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Speed Up Real Estate Sales Transactions


Dave: Hey everyone! It is Dave for MyStateMLS. Welcome to week two of our three-part series of heating up your market during the colder winter months. 

Dave: Today we're focusing on improving your sales process. We're going to take a quick look at some of the things that we've talked about numerous times over the course of this year that we're going to focus in on what you can do now and starting, essentially starting today, to start to speed up your transaction process when it comes to dealing with internet-based transactions. We know that 2020 has been the year of the remote worker, so many people working remotely and many of you whether you've always worked remotely, you used to split up your time between being at an office being at home and then for anyone in any other industry, lots of us all starting to work from home. And for some companies they have decided to forgo even going back to the office altogether and have switched to complete remote work and what we're talking about today is improving your sales process by embracing the technology that allows us to work with our customers and clients remotely, eliminating that need to have to meet face to face. So before we get started, remember when we're marketing listings, we're not just marketing that property that is for sale, we're also marketing ourselves, our brand, our business. So that's one of the big things that I wanted to talk about today because when it comes to transactions and getting more transactions, which again is what we're going to get into next week, I just wanted to bring up today, we're going to quickly go over some of the marketing aspects of things this afternoon, but when we think about marketing listings it's not just that house that we're putting in front of the public. We're also putting our face there, our name, our company name. So those are things to remember when it comes to marketing properties, we're also marketing ourselves and we're going to understand why that's happening right now. 

Question and Answer: 

Dave: So before we get started I want to know what are you doing to set yourself apart from your competition? Whether it's something that you do online, something that you do in terms of your marketing, in terms of your ad strategy. Let me know what you do to set yourself apart from everyone else in your industry, in the territory in which you service.

Dave: All right, so I'm starting to see some of your responses come in. Some people say they try to embrace their Instagram page, they're always posting on social media and that's a little bit of what we're going to talk about today, especially when it comes to marketing yourself, again we're going to get deeper into this stuff next week, but I just wanted to kind of use this as a setup because in order to have transactions, you've got to market yourself get your name out there. So that's a great tip, especially again in today's day and age having that social media presence is certainly huge and that's what we're going to talk about as we move forward right now. Melissa says she has an extensive background in foreclosures. So she uses that as a strength and that's perfect Melissa and having that niche market is super important, we've discussed that numerous times here at the MLS in previous webinars, is if you can determine that niche market that you service, play that up to one of your strengths and embrace that and of course you can list and work with any type of customer with, whether they're a first-time homebuyer, they're an investor, but if you've got that in each market that you know you can reach out to certainly do that, so that's perfect to you Melissa, knowing that you have that specific market set and those specific customers that you work with on a day-to-day basis. If you don't know your niche market, think about that and use that as a strength and try to target those specific customers as you do new transactions in the future. So let's talk about improving your sales process, that's what this is all about today, is speeding up that transaction process from that first day that you signed that agency disclosure, to the day that the keys are handed over. So the first thing we're going to talk about is making sure you're visible to the public and what we mean by that is having that online presence, again we're going to go deeper into this stuff next week, we've talked about several times over the course of this year through our marketing may series, other webinar series that we've done earlier this year. If you haven't seen those before, make sure you log on to our website at MyStateMLS and see exactly what we're talking about. You're also going to make sure you're engaging with your buyers and sellers. Yes, we know this is common sense, but it's important to stay on top of your engagement, not only with your current buyers and sellers but potential future buyers and potential future sellers. When it comes to online strategies, especially with social media, we're going to talk about that in just a moment and lastly for improving your sales process, is speeding up the entire transaction process altogether and that's really what we want to focus on today. So once we do this kind of quick review of the things that lead up to the transaction process, that's we're going to dive deeper into what you can do starting today to speed up that entire process. 

Dave: So the first thing I want to do is talk about making yourself visible to the general public and as I said before for a lot of you that have been on our webinars before, we know that online marketing is more important than ever before, we know that 98 to 99% of home buyers are doing their own searches before they even reach out to an agent. So making sure that you're visible online should be top priority and what we mean by is online marketing, the basics are just keeping your website up to date and staying active on social media. So we're going to make sure that our website is updated and we stay active on our social media. Now let's discuss real quick why an online presence is so important, for those that have been with us before, you know why and that's giving you control over what others see if you don't have a website, even if you don't have something as simple as a Facebook page, you're not in control over what people see when they do an online search for your name. They could find a bad review of you that was posted on Yelp or on Zillow 5, 10 plus years ago. So it's important that you make sure you've got a current website. It's up to date and it's got your most current information that includes your most recent email address, your most recent phone number, because who knows, your Zillow profile may be outdated, it may still have your email from when you were at a brokerage five years ago when you just started as an agent. Now you're a broker, now you've got your own url, you've got your own.com, you've got to make sure that your email address is up to date on all those websites and plus having an online presence increases your general street cred, because again if someone tries to search you and they don't find a single trace online that you're an agent, that you're practicing real estate, still they may think you're no longer active, they may not think you're actually an agent anymore or even worse, they could consider you a potential scammer or a con artist, because you know we've seen over the years increasing rates of fake listings being posted on sites like Craigslist on Zillow for as for sale by owners, where people will take a listing that's on the market, they'll post it on Craigslist saying oh it's for sale, I can't show it to you right now, but if you wire me five thousand dollars I'll put it on hold for you and I'll mail you the listing contract. People will then send that cashier's check for five thousand dollars and what happens is that con artist rides off into the sunset with that potential buyer's money and they're out the money and they're not getting a home. So if you don't have that presence online, they may think that you're not a real agent. 

Dave: So it's important that you have that website, even if it's a simple website with just your information on it. That's going to make it easier for buyers and sellers, as well as potential buyers and potential sellers, to get in contact with you. So make sure you have just the most basic online presence, whether it's a website or a Facebook page because again having those things could increase your customer base and once we have those buyers and sellers, there are so many different things that we can do to make sure we engage with them, again having buyers, having sellers, having those potential customers and clients waiting for us is exactly what we're going to need to move forward with the transaction, again what we're going over right now and reviewing is what leads to the transaction. So I just wanted to give you some quick tips and tricks as to what you need to know to get to that transaction, so then we can make sure that transaction is super fluid and moves quickly and easily for both your buyers and sellers, no matter which side you're representing. So we're talking about engaging with our buyers and our sellers, we're focusing on having that social media schedule engaging online. So one of the things you may want to do is if you've got that agent profile Facebook page, make sure you're keeping a schedule, you're keeping active, again if you have a Facebook page, but it hasn't been updated in a long time, again you may have buyers, potential buyers, potential sellers pull that up and say, "oh, this hasn't been updated in a long time, they're probably not active anymore". So if you maintain a social media schedule whether you're posting listings that are now for sale, you're posting funny pictures that relate to real estate, you're posting articles that relate to say mortgage rates, saying now's the best time to buy, things like that. If you can keep a social media schedule that's really going to increase your engagement with those potential buyers as potential sellers and remember when they see your post, if they like something, if they comment on something, make sure you go ahead and like and comment their responses, because not only are they engaging with you, you want to make sure that you engage back with them saying, hey, I'm here for you, that's funny, thanks for commenting on that, if you're interested in this house or any other houses that may be on the market right now, let me know I'd be happy to show you any house that you're interested in. So make sure that you comment back on responses to your page because again that's going to create that engagement and that connection with those potential buyers and those potential sellers. Next, you can also do Facebook live videos and virtual tours, not only does this help with the engagement with buyers and sellers, but this can also be a key for helping you speed up the transaction process, especially right now, trying to get access to a property may be a little difficult due to social distancing measures that may be in place for your current area, for your current state, but you can certainly still go out if you've got the ability to go into a property. Do a Facebook live tour of the property, do virtual tours where you walk through a home for a particular customer, so there's definitely ways that you can interact with people doing Facebook live, and again we've done entire webinars about going on Facebook live and you can watch those replays right from our website at MyStateMLS.com and the last thing on this slide is we don't want to forget our traditional marketing as well. So we're going to keep it traditional and we're going to send out mailers, we can send out postcards, again because we want to engage with buyers and sellers, yes we're not engaging with our current buyers and sellers this way, but by sending out our mailers doing our tv print or radio ads, we could be gaining new leads, new buyers, new potential sellers and once we get those, then we can think about moving ahead and going out and starting that transaction process and we're going to focus on what we can do to make that transaction happen quicker.  

Dave: So right now my next question for you is what do you do to keep your transactions moving for a quicker sale? 

Dave: There are a lot of things that are out there, whether there's transaction managers, CRM's, email software, e-signature, I want to know what you're doing to keep your transactions moving, because we're going to dive right in and talk about what we can do to improve your sales process and make that whole transaction process move quickly and efficiently, so you can get to that closing table faster than ever. So let me know what you do to keep your transactions moving for the quickest sale possible. 

Dave: Melissa again with another great tip, she says she keeps in constant contact with the attorneys, the lenders, the bank and etc., to minimize delays and that's perfect and I'm glad that you brought that up Melissa because what we're going to talk about today is, how you can make sure that you stay on task keeping in touch with all these different parties, to make sure that everyone is on the same page, everyone knows what's coming up next. Mary says she lets the client know the next step. Ryan, also making sure he's got strong relationships with the lender, the escrow companies, and Mildred saying, weekly calls with everyone involved in the transaction. So it looks like a lot of you already know what's needed to keep your transactions moving and really that is the biggest thing you can do and that's exactly what we're going to talk about today, is how you can stay on task and making sure that all the parties involved know exactly what's going on. So let's dive in now and talking about improving that sales process. One of the first things that we want to do is if we're working with buyers, is just creating saved searches. Now we're talking about the beginning part of the transaction, where we're still looking for properties. Having saved searches that automatically email results to your buyers can certainly improve the process, because instead of you having to manually go out do searches for all of your clients, you can go ahead create a saved search pertaining to each specific client and what that will do is every time a new property comes out matching that specific customer search criteria, it's going to send them an automatic email from you every single time saying, hey, here are the latest listings matching your search criteria. Let me know what you think. This way as soon as that buyer gets that email, if they see that perfect property finally matches, checks all the boxes, they can come back to you right away and say this is the house we need to see this house. So having saved searches that send out automatically emails to your buyers is a great way to improve that sales process and make sure you're keeping them up to date, as to all the listings that are becoming available on the market for them, as many of you have said, keeping in touch with all of your clients, not only just the clients, but all of the parties involved, so we're going to be keeping the lenders involved, maybe we need to keep an inspector on deck, as soon as we know that we're going to be coming close to a agreement on a contract, we want to make sure that inspector is ready and waiting to head on out and do that inspection of that house. 

Dave: So keeping in touch with all parties involved, super important and one of the best ways to do this is creating a checklist to stay on task and what we're going to talk about is how MyStateMLS can help you create that checklist, so you know every single step of the way when it comes to who you need to contact, what paperwork needs to be filled out next, what needs to be done and we're going to go through all that in just a couple of minutes and going digital for contracts and disclosures certainly going to speed up the process as well, again what I said a few minutes ago is that the current situation that we're all in right now, 2020 has certainly been a game changer for all industries, real estate we've kind of always been working remotely, we've had the ability to do e-signatures, electronic document signing for several years now, but 2020 has been the year that a lot of us have started to embrace this technology and by being able to send electronically our listing contracts, our agency disclosures, right to our customers, to our clients, that allows us to speed up the entire sales process, because we don't have to figure out what day and time works for everyone to go ahead and just sign some papers. Instead I can send a contract off to anyone any time of the day, even if they can't look at it until 12 o'clock that night, they can still sign it and send it back to me, so I've got it the next morning. So having digital documents is a great way to speed up the general transaction process. So we're going to talk about today, is how MyStateMLS can help do all of that. What we said before is having those automatic searches and those automated searches for your buying customers, MyStateMLS can set those up for you and automatically send those new listings out to all of your customers, no matter what kind of criteria they're looking for, having a client CRM of all of your clients, your customers, your homeowners, your sellers, your buyers, having a database of all of your contacts, so you can easily reach out to them is a great way to stay on top of your game and of course having a digital document platform to go ahead and send out those contracts, those disclosures, so they can be signed pretty much immediately or at everyone's convenience, MyStateMLS can help with all that. 

Dave: So let's just dive in real fast and show you exactly how MyStateMLS works and how all the things that we just talked about can be utilized right now using MyStateMLS. If you haven't joined MyStateMLS already, you can visit us online at MyStateMLS.com, just click on that sign-up button right at the center of the page, that's going to take you right through the entire sign up process and as a licensed agent, broker, appraiser you can have your account pretty much up and running immediately. So if you haven't been part of MyStateMLS already, make sure you visit us as soon as you possibly can and create yourself an account. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to log into MyStateMLS. The first thing like I said is having those saved searches for your clients, for your customers, you can see I already have on my MyStateMLS dashboard here, is I've got tons of saved searches here, so what that means is every time I do a specific search, whether I did one for Janet, for Jerry, for Dave, for Jane, for Johnny, for William, maybe even Bonnie, I've got all of these saved searches for all of my particular customers and you can see a few of them here say campaign, if we open that up you can see I've got all of these different triggers and what happens is every time there is a new listing or there's a listing with a price change, that's going to go ahead and send my customer, my client the newest listings every time they come out, so that way we're staying on top of things and Jerry is gonna get an email of all the new listings every single time new properties come out matching his search criteria, by eliminating the process of me having to do manual searches every day. I can just go into MyStateMLS create my search criteria for Jerry, save it to my system and that's automatically going to send out to him, every single time there's new listings matching his criteria, additionally for my contacts drop down here, we can see I've got, view my contacts, this is going to be your crm, this is where we can go in put all of our clients, all of our customers into one dashboard built in right into your MyStateMLS account, you can see everyone is flagged, whether they're a buyer, if they're a seller, you can see I've set one where Jane is looking for commercial listings, so I can go ahead and I can email listings to her that are commercial listings and we can just have a built-in crm for all of my customers, I can open up these at any time and what's great about this is I can see I've got a running log of all my different notes with this particular customer, I can see that when we met for the first time, we met to discuss their plans, we did their open house schedule, we can just go through and set up this running log of all of my notes between myself and this customer, so we've just got a nice running log and this can go on for years, for months, however long you can, as you can see that my first correspondence with Bonnie was over a year ago in november of last year, so we can see that this note section allows us to create that running log, so we never lose track as to what we've done with this particular customer at any given time. If we want we can just go ahead, I can add a new note, Bonnie's thinking about buying a second home created a new search for her. So now I've got a new note here saying that I've created a new search for Bonnie, I can then go ahead do my property search within MyStateMLS, save that search and then I can create that criteria, so whenever a new listing comes out for Bonnie, as we said we can edit that campaign and a new email will be sent to her, every time there is a new listing or property with a price change matching her search criteria. 

Dave: Well the other things that we want to focus on today and speeding up our transaction process is going to be electronic documents. Getting those things signed as quickly as possible and creating checklists to keep you on task and making sure that everything that you need to get done to make a transaction happen quickly and efficiently.

Dave: You've got there right in front of you so no steps are missed and you can access that from the digital docs platform found right on the left-hand sidebar of MyStateMLS, if you already haven't opted into the rDocs platform, what you're going to do is first, you're going to be brought up to this digital docs screen, you can watch a little welcome video that shows you exactly how it works, you see we've got a couple different videos on here, we also have a wide range of training videos on how to use our docs as well, because again we're going to only cover just the basics of how our docs works, so you want to make sure that you watch some of these other videos and training series that we have on our website, so you can really get the most out of the platform. Once you've opted into the rDocs platform, every time that you log into your account, you can click on that digital docs screen and that's going to bring you right into your rDocs dashboard. The first thing that's going to allow you to make you the most time effective and keeping you time-efficient, moving your transactions along quickly and smoothly, is creating a checklist, everyone has said that what they do is they make sure that they keep in constant contact with everyone involved with the transaction, so we can do is we can go ahead and we can make a checklist, also if you are in your rDocs platform here, the first thing you want to do is check on the select box at the top of the screen and select checklist. Here's where we can go ahead and create a checklist of all the things that we need to do when we create that transaction and I've already started one called for sale listings. Now, this is going to be my step-by-step list that I would follow every time I create a brand new listing. So we can see I've got a whole bunch of steps in here and I just want to kind of go through the steps that I would go through if I'm doing a listing, so first I've got my initial walkthrough, a client reaches out to me, they say, hey, I'd like to sell my house, all right let me come by and I'll take a look. So that's when I do my initial walkthrough, after I walk through so you know what, I'd love to represent you selling this home, first thing we're going to do is we're going to want to get our agency disclosure signed. What I've done is I've also associated my agency disclosure document. so I can go ahead and I can electronically mail that to this client. so they can sign off on it at any time, after that the next step is now that I've got this signed, I'm going to do a more thorough walkthrough of your property, so I can kind of gauge some comps, determine how much your property should be listed for, so I've got a more thorough property walk through, next I'm scheduling my photographer, I'm getting my listing agreement signed, I'm posting the listing, I then have a step here where I'm going to follow up with the lender for additional marketing plans, whether we want to do facebook ads, we want to do ad works, we want to do regular online marketing and I've got steps for the offer is submitted, setting up our inspection and then the closing, of course there are so many other tasks that we could involve, maybe we want to say, reach out to title company, we can add that, so we're going to add that task there, of course that happens before the closing, so we can just drag and drop that there, if we want maybe we want to do with follow up with lender, whatever we want to do, again we're representing the seller side on this, so we may not need to be following up with the lender, so we may not actually have that step here so we can get rid of that at any time, then once we've got our checklist done, we can go back to our MyStateMLS, our docs dashboard and here our docs, this is where you're going to be able to have electronic documents and all of your e-signature forms, all in one place and this is a great powerful tool, because what it does is it automatically connects to all of the different listings that you have associated with your MyStateMLS account. 

Dave: So as you put listings into MyStateMLS, these transactions will automatically populate onto your dashboard, as well and what we can do is as we open up a listing, we can also go ahead and add our checklist. So I'm going to start with a blank list here, so we're going to remove all these, so I'm going to add a checklist and I'm going to click for sale listings, because that's the checklist that I created, and here's my checklist, where again I get we've got our initial walkthrough, we've got our agency disclosures and we can go through, we'll be able to check these off, make sure that everything is done and this helps keep us in line and making sure that we stay on task, we know exactly what's coming up, we know exactly what we need to do next. If we wanted to go ahead and maybe we're going to make a checklist for buying a home, so we're going to create a checklist for buying a home, so once we've created that checklist name, we screwed on over to the right side, we're going to click on manage the tasks, we're going to schedule a showing, we'll do a walk through, put an offer. Once the offer is accepted, maybe we want to, again here's where we made a check with mortgage loaner, you know check with mortgage company and we're going to go ahead and save this task list. So as we go back to our dashboard maybe this listing is one that we're on the buyer's side of things, so we're going to add a checklist here and just like buying a home and now we've got our checklist here, where we can just check this off, saying that it's complete, as we go through the entire process and by having this checklist this is going to allow us to go ahead from initial agency disclosure signing all the way up to the closing table, this is going to allow us to go ahead and create every step that we like to do in our transaction, because again every real estate agent, every broker is different, they all handle this business differently. Everyone's got their own nuances, their own individual steps that they like to take to make sure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible. 

Dave: So just as some of you have said before like Melissa said, she likes to keep in constant contact with the attorneys, the bank lenders, to minimize delays by having a checklist in front of you and saying, okay, did I contact the lenders yet, oh no I didn't do that. So let me go ahead and do that, we call them in, we can mark that check box often saying yes, we've now done it, we know we're on schedule. So we can go ahead and do all of those things. What we could do today is we could take a quick look at a listing agreement or a document within the options of this, so we can see here we've got agency disclosures here, we can take a quick preview at what it looks like if we need to upload our own document, we could, we want to do is we're going to work with documents, go back to this transaction, we're going to create a form, we would open it up, so see if we can find our disclosure here, so here's our disclosure, we're going to add it and now we can do is now that we've got our disclosure added, we can see we've got all of these places that we need to have our clients sign off on, whether we're working with the buyer or the seller. Here in new york agency disclosure forms need to be signed, so we can go ahead fill out our side, we can then send it off to our customer, our client and they can go ahead and sign off on this electronically, again eliminating that need for us to try to determine where we should meet when we should meet. Right now everyone's working remotely, people are social distancing, but through the new technology that's available, such as our docs, through MyStateMLS, we can really speed up the entire transaction process, because agents, brokers can go ahead and get these documents, their contracts, all their disclosures, signed at any time on demand through this platform and really that's going to help and speed up the entire transaction process. 

Dave: So to review to really speed up the transaction process, we're going to want to make sure that we're on top of our game, we are embracing technology and using platforms like MyStateMLS that allow you to go ahead and create those automatic searches, you're going to have your client CRM, that's going to remind you to stay in touch, you're going to have a log of who you need to contact and of course you're going to have that digital docs platform, we're going to be able to go ahead make checklists, so you can go ahead and especially right now it's the perfect holiday pun for me to use and say have your list and check it twice to make sure that you've done everything you need to do to make sure that transaction happens quickly and smoothly and efficiently to get from opening to closing as quickly as possible.

Dave: So what is the MyStateMLS advantage, besides having all those tools that we just discussed? We're going to be able to give you worldwide listing exposure because MyStateMLS not only is a nationwide MLS referral network, we offer not only nationwide syndication, but we also have international syndication as well, where we send out to a hundred different websites worldwide, giving our members the most possible exposure for their listings, whether for sale or for rent, we try to give our members as much exposure on their listings as possible. We also give them nationwide search tools, so whether you're looking for a home for someone in your hometown, your home state, or anywhere in the country, you're gonna be able to search for listings no matter who your customer is, whether they're looking to buy a new home, they're looking to buy a second home, they're looking to retire and move south, you're going to be able to look for their properties no matter where they're looking and lastly we do offer discounted office pricing, allowing brokers to give their agents MyStateMLS memberships, where they can take advantage of everything that we've discussed today, plus so much more. 

Wrap Up: 

Dave: So I'm going to wrap things up today, again if you have any questions about speeding up your transaction process, please give me a call you can email me at dave@mystatemls.com that's the best way to get to me right into my inbox. You can also call me here at the office at 888-769-7657. I'll be happy to tell you more about MyStateMLS and the rDocs platform and how it can help speed up your transaction process or if you're interested in office pricing please let me know, like I said the best way is to get directly in my inbox at dave@mystatemls.com. So someone wants to know how can they get to the rDocs platform, again to get to that, very simple, you're going to be able to get to that right from your MyStateMLS account, and to do that you just log in again at MyStateMLS.com, once you've logged in, you can just go ahead and click on digital docs and that will bring you right into the platform, again if you haven't opted in for rDocs just yet, you can go ahead log in, you're gonna be able to click on the opt-in option to set up an account within your MyStateMLS account. We do offer a sample set of forms within the rDocs platform, we're in the process of adding even more, but you are not limited to what we offer. If you've got your own disclosure forms, if you've got your own branded listing contracts, you're able to go ahead and upload those directly to the rDocs platform, directly to your account, so if there's any forms that we don't offer in the base version of our docs, you can go ahead and add your own documents at any time with just a couple clicks, so you'll be able to upload your own disclosures, your own listing contracts, very quickly and easily. 

Dave: Alright so it looks like that maybe all the questions for now. Thank you so much for joining me today, again if you have any questions about using our docs, how MyStateMLS can improve your transaction process or if you are interested in giving MyStateMLS to all of your agents at your firm and you'd like to take advantage of discounted office pricing. Please send me an email at dave@mystatemls.com or give me a call at 888-769-7657. Until then, have a great day and I'll see you soon.

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