The 2015 Realtor® Code of Ethics

The new Realtor® Code of Ethics is in full swing—it became effective January 1—and there are a few changes. While policy changes in the Code of Ethics are designed to “raise the whole bar professionally,” according to the National Association of Realtors’ president Chris Polychron. At Benchmark Realty, we already set a high bar.

So what do the 2015 changes to the Realtor Code of Ethics mean to us?Realtor code of ETHICS- Benchmark Realty

Changes to the 2015 Realtor Code of Ethics

There are four major changes to the 2015 Code of Ethics:

  1. The implementation of a Code of Excellence
  2. Biennial education and testing on the Code of Ethics and the upcoming Code of Excellence
  3. A commitment to providing agents with broader data
  4. The development of an industry standard to accurately (and more fairly) rate Realtors

In addition to these policy changes, NAR is focusing on client and Realtor safety—and that’s something that’s been a long time coming.

The Realtor Code of Excellence

According to former NAR president Steve Brown, the Code of Excellence picks up where the Code of Ethics leave off.

“The Realtor is not just there to conduct an ethical transaction,” said Brown. The Code of Excellence should keep Realtors pointed in the right direction when it comes to shining in a saturated field.

The 2015 Code of Ethics Updates and Benchmark Realty

Each member of our team adheres to the highest standards. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have what it takes to be a Benchmark Realtor. Our high standards include:

  1. A high level of professionalism
  2. Ongoing agent education
  3. Strict Agent Behavior Policy
  4. A culture that attracts excellence and raises the standards of real estate.

Are You a Benchmark Realtor?

If you’re not already working with us, you’ve probably thought about it. Maybe you heard about how our agents earn 100 percent commission on every transaction, or maybe you’re just ready to take charge of your own real estate career.

We’d love to set up a confidential meeting with you and answer your questions. Let’s see if Benchmark Realty is the right choice for you; call us at 615-371-1544 today.

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What’s the Real ROI on Your Advertising Budget?

As Realtors®, we often spend quite a bit on advertising and marketing. From printed flyers in direct mail campaigns to websites, blogs and other online venues, we’re usually not afraid to spend cash on the things that actually bring in clients.

But how do you break it down and find out what the real return-on-investment is for your marketing dollars?Advertising Return on Investment- Benchmark Realty

The Ultimate ROI Formula

It’s simple: subtract the cost of your investment from the amount you gained, and then divide the difference from by the cost of the investment.

Here’s where it gets tricky, though. We spend our advertising dollars in several different places – so that means we need an easy tracking system to make sure that we know exactly what kind of return to expect.

You can download our Benchmark Advertising ROI Calculator or create your own – but the key is to keep track of each marketing activity you pay for and make sure you’re getting feedback from your clients to find out which activities are working.

Here’s what the formula looks like:

(Gain from investment – Cost of investment) / Cost of investment.

If you gained $1,000 from a $30 investment, this is what your formula would look like:

$1000 – $30 = $970

$970/$30 = 3233%

(That’s a pretty good deal.)

Maximum ROI for Realtors

The less you need to invest in your marketing efforts, the higher your ROI will be. While your time is valuable, you can put your brand out there at no financial cost through Facebook posts, blog posts and networking. Social media can be a goldmine for Realtors, but few of us are willing to put in the time to get the results.

Want to Learn More about Being the Best Realtor You Can Be?

Each month, Benchmark Realty hosts Mastermind Meetings. Attendance isn’t required, but we’re always speaking to a full house. If you’re interested in learning about how Benchmark agents earn 100 percent commission (that’s right – no caps!), call us at 615-371-1544 or fill out the form below. We’ll be happy to discuss your future with us.

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The Easy Let Down- How to Tell Sellers They are Asking Too Much

We all know what it’s like to be on a listing appointment, talking to the sellers after we’ve already done our research, and finding out that they have unrealistic expectations.

You want to be nice, because you know they’re attached to their home and that they’ve assigned value to it where potential buyers won’t; at the same time, you need to be honest with them in order to give them the best possible service.

What’s a Realtor® to do?home sellers asking too much- benchmark realty

How to Tell Sellers They are Asking Too Much. The Numbers Don’t Lie

You’ve done your research, and you know your market – but the sellers have their preconceived notions and an attachment to their homes. If you want to keep the listings, you’ll need to spare their feelings; the best way to do that is to have an open and honest discussion.

Be tactful and truthful. Let them know what the local market looks like, and show them listings similar to their home. Mention that it’s usually better to follow market trends and accept a little less than the asking price than to have to slash the price dramatically in a few months.

How to Explain what Buyers Want

Every buyer evaluates homes differently. While one is thinking about the distance to work, another is thinking about whether the backyard can support a garden. One is considering the countertops, while another is focused on the amount of storage space that will be left in the garage when there’s a vehicle inside.

That makes it downright tough to explain what buyers are looking for. The best way? Show them recent sales. Buyers make decisions based on comparisons with other homes, and they want the most benefits for the best possible price.

There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Well, I’d like you to be flexible on your asking price. Here’s why,” as you show them comparable homes that have recently sold in the area. Helping your clients set realistic expectations is essential in building healthy (and long-lasting) relationships, and in this business, that’s what we’re all about.

Ready to Work with Benchmark Realty?

If you’re not already one of our rockstar Realtors, we’d love to talk to you about our Total Freedom concept and the fact that all of our agents get 100 percent commission on every transaction. Just call us at 615-371-1544 or fill out the form below. We’ll set up a meeting so that we can discuss your future with Benchmark Realty.

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Heating Up Your Winter Sales

While it seems like everything slows down during winter, our ideas don’t have to – and neither do our sales. What can we, as Realtors®, do to keep things moving along?heat up your winter sales- Benchmark Realty TN

Heating Up Your Real Estate Business During Winter

When you’re inside, so is everyone else – and that means it’s the perfect time to push your business to the next level of social media power. If you don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account designed to help you sell homes, it’s a great time to start exploring your options. Don’t forget to make sure your blog has plenty of fresh content, too.

The Power of the After-Holidays Card

After the holidays, when we’re all picking up stray pieces of tinsel and putting away the fine china for next year, what happens to all of the cards we got from well-wishers?

If you’re like most people, you put yours in a box of keepsakes or into another box… one with a bag in it beneath the kitchen sink.

When will you get such an influx of cards again? Probably next year, around this time. Any cards you receive between now and then will be a surprise – and you’re going to be more likely to pay close attention. That means once the holidays are over, sending cards to your past clients is a fantastic way to connect. Scrawl out a nice, personal note and tell them you hope they had a wonderful holiday. Drop your business card inside (preferably two of them) so that they know they can still get in touch with you.

Another great point: seeing a cheerful message from you in the middle of the stack of credit card bills is a wonderful way to make checking the mail a little less painful for your past clients.

Start a New Marketing Campaign

We all know that direct mail is so popular because it works, but spending big on such an “iffy” proposition gives us all the chills. Start thinking about how you can start a new direct mail campaign without making a huge dent in your budget.

Are You a Benchmark Agent Yet?

If you’re ready to discover what it’s like to be in control of your own real estate career, give us a call at 615-371-1544 or fill out the form below. We’ll set up a confidential meeting so that you can explore your options and see whether Benchmark is the right home for your real estate business.

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