Category Archives: Career Stories

3 Minute Marketing

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles is at the forefront of technology and marketing within the Real Estate Industry.  Are you using the tools that are necessary to reach today’s buyers and sellers?  Today’s busy consumers have an endless supply of information, photos, data, video’s and so much more when they are looking to buy or sell a property.  We have built a company for tomorrow’s consumers who demand information at the speed of light.  Take a moment and look at some of our 3 Minute Marketing Video’s which are designed for you, tomorrow’s Super Agent, they are there to help you make a decision on the best Company in the Real Estate Industry to work for.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles located in Scottsdale, Arizona is actively looking for more Super Agents to join our team.  Don’t delay, contact us today.

Paint, Putty and a New Attitude

IMG_9824How important is your office space to your company’s culture?

An easy question to ask, very difficult to answer. How does one quantify the effect of the space they work in relation to their very success or failure?

Companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and any number of startups that are vying for the young, talented and intellectual crowd know that office space is critical to success. It becomes not just about the work, but also the environment where they work – a great experience all around. And, if you do it right, you’ll begin to see how office design makes an impact on your bottom line.  Is it possible to apply that same thinking to your real estate office? Now, you may not have ping pong tables, cafeterias, child care, dry cleaners, etc., in your office, but you can surely improve the space itself to make it feel less clinical and more comfortable.

Can the space you inhabit improve your business and change your culture?

We believe so. Recently we made the decision to move our Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles office. What we wanted to achieve sounded simple, but more difficult to achieve.

Our goals were to:

  • double our space,
  • reduce our costs by 40-50%,
  • Establish a more convenient location,
  • improve team culture, and
  • improve the client experience.

Most of these goals are pretty black and white – increase space, reduce costs, etc., are all basic needs and fairly easy to do if you’re willing to put in the time and energy.  But what about improving the client experience and team culture?

Improving the Client Experience

We believe this goal should be first and foremost in the minds of anyone making a change in their office.  Our specific office specializes in the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Distinctive Collection® Luxury market tier, so it was our goal to create an inviting space that matches the look and feel of the Distinctive Collection – more luxurious than a normal real estate office might feel.   As the saying goes, you only have a few moments to make a first impression.  Although our office is situated in a commercial center, upon entering you feel as though you just stepped into a luxurious living room, filled with cushy leather seating and high quality flooring, paint, lighting, art and fresh flowers.  If you’re going to take the time to come to our office in person, we sure want to make sure you are comfortable enough to stay as long as you’d like.  We take great pride in offering an assortment of snacks, soft drinks, coffee & espresso all while you listen to nice soothing jazz music.   You’ll also find we stayed true to an open concept behind the reception area where our affiliated agents are encouraged to interact with each other, spend time with each other and learn from each other.   Their success is our success, and we’ve listed their successes on the wall for all to see.

Improving the Team Culture

What we have found is that if you focus on improving the client experience, you will also improve your company culture.  So often we forget that our clients aren’t the only ones to visit the office. Our affiliated agents step into our office daily, and they want and deserve a great experience as well.    We no longer host meetings with our agents – instead, we host Happy Hours. Also, we no longer schedule events, plans, meetings in private, they’re on the calendar for all to see.   The practice of inclusiveness of our office has made a world of difference in our agents’ attitudes and willingness to participate and be present.

So if you’re wondering how to improve your company culture and your agents’ outlook:

Improve your clients’ experience and the rest will come.


To see all the Photos for our New Office click here:  Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles.

How much does a Real Estate Agent Make?

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

How Much Do Agents Make How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?

Wow! You make a lot of money


How many times have you been told “You make a lot of  money”.  We have heard it time and time again, but does a REALTOR really make a lot of money?  Let’s take a look.

We would say that the two most important questions on a home sellers mind is How much is my House worth?  And the second most important question, however it usually takes a while to get to it is; How much do you charge to Sell my house?

These aren’t the only questions you will be asked, but for sure are the most important questions weighing on the minds of the Home seller.  We think it’s important to breakdown the two questions to help better understand the answers to both.

imagesHow much is my House worth?

We would like to tell you that it is a simple calculation, however it is not.  It is based on the history of the market and not the future of the market.  Even in a rapidly growing Real Estate Market the value of a home is based on the value of the homes that have recently sold in the past.  That is not to say your house can’t be listed at a higher price because the market is trending up.

What is the definition of recently?  If an appraisal is necessary for the sale of your home an appraiser typically will go back 6 months, however in a rapidly growing market, they may only go back 3 months in order to keep up with the rapid advancement.  What’s important to note here is that it is subjective how far back an appraiser may go.  Here is an example that happens more often than you might think.  A home is in the process of being appraised, however there hasn’t been any “solds” in more than say 6 months or even a year in the neighborhood.  Now in a rapidly advancing market, those comparatives would be more than a year old, and in most cases the evaluation of your home would end in a lower price evaluation because of it.

When it comes to determining the current market value of your home, a professional REALTOR is going to take their time in reviewing previously sold homes in your neighborhood and possibly a mile or two radius from your neighborhood if comparative homes are not readily available.  They will also communicate this information to an appraiser and work with them to ensure the property is properly evaluated.  Relying on a professional REALTOR who has the expertise of the area and knowledge of how an appraiser evaluates a home is a critical component to determining market valuation of your home.  However a homes evaluation doesn’t stop there, it is also based on the REALTORS knowledge of the area, their knowledge of inventory on the market at any given time, and their ability to walk through your home and add up those little details that are not so easy to quantify.

So to answer the question, What is my House worth?, is not an easy answer.  It is a complicated calculation.  When you employ a professional REALTOR to determine your homes value there is significant work and insight that goes into determining a Home’s Value.  All of the technical and intuitive skills of the REALTOR will guide them to determine what is the best possible price your house may sell at.  This will help to position the value of your home with the appraiser when the time comes.

house-value-upHow much do you charge to Sell my house?

We greatly appreciate a home seller who asks us to discount our services, after all it shows that they are looking for the best deal possible and it allows us the opportunity to talk about the process of selling a home.  There is nothing wrong with that.    And when we tell them that we charge 3% of the sale price that may seem like a tremendous amount of money.  But let’s look at how that commission is used.

Of the 3%,  3/4% goes to the Broker and Franchise Fees.  These fees allow us to work as a REALTORS, it allows us to “hang” our licenses.  Not only do  they allow us to work, they also provide us with all the tools necessary to sell our clients home including legal support to verify that all the details of your home sale are correct and legal.  This is so you don’t have to also hire a lawyer to protect yourself, essentially doubling your costs.  As a professional REALTOR we have fiduciary responsibility to our client and we take it serious.

Then we have about 1% that goes to Marketing your home.  What does that mean?  For us Marketing does not end at putting a sign in your yard and putting your house in the local MLS.  No, marketing your home is the most crucial part of ensuring that the highest number of people see your home.  Marketing costs may include Professional Photography, Graphic Design, Promotional Ads in both Digital and Print formats, Print Marketing, Digital Marketing, Website syndication, National and International Syndication, Direct Mail targeting, Local REALTOR Tours, Video Marketing, Virtual Tour Marketing, Digital Magazines, Social Media Marketing and the latest in Mobile Technology Marketing.

That leaves about 1-1/4% for us.  Once we back out the Transportation, Logistics, Continuing Education, Multiple Listing Service and Lock Box fees that leaves us with roughly 1% of the sales price of your home. Then 35-40% of that is paid to State and Federal Taxes.  That is a fairly consistent breakdown of how that 3% your going to pay us to sell your house is utilized.

Now, understanding that if we were to discount our services, we still have Brokerage, Franchise Fees, State & Federal Taxes, Continuing Education and other bills to pay and food to buy just like everyone else, so the discount has to come from somewhere.  And  it will always come from Marketing.  MARKETING YOUR HOME IS THE KEY TO SELLING YOUR HOME.  Discounted services will hurt the ability of your REALTOR to sell your home.

When sitting down with our Client during the listing appointment, instead of asking us to discount our services, ask us how our marketing plan is going to help  to sell your home.  We are very proud of our marketing programs and the value they bring to our sellers and often times there isn’t enough attention paid to that part of the discussion.

So ask yourself, do you want to sell your home or simply list your home?

At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles not only do we have ensure our Clients get the best Marketing plans out there.  We also make sure that our Professional Agents know how to use these tools to succeed.

Diversity in Real Estate Sales

images-1As a melting pot, America is shaped by the beliefs, customs and cultures of its diverse population. To that end, do individuals from different backgrounds hold the same vision and attitude when it comes to setting forth and achieving the American Dream of homeownership? Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate set out to find the answer to that question, and today, released national survey findings from the three largest population groups within the U.S., with an equal distribution among 400 Caucasians, 400 African Americans and 400 Hispanic Americans ages 18 and older. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey results indicate that Americans from these three ethnic groups are far more alike than different when it comes to many perceptions and behaviors surrounding the home buying process. However, when it comes to considering family ties and origins when buying a home, there are key differences among these ethnicities.

A great advantage to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Clients and our Professional REALTORS are surveys like these.  We all gain valuable insight into tomorrow’s Home buyer and sellers.  This allows our Professional REALTORS to have the latest and greatest information at their disposal.  Some of the key findings from this Survey include the need for larger homes as families come together to live as multi-generational households.  Participants of the Survey also noted the importance of location of home.  At times the location or neighborhood is more important than the house itself.  Tools such as this Survey and previous Surveys outlining the Millennial Generation and Generations X & Y are also available to our Agents.

Choosing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Sonoran Desert Lifestyles as your place of employment is critical to your success.  The tools that our Professional REALTORS have at their disposal sets them apart from the rest of the market.

Check out the Diversity Survey results below.

For more information on this Diversity Survey, please click here

What to Expect in a Real Estate Career

your career

As a Professional REALTOR, rewards are all around you. You’ll enjoy flexibility and the freedom to set your own goals and pace. Of course your income and success will be reflected in your effort.

Successful people in real estate are goal-oriented, persevering, self-motivated, ambitious, and able to work with a wide variety of personalities.

You have the potential for high earnings, status, autonomy, intellectual challenges, and the satisfaction of helping others.

You can choose to work for a small firm or large, one on the technological cutting edge, one that focuses on environmentally friendly housing, or any number of other specialties.

Some real estate agents go on to be brokers. With more experience, education, and upon passing an additional exam, becoming a real estate broker is the next step for many successful salespeople. Brokers can own their own businesses and build a team of successful agents who will also contribute to the broker’s success.

Working in real estate comes with a few challenges, too. To be financially successful, Professional REALTORS  and brokers put in long hours and often work 15 hours a day and on weekends. They also typically don’t get paid until a property sells.

There can be long periods between commission checks. Also, when starting a real estate career, it can take a while to get up to speed and see those commissions start coming in.

It’s crucial to your success that you plan your business and choose a good school. One that will prepare you not only to pass the licensing exam, but that will also teach you what you need to know to succeed in the real world.  Some schools focus on teaching you how to pass the multiple exams, while others also teach you how Real Estate really works.  Click here for an easy to use Business Planning Tool

Prospecting is the single most crucial element in the business and presents the biggest challenge for most REALTORS.

Prospecting can be done in a number of ways:

  • Contacting your sphere of influence
  • Open houses
  • Office inquiries
  • Online techniques
  • Canvassing
  • Handing out business cards
  • And lots more!

The important thing to realize is that it’s not easy, but must be done consistently in order to have a successful real estate career.

Some other activities you could expect to do on a daily basis:

  • Tour new listings
  • Preview homes
  • Staying updated on real estate-related laws and issues
  • Conduct and attend open houses
  • Spend “floor time” at the office
  • Attend closings with your clients
  • Maintain relationships with your sphere of influence
  • Follow up with clients and customers
  • Prepare contracts for purchase and presenting offers for buyers, and offers from others to your sellers
  • Complete market evaluations
  • Show homes to prospective buyers
  • Prepare and present listing proposals and marketing plans
  • Facilitate communication between all the parties involved in the transaction

Do some research on becoming an agent now by trying our Career Center Tools, click on the tabs above, where you can:

  • Play the role of an agent.
  • Interact with virtual clients interested in buying or selling property.
  • See how you measure up to the top performers in the industry.
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