders, there is already a real estate commission set aside for REALTORS®. This is something to educate and explain to your buyers up front, so they understand that it’s set aside whether they use it or not. As an agent, you can communicate with the builder and let them know what types of properties you might be looking for with your new buyers.

If you come into new construction in the middle of the transaction, it’s not too late! If you know that your client has started looking, you know that the interest is there, and you can do your research on other areas and show them some other options. If they want you to be involved, you can be. Don’t walk away anywhere in the transaction, because you can still provide value.

As buyers’ agents, there is a lot of value you can bring to a new construction transaction. As real estate professionals, you bring additional global knowledge to the transaction. You can present yourself as a consultant for the entire process, not just the new construction piece. This is especially important when it comes to the contract — you want to make sure you go through the whole contract with your client to make sure everything is understood and how the client wants it. If you are involved, you can troubleshoot proactively, rather than learning about problems once they’re a big problem.

When a big problem occurs, that is when buyers’ agents really show their value. You become an advocate for their clients and will go to the builders on their clients’ behalf. As a professional, you can mediate the issues and also find other options.

A home inspection is a must for new construction. When you get the inspection, don’t sign until everything that needs to be corrected on the inspection actually gets corrected. The inspection should ideally happen right before the walkthrough with the builder. Then you can bring the list to the walkthrough, and the builder can fix what needs to be fixed or provide a good explanation (in writing) as to why it can’t be fixed.

When looking at builders, you can direct buyers to do their own research so they feel confident in their choice. A great resource for consumers is the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Usually, they can see for themselves the quality of the construction, but you can also help ensure the process goes smoothly regardless of who they go with by encouraging an inspection (or inspections) along the way.

Custom builds can be a great option if you have the finances, the time, and the creative vision. The process of the custom build can be very overwhelming, because you have to find a floor plan, and also often have to find your own builder. The biggest thing to consider with a custom build is cost — the client is paying for every single thing they choose. You also have to consider the land involved, as well as working with the county/city for building permits, etc.

Another thing to consider as an agent is the payment on custom builds. You want to make sure these terms and agreements are negotiated and agreed upon up front. The commission often becomes a line item, and as an agent, you want to cover all your bases.

One of the last thoughts from Marion is to really educate yourself as a REALTOR® on new construction and then educate your buyers on new construction. If you sprinkle new construction into your other listings that you’re showing your clients, they may fall in love with something they didn’t even know was out there.

At the end, Monica lists some classes concerning new construction that are available at onlinelearning.REALTOR or training4re.com.

Guest Links: 

Marion’s Website

Unlimited Realty Solutions

Marion’s LinkedIn Profile

Facebook

Guest Bio:

Marion Napoleon is the broker/owner of Unlimited Realty Solutions in Grand Prairie, TX. She has over 17 years of experience as a real estate professional. She works with all kinds of buyers, and is a national speaker with the National Association of REALTORS®, as well as speaking on motivational topics.  She is trained and certified to help you reach your goals and aspirations in every area of your life.  For over 30 years, Marion Napoleon has devoted her life to changing the lives of others. Marion is a Real Estate Broker and Instructor, Certified Life Coach, Author, Nationwide Corporate & Christian Motivational Speaker, She is also Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

Additional Links:

National Association of Home Builders

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — Onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

Real Estate Business Institute

CRDpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Dec 04 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #6: 022: Using Video to Enhance Your Business with Jeremias “JMan” Maneiro

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No matter what the stage of your business, you can always get started using video in your business. There are several ways to consider using video in your business: to film an intro, open houses, to go live on Facebook, or connect with local businesses. Monica’s guest, Jeremias “JMan” Maneiro, joins her on the show to discuss these different ways to use video in your business, as well as what equipment to use. All of these discussion points can help you improve and strengthen your connections with your clients.

As we’ve entered into 2019, it is a time of video. It is a great way to build rapport with your clients and get to know them before an initial meeting. Community video is a great place to start. You can share things about restaurants, amenities, accessibility; you want to make the communities where you live and sell appealing to others. Another way to do community videos is to interview business owners and share it with the people. This not only helps you but also helps promote the business itself; it’s a win-win! You can also stream live events going on.

An even easier place to start may be listing videos. You already have all the content and the listing, and it could be a great way to do the marketing. JMan does a “coming soon” video where he does a live walk-through of the home and shares it on his business page. Everyone has equal access to the listing, and the clients can see when agents leave comments on the video, which boosts the quality.

You do have to be careful when you do Facebook live videos — be strategic about how you are “conducting business” between personal and business pages. You also have to respect your clients’ privacy. It is the same as when you’re staging for photographs — you want to make sure only things that should be on display are on display.

There are options for more formal videos. Animoto and iPhoto are great applications where you can import images and videos to produce a stylized video. You don’t have to be in these videos, but you should brand it so people know who you are and where you are.

More recently, drone video has entered the video marketing strategy. They can provide some really awesome shots but it may an instance where you want to hire a professional to help you. There are so many different things the drone allows you to see.

Some of the most popular business videos are virtual open houses. This allows you to take interested buyers on a virtual tour of the house and also leaves the option to provide feedback or questions via some sort of form, so you are reacting to the video you just saw. This also allows for live engagement.

Nearly all social media platforms have the “story” feature — these are a GREAT way to start! They are short clips, but they also only stick around for 24 hours, so there’s a little bit less pressure. These story videos encourage you to keep your message to-the-point, as well as get frequent practice with pretty little effort.

The goals of your videos should not necessarily be the number of likes, but rather about connecting with your audience (quality over quantity). You can work to create custom audiences, so the people that are seeing your videos have really been tuned into your videos previously.

Now that you know all the benefits and different avenues for video, how can you incorporate it into your business? One thing to expect is that you won’t be happy with every (or maybe any!) take. It takes time to get used to how you look and sound on video and one thing Monica recommends is to give herself one take, even if it’s not live. Each video is a learning opportunity, so as you get started, you can learn as you keep producing more videos. One of the beauties of video in our culture is that it does allow for you to be authentic and gives room for your human mistakes.

One thing JMan has is a quick introduction video for his team. He has a small team, but a short introduction video allows clients or even other agents you may be working with to put a name with a face so they can get to know the whole team, rather than just you. They can feel like they are connected with the team at all points of the transaction.

You don’t need to have a ton of fancy equipment. If you have a smartphone, that’s a good place to start. There are some additional lighting options to enhance what your phone does. Next is the audio; they make external microphones. The lavalier is a style that both JMan and Monica talk about to get better-polished videos. You can use apps and tools to get better angles, and there are also devices such as gimbals that act as a tripod so you don’t have to recruit others to help.

One final type of video is the Matterport. This is a camera that does a high-res 360-degree scan of every room in the house and creates a virtual, immersive, 3D experience.

If you’re ready to get started on video, just remember to be you. Be authentic, and focus on building relationships.

Guest Links:

Jmanseminars.com

YouTube JManSeminars.com

Instagram.com/jmanspeaks/

Facebook.com/ManeiroTeam

Jmansells.com

Guest Bio:

Jeremias "JMan" Maneiro, full-time licensed agent, it's my career, not a hobby.

Associate Broker — Highest form of licensing in Real Estate you can achieve. Department of State recognizes that you have the expertise and experience to be your own Broker/Owner but that you have decided to associate with a company.

Aggressive and experienced negotiator; I work with everyone from first timers to luxury home buyers and fight to get you the best price and terms with the least amount of stress to you.

I exceed the expectations of my clients by providing immediate response to their needs and better service through the mastery of today's technology. Instant access to e-mail, internet, and cell phone.

New home construction specialist; I help my client from contract to closing. We can determine what development, floor plan, structural and product amenities best fit your needs and budget.

My highly successful 30-day marketing program will sell your home faster and for the most money possible.

I am a life-long resident of Rochester — born in the City and raised in Greece, New York.

My custom home feedback system gets accurate and honest feedback from showing agents quicker and more often. This means the house will sell faster because we are more in tune with the market.

Additional Links:

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — Onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

CRDpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Jan 08 2019

57mins

Play

Rank #7: 026: Professionalism and C2EX with Hagan Stone

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Today’s episode is the second part of a three-part series that highlights some of the major NAR programs being offered. The Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) program explores professionalism and its application to professional life. Monica and Hagan talk about some key points of professionalism, as well as breaking down the way the assessments work. All of this is so we can improve excellence in our own lives as well as in the industry!

The Commitment to Excellence program came from a strategic planning aim to look at what the REALTORS® of the future would look like. Professionalism needed to increase across the association across the country, to continue to keep the industry strong. C2EX is the initiative that gives members a voluntary pathway to the highest level of professionalism in ten key areas of the business. There have been 19,000 members that have signed up so far.

The program was designed for REALTORS® at any skill level to come in and learn key points from the ten areas. When you first take an assessment, the program puts together a personalized learning path based on the knowledge you already have and the knowledge you need to gain from the ten areas to be endorsed. Monica and Hagan talk about some of the specifics of the quiz, and why it’s important to have an open mindset while working through it.

Whenever they present the C2EX program, there is an influx of people who sign up for the program. A key part of the story is marketing and letting people know about it. People seem to enjoy the assessment to figure out strengths and weaknesses, and these assessments could also be done in a large group, focusing on each person’s result. It can be an important tool for team building.

One of the goals of the C2EX program is raising the bar and raising the goals for REALTORS® around the country. Professionalism is all thinking about the end user and being prepared in each action to make sure the transaction goes smoothly. Some of the traits that C2EX covers are: trust & integrity, client service, and professional reputation. It is meant to help improve everyone in the profession, not just those who are new.

Client service includes making sure the client has a copy of all the documents they should’ve signed and going over the contract with them. Communication is another aspect of professionalism. Getting to know which communication medium your client prefers will go a long way. Take the time to understand how your client best communicates and use that throughout the process. It is also helpful to have one day a week, or something set in stone, to catch the client up on what happened that week.

Reputation is another facet of professionalism. We don’t often get a chance to redeem ourselves when it comes to our reputation, but you have to keep it in mind so that you keep it untarnished. We have our experience, time, and reputation to offer for our clients. Having a good reputation in your market positively impacts the experience of your client. To manage your reputation online, be careful about what you post. You represent your clients in addition to just yourself. You want to make sure your reputation paints you as someone who is considerate, someone who understands our code of ethics.

The Commitment to Excellence program is split into smaller sections, so you can tackle them one at a time. It becomes a lifelong learning tool. You may receive a notification to retake a certification if something in that realm has changed.

Trust and integrity are incredibly important for professionalism. Our clients trust us with one of the largest financial transactions they will have in their lives. As agents, we need to look for ways to build trust by staying on top of communication, being prepared, and sharing all options with your client. Put building trust at the forefront of your decision-making when it comes to your client. You also want to develop a sense of trust with your clients, so they feel like you’ve also listened to them.

Hagan and Monica discuss some final thoughts on professional. Some of the things Hagan does are to connect with the REALTOR® when an offer is coming through, and also make sure that your voicemail reflects you as a professional. When it comes down to it, be respectful of your other colleagues in the business. We’re all working toward the same end goal for our clients.

Log into to take the C2EX assessment: login to www.C2EX.REALTOR®. Choose to be the best you can be in the business. This program will help you sustain your business in a professional manner!

Guest Links:

TNREALTORS®.com/hagan-stone-2/

Parksathome.com/agents/HaganStone

Commitment to Excellence

Additional Links:

OnlineLearning.REALTOR® for NAR Online Education

Training4RE.com — List of Classroom Courses for REBAC and REBI classes.

CRS.com for RRC classes and online training

CRD@REALTORS.org

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Additional Bio:

Hagan Stone, REALTOR®, ABR, CRS, affiliate broker of Parks in Brentwood, is 2019 President-Elect for Tennessee REALTORS®.

A veteran of 19 years in real estate, Hagan has previously served as Secretary-Treasurer (2018) and Division 2 Vice President (2015-16) for Tennessee REALTORS®, and President of Greater Nashville REALTORS® (2014). He is a recipient of the Nashville Emerging Leader Award for RE Services (2014) and a graduate of NAR Leadership Academy (2010).

Locally, Hagan also has chaired multiple committees including Professional Development, RPAC/Legislative, and Nominating, and he was named REALTOR® of the Year in 2010. On the state level, Hagan’s leadership positions have included RPAC Trustees Vice Chair (2014). Nationally, he has chaired NAR’s RPAC Fundraising Trustees (2017) and its Leadership Academy (2015), among other roles.

When it comes to his approach to real estate, Hagan credits his father’s influence. “He has been a small-business owner and entrepreneur for more than fifty years. The greatest lessons he has taught me have been accepting hard work, taking leaps of faith and never settling for the status quo.”

Born in Nashville, reared in Clarksville — which he considers home — and a 24-year Nashville resident, Hagan is a proud Tennessean who also loves to travel and experience different cultures and customs.

He is a 1996 graduate of Belmont University with a bachelor’s in Communications Studies and a minor in History. He and his wife, Laura (a nurse practitioner at St. Thomas West), are the parents of Catherine, 14, and Dawson, 13.

May 07 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #8: 020: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 with Dale Carlton, Jr.

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There have been some very significant changes made to the tax codes that are effective this year, 2018. In this episode Monica is joined by Dale Carlton, Jr., who has worked in real estate since the mid 1990s and has been an attorney since 2001, about how the new tax laws affect: real estate professionals, their businesses, and their clients.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides the opportunity for people who made the same money in 2018 that they made in 2017 to see a reduction in the amount of tax they will have to pay. Currently, we all pay according to marginal tax rates — everyone falls in a tax bracket. Each of these tax brackets is going to be reduced. There will be some differences in deductions, and there is also something called qualified business income deduction — a deduction on profits.

The first thing to note is that the marginal tax rates have been lowered, and overall the amount of tax you pay on your taxable income will be a few percentage points less. Dale talks about some of the implications of this as well — there will likely be a decrease in the number of itemized deductions filed. What this means for real estate agents is that people will no longer have an advantage by owning real property as a home, because the standard deduction will exceed the amount of their mortgage interest and their other taxes owed. This corresponds to Section A on the 1040 form.

By raising the standard deduction, they removed some of the deductions we had previously. In the loss of the standard deduction, we lose of some of the aspects of the deduction regarding living in the same residence for two of the past five years. They also maximized the amount you could deduct of state and local income taxes along with real estate taxes and maximized the amount you could deduct from those groups to $10,000.

There are essentially four deductions that are still allowed: charitable contributions, home mortgage interest deduction, state and local income tax and real estate taxes combined, and then any medical expenses above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. The $10,000 max of the state/local income tax and real estate can be added to charitable contributions, home mortgage interest, and medical expenses; if all of those added together are less than $24,000, you’ll want to take the standard deduction. If they are more, you would keep them itemized.

The home mortgage interest deduction includes your primary residence and a second home. You could write off the interest for these two as long as it was acquisition indebtedness.

The two changes that most agents need to be aware of is that they did away with personal exemptions. In 2018, there are no exemptions for any person, all are removed. They have, however, amended the rules regarding the child tax credit. They have doubled the child tax credit and increased the phase-out limit to start at $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for married filing jointly.

For further clarification on the deduction for people who had owned a home for two out of the last five years, this is still intact in the way that we’re used to it. This is the profit of a sale on a principal residence. As long as you’ve lived in it for two of the previous five years, you could take up to $500,000 worth of gain and not have to pay tax on that gain. This was advantageous for real estate agents and investors.

Qualified Business Income Deduction: if you have a minor that can work for you in your business, they can get paid up to $12,000 without having to pay taxes. This is also a business expense you won’t have to pay taxes on. There are some rules with this deduction that will affect how we take our money. Everything changed in August — a lot of smaller business owners went to bat to protect them with these new tools. Instead of a tax bridge, you get 20% off your taxable profit, with up to a 25% qualified business deduction. If your taxable income is below the new thresholds, you will still qualify for this qualified business income deduction. Dale discusses even further some of the implications of the changes on this tax.

To make sure you are getting the qualified business deduction, you must get in with your accountant before the end of the year to make sure you’re set up correctly. You will also have to set up a corporation so that you can pay part of your money as salary and receive the other part as dividends from your company.

Having your finances for your business in a separate account is crucial -— you can get some good software, and you can run all your finances through the business account. Running your profit and loss for your accountant will be that much easier if your accounts are separated. Keeping better records will save you and your accountant a lot of time.

There were some changes in some of the ways business expenses are being looked at. Previously you could get a deduction on entertainment expenses, and now that is zero. There is discussion happening in regards to the 50% meal deduction in your business. Membership dues have also been removed, to social type places.

These are tax law changes that are occurring now. Most accountants right now are still filing 2017 returns until mid-October. From the middle of October through the end of the year is their chance to get caught up on the new changes, and will begin meeting with their clients. Be patient with your accountants as they get up to speed on the new changes — they will take care of you!

Dale’s Links:

Dale’s Website

Tax Update Articles

Additional Links:

E-Pro certification

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — Onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

NAR Annual Conference

CRDpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

General info from NAR regarding Tax Cuts

Dale Carleton Bio:

For 16 years Dale has been representing Buyers and Sellers in Northwest Arkansas. He has personally sold well over $100 million in properties and constantly ranks as a top real estate agent in Northwest Arkansas. Dale spent 8 years with another company where they did over $3 billion in sales while he was an Executive Broker and Senior Vice President for the company. He has spent the last 8 years as the Broker/Owner of Carlton Realty, Inc. and continues to represent many of the clients he has worked with since he first started in the real estate business.

Dale is well known in the Northwest Arkansas area for taking a straightforward, direct and honest approach to real estate. His past clients will tell you that he does not like to talk fluff and is often very blunt about the market and what he feels is the best professional decision in any circumstance. Below are those things that separate Dale from other real estate agents in Northwest Arkansas.

  • Licensed Attorney for over 13 years.
  • 2015 President of the Council of Residential Specialists (the largest and most respected professional real estate designation).
  • Sells between $10-$15 million in real estate annually.
  • Personally invests in real estate by owning multiple rental properties.
  • Represents a number of renovators in Northwest Arkansas, including Mark Zweig, Inc., allowing him a better understanding of the remodeling needs of homes.
  • Has built many homes in Northwest Arkansas.
  • Is respected as one of the top 20 real estate educators nationally, and is invited to speak in 20-30 states annually.
  • Has been a state real estate educator teaching many of the local agents their license and continuing education courses.
  • Consults with large real estate companies across the nation on best practices for representing clients.
  • Sits on multiple boards and invests his time and money into Northwest Arkansas.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Nov 06 2018

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #9: 019: Let’s Talk About Communication with Chris Donaldson

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It’s easy to forget, in the real estate industry, that communication between people is as important as it’s ever been before — especially with the rise of technology. This is an issue in business and among people, in general. One of the most popular forms of communication these days is through our phones, though very few people actually use it as a phone. As a REALTOR®, it’s important to be aware of which forms of communication our clients are using so we can use their preferred method. This is also true for communicating with other REALTORS®. In this episode, Monica and Chris talk about different types of communication, as well as different attitudes to use while communicating.

Remember that we have to be professional 24/7 when it comes to communicating via technology. Just because we’re not speaking with someone face to face, it doesn’t mean our tone can’t be interpreted or perceived as rude. This is something to be aware of as you’re communicating with your clients and other people in the business. Early in the relationship, treat communication formally, and respond to the communication pattern of the other person once you’ve established the relationship.

There are four different personality (DISC) types and each type has a different preference for communication. You have to be able to work efficiently and well with all of those people. You don’t have to be like everyone you work with, but you have to be able to communicate with them professionally.

You may also need to rely on several different types of communication to relay the same message. If you’re sending along attachments, or maybe an offer, you may also send a text or give them a quick call to let them know those things are on their way. Monica refers to this as the trifecta of communication. Waiting on only one method of communication could cost your client a deal.

Email is an especially sensitive form of communication. Things can get lost in transit or it’s very easy to make a typo when entering an email address that could cause your email not to get to its intended recipient. There are also many third-party systems that handle email, and you could potentially unsubscribe from emails that might be important. Chris shares a tip — separate your business and personal worlds in your email. Make sure your real-estate-related items are going to a separate place from any personal emails to help ensure you’re not missing important information you need. This will also help you compartmentalize distractions during the day.

Chris shares a strategy he has for maintaining his emails — the four D’s. The first one is Delete: delete emails that aren’t important, or “junk mail.” The second one is Delegate: get things to the appropriate party right away. Don’t use your inbox as your to-do list. The third one is Do: respond to things that are time-sensitive but also take time each day to make sure you are responding to emails that need your attention. There are apps in the app store that manage emails that may have more features than the ones that come with your phone.

When communicating with text or email, make sure the people you are communicating with know who you’re are. That is, make sure in the text or email you have some type of signature so the recipient knows who are you and can get back in contact with you depending on the situation at hand. Make it easy to let people know who you are. One big takeaway: as REALTORS®, one of our big goals is to reduce resistance for our clients. Meditate on the systems in your business to see what you can do to make things easier for your client.

Challenge from Chris: Think about the question, What makes me an expert? As you continue to interact with your clients and consumers, make sure you are able to communicate what you do well. This also helps the REALTOR® understand their own self-worth and the position they have in the industry, and also provides something to build upon. Make sure you identify problems and share with your clients how you are going to solve them.

It is also important to keep your clients updated, regardless of what’s going on. Monica talks about a template-type email that could be sent the same time each week that keeps clients in the loop. Chris shares an example of a daily follow-up, and the “no update update.” If you’re working with a client on an issue, make sure you update them on the progress. Even if you don’t have an answer, let them know you’re still working on it so they don’t wonder about it.

Being an awesome communicator really helps client retention, especially during times when the market changes. The tougher the market, the communication is likely needed. Tailoring your approach to suit the client’s needs really goes a long way. If they think and know you are doing everything you can, the relationship stays strong.

Technology and communication are amplifying your ability to have one-on-one conversations with your clients. You have to prune both sides, the tech and the personal relationship, to create effective communication between you and your clients.

Monica’s final tips: When you get an email, make sure you send a quick reply to acknowledge the email. For emails, think about using a strong subject line to make it stand out. If you work in teams or with assistants, make sure the transfer of communication is clear, so the right person is getting the right information.

Guest Links:

Personal hub: thechrisdonaldson.com

Facebook: @thechrisdonaldson

Instagram: @thechrisdonaldson

Twitter: @christalksdaily

Youtube: tv.thechrisdonaldson.com

Additional Links:

E-Pro certification

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — Onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

NAR Annual Conference

CRD@REALTORS.org

Additional Bio:

Chris Donaldson is a real estate broker, popular keynote speaker, teacher, business coach, entrepreneur, and leadership expert. A businessman with a teacher’s heart, everything Chris touches begins and ends with the goal of helping you achieve what you want.

Jumping into the world of real estate while still just a college student, he quickly transitioned his love of teaching to become one of the youngest certified real estate instructors ever in his home state of Louisiana. Now the CEO of Donaldson Educational Services, Founder/CEO of Donaldson Training Solutions and active real estate broker, his daily mission is to make YOUR life and career better.

Passion and enthusiasm to help others are evident in everything Chris touches. Whether that simply means helping you obtain that new license you desire, making sure you understand your license requirements, compliance, and continuing education, or doing his part to help you excel with “next level” training to help you succeed — it is all under the umbrella of the businesses and efforts Chris works on each day. The goal is simple, that someone benefits from any of the programs, courses, books, free content, or anything else that is created by Chris and his amazing team.

Chris currently lives in New Orleans Louisiana with his beloved “watchdog,” Putter. While not working on his businesses, he enjoys golf, fitness, and not burning down the kitchen trying to cook. Giving back to the community through various charitable foundations is always at the top of mind, especially those that can directly affect the lives and futures of those the organizations serve.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Oct 02 2018

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #10: 018: Working with Lenders with Daniel Green

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Monica first came across Dan while she researching mortgage reports. He actually started two separate ventures — first, was The Mortgage Reports, and second, he recently moved into a broader personal finance field with his project Growella. This project extends beyond mortgage and real estate, although that’s where Dan’s passion lies. In today’s episode, Monica and Dan discuss relationships and communications with lenders and details about some of the products, as well as suggestions on how to keep in touch with clients.

There are many people who want to buy a home but don’t think it’s possible because they’re not getting access to the information that lets them know how possible it really is. It really means a lot for people to own their own home, and it is a privilege here. For the next generation of home buyers, many of their opinions about finances were shaped by the negative attitude in the economy in the previous decade. One of the things Dan strives to do with his team is to empower people to let them know yes, you can get a home.

As REALTORS®, we need to recognize that we don’t know it all, and it’s important to have a mortgage lender that you know and trust and that you can recommend to your clients. How can real estate agents work with lenders and help facilitate the process without giving advice on something we don’t know about? When REALTORS® are working with mortgage lenders, both the REALTOR® and the lender are working toward the same goal. The situation for each buyer will be different, and in the end, both parties want to do what’s best for the client. As a REALTOR®, it’s important to read and keep up with mortgage-related news so you can be aware of when your client may be missing a piece of information. In these instances, it’s important to refer your client to a lender, who can handle the details of the situation better than you can.

It may be more likely you’re in a situation where you don’t know your client’s mortgage lender. It can be hard to put your faith in someone you don’t know, but we must remember that any mortgage lender who is serious about their business will hold each of their clients to the highest regard. Lenders who you don’t meet face to face often put a different standard of care on being available for communication.

Proactive communication will help everybody be in the know more quickly and can pave the way for easier communication moving forward. It can prevent a lot of miscommunication and potential drama. Many lenders are using their open communication as a selling point to clients. This helps REALTORS®, as well, and it’s important for REALTORS® to respect the two-way channel of communication between themselves and the lender.

There are several different types of loans. Conventional mortgages are any mortgages that are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They make up about two-thirds of all loans that are done. The stereotypical conventional mortgage borrow no longer exists. This is in contrast to the FHA, which used to be thought of as a home affordability product, and used to have a stigma attached to it for several years. There are also VA loans, which are loans that are available to people who are active military or veterans. They are most well-known for being 100% mortgages (the average down payment is 2%). The USDA loan (United States Department of Agriculture) are also 100% mortgages, and they offer lower interest rates as compared to other loan products. These are meant to promote home ownership in less densely populated areas.

For these four types of loans (conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA), many borrowers can move interchangeably between these four. You can’t necessarily know what’s best for you client without talking to a loan officer. Dan talks about some mortgage options that exist within these four categories, and the goal of the mortgage lender is to figure out which option is going to be best for the borrower for their specific home in this time. It is a constantly moving target, trying to find where a borrower fits best at any point in time.

Jumbo loans are a subset of a larger group of products called portfolio loans. These are non-government supported loans, where the mortgage lender keeps the interest. Some of the loans don’t meet the government’s requirements. A jumbo loan is a loan that is too big to meet the government’s rules. There are other mortgage programs that meet government regulations, but the lender still wants to keep the interest. Dan talks about a few different varieties for medical professionals, teachers, and first responders within a community.

The market has broad, overarching products from the government, and then individual products from different banks. It is a good idea to talk to two or more lenders, so you can get the best possible product and the best possible price. It’s important for lenders to communicate those niche products because buyers need them! By talking to a mortgage lender early in the process, you set yourself to be in a position where you are in control of your options.

Dan shares some current statistics regarding conventional loans and the FHA loan. They each have different insurance regulations and different interest rates. Right now, the FHA is good for people who have below-average credit scores and are buying multi-unit homes. People who previously held FHA loans have been refinancing their FHA loans into other categories. It’s a strange situation right now but it could change at any time. It is a good point of contact if you need to contact your clients.

Many states have organizations within the state that offer first-time borrower programs or other specialized programs. States try to promote home ownership within their state lines, and there are some quality programs out there. Many are trying to reach out to first-time home buyers. Many states also have down payment assistance programs. These programs are very beneficial and it is definitely worth researching which programs are available for the area your client is buying in.

Education is one of the most important ways to reach and inform your clients. Younger buyers typically want the education but part of the challenge is having the benefit of experience. You can’t get everything online, and you need to talk to people who are experienced and who spend a lot of time researching.

There are several other niche products with more narrow markets than the categories previously discussed. They might be the right product for a specific person, but it’s important to discuss with a loan officer who understands how the products work and whether they will really be beneficial for you or your clients.

For condominiums and other communities where there are a lot of investors, sometimes homeowners have a hard time getting a loan. There has been a loosening in requirements for condos, especially when it comes to investors. They now allow more investors in a building, but still make a loan to your borrowers. This is a great example of how mortgage lending is changing based on today’s market.

Is it a good thing for clients to buy down a mortgage rate? The idea here is that there is some type of market rate, and by pre-paying some of your mortgage interest, you can get a lower interest rate. A home buyer can get access to lower mortgage rates by paying an upfront fee. There is a reverse to this, where if you accept a mortgage rate that is higher than the market rate, the mortgage lender will give cash to you. Dan prefers this second option because even though you pay a little more each month, you are able to stay as liquid as possible.

One important takeaway for real estate agents is that they shouldn’t necessarily be concerned with the interest rate that their client has. The lowest interest rate is not always going to be the lowest cost. What you want to be looking for is the lowest overall cost. For a lot of people, the zero closing cost mortgage is often the best option. The main job of REALTORS® is to get your clients to a good lender, who will present them with all the options. It is important to stay up to date on what’s happening, so you can be informed for your clients.

Additional Links:

Guest Links:

Growella

The Mortgage Reports

E-Pro certification

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — Onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

NAR Annual Conference

CRDpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Guest Bio:

Daniel Green lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s currently the CEO of Growella, a publishing company that helps Millennials do more with their money and get more from their life. Dan’s last project, the popular mortgage website, The Mortgage Reports, was recently acquired, which was his third sale of a web-publishing business.

As a part of Dan’s successful entrepreneurial career, he has spent a chunk of his time writing software and lending his expertise as a top-producing mortgage loan officer. Dan’s market insights earned him a reputation as a top mortgage market commentator. Dan has been frequently cited in print, on the radio, and on television.

Before Growella, Dan founded and directed, the popular mortgage blog The Mortgage Reports (http://themortgagereports.com). The Mortgage Reports is widely recognized as the top consumer-focused mortgage blog in the country. The site offers unbiased mortgage loan advice to first-time home buyers, seasoned homeowners, and real estate investors; and, has been informing its readers for more than a decade.

Dan Green lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children, all of whom enjoy living an active and healthy lifestyle. When Dan is not busy running road races and web publishing companies, he can be found playing hockey, goofing in the kitchen, or logging 40-mile weeks on the streets of Cincinnati.  Dan is also a self-taught guitarist and enjoys playing and singing loudly for his two dogs — a Great Pyrenees and an Old English Sheepdog.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Sep 04 2018

1hr 10mins

Play

Rank #11: 017: Tech in Real Estate, Part 3: The Virtual Office with Sam Powell

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In the last installment of the summer series on technology, Monica talks with our guest, Sam Powell, about the virtual office. Since beginning her real estate venture, Sam has been working towards being 100% paperless and 100% virtual. In this episode, she talks with Monica about the equipment she uses, the programs and applications she uses, tips for being successful and mobile, and also a little bit about her marketing and branding strategy. If you’re looking to go virtual or paperless, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!

One of the main things to be mindful of if you’re wanting to step into the mobile/virtual office experience, it’s important to have good battery management. Charge everything every night so you can grab and go when you need to. In addition to the hardware she needs for her work, she completes the virtual office by also bringing her marketing with her. She has branded stickers and labels that fit her devices as well as branded shirts, so when she is out working in the community she is marketing and networking.

When Sam is out and about, people recognize and notice her logo and she is able to start conversations and forge connections with people she maybe wouldn’t otherwise if she kept to herself. Sam and Monica talk about how their interactions in the community enhance communication and allow REALTORS® to polish their people skills.

Sam talks about her approach to using her phone to talk live with clients versus communicating via text or email. Like many of us, Sam doesn’t like being caught off-guard and prefers when clients send a text or email about what they want to discuss so she can be prepared with the necessary information. She is prompt in getting back with her clients. Often she leaves her phone on Do Not Disturb while she’s focusing on a project. Whatever your system is, if you’re proactive to train your clients, they will know how to work with your system.

Communicating via text and email also automatically allows client communication to be documented. It can also allow some privacy if you are working on location; there are less likely to be people around that may know your client. On the reverse, having a phone conversation or meeting face-to-face can allow for more clarity and emotion, especially with any questions or issues about a deal. After you have a phone or in-person conversation, you can always follow up with an email to review and recap the issues discussed, and then the conversation is documented.

To take client notes paperlessly, Sam uses Evernote. This program allows a one-stop shop; you can upload photos along with your notes. The notes in Evernote are mostly for Sam herself, and then to share information with the clients and it’s usually via detailed email. Sam also uses the electronic notepad that comes with computers and puts in notes that come in from the client. There are a few other applications and places where you could store this kind of information: Google Docs, OneNote/OneDrive (Microsoft), and Dropbox. Using things like Word and Excel can also help you organize client information and data as well as track trends.

One of the nice things about a mobile office and using some of these programs is that it’s easy to get set up on multiple devices. Sam tells the story about her mobile office being stolen from her car, and how quickly she was able to get back up and running after it was stolen. It also makes it easy to train additional members of your team.

When working out in the community, Sam always tries to be able to connect to the wifi in a minimum of two ways. She uses a Verizon hotspot, and her phone can also function as a hotspot. For a backup third solution, you can use the wifi at the location that you’re at, but you want to make sure it is a secure network, since you may be handling sensitive or secure client data. If you’re having to use data, you can conserve data by not sending attachments in email messages. You can paste the link to Dropbox or Google Docs where these files are stored and then they can access live documents. You can also train your clients to find the information they need in these shared folders. It also provides a place for clients to leave notes too, so there is little misunderstanding. This is helpful when comparing appraisals and reports for full disclosure.

If you use a hotspot frequently to connect to the internet, there are protection devices you can use. Please don’t use public wifi to run your business. There are lots of tools to help you, so don’t let this discourage you from pursuing the mobile office — just do it with care!

Another big point of the virtual office is flexibility. They make battery packs so you can charge your laptop without sitting near an outlet. Being proactive about working remotely is one of the most important things in being successful in working remotely. There are also battery packs that allow you to plug into a traditional outlet.

Sam talks about the hardware she uses to run her virtual office. When she’s home, she uses a Mac cinema screen connected to a MacBook Air. When she travels, she uses the Macbook. She also carries her iPad mini; it ends up being the same configuration that she has at home, just a smaller version. Since you’re paperless, you don’t need to worry about a printer. Your computer, hotspot, and phone should do the trick!

Circling back to her marketing techniques and brand set up, Sam talks about her approach to picking a location. She likes to switch it up and feeds off the environment around her. She also likes to explore her immediate neighborhood/community. Some agents will frequent the same few places, which allows you to get to know the staff and regulars that can provide connections.

Sam’s final thoughts for the episode: It can be really beneficial to be intentional about having someone else sit across from you from time to time and work side-by-side. It can be an opportunity to learn from your peers as well. In a day, Sam likes to set up shop once in a location and stay there until she has to drive to an appointment or something. She will sometimes post on Facebook where her mobile office is for the day and that allows people the opportunity to stop by and talk.

Additional Links:

Guest Links:

Website

Facebook

LinkedIn

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

REBAC.net

Crdpodcast.com Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Guest Bio:

2014 President of Women's Council of REALTORS®

Top Producer 2012 & 2013,

Awarded by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®

A real estate professional since 2002, Sam is passionate about making the industry better by educating consumers regardless of if you work with her or not, peer-to-peer sharing no matter what company you work for, or through her volunteer work as the 2016 Women's Council of REALTORS® Illinois State President, 2014 Women's Council of REALTORS® Chicago Chapter President, Game Day Operations Manager of the Chicago Force, a Women's Semi-Professional Tackle Football Team (2013 National Champions), as well as an active member of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee. You can follow Sam on facebook.com/askforsam to see what she's up to at any time.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Aug 07 2018

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #12: 016: Tech in Real Estate, Part 2: "Pay to Play" — Marketing on Social Media with Mor Zucker and Jamie Slough

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Today’s guests have noticed a discrepancy in what REALTORS® are doing in person, versus their presence online. There hasn’t been a strong emphasis on online marketing. Mor Zucker and Jamie Slough from Denver bring their outside knowledge and background into their real estate business, specifically by using social media to bring them business and keep them top-of-mind with their clients. Social media is at the forefront of their business and they adapt the other aspects of their business to that as well.

One of the important aspects of how they use social media is in their intention — they post when it makes sense and try to be authentic in their posts. If you’re wanting to make social media part of your routine, it may be helpful to use a page manager so you don’t get distracted by the social media apps. You can also create a business page for your Facebook, and you can do this by going to business.facebook.com. The material on this avenue is all based on making it a business account rather than a personal page. They also make it a task to create an update on social media about new announcements or happenings in their business.

With the rise in technology, clients themselves now have access to all the listings on MLS as well as other off-market listings. The role of the REALTOR® or agent is expanded to being the voice of the industry as well as a transaction manager. The competition is high online, and you can’t necessarily depend on what you’ve been doing in the past to be effective now. You have to at least have a presence online, or it could end up being a huge detriment to your business; social media is where the people are. Agents need to focus on getting their social media up and running so they can stay in touch with the clients they already have.

Jamie and Mor have had a lot of success and positive feedback about their social media presence. One of the big things they focus on is making the post interesting, and include a lot of lifestyle items in their posts. They also discuss the importance of investing in your social media; you have to pay to play. As an agent, before you decide that social media doesn’t work for you, make sure you are investing the same amount of money into social media advertising as you are any print advertising.

They do share some of their business posts on their personal pages, but it’s very strategic. You don’t want to clog your personal newsfeed with your business posts. Mor also has a lifestyle blog (The Denver Ear), and the crossover here is very intentional as well. One recommendation she has for this is to write what you know about; your expertise will show through. On the lifestyle blog, the only advertisements they use are exclusively for their real estate business. The blog is linked on their real estate website as well, so it works as a two-way street. They defer to their clients for ideas and recommendations for the lifestyle blog. This helps to keep previous clients engaged and involved.

This idea of the lifestyle blog can be translated to other outlets in the same way — maybe you have a video blog or a podcast; the crossover can be shared with any marketing outlet. In their social media journey, Jamie and Mor learned that you can’t do everything well, so it’s better to choose one or two avenues that you excel in and push really hard at, and don’t try to do everything.

The call-to-action varies, based on the goal of the post or the ad campaign. But in everything they do, the overall goal is to direct people to their website. From their post, they lead people to their website where you might be prompted for further information. Directing traffic back to the website helps them track statistics and evaluate results. As an agent, your website needs to add value to your clients. Always think about the consumer and why they should come back to your website.

Facebook ads are a big way to advertise. When you go through the business page (business.facebook.com), you have more control, and it also tracks and provides analytics of your marketing. They also do A-B testing; by changing different variables, they can test what combination will maximize their return. Some other tips Jamie and Mor have for Facebook ads: 1. People are visual creatures. Make sure your ad is mostly visual — a photo with a bit of written content is more effective. 2. Make sure you are intentional about what it is you’re trying to achieve with your ad. Jamie and Mor have been experimenting with using video on their ads. When doing video on social media, always think of your viewer. People also like when other people are in your videos and your clients can relate.

Don’t let the fact that you think you can’t do something prevent you from exploring and experimenting with different technology. Many video apps are user-friendly, and you won’t know what works for you until you give them a try. One new thing Jamie and Mor are trying is Facebook Pixels. This essentially grabs data from your website on the people that transition from Facebook to the place you’re converted them to, and holds that data so later you can determine how to retarget those people. It’s quite simple — it’s just copying and pasting one line of code. You need to update your ad based on that pixel.

Before you spend any money marketing online, make sure you are ready to respond to your clients and viewers. Systems need to be set up for the appropriate follow-up. You have to be ready to follow up with any inquiries you might get online. It’s important to respond promptly, so it’s a good idea to make this part of your daily schedule. It is valuable to advertise your listings to other agents as well.

Final thoughts for today’s episode: Everyone has an ability that they are excellent in. As an agent, take what you’re excellent in and showcase that online. As soon as people see what you’re doing, you’re going to get more business. Everyone has access to the tools Jamie and Mor are using, but it’s about changing your mindset to make them work for you.

Additional Links:

Kentwood Real Estate

Denver Ear

Hootsuite

Monday.com

Fiverr

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRS.com

Crdpodcast.com — Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Guest Bios:

Jamie Slough and Mor Zucker, two accomplished Broker Associates with Kentwood Real Estate Cherry Creek, have established themselves among the upper echelon of the nation’s real estate professionals who specialize in the marketing of luxury properties.

The duo’s comprehensive marketing and technology backgrounds, coupled with their affiliation with the world’s foremost luxury property networks, have enabled the top producing brokers to secure distinctive listings while others fall short.

Slough and Zucker have won multiple awards for their work including the 'Best Overall Marketing Package Agent' Award (2017), the 'booj Award' (2016), and are multiple-time award nominees for categories such as, 'Most Innovative Marketing Technique'  & 'Outstanding Social Media Savvy'.

Mor Zucker is also the Founder of the website, The Denver Ear, a news and media outlet that focuses on local events, restaurants, and family activities in Denver. The Denver Ear currently has over 150,000 unique readers per month.

Website & Social Media Links:

Teamdenverhomes.com

Instagram: @Teamdenverhomes

Facebook: Team Denver Homes — Kentwood Real Estate

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Jul 03 2018

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #13: 015: Tech in Real Estate, Part 1: Social Media Strategy with Marki Lemons Ryhal

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Today’s episode is the first in a three-part series on technology; this episode focuses on social media and how we use can use it in our real estate business. So many people engage with social media every day — we and our clients are all in. Today’s guest is Marki Lemons Ryhal and she joins Monica today to talk about the vast ways that we as REALTORS® can use social media to help ourselves and our clients. There are free and paid ways to use social media. Marki is teaching REALTORS® all over the country how to improve social media presence and make social media work better for them.

Many real estate agents are having success on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Facebook is good to reach a large number of people because about two-thirds of internet users have Facebook, regardless of age. Instagram is popular because we are a visual society, and we can get information quickly and succinctly on Instagram. Marki also uses LinkedIn, but this is more useful for those in commercial real estate. As a commercial agent, you could use LinkedIn to join the Employee Assisted Housing Program and connect with Human Resource directors. For people who may be focusing on more niche markets, Snapchat and Pinterest can be other good platforms to utilize. Twitter is a popular platform, but there is the character limitation; a good way to utilize Twitter is to post photos and short videos.

Many agents feel overwhelmed by all the media and finding a balance between being a good business person and being authentic across all these different platforms. It’s important to go back to your business plan and focus on who your business plan needs you to be in front of. After defining your customer (or who you want to be your customer), and looking at the demographics and profiles, pick the media that will best reach these clients. You want to engage with the tools they already have and use.

Marki talks about Community SEO, and how you can utilize social media to start showing up on the platforms you use. If you tag the location when you’re using social media, people will start to know who you are. You can do things in the community offline, but post it online. The focus on getting out in the community is important because people want to do business with people they trust. You will also have a higher conversion rate from the people that you meet, versus the people you haven’t met. You learn to leverage social media to get your community activity onto the web.

A hashtag is a pound sign followed by a word or a group of words. Hashtags can filter or streamline a conversation. People can search by hashtags, so it’s important to be honest and use your hashtags correctly. You might consider creating a branded hashtag custom just for you. Marki warns about being a little cautious when using hashtags because if you use something too generic, you might expose your competition. It’s a balance between using phrases that are commonly searched, but also set you apart from your competition.

Facebook is a treasure trove of information for our clients. Marki talks about some specific ways REALTORS® can use Facebook to enhance their business. Facebook is the largest and probably most accurate listening device because people share all of their business in real time. As people share their life events, you can begin to gauge motivated sellers. You can also use this to help bridge the gap between the online and offline relationship.

REALTORS® share content consistently with consumers that they don’t engage or interact with. You have to think about how to educate the consumer and be first in mind, but don’t give them content that the consumer won’t engage with. Using platforms and mediums that can deliver the content they will interact with (videos, photos) will lead to a higher chance of success. Most people do business with the first person they interact with, so it’s important to make sure your social media presence is strong and respectful.

Facebook has a feature of lists, where you can separate people into groups like you might on an email distribution. Marki uses the Facebook Messenger app to talk to potential clients and other network connections. It serves as an extension of her client relationship management system. Marki describes some specific ways she uses Messenger and Chat Bots to enhance her relations with her customers.

As real estate agents, we often think about the things we like and don’t like, but we have to put ourselves in the shoes of our consumers and how they like to shop. This can help you shape your online presence so you’re reaching your consumers.

When creating your social media profile that is friendly and business-appropriate, it can be helpful to start with a clean slate. You want to tell people what you do, but avoid describing it like you would in the MLS. You want to include where you do business, adhere to license law, and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics (include the company that you work for). You want to talk to people in the manner that they’re searching. Marki also recommends using emojis, and maximize the character count. Write a bio up to 160 characters with what you want to be known for at the very beginning. Then you can use this basic bio and tailor it for different platforms. Your bio serves as the introduction to you, and you want it to be something that will help bring you to the top.

Videos can be a really helpful tool for using social media for real estate. One of the best platforms for videos, photos, and messenger is Snapchat. It is also a little bit more of a casual platform and can allow you to connect with your consumers in a more light-hearted way. You can use Snapchat to post to Instagram and Facebook stories as well, but you want to be strategic about what content you overlap across platforms so it’s not exactly the same across all three.

What are some ways to market a property or yourself as a real estate agent in an authentic manner? A great way is to utilize live videos to do previews to open houses, highlight price changes, or updates to the property. If there is a marketing event for the property, you would want to live stream that as well. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all have the options for live content. Video content also lets you post across multiple platforms (including YouTube and podcasts) without creating new content for each video. Some apps Marki recommends are Quik by GoPro and Animoto. In a video, you can also share a landing/lead capture so they can leave their contact information and you can add them to your CRM.

Marki talks about how to be intentional about marketing on your social media platforms. Marki and Monica both recommend time blocking; Marki does an hour every day Monday - Friday. If one solid hour is too much, you can break it up into smaller chunks. You want it to be on the calendar to make sure you still make social media efforts.

Marki’s final advice for listeners is to video every single day. People care about if you can solve their buying and selling problems. She encourages everyone to create video content! If you don’t want to do live content, take your photos and turn them into videos because you want to give consumers what they want, where they are.

Additional Links:

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — onlinelearning.REALTOR®

CRDpodcast.com - Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Guest Links:

Markis Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Blog

About Me

Instagram

Guest Bio:

Licensed Managing Broker, REALTOR®, avid volunteer, and Major Donor, Marki Lemons-Ryhal is dedicated to all things real estate. With over 25 years of marketing experience, Marki has taught REALTORS® how to earn up to a 2682% return on their marketing dollars.

As a REALTOR® Marki has earned the several sales award, the REALTOR® Achievement Award, and the President’s Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

She is a five-time REALTOR® Conference and Expo featured attendee, one of 80 speakers selected to speak at the REALTOR® Conference & Expo three times, and an Inman closing Keynote speaker.

By consistently offering sound industry analysis and professional guidance, Marki’s expertise has been featured in Forbes, Washington Post, Homes.com, REALTOR® Magazine and has also been included on CBS News Chicago and CBNC.

Marki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Chicago State University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University, and over fifty real estate related licenses, certifications, and designations.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Jun 05 2018

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #14: 014: Senior Market, Part 2: How Elder Care Professionals Can Help with Barbara Boone McGinnis

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Continuing last month’s episode and conversation about the Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) Designation topics, today’s guest joins Monica to talk about the legal side of things. Barbara will discuss estate planning, probate, trusts, and what you can do as a real estate professional. This episode is full of great information and advice, and it’s important to remember that as real estate agents, we may need to recommend an Elder Care professional to our clients in order to best serve them. Topics discussed offer a great place to start and some ideas to share with our clients, but ultimately people like Barbara will be able to give our clients the best information.

Barbara works at a firm that specializes in Elder Law — the primary focus is helping older people (or the families that care for older people) navigate the healthcare system, estate planning, asset protection, and post-mortem issues. Many people immediately turn to real estate when things change in their life; REALTORS® get called in when sometimes their clients may need to be referred to other professionals first. One of the things they advocate at Barbara’s firm is to be proactive as you’re approaching older age, and becoming aware of what’s in your community. Many things have changed over the last several years and many of them for the better.

Barbara and Monica talk about the importance of planning a will and what estate planning looks like for people. A will is a written declaration of what your wishes are for your assets are at your death. It is good for everyone to have as well, as soon as they have something that’s worth protecting (assets, children). When it comes to estate planning, it should be thought of as a process rather than an event. As our lives change, estate plans may change in focus. Estates often include Powers of Attorney, usually one for healthcare and one for general business purposes, which is what REALTORS® would likely be looking for. There are ordinary and extraordinary Powers of Attorney, and each one allows different scopes of authority. When dealing with Powers of Attorney, it’s important to understand that every POA is not exactly the same, and understanding the authorities that are allowed.

There are different competencies for POAs and can be effective immediately or effective upon some future, contingent event. As a real estate agent, you may be working with adults that don’t have full capacity. Legally, they are competent until they are adjudicated not, but they may have limited capacity depending on what type of decision is being made. This capacity may be something of concern for real estate agents. In this case, agents can go to the client's Power of Attorney or a family attorney or could go to their closing company attorney. As an agent, if you’re unsure about a client’s capacity, a respectful approach would be to ask your client if they have a Power of Attorney, to serve as a sounding board for security measures. That way the POA can protect all parties involved, but the older client can still feel like they are in control of the decision. You could also ask if there’s another professional advisor they’d like to run the decision by.

Some other documents that are part of estate planning are HIPAA release, as well as a will substitute, like a trust. Trusts are legal documents that permit you to transfer assets either prior to your death or after. The grantor is the person that sets up the trust, and it’s their purpose for having the trust that guides how it’s used and what language needs to be in there. The trustee is the manager. The principle is the asset that is titled to the trust; beneficiaries are the persons who are supposed to benefit from the trust in life, as well as remainder beneficiaries that will inherit the asset after the death of the grantor. Some are very wealthy, but you really don’t have to be super wealthy to benefit from a trust. A trust is a good way to manage assets of a vulnerable person. The takeaway here for real estate agents is to be able to offer clients the trust without putting children (or someone else) on the deed.

What about probate? Probate is not just about transferring title to a named beneficiary; it is also about cutting off claims of creditors. REALTORS® general prefer real estate to go through the probate process because they can be assured there aren’t outlying, lingering creditors. There are ways of transferring real estate that may avoid probate. Barbara talks about some of the different ways you can own property that would prevent the property from probate. If you die without a will, a judge will say how the assets are going to pass. You may have full probate, or something called muniment of title, which serves the purpose of transferring title (not full probate).

There are many small details that can change the outcome of a transaction. There may be a general answer to a general question, but you may find something out later on that could change the answer. There could be laws or practices that differ from state to state that could change whether you can sell a property under probate. Barbara shares some examples in the state of Tennessee, and how that compares to what she sees in other states. This could play into inheritance tax as well. There is an estate tax on the federal level (the exemption is 11.8 million), and the inheritance tax is a state tax in different states.

One of the things they talk about in the Senior Specialist Designation class is Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal set of laws that is administered on a state level. It’s designed as a safety net program for categorical eligible people for medical insurance but also serves as a payer for long-term services and support. A lot of people think that having Medicaid pay for their care at the end of life might be a good idea because they’re afraid their assets would be used up having to pay for nursing care. There are several types of mature adult housing before nursing care, and Medicaid does not cover those expenses. Assistance for these types of expenses may differ state to state; Barbara shares how TennCare works in Tennessee.

There are income restrictions that govern whether a person can use Medicaid. You have to look at income versus net worth, and sometimes you can protect your net worth through the use of an irrevocable trust. This requires some planning because there is a 60-month lookback for Medicaid. There is usually a workaround for the trust, but you wouldn’t need to address this until the point of application. There are so many ins and outs and they differ from situation to situation. It’s important to help your clients find the professionals they need to figure out how they can benefit most.

When people decide they need the help of an elder care attorney, what options do they have? It may seem expensive upfront, but will likely save a client money in the long run. Many people are surprised by what Elder Care Law firms can offer. It’s important that other professionals, who have likely worked with adult clients for much of their lives, are aware of elder care law professionals. Fees typically would be 1-2 months of nursing home care, so it’s affordable and reasonable value. Elder Care Law is a growing niche in the US; it seems to resonate with younger people that are looking for a truly meaningful career.

As people are aging, we need more care. The laws continue to change as well, and when you’re dealing with so much government regulation, it’s important that you’re working with someone who is staying on top of the changes. It’s always the law that’s in place at the time a person passes that will impact a state recovery for Medicaid recipients.

To learn about social security benefits, there is a lot of information on the social security administration website. To get the best information, going to a certified financial planner is the wisest course of action. They should be able to recommend when you should start taking your social security, whether you should draw from your spouse or on your own, and what to do it you’re widowed or divorced.

There is a lot of information out there on the topic of elder care. It’s important to consider all of your sources, and streamline it down to your options and planning proactively for the future. People should get started early, and know that their estate planning is a process, rather than an event they can check off on their list of things to do.

Guest Links:

Website: tn-elderlaw.com

Facebook: Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law

National Elder Law Foundation - Find a Certified Elder Law Attorney in your area.

nelf.org

Training4RE.com

Center for REALTOR® Development — onlinelearning.REALTOR®

Crdpodcast.com - Podcast Website

CRD@REALTORS.org

Guest Bio:

Barbara Boone McGinnis, CELA

Barbara is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and as a Certified Elder Law Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on CLE and Specialization. She is also a VA-accredited attorney. Before receiving her license to practice law in Tennessee, Barbara spent more than 20 years as a Registered Nurse and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR®

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

May 01 2018

51mins

Play

Rank #15: 013: Senior Market, Part 1: Current Tips & Trends for Mature Clients with Bobbi Decker

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Real estate is for people of all ages. As we age, sometimes our lifestyle and living situations need to change. Today’s guest, Bobbi Decker, joins Monica on the show today to talk about the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Designation® (SRES®) and what kinds of things you will learn in the class when you get the designation. As we work with our mature clients, it’s not about the transaction — it’s about helping them with their next lifestyle.

Bobbi, who has now been in real estate for 35 years, got started working with mature clients when some of her first clients came back to her looking for new solutions as they began to age. For many of her clients, she’s been part of their story as she’s helped them with their lifestyle changes. One of the things that are important to her is to help make sure that as her clients age, they don’t get ripped off and lose what they’ve spent a lifetime building.

As a REALTOR® working with mature adults, you’ll likely encounter some from the GI generation, the silent generation, and the Baby Boomers. Having been raised in different times, they are each looking for different things and approach transactions in a different way. Those in the silent generation are generally stoic and reserved, and risk-averse. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are really redefining what it means to retire.

While Bobbi doesn’t plan on ever retiring, many Baby Boomers are getting to the age of retirement, turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day. Some of them have saved up their money, but others have spent their funds traveling, supporting kids and grandkids, and their finances aren’t quite what they hoped going into retirement. Bobbi has a friend who is developing retirement communities in Central America that will offer affordable retirement housing for mature clients. Bobbi has been traveling around to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Nicaragua to see some of the locations for these retirement communities.

Bobbi shares some of the things to be aware of if you’re interested in purchasing some of this international real estate. The biggest thing is the infrastructure in some of these countries: making sure the water gets connected, and you actually have hot and cold running water. You also want to make sure you know of the local customs and expectations, as well as tax laws. Getting help from a REALTOR® who is connected with NAR can help you get the answers you need.

Not everyone wants to retire outside of the United States. There are still many options for people wanting to change their lifestyle after retirement. Many of the older clients are looking for places where they can get a little extra help, like nursing homes or assisted care. These types of communities have really come along as well, and they’re changing for the older generations because of the Baby Boomers who are worried about their parents. Some of these new facilities are very nice, but they can be expensive. Some people will use the money locked up in their current house to help pay for retirement living.

Where Monica lives in Tennessee, there are several different options for senior living — independent living, assisted living — and these are financed in different ways. If you’re looking for a place to live after retirement, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what’s going on in your community. There are affordable options for everyone. Being surrounded by some kind of community can also help increase quality of life in retirement.

For agents, when you’re working with mature clients who are looking for senior living, there usually isn’t payment for agents to help in these situations. But the marketing departments at assisted living and retirement centers are very nice and are usually willing to work with REALTORS® to answer questions and learn about options.

The SRES® coursework is meant to help teach real estate professionals how to help their 50+ aged clients. It’s not always about age — it’s about a stage of life and need of the individual. When you’re consulting with your clients, make sure to listen to the needs and desires of your clients and make suggestions that would work best for them. There are many places and universities that are offering opportunities for these clients to be involved in the community as well. These extracurricular activities also can help the quality of life for our mature clients. SRES® also lets REALTORS® make these people like family before clients, as you sit down and discover where your client wants to go, what they desire, and most importantly, what they need.

Both Monica and Bobbi share some stories of solutions they’ve found for their clients, from staying in their current home, finding assisted living or independent care, or living with your kids or a caretaker and having a daytime option for socialization. If you’re a client that’s ready to start looking for a place of living for your next stage of life, look for REALTORS® with the SRES® designation! They are trained to look at the options and the bigger picture.

Another benefit of the SRES® class is to get access to the vendor list to help build a team that will help their clients. They may need an elder care attorney, a finance person, or someone who can help them sort out their stuff. This stuff is their memories, and you have to be very careful and respectful in how you deal with this. Your clients can take the opportunity of the services these vendors provide.

The longer you wait when you’re looking at options for assisted care, the fewer options you have if your health deteriorates. Older people can still feel rejection if they are unable to live in a community they wanted to live because of their health condition. It’s important to think about this and help aid your clients in finding a place that is going to accept them and provide good care.

Some of Bobbi’s final thoughts on today’s topic are to get the experts involved; get the people involved who know what they’re doing. If you’re trying to do legal things yourself, there could be tax ramifications involved and other expenses for your clients. An SRES® designation will give you the list of vendors that can help provide expertise in some of these situations. Your clients will notice when you take the extra time to care for them during the whole transition to their new lifestyle as they age.

Additional Links:

Guest Links:

Website: Bobbidecker.com

Facebook:Facebook.com/BobbiDeckerTodaySothebysInternationalRealty

Linked In: Linkedin.com/in/bobbidecker

Center for REALTOR® Development — OnlineLearning.REALTOR®

— Use coupon code PODCAST to get 15% any regularly priced course

Live Designation Classes — Training4RE.com

Certified Residential Specialist Live and Online Classes — CRS.com

Guest Bio:

Bobbi Decker has excelled in the field of real estate for over 33 years. She lives in Burlingame, CA. Her education, experience, designations, and achievements exemplify her skill and leadership as a REALTOR® and Broker Associate. In addition to her professional virtues, she is a dedicated and generous contributor to the community. As a talented video producer and host, Bobbi also enjoys creating video programming for the community on her favorite subjects including real estate, Bay Area women’s achievements, and the senior population, as well as creatively weaving it into her professional work as a REALTOR®.

Bobbi, a dedicated problem solver, and motivational leader, passionately approaches and accomplishes her many professional and community opportunities.  Some of the highlights of Bobbi's career are:

• Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®)

• Certified Real Estate Specialist (CRS)

• Graduate Real Estate Institute (GRI)

• Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)

• SAMCAR Board of Directors 2007-2013

• REALTOR® of the Year – 2008

• Lifetime Achievement Award for Sales Production since 1990

• American Business Women’s Award of Achievement

• Santa Clara County Woman of the Year Nominee for Communication

• San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Commendation Award for Service to the Community

• Real Estate with Bobbi Decker – Host/Co-producer

• Bay Area Women – Host /Co-producer

• Living Longer Living Better – Host/Co-producer

• Television and Global Live Streaming – go to PenTV.TV for on-air and streaming schedule

• Radio – Wall Street Business Network, Real Estate Radio LIVE every Friday, 3-4pm, 1220 am radio, live streaming worldwide at KNOW.biz

Host Information:

Monica Neubauer

Speaker/Podcaster/REALTOR

Monica@MonicaNeubauer.com

FuntentionalLiving.com

FranklinTNBlog.com

Apr 03 2018

58mins

Play