How a Stager Prepares a Home for Market
Getting a home ready to sell in any market can seem daunting to anyone. While it may take some extra motivation and hard work, staging a home can make it a standout property that grabs any buyers' attention.
Here are some examples of how the best home stagers show off a home to nab multiple offers—often above the listing price.
Cue inviting curb appeal
A home stager may refresh a property's exterior by updating the original siding with vinyl, adding new shutters, and replacing outdoor light fixtures. A few weeks before listing, weeding, mulching, and powerwashing the walkways also go a long way.
Depersonalize and neutralize
Buyers want to envision themselves in the home. A stager will remove any personal elements like family photos, children's toys, and collectibles. They may choose neutral palettes, furnishings with clean lines, modern sectionals, new window treatments, cozy-chic accents, and pops of warm colors to brighten the space.
When staging something like a kitchen eat-in area, they will look for ways to simplify and brighten. For example, removing personal wall art and extra objects can help make the space feel larger and more inviting.
Create a cozy bedroom
Bedrooms are key spaces for buyers to connect with. After removing personal items, stagers often repaint the owner's suite and extra bedrooms, and follow up with fresh bedding, colorful pillows, inviting lighting, and modern area rugs that showcase hardwood floors.
Put simply, staging "sets the stage" for potential buyers. By redecorating, rearranging furniture, cleaning, and employing other aesthetic strategies, a professional home stager makes the property look as appealing as possible to get top-dollar from buyers and to secure happy clients.
Contact us for more trick and tips in real estate.
Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.
Call Today!! (732) 634-9100
Home Improvement Projects You Should Not Ignore
When the temperatures drop and the leaves start to fall, it's time to take a good look at your home's plumbing. Preventative measures are key to avoiding damage and pricey repairs. To help you with your maintenance efforts, we've gathered some of the most common plumbing problems that start in the fall season.
Preventable Plumbing Problems
Plumbing issues can happen at any time, but fall and winter are the prime times for pipe damage. Instead of waiting until it's too late, use these tips and stay ahead of it.
Contact us today for more tips for selling your home.
Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.
Call Today!! (732) 634-9100
Now that you've invested in a new home, what does it take to increase its market value? Building equity is one the biggest financial benefits of home ownership. Here are some ways you can start building yours today.
Make the most of mortgage payments
A portion of every mortgage payment pays off your loan's principal, with most of it going to interest in the loan's early years. To make the best use of your money, consider the following:
Adding the right amenities and making smart improvements can also increase your home's market value, which ultimately means more equity for you. Which projects will bring the best return on your investment? Popular features can vary by area and home type but many of today's buyers typically love updates and enhancements to:
The realities of a buyer's or seller's market will have an impact on how much return you'll get when you sell. Work with a professional real estate agent and financial professional when the time comes. Contact JJ Elek to learn more.
Ready to buy or sell? Whether you are moving across the street or across the country our agents have years of experience and are ready to help.
Call Today!! (732) 634-9100
In today's red-hot real estate market, more and more people are searching for homes in New Jersey. As you begin your home-buying journey, it's important to know what type of construction suits your unique situation — a resale or newly built home. Let's break down some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
3.Architectural details and history
Older homes are more likely to offer aesthetic details that would be difficult and expensive to replicate. Many older properties also have great stories behind them, which you become part of when you move in.
The Drawbacks of Existing Homes
Outdated floor plans
Barring extensive remodeling, you're unlikely to find modern floor plans in existing homes. The kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms may not match the style you're seeking.
Potential for more repairs and maintenance
Unplanned repairs to roofing, heating systems, and appliances can have you spending money where you didn't expect to.
Older houses may be poorly insulated and rely on environmentally unfriendly resources like oil for heat.
The Drawbacks of New Construction
New construction is typically more expensive than a resale home. For example, the median sale of an existing home in the US jumped to nearly $391,200 in April 2022, while a brand-new home topped $450,600 that same month.
If you're signing up for a home during the construction phase or building a custom home, it could take several months longer to move in compared with an existing property. This will vary by market and builder, so consider budgeting time for potential delays. If the construction is complete, this won't be an issue.
The area where the earth has been cleared to make way for new construction can feel stark and exposed with a newly constructed home. This is because it takes years for landscaping to grow and bring natural life to the property.
Still Deciding What's Right for You? Let JJ Elek help.
JJ Elek agents have years of experience with existing homes and new construction in the NJ market. We're ready to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Contact us today.
Call Today!! (732) 634-9100
Home Projects for You and Your Little Helpers
When your children are home more often, and you're looking for ways to keep them safe and busy, why not engage them in some fun projects to do around the house?
There are plenty of creative ways to alleviate the boredom and frustration they may be feeling after spending less time at school. With just a few supplies and some tools you likely have lying around the house, you can keep those little hands busy while giving your house some TLC.
3 DIY Projects for Home Improvement and Kid Enjoyment
A fun way to brighten up the entrance to your home is to give an older mailbox a makeover. All it takes is a few supplies and extra time to deliver a smile to your child's face–and the mail carrier's! Here's what you need
Once you both have your facemasks on, it's time to start. First, sand off any rust and old paint on your mailbox. Then have your child assist you with placing painters tape over the mail flag or any address numbers to protect them from the paint. Spray the box with aluminum primer, allowing it to dry before using the metal spray paint. Consider customizing your mailbox with stencils to create designs, letters, or flowers for some flair.
The gardening trend is hot right now. If you join in, you'll enjoy your own fresh vegetables, herbs, or flowers right outside your house. Raised garden beds are a fairly easy project for children to assist with and these beds are easy to maintain. This project also provides a natural outdoor classroom where you can help your kids learn measurements, basic botany facts, while boosting their physical and mental well-being. To make a 4×4 raised garden bed, all you need are the following:
Construct the rectangular box by attaching two 2x4s to each corner post (stacked vertically). Have your older child hold the boards securely in place as you drill. When you're finished building your structure, kids of all ages can assist you with picking out a sunny spot in the backyard for your raised garden bed and help you pour in the soil and plant flowers or vegetables.
It's nice for birds to have a safe spot to land in your backyard and even nicer for the whole family to watch as they come and go. With this project, you have options. You can construct your birdhouse using a pre-cut birdhouse kit available at most home improvement stores or make the cuts yourself on a 2×6 or even a spare fence post. Older kids can help wood glue or nail the house together while little ones can personalize it with paint.
There are so many ways to keep kids busy and entertained with super-easy DIY projects. Not only do you get to spend quality time with them, but your house can get some sprucing up in the meantime.
Tips & Advice to Downsize Your Home
Moving into a new house can be bittersweet. You may be excited for the change but sad to leave a home so full of memories. Downsizing can be even more of a challenge because a smaller place won't provide the space you need for all your current possessions.
The truth is, spending the time and effort downsizing and decluttering can have a very positive impact on your life. Here's how you start the process successfully (and without feeling like you're letting go of a memory).
Your Downsizing Plan
Whether you're downsizing or simply want to clear out some clutter, it can be a challenge without a plan. Of course you'll want to keep the most meaningful pieces, but holding onto too many things can become a clutter problem in itself. Here are some tips to declutter and downsize, without sacrificing your meaningful belongings.
Make room for minimalism
Downsizing doesn't have to mean getting rid of every single unused item you own. It's perfectly fine to keep some special pieces, within reason. Be a little ruthless by setting some kind of limit while decluttering sentimental items. Does it really have as much meaning or usefulness as you think it does?
Ask yourself why you're saving it
As you dive through boxes and storage, ask yourself why you want to hold onto a particular item. Does it remind you of a special moment? Is it for your kids when they're adults? Is there a sense of obligation making you feel like you have to keep it? We all have different reactions to sentimental items, so be honest about the motivation behind wanting to keep them.
Once you've narrowed down your limit of saved items, take photos of things you'd like to remember, but don't necessarily need to keep. Whether it's a kid's trophy or an old costume, this is a simple and meaningful way to preserve the memories associated with them.
Instead of storing sentimental items, find ways to use or repurpose them. For example, if you're downsizing for retirement, instead of buying new generic décor, display memorable pieces that are meaningful to you. Then you can enjoy and appreciate them every day.
Remember, all the effort that goes into downsizing and decluttering ends up giving you more space and freedom to enjoy. Don't be hard on yourself. It's a journey, and even small steps mean you're making progress.
Contact us at JJ Elek for more tips on downsizing your home.
Looking for the Right Real Estate Agent? Stay Local.
Having the right real estate agent by your side can make or break your home buying or selling experience. No one knows the local area and local market like a well-known and established local agent. They will serve as your guide and expert along the journey—and save you an enormous amount of time and stress.
3 Advantages of Hiring a Local Agent
Local agents are surrounded by a circle of local experts and influencers in real estate. At JJ Elek Realty, our team works with the most renowned local industry experts to make sure you have access to local home inspectors, contractors, interior designers, service providers, property managers, lending professionals, title and escrow companies, painters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians home warranty companies, and more to provide you with the best service possible.
If you're buying a new home, a local real estate agent can meet you in-person to show you what's available and schedule the showings for you. If you're selling your home, your agent can stage your home based on the latest market trends and host open houses. Working with a real estate agent in person is much easier than attempting to communicate all the details by phone or email.
Partner with the Local Experts at JJ Elek Realty
Located in the heart of Middlesex County, JJ Elek is proud to call Woodbridge, NJ home. Our office is located in a convenient location right on Main Street. If you'd like to get started buying or selling today, feel free to contact our Woodbridge-based real estate agents—we'd love to help! Contact us today!
How to Find Your Dream Home in Today's Market
Finding your dream home is a big undertaking—one that can easily take months or years depending on what you're looking for. While the process can seem daunting at first, especially in today's competitive housing market, you can find the right home with the right planning. Rather than go it alone, we've broken down some of the steps for you here to get you started.
Make a list
Instead of haphazardly visiting open houses or browsing online, sit down and make a list of your needs and wants—which are two very different things. For instance, you may want a pool, but could technically live without it. You may need at least two bedrooms if you have children.
Understand that your needs and wants will probably change as you learn more about your housing options. Proximity to the city may start off as a priority, for example, but once you see the size of the homes available in your price range, you may decide a longer drive is bearable. Unless you have an unlimited budget, plan on making compromises along the way.
Know your finances
In New Jersey's hot housing market, getting your finances in order is a must. Determine your budget and how much wiggle room you have in order to keep your must-haves clearly in view.
Pick your preferred home style
Once you have the basics figured out, decide what features you want in a house. Do you want to live in a townhouse, condo or single-family house? How many stories and bedrooms do you want? Do you plan on spending time in an outdoor space? Knowing before you go can help narrow down your options.
Document your visits
When it's time to take your home tour, compare the features against the checklist you made. Do you need to re-evaluate any of your must-haves? Consider anything you may have left off of your list or anything you'd like to add.
Work with a JJ Elek Real Estate Agent
Once you know what you're looking for in a dream home, you'll be ready to find the right agent to partner with for your search. JJ Elek agents have years of experience in the NJ market and are ready to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Contact us today.
New to Real Estate? Here's How to Become Successful.
A successful real estate career can be more rewarding than you can imagine, but getting there can seem like a mystery. From joining the right brokerage to choosing effective technology and other strategies, here are the practical steps you can take to find your way.
5 Steps to Success
Step 1: Choose a reputable brokerage
Start by researching and finding a quality real estate brokerage to join. While commission splits are important, your first brokerage should offer the training and mentorship you need to grow.
Step 2: Select the right practice area (aka farm area)
When it comes to the geographic area you want to practice in as a real estate agent, choose wisely. Make sure to research the demographics and behaviors of buyers and sellers so you can develop a laser focused and highly targeted marketing strategy.
Step 3: Make a business plan
Develop a solid business plan and revisit it at the end of every year. By laying out goals, budgets, and market analyses, you are setting the groundwork for your future steps. Areas to re-evaluate include:
Step 4: Market yourself
Employ marketing materials to garner name recognition and leads on a constant basis. From door hangers and postcards to monthly newsletters, there are endless options when it comes to print that will help you get in front of some of your most valuable future clients. Mailers, for example, still deliver the best ROI if they're consistent, eye-catching, full of useful content, and include a call to action.
Step 5: Set time aside for lead generation
Block one or two hours every day for activities like cold calling, nurturing existing leads, and ad creation and management.
Keep in Mind
There is no specific number of sales or listings that instantly translate to success. Instead, evaluate your success as a real estate agent by the outcomes you get for your clients, the income you create, the number of hours you work, and how long it takes you to reach milestones. That's what defines a successful real estate career. JJ Elek Realty can help. Join our team today at 732-634-9100.
The most successful real estate agents are those who can generate a constant stream of quality leads. Your ability to manage appointments, negotiate deals, and serve clients is essential as well, but without leads, you won't get very far. Here are some tips to help you find them.
Put together or revisit your business plan at the end of every year. This forces you to analyze where your business came from, as well as what worked or failed, so you can plan for the following year.
As a new real estate agent, it's common to throw every contact we meet into our database without categorizing them. Instead, organize your client database in three groups:
Technology advancements make it easier to manage your time and have whatever you need for a real estate transaction at your fingertips. Helpful online tools include:
Whether you work for a large or small office, name and brand recognition are important. Create your own look and feel that people in your community recognize. At the very least, you'll need a logo, color scheme, or tagline as part of your marketing plan. This will help you build trust, memorability.
Clients want to know their real estate agent cares about them. Calling each client quarterly and truly listen to their concerns. Then take notes with your online tools on the "pleasure and pain" items that your client is experiencing.
The most helpful tip is considerably basic—just show up. Put in the time and effort to get results by working smarter, not harder. You'll find that investing yourself in your career delivers long-term results. JJ Elek Realty offers the support you need to grow your real estate business. Join our team today at 732-634-9100.
The Latest Info on Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates have been on a general upward trend for over a year, and in the last few months, they've taken an even bigger jump higher.
As the economy recovered from the pandemic, low interest rates fueled increased spending. At the same time, supply chain issues created shortages for items like microchips, building supplies and certain food items. These factors combined to drive inflation higher as supplies failed to meet demand. According to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), 12-month inflation hit 8.5% in March, the highest it's been since 1981.
Adding to the inflationary pressures is Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted some financial markets. This war could also add to global food shortages as agriculture, fuel and fertilizer shipments from these countries are limited or disrupted.
Sitting on the sidelines of all this is the COVID-19 pandemic, while case counts were declining to start 2022 that could change. If we see a resurgence of COVID it could add uncertainty to the global economy.
Is It A Good Time to Buy a House?
Even though mortgage rates are higher now than the previous year, on a historical level, rates still aren't as high as they used to be. For example, in 2002, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was about 7%. In addition, the rate on a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is lower by 1.3 percentage points than a 30-year fixed mortgage rate. However, the historical average spread between these two rates is about 0.8 percentage points, making the 5-year ARM currently more attractive to borrowers.
Although the most popular form of home financing is the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are also common. Thus, we may see a change in U.S. household mortgage trends. According to the Federal Reserve of New York, the ARM share has fluctuated substantially over time, reaching highs of 60 to 70 percent in 1994 but falling significantly in recent years. Nevertheless, buyers should be aware that the rate and consequently the monthly mortgage payment will change after the first 5 years, depending on economic conditions.
Experts caution against trying to time the market to secure the lowest mortgage rate, even though mortgage rates are important and a point or two can mean a lot over the life of the loan. Start the home-buying process when it's the next best step for your life circumstances and you have the finances to maintain homeownership. Shop around for a mortgage lender to get the best deal you can at that time–lenders' rates can vary significantly.
Schedule a Consultation with JJ Elek
If you'd like to get a better grasp on mortgage rates, the experts at JJ Elek Realty can help. Schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.
Soft Skills Real Estate Agents Need to Succeed
Successful people usually have specific expertise in their field. For real estate agents, knowing the intricacies of project financing, contract writing, and building codes is key, but if you can't close a sale or get referrals, those hard skills won't take you far. This is where soft skills come into play.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills have more to do with who people are, rather than what they know. They play a key role in demonstrating how an individual interacts with colleagues, performs work-related tasks, communicates, and builds relationships. The following must-have soft skills will set you apart from the competition in real estate, ensure you're building lasting client partnerships, and make you a great team player.
From paperwork to scheduling to coordinating financing, the real estate process requires organization to keep the transaction on track.
You need to be able to speak confidently and easily with buyers, sellers, and investors from all walks of life and backgrounds.
Successful real estate agents know how to listen and understand what their client wants from the transaction. You also need to make clients feel understood, and create a space where they feel able to talk freely and honestly.
Real estate transactions take time and you don't get paid until the house is sold. It takes patience to successfully navigate the process.
In real estate, it helps to be able to see both sides of an issue and develop a solution that fits the needs of all parties involved.
Agents who have empathy care about satisfying their clients more than the bottom line.
When looking for new business, you must follow up on every lead until it dies or turns into a closed transaction. Once you've secured a client, you should explore every avenue to help them achieve their goals.
Other key skills include:
How to develop soft skills
You'll have to engage in a little self-reflection before you know which soft skills need developing or strengthening. This can be tough, but also extremely rewarding. From there, you can develop many soft skills at your own pace by putting yourself in situations that test them or by taking some online training courses that help build them. Join the team at JJ Elek and learn all the ways we help our sales agents succee
3 Traits of Successful Real Estate Entrepreneurs
A successful real estate agent is like the conductor of a symphony, coordinating the different players to make a successful transaction a reality. At different points in the process, you're an analyst, salesperson, marketer, buyer's advocate, business manager, consultant, and negotiator, among other roles. You'll find that there are a number of qualities and traits that successful real estate entrepreneurs share.
Once we leave school, additional education becomes a choice. Many people choose to pursue a degree or certification, then stop, but for entrepreneurs, stopping is not an option. Knowledge is as necessary as nourishment.
There are plenty of ways to continue your education and build knowledge, including:
In the world of real estate (and life), there's a spectrum of decision-making. On one end are people who make decisions with no information whatsoever, and on the other end are those who dig up so much information that they find themselves paralyzed, unable to decide. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes, but successful real estate entrepreneurs can always make the decision.
As inflation climbs, real estate prices continue to break records, and our economy is finally feeling some ease after the pandemic, a natural entrepreneur can silence the noise and still pull the trigger to close the sale or get the listing.
Success does not come without failure. Entrepreneurs know this and find education, knowledge, growth, confidence, and opportunity in failure. They thrive on it. Unfortunately, most people are too concerned about the consequences of failure to step outside the box. Entrepreneurs are more concerned with the consequences if not trying.
At the end of the day, you get out of business what you put into it. If you're passionate about real estate and have similar traits to those mentioned here, you have a great shot at having a long and successful career. Join the successful team at JJ Elek today!
Are you a real estate agent looking for a secret weapon to compete with sites like Zillow? Hyperlocal marketing is your solution. Let's see what this strategy is and how you can implement it into your real estate marketing.
Any marketing strategy that's laser focused on a specific area, region, zone, or demographic is hyperlocal. You can start incorporating any of the following into your hyperlocal marketing strategy:
Let's say you consider yourself an expert in a specific area like Middlesex County. So, you focus your marketing efforts there and cast your net wide to try to reach everyone in that market. The problem? That strategy is not targeted enough to gain new leads. While you might have some success, Middlesex County can be broken down into many smaller sub-areas, with different types of neighborhoods, school systems, points of interest, and more.
Why wouldn't you develop a more specific, hyperlocal marketing campaign for several smaller zones within the Middlesex County region?
Benefits of a Hyperlocal Marketing Plan
Hyperlocal marketing offers many advantages over a traditional marketing strategy, including:
Working in smaller areas means connect with fewer people and spending less money on each area. The savings lets you test out different strategies and increase your budget and effort with the ones that work best.
If want to maximize your marketing budget and take your business to the next level, hyperlocal real estate marketing is for you. Leave traditional messaging behind, set up this effective new framework, and reel in more leads than ever before. JJ Elek Realty will help you with tips such as this and more! Contact us today to join our team.
How JJ Elek Retains the Very Best Real Estate Agents
In any industry, finding the right employees is one of the most important keys to success. At JJ Elek, nurturing top producers has been our secret to happy agents and sustained long-term growth.
Here are just some of the ways we retain our people.
We offer the latest tools and technology
At JJ Elek, we offer flexible technology solutions that allow agents to work in the way that best suits their style. Some agents work exclusively with clientele who prefer pen and paper. Others come to us with leads and want to continue using their own tools. Whether you need handholding and coaching or more autonomy, we offer it all.
We motivate agents with our commission structures
Different ways of structuring sales commission can have varying effects on how real estate agents are motivated. We offer one of the most favorable commission splits compared with most real estate companies in the Jersey area.
We highlight and recognize our agents' success
Consistent recognition of great work is another way we've built an influential company that new agents and experienced experts want to work for. From shout-outs on social media and annual events to rewards for productivity, we are proud to recognize our team's successes.
We support our agents
Our culture is built with genuine support for all of our agents—no matter how experienced or new you are. We meet regularly to discuss what's working and what's needed, and someone is always available to help you improve on what you do well and overcome any challenges. We also offer new agents access to high-quality coaching and consistent mentorship, something that other brokerages leave to your own efforts.
Want to Join the Team at JJ Elek?
New and seasoned agents alike are eager to work with JJ Elek for good reason. If you want to see what it's like to work for an agency that's invested in your success, contact us today at 732-634-9100.
How to Be Success-Minded in Your Real Estate Career
How can you find the secret to success in today's real estate market when it seems like the top agents are keeping them all to themselves?
At JJ Elek Realty, we believe one agent's win is a win for the whole team. That's why we share our success strategies and grow together with them. Here are a few tips we've heard floating around the office.
Don't think about the money
While real estate can be a super-lucrative industry, it's a people industry first. If you're money hungry, people will pick up on that and you won't get very far. Instead of thinking about money, think about serving people. Put your clients' needs first. And remember that most consumers want to feel good about the decision they're making — they don't want to feel your desperation for commission.
Be prepared to work
Real estate is not a 9 to 5 job. Sure, you can sleep in until 11 a.m. and check out at 3 p.m., but you're not getting paid for work you don't do. Look at your career as a 7-day work week, blocking time for lead generation, market research, and even role-playing within the first 12 months. You're going to get a lot of tough questions out there, and you need to be prepared with the answers.
Study the market
Your job as an agent is to know your "product" — and that product is the real estate market. Spend a few hours every day scrolling the MLS. What are the price points in different areas? What are the neighborhoods like? You need to know your stuff to be able to talk on the fly and advise clients as an expert.
Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest decisions in life. It's easy for clients to freeze up or get indecisive during the process. Once you've built a relationship with your client, there's a good chance you'll know what they want before they know themselves. You have to be willing to have hard conversations to help them along. If the property meets all their criteria but they're still dragging their feet, be assertive. Encourage them to act and they'll thank you for it.
Hit the Ground Running with JJ Elek Realty
With our client-centric approach, JJ Elek puts agents on the fast track to success. Contact us today at 732-634-9100 if you want to join the ride.
How to Leverage Your Listings to Attract Buyers & Get Referrals
Listings and leads are more important than ever in today's highly competitive real estate market. When clients are happy with the service you deliver, you can develop lifelong connections and ongoing sources of referrals.
Top-earning agents know how to leverage their listings and bring in a steady stream of clients. Here are a few tips to help you do the same.
Set expectations with sellers
The reality is, the first buyer under contract may not be the one who ends up at the closing table. Help your sellers understand that this is part of the process. In fact, many agents will have a backup buyer – and a backup for that buyer – as a safety net.
Understand what motivates your clients
When it comes to selling a home, not everyone is driven by money. From conveniences, like being able to live in their home until they find a new one to wanting a faster closing due to a career move, it's important to get to the heart of your clients' motivations to do right by them.
Be open about communication
Many clients want to be communicated with in a specific way and a good agent will ask about this up front. Let clients know that you intend to respect their time.
Stay in touch with top contacts in your database
An agent's job is to keep close relationships and help clients make smart financial moves. If you know a home recently sold nearby, update your contacts about the state of the local market. It doesn't hurt to be open and honest, and ask if they'd be willing to sell under the circumstances.
Ask for referrals
The best agents ask their clients for feedback during closing. Not only can you find our if there was anything you could have done better, it's also a great opportunity to ask for a referral. You can also send email communications after the close, requesting an online review.
Having robust listings and nurturing your close relationships puts you in control of your time, energy, and money. Ultimately, you can use all three to strengthen your presence in the market.
Contact JJ Elek Realty today at 732-634-9100 for all of your real estate needs.
Stay Local: The Best Agents Are the Local Ones
Selling your home is an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. With multiple things on your mind and checklists to go through, you're likely going to lean heavily on the help of your agent. Whether you're moving to a new town or to a new house in your community, the best agent to go with is a local one.
Larger real estate agencies don't always have a grasp on the local community and aren't able to actively look out for your interests. Here are just a few of the perks of working with an agent that's based within the community
Local Knowledge Trumps all
Local real estate agents have market expertise in your area. They have a comprehensive list of comparable homes and understand the value. They understand the current market conditions and can advise you accordingly. They'll also be able to promptly field questions about the quality of the local schools, neighborhoods, housing codes, and specific features that buyers will be looking for.
A Local Network to Tap Into
When it comes to selling your home, local real estate agents have a network of other local agents to call upon. They can connect with other agents in the area, collaborating with buyers to sellers to benefit both parties. They'll also have a network of professionals they can trust when it comes to repairs, inspections, and financing.
Just a Call Away
It's much easier for a local real estate agent to meet up in person to hash out the details of the sale. Whether it's scheduling showings, hosting open houses, attending the home inspection, or even meeting you at the closing, being nearby just makes the process easier for all.
Local Real Estate Agents Just Make the Process Easier
Real estate transactions come with an abundance of paperwork, and your local agent will help you handle it all. They have a deep understanding of what is needed to complete the transaction and will guide you through the process. Mistakes in the process can cost you thousands of dollars, and a knowledgeable local agent will know how to avoid making them.
If you're thinking about selling your home in the Woodbridge, NJ, area, be sure to connect with a JJ Elek agent to start a successful sales process.
JJ Elek Realty is an agency focused on sharing the goodwill of its agents to its clients with top-down positivity. If our agents love their jobs, they'll attract clients who love working with us.
We know how this business works — and how to make it work well for you. That's why we offer many benefits that help you be a better agent. Most people have to work decades in the industry to access these advantages, but we make them readily available to newcomers and dedicated team members.
Real estate is all about managing relationships, but all those relationships have to translate on paper. The legal process behind becoming an agent is lengthy, and as time passes, updates have to be made.
We make support and staff work available for all agents and extend the benefits across the spectrum for new hires as well. We offer mentorship programs for new signers, aggressive commission incentives, competitive leads, and office support including contracts, supplies, and full offices kept clean by attentive staff so you can concentrate on signing papers, not picking it up.
We treat our new hires as the professionals they are. We offer professional headshots for business portfolios and corporate social media accounts, so people know they're talking to a real person when they speak to you — one of the best.
We have a number of lead-generating programs, email lists, digital campaigns, customized website tools, and even space for print ads and billboards. Join today, and see your face on the street tomorrow!
New programs are always emerging, and all agents have immediate access to them. We're working on marketing automation, a company store for agent recognition incentives, and planning even more new functions for years to come.
At JJ Elek, we're always planning for the future — a future you should be a part of! Join us today and you'll share in 15 years of success and be a part of many more to come.
Why New and Seasoned Agents Succeed with JJ Elek
The best real estate agencies know that talented and energetic agents are the key to long-term success. JJ Elek has been thriving for over 50 years because of the culture we've created and the team approach we rely on. The best part is, whether you're new to real estate or a highly respected veteran agent, when you join JJ Elek, you're guaranteed to succeed. Why?
The real estate industry has changed and is continuing to change. Customers expect more for less. As a result, agents want to earn more money and having that opportunity to do that is huge for many agents. If we can help agents put more money back into their pocket, we know it will give them more to invest back into their business.
At JJ Elek, a large part of our company culture is to help each other grow and to support each other's progress. Our mentor programs are designed to give some of our more experienced agents an opportunity to share all that they have learned, and for the newer agents to feel like they have someone who's right by their side supporting them.
We've spent more than 50 years developing and refining our marketing program to give our agents the resources and support to sell more efficiently and grow their business—well beyond their expectations. We offer so much more than a "for sale" sign—we're there every step of the way with cutting-edge technology and 100% administrative support to help you achieve real results.
Only you can make the decision to have a life-changing career with a real estate agency that truly cares. It's time to move forward to an exciting new future as a JJ Elek real estate agent!
JJ Elek Realty is the best in the business, and it shows! If you'd like more information on joining our team, call (732) 634-9100 today!
Why JJ Elek is the Agency to Join
Why do agents choose JJ Elek Realty? It's not just our support, our team, or our stellar reputation. It's how we combine to set you up for success.
We take a people-first approach to real estate—not only for our clients, but also for our agents who serve them. Here's how we create the best-possible outcomes to everyone.
Leverage Our Agents' Strengths
Buyers and sellers expect a lot from agents, and rightfully so. Capitalizing on each of our individual agent's strengths helps us deliver a result that delights our clients and creates a positive impression of the agency.
Teamwork is the core of our success. Our collective experience and talents help us develop creative solutions to sales and marketing challenges. Cultivating a supportive and cohesive team within the agency allows agents to work independently, as well as together constructively to make us a trusted leader.
We see it as our job to empower our agents with a consistent selling and marketing strategy that they can follow to ensure clients get a consistent level of service and experience.
We know how hard our agents work, so we ensure they take vacations or get assistance from the team when needed to help them avoid costly burnout. Collaborating allows us to attain the work-life balance that inspires so many of us to become agents in the first place.
JJ Elek Realty is the best in the business, and it shows! If you'd like more information on joining our team, call (732) 634-9100 today!
Accelerate Your Real Estate Career with a Mentor
Launching a new real estate career can be challenging, especially in the first year or so. In addition to learning about your market, working on a prospects list, and networking, you may want to consider finding a mentor. Cultivating a successful relationship with an industry veteran can help you establish a long, successful real estate career.
You probably know plenty of thriving real estate professionals, but how can you tell who's right for you, how can they help you, and if the person wants to help you?
Benefits of Having a Real Estate Mentor
Starting from scratch in real estate is tough when you're up against experienced and established pros in your area. A mentorship can give you the push you need to overcome the first-year challenges of being a real estate agent. Here are just some of the benefits you can expect:
While you may know exactly what you want in terms of end results, it may be harder to identify who can deliver them.
How to Spot the Right Mentor for You
You want a mentor who possesses a good mix of experience, expertise, and a personality that aligns with yours. Look for some of the following qualities and behaviors when choosing your mentor:
Where to Find Your Mentor
You can gain a mentor by catching the eye of an experienced agent while simply doing good work as you establish your business. However, it may benefit you to be more active in your search to find one.
Keep in mind, many people are open to mentoring another agent, you just have to ask. Be honest that you're looking for a mentor and hoping they can spare some time for you. Chances are, you'll find a mutually fruitful relationship!
We are hiring! If you are ready an exciting new future as a JJ Elek real estate agent, click here for more information.
As a real estate agent, you have a lot of work to do. From showing properties to meeting prospective clients to marketing, your days are packed. Instead of trying to do everything by yourself, it's must easier to have the support of a team behind you. That's what you get at JJ Elek.
We're Invested in Onboarding
Every time a new agent joins the JJ Elek team, we invest time and energy in ensuring new they start off on the right foot. This includes building healthy, high-performance habits like proactive lead nurturing, database management, and accelerating involvement in the company culture.
We Recognize Talent
Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognized for their work. In fact, recognition motivates many people to perform even better. At JJ Elek, we sincerely appreciate our agents for the work that they do, and we make sure to recognize it often.
We Help Set Goals
Many studies show that productivity increases when people have deadlines to meet. So, we help our team set long-term goals, then explore how they can break them down into smaller tasks with deadlines. But since we believe in each agent's talent, we avoid micromanaging. Being surrounded by a team of people who are ambitious, hardworking, and positive fosters an environment of ownership, accountability, and alignment in resources and teamwork.
The best part about helping our agents thrive is seeing the happiness they find with their work and their surroundings. A positive attitude is what helps lead the way.
Change is a constant in the real estate industry. As new technologies emerge and economic trends shift, everyone involved in the housing market needs to be flexible and able to adapt to a new landscape. For real estate agents, this is especially crucial to the long-term health of their real estate careers. So, what does the future hold for real estate agents?
Trends That Will Affect Real Estate Agents in 2020 and Beyond
As it is the case with many professions, the future for real estate agents will be shaped by a number of emerging trends. But one technique will always help you thrive: identify and adapt to major changes in the industry. Here are some of the main trends you keep up with:
Agents who neglect to incorporate video into their marketing strategies will have a hard time staying competitive. In fact, more and more sellers will be looking to exclusively work with agents who use video in their real estate marketing.
Agents who have spent time increasing their visibility on the internet and social media will reap huge benefits in the coming years. Putting your brand in front of this huge audience is the most effective way to generate leads for your business.
To stay competitive in this environment, using automation and real estate technology solutions is a must. For example, you can fully automate the lead-nurturing process thanks to various software solutions.
Is Real Estate Still a Good Career?
The future of the estate agent looks promising. Regardless of how advanced real estate tools and predictive analytics get, buyers and sellers will always turn to agents for professional guidance. As long as you remain adaptable to new trends, you'll be able to generate a consistent stream of clients.
What is it like to buy a home in our current real estate market? Should you buy now or wait? What does the housing market look like for the rest of 2020, and will we have a similar market in 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways people conduct business, and some housing experts predict it will forever change real estate's processes. Now more than ever, you'll have to depend on real estate agent's expertise. The good news is JJ Elek has a team of experts ready to lead the way.
Surveys Reveal Importance of Agents in these Uncertain Times
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported nearly 47% of home buyers felt that recruiting the help of a real estate professional is even more vital and desired than before the pandemic, citing peace of mind as the biggest benefit. Additionally, 54% of buyers and 62% of sellers agreed that specifically because of the uncertainty of the pandemic, the extra guidance from an expert was among the top of their must-have list now. Also noteworthy, six out of 10 buyers and sellers cited real estate professionals—specifically buying and selling of property—to be an essential service.
At JJ Elek, we pride ourselves on remaining an essential service with agents who are:
In response to the recent changes, our agents were quick to turn to tech. From home tours to virtual open houses, from document signings to no-contact closings, technology has filled the void of tasks typically done face-to-face.
When not using video, you can count on us to be your eyes and ears on the ground at showings. You'll find you can lean on our judgment and trust us to point out things that pictures and videos just can't capture.
You'll find that our agents can be a valuable resource when an offer comes in. We'll have well-informed opinions on the details of the offer and, if negotiation is needed, we'll represent you well. Negotiations can be tough, especially if emotions run high. We'll be there to soften this while maintaining a firm stance on terms that will work for you.
Whether remote or in-person, human interaction is crucial at JJ Elek. Creating connections helps us all stay focused on what's best for you as a buyer or seller. You can count on our team to lead you through this unpredictability, showing strength and dedication to the task at hand.
Let Us Guide You
We pride ourselves on offering our agents cutting-edge technology through our website, continuing education courses and workshops, and 100% administrative support and recognition. All of this serves to benefit you and your goals for home buying and selling. Contact us today to get started!
Why are top agents in New Jersey joining JJ Elek and never looking back? There are more reasons than we can count—but we can share some of the highlights we hear time and time again. This wonderful career allows you to work with a variety of people, learn more about the community and become an independent, successful sales representative. Here are just a few reasons you should partner with us.
You're set up for success.
At JJ Elek, we are committed to providing you with the best tools and services in the industry, so you can continually enhance and grow your business. Whether a seasoned professional or just starting out, you'll always have the opportunity to hone your skills.
Over time, we've gathered best practices of top-performing agents and turned them into educational tools that build essential skills and habits. From setting goals to leveraging your resources, we provide everything you need to capture, nurture, and convert more leads.
You're an entrepreneur.
As a JJ Elek agent, you're essentially running your own business. And who knows how to run your own business better than you? You'll have the freedom you need to do the job your way, and we'll be there, empowering you with the technology, guidance, and ideas to help you find long-term success.
You're part of a team.
While you have plenty of independence here, JJ Elek also provides a unique family-like culture that welcomes new partners warmly. When you join us in one of as an agent, you'll feel like you truly belong. You'll discover how your individual successes help our company achieve success.
If you appreciate a communicative, collaborative, supportive environment where leadership on providing unparalleled, on-the-job training and developing top talent, you'll love being a part of our team.
Let's Do This!
Now the ball is in your court. Only you can make the decision to change your career path and build an exciting future as a JJ Elek real estate agent. See why so many real estate professionals have chosen to do life-changing work with JJ us.
Think a career in real estate could be for you? We can't blame you! This wonderful profession is all about supporting others as they realize their dreams. And if you partner with JJ Elek Realty, we'll do the same for you in your career as a real estate agent. Here's what you can expect.
When you work for JJ Elek, you're backed by a supportive team of educated and trained professionals who want you to succeed. We have a communicative, collaborative work culture where upper management is focused on developing top talent. You'll quickly see how your individual efforts help our company as a whole, along with your own career success.
JJ Elek works with each sales associate on an individual level. We pride ourselves on offering our agents cutting-edge technology through our website, continuing education courses and workshops, and administrative support and recognition. This helps you create your own success and control your own future. Plus, you'll enjoy:
JJ Elek agents are committed to helping people at every turn. Whether you're working with those searching for a home or selling, you'll be providing the reliable service people have grown to expect from JJ Elek.
You represent buyers by:
You represent sellers by:
You could be a real estate agent anywhere, so why not join a company that's launched over 1,000 successful careers over the last 50 years? JJ Elek sales associates are the best in the business, and it shows! If you'd like to hear the perks of joining our team, call 732-634-9100 today.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has affected us all, our office is temporarily closed to ensure the health and safety of our employees and clients.
However, our Realtors are hard at work, doing their jobs remotely, and we are just a phone call away to help with any of your questions or concerns.
In times of uncertainty like this, we will do our very best to be there for all of you who need us.
Our thoughts are with you and your families during this challenging time.
You've decided to pursue a career in real estate, but how do you know which company is the best fit? Before you begin interviewing real estate brokers or managers, it's best to consider what type of work environment, culture, and business model would best suit your working style. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all real estate agency. Here are some factors to consider.
7 Aspects to Consider Before Joining a Real Estate Company
Real estate agents spend most of their time out of the office, but the company's physical location should still be a factor in your choice. While digital technology makes it easy to get things done on the go, you'll need to visit the office for meetings, completing paperwork, accessing forms, and checking physical mail. How far are you willing to commute to work? You may also be the type who feels more productive working in an office, rather than from home. Many real estate agencies provide office space for agents, but others may offer compensation in other ways if they don't.
Living in a metropolitan area, you'll find companies staffing anywhere from 10 to hundreds of agents. The larger agencies may even operate more than one office, so office size may become a more important factor than the business size. Do you enjoy the buzz and activity of a large office, or would a smaller, low-key space be more your speed? This comes down to personal preference.
Having a license means you know the fundamentals of real estate--everything from writing purchase agreements to listing properties and offering financing options. But putting those skills to work with a new company can be a learning curve. When interviewing a prospective broker or manager, you'll want to ask whether they provide assistance with evaluating client properties, and accurately structuring and negotiating complex purchase transactions.
Do you see a lot of for-sale signs from one particular company in your area? This means a lot of agents work for that company, which has its pros and cons. You'll be able to tout your company's local market share to sellers, but you'll also be competing with more agents than with a smaller company.
It's good to know where your company stands in terms of longevity and growth plans. Are they relatively new? Does the broker have enough time to help new agents? If the company is mature, is it stable, thriving, or declining? It may be difficult to get specific answers to these questions, but you can certainly get a sense when speaking with the broker or manager. You wouldn't want to join a company that's on it's way out of the industry.
Everyone wants to enjoy going to work every day. The corporate culture can make or break your experience. Start by exploring the company website, finding client testimonials, and even calling up current agents. It would be good to get a sense of the workplace environment for both new and experienced agents because most likely, the agency will be full of both types.
At the end of the day, we all need to get paid, but you'll see that commission models vary. A traditional brokerage may pay half of the commission to the agent, and keep the rest for operating and transaction expenses, while making a reasonable profit. As your volume increases throughout the calendar year, your split percentage might increase. With a hybrid model, companies often charge their agents fees to cover company operating expenses, and in return, the company splits the commission with agents at a higher percentage. Because the financial risk shifts to the agents, this model is used mostly with seasoned agents.
Overall, your personal goals will define which real estate company is best for you. When you find the right fit, it's easier to stay motivated to succeed and become a top-producing agent.
In the "old days," employees could be found working at the same company for their whole career. But in today's rocky economic climate, it seems like workers cycle through offices at a rapid pace—especially independent contractors like real estate agents.
At JJ Elek Realty Co., our agents choose to stick around, and we consider the high retention rate a testament to our company culture. Our agents thrive because they're happy where they work, and that's a reflection of the core values of our company. We focus on nurturing our employees to grow with us and become top performers—and it's working!
Here are just a few of the benefits of retaining real estate agents:
Take the Case of Elba Lupo
Elba Lupo has been with JJ Elek Realty for 15 years, and she has no plans to leave anytime soon. She entered the real estate business because she loved the idea of changing a family's life by finding them their dream home. And she's been doing that successfully with JJ Elek.
"What I love about my office is that it has one of the most knowledgeable and highly respected brokers," Elba said. "Also, it's a great place for first-time real estate agents to begin their career because there's plenty of mentoring and help."
Elba also noted that it helps that her office is centrally located in Woodbridge, NJ, and can easily service the Garden State, Middlesex and Monmouth Multiple Listing Services (MLS).
"Come join JJ Elek Realty, as this was my best decision I ever made!" she added.
Become a JJ Elek Realty Agent Today!
If you like the idea of a promising career path that drives you toward a successful future, consider becoming a JJ Elek real estate agent. Our associates are the best in the business, and it shows! For more information on joining our team, click here.
Being a real estate agent is a lot like owning your own business. It can certainly challenge you personally and professionally, but being your own boss also comes with many benefits. If you're considering taking the reigns in a real estate career, here are some of the perks you can expect.
You're in control.
Most real estate agents are independent contractors. That means your income is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in. While there are local, state and national laws and regulations to follow, agents work for themselves. You're essentially an entrepreneur under the auspices of a real estate broker. When you choose a career in real estate, you make the calls, you put in the work and you reap the rewards. You're in control of your success.
You are the master of your schedule.
When you're the boss, you can create a work schedule that suits your lifestyle. Are you an early riser? Start your day bright and early. Are you more of a night owl? Schedule your showings and meetings in the evenings. Because you can set your own hours, you can be at your best when you're doing your job. That said, real estate is not a career that allows you to kick back on the beach and make some phone calls. You have to put in the work of prospecting, marketing, researching and more. But need a day off? Take one. Have a parent-teacher night? Take off a little early. If you excel at time management, you'll excel as an agent.
It's an open-ended career path
More often than not, employees can only go so far with a company. You have limited opportunities to get promoted to more lucrative positions, and pay raises may be few and far in between. Real estate agents, on the other hand, are only limited by their own effort and proficiency. If you hustle, market yourself consistently and build a good reputation, you can climb your own corporate ladder.
Employees who go above and beyond may receive an "employee of the month" designation, a small pay raise or perhaps a positive callout at a company meeting. When you perform well as the boss of your own real estate career, you'll feel a much greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Every "win" is the result of your own effort and every income gain feels that much sweeter.
Although most people with typical jobs wonder what it would be like to be their own boss, it's important to note that not everyone has what it takes. Successful real estate agents are motivated, personable, knowledgeable and persistent. If that sounds like you, it may be time to consider taking charge.
If you're like most real estate agents, there's nothing better than seeing smiles on the faces of your clients. And the fact is, the more smiles you see, the more likely it is that you're successful. The best real estate professionals know hard work bears the most fruit. Here are some inside tips on how you too can become a beloved real estate agent.
Put the client first
Give your personalized, undivided attention to each and every client. When your client doesn't receive the attention they expect, they feel undervalued and may not want to retain your services. Stay focused, listen carefully, be proactive, and make sure you're fully present when you meet with the client.
Remember that buyers and sellers have different needs
Buyers can't all be lumped together. Some are first-time buyers who need a lot of handholding, and others are investors who need solid data. Many need professional expertise to understand transactional details and documents, and advice to help make decisions. Knowing your buyer and providing the level of guidance they need (without them having to ask for it) is key to a successful professional relationship. The same goes for sellers. Sure, they all want their homes to sell quickly and profitably, but many need help with the marketing efforts, while others may think they can handle that themselves.
Unfortunately, current "review and referral" websites create misconceptions, with advertisements claiming an "agent sold their home in two days for more than their asking price." More likely it was either an easy job in a very hot market or they underpriced the home listing. Successful agents offer more value, which clients notice and appreciate.
Build your skill base
According to the National Association of Realtors,the top skills and qualities of real estate agents valued by today's home buyers and sellers include:
Build Your Skills for Success
Whether you possess these qualities or not, you should see education as a career-long endeavor. Learn from every interaction and always focus on building your skills. Future, repeat and referral business will be yours if you concentrate on doing your best in all areas.
If you would like more information on joining the JJ Elek Team, contact us today!