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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:

  • Lead generation standing and goals
  • Pipeline status
  • Client expenses
  • Technology subscription expenses
  • Marketing fees vs. ROI
  • Commissions versus cost of living and business expenses


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.


  1. Build a business plan

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.


  1. Categorize your contacts

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:  

  • Hot leads: Clients who always have you top of mind.
  • Warm leads: Clients who send referrals your way on occasion, but have potential to move into your hot leads with more nurturing.
  • Cold leads: People you have helped but have never referred another lead your way.


  1. Use online tools

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:

  • Dropbox: A cloud-based system that can help you stay on top of your escrows in or out of the office, on your phone, laptop, and standalone computer
  • LionDesk: A contact relationship management (CRM) platform: Use this to categorize your contacts, save reminders and prompt next steps. It also lets you connect to potential clients via text and email without leaving the platform


  1. Invest in building your brand

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.


  1. Call clients on a quarterly basis

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.


  1. Provide a yearly market analysis
    Whether the market is hot or cold, a homeowner always wants to know the market value of their home. Run a market analysis and give them the option to have the information emailed or presented in person.



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.



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:

  • Growth mindset
  • Resourcefulness
  • Confidence
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Resilience
  • Self-awareness


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.


  1. An insatiable thirst for knowledge

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:


  • Attend classes or seminars
  • Find a mentor
  • Read books and blogs
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Connect with others


  1. Ability to make the right decision at the right time

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.


  1. Minimal fear of failure

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!




How to Compete in Real Estate with Hyperlocal Marketing

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.

What is Hyperlocal 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:

  • Specific neighborhoods or zip codes
  • Geographic regions
  • Country clubs
  • Points of interest
  • School systems

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: 

  • Increased ROI
    Attract new leads without spending major marketing dollars. For instance, you could sponsor a local sports team to connect with families that live in that school district.

  • Word of mouth spreads fast
    People love supporting local businesses in their own communities. When you establish yourself as the go-to agent in your community, clients will be eager to share your contact information when their neighbor is buying or selling.

  • Scale easily

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.


Don't Waive These Contingencies When Buying a Home

While it's tempting to waive contingencies to make your offer more compelling, it can leave you unprotected from unexpected fees, health threats, and at worst, a bad investment.

Here are 5 of contingencies you should never remove:

  1. Home inspection

The home inspection is the foundation on which all other contingencies are built. During the assessment a neutral expert assesses the home for issues with:

  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Electric
  • Structural

Everything may look good to your eyes, but you won't really know until the inspections are completed.

  1. Financing
    This is one of the most misunderstood contingencies in the homebuying process and also the most important for buyers to negotiate carefully. This clause asserts that your offer is dependent on being able to secure financing. If you remove it, you may not get your deposit back if you can't attain a loan
  2. Appraisal

Appraisals commit the buyer to pay the agreed-upon price regardless of how big a mortgage the lender agrees to bring. If you waive this and the home is appraised for a lower cost than the sales price, you'll be on the hook for the difference.

  1. Mold remediation

If the official home inspection reveals a potential mold issue, a mold specialist needs to be brought in to analyze the issue. Serious mold issues can cause mild to major health problems and can be surprisingly expensive to fix.

  1. Well water/Septic system inspection

This often gets overlooked or waived, but most experts warn against it when buying a home that has a septic system. This is water that you'll be drinking and bathing in, and like mold, issues with the system can be very expensive to fix and have health ramifications.

Contact JJ Elek Realty today at 732-634-9100 to help you through your home buying experience.


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.


Be assertive
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.


How the Delta Variant Could Affect the Housing Market

When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck the world, housing experts predicted that stay-at-home orders, closed businesses, and general uneasiness would result in a drop in home prices. Instead, we saw an unexpected hike in prices due to a significant lack of homes for sale.  Buyers became more competitive as sellers became more hesitant to sell.


When vaccines became available and a semblance of normalcy returned, we started to see home prices level out. But then the Delta variant hit. Experts have been debating how the new variant will impact the housing market, so what can we expect?


Declining Mortgage Rates


The housing market may get an even bigger blow caused by a drop in mortgage rates. Since the Delta variant emerged, investors have begun shifting their overseas money into mortgage bonds, which has dropped mortgage rates to as low as 2.37% in some areas. If the pandemic worsens, these rates will drop even lower.


While this may inspire would-be buyers to begin shopping again in larger numbers, the increased transmission of COVID, plus any newly introduced stay-at-home mandates, could decrease the amount of people willing to sell, which would result in a boost to home prices.


No Reason to Panic


It goes without saying that buyers would love for more homes to become available, and for those homes to not be priced over market value, but the Delta variant doesn't appear to be cooperating with that goal. This doesn't mean you should expect things to get worse. In fact, the market may end up showing little to no change. 


Vaccinated individuals may feel comfortable enough to continue home shopping as they have been, even with the rise of the new variant. And since no new stay-at-home orders have been issued, home prices will likely stay where they're at.


Looking to the Future


As it stands, the housing market hasn't changed drastically since the introduction of the Delta variant, but experts agree that more time is needed to determine its overall impact. Until then, it's important to stay informed and to contact a JJ Elk agent if you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the coming months.

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