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Build bridges with these answers to frequent NAR settlement queries

Build bridges with these answers to frequent NAR settlement queries

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30-Aug. 1, 2024, the noise and misinformation will be banished, all your big questions will be answered, and new business opportunities will be revealed. Join us.

If you’re unsure how to answer questions about the National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement, you’re not alone. The lack of clarity leads many agents to a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence leads to worry, fear and less business. This article shares a few ways to answer common questions with clarity and confidence based on current information.

Before I get into the ideas on how to answer these questions, always keep in mind that you should adapt the answers to your own tone and comfort level. The more you can answer these questions with boldness, certainty and in your own voice, the more business you will attract.

General public question: ‘I heard about all the real estate lawsuits. Are you worried about your business or real estate in general?’

This is a general question, and you may have been asked a version of this question in a different way. Many of the questions asked and many of the beliefs the public have are unfounded and not based on facts. Again, our tone and attitude should remain calm and confident when answering questions.

The first step is to gain clarity on exactly what they are asking. This is an example of how to better understand what they are asking.

I’m glad you asked me that question because there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you don’t mind, what have you heard?

Once they tell you what they’ve heard, you can begin to answer their question specifically. However, this is a framework for a way to answer these types of questions by building rapport rather than being confrontational.

First off, let me clarify that the settlement by the National Association of Realtors is proposed and still to be approved, declined or modified by the court before it moves forward and changes are made. But let me start by telling you what I love about this proposed settlement.

No. 1 is that I love the additional transparency it brings to the process. I have always believed the more a consumer is informed, the better decisions they can make for themselves. So I love that the commission will be out in the open so that everyone involved in the transaction is informed.

The second thing I love about this proposed settlement is that it forces agents to be able to communicate their value to buyers in a way that they have not needed to do in the past. This will act as a separation opportunity for professional agents like me who can clearly communicate and show the value they bring to their clients versus the less-than-professional agents. In other words, this proposal will lead to buyers choosing better agents and better agents lead to smoother transactions for everyone involved.

As I mentioned earlier, it is just a proposed settlement at this point but let me explain to you the two main points that we anticipate will not change. The first is that buyer’s agent compensation will no longer be able to be provided on the MLS. The proposal does not say that a seller cannot provide buyer’s agent compensation; it simply means that it will no longer be able to be displayed or communicated through the MLS.

Although sellers have always had the ability to negotiate the amount of compensation they offer buyer’s agents, I anticipate many sellers will continue to offer buyer’s agent commissions due to the competitive disadvantage it may put them in compared to other homes for sale in many cases. We will know more about how this looks exactly when and if the proposed settlement is approved by the court, which is estimated to be this July as of now.

NAR also agreed to create a new rule requiring MLS participants working with buyers to enter into written agreements with their buyers before the buyer tours properties. Think of this like a seller always signs a listing agreement with an agent before listing their home for sale, so in the same manner, a buyer would sign an agreement with an agent who would represent them in their purchase. There are still several details that need to be worked out, but I anticipate this will be approved in some shape or fashion.

The bottom line in all of this is that change is inevitable in every business, and these are a few of the changes happening in our business.

Listing prospect question: ‘I heard on the news that I don’t have to pay the buyer’s side commission anymore. Is that correct?’

Sometimes, the tone and attitude you use when answering questions determines the outcome as much as the words you say. Many agents become defensive or even confrontational when this question is posed. Very few people want to work with someone who is defensive or confrontational.

The best way to build a relationship and a prospect’s confidence is to show respect and provide them with facts. This is an example of how to do so.

That is a great question, and I am glad you asked it. There is a lot of misinformation out there so I am happy to be able to give you the facts so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

The next step is to provide facts in a way that provides them with options. People with options respond with less emotion.

Commission has always been negotiable, and you can pay no commission on either side by selling your home For Sale By Owner just as you always have been able to in the past. But let me give you a few reasons to consider why offering a buyer’s side commission might position you to sell your home at a higher price, in less time and with less hassle.

The first factor to consider is your positioning in the market. The key to selling a home at the highest price possible is garnering as much interest as possible from as many people as possible. If there are multiple homes for sale in your neighborhood, with the others offering buyer’s side compensation and you not offering any, you may be putting yourself at a positional disadvantage with buyer’s agents and buyers.

Think of it as a buyer. If your agent told you that a home does not offer a buyer’s side commission and that you would have to pay the agent’s commission on top of the other closing costs, would you be more or less likely to want to see the home? That is the position the buyers will be in.

Many buyers will choose to either not see your home or expect a lower price if they will be responsible for the commission. Right or wrong, these factors can limit the pool of potential buyers that see your home, which can challenge our ability to sell your home at the highest price possible, netting you the most money, in the least amount of time.

The other option is that the buyer decides to represent themselves without an agent saving you the buyer’s side commission. There will always be a portion of the market that doesn’t think they need an agent. Please know that some of these buyers will be competent and capable of completing the transaction without an agent, but many will not.

Between inspections, escrow deposits, loan documents, timeline deadlines, appraisals, surveys, title work and all the other details needed, it only takes one missed step in the process to create delays to the closing or a late cancellation of the contract due to a miscue that a professional agent could have helped them avoid. These are potential scenarios that can cost you money, delays and frustration that could be worth more than the buyer’s side commission.

As I mentioned earlier, the decision is yours. My job is to provide you with the best information possible, so you can make the best decision you can for you and your family. Once you let me know the direction you would like to go, then I have to make the best decision for me and my business as well.

John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Prepare yourself for these changes now and find a way to not only bring more value to buyers and sellers, but learn how to communicate that value in a way that attracts more of your ideal clients.

There will be winners and losers during this time of change. Choose to adapt with an attitude of service and you will be rewarded.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

30 listing lead generation ideas for a post-NAR settlement market

30 listing lead generation ideas for a post-NAR settlement market

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30-Aug. 1 2024, the noise and misinformation will be banished, all your big questions will be answered, and the new business opportunities that await will be revealed. Join us.

“List to last” is a saying that has long been quoted in real estate. In the wake of a post-NAR settlement environment, its significance rings truer than ever. If you’re looking to increase the number of listings you take, this article shares 30 unique strategies or areas that can make it happen.

1. Geographical farming

Let’s start with one of the foundational strategies for generating listings, geographical farming. Farming, when executed properly, is the best listing strategy I know for providing a consistent flow of quality listing prospects. If you don’t have an area that you are farming, now is the time to start. If you have an existing farm area, now is the time to expand and add additional farms.

If you’d like a more detailed breakdown on how to choose and market to a geographical farm in a way that gets results, this article will help.

2. Call Airbnb owners

Airbnb owners are rarely satisfied with their current investments. Either they aren’t getting the returns they want and want to sell, or they are excited about their investments and want to look for another one. Many of the current Airbnb owners bought during the pandemic when booking rates were high and it was a trendy investment to make.

Then came the reality of managing the property, maintenance costs, and oftentimes disappointing revenue results. This makes calling these owners a prime opportunity for agents looking to find listings and potential buyers.

Here’s a simple script when calling Airbnb owners:

This is [agent name] with [company]. I saw where you own the Airbnb at [address], and I was wondering if there is a price where you might consider selling the home.

If they show any indication of possibly selling, you’ve found a potential listing. If they say they love it, ask if they would consider buying another place if you found one that made sense for them. These conversations are a great way to uncover both listing and selling opportunities.

3. Searchable YouTube content

YouTube has become the No. 2 search engine right behind Google. By producing local video content on neighborhoods, your city, and seller-specific search titles, listing leads can be generated organically.

Here are a few title ideas for videos you can shoot that will attract listing leads:

  • 7 mistakes to avoid when selling your home in [your city]
  • 5 simple upgrades to maximize the sales price of your home in [your city]
  • Seller’s guide: Navigating the [your city] real estate market in 2024
  • Maximize your home’s value: 3 essential tips before selling in [your city]

If you’re looking for five additional searchable YouTube content ideas, check out this article.

4. Circle prospecting

Calling the owners around a home that recently sold is a great way to add value and uncover listing opportunities.

This is a simple script starter for these calls:

This is [agent name] with [company]. I’m calling to make sure you have the details of the sale of the home a few doors down from yours at [address] since this sale will affect the value of your home. Have you received the details about that sale?

Find ways to add value to homeowners, and you will generate more listing opportunities.

5. Neighborhood Facebook group

Neighborhood Facebook groups are a great way to connect the owners with each other and for you to “host the party.” If you can identify an area or neighborhood that doesn’t currently have a Facebook group, this can be a goldmine for listing leads.

6. Host going-away parties for your listings

One of the best ways to turn one successful listing sale into additional opportunities is to host a going away party for your sellers. Offer to host the event, send out the invitations, and provide the food and drinks.

By sending the invitations, you will capture the contact info for all the attendees, and you will have the ability to be introduced to your seller’s friends at the event. You can add sponsors to reduce some of the expenses, but this is a memorable way to honor your sellers and expand your sphere of influence.

7. Buy lunch, not leads

Heidi Harris out of Raleigh, North Carolina, first brought this strategy to my attention. She decided to stop buying leads and instead spend that money buying lunch for her sphere of influence. If you focus on deepening the relationships you already have, they will expand your business through repeat business and referrals.

8. Expired listings

As the markets continue to normalize, expired listings will become increasingly more common. Now is the time to develop an expired listing program that systematically adds value to these homeowners who have raised their hand to let everyone know they desire to sell their home, but their previous listing agent was unable to make it happen for them.

9.Little help’ social posts

Posting buyer needs on social media can uncover opportunities for listings.

This is an example of a post to use if you have buyers looking for a specific type of home in a specific area:

Little help please! I have a potential buyer who is looking for a home on the east side of town in the [whatever school district] with a minimum of 4 bedrooms and a fenced-in backyard. We have seen all the homes currently on the market, and this buyer might be willing to pay a premium for the right home. Please DM me or reach out if you know of someone considering selling a home that meets these criteria to see if we might be able to have a win-win situation for this buyer and someone preparing to sell their home.

10. Host open houses

Activity breeds activity. The next time you host an open house make sure you provide a time before the public open house for neighbors to check the home out prior to the anticipated crowds of people.

This is a script you can utilize via phone, mail or door-knocking prior to the open house to invite the neighbors:

I’m [agent name] with [company]. We will be hosting an open house this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at your neighbor’s house that we currently have listed for sale. We will have the home open exclusively for owners in the neighborhood to preview before the public between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. in case you want to see it before the anticipated crowds. I hope to see you on Saturday.

Anyone that shows up between 10-11 a.m. is a prospective listing due to their desire to see the home and, in many cases, to compare it to theirs. These attendees are prime listing prospects.

11. Market listings at a higher level

The marketing you do for your current listings can be more valuable than just helping get that home sold. It should be utilized as an example of how you differentiate yourself from other agents. The neighbors who are considering selling are paying attention to the marketing you do. The better your marketing with your current listings today, the more homes you will have the opportunity to list and market in the future.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to turn your next listing into additional listings, this article has 23 ways to make it happen.

12. For sale by owners (FSBOs)

For sale by owners (FSBOs) often end up listing their homes with agents due to either frustration with the process or an inability to attract a buyer. Developing a plan of action where you provide value to the owners while they attempt to sell the home themselves positions you to be the agent of choice when and if they decide to list their home with an agent.

13. Unsolicited video CMAs

Providing unsolicited video CMAs is a unique way to provide homeowners with something of value in a creative manner that makes you stand out. This is done by recording your screen via a tool, such as BombBomb or Zoom, where you walk through the valuation of the owner’s home, sharing the comparable sales and details.

I personally did 72 of these during a three-month period that led to over $11 million in listings. If you’d like a more detailed breakdown of this strategy and how you can put it to work in your business, check out this article.

14. 6- to 18-month-old expired listings

When a listing expires, homeowners can expect dozens of calls from agents asking if they are interested in relisting their home for sale. The number of calls often leads to homeowners freezing and deciding to wait before relisting their home. After the first month, many of the agents that called will give up and fade away. By the time the listing has been expired for six months the calls from agents have most likely stopped.

This process involves searching the MLS for 6- to 18-month-old, expired listings. Continue your research by making sure they have not been relisted or sold.

Then call with a simple script like this:

This is [agent name] with [company]. I saw that your home was for sale nine months ago and am wondering if you still plan to sell it.

Give them a chance to answer, and add value from there.

15. Ask for referrals

“Ask and you shall receive” is not just an often-used Bible quote. It’s true regarding referrals in real estate as well.

16. Pay attention to agents leaving the business

Many of the agents leaving the business have relationships with homeowners they sold homes to over the past two to five years. Offering to pay them a referral fee for an introduction to their past clients is another way to create win-win opportunities for you and these former agents.

17. Probate listings

Probate is the process of distributing assets from an estate after someone passes away. This includes real estate, and once the court appoints an executor of the estate, they usually can list and sell real estate that is a part of the estate. This is an opportunity to provide value to estates, executors of the estates or probate attorneys in a way that creates listing leads.

18. Lead sharing groups

Most local chambers of commerce have local Business Netorking International (BNI) groups or lead groups. These are a great way to partner with other local business owners to share and gain leads.

19. Use ‘buyers as bait’

When you have buyers who desire to be in a specific neighborhood, call owners with a script like this:

This is [agent name] with [company]. We are working with buyers who specifically want to buy a home in your neighborhood with a minimum of three bedrooms. They have not been able to find a home that fits their needs and may be willing to pay a premium if they find the right place. I’m calling to do everything I can to find them a home. Do you know of any of your neighbors who are considering selling their home, or have you considered selling your home?

This call is an example of going the extra mile for your prospective buyers, and it can uncover listing opportunities as well.

20. Utilize ChatGPT for copywriting

Having ChatGPT write SEO-optimized blog posts or LinkedIn articles can lead to listing leads.

This is an example prompt to help you get the process started:

Act as an expert real estate copywriter specializing in writing blog posts [or LinkedIn articles] for real estate agents. Provide me with 7 SEO-optimized titles for blog posts targeting homeowners in [your city] who are interested in selling their home.

Sift through the titles it provides, and follow up with the following prompt:

Please write an SEO-optimized blog post using [title of your choice] as the title. Add a strong call to action to call me for additional details and to receive a free, no-obligation valuation analysis of what their home will sell for.

21. Door knocking

Whether it be letting neighbors know about a new listing, an open house or recently sold home in their neighborhood, door knocking provides agents a purposeful reason to get face-to-face with homeowners.

22. Produce behind-the-scenes content

Utilize Instagram stories to share behind-the-scenes details on setting up for an open house, launching a listing with the marketing you prepare, shooting video content or any other real estate-related activity. This will help your prospects connect with you on a more personal level, leading to more business.

23. Take advantage of for-sale signs

Maximize your yard signs by utilizing attractive, clean signs, providing QR codes to video details of the home, and a “take one” box with flyers that include personal marketing about yourself on the back of the flyer. The yard sign is a billboard for you and your future listing clients in that neighborhood. Don’t miss out on maximizing the potential your yard signs provide.

24. Just-sold postcards

Sharing the details of your successful sale with neighbors of the home you recently sold increases their confidence that you can sell their home as well. Don’t miss doing the basics.

25. Maximize seller testimonials

Whether they be video testimonials or social graphic cards quoting your clients, sharing your seller testimonials increases trust, and trust is the precursor to listings.

26. Optimize Google Business Profiles

Prospective listing clients will Google you before working with you. Optimize your Google My Business profile to make sure they receive confirmation via your page that you are the listing agent for them.

For a detailed description of how to optimize your Google Business Profile, check out this article.

27. Call rental owners

Most residential rental agreements are for one year. Utilizing rental websites or your local MLS that shows when homes were rented is an effective way to identify potential future listings. Contact the owners who are six months into their rental agreement to ask if they are planning to rent the home for another year when their current lease expires or if they would consider selling.

If they say they are going to rent it, ask if they would be interested in another investment property if you found them one.

28. Host client appreciation events

From movie nights to family photography days and everything in between, hosting client appreciation parties puts the law of reciprocity in motion, meaning when you do for others, they want to return the favor. For real estate agents, that is often in the form of repeat customers or referrals.

Want to say thank you without throwing the effort of an event? This article shares 23 ways to show your clients appreciation.

29. Connect with divorce attorneys

Unfortunately, many divorces lead to the need to sell a home. By connecting with divorce attorneys and providing value to them in the form of home valuations or anything additional they may need assistance with regarding real estate, you can develop a steady stream of listing referrals.

30. Focus on out-of-town owners

Out-of-town homeowners offer a unique way to add value to homeowners who may not have local friends in real estate. They are often less emotional about these homes due to them not being their primary residences. Focusing your efforts on out-of-town owners is an efficient way to build a database of current and future listing prospects.

The person who controls the listings controls the market. Act on these strategies, and you will generate more listings.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

How great agents win in the face of NAR settlement misinformation

How great agents win in the face of NAR settlement misinformation

Consumer misconceptions following the NAR settlement are wild. Jimmy Burgess talks to Keeping Current Matters CEO David Childers on how to communicate with today’s buyers and sellers.

Join the movement at Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30 – Aug. 1! Seize the moment to take charge of the next era in real estate. Through immersive experiences, innovative formats and an unparalleled lineup of speakers, this gathering becomes more than a conference — it becomes a collaborative force shaping the future of our industry. Secure your tickets now!

The proposed National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) settlement will separate professional agents from amateur agents. I recently spoke with David Childers, CEO of Keeping Current Matters, who shared his insights on what agents should be doing now to position themselves to win in the changing environment.

Childers began the interview by discussing the amount of confusion the settlement has created for buyers, sellers and even for agents. He shared the following from Brian Boero, co-founder of 1000watt:

Childers focused on the portion of this quote where Boero says, “Consumer sentiment is malleable and volatile.” When speaking on the word “malleable,” he said, “This means that it can be changed and it is the job of agents to present the facts in a way that brings clarity to buyers and sellers.”

The second word he spoke on was “volatile.” In his words, “it means the subject is being discussed everywhere and the understandings or beliefs about the settlement include some that are true and some that are false.

“In life and in business there can be a big difference between what is said and what is heard. That has largely been the case with the NAR proposed settlement as headlines and the sheer amount of attention has created confusion with what is happening.”

“The topic of the proposed settlement was brought up by a group of people that didn’t know I was involved in the real estate industry at an event I attended last week,” Childers said. “I kept my mouth shut to just listen to what people heard. The things that people heard and believed were wild.”

“From you don’t need an agent anymore, sellers can’t pay the buyer’s agent commission, and other extreme ideas with much of their thoughts just factually incorrect. The problem is that it is not just the public, but in many cases, agents are still unsure about exactly how these proposed changes will affect their businesses,” Childers said.

Confusion, fear, panic and paralysis

Childers went on to say, “Confusion leads to fear. Fear, when left unchecked, leads to panic and panic, when left uncontrolled, leads to paralysis. We find ourselves in a time when many agents are not sure about exactly what is happening. This leads them to not knowing what to say, and, based on their confusion, they aren’t sure what their course of action should be.

“Keeping Current Matters was founded on the belief that the educated agent in the market wins. I don’t know if there has been a time in history when it has been more important than now to be the educated agent.”

Childers noted several ways agents can educate themselves including reading the NAR Settlement Fact Sheet and the NAR Settlement FAQ published by NAR. He also referenced a webinar he did with Tom Ferry; Jack Miller, CEO of T360; and Alysia Esseg, the former president of her association and an agent coach, where they discussed the details agents need to know and how to answer several of the most common questions agents are receiving from buyers and sellers.

Childers said, “There is no shortage of information about the settlement. The key question is: What are agents doing to educate themselves, so they can be the resource and educator in their local market? Besides educating themselves, agents should also be clear on the facts about consumer sentiment. The following are a few surveys that agents should keep in mind.”

He shared the slide above in reference to a survey recently done by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors that asked consumers which of the following statements (mentioned in the slide) they most agree with. The survey showed that 76 percent of consumers believe when buying a home, you should definitely have someone who represents your interests during the whole process.

He also shared the following slide from a study done by Bright MLS.

This slide also shares buyer sentiment in regard to how consumers view the value of an agent in the homebuying process.

After explaining the charts, Childers said, “There are plenty of studies out there that show how valued agents are with consumers. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some who didn’t hear the proposed settlement and say ‘Great, I’ve been waiting for this moment and now we don’t have to use an agent.’ That mindset is alive and well with a certain percentage of people, just as it always has been.”

Calm and confidence

“But what I do know,” Childers continued, “is that the frenzied, volatile nature of the current conversation will subside. The professional agent who brings calm and confidence to the frenzy will win. There is an unbelievable opportunity in the coming months for professional agents to gain market share and build a personal brand that will elevate their business to a whole new level.”

In closing, he said, “Most agents know what is happening. Good agents understand what is happening. But great agents can explain what is happening.

“Become an educator. Become the person buyers and sellers in your local market look to for clear, concise information that they have complete confidence in. By doing so right now you will create a separation from your competitors that will be difficult for them to ever make up.”

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

7 trust accelerators to speed up the know, like, trust process

7 trust accelerators to speed up the know, like, trust process

Join the movement at Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30 – Aug. 1! Seize the moment to take charge of the next era in real estate. Through immersive experiences, innovative formats and an unparalleled lineup of speakers, this gathering becomes more than a conference — it becomes a collaborative force shaping the future of our industry. Secure your tickets now!

Real estate is a know, like, trust business, meaning the sales process involves people getting to know you, liking you, and ultimately trusting you enough to do business with you.

In light of the changes, uncertainties and questions surrounding the NAR settlement, agent commissions and industry transformation, there’s never been a better time to build rapport and trust with leads and clients. These seven trust accelerators speed up the process and help you close more deals.

1.  Harness the power of online reviews

A study by BrightLocal found that over 80 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. We truly are in a review economy where the quantity and quality of online reviews you accumulate can accelerate the trust level your prospects have in you.

Reviews usually come from simply asking your clients for them. Based on this understanding, building a campaign where you ask past clients and people in your sphere of influence for reviews should be a priority. The key to an effective review campaign can be broken into four essential steps:

  • Choose the platform you want to focus on (Google, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.).
  • Make a list of clients and sphere of influence contacts who you believe would leave a positive review.
  • Request the review via email or text including a link to the review page to make it easy for them.
  • Follow up with an additional text that says, “Thanks again for your consideration” if the first request does not produce a review.

Choosing one platform to focus on provides you with the ability to increase your presence on the sites that are most important for you. Google Business Profile reviews do not require the reviewer to be a verified client that closed a transaction with you like Zillow and Realtor.com. This makes the opportunity on Google broader. Google also happens to be the website with the highest search traffic, making it an ideal place to focus your efforts.

2. Master consistency

Consistency breeds trust. Brand consistency across social networks increases the likelihood that you and your brand will be noticed by prospects. However, consistency in your marketing when it comes to timing and regularity can be just as important as consistent visual branding.

Do you have a specific day you send your monthly or weekly newsletter? Do you have specific days or times you post on social media? Do you have a Friday Favorite property you share each Friday or a Best Buy of the Week you share each Wednesday?

Subconsciously, when people begin to see you consistently providing value, it increases their trust in you. Build a content calendar that you can stick to for social media. Start or stay consistent with your email newsletter. Start or stay consistent with your direct mail to your geographical farm areas. These are the keys to consistency and earning the trust of your prospects.

Your focus and diligence on maintaining consistency will lead to more business.

3.  Do what you say you will do

The easiest way to build trust is to do what you say you will do. If you say you will get them the information within an hour, send them the information within the hour. If you say you will call at a specific time, call them at that time.

By doing what you say you will do with the smaller things, it builds their trust that they will be able to count on you with the bigger things.

4.  Embrace the power of video marketing

I don’t know anything that accelerates trust more than video marketing. It shows your personality. It creates connection and it gives people the ability to feel like they know you even though they may not have met you in person.

Familiarity is the precursor to trust, and nothing creates familiarity more than video content.

5.  Share compelling stories

An article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling” reported on a study that shared how telling a story has the unique ability to influence the listener’s brain and trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes trust. This study showed scientifically how stories in marketing generate trust faster than statistics and bland advertising.

Instead of sending a Just Sold card, why not tell the story of the process from listing to sale? Share the stories of how you help buyers overcome whatever struggle they had to buy their home. Tell the story of your favorite, hardest or most memorable closing.

Connection and trust are achieved more quickly when you use the art of storytelling.

6. Increase your competence

Trust is often earned through the confidence prospects have that you are a competent and professional agent. Become the most knowledgeable agent regarding sales details and market trends in your local market. Share your knowledge by learning how to produce video content that educates and entertains the prospects that need the information you have the most.

The more competent you become, the more trust prospects will have in you and, in turn, the more business you will do.

7.  Prioritize likability

If asked which is more important, people knowing you, people liking you, or people trusting you, most people would answer, people trusting you. But trust is a process, and I would argue likability is the most important trait of all.

Everything starts with likability. Imagine going on a blind date and at the end of the date someone asked you what you thought. If you said, I think I can trust him/her, but I don’t really like them, would you go on a second date?

Now imagine if your answer was, I don’t know if I can trust him/her yet, but I really like them. Odds are you will go on that second date to find out if you can trust them.

You can be the most known and most trusted agent in your local market, but without likability, your business growth will be limited. So how can you become more likable?

Start with smiling more. Focus more on the needs of the client instead of your own. Show your gratitude and appreciation for people and their business. When you increase your likability, everything else will take care of itself.

The value of client relationships in our business has never been clearer. Now is the time to deepen your existing relationships and also to focus on creating new ones. Become the best version of yourself, provide more value, and you can expect the growth in your business you desire.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

15 fresh, workable video content ideas for 2024

15 fresh, workable video content ideas for 2024

We all know that we should be out there shooting videos to help our businesses grow. In fact, both short-form and long-form videos are everywhere online and on social media.

Producing video content is no longer optional. However, many agents struggle with choosing the types of videos they should produce. In this article, you’ll find 15 fresh video content ideas that are working right now.

1. Talking head videos

Talking head videos are ideal for microlearning. These videos are very popular on social media, and they are typically broken down into two formats.

The first format is an agent looking directly into the camera to give a market update, a tip on buying a home, or even ideas on what to do before listing a home for sale. These videos are focused on adding value to potential clients, and the more educational and entertaining they are, the better they will perform.

The second format is a podcast format where the camera is set at an off-center angle. It records a conversation between two or more people or an interview. These often have podcast microphone setups, and you might even see headphones on the person talking due to it being a video of a podcast interview.

These videos give the feel of listening in on a conversation or interview. The engagement increases when these videos cover topics of interest for your audience, whomever that might be for you.

This is an example of a talking head video by an agent.

2. Green screen videos

Green screen videos are performing extremely well on Instagram right now. If you aren’t familiar with these, they are the videos you see where someone has an article as the backdrop for their video where they discuss the article. 

The process for the green screen video starts with finding an article you believe your ideal client will find interesting or valuable. Take a screenshot of the article on your iPhone by pressing the side button and your volume-up button at the same time. Quickly release both buttons, and you will have your screenshot. 

The next step is to click the bottom Reels button on your app, then the camera icon in the top right corner on the next screen. Click on the three stars (effects button) and choose the green screen as the effect. If the green screen doesn’t show up, enter it into the search, and it will immediately appear.

After clicking on the green screen, click on Change Background, where you can choose camera roll and select your saved screenshot. Now, you’re ready to record by pressing and holding down the round bottom at the bottom of the screen in the center. Hit Next and complete the process just as you would with any other video for an Instagram Reel.

These videos are generating amazing results right now, and this is an example of one that stands out from the crowd.

3. Compounding your content by breaking down long-form videos

Longer-form videos like home tours or “listicle” videos with titles like “7 reasons people love living in your city” can easily be broken down into multiple short-form videos with a tool like Opus.Pro. Opus.Pro provides AI technology that will take your longer videos, and in seconds, their artificial intelligence will break them into multiple short-form videos with captions and automatic screen changes.

If you’re paying a videographer to shoot professional videos for you about neighborhoods, listing videos, or any longer form content, don’t miss this easy opportunity to turn these into easily shareable Instagram Reels, TikToks or YouTube Shorts.

4. Ways to get the lowest interest rate

There is no subject that is being discussed more than interest rates in real estate now. One of the main reasons buyers say they are delaying the purchase of a home is higher interest rates. This video gives you the ability to provide them with solutions.

If you aren’t sure what to say, utilize the following ChatGPT prompt to help you develop a script:

Act as a video content specialist for real estate agents and provide me with a video script on strategies real estate buyers can utilize to reduce the mortgage rate on a home they intend to purchase. Please include as one of the strategies working with a professional real estate agent who can introduce them to the best lenders.

5. Wondering what you get for $500K in [your city]

These videos are generating a lot of engagement right now. The format is simple, and it starts with a selfie video in front of a home with an introduction like, “Wondering what $500,000 will get you in [your city or a certain neighborhood]? Let’s check it out.”

Next, do a walkthrough of the home with a voiceover that shares the features of the home and the surrounding area. Editing these videos in an app like CapCut can turn a quick walkthrough video into a professional piece of content with little effort.

This is an example of one of these videos.

6. Videos sharing interesting facts about your area

Your content shouldn’t be completely about real estate. Mixing in content about your community is a great way to provide value and expand your audience. If you aren’t sure what to share, simply Google little-known facts about [your city].

7. Frequently asked questions videos

If you’re asked a question more than three times, odds are it would make a great video. Here are a few common topics for these types of videos:

  1. How’s the real estate market?
  2. Is now a good time to buy, or should I wait?
  3. Is spring really the best time to list my house for sale?

8. New subdivision overviews

Due to being new, the latest built subdivisions in your area offer a unique opportunity to position yourself at the top of searches on YouTube. These videos should include an overview of the number of homes, the sizes of the homes and the amenities of the neighborhood. As a bonus, drone footage adds another layer of professionalism.

This is an example of a new development video that has produced over $2 million in sales volume in less than six months.

9. Quality listing videos

You’ve done the hard work of generating a listing. Now go the extra step and invest in a professional listing video. Not only will it help you sell the home, but it is also a way to show other homeowners how you provide professional marketing for your listings, which leads to more listing opportunities.

This is an example of a professional listing video.

10. Videos providing information about local schools

One of the biggest questions families have about a city they are considering moving to is the schools. Create videos where you provide an overview of the schools. These videos position you as the resource for all the needed information about your community.

These videos are a great way to provide video content that attracts potential buyers early in their homebuying process.

11. Floor plan tours of properties or tract-built neighborhoods

Tract-built neighborhoods are developments where a group of similar floor plans are built in a specific neighborhood. Many times, these are developments from national builders where they have an onsite sales team that works for the builder, and the sales team moves on to the next development once the sale of all the new homes in that neighborhood is completed.

This creates an opportunity for an agent to become the neighborhood expert once resales begin. Shooting videos that show the floor plans available and the amenities of the neighborhood position you as the agent of choice for that neighborhood.

12. The 3 most popular neighborhoods in [your city]

These are videos where you provide details, amenities, and any relevant information about three popular neighborhoods in your city. They are great lead capture videos for buyer prospects and potential listings in these neighborhoods.

13. Videos highlighting the pros and cons of living in the area

A title for this type of video that will create click-throughs might be “3 Things People Love and Hate About Living in [Your City].” An example of what we might include for a video like this for the area where I live (along the coast in Northwest Florida) would include things like people hate how hot it is in the summer, but they love the fact that we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with crystal clear water to cool down in.

These titles are very clickable and build bridges to other videos you might have as well.

14. 7 things to consider before buying in [your city]

This is another topic-based video targeting buyer prospects. As with all these topic-based videos, if you aren’t sure what to talk about, use a prompt like the following in ChatGPT to generate ideas for your video:

Act as a video script expert who understands how to write compelling video content for prospective real estate buyers. Provide an SEO-optimized YouTube video script highlighting 7 things buyers should consider before buying in [Your City].

15. 5 secrets for selling your home in [your city] for the highest price and in the least amount of time

This type of video creates curiosity for anyone considering selling their home soon. As with the others, if you are struggling to find the right words, utilize ChatGPT.

The agent that produces the most compelling and consistent content will thrive in 2024 and in the coming years. Why can’t that agent be you?

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.