January 2023

Build the habits that lead to success

The most successful agents know that building good habits is key to success. And that means avoiding the bad habits that can trip you up and damage your business. Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind.

Promptly return all phone calls and emails

Whether you're nurturing a new lead, helping a client close a sale, or supporting a real estate team, communication is key. Getting known as "the one who never calls or emails back" will drive away leads, risk sales and create resentment among your colleagues. Sure, you're busy — but you won't be busy for long if you neglect this important responsibility.

Be positive but honest in your listing descriptions

Part of your job in selling a home is letting buyers know what makes that listing special. However, it's a mistake to magnify the good and ignore the bad. Inflating expectations by making a listing look better than it is can only result in disappointed homebuyers who take their business elsewhere.

Be meticulous in your home valuations

Believe it or not, some agents actually rely on Zillow home values when setting a price for their listings. No inspection of the property, no comps, just one and done. There's a word for that, and it's "lazy." While the Zillow estimate may be a useful starting point, you have way more data to work with than they do. And that means, when you put in the time, you can set a price that will both attract buyers and maximize results for your client.

Make sure your homebuyers are preapproved

As the buyer's agent, one of the first questions you should be asking a new client is whether they've been preapproved. In a competitive market with a continuing shortage of available homes, preapproval is more critical than ever. In addition, help clients understand the difference between a prequalification that's based mainly on a credit score, and a true preapproval, where most of the application and underwriting are done upfront.

A preapproved client can move ahead with confidence. A client who is only prequalified could find stumbling blocks on the way to closing.

Give your team the attention they need

Even if you're not technically part of a real estate team, you still need backup. Whether it's the admin assistant who helps with your paperwork or the colleague who covers for you when you're on vacation, give them the respect and consideration they deserve. This includes covering for your counterparts in equal measure. The result will be willing, enthusiastic assistance when you — and your business — need it most.

As you work to build your business, be persistent. Building good habits takes time. When you make a mistake — and everyone does — learn from it, fix what you can and keep on moving forward.

A note from your lending specialist

I'll be happy to work with your clients and help them understand the importance of being preapprovedFootnote1 before they shop for a home. Plus, I can help them apply online, by phone or in person.

1 Final loan approval is subject to satisfactory appraisal and title review and no change in borrower credit and financial condition. Preapproval is subject to terms and conditions and timely submission of required documentation; ask your Lending Specialist for details. Preapproval does not commit to the continued availability of the loan program. The interest rate shown in a preapproval is based on our current pricing and is not locked. You may choose to lock an interest rate after we receive the complete and executed purchase contract. Borrower must submit purchase contract within 90 days of preapproval. If the rate at time of lock is higher, or a rate lock expires prior to funding, or for adjustable-rate loan programs when the index value rises, we must determine your ability to repay the loan at the higher rate, which may lower the loan amount or invalidate the preapproval. Not available on all loan products. Not available on refinance loans.

MAP5352287 | 12/2022