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Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Know What Your Colleagues REALLY Think About You?

Ahh, good ol’ office politics — gotta love ‘em! There’s always that one person you strongly suspect neither likes nor respects you. Whether you work in real estate, the mortgage industry, or any other profession… that person does exist.

But how interesting would it be around the office if people cut through the all the niceties and said what’s really on their mind? Talk about social awkwardness! BuzzFeed Yellow paints the picture for us in this hilarious parody. Enjoy!

Source: BuzzFeed Yellow

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Elaborate Haunted House Prank Scares The Bejesus Out Of Real Estate Agents

It’s not always that exciting being a real estate agent. Usually the most heart-racing experiences involve financial fiascos, or last-minute needed repairs when closing on a house. However, Sky Living decided to take the real estate listing experience to the next level. They created the ultimate prank on unsuspecting real estate agents, and designed a truly convincing “haunted house.” You may think, “I wouldn’t be scared.” But I bet you’d think twice after watching this prank!

Via Sky Living

If you enjoyed this video, you’ll love this one:

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Cheat Sheet Of 100+ Legal Tax Deductions For Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents, who are by and large self-employed, can relate to the importance of tax deductions. By reducing your taxable income, deductions naturally become your best friend during tax time.

The problem, though, is determining what can be written off, and what can’t. It’s always best practice to consult your accountant, but a cheat sheet sure helps jog the memory so you don’t overlook anything you’re entitled to take.

Such a cheat sheet is exactly what’s below, thanks to two folks: 1) Fred Podris of Podris Tax Service who compiled the list, and REALTOR® Brenda Douglas who kindly posted it to Facebook for all to benefit from.

One problem, though. This cheat sheet, which was originally intended as a print-out, isn’t legible in digital format (see below). No worries, though. Just keep scrolling and you’ll see that we’ve transcribed it for easy reading.

(Disclaimer: We’re not a tax expert, and we don’t play one on the Internet. Consult your accountant for tax advice. What’s below is simply a list for quick reference.)

Advertising

  • Billboards
  • Brochures/Flyers
  • Business Cards
  • Copy Editor Fees
  • Direct Mail
  • Email Marketing and Newsletters
  • Graphic Designer Fees
  • Internet Ads (Google, Facebook, etc.)
  • Leads/Mailing Lists
  • Marketing Services
  • Networking Event Costs
  • Post Cards
  • Print Ads (Newspapers and Magazines)
  • Promotional Materials
  • Radio Ads
  • Signage/Banners
  • Television Ads
  • Web Design
  • Web Hosting and Domain Fees

Agent Improvement

  • Books (Sales Books, RE Books, etc.)
  • Continuing Education
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Newsletter Subscriptions
  • Sales Training/Coaching
  • Seminars
  • Textbooks/Reference Books
  • Trade Publications

Auto

Either Business Mileage (55.5 cents per mile) Or…

Auto Expenses

  • Car Washes
  • Depreciation/Lease Payments
  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Interest
  • License/Registration
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Tires

Both Methods can Deduct

  • Car Washes
  • Tires

Business Travel

  • Airfare
  • Car Rental
  • Dry Cleaning/Laundry
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Parking/Tolls
  • Taxi, Train, Subway, Bus
  • Tips

    Business Meals, Business Entertainment, Communication

    • Answering Services
    • Cell Phone Service
    • Fax Expenses/Efax
    • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
    • Internet Service
    • Office Telephone/VOIP
    • Pagers (those still exist?)
    • Toll Free Number

    Equipment

    • Briefcase
    • Calculator
    • Camera/Lenses
    • Cellphone/Smartphone
    • Cleaning Equipment (Vacuum Cleaner)
    • Computer
    • Equipment Repair
    • Flashlight
    • GPS
    • Hard Drives/Thumb Drives
    • Ipad/Tablet PC/Android
    • Laptop
    • Lock Boxes/Locksmiths/Keys
    • Maps
    • Printer
    • Scanner
    • Staging Items – Furniture
    • Tape Measure
    • Video Camera

    Employee Wages

    • Clerical Support
    • Family Wages (kids/spouses… really)
    • Payroll/Unemployment Taxes

      Health Insurance, Home Office

      • Insurance
      • Mortgage Interest/Rent
      • Property Taxes
      • Repairs/Maintenance
      • Security System
      • Utilities

      Office Expenses

      • Desk Fees
      • Client Refreshments (Coffee, Water, etc.)
      • Copier Fees
      • Janitorial Services
      • Office Furniture
        • Bookshelves
        • Chairs
        • Desks
        • Filing Cabinets
      • Office Supplies
        • Envelopes
        • Folders
        • Paper
        • Pens
        • Postage
        • Stationary
        • Toner/Ink
      • Office Rent
      • Online Storage of Business Files
      • Software

      Professional Fees

      • Association Dues/Fees
        • NAR
        • NAIREB
        • NAREB
        • NAEBA (how many combos of those letters are there???)
        • CREA
        • Chamber of Commerce
      • Bank Fees
      • Bookkeeping Fees
      • Business Licenses
      • E & O Insurance
      • Franchise/Affiliation Fees
      • Interest on Business Purchases
      • Legal Fees
      • MLS Fees
      • Tax Prep Fees

      Retirement

      • Defined Benefit Plan
      • Self Employment Pension (SEP)
      • Simple IRA
      • Solo 401k

      Selling Expenses

      • Appraisal Fees
      • CL100 Fees
      • Client Gifts (<$25 per client)
      • Closing Attorney Fees
      • Concessions
      • Courier Services/Delivery Fees
      • Finder Fees/Referral Fees
      • Home Repairs to sell listed property
      • Home Warranty
      • Inspection Fees
      • Notary Fees
      • Open House Expenses
      • Photo Editing
      • Staging Fees

      Start Up Expenses

      • Including organizational costs

      Quick word of caution, as stated by accountant Fred Podris in the original document: “Please note that there are certain rules that need to be taken into account in order to legally write off some of these expenses.”

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Artist Transforms Parents’ House Into A Gigantic Halloween Monster

Christine McConnell has set the bar even higher on decorating a home for Halloween. This artist/baker/photographer extraordinaire has turned her parents’ home into a virtual trick-or-treat monster. I’m sure all the kids will never forget knocking on this door!

Being a big fan of Halloween-themed movies, she was particularly inspired by the film, “Monster House.”

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

In the past she has created large bats and ghosts, and even baked a cake modeling the house. For this project, she was going to have to set her sights a bit higher.

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook
Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

The intensive project took this tirelessly inspired artist four 12 hour days, and a good bit of painted foam-core insulation board.

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook
Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

Here’s lookin at you, kiddies.

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

Oh my, Christine, what big teeth you have…

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

It’s sorta like a giant scary Mr. Potato Head!

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook


Christine has already accumulated over 59,000 likes on her Instagram photos of this project.

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook

I may be too old to trick or treat now, but I’d play the part just to see this house! If you dig what Christine has done, you can check out her site for her upcoming book, “Deceptive Desserts.”

Via Christine McConnell | Facebook
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3 Ways Real Estate Agents Actually SAVE You Money During Your Home Sale

One of the main gripes that people have with real estate agents is their commission. Many homeowners (mistakenly) think, “Why should I pay a real estate agent to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself?”

The reason people avoid working with agents is because they think it’s going to cost them money. But in reality, working with a qualified real estate agent is worth far more than what you’ll pay in commission. In fact, working with a real estate agent can actually make the process of selling your home less stressful, less time consuming, and less expensive.

Here are three ways real estate agents more than earn their commission — and can actually save you money — during your home sale:

1. They know the right people

via GIPHY

As the old real estate saying goes, when it comes to selling your home, it takes a village. And if you don’t have the right villagers in your corner, the process of selling your home can get expensive, fast.

During your home sale, there’s all sorts of vendors you’ll need to work with: contractors, landscapers, inspectors, tradesmen, professional stagers, movers… depending on your needs, the list can be lengthy.

Finding all of those vendors on your own will take a lot of time — and there’s no way to ensure you’re getting a good deal when you hire them. But when you work with an agent, they have professional contacts across the board and can recommend the right vendors at the right price.

Having access to your agent’s network is a huge time and money saver during the sale of your home.

2. They know exactly how to price your home

via GIPHY

Pricing your home is tricky business. If you don’t price it high enough, you’ll be kicking yourself when you get less than what you believe your home is worth. But price it too high and you won’t get any offers, leaving your house on the market — possibly stigmatized as “having something wrong with it” — and costing you money in the process.

When you try to sell your home on your own, pricing your property can feel like a guessing game. But when you work with a qualified real estate agent, their deep market knowledge will help you price your home in a way that works for both you and potential buyers.

It’s an agent’s job to know what’s going on in your market. They know how much homes are selling for, how long homes are sitting on the market, and exactly how you need to price your home if you want it to sell quickly and profitably. This information will significantly speed up the process of selling your home AND help you fetch a higher price — both of which put money right back into your pocket.

3. They give you your time back

via GIPHY

Many sellers who try to manage their home sale on their own start the process thinking that it’s going to require a minimal time investment. They think posting a few ads on home listing sites, hosting an open house or two, and signing a contract are all it takes to get a house sold.

But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Selling a home is a full-time job. That’s why there’s an entire industry built around it! Homeowners who go the sale-by-owner route in an attempt to save money often find their time, and lives, completely monopolized by the process.

And, as they say, time is money.

If you’re spending all of your time trying to get your house sold, it’s taking you away from your life — your family, your job, your hobbies. And there’s no price tag for what that’s worth.

Working with a real estate agent takes all that time burden off of you. Selling your home is their full-time job, and they can devote the time and attention necessary to get it done quickly. The amount of time and hassle this will save you is invaluable.

Not working with a real estate agent to save money on commission fees makes sense… in theory. But in practice, working with a real estate agent saves you immeasurable time, energy, and cash. Any good real estate agent will more than earn their commission — and then some — before the time comes to sign the closing papers.

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I Can’t Decide What the Owner of This Man Cave Needs More: An Award… Or Therapy

Via Barcroft TV

Most of us have seen comic book hero fans in our lives. I’m not talking about the common movie-goer that likes to enjoy a romp through New York City with Spiderman for the thrill of web-slinging on the bigscreen. I’m talking about those who will do anything to prove that they are the biggest and most devout fans of all. Some hoard comics wrapped in plastic (drool prevention, no doubt). Some are constantly upgrading their very own costumes to make the biggest impact on any comic themed event they can. That’s a double edged sword, since tights are a common theme.

Chris Weir, a Delaware fan of the Batman series, decided all of that was child’s play. He spent $150,000 (not counting $100,000 in featured comic books on his walls) to create an actual Batcave Basement where he and his family could gorge on Batman media for the remainder of their days. Between the literal secret passage (Adam West style), the 120 inch screen, and an actual featured Batman costume from the last two Batman movies (and much more) this guy has definitely set the bar to a whole new level.

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This Husband-Wife REALTOR® Team Shows You What It’s Really Like Working Together

Ahhh, isn’t life grand when you finally find your soulmate? You know that feeling, right? The one where you’re ready to start a life together and take on the world! It’s only natural to daydream about spending every waking second together when you’re caught up in love’s bliss. Some couples, like Tim & Rachel Scheib, take this all concept the way and actually choose to work together, too.

Husband-wife teams aren’t uncommon in the real estate industry, but they do come with a unique set of challenges (e.g., not getting a break from your spouse’s annoyingly cute idiosyncrasies). Still, with a strong enough bond and a sense of compassion, these challenges can be overcome. Just check out Tim & Rachel’s video for an example of a real estate duo using lighthearted humor to handle such challenges.

Via Tim & Rachel Scheib
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Realtor Boldly Shows Skin In Listing Video, And Everybody’s Talking About It. What’s Your Opinion?

It seems even the age-old profession of selling homes is taking things to an all new level. The internet and social media are always evolving, and naturally so is the demand for more and more creativity. But showcasing a home’s attributes is a pretty innocent and straight-forward task, right?

Well guess again, because Patrick Raymond of Raymond and Associates has decided to test the waters by publishing a listing video that is… let’s just say “edgy”. In fact, it’s sparking discussion as to how relevant sexually suggestive content is when listing a home. Does this video push too far? Or is it a more effective way to entice potential buyers to check out the home? Can people even tell it’s a home tour (and not a Viagra infomercial)?

Via PismoBeachParadise

If you liked this one, you’ll love this one:

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The One Thing About Closing Sales Every Real Estate Agent Can Learn From Man’s Best Friend

I live in a dog-friendly high rise building. Every day I see people taking their canine companions down the elevator and to the park to for a potty break. Every day, the same dogs, at the same time, doing the same thing. It occurred to me that dogs are pretty consistent animals, and there’s a lot we in sales can learn from them.

Often times in sales, the key to making it lies in your ability to remain consistent. I’d say most salesmen I’ve seen fail, give up on following up right before the sale was made. The old saying “buy or follow up until they die” holds true today, more than ever before.

So what’s that have to do with agents and dogs?

Agents are ultimately salesmen, even though some refuse to act like it, and others refuse to admit it. In order for a salesperson to be successful, they have to convince other humans to pay them for their services.

Many agents believe you have to be some sort of NLP master, mind reader or psychology major in order to succeed at sales. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Matter of fact, the less formal education a salesman has, the better he will perform in many cases.

I watch these high rise dogs close more sales than I see some agents.

Each day, after the people take their dog out the front door, around the park, in the cold, rain, snow or heat, they come back in the front door and give the dog one of the treats. The treat buckets are ALWAYS FULL, even more than the filtered water jug in the gym.

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Not only have these dogs convinced their owners to give them a milkbone every day, after they just forced them to pick up their droppings with a thin plastic glove, they’ve got their owners to convince the building managers to supply the goods.

If that ain’t a master sales move, I don’t know what is.

But dogs aren’t intelligent. I mean dogs are smart and all, they just aren’t human smart. Matter of fact they aren’t even dolphin smart, whatever that means. So if dogs aren’t super-human jedi mind masters, how are they able to get what they want, at will, for doing normal stuff?

The answer lies in consistency. Nothing more, nothing less.

Every single day, these dogs wake up, wake their owner up, get them out of bed, and persuade them to let them out. Because if not, the owner knows what will happen. Meanwhile they get snacks, occasional petting from others, and love from their owner the whole way there and back.

Some of them, the smaller ones, have their owners carry them. They don’t even walk to the park (they get carried). All without saying a word. All by offering nothing but unconditional love and consistency of asking.

Every day as they come in the front door and approach the desk, they stop right by the milkbone section and wait. They do it every day, every time, without fail. After a while the owner is conditioned to “buy in” to giving them a treat.

Think about how this applies to sales and specifically selling real estate.

If you’re asking for the business from every prospect, every day, you’re gonna get a lot of what you want. Sure some people will get annoyed with you or not like you, but hey, there’s people who don’t like dogs too. Crazy as it sounds, we’ve all got haters.

Meanwhile, if you’ll simply continue to ask the builders, investors, business owners and your sphere of influence for their business, eventually they will start to give you what you want. The most successful agents I know got where they are today by doing the same thing over and over — asking for business.

Ever meet a successful agent who’s not really that charismatic, bright or articulate and wonder how they got where they are? Chances are they just stayed consistent at asking for business from the right people, until it was the right time.

Take a sales lesson from our canine companions.

Never, ever, ever forget to ALWAYS ask for the business every time. At the end of a listing presentation it’s “sign here to get started, sir/ma’am.” When working with buyers it’s “do you want to make an offer on this house, right now?” Whatever it is, you ALWAYS ask it. That’s how most sales are closed.