Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cost of electricity by state

Do you know where your state ranks for cost of electricity?

Sometimes it's nice to have a useful piece of trivia to share with buyers, especially relo's from out of the area.

Here is the list of states by ranking. Looks like it's pretty expensive in paradise.

State Electricity Price, 2005(cents per kilowatthour)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Are consumers active during the holidays? Are you?

About this time each year we can hear agents saying business is so slow, no one buying or selling, I'm going on vacation. Here's several pointers to get you charged up about doing business NOW...while your competition takes a vacation. (Not that I'm against taking vacations!)

High Activity At The End of the Year
· Last year, more than $225 million in homes were sold during the fourth quarter nationwide
· That was down just 1% from the previous (third) quarter nationwide
· In many markets, volume was actually up from Q3 to Q4
· Consumers are still active on the market, and if you’re not active, then someone ELSE is going to get that business

Differentiate Yourself by Staying Active
· If your competitors take the holidays off, that’s less competition to go out and win more business
· It will mean fewer agents competing for listings, fewer agents showing homes…more business for you
· This includes continued capturing and cultivating of business

How Are You Setting Up Business for January?
· You need to build your pipeline NOW to get business in early 2007
· If you don’t set yourself up with early business, how will you start the year strong and meet your goals?

Join Other Agents Who Build Their Business in December
· HouseValues subscriber Donna Harris made more than $100K last year from HouseValues, and was at her busiest (and most successful) during the holidays in 2005
· Countless other HouseValues subscribers have used their November & December leads to both score immediate business, and set up deals for the beginning of the next year. Make sure you are responding to your own lead sources quickly.

Have a great holiday season.

Monday, December 11, 2006

10 Best Practices Real Estate Agents Should Incorporate in 2007

Where will you be in 2007?

Agent CEO’s plan their work, then work their plans. This list will help cover key aspects of your business to insure a profitable 2007 regardless of market conditions. Use this time of the year to plan for your best year ever, establish practices that separate yourself as the outstanding real estate professional, not the foolish one.

With these thoughts in mind, here is The RealtyU® Group's list of Top 10 practices that could change your real estate career in 2007.

1. Learn to Create a Real Estate Business Plan You can ride through any downturn in the real estate market if you have a sound real estate business plan. Learn more about planning at www.realestatebusinessplanning.com or create your own real estate business plan at www.createaplan.com.

2. Pick a Niche There are many great categories or markets to specialize in: Luxury homes, military housing, middle income, ethnic communities, age specific, new families, etc. At the top of many agents' list is the goal to obtain their ABR® designation (www.rebac.net) and ASR designation (www.selleragency.com) making them experts in both buyer and seller agency. The ASR designation can now also be taken online at http://www.realtyuonline.com/asrcourse/seller-agency.htm

3. Search Engine Optimization It makes no sense if you have a great Web site and no one can find you. Learn more about search engine optimization and how to improve the ranking of your Web site on Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

4. Improve Your Marketing Use highly identifiable and recognizable brochures, hand-outs, business cards, flyers, mail outs, personal letters, billboards, bus signs, etc. that will imprint you as unique and advantageous on the consumers' mind. For real estate marketing ideas visit www.quantummail.com, www.sharperagent.com, www.imprev.com, www.lowesrealtorbenefits.com or www.tpmco.com.

5. Get a Mentor and Follow Success Why re-invent the wheel when just about every real estate success story, strategy and marketing tool has not only been documented but is available. iSucceed has done it for you. They have interviewed more real estate Top Producers than any other company in the industry and offer hundreds of hours of audio and thousands of pages of information on the Internet 24/7.

6. Improve Your Knowledge and Skills A slowing real estate market is always the best time to invest in improving your knowledge and skills. The Internet has now made online real estate education easier and more convenient than ever before. A huge selection of online real estate courses as well as appraisal and home inspection courses can be found at www.realtyuonline.com. In addition, searching for offline classes is now easier than ever, just visit www.coursedates.com or search for a real estate school at http://www.realtyschools.com.

7. Check out Lead Generation This is definitely a growing trend. If you have not yet explored a lead generation program, 2007 is the year to should do so. There are various interesting options - to learn more check out programs such as HouseValues. All of these companies are improving and expanding both their quality of leads and the follow up support necessary to insure their success.

8. Use Transaction Management Systems Everyone wants one-stop shopping. Most of the large Title companies have made great strides in this arena - for more information visit First American Title at http://residential.firstam.com/agent/index.html or at Fidelity Title.

9. Learn to Blog Real estate blogging is hot and thousands of real estate blogs have already been created. One of the best in the real estate industry is www.realblogging.com where 40 of the industry's leading authors, real estate speakers and other experts have come together on one blog site. EBlogger is a great place to start.

10. Stay On Top of Real Estate Trends Nothing stays the same and the real estate industry is not exempt - change is real. Read as much as you can about trends affecting the industry such as the wave of new real estate business models. Real estate is a very dynamic industry and market shifts can alter a competitive advantage very quickly. Watching the industry's movements can help you maintain an advantage you currently enjoy or offer you a new opportunity. The best report is the Swanepoel Trends Report - available at the online www.realestatebooks.org.