To be a good real estate agent, you need to focus on two things: being a good agent and keeping your clients happy. To do this, you need to be aware of the different risks that you or your customers may encounter.
Save all your documents
In most states, real estate agents are required to keep all documents relating to their clients for six years. These documents include everything from financial statements to legal documents. By keeping the documents, you ensure protection in the event of a situation.
If you receive an email from a customer, save it as a PDF or print a hard copy. Retaining these forms of communication can ensure that you are prepared as a real estate agent for any event that requires you to have these documents handy.
There are different ways to store your documents securely. Saving all documents as a paper file is great, but there are ways to digitally back up your documents and password protect them. Saving documents in PDF format is simple, secure and takes the clutter of your desk. If you decide to back up all of your customer documents, create a folder and save them in chronological order, if possible.
As the real estate market and the need for housing continue to grow, so does mortgage fraud. As a real estate agent, you should be prepared to see and understand the signs of possible mortgage fraud.
Here are some tips for avoiding potential mortgage fraud:
- Always make sure that the correct identification of your customer is provided.
- Be on the lookout for misrepresentation of finances or assets.
- When the house is purchased, make sure that the person buying the house clearly states the purpose of the house. If the house is to be used for purposes other than residential, this should be clearly stated during the purchase process.
- Be aware of the “straw buyers”. These are buyers who come in and use someone else’s identity to buy the house and transfer the deed to their name.
- Make sure the house is purchased at market value. The more the house is valued for money, the more debt the buyer could get.
These are the common things to be aware of when it comes to home mortgage fraud. Hopefully, being prepared with this list will help you avoid getting involved in mortgage fraud.
Social media copyright
Social media is one of the best ways to market yourself as a real estate agent; However, there are a few guidelines to follow when posting to social media.
Using videos and images for social media is a great way to get your followers engaged. When choosing to use videos or images, be sure to use items that you own the license for or have created yourself. If you use images or videos that are not yours, it may violate copyright laws. If this happens, you could be fined.
When using social media to market a home or real estate, try to take your own photos or videos to avoid violating copyright laws. Plus, when the content is yours, it can be reused as you see fit.
When it comes to writing for your social media accounts, use your own words and copyright. Do not copy another person’s work without citing the original author. Doing this is considered plagiarism and may harm your business as a real estate agent.
Every profession comes with risks, but the benefits of being a real estate agent are well worth it. If you find yourself in a potentially risky situation, don’t be afraid to seek advice from a trusted mentor.
Another risk in real estate is not reaching your new prospects quickly enough. Homes.com can help! Our Lead Concierge service will contact your incoming prospects on your behalf to help you identify who is ready to buy or sell their home now. Learn more about hiring a senior janitor here.
Marc Mathis is Vice President of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.
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