Monthly Archives: July 2019


Roh Habibi is the super dapper star of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing San Francisco and a leading Bay Area estate agent. Regularly handling awesome seven- and eight-figure properties via his Habibi Group brokerage, here, the Afghanistan-born, California-raised reality-star realtor reveals the insider knowledge you need to get your head around to buy or sell property successfully.

Include your significant other. For buyers, take them to see property with you, ask them to help you pick out furniture, choose new finishes and so forth. Or if selling, ask for their help and advice on how to prepare the home in the best way. You don’t have to actually do anything they say, just keep them in the loop, informed, and a part of the process to avoid fights and headache.

Know the market. Take time to do your due diligence well in advance of your timeline for a future purchase or sale. Utilise the amazing tools, sites, and apps available today to brush up on comparison sales, school districts, amenities, parks, recreation, boutiques, shopping, highway and public transportation access, walkability, crime figures and so on. The more informed you are about your target area, the easier the process will be when the time comes to buy or sell.

Find and pick a great agent, interview a few, don’t just go off your friends’ or family’s referral, or someone that somebody knows who has a license. You’re not going to go under the surgical knife of just any physician, right? Well, real estate is the biggest purchase decision in many people’s lives: take it seriously. Interview agents, look at their strategy, and make sure you click with them personality-wise. Do they sound like they have your best interests on the top of their mind first and foremost? Or are they just hunting down a paycheck? How much value is this person adding to your potential sale or purchase? This is the biggest question of all. Establish best methods of communication right from the get-go.

Financing or cash? This is the most vital part of the home-buying or selling your house fast. The listing agent’s primary objective is to mitigate the risk of the seller so if a buyer is all cash, that’s wonderful. For buyers, if you are needing a loan to purchase a home, start this process early. Many things are needed that you will have to gather together for a pre-approval for a loan. Namely, past two years of tax returns, 12 months of bank statements, current paycheck stub with YTD as well as proof of employment, stock and bond accounts, other assets — basically everything proving you will be a good borrower. The lender will run your credit scores so if you know you will be planning on purchasing, run them yourself and take care of any collections, medical bills, and anything you did not know was affecting your credit score in advance.

For home sellers, it is all in the details and preparation of the home. Imagine yourself being a non-biased buyer and walking through your home — what lasting impression are you left with when getting back in the car with your agent at the end? Do you feel you need to have this home and want to write an offer immediately, or are you thinking of all the projects and extra costs this house will demand of you? Pay the extra money and take the extra time upfront to professionally paint the interior and exterior of the home (or power wash the fence and the exterior of the home and driveway), landscape the grounds, move out if possible, and professionally stage the home with amazing furniture. Make sure your agent does not cut any corners with photography and sales and marketing materials. This is how you’ll get top dollar for your home in the shortest amount of time for the sale. Use apps like Houzz and Pinterest for ideas.

Go house hunting. There is nothing better than to get into your car and hit the town looking at all of the other inventory on sale. For sellers, go in and dissect these homes, look at positives and negatives in the preparation of each property. You can learn from others’ mistakes and not repeat them for your home sale. For buyers, you will learn so much about your ‘must-have’, ‘need’ and ‘want’ list items and be able to check things off and compromise on others. However, you will have seen so many properties that when the perfect home for you shows up, you will know immediately and can go in guns blazing to buy it.

When writing an offer on a property for a buyer you must put your absolute best foot forward. Do not expect a counter offer or a “deal” — many buyers lose out on their dream home by holding back. Be prepared with your pre-approval, a beautifully written biography about yourself, your family and pets, and your current life situation and why this home specifically would be your ideal home to move into and live your life.

There is no transparency when negotiating for a home as a buyer — the seller and seller’s agent are pretty much in full control. They receive all of the offers to review; they may get no offers at all and the ambiguity will lead buyers to offer more than they would necessarily have to in order to win a property. It’s a messed up system and there need to be clearer guidelines. Trust your agent and go with their recommendations — they do this 24/7 and are advocates on your behalf during the transaction.

The buying and selling process is a crazy rollercoaster ride of emotions during the escrow process, which usually runs 30 days. There will be inspections, problems found in the home, the seller will not give any credits to fix them and insist on selling the home as-is, people will cancel appointments last minute, you may have buyer’s remorse, the seller may be thinking they could have sold for more money if they waited… So many different ideas come to mind during this time. Express your concerns to your agent, do not make any irrational decisions very quickly, take time to think about everything and take counsel from others. It will all be over soon! In other cases, it may be the smoothest and easiest transaction of all time — again this is where the agent you choose comes in and is so important.

Make sure the yard looks good and if you have any dead limbs or trees that need removal, make sure you get that done.

Be grateful and don’t forget to celebrate. You have just bought or sold a home, which is an amazing milestone in life that many will never have the opportunity to experience or accomplish. Party time!

7 Easy Ways for Realtors to Improve a Real Estate Website

Did you know that 36 million people visit Zillow every single month? People love to browse real estate listings, day-dreaming about that perfect home.

And if you’ve got a substandard real estate website you haven’t put much thought into, you’re missing out on what could be an outstanding revenue stream that really wouldn’t take much effort to tap into.

I know, it’s intimidating. You didn’t get into real estate to design websites, so you just created a basic site with maybe a few pictures and left it at that. But take heart, it’s not that hard to create a killer site that can boost your lead generation.

We’ve compiled seven tips that will have a big impact on your bottom line for just a little bit of effort on your part.

Start a blog

You could get as many as 55% more leads if you have a blog than if you don’t, according to research from Hubspot, and that’s just if you blog one or two times per month. The reality is you can’t get leads from your website if you don’t get traffic, and one of the best ways to get traffic is to offer some fresh content that will draw people to your site.

However, don’t just blog about your cat. You need to connect with your potential clients.

Commit to writing at least one post per week on topics that are of interest to anyone visiting your site. A good way to come up with comment is to ask yourself what questions your clients have asked you. Take one of those questions and turn it into a blog post, and you’ll be speaking directly to your customer.

Reach out to other real estate professionals you’re connected with and invite them to guest post on a topic they’re interested in. It raises the authority of your blog and takes a little bit of the burden off of yourself.

Show, don’t tell

Great blog content will get people in the door, but once they’re on your site, they want to see some beautiful homes and neighborhoods. And one great way to show is to create videos — after all, listings that incorporate video get 400% more inquiries.

With video, you can take visitors on a tour of the house, walk through the neighborhood, or talk about the local restaurants and schools.

And it doesn’t take much to do it. Buy a tripod and mount your phone to record your videos, and then just upload them to YouTube for easy embedding on your site. You can also walk through a house or a neighborhood with your phone in hand, providing commentary along the way. There’s plenty of excellent virtual tour software to help you do this.

Provide step-by-step guides to buying a home

Most new homeowners are intimidated by the whole process. It’s a massive financial commitment, probably the biggest they’ll make in their lifetimes.

Put their minds at ease by creating easy step-by-step guides on what the home-buying process looks like so it doesn’t seem so daunting.

You might even incorporate the tips above and do a series of blog posts or videos on each step in the buying process, so it’s almost like you’re holding your customer’s hand through the entire process.

Avoid excessive ads and pop-ups

I know you want people to subscribe to your newsletter, but sites that are too spammy are a real turn-off to people coming to your website.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use pop-ups at all. They’re a great way to capture emails that could turn into sales.

But there’s a limit. Did you know 68% of searchers want to block a site from search results because of too many ads?

Make your site an unobtrusive experience for your prospective clients, and they’ll appreciate you for it.

Optimize your site for mobile

The Internet landscape has greatly changed in the last 10 years. About 52% of all home buyers use an iPhone to find listings. That means more than half your customers are going to be searching on a mobile device, and if your site is not optimized for those little screens, it’s just going to be a mess that your customer doesn’t want to deal with.

Google changed their algorithm last April to rank mobile-friendly sites higher than those that aren’t, so that’s another incentive: more traffic.

Is your site mobile-friendly? Run it through Google’s quick test. If it’s not, you’ll need some software. One option is to use the popular publisher WordPress on your site, which automatically makes your content mobile-friendly and even offers mobile-optimized themes for visitors who browse your blog on their smartphones.

You can also build a mobile site from the ground up with tools like bMobilized or Mobify.

Combine your testimonials and your contact page

Potential clients will be more motivated to reach out to you if your contact page is filled with glowing reviews.

You should have a contact form on your site where people can enter their name, address, and other contact info. And testimonials are a great to convince them to fill out that form.

Reach out to people you’ve helped find homes in the past to ask for a quote you can put on your website, and place the quotes you get above your contact form for all to see. Or, better yet, record a video of them saying the same thing and embed it. Sell my home.

Speak Google’s language

If people can’t find you, they can’t visit your website, and therefore can’t buy homes from you. People use Google to search for homes, so you’ll need to make your site Google-friendly in order to be found by prospective home-buyers.

It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and just about every business uses it to rank high in Google search results and draw more organic traffic.