This month, we’re focused on taking it Back to Basics. Here are the top stories we’ve published thus far. All told, it’s a recipe to make more money.

We want to help you make more money — right now. All month, go Back to Basics with Inman as real estate pros share what’s working now and how they’re setting up to profit in a post-pandemic world. Get full access to the series for 50 percent off here.

Amid all of the ups and downs that were 2020, real estate kept humming for what turned out to be a career high for many in the industry. This month, we’re focused on what’s working in the field and how agents have adapted to do deals hand over fist while leaning on the basics that form the foundation of the real estate business.

Here are the top Back to Basics stories we’ve published this April. All told, it’s a recipe to make more money.

Skills

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Build lifelong relationships! How to cultivate client loyalty

Building long-lasting relationships with clients takes care and consistency. Here are a few of the ways we have nurtured and built loyalty among our clients.

Keep in touch! 7 effective ways to maintain past-client relationships

Getting your name out there consistently (and frequently) is the key to building name recognition and retaining clients. Make sure your past clients don’t forget you and choose to use you again next time they need an agent. Here are a few ways to maintain those past-client relationships.

4 fundamental skills agents need to brush up on right now

Are you practicing clear communication? Mastering the art of negotiation? No matter how many years you spend in the business, there are a few essential skills every agent should revisit and polish from time to time.

Here’s how I generated $11M in listings — in 3 months

Despite the lack of inventory and the hyper-competitive market, agents who implement this simple strategy can generate listings now and return business down the road.

Trust is everything! 6 effective ways to earn it from prospects

In this fast-paced market, ethics and transparency can take a backseat to speed — but that only makes trust that much more crucial today. If you want to earn prospects’ trust and solidify your reputation, here are a few ways to do so.

Staging works! How to have that conversation with sellers

Some sellers may think their home is perfect the way it is, but as a lot of agents know, staging is what will help set their home apart from similar listings online. Here’s how to explain the value of staging to clients — plus a few tips that can bring them a considerable return on investment.

9 listing presentation mistakes you can’t afford to make

Today’s tight inventory environment means that agents can’t afford not to win a listing. Here are nine mistakes agents commonly make and how to avoid them.

Stop being a secret agent! 8 real estate conversation-starters

If you’re not out there interacting with the public on a face-to-face basis, chances are you’ve become a secret agent — and that has to change. Here is a variety of fun and engaging ways to get strangers to ask you about your job and real estate.

My top Back to Basics tip? Answer the damn phone

There’s tons of training that addresses diligent follow-up and frequent outreach. What’s far more critical in building your business than a speedy reply or dropping someone into a system that will pound out messages to a contact database? Answering the phone.

10 tips for prepping your listings in this frenzied spring market

There’s no better time to showcase your listing than spring. With these tips, you’ll be the expert your clients need to sell their home in this fast-paced market and get them top dollar for their sale.

How to revive dying leads

Being persistent, using the tools that work for you and staying personable are just some of the key moves that agents told Inman help them to bring back leads that have gone cold.

Believe in yourself! 7 practical ways agents can build confidence

Confidence is an important aspect of becoming a successful real estate agent. Luckily, it’s a skill that can be learned and sharpened. Here are a few powerful (and effective) ways agents can boost their self-confidence.

How to master inventory in a hot market

What differentiates a rookie from a top-notch, seasoned pro, you ask? Well, it starts with an in-depth knowledge of the market and a knack for accurately gauging property values. Here’s how you can hone that skill and set yourself up for long-term success.

How to win a bidding war

From keeping a vigilant eye on your market to knowing when to opt out of a war altogether, here are the essential tips you need to conquer the bidding war.

Want more sales? 10 lessons in the art of persuasion

There’s no doubt that the art of persuasion has a critical place in real estate sales. Here’s what agents can learn from bestselling author Daniel Pink’s MasterClass on sales and persuasion.

How to deal with unlawful occupants in listings

Rising levels of homelessness have increased the incidents of unlawful access to homes on the market. Here are a few key steps to respond to unauthorized entry and preventative measures to ensure it does not happen in the first place.

Buyers and sellers

5 tips for helping homebuyers navigate a new construction purchase

Helping buyers navigate the homebuilding process can be challenging. There is a whole new process and language to learn. But the upside is so worth it. Here are my top five tips for working with new construction buyers.

It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! Avoid these post-closing problems

Running into post-closure problems is often burdensome for everyone involved in the transaction. In some cases where it morphs into a lawsuit, it can even be costly. So, how can agents prevent them in the first place, and what can they do to avoid litigation?

How to nurture clients who can’t afford to buy right now

What if you have clients who need to move but can’t afford it? How do you help even when there is no immediate sale? Here are a few tips for helping clients overcome the laws of expansion. You’ll be their agent for life.

Buyer’s remorse is real! 3 tips for avoiding canceled contracts

With home prices across the nation rising sky-high, more buyers are wondering if paying so much is the right thing to do. “Morning after” jitters are causing many to reconsider their purchase. Here’s how to combat getting that post-contract cancelation call from your buyers.

10 pandemic-tested truths about homebuying

Multiple offers, super-low inventory, skyrocketing values and lots of competition from cash buyers have made the current real estate climate both a blessing and a curse. Through that, a few real estate concepts were put to the test. Here’s what lasted.

Buyer uncertainty stressing you out? 5 ways to stay sane in a hectic market

The extreme lack of inventory has agents in total panic mode. On top of their day-to-day roles, agents now more than ever also have to be friends, counselors and confidants. Here’s how to manage the stress of it all.

What buyers crave: How to find coveted listings in your market

What makes a house really stand out? Curb appeal is one part of the formula, but there are other factors that come into play. Learn about finding and selling desirable homes — and how to make listings more attractive to buyers.

3 ways to set buyers expectations during this sizzling-hot spring

By setting expectations early, agents can put their clients in a better position and educate them on the often frustrating marketplace so they can make quick, sound decisions. Here’s how.

Marketing

Don’t miss out! 4 simple ways to generate leads on your website

If you have a website, you are sitting on an untapped resource that has the potential to generate hundreds of leads each month for no additional cost. Here are four simple ways you can leverage your website to generate more leads.

How to build a brand that elevates your business

Building a brand is often synonymous with building a business. Your brand communicates what do and what you stand for, and it helps build trust with potential clients. Here are a few tips for building a brand that’ll ultimately boost your business.

10 secret Instagram and Facebook features most agents miss

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular and effective platforms for brand-building, promoting listings and generating leads. Did you know there are hidden features agents don’t know about? Here are some of our favorite little-known gems.

3 reasons Instagram isn’t working for you (and what to do)

To effectively increase your brand awareness and position yourself as the go-to authority in your market, watch out for these common Instagram turn-offs and avoid them yourself.

10 marketing tactics to ensure your brand resonates in 2021

Marketing your brand in today’s world is continuously evolving and has become more dynamic than ever. Here are a few strategies and tactics to keep in mind as you move through 2021.

Work smarter! 10 creative ways to reuse and repurpose your evergreen content

Creating fresh and unique content is not easy, and it can be quite time-consuming. Recycling content reduces the effort required; allows you to expand your reach across multiple platforms; and gives consumers, prospects, and search engines what they’re looking for.

Consumers read 10 reviews first! What’s your review strategy?

Consumers increasingly write, read and follow online web assessments. So, have you accepted reviews as a part of your communication with the market? Here are a few compelling reasons why you should.

20 tools to help you create killer video content

As any agent will tell you, video creation should have a special place in your marketing plan. Although it might seem intimidating at first, you’ll quickly learn there are easy and cheap ways to level up your video game. Here are all the tools you’ll need — from basic to pro.

Why hiring a PR team is the best marketing decision you can make

A constant presence in major media outlets is a valuable way to promote and grow your real estate business on all levels. Here’s how a strong public relations strategy can elevate your brand and what you should keep in mind when hiring a PR team.

How one agent uses TikTok to wrangle some of his youngest clients

A year after launching his TikTok account, GZB Realty broker and managing director Alexander Zakharin now generates 80 percent of his business using the youth-oriented app.

Productivity

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3 situations where agents let their egos get in the way

Achieving a certain level of success sometimes leads to an overinflated ego. However, more often than not, that sense of self-importance can get in the way of an agent’s performance. Here are a few reasons and situations where ego hinders success.

Close the deal! How to forget leads, and adopt a growth mindset

To break down the barriers in your mind that are holding you back, you need guts, dedication and grit. Find out from military elite-turned-consultant Kate Monroe (who’s running six companies and training thousands of employees) how maintain the energy and drive it takes to grow.

5 common tech mistakes that could be costing you

From failing to regularly back-up your data to taking product recommendations from the wrong person, here are a few common mistakes you might be making when it comes to the technology that powers your business — and how to fix them.

Having a tough time? 5 tips for conditioning yourself to push through

Building a real estate business is tough. As you start to gain traction and new levels of success, your problems just intensify. Here are my top five tips for pushing through when times get tough.

Forget time-blocking! Focus on these 5 time management tactics

Time-blocking is standard real estate productivity advice, but here’s the thing: It doesn’t work. Here’s a better approach to time management that’ll help you stick to your priorities and knock out those dollar-producing activities.

Clear out the clutter! 3 ways to spring-clean your business

Every spring, we dive into the same tradition — clearing out the old and organizing the new. If you’re ready to dust the cobwebs off your business and reorganize your work life for the better, here are a few tips to get you started.

Business planning

Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images

Find the right fit! How to strategically hire brokerage staff

An effective team is comprised of talented individuals who complement each other’s strengths, visions and work ethic. Here are a few strategies for hiring brokerage staff across various departments — plus some positive qualities to look for.

3 practical profitability hacks for brokerage leaders

By optimizing day-to-day operations and eliminating redundancies, brokerage and team leaders can create a more efficient company and increase profits. Here’s how to get started.

Are you prepared for a future crisis? 4 ways to protect yourself

When the economy is strong and confidence is high, people become idle and get too comfortable. When a crisis hits, they leap into panic mode. That’s why, to prepare for any future uncertainty, team leaders have to take these important steps now.

How to create a timeless business plan

Whether you’re a newly minted agent or an experienced pro, business planning can be a challenging task. But there’s a simple-to-follow approach that’ll help you create a timeless plan for your business — and it starts by answering these key questions.

8 ways to rank higher on Google — and improve your website traffic

Getting your website to rank on Google is like putting together pieces of a puzzle. All of your efforts across various channels come together to build your website’s authority. Here are few tips to help drum up more traffic for your business.

New agents

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Feeling overwhelmed? 4 skills new agents should master first

Navigating the many processes and moving parts of this industry can seem overwhelming — especially to newly minted agents. But you can’t be all things to all people. Here are the main things you need to focus on.

So you want to be an agent? Here are 7 truths about the job

Being a real estate agent is much more like operating your own business than working any other regular job. There’s a huge learning curve, and it can often feel overwhelming. That’s why, if you’re a newbie, you have to be prepared. Here’s what to expect.

Time-blocking 101: A simple guide for new agents

Time-blocking is an incredible tool for real estate agents, especially those just getting into the industry. This practice encourages you to spend time on the items that have the most impact and ensures you are working at maximum productivity. Here’s how to get started.

New to real estate? How to guide clients through homebuying

As a real estate pro, it’s your job to help clients pinpoint what they want and then help them find it. If you’re a newly minted agent, here’s what you should be doing throughout your clients’ homebuying journey.

Teams

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4 client questions every team member should be prepared to answer

How you respond to clients matters. When you can answer their questions with confidence and clarity, they will put their trust in you and your team to do the best job possible. Here are a few common questions clients will — at one point or another — ask you.

Put branding first! How to build a business that attracts growth

If you want to recruit better talent and more clients who want to with your team, focus on building your master brand first. Here’s how to do that.

4 reasons agents on teams fail

Team leaders invest an immense amount of time, energy and resources into their team members, and inevitably, some will fail. Here’s how to recognize why some teammates fail and address the issues head-on.

How authentic leadership fosters an attractive culture

The strongest influence on an organization’s culture will unquestionably be the leader’s motives, intent, character, style, personality and passion. Here’s why it’s important to foster a first-rate business culture — and how to do it.

Know your numbers! How to be more accountable for your team’s financials

Most team leaders think they know their numbers, but the reality is that we’re not as clear on them as we think we are. We have a general idea, but that’s not good enough. Here are the numbers you really need to pay attention to and why they’re so critical.

3 signs it’s time for your team to move on to another brokerage

Is your brokerage there to support your goals, growth and success in real estate? If not, then perhaps it’s time to move on and look for a different place to house your team. Here are a few signs to look for when making that decision.

10 team-building basics every team leader should know

Whether you have a large team or are just starting to build your first, there are fundamental principles worth knowing. The basics are the basics for a reason. They work. Here are 10 team-building basics that every leader should know.

Shareable home improvement

Kirill Rudenko via Getty Images

Freestanding, walk-in, whirlpool: What agents should know about bathtubs

As an agent, you can intelligently field questions about bathtubs and their variations if you have a few facts at your fingertips. Here are a handful of things you need to know about different types of bathtubs and their maintenance.

What agents should know about washing machines

Laundry machines come in many sizes and models. Each of them has its pros and cons — as well as space and installation requirements. Here are a few essential things real estate agents should know about washing machines.

A stinky business: Getting rid of pet odors

Pet odors can be extremely off-putting to some buyers and require a little extra elbow grease to get rid of. Here are a few tricks to get that stinky smell out of your new listings.

10 plumbing issues agents should know about (and their solutions)

Plumbing issues can cause so many headaches for buyers, sellers and their agents. If you’re a real estate pro, knowing a few simple tips and having an understanding of these problems can help put your and your clients’ minds at ease.

Dryers and dryer vents: What agents should know

One of the most common household appliances, the clothes dryer, can also be one of the most problematic for homebuyers. That’s why it’s important for agents to be fluent in the pros and cons of common household appliances when discussing housing options with clients.

Daily tips

For all the rest of Inman’s Back to Basics stories, click here.

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