Ten Qualities to Look For in Your Real Estate Agent

Buying a home is one of the most significant financial and emotional purchases of a person’s life. That’s why it is so important to find an agent that can not only help you navigate the home search process but one who can also answer your questions and represent your needs from start to finish. Most importantly, your agent should care about your happiness and ensuring that you find the home that best fits your needs.

Here are some qualities to consider when selecting a real estate agent:

 

    1. Likable. More than likely, you will be spending a lot of time with your agent, so look for someone that you enjoy interacting with.
    2. Trustworthy. One of the best ways to find an agent who you feel you can trust is to ask friends and family for a referral. Another way to do this is to interview different agents and ask for client references.
    3. Effective listener. While your agent can’t read your mind, they should be able to make educated recommendations and offer advice by listening closely to your needs. Make sure you talk to your agent about your priorities, what types of features appeal to you, as well as any factors that could be deal breakers. This will arm your agent with everything they need to help find you the perfect home.
    4. Qualified and experienced. Make sure your agent has the qualifications and experience to meet your specific needs. For example, some agents have more experience with short sales, while others might be experts on certain neighborhoods or types of housing. Find someone who is good at what you’re looking for. Ask specific questions when you interview them so you can get a better idea of what they’re great at, and if they’ll be a good fit for your search.
    5. Knowledgeable. A great agent is someone who is out in the neighborhoods, exploring communities, visiting listings, up to date with market and industry news, and collecting all the information that you need to make an informed, confident decision about your real estate needs.
    6. Honest. Your agent should be upfront and honest with you about every aspect of your home search process – even if it involves delivering bad news. The best real estate agents are more concerned about finding the right home for their clients, not just the home that brings in the fastest commission check.
    7. Local. Every community is different and all real estate is local, so it’s important to find someone who really knows the local market and can provide you with whatever information you need to familiarize yourself with a particular area.
    8. Connected. A well-connected agent will have relationships with lenders, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, and any other service provider you might need during your home search.
    9. Straightforward. You want an agent who will work hard to help you find the best home, but you also want someone who will be straightforward with you about the process, the market reality, and what is realistic for you.
    10. Committed. Your agent should be in it for the long haul, meaning that they’re looking out for your best interests every step of the way, no matter how long the process takes. The best way to find an agent with these qualities is by asking around. In all likelihood, someone within your circle of friends or family will have experiences to share and professionals to recommend, if not, reach out and we can connect you with a qualified and reliable Windermere Real Estate Agent. Contact us here. 
Posted on August 14, 2019 at 7:22 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Buyers & Sellers, Denver Real Estate Market | Tagged , , , , , ,

Agents, Do You Struggle Convincing Buyers & Sellers That They Need a Real Estate Agent?

In today’s market, it can be difficult convincing potential buyers and sellers that they need a real estate professional. Some people, for various reasons, don’t trust agents. And with websites like Trulia and Zillow rising in popularity, many people feel like they can handle things on their own.

What they don’t realize is that representing yourself can lead to liability, lost money, and wasted time.

Here’s how you persuade them to turn to you when the time comes:

You Understand The Paperwork

Let’s face it – even for a seasoned professional, all the paperwork involved in a real estate transaction can be intimidating.

But for someone who’s never dealt with it before? Forget about it.

The list of required forms varies from state-to-state, plus it can change at any time with the introduction of new laws. It’s a lot for a novice to keep track of.

Next time you run into someone who’s on the fence, ask them if they know what to look for in an inspection response, or how to customize a contract. Chances are, they do not – and they could use your help.

You Know How The Market

Is there anything worse than trying to sell a house and having it sit on the market for months (or longer)?

For the seller who is waiting to move, it can be a truly stressful experience.

Unfortunately, if they’re not familiar with the market, it can be difficult to move the house. Even worse, they may not get a fair price: in 2017, the typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

As a seasoned professional, you know the market and what people are looking for. You know how to set the right price, how to advertise, and which features to highlight. And, you know how to make the whole thing run smoothly.

You Come With Backup

Unfortunately, the world of real estate is rife with potential hardships.

From the seller who tries to hide a leaky roof, to the buyer who backs out at the very last minute, you don’t know what might happen.

As a real estate professional, you can recognize many potential issues and handle them before they ever even become a problem. And if they do become a problem, you have a wealth of resources at your disposal.

Lawyers, inspectors, contractors, insurance agents – even if they’re not a part of your team, you know them. And you can get an expert opinion on a moment’s notice.

Final Thoughts

Bottom line: most people wouldn’t even consider buying a used car without the advice of an expert. So why would they buy (or sell) a home without one?

Real estate transactions are some of the most important decisions a person will ever make in their life, and there’s a lot on the line. There are too many potential pitfalls and problems to tackle on your own without any experience.

Sure, the Average Joe might do “ok” when trying to purchase or sell their own home – but you’ll do great. Why? Because you know what it takes.

Posted on July 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Agent Advice | Tagged , ,

8 Simple Tasks to Complete Before Showing a Home

2018 selling season is upon us! If you have clients getting ready to put their home on the market, the list of to-dos can seem endless. You may wonder if it’s all worth it, but the fact is, a well-cared-for house shows better. Plus, small issues like flaking paint or a dripping faucet can make buyers wonder what bigger problems await them down the road. Don’t let easily-fixed issues derail your selling process.

Here is a list of 8 things you can do right now to ensure a great first impression:

Keep up yard maintenance

It can be tempting to ignore the lawn and walkways, especially if the client has already vacated the property, but this is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Grass, weeds, and overgrown shrubs can create a sloppy, unkempt appearance before the buyer even looks at the inside of the home. Keep things neat and tidy for a good impression up front.

Clean the gutters

Overflowing gutters can lead to cracked walls and damage to the foundation, in addition to just looking messy. The last thing you want a potential buyer to see is water pooling around the outside of the house, or worse – in the basement. Routinely check for leaves, pine needles and other debris that can lead to unsightly – and dangerous – leaks.

Service the heating/cooling system

If the HVAC system hasn’t been used in a while, it can smell funky when you first turn it on, make frightening sounds, or just straight-up not work – none of which leave a great impression. Before showing a home, have the heating/cooling system serviced, clean the ductwork and filters, and make sure everything is in good working order.

In addition, if there is a working fireplace, take care of that at the same time. Clean the chimney to remove any dirt or debris, and block off the flue to avoid and unwanted houseguests (squirrels and bats just love to come in uninvited!).

Replace all the lightbulbs

This is one of those things that is so super simple to do but often overlooked. Imagine taking a client for a showing after dark, flipping on the switch in the master bedroom … and nothing. For a very minimal investment, all light bulbs in the house could be replaced and any embarrassing incidents avoided.

Wash the windows

Dirty windows and screens can be quite unappealing and leave a bad impression on anyone looking at your house. Cleaning all the windows, sills, and treatments will not only make the house look neat and tidy but will allow in the best possible natural light.

Fix up any interior cosmetic imperfections

Chipped paint, dents in the drywall, and scratches in hardwood are easily fixed but can make a poor impression. A buyer doesn’t want to see a lot of little problems that they’ll have to fix down the road. It is not only an inconvenience for them, but makes them wonder about what larger issues may lie hidden in the house.

Deep clean and declutter

The difference between showing a home that has been cleaned and staged and one that has not is night and day. Clean the floors, polish the furniture, put clean linens on the beds – and, most of all, make sure the kitchen and the bathrooms are immaculate. These two areas, more than anything else, are scrutinized by buyers, and they will judge. After all, would you want to bathe in a moldy tub?

Appearance is everything when it comes to selling a home, and with just a little time and effort, you can make sure you get the most out of every single listing.

Posted on May 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Selling Your Home | Tagged , , ,

Windermere’s Holistic Approach to Agent Education

For over 40 years, Windermere has been putting relationships before sales quotas. Part of that is our unwavering support of our sales team. Our community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. They are the reason we can offer better service than anyone else in the market, and we aim to keep it that way. We strive to not only hire the best people but to give them the best tools – from innovation and technology to professional development.

At Windermere, we take a holistic approach to agent education. What does that mean? Providing them with systems and tools proven to increase profitability, making them industry experts, and teaching them to give the type of service a client expects. With onsite live-learning workshops, online training, and weekly coaching right in the office, we make sure all bases are covered.

Some of our Professional Development courses include:

Get Your License:

For those considering a career change, our pre-licensing course offers everything needed to complete training, take the state exam, and get licensed. Our revolutionary approach to learning makes it easy to succeed. Other benefits include:

  • Age of content – We frequently update our material, offering only the most innovative ideas and learning approaches
  • Online forum – delivers content in an engaging and interactive way, on your schedule
  • Education methods – we use the latest in adult learning science to develop a revolutionary experience
  • Pass rates – we pride ourselves on having one of the highest pass rates in the industry
  • Money back guarantee – pass your state exam or get your money back, guaranteed

Continuing Education:

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a seasoned pro, we endeavor to help you meet your goals at every step of your career. At Windermere, we have something to meet everyone’s needs, whether you prefer working in the classroom or online. CE courses are available for every state, with topics including everything from CORE training to client engagement. In addition, we believe that part of great success is giving back. So, with every purchase you make, we donate a backpack of food to help feed a hungry child in your community.

Ninja Installation:

If you’re looking for a life-changing course, this is it! In just four days, you will receive a plan and process for creating a sustainable business that thrives in every market. Our strategies are derived from the researched and documented methodologies of the nation’s top real estate agents. The Ninja process has been shown to increase agent profitability by 35.87% ahead of the market!​

Content includes:

  • Creating an effective marketing plan
  • Building your database
  • Working with sellers
  • Working with buyers
  • Evaluating property
  • Negotiating

#GetSocialSmart:

Through a partnership with Windermere, our agents receive a 30% discount on Katie Lance’s nationally recognized program. This social media program, tailored to meet the needs of real estate agents, has helped hundreds improve their business. Benefits include access to an extensive online library, a private Facebook group where you can get advice from other members, and live monthly Q&A sessions.

Our programs reflect our commitment to providing our agents with the best training in the industry. It is because of them that we are able to provide our buyers and sellers with an unprecedented level of service, seldom seen elsewhere.

 

Posted on April 27, 2018 at 6:55 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Agent Education | Tagged , , , , , ,

Windermere Certified Listings

Windermere Certified Listings is a one-of-a-kind, customer-focused real estate program. Our mission is to provide superior service to all our clients throughout the selling process. This truly unique system was designed to reduce the uncertainty and friction that commonly occur during a typical real estate transaction, making it rewarding, predictable, and enjoyable. Throughout the process, both our home sellers and the end buyers feel unmatched confidence and peace of mind.

Our thorough 10-step process includes the following:

A 5-Point Pre-Inspection of the Major Components of the Home – Our exhaustive process helps assure the buyer that there are no major surprises in store and gives the seller an opportunity to correct issues before the house goes to market. Inspection points include:

  • Roof – general conditions, skylight, and flashings
  • Exterior – general conditions of siding, sealants, grade and drainage
  • Mechanical – furnace, air-conditioner, water heater and water main shut-off
  • Electrical – main distribution panels and sub-panels
  • Structural – trusses, joists and foundation

Professional Home Cleaning Package Every home is completed by a professional team of two or more house cleaners. The detailed process includes:

  • Cleansing of most surfaces
  • Floors vacuumed, scrubbed, and mopped
  • Bathrooms cleaned including tubs, sinks, and toilets
  • Home staging (in select regions) to eliminate clutter, rearrange furniture to enhance flow, and create a notable first impression.

Professional Real Estate Photography Package

Our professional photographers will provide you with vivid and beautiful images designed to sell your home faster. Professional real estate photography is proven to increase showings and lead to speedier sales. Each photo passes through over 25 enhancement and processing steps to correct lens distortion, white balance, perspective, and saturation. No other company combines art and real estate in this way!

World-Class Marketing

Top-notch marketing is a necessity in today’s fast-paced, technology driven world of real estate. The National Association of Realtors found that 75% of people start their home-buying search online – that’s why in addition to traditional methods, we include a solid real estate internet marketing plan as part of your overall strategy. Our multi-level, multi-platform real estate marketing plan leaves our sellers assured that their property is receiving the best advertising possible. Examples include:

  • Professionally installed sign
  • Expertly designed and printed property brochure
  • Social media marketing
  • Virtual tour for buyers to view online
  • Open house marketing in local venues
  • … and much more!

Selling a home can be stressful. Let Windermere save you time and energy by handling all the worrying details. With us on your side, you can sell with confidence knowing that everything has been taken care of.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Posted on March 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Certified Listing Program | Tagged , , ,

Windermere’s Builder Solutions Program

At Windermere, we take great pride in the service and support we provide to our sales agents. Through many conversations with our team at Windermere East, it became clear that we needed to focus more on builder services. A number of them had spent their entire career focusing on new home sales but felt that they needed a little more reinforcement. Our solution? We created an entirely new division.

Our Builder Solutions program brings deep sophistication and builder expertise together. For our sales team, it serves as a foundation, allowing them to provide outstanding support to our builder partners. For our partners, it offers professional marketing, sales, and operational support through all stages of new home sales.

How do we do this?

We have the best sales manual in the country.

We can safely say that our sales training manual blows all the rest out of the water. Ours is the only sales manual to come out in the last 5 – 6 years, and it’s based on the most up-to-date consumer patterns. To create it, we brought together leaders from various national builder companies and merged and purged the best tools they had to offer. The manual is delivered through a web portal, so training can be conducted onsite wherever you are.

We find ways the agents themselves can drive onsite traffic.

Sales agents spend a lot of time sitting around in the office – that’s a fact. We figured out how to convert that downtime into traffic-driving activity. Our Sales Associate Marketing Initiative (SAMI) gives agents activities they can do onsite to help drive traffic. This not only helps the bottom line, but it gives agents a sense of empowerment by influencing their own performance with minimal time invested.

We increase conversion through our NHS Ops Cycle.

This series of reports, including an asset 180, competition studies, a SWOT analysis, and more, is delivered by the sales agent once a quarter. 

We run a top-tier online training portal.

Our training portal, New Home Connect, allows all materials to be delivered in person by an agent or online for your convenience. Available courses include POS training, demonstrating product, creating emotional connections, on-target marketing training, driving traffic and much more.

WBS is a proven solution. In one case study, New Home Stars received a 31% increase in performance after introducing the program. We give builders many of the benefits of an in-house sales team, but with the added value that comes from partnering with one of the largest regional real estate companies in the nation. The results benefit both builders and buyers of newly constructed homes.

With more than 7,000 agents who operate in markets throughout the Western U.S. and Mexico, Windermere knows your market. We draw upon the expertise of these local agents while providing them with state-of-the-art new home sales tools and resources. The result is hyper-focused attention on new home sales combined with a local presence across all the markets where our builder-clients do business.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 10:44 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: Builder Solutions Program | Tagged , , ,

Business Planning Advice for Real Estate Agents

Your business plan is the GPS for your career. It’s the path that will lead you to success, and one you shouldn’t ignore. Knowing the steps to take when business planning can make all the difference in the outcome. These tips will help ensure that you are on your way to success.

Develop Attainable Goals

You should figure out your personal, business, and financial goals.

Personal Goals

Personal goals will cover where you want to improve, things or events you want to save up for, something you want to try, etc.

Business Goals

A business goal can be something as simple as becoming a better public speaker or as complicated as building a detailed marketing plan with email automation and getting in depth with social media advertising. Education and development also falls under this umbrella. You should always be learning something about your business.

Financial Goals

You’ll need to know your current lifestyle and living expenses. Then figure out how much you budget for advertising and other business expenses. A basic list includes email marketing software, desk fees, commission splits and transaction fees, printing costs, Facebook advertising, website and landing pages, NAR dues, and more.

Next, you’ll want to set aside a lead generation and nurturing budget. Email marketing and automation is a great place to start. Will you use postcards, door hanger campaigns, billboards, or sites like Realtor.com? Whatever you decide, make sure you take those costs into account as well.

Financial Plan to Action Plan

Once you have your expenses, it’s time to develop a realistic financial plan. Take your total expenses for the year and divide by twelve. This gives you the amount you need per month to maintain your lifestyle. You need to determine how many deals you must close to reach that monthly goal. Let’s say you require 26 deals a year to break even. That’s one close every two weeks. If you have variable expenses, add one or two more closes to compensate. This is the point where you determine if you’re being overly ambitious.

Now that you know how many you’ll have to close, it’s time to figure out the number of leads you’ll need to generate per week. Consider the idea that it will take 30 warm leads to generate one close. Cold leads, those who are months away from purchasing a home, may take even more. In our example, we would need 15-30 warm leads or 40-60 cold leads per week.

Now it’s time to create action steps. What will you do every week to ensure you gain new leads? It’s time to figure out how you stand apart in your area. You want three to five action items per day. Engagement on social media, cold calls, and creating automated sequences for your mailing list are just some ideas to get you started.

Once you have a warm lead, it’s up to you to convert them into clients and close deals. It’s a good idea to know your competition, average sales and rental prices in the area, local demographics, and more.

Adapt

Remember that your business plan is a living document that adapts with you. As your business grows, it’s normal to shift strategies, reevaluate goals, and make changes to your plan.

Keep your business plan close at hand and go over it every quarter to ensure you maintain your goals.

Posted on October 1, 2017 at 6:42 am
Metro Denver Office | Category: Agent Advice, WMDRE Blog | Tagged , , ,

Reasons You Should Join Windermere Denver

Windermere has always prided itself on three basic principles: hire the best people, give them the best tools, and create thriving communities. Windermere Denver provides a proven process for business growth and development. Our systems and tools are designed to increase your profitability while enhancing your industry expertise so you can take your business to the next level. We do this through quality education, interactive support, by keeping your training focused, and providing an elite experience you can’t find anywhere else.

Education

We have always placed a priority on education. Each course is taught by industry professionals who bring integrity and expertise to the classroom and online. We know that every phase of your career is critical, and we’ll guide you every step of the way.

Live Learning:

We offer multiple professional development locations within Colorado to fit your needs. From half-day courses to week-long workshops, and network-wide symposiums, we give you the connections and personalized training that only a live, in-person setting can provide. Here are several locations where we offer our services:

  • Aurora
  • Cherry Creek
  • Denver
  • Boulder
  • Littleton

Windermere offers pre-licensing and continuing education courses in several education centers within our network. A majority of these courses are state-approved, so you get quality education while satisfying mandatory education requirements.

Online Training:

Your life is busy, but that doesn’t mean your education should suffer. Windermere has partnered with OnCourse Learning to provide our agents access to Continuing Education courses through their ProSchools and Career WebSchool campuses. We also offer supplemental courses and additional training for certain states in our  Pre-License classes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you choose in-person classes or online training, our support network is second-to-none in helping you stay on the path to success.

Support

Whether it’s through our education programs or our Leadership Academy, Windermere prides itself on helping you find your path to success. Several of our programs offer customized one-on-one coaching. Our community is dedicated to maintaining quality and integrity, and we are devoted to ensuring your continued education and development.

Training Focused

By using innovative tools and technologies, we can hone our skills to keep up with today’s mobile-focused buying experience. Our Professional Development programs ensure that our agents receive only the best training in the industry.

Elite Experience

Our proven success systems are based on many years of real-life, on-the-ground experience. Our Leadership Academy is one of the ways we do this. We want to help you and the agents in your office lead an inspired, high-performing, and profitable life.

Join Windermere Denver today and take the first step toward the career you deserve.

Posted on September 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm
Metro Denver Office | Category: WMDRE Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Spotlight on the Windermere Foundation

The Windermere Foundation was created to help support low-income and homeless families within our communities. We started as a grass-root foundation based in Washington State in 1989 and have continued to grow with each passing year. We are now active in 10 states across the United States and have raised an astounding $33 million dollars in support for our partner programs and organizations. We have been able to help more people than we ever imagined and it is all attributed to our incredible Windermere agents, employees, and community members.

How do we do what we do?

Our incredible Windermere Real Estate agents donate a portion of their commissions for every home that they sell to our non-profit Windermere Foundation. Every single agent participates in this give back program as well as many of our other employees and members in our communities. In 2016 alone our supporters were able to raise $2.2 million dollars! These donations are utilized by our individual offices to support local non-profits with in their communities. By allowing our offices to choose which organizations they help, their specific communities are able to receive the type of support that they need most and our agents become increasingly more committed to their cause.

Who do we help?

The Windermere Foundation helps support a large variety of programs and services. These services are focused on assisting low-income and homeless families to improve their quality of life and get back on their feet again. Families are able to receive support for basic human needs like food and clothing, but also for housing, education, counseling, and school programs. Our goal has always been to improve the quality of life for families and help their children grow up with opportunities for success.

Practical ways that our offices support their communities include donating to food banks, providing school supplies for students, donating clothing, shoes, and blankets to keep warm in the winter, and even fulfilling wishes through Make-A-Wish programs. Additionally this year we began a new partnership with the Seattle Seahawks to support homeless youth. For every home game tackle the Seahawks made during the 2016 football season, Windermere donated $100 to YouthCare. YouthCare is a non-profit organization that provides necessary needs for our homeless youth. This partnership resulted in an impressive $35,000 of financial support for YouthCare at the end of the season!

We will continue to partner with successful local non-profits in our communities and support our families in every way we can. It has been an honor to watch so many lives be positively impacted over the past 27 years and hope to continue to do so for at least another 27 years to come!

Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:

Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate

(720) 643-4411

metrodenver@windermere.com

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 5:21 am
Metro Denver Office | Category: WMDRE Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

The Windermere Philosophy and Purpose: We Are in the Business of Putting Families in Homes

In 2016, over 560k people were homeless. Of those, 206k were families living in the streets. Youth and young adults make up 141k of those numbers. While there are emergency shelters, transitional housing, and safe havens that offer transitional assistance, there are very few organizations working to get families back in homes. We want to change that.

Since our first preparations for launch back in 1988, The Windermere Foundation wanted to expand our giving-back-to-the-community philosophy. We have developed a strong tradition of putting families back in homes. This mission aligns with our business purpose, and allows us to focus 100% of our efforts on those in need. Whether we are helping families who don’t have a place to live, providing services to the children of those who are homeless, or helping homeless parents care for themselves and their family, our mission remains the same.

Our specific focus allows us to make a bigger impact. Concentrated giving provides a greater control of how money is spent within a program and project. The beautiful part of our Foundation is seeing immediate results of our efforts in both the community and among our ranks and contributors.

Our united giving program has received extensive media attention and financial support. Even better, we see the direct impact in our local community as people are given a second chance at stability.

Less than 5% of every dollar contributed to the foundation goes toward administration costs, paving the path to a more meaningful, results-driven impact.

We agree that there are many wonderful organizations and causes in need. While we wish we could help everyone, splitting our funds will take away from the capabilities of our organization. We champion this cause because it is near and dear to our hearts and, as a Real Estate company, this is something that aligns with our vision and purpose.

Putting families in homes is what we do. Whether it’s using traditional methods, or through the Windermere Foundation, we are dedicated and driven to providing the best possible service.

The Windermere Foundation works well with Community Service Day events or office holiday giving programs. Our love of community is a personal touch that creates a powerful and lasting benefit. Your donations guarantee impact that you can see and guarantee that everyone wins.

We stand by our philosophy and are grateful to those who light the way to success. The homeless in America is not just a statistic. It’s our community.

Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:

Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate

(720) 643-4411

metrodenver@windermere.com

Posted on February 13, 2017 at 5:06 am
Metro Denver Office | Category: WMDRE Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,