For Real Estate Agents

3 Ways To Create Expert Status In Your Field

Give trusted referrals, have an opinion, and over deliver to create expert status.
Imagine that you are a first-time homebuyer shopping for a house. The perfect home, ripe with potential comes on the market, and you move as quickly as possible to the closing table.

Excited about the opportunity to create the home of your dreams you make a list of repairs, upgrades, and renovations. After prioritizing your list, it does not take long for you to realize that you are in-over-your-head. You need professional help, but as a newcomer to the neighborhood are not sure where to turn.

A phone call to your agent is a good starting point. She sends over a well-organized list of trusted local home service providers from plumbers to carpenters. How likely are you to call these providers and share them with your new neighbors? Having just had a positive home-buying experience, chances are pretty darn good.

Your real estate agent has now created expert status in her field. How did she do this?

1. Give trusted referrals

Providing a customer with a referral builds trust. In the real estate and home service industries, the customer’s expectation is that even the experts are only looking out for their own best interest. A well-timed referral eliminates buyer-skepticism.

There is no benefit to the agent to lie in this scenario, so the customer feels comfortable with the referral and now has trust in both the contractor and the agent herself.

How does this work?

A real estate agent doesn’t get a commission after referring business to a contractor. Money is not the currency in this relationship. Loyalty is more valuable.

The contractor knows that by providing consistent, high-quality service to an agent’s clients, he or she will be rewarded with referral […]

Prepare Your Home for Sale: 5 pros you’ll want to hire

The housing market is staging a comeback. Five years after the housing bubble burst, a generation of young adults who opted not to enter into homeownership during the peak of the recession are now shopping for a home. This is good news for local economies, but it is unknown if the shopping spree will last. The supply of houses on the market has not yet equaled the demand. The concern is that buyers will become disinterested if they do not find the house they have been holding out for, which may kill the momentum of the recovery. If you are one of the homeowners who is considering taking advantage of buyer-interest before it wanes, there are many things to consider before putting your home on the market. How you prepare your home for sale will have a direct effect on the outcome of your experience. Here are a few suggestions on whom to consult for assistance before you put your home on the market.

1. A Local Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents know from experience that a well-prepared home will sell faster and at a higher price. More importantly, they can guide you on where to invest your money and how much you should spend. Remodeling your kitchen, for instance, may not be necessary when new knobs on the cabinets will satisfy buyer’s expectations. A knowledgable agent will be able to provide the guidance that you need.

Like doctors, not all agents are equal. Before you hire an agent, get a referral from a friend or neighbor.

2. An Interior/Exterior Painter

A welcoming entryway is a must when selling your home. Impress your potential buyers right-off-the-bat with a freshly painted front door. A new coat of bright paint […]

5 Reasons to ‘Hire Local’

We’ve all heard of ‘Buy Local’ campaigns promoting the value-driven shops that add character and diversity to their neighborhoods. Rewarding local business owners with our dollars and loyalty has a tremendous social and economic benefit to the community. Local store owners usually live nearby and feel a greater responsibility to the community, themselves supporting local organizations and causes while paying local taxes and putting much of their earned income back into neighboring businesses. As big box retailers eye the service market, we must view our local independent service professionals in the same light. They too add to the character of our communities, provide exceptional value, and are champions of customer service. To continue the progress of successful ‘buy local’ campaigns, remember to ‘hire local’ the next time you need a hand around the house or repairs for your car, lawn equipment, or bicycle.

When faced with the need to hire an expert, keep these five reasons in mind when you pick up the phone or go to the computer.

1. Local businesses produce more income, jobs, and taxes for communities than big box retailers do. According to Intuit, for every $100 given to locally owned businesses, including service professionals, $45 of that stays in the local economy. Compare this to just $15 of every $100 spent at big-box retailers.

2. Local service professionals are more likely to use local banks, media to advertise, and other local services.

3. Supporting local businesses contributes to a community’s character and economic diversity. One-of-a-kind businesses and service providers connect with community members on an individual level, not only boosting the friendliness of a neighborhood but also increasing safety and security. Local independent providers buck the trend of homogenized big-box stores whose service providers […]

Twin Cities Home Remodeling Market Prime for Growth

It has been years since good news has hit the Twin Cities home remodeling market. After taking a beating during the housing crisis, two important indicators are on the rise that could lead to a speedier recovery. November marked the sixth straight month of rising home prices and the number of building permits issued this year is up 107 percent over last year. With new home purchases fueling larger projects for home remodelers, this is exciting news for an industry on the mend.

Many in the Twin Cities home remodeling market have seen both smaller projects and more competition over the past few years. Since housing prices took a tumble, many homeowners decided to stay put and improve their home, as opposed to moving. But cautious spenders opted for small projects with smaller budgets. Competition to win these jobs increased as builders scrambled to snatch up as much business as possible, large or small.

People are now feeling more confident in the economy and this has translated into an increase in home sales. The U.S. Commerce Department said last Wednesday that home sales were up 17 percent compared to last year. While this increase means more projects for builders, it is also attracting a lot of outside housing companies to aggressively pursue the Twin Cities market. With this being the case, it is even more important for homeowners to do their research before hiring.

Despite difficulties, the future looks bright for local home remodeling companies. According to the residential remodeling index, Minneapolis ranks second in the nation in the top 100 U.S. remodeling markets. Many believe that this marks the beginning of a big upward trend in Minnesota.

Sharing Referrals for Better Home Hiring

(Photo caption: Like a potluck, if we each bring a little, together we’ll have a lot.)

We learned the benefit of sharing long ago; if we each have a little, collectively we have a lot. At the time, your parents likely didn’t explain the affect this could have on your bank account as an adult. As a homeowner, sharing referrals for home service providers with friends can save you a lot of money. Hiring the right home service professional not only impacts the quality of work done on your home, but can also have a dramatic impact on your home budget.

First time homeowners and seasoned home veterans both struggle to find trustworthy home professionals. We each may have a few favorites but lack a complete list.

What if we were able to connect with friends and neighbors so that a short list of home service pros instantly became a full list of test-driven and proven professionals with reviews by people you know, whose opinions you trust? And what if it were free?

Introducing Heroic 2.0

Heroic is a free place to share home service referrals with friends and neighbors. As opposed to a paid list of reviews from strangers, Heroic is meant to act as a platform to facilitate the word of mouth trust that already exists between you, your friends, and your neighbors.

Easily signing in via Facebook or email gets you started. Not to worry, you’ll always have complete control over your privacy. Invite your trusted friends directly from the Heroic platform and start sharing referrals. Connecting with neighbors and hiring locally will also be encouraged.

Who is this for?

First-time homeowners and new home buyers with a long list of home improvement jobs are most excited about our upcoming […]