To be a great real estate agent, you should be focused on two things: being a successful agent, and the happiness of your clients. To do this, you have to be aware of the various risks that you or your clients may encounter.
Save All of Your Documents
In most states, real estate agents are required to save all documents pertaining to their clients for six years. These documents include everything from financial statements to legal documents. By keeping the documents, you are ensuring protection for yourself should a situation arise.
If you receive an email from a client, save it as a PDF or print a hard copy. Keeping these forms of communication can ensure your preparedness as a real estate agent should something come up that requires you have these documents handy.
There are different ways to store your documents securely. Saving all documents as a hard copy file is great, but there are ways to digitally back up your documents and password-protect them. Saving the documents as a PDF is simple, secure, and prevents clutter in your office. Should you decide to save all of your documents from your clients, create a folder and save them in chronological order, if possible.
As the real estate market and the need for homes continues to grow, so does the increase in mortgage fraud. As a real estate agent, you should be prepared to see and understand the signs of a possible mortgage fraud.
Here are some tips for avoiding potential mortgage fraud:
- Always make sure that proper identification of your client is being provided.
- Be on the lookout for misrepresentation of finances or assets.
- When the home is being purchased, make sure that whoever is buying the home clearly states the purpose of the home. If the home is being used for anything other than residential purposes, this needs to be made clear during the buying process.
- Be aware of “straw buyers.” These are buyers who go in and use another person’s identity to purchase the home and shift the deed to their name.
- Make sure that the home is being purchased at market value. The more money the home is appraised for, the more debt that the buyer could be taking on.
These are the common things to be aware of when it comes to mortgage fraud for the home. Hopefully being prepared with this list will help you avoid getting involved in mortgage fraud.
Social Media Copyright
Social media is one of the best ways to market yourself as a real estate agent; however, there are some rules to follow when posting to social media.
Using videos and images for social media is a great way to build engagement with your followers. When choosing to use videos or images, make sure to use assets that you own the license for or that you have created yourself. Should you use images or videos that do not belong to you, it may result in violating copyright laws. Should this occur, you may get fined.
When using social media to market a home or piece of real estate, try taking your own photos or videos so that you can avoid violating copyright laws. Also, when the content is yours, it can be repurposed as you see fit.
When it comes to writing for your social media accounts, use your owns words and copyright. Do not copy another person’s work without citing the original writer. Doing this is considered plagiarism, and can harm your business as a real estate agent.
There are risks involved in every profession, but the benefits of a being a real estate agent make it all worthwhile. If you do find yourself in a potentially risky situation, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted mentor for advice.
Another risk in real estate is not contacting your new leads fast enough. Homes.com can help with that! Our Lead Concierge service will reach out to your incoming leads on your behalf to help you identify who’s ready to buy or sell their home now. Learn more about hiring a Lead Concierge here.
Mark Mathis is VP of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.
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