Real Estate Agents

7 Must-Haves for Every Realtor

7 Must-Haves for Every Realtor

The word “must” gets thrown around a lot in real estate.

You must be active on social media.  You must use video.  You must work with internet leads.

The truth is, you can be successful in real estate without social media, video, internet leads and just about every other “must” out there.

In fact, there are only seven true must-haves for every Realtor.

#1 – A Plan

You don’t need a formal business plan, but you do need to know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.  Make sure your plan is in writing and set aside time to review it at least once per month.

#2 – A Clear Value Proposition

In your marketing materials and in-person, you must communicate to potential customers why they should work with you instead of someone else.  Your value proposition could center on your experience, track record, previous careers, local knowledge, or anything else that distinguishes you from other agents in your market.

#3 – A CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Your network is your most valuable asset as an agent.  You must have a reliable place to store, manage, and access the contact and personal information of the people in your database.

#4 – A Consistent Way to Generate Leads

If your income is unpredictable from one month to the next, inconsistent lead generation is the likely culprit.  To smooth out the peaks and valleys, invest in marketing and prospecting systems that give you a consistent flow of potential buyers and sellers.

#5 – A System for Tracking Lead Sources

You can’t know what’s working and what isn’t unless you track how you get your leads.  You can use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, or you can use your CRM.

#6 – A Place to Log Expenses

You might have heard the saying, “It’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep”.  If you don’t know how much money you’re spending, you can’t know how much money you’re keeping.

Programs like Quickbooks, or apps like Expensify, make logging expenses easy so you always know what you’re keeping.

#7 – A Transaction Management System

The quickest way to damage your reputation and endanger your license is to drop the ball during a transaction.  You must have a system in place to ensure you have the proper paperwork, meet contract deadlines, and follow-up on all outstanding issues.
P.S. – The most common missing item of the seven is a plan.  If you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to put one together. Without a business plan, you will struggle to hit your goals.

For Realtors: How to Organize a Perfect Real Estate Day

How to Organize a Perfect Real Estate Day

If you asked 100 (or 1,000) real estate agents to name their top three biggest challenges, time management would make almost every one of those agents’ lists.  Calls, emails, texts, and social media demand instant attention and can distract even the most focused among us.

The key to controlling your time is by organizing your calendar to ensure you complete your most vital tasks every day.  Here’s how to do just that.

The Night Before
A perfect real estate day starts the night before.  Begin by writing down everything you want to do the following day.  If you end up with more than a handful items, rank them in order of priority.

As you create your list, you might find certain tasks must be done at specific times of the day.  Block off those times in your calendar and set reminders so you remember to do the tasks.

First Thing
Important …  Whenever it is you start your day, resist the urge to check email or social media.  Put your phone on silent or use the Do Not Disturb setting.  Then, get to work on your to-do list (in order of priority).

The exception to the rule of not checking email is when you are expecting a vital message.  But even when that’s the case, you still don’t want to look at every email.  Instead, do a quick scan of your inbox to see if that message arrived.

Your concentration, willpower, and discipline are all at their highest in the morning.  That’s why morning is the best time to knock out as much of your to-do list as possible.

Checking email and your phone for urgent messages is ok from time-to-time.  But, do it in-between tasks.  Interrupting one task to start another is a good way to get little, if anything, done.

Late Morning/Noon
Sometime in the late morning or around noon, stop working on your to-do list and reflect on your progress to that point.  Have you completed all your high priority items?  Do you need to shuffle the priority of certain tasks or add or remove tasks?

Many agents describe their days as “putting out one fire after another”.  A midday break ensures you’re focused on the important items and not just the urgent items screaming for your attention.

The afternoon is the perfect time to work on tasks that require lower levels of concentration.  It’s also a good time to return phone calls and emails, check and update social media, and prepare for any upcoming buyer or listing appointments.

If you’ve managed to knock out your to-do list and are looking for ways to make your afternoon productive, consider reading industry news or training materials, making calls to your database, or prospecting for new business.

Late Afternoon/Early Evening
You probably have a “quitting time” even though you may continue to check email or take phone calls into the evening.  Before you wind down your day, take a few minutes to ensure you completed everything you needed to do.

This end-of-day review serves two purposes.  First, it helps prevent necessary tasks from slipping through the cracks.  Second, it allows you to mentally transition out of work mode knowing you aren’t forgetting anything.  That transition is crucial for preventing burnout.

P.S. – Every day won’t look like the perfect real estate day.  But, the more days you can string together that follow this general structure, the more you’ll find yourself in control of your time.


RE/MAX International has released mid-year rankings and statistics for the nearly 95,000 RE/MAX associates and more than 7,000 offices system-wide.
RE/MAX Coastal Broker/Owners Ed and Terri Smith were recognized as #99 among all RE/MAX residential real estate teams in the United States. The year-to-date statistics also show the Smiths as being ranked #6 in the state of Florida.  
The Smiths are both Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) and Accredited Buyer Representatives (ABR). Additionally, the are both members of the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame.  Ed is a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) and is e-PRO Certified. He has been awarded the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award as well.  
It was also announced that RE/MAX Coastal ranks in the top 10% among all 231 RE/MAX offices in Florida in terms of Total Closed Sales Volume. Additionally, RE/MAX Coastal is ranked #6 in the state in terms of Average Sales per Associate.
RE/MAX leads the industry in terms of average sales per associate, professional designations and experience. RE/MAX operates 7,000 offices in more than 70 countries worldwide which is an international presence far greater than any of its competitors.
RE/MAX has been honored as the leading real estate franchise for nine of the last ten years by Entrepeneur Magazine.


Broker/Owners Ed and Terri Smith were recognized by RE/MAX for their ranking as the # 5 residential real estate team in the state of Florida Year-to-Date through the month of April.
Ed and Terri are both members of the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame. Ed is also a recipient of the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award which has only been achieved by the top 2% of RE/MAX Associates out of the nearly 100,000 associates and brokers worldwide.

In local real estate for 22 years, the Smiths founded RE/MAX along the Emerald Coast in 1990. Both are Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) and Accredited Buyer Representatives (ABR) and Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE).  Ed is also a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) and is e-PRO certified.
The Smiths  are assisted by four team members, two of which specialize as Buyer Specialists,  Kay Hutcheson who joined the team in 1999, and  Heather Swett, who has been a team  member since 2003. Barbara Elizondo, also licensed, has been a team member since 1997 and coordinates the entire team effort. Also affiliated is  Richard Stewart who directs short sale services and special marketing projects.
RE/MAX Coastal Properties is located at 125 Main Street, at Highway 98, in the heart of Destin in the Old Destin Bank Building.


RE/MAX Coasatal Properties Broker/Owners Ed and Terri Smith were recognized by RE/MAX International for their ranking as # 71 among all residential real estate teams in the United States. The year-to-date statistics are through April, the most recent month for which 2009 statistics are available.

“With the enormous number of top producers within the RE/MAX system, a ranking anywhere within in the top 100 in the U.S. is a very formidable achievement” said Ed Smith. “In fact, RE/MAX was just ranked as the top U.S. firm in terms of transactions per agent for 2008, in both The REAL Trends Survey and the RIS Media Power Broker Survey.”   

The Real Trends Survey also reported that RE/MAX agents averaged far greater sales volume than the other national firms, and 31% more than the second place company in the U.S. RE/MAX operates 7,000 offices in more than 70 countries worldwide which is an international presence far greater than any of its competitors. With more than 90,000 sales associates worldwide, RE/MAX has been honored as the leading real estate franchise for nine of the last ten years by Entrepeneur Magazine.

I have been thinking of getting my real estate license. Is now a good time?

Now is a good time to learn, but not a good time to earn. For the entire year 2008, an average of less than 2 sales occurred per each local Realtor agent, as was reported through our local MLS.  
So, as an average agent, you might reasonably expect average results. As to what that would equate to in actual income, those average performance results would provide you with annual earnings of something well below the 2008 poverty line. You know that old saying, “Don’t give up your day job!”