12 07, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Your Broker

By |2019-07-10T08:19:38-05:00July 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

So, are you considering moving your real estate license to another brokerage? Leaving your firm is a big decision for any real estate professional and saying goodbye to your current managing broker and the agents in your office can be difficult and stressful. If you are thinking about packing your bags and heading to a better opportunity at the firm down the street or across town, you need to consider how you are going to leave without too much “drama and trauma.” Why are you leaving your firm? You may be an agent who has invested a significant amount of time and money at your brokerage and find it hard to break the relational “umbilical cord” existing between you and your broker. Or, you might be an agent who feels your firm is not providing you with the broker support, tools and other services you need to grow your business. No matter your particular situation, moving to another brokerage will take some transition planning and good communication with the those you leave behind. Good preparation on your part will make for a smoother transfer of your business and will ensure there will be no “downtime” for you and your clients [...]

11 07, 2019

Be the Source of the Source, Not the Source

By |2019-07-10T08:17:38-05:00July 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

As a REALTOR®, we want to be the one person a client can turn to for answers to all of their questions.  We don’t want to look unprofessional if we don’t know the answers or have the information they need.  We should be the primary source of information for a client, right?  WRONG!  I have seen lawsuits and regulatory complaints arise from something an agent said to a client about matters that were clearly out of their area of expertise. When a REALTOR® begins working with a seller or buyer client, they should provide their clients with a written statement explaining what an agent can and cannot do in a real estate transaction. This statement should be a formal disclaimer outlining the importance of utilizing other professionals for certain aspects of the sale or purchase of the client’s property. We are not home inspectors, structural engineers, roofing contractors, electricians, plumbers, city planners, surveyors, appraisers, etc.  We are licensed real estate agents who have the education and experience to assist buyers and sellers in purchasing or selling real estate. When you start working with a client, you need to discuss with them the scope of your expertise as well as the [...]

10 07, 2019

Is it an Addendum or an Amendment?

By |2019-07-10T08:14:38-05:00July 10th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Two of the most confusing and misused documents in a real estate transaction are the contract “amendment” and the “addendum.”  I have seen contract files over the years where an amendment should have been used instead of an addendum and vice-versa.  The misuse of these two is widespread because most real estate agents are not trained on the correct use of each one.  Let me see if I can bring a little clarity on their purpose and how they are used with the Purchase and Sale Agreement before and after the offer has been ratified and delivered to the offeror. An “Amendment” is used when changes need to be made to an already bound Purchase and Sale Agreement.  Amendments in real estate contracts are very common.  An amendment can correct an agreement or improve it. It can also be dubbed as a “modification” or “change” to any terms in the original agreement. An amendment may include anything from changing the purchase price to correcting the name of one of the buyers or changing the performance date of a contingency. An “Addendum” adds terms and conditions to the pre-printed language and/or special stipulations in the Purchase and Sale Agreement (offer). Real [...]

27 06, 2019

Industry Update Spring 2019

By |2019-06-27T09:46:14-05:00June 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

As I recently posted on social media, about 6:15pm, Friday, May 17th, I had just arrived home from Denver. The week before, I was in San Diego. Of the last 10 business days at the time, I had been on the road for 7 of them, attending two different, multi-day, C-level conferences put together by some of the most brilliant minds in our industry. By the end of those 7 days, I had traveled 6,292 miles. Had listened to more than 100 hours of presentations. Participated in countless, intimate conversations in hallways and quiet places with industry execs who run massive organizations spanning multiple countries. Over 50 pages of notes taken. It was indeed quite the experience. Why all the effort? So that we can gather accurate information to help Benchmark develop a strategy to fully embrace the rapid changes that are happening in our industry. Our industry is approaching a point of inflection in multiple areas – almost the perfect storm is gathering on the horizon. On one side we have the rise of new business models driven by technology and billions in external investment. Combined with that, we have the huge increase of the iBuyer concept, which will [...]

3 01, 2019

Horizontal Property Regime 101

By |2019-06-27T09:46:15-05:00January 3rd, 2019|Agent Blog|0 Comments

If you live in Nashville you’ve probably seen these tall, skinny houses stacked side by side on one plot of land going up. These tall, skinny houses are called HPR’s. Many neighborhoods in Nashville are tearing down single homes to make room for two separate new homes. What is a Horizontal Property Regime?   A horizontal property regime (HPR) is a zoning policy that allows you to build two new houses on one piece of land that previously had one house. Think of a HPR as the vehicle that allows a property owner to sell "units" to separate individuals while the dwellings/units are on a single piece of property. It can be as few as 2 units or as many as 100. Builders and Developers use this method mostly commonly when constructing townhomes. Once a Master Deed is recorded, it establishes an HOA, guidelines/restrictions, and then also has an Exhibit that outlines which units are which. You still have to file the entity (HOA) with the State of TN but after that the tax assessor will pick it up and establish individual tax ID numbers to each unit for tax purposes. Each unit owner owns the land directly underneath that [...]

24 08, 2018

Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

By |2019-06-27T09:46:15-05:00August 24th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|0 Comments

Last week we examined the evolving role of the real estate agent in light of changes happening across our industry. Technology is a major player in both how and why our industry is shifting. This week we’ll look at the role it’s played as well as how agents can harness technology to grow their businesses. Technology’s Impact Historically, agents have served as data providers for their clients—helping potential buyers find properties, guiding sellers through the pricing process based on home prices in the area, and more. But with the introduction of technologies like Zillow, Trulia, and even Amazon’s Alexa, consumers are being increasingly empowered with easy access to information. The power and impact of technology doesn’t end there. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the next big drivers of change with respect to automation and data-driven insights as well as products and services. And many transactions will be moving into the digital space, speeding up the home buying and selling process. For the smart agent, it’s time to pivot from fighting back against technology. Agents must embrace their new roles and harness new tools for greater efficiencies and sales. Smart CRM’s and the Power of Big Data CRM’s or [...]

7 08, 2018

Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

By |2019-06-27T09:46:15-05:00August 7th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|0 Comments

As a real estate agent, building relationships is a part of the job—maybe even the best part. Connecting with other agents doesn’t just give you the chance to share stories, ideas and best practices, it also lets you build long-term friendships. That’s why we’ve introduced Group Therapy at 5:01 as a chance for real estate agents to connect with each other and potential vendors in a fun, after-hours environment. We meet at a chosen location around the Middle Tennessee area from once a month to once a quarter, depending on company schedules, giving attendees the chance to unwind and relax, with some talking business and others just having a good time. Though Benchmark agents can work out of any of seven our offices at any time, regardless of which office holds their license, it can be hard to get everyone together. Group Therapy at 5:01 has made it possible, drawing agents from across Middle Tennessee. So far, we’ve held meetings at Top Golf in downtown Nashville, Arrington Vineyards in Franklin and Urban Grub in 12th Avenue South (just to name a few). But Group Therapy at 5:01 isn’t only limited to the Benchmark community. We encourage all real estate agents [...]

26 06, 2018

Industry Insider Update: The Evolving Role of the Real Estate Agent

By |2019-06-27T09:46:15-05:00June 26th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|0 Comments

The real estate industry is changing fast. Just two years ago, Benchmark CEO Phillip Cantrell predicted the next five years would have more change than we’d seen in the last twenty, but it doesn't stop there. Now, the next two years may hold more change than the last seventy-five, and many unprepared agents are reeling. We’ll be sharing a two-part series looking at the two largest shifts in the industry and how savvy, professional agents can respond to them and use them to their benefit: the changing role of the agent and the impact of technology. Last year was a major turning point for our industry. Though traditionally relationships and referrals have played a significant role in building a client base, for the first time in history more consumers found agents online than via person-to-person referrals in 2017 (28 percent versus 23 percent compared to 2016’s 26 percent versus 33 percent). This—combined with a client’s ability to find relevant, accurate information on the homes in their market—signals a change in how home buyers and sellers view the role an agent plays in their transactions. Agents are no longer gatekeepers of information. Instead, to remain relevant in a quickly changing world, [...]