5 Must Read Books for Every Real Estate Agent

us-wah-511804-unsplashWhether you’re a new or seasoned real estate professional, there will always be more to learn. We have compiled a list of the books that help agents reach the next level of personal and professional success.

  1. 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals
    Real estate is an industry of relationship building. As such, you might have a wide network that feeds your sphere. Have you ever wondered how many referrals that network has generated for your business? Author Michael Maher shows agents how to evolve from someone who simply knows a lot of people into a powerhouse agent whom others eagerly refer without additional marketing efforts and cost.
  2. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
    Brought to you by Tim Grover. The NBA trainer behind legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant describes the different mentalities of good, great and the rare unstoppable athletes. Although this book isn’t focused on real estate, agents can learn so much about the mindsets of athletes who were the best in the world at what they did. Read Relentless today and become the best agent you can be!
  3. The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents: It’s Your Time to Rise and Shine
    Did you know that something as simple as changing your morning routine could change your business and your life? Authors Hal Elrod and Michael Maher provide agents with inspiration and strategy in this book to elevate them to the next level.
  4. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it
    Written by former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss reveals several negotiating strategies not taught anywhere else. In fact, many times his strategies counter what is taught by the many negotiation “experts.” You can find real life examples from Voss’s decades long career. Read this book and utilize its techniques to get great results for you and your clients.

Documents Needed for Financing a House

canstockphoto14286963When preparing to buy a home, there are a few items to tackle before you start shopping around such as getting pre-qualified with a lender. You can prepare a file of the following documents to aid in the pre-qualifying process.

Income information

  • Pay stubs from the last 30 days for each applicant
  • Bank account statement including savings for the last three to six months
  • W2’s from current and former employers
  • Tax return documents for the past two years
  • Gift letter if using gift funds for a down payment
  • Proof of any and all additional income

Lenders typically use this information and documents to verify your income. They are ensuring that you can financially afford the purchase.

Investment and asset information

  • 401K statements
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Life insurance documents
  • Mutual account information

Lenders request information on assets and investments to get a better idea of your financial security. They are wanting to see that your finances will still be stable even after a large home purchase.

Debt information

  • Credit card balances and total monthly payments
  • Auto loan balances and monthly payments
  • Other loan balances and monthly payment amounts including personal, secured, unsecured and student loans
  • Bankruptcy paperwork if needed
  • Divorce decree if applicable

Along with your income, your debt information is used to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Lenders use this number to determine how much you can afford. Most lenders like to see a 40 percent DTI ration.

  • Credit information
  • Credit report
  • Credit score

We also recommend checking your credit report and score. This single score will have an impact on the type of property you can purchase and what price you can afford. Although, the lender doesn’t require you to produce your own copy of your credit report, they will research and check your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union). We would be happy to recommend knowledgeable and experienced lenders to help you with your purchasing needs.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

unnamedYour energy bill can be a serious drain on your bank account, especially in a frigid winter or hot summer. Here are a few easy ways to save:

  1. Buy an Advanced Power Strip

    When electronics are not in use, they can still use a small amount of electricity. An advanced power strip prevents idle electronics from using power.

  2. Replace Light Bulbs

    There are many bulb options besides that use far less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs. Some options include:

    • Halogen Incandescent
    • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
    • Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
  3. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

    Appliances with an ENERGY STAR rating use anywhere from 10-25 percent less energy than traditional models.

  4. Weatherize Your Home

    Some weatherizing projects may require the services of a professional, but there are some you can do yourself. Such as:

    • Check and caulk air leaks around your windows
    • Hang blackout drapes
    • Seal any gaps or leaks around the attic access
  5. Time-Based Energy Savings

    Smart meters can help you reduce the amount of power you use during peak usage times. Another option is a home energy management system that helps you coordinate the use of your appliances at off-peak times.



Danene Strand
Mortgage Consultant
(801) 645-5363
NMLS# 442493 

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Welcome Jeff Hogg

Welcome Jeff Hogg
Jeff Hogg joins RE/MAX Metro as a realtor. He services the Wasatch Front.

Before becoming a real estate professional, Jeff attended the University of Utah and received a degree in project management. Jeff’s mentor recommended that he consider joining RE/MAX Metro. Turns out, he found it to be a great fit.

When not working, you can find Jeff riding his bike or hanging out with his kids. They enjoy cycling, mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, water sports and gardening.

Realtor’s Guide to Snapchat

Are you using Snapchat for your real estate business? Snapchat isn’t just for teens and celebrities. In fact, 57 million Americans use Snapchat and more than half of new Snapchat users are older than 25. Furthermore, seven out of 10 Snapchatters are millennials. Here’s a few pointers to make the most of your Snapchat marketing efforts.


Unique to Snapchat, your profile photo is composed of four photos that create a moving GIF. Get creative. Your profile photos can be serious to silly or even tell a story. Your profile also contains your snapcode or username. This code provides an easy way for people to find and connect with each other and is likely the reason you’re seeing tons of screen shots of Snapchatters profiles on other social networks.


Start by adding your network. Search for those you know by username or Snapcode. Work with your existing contacts to find others already using Snapchat. You also can connect with and follow people, pages and stories that interest your clientele such as the top 10 who are dominating the real estate industry. Tastemade and BuzzFeed also are extremely popular.

Start snapping

First, let’s cover the basics. Snaps can be photos or videos up to 15 seconds. When you take a snap, you are doing so for one of two purposes: sending a snap to individuals or sending a snap to your story. You contribute to your story while it shares your snaps for the past 24 hours. Utilize your story to showcase a behind-the-scenes look at your life and business. Another great aspect of your story is the ability to see who has viewed your content. Knowing who has viewed your content could produce potential leads and other growth.  

The possibilities are endless in real estate because the industry is so visual. So, what are you waiting for? Get snapping today!

New Build Advice

Are you building a home in 2017? That’s exciting news! Now, here’s what you need to know before you break ground on your new house.house-1158139_1280

The old real estate adage “it’s all about location, location, location” couldn’t be more true especially when you’re constructing a new house. Housing, zoning and even real estate laws vary state-by-state, county-by-county and city-by-city. Understanding the laws relevant to where you are going to live is paramount to new build success. Our agents make it relatively easy to learn and digest all of the information you need about permits and home building regulations.

Building a home can be more complicated than simply purchasing one. Instead of using a lump sum to buy a home, you have to decide upon all the conjoining labor, materials and finishes to acquire a final price. Often times this means balancing different materials used in different parts of the home to stay within budget. Aside from cost, personal preference plays a large role in choosing materials. However, certain materials continue to stay trending in 2017 such as granite counter tops while others like bamboo flooring can stay in 2016. Concerning the general market, experts predict that mortgage rates, home sales and prices will continue to rise in the coming year.

While there are many builders in the sea, not all of them are created equal. It’s vital that you shop around. Do your research and check the reputation of builders you are considering. Start by searching reviews online. Find out what did their previous liked or disliked. Then inquire about builders from family, friends and coworkers who have recently built a home. We recommend using builders who are members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The trend of going green and building homes that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly has been gaining popularity for more than a decade now and continues to do so in 2017. Selecting energy-efficient options when building your dream home will pay off in the long run due to reduced utility costs and increased resale value. Materials and products across the board have gotten better throughout the years. However, there are styles that are better still. Take windows for example, overall windows are more efficient but picture windows that do not open are better at protecting your home from drafts.

Whether this your first or fifth build, it’s highly unlikely that it will be your last. No matter how much you end up loving the house, you should be mindful of its potential resale value. Avoid adding so many upgrades that force you to overprice your home for the neighborhood. Don’t go crazy and choose anything too out of the ordinary. In reality, our homes are investments and as a general rule of thumb ask yourself, “Will the features I am considering appeal to others?”

Fun Winter Activities

ice-skating-235541_640As we settle into the winter season, enjoying the snow and fun that comes with the cold, now is the time to get outside and enjoy some wonderful winter activities. This year, take a moment to explore some of these events—

Running from December 1st until the 6th is the Simple Treasures Holiday Boutique in Ogden. This is a great craft fair with lots of items to get you in the holiday spirit. Plus, have some neighbor gifts you need to buy? This is the place to get all your holiday shopping done.

In the mood to see a live show? The Grand Theatre is putting on the play, Amahl and the Night Visitors, from December 1st until the 3rd. Or, if you are looking for a show that is more familiar, Centerpointe Theatre is putting on It’s A Wonderful Life!

If you’re looking to get out into the fresh air, make sure to visit the Station Park Holiday Ice Rink. If you’ve never been ice skating before, this is a fun experience for the entire family to enjoy. Another fun idea is to check out the Glass At The Garden at Red Butte Garden (running until December 18, 2016). This is a stunning art show of glass (which is also is available for sale).

What do you love most about winter? Tell us about some events and activities you love to do once the snow flies.