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Get Your Money’s Worth: Making the Most of Your Franchise Relationship

Get Your Money’s Worth: Making the Most of Your Franchise Relationship

The NextHome leadership team shared insights at Inman Connect 2019 in Las Vegas. Vice President of Sales Charis Moreno spoke with brokers on Tuesday about why independents often choose to franchise and how they can make the best of the relationship. She had valuable insights for everyone attending #ICLV!

Charis noted that independent brokers have to wear all the hats. They must face the struggles in the real estate industry on their own. When they partner with the right franchise, however, it not only gives brokers a real sense of belonging and confidence, but also the ability to network for support in order to overcome their pain points.

Franchises often have the buying power to leverage the continuity between the different technology dimensions in real estate in order to achieve better marketing and brand equity. Charis also pointed out that it’s not just about seeking the latest and greatest in real estate technology.   

“I think there is a race in real estate to create automation and integration in an industry that is all about people. There is a delicate balance between the technology that you pour in front of an agent and using that technology to support the agent in filling the gaps in their business in order for them to grow,” Charis explained.  

The use of technology to support a business’s growth begs the question, how can a broker increase the adoption rate of new technology? Charis suggested automating what the agents already do on a daily basis like flyers, postcards, etc. by providing something that is beautiful and easy to create with just the click of a button.

“It’s really about less screen time and more face time for agents. We have a philosophy at NextHome that the only way to get a human being to do something 100% of the time is to do it for them,” Charis remarked.

Adoption is about using the most effective technology to keep agents focused on what they are really good at which is the human connection. According to Charis, the brand will get you a seat at the table but, at the end of the day, it’s the other human across the table that will help the buyer or seller achieve their ultimate goal of buying or selling their next home. It’s an outlook that has NextHome achieving over 70% technology adoption rate. 

Charis’ deep understanding of how technology can be applied to helping brokers and agents become more productive and successful in today’s real estate environment is one of the many reasons why NextHome, and it’s franchisees are growing so quickly.

In the end, the choice of a broker using a franchise or going independent is up to them and how they want to grow their business. It’s important to consider that paying fees for a franchise isn’t about cost as it is about investing in the future of their real estate pursuits.

Let’s talk!

The NextHome Franchise Expands in Kansas

The NextHome Franchise Expands in Kansas

Kerry Dunn

Pleasanton, CA — July 26, 2019 — NextHome is excited to announce that Kerry Dunn has opened the company’s ninth office location in the state of Kansas. 

NextHome Excel will serve the Wichita, Kansas area. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the state’s largest city with a metropolitan-area population of 500,000 and growing. It is also where Kerry was born, raised, and built his career in real estate. The native Kansan also serves clients in Andover, Derby, Newton, Mulvane, Clearwater, Rose Hill, and the remainder of the Wichita metropolitan area. 

“I love the ease of getting around here,” Kerry said of his lifelong attachment to Wichita. “The city has a great culture and is just a great place to live.” 

Kerry has extensive experience with all types of residential transactions, from new home buyers, residential relocation, to investment properties. However, he is also able to help with investment properties, home flipping, and Air Force Base relocations. 

Kerry began his career in 1993, building a successful moving business with his brother Roger Dunn. Advantage Movers helps facilitate smooth transitions for people all across the Wichita area. The company is still around and serving movers today. Helping people through those transitions in their lives sparked  Kerry to think about a career in real estate. 

“I took care of the contents of the house that made it a home,” Kerry said. “I started wanting to take care of the home itself.”

About 25 years ago the brothers began buying homes, rehabbing them, and building a rental property business. In 2007, Kerry got his real estate license and began a career as a real estate agent. 

Kerry has worked with various national brokers and small boutique firms since 2007, including Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, PGIM, and Advantage Realty. As an experienced agent, Kerry has a well-rounded idea of what different brokerages can and can’t offer. 

“I’ve been in the industry all my life,” Kerry said. “I think I’ve always considered owning my own brokerage but never found the right fit before.”

In 2007, at the beginning of Kerry’s real estate career, the nation was hit hard by The Great Recession. Kerry kept his head down and through hard work and ingenuity built a reputation he could be proud of. Today, Kerry closes about 40 deals per year. 

“A lot of my success was good old fashioned prospecting,” Kerry said, adding that much of his business as an agent was referral-based. 

Eventually, Kerry found himself at a real estate convention in Las Vegas where he met many in the NextHome family. 

“I was on the fence thinking about opening my own brokerage and then I got talking to people at this conference,” Kerry said. “They all really loved the company and the culture there. It was eye-opening and genuine. I truly felt that everyone loved the company and the tools they offered.”

Today, Kerry is the proud broker of record for NextHome Excel and helping mentor a growing office of agents.

Kerry and his wife Kimberly are the proud parents of two children and the grandparents of two grandsons. Outside of work, Kerry enjoys helping his wife and daughter with their cosmetology business and watching his grandson’s internet cooking show – Cooking with Khemari. As a hobby, Kerry also creates and sells his own bottled spice blends. 

“We are excited to welcome Kerry into the NextHome family and look forward to celebrating his success,” said Imran Poladi, NextHome’s Vice President. 

Please join us in congratulating Kerry on the opening of NextHome Excel in Wichita, KS!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

 

Tips for picking a brokerage for the long haul

Tips for picking a brokerage for the long haul

The NextHome leadership team took over Inman Connect this week. On Tuesday, Vice President Imran Poladi shared tips on how agents should do some self-analysis and pay attention to the details when picking the right brokerage for the long haul, making sure they’re getting the solutions they need to grow their business. 

As a noted International Speaker and Trainer, Imran has taught tens of thousands of real estate professionals throughout the world. He understands the importance of connecting with a versatile brokerage that will support personal and professional growth long into the future.

Imran encouraged agents to seek a brokerage that has strong branding because it goes much further than just building a culture within their business.

“Cultures come and go. When you truly have what is more like DNA, it is the fabric of who you are and who your company is. That means that we ensure our franchise brokerages and agents hold true to NextHome’s high expectations about branding,” explained Imran.

All brokers make promises about what they will offer agents and seeing beyond that veneer can be challenging. When looking at a new brokerage, Imran advised agents to pay careful attention to the details. Notice how a brokerage executes their branding, especially across different dimensions. If they aren’t delivering on branding, perhaps there are other areas that lack follow-through as well.  

Since branding starts from the top-down, Imran’s Luke socks were the perfect fit for the #ICLV session!

Imran knocked the audience’s socks off at this week’s Inman Connect

But noticing the details is only the beginning. Having profound expertise in training all the new NextHome brokers, Imran suggested seeking a broker who has a plan and examples of other agents who have been in similar scenarios. Those cases can help agents see where they are able to grow their business. Sometimes agents don’t know what they don’t know and finding a broker who wants to help new agents beyond just getting them on board is invaluable. 

“Find a broker who won’t just open the door to let you in but also opens your door every day to make sure that you are doing it right,” urged Imran.

Imran recommended agents take the time for a bit of self-analysis to avoid many of the common pitfalls of seeking a new brokerage. Agents should want a brokerage that is with them for the long haul.

“Not understanding where you are at in your business and where you are looking to go won’t help you ask the right questions so that your needs and values line up with what a broker will offer to you,” he added. 

As an industry expert, Imran knows that finding a brokerage isn’t an easy process but with a little self-reflection and recognizing how little details can showcase a company’s motivation for follow-through, agents can find a place that will knock their socks off as well as grow their business. 

How to Use Gmail: 6 Tips and Tricks That Will Make You Unstoppable

How to Use Gmail: 6 Tips and Tricks That Will Make You Unstoppable

You’re a busy working professional.

You don’t have enough time to tackle your email inbox, and it’s hard enough for you to remember all of the tasks that come with having a busy inbox.

You use Gmail because – you get it. Google creates some of the best technology for working professionals.

Because you’re a working business professional that relies heavily on email, it is imperative for you to find ways to organize and enhance your Gmail inbox and increase your work productivity as a result.

That’s why we’ve pulled together eleven tricks that exist both within Gmail, and through external Google Chrome Extensions, that will show you how to use Gmail better. These tricks will allow you to enhance your inbox, save time, and scale your business.

1. Unsend an Email (Yes, you read that right)

We’ve all been there. That moment when you send an extremely important email, and then you realize there’s an error in the email. You panic. How can you fix it? There’s a solution.

Gmail has a created a feature that will allow you to unsend emails seconds after sending.

After sending an email in the bottom left hand corner of your screen you’ll see an option that says “undo send.” That will recall your email send.

To change the time setting on how quickly you can recall a message, select the “settings” gear in the top right corner. Scroll down to “Undo Send.”

Gmail Email Sent Undo Button

Finally select a cancellation period of either 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.

2. How to Clean Out Gmail – Unsubscribe from Emails You No Longer Read!

Most people are subscribed to far too many newsletters. If you’re constantly getting emails that no longer provide you value, do something about it.

Unroll.me is a website that will connect to your email inbox and instantly show you a list of all of your subscription emails. You can take that list and determine which emails you would like to be removed from by selecting an “x.”

 

This process will save you a significant amount of time, as you will not be required to individually unsubscribe from every email send. You will instead be able to unsubscribe from multiple lists at once.

Hello organizational heaven! Your Gmail Inbox will thank you.

3. Email Tracking in Gmail

Wouldn’t it be incredible if you could find out the exact who, what, and when of every interaction with the emails you send from Gmail? This information would allow you to follow up with the right people at the right time.

With the BombBomb Google Chrome Integration, you can track all of your email sends. When you know exactly who’s opening your emails and playing your videos and exactly when they do it, you can follow up much more efficiently and effectively!

 

How to Set Up Gmail Tracking

  • Add a video to your Gmail emails and the extensions will track email opens and video plays.
  • Just send text and BombBomb will track the email open. Click tracking off and we won’t track it at all.
  • Once you’ve got the BombBomb Chrome extension added and you’re logged in, the PowerWheel appears automatically in every Compose and Reply window. You can click and drag it around – move it wherever you’d like.

Gmail Tracking: What’s New with PowerWheel

  • Before you send any email, you can keep tracking on or click to turn it off.
  • Tracking is always on by default in any Compose or Reply email. Clicking it off turns the Tracking circle on the PowerWheel a lighter gray.

You must keep tracking turned on if you want to use the Schedule or Remind features.

When you activate Scheduling, Reminders, Videos, or Help/Feedback from the PowerWheel, you’re taken into a window that gives you access to all the other work areas. Here, too, you’ll find tracking to turn off or on.

The gear icon in the lower left corner of that window gives you access to more Gmail tracking options.

  • Fly-in desktop notifications for email opens and video plays
  • Tracking action bar across the top of your inbox
  • Activity list panel on the right side of your inbox

4. Schedule an Email in Gmail – (& set a reminder too!)

Timing is everything. You can send that email now, or schedule it to be sent later. Set reminders before sending so you never miss an opportunity.

Whether text, video, or some of both, the email you just made in Gmail can be sent right now – or be scheduled to send at any day and time in the future!

To do so, download the BombBomb Google Chrome Extension.

Once you’re setup with the extension, just click “Schedule” on the PowerWheel in any Compose or Reply window.

From that click, you’ll be brought to a calendar starting with today and the next half hour. Schedule the send later that day or for any day in the future. Schedule it on any half hour of the day.

After you pick your day and time, click “Save.” You’ll be returned to your Compose or Reply window and the “Send” button now says “Schedule” and the day and time you selected will appear when you hover over the Schedule button on the PowerWheel.

When you’re done creating the email, click “Schedule” (formerly “Send”). The email goes to your Drafts folder, where it’ll stay until its scheduled day and time arrive for sending with a little “BB Scheduled” tag on it.

 

Change your mind? Just click that “Schedule” button on the PowerWheel and “Unschedule.”

5. Gmail Spell Check

We’ve already talked about how terrible it feels to send an email with typo in it. Even with Gmail’s spellcheck feature you can still misuse words, or use improper grammar. This is where Grammarly comes in as your saving grace.

 

Grammarly is Google Chrome Extension (among many other things) that will connect within Gmail and check every single email you write. The app will simply mark mistakes with a red line. If you double-click on the word, it will give you a correction suggestion. You can even click on every word in your email and Grammarly will suggest a synonym for you.

To download the Grammarly Google Chrome Extension, click here!

PS: You know another great way to avoid typos? Send a video! More on this in suggestion 11!

6. How to Send a Video Through Gmail

Don’t rely exclusively on plain, typed-out text to communicate, connect and convert. Get face-to-face more often by sending simple videos directly inside your Gmail inbox.

BombBomb’s Google Chrome Extension will allow you to send video in your email.

 

First you will need to download this extension! Once you’re inbox is all set up, follow the instructions below.

How to Send Gmail Video 1: Red Record Button in PowerWheel
Click the red record button in the middle of the PowerWheel to open up the pop-over recorder.

From the recorder, click the red circle to record, click the red square to stop, then “Save” to drop the video into the Compose or Reply email. Notice that it’s automatically given an animated preview to help improve video play rate.

NOTE: By clicking and dragging, you can move the video recorder anywhere on your screen and you can move the PowerWheel itself anywhere inside the Compose or Reply window.

How to Send Gmail Video 2: “Videos” in PowerWheel
The big, red record button opens up the video recorder. The smaller “Videos” button on the PowerWheel opens up your video library.

Any video you’ve recorded or uploaded into your BombBomb account is available here.
You can scroll through them in reverse chronological order (most recent first). You can also filter by tag – so be sure to assign a tag to your frequently used videos in your main BombBomb account.

After you click the “Videos” button on the PowerWheel, you’ll have access to your BombBomb video library, as well as other tools and features. Select the video you want, then click “Insert Video.”

How to Send Gmail Video 3: “Send Video” Button
For a time saving shortcut, click the “Send Video” button in the top left corner of your Gmail inbox.

Just one click of that button will:

  • Create a new “Compose” email
  • Open up the BombBomb video recorder

This button is a carry over from previous versions of the BombBomb extension for Google Chrome.

A More Powerful Gmail Inbox:

Tracking, Scheduling, Video, and Snippets were four of the ten suggestions that can be tackled by downloading the BombBomb Google Chrome Extension.

BombBomb is building for you the standard of excellence in business communication. With the PowerWheel, we want to improve specifically and dramatically the effectiveness and efficiency of your Gmail inbox.

This toolset is included with any BombBomb account. Click here to try BombBomb absolutely free (no credit card required) for two weeks. See if it’s a good fit for you!

How To Get Started

NOTE: for Tracking, Schedule, and Remind to work properly, your BombBomb email address and Gmail address must match.

Living in the Future: Smart Home Technology

Living in the Future: Smart Home Technology

Remember the beloved cartoon, “The Jetsons?” Robot maids, jet packs, moving sidewalks, and flying cars? In the 1960s, when the cartoon was first released, there seemed to be only frivolous imaginary creations. Fast-forward to 2019 and many of the technology predictions from, “The Jetsons” have actually come true! Talking alarm clocks, flat screen TVs, smartwatches and video chats to name a few!

These tech gadgets don’t stop there, they’ve recently made their way into real estate via “Smart Home Technology.”

What is Smart Home Technology?

  • Technology with sensors or devices that can be remotely monitored, controlled and accessed via smartphones, tablets, or apps

What are the most popular applications of Smart Home Technology?

  • Wireless Speakers
  • Thermostats
  • Home Security Systems
  • Cleaning Devices (robot vacuums)
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Lighting
  • Door Locks
  • Refrigerators
  • Water Monitors
  • Laundry Machines

What limitations exist?

  • Adaptation can be costly and time-consuming. Buying the adaptors, setting up the networks, learning the controls and having the proper maintenance/updates can be troublesome and expensive.
  • The networks these gadgets rely upon can be prone to security breaches! Be wary of your personal data and monitor your credit and personal information regularly. (Gateway has a very inexpensive Identity Protection product for just $10/month!)

What consumers want and use:

A 2012 consumer report that pulled data from the National Association of Home Builders looked for what Smart home devices homeowners wanted most and found that top five were wireless security systems (50%), programmable thermostats (47%), security cameras (40%), lighting control systems and wireless home audio systems (39%), and home theater and multi-zone HVAC systems (37%).1

A 2015 study from “The Harris Poll” shows:

While the information provided in the studies published above from 2012 and 2015, the desires of Home Owners have not seemed to vary since then. A few of Amazon’s most purchased products include their “Amazon Echo Dot” a smart home speaker/wireless voice control, “Amazon Fire Stick” smart home streaming device, “Amazon Fire Tablet” that can control the smart home apps/functions, the “iRobot” vacuum, “WeMo mini smart plugs” that turn regular outlets into Smart Home hubs, “YI Dome Camera” for security footage, and more!3

What do you use in your house? We’d love to hear from you!

To learn more about our partners at Gateway Insurance Group, Inc. visit their website.

References:

1- “What Homeowners Want”. Home Tech Integration. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
Chart- McCarthy, Niall. “How Prevalent Is Smart Technology In U.S. Homes?”. Forbes. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
3- https://www.bestproducts.com/lifestyle/g3486/best-selling-products-on-amazon/?slide=1
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
Maryland real estate leader opens NextHome brokerage

Maryland real estate leader opens NextHome brokerage

Karen Parnes

Pleasanton, CA — July 17, 2019 — NextHome is excited to announce that Karen Parnes, an experienced real estate leader in the Maryland area, is joining the NextHome family as its newest franchisee. NextHome Your Way will become the fourth NextHome franchise in the state of Maryland. 

Karen and her team of highly-trained agents will serve clients across Montgomery County, MD and surrounding areas. NextHome Your Way helps clients with investment purchases, relocations, and condominium purchases. Karen and her team are also able to make first-time home buying a smooth process. 

“I absolutely love living in Montgomery County for many reasons, but especially because of its proximity to Washington, DC,” Karen said. “We get all of the wonderful diversity that comes with embassies and diplomats.”

Karen started her real estate career in 2005, just as market forces were about to take the industry on a roller coaster ride. The birth of her second daughter soon after she got her license taught Karen how to innovate and juggle challenges in her changing world. Ever the astute businessperson, Karen saw what overzealous buying could do to the families she served.

“I found myself telling people not to buy a house,” Karen recalled of those early years. “I did have their best interest in mind.”

When the market crashed, Karen was glad she chose to serve her clients interests over her own. So began the difficulties of building a thriving real estate business through The Great Recession as a real estate agent. 

In 2010, Karen joined Redfin where she nimbly climbed the company’s corporate ladder. 

“It was really helpful being a part of a company that was growing and evolving through The Great Recession,” Karen said. “There was a lot to learn just being a showing agent and I used that time to sharpen my knowledge.”

Karen soon became the top-producing agent in all of Maryland; she closed $120 million in four years, topping 200 deals. 

“I learned the system,” Karen said. “I learned how to get a client, how to really listen to them, how to learn their real needs, identify the right fit, and how to show it to them in the right way.”

Eventually, Karen found herself as Redfin’s area manager for the entire Maryland market. In that role she helped other agents succeed through great training, managing support staff, rolling out new products, and mentoring. 

In 2017, Karen left Redfin and began to see the industry evolve again. New technology and improved systems were changing the way people buy and sell homes. 

“I am really interested in the whole change that’s happening in the industry in general,” Karen said. “Technology is becoming available outside (national firms such as Redfin) and that gives me the opportunity to open my own brokerage and leverage those incredible tools in my way.”

Karen’s way is the way that best serves her clients and agents, so she chose “NextHome Your Way” as her brokerage name. 

“That was very deliberate,” Karen said. “One of the most important things for potential clients to know is that if they work with any one of our agents they will be 100 percent trained and knowledgeable. Our agents will have the knowledge, training and support to really facilitate home buying and selling ‘Your Way.’”  

Although Karen could have gone with many different options for opening her own business, she chose NextHome because of its suite of technology, the company’s focused eye on the industry, the support she receives, and NextHome’s exceptional marketing.  

“I loved that it has all those systems – you don’t have to buy a million different systems from different people,” Karen said. “I also love that they have their eye on what’s happening in the market right now. And on top of all that, I feel like I can count on them. I love that starting from the sign to the listing, and what’s inside the listing, the branding is all so well done… those are really the values that I’m looking for.”

Karen brings those values to her business through NextHome Your Way’s Heroes Program – a service especially designed for first responders and military service members looking for guidance and reduced fees through their home buying process. 

Outside of her brokerage, Karen also serves on the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) Board. She also actively supports the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation – a Maryland-based nonprofit committed to finding a cure for childhood brainstem tumors known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG). 

Karen is the proud mother of two daughters; Romi, 19, a student at Towson University, and Mayah, 13. The family enjoys exploring Maryland’s stunning hiking trails and waterfalls and watching movies.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Karen to the NextHome family and know her expertise will be a tremendous asset to both agents and homebuyers in the Maryland area,” said Imran Poladi, NextHome’s Vice President. 

Please join us in congratulating Karen on the opening of her brand new NextHome brokerage in Montgomery County!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

The NextHome franchise continues expansion in Arkansas

The NextHome franchise continues expansion in Arkansas

Chance Schubert & Patrick Kuhlman

Pleasanton, CA — July 16, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome NWA Pro Realty. The new brokerage represents the second NextHome franchised office opened in the state of Arkansas.

NextHome NWA Pro Realty will be led by broker/owner Chance Schubert who will handle all day-to-day aspects of the company including mentoring, training, and brokerage growth. He will be joined on the leadership team by his business partner, Patrick Kuhlman. Partick will serve as the Team Leader of their real estate sales team. Having known each other for more than 12 years, Chance and Patrick have made a dynamic team and have been top-producing REALTORS® for several years.

Additionally, Mary Taylor will hold the role of “Chief Everything Officer” and will handle all financials and compliance issues for the office. 

Based out of Bentonville, the agents of NextHome NWA Pro Realty will service all real estate needs in Northwest Arkansas including Rogers, Centerton, Bella Vista, Springdale, and Fayetteville. 

The brokerage will help residents in the local communities with various real estate services such as first-time homebuyers, investors, military veterans, commercial, condos, new construction, and all forms of seller representation.

Bentonville is home to more than 50,000 residents and is known for being the birthplace of Walmart in 1962. It’s located 3.5 hours northwest of Little Rock and is the ninth-largest city in the state.

Before real estate, both Chance and Patrick came from a background in the hospitality industry. Chance was introduced to real estate and got his license in 2012 after helping Patrick’s mother look at homes she wanted to buy. The agent that was helping Patrick’s mother noticed Chance’s keen eye towards real estate and suggested that he look into becoming a REALTOR®.

“After working for a while in the hotel industry, my introduction to real estate as a career came at a welcome time,” said Chance. “Patrick and I were in hospitality and both of us were getting burned out. I made the leap into real estate in 2012, and Patrick joined a year later.”

Chance started with a local franchised brokerage, and in just his second year, he sold more than $3 million in volume – quite a feat considering the average sales price was $140,000 at the time. 

After Patrick joined the real estate world and formed a team with Chance in 2013, he brought a completely different niche to the team. By adding new construction builders and foreclosure investors to the mix, he expanded their business to new heights.

In 2014, the team did more than $10 million in volume and has continued growing year-over-year.

In 2018, the six-member team sold more than 130 transactions to the tune of $28.5 million in volume, making them one of the top selling teams in the entire Northwest Arkansas area. 

In mid-2018, Chance and Patrick started looking at their expenses and investments of their real estate business and realized they were basically running a small brokerage within their brokerage. 

“The way we were running our team was like running our own real estate company,” recalled Chance. “At that point, we started looking at opening our own brokerage, and that’s when we found NextHome.” 

“There are 113 real estate offices in our county,” said Patrick. “We needed to stand out with our marketing, brand consistency, and making a real impact in what we could offer our clients. As NextHome NWA Pro Realty, we have definitely achieved that.”

Chance says what makes NextHome NWA Pro Realty different is the consistency of service, the level of professionalism that a client will receive, and that all demographics will be treated fairly and with respect.

“Whether you are buying a $20,000 lot or a million-dollar mansion, our team is ready to serve the needs of our clients and treat them with the respect and professionalism they deserve,” said Chance. 

Please join us in congratulating Chance, Patrick, Mary, and the rest of the team at NextHome NWA Pro Realty on the opening of their brand new NextHome brokerage in Bentonville, AR!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Is the Home Warranty Always Included in Closing Costs?

Is the Home Warranty Always Included in Closing Costs?

When buying or selling a home, who is responsible for the cost of a home warranty? Learn about your options and what is covered in a home warranty.

Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time in your life. Moving often signifies a new beginning or important changes in someone’s life.

When buying or selling a home, buyers and sellers need to agree on the sales terms and closing costs. One important detail that sometimes comes up is the home warranty.

So, what is a home warranty and is it always included in the closing costs? Let’s take a look at what’s covered in a home warranty and who usually pays for it.

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

A home warranty is a service agreement that covers the cost to repair major appliances and important home system components from normal wear and tear. The warranty is designed to provide protection against unexpected appliance failure.

For example, a homeowner might have difficulty financing a $4,000 central air conditioning unit if their air conditioner stops working. A good home warranty could allow the homeowner to have their air conditioning repaired instead at a lower cost.

The company providing the warranty could cover some or all of the costs for repairs, depending on the policy.

Some appliances typically covered in a home warranty include the refrigerator and freezer, washer and dryer, oven and stove, microwaves and the air conditioner and heater. Plumbing, roof leaks and electrical systems may also be covered in some home warranty policies.

Aside from potentially saving a lot of money on costly repairs, some people like having home warranties for the convenience. It can be nice having someone you can call when you need to have a covered item repaired.

Contracts are normally good for one year and can be renewed each year if desired.

A home warranty should not be confused with homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance protects a home from natural disasters like fires and hurricanes, but does not cover appliance or system failure from normal wear and tear.

How Much is a Home Warranty?

The cost of a home warranty will vary depending on what policy you get and where you live. Standard plans can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per year and upgrade plans can add an additional $100 – $500 to that cost.

You may need to purchase a second home warranty or additional coverage if you own a second refrigerator or swimming pool as these items are normally not covered under a standard home warranty. With American Home Shield®, however, items such as these are typically included as part of some of their plans at no additional cost.

Be sure to shop around to find the best deal for your home warranty. While cost may be a factor, the number of items covered and the additional services offered, as well as the home warranty company’s reputation and quality of service, should also be considered.

Why Purchase a Home Warranty?

Real estate agents often recommend getting a home warranty for every real estate purchase.

Home warranties protect the seller from liability if appliances break down after the home purchase. Plus if something does break, the new homeowner can call the warranty company instead of calling the seller to get the issue resolved.

Warranties also give buyers the comfort and convenience of knowing that in the event of an appliance breakdown, the warranty will help reduce the cost of repairing or replacing the broken item.

How to Shop for a Home Warranty?

When looking for a home warranty, be sure to review the policy carefully. Policies usually only cover certain appliances and home systems, so be sure that everything you need covered is specified in your home warranty contract.

Also, check your contract to see how much you are covered for. Your home warranty might only cover a percentage of the costs for really expensive repairs.

Warranty companies often assign a local professional to perform the repairs. The quality of service provided by these repair professionals may vary, so be sure to ask the warranty company if and how they regularly select and review the professional contractors and technicians.

Additionally, warranty companies also charge a service charge whenever they send a contractor to do a home repair. This cost will vary depending on the company, but dollars. American Home Shield actually allows you to choose between your fee upfront when purchasing your plan.

Warranty companies may expect you to perform regular maintenance on your appliances or they may not be covered. Make sure you understand the terms of your agreement.

In short, when getting a home warranty, be sure you are clear on the following:

  • What is covered and what is not
  • Any deductibles and limits on coverage
  • Any fees required for service calls
  • How the service company selects professionals to perform repairs
  • What maintenance will I need to perform to my appliances to qualify for assistance?

Who Typically Pays for a Home Warranty During a Real Estate Sale?

Sometimes home warranties are lumped into the closing costs for a real estate transaction and closing costs are typically paid for by the buyer. Buyers will sometimes ask the seller to pay for some or all of the closing costs, but sellers are only responsible for these costs if they agree to these terms.

However, in some states, home warranties are not required as part of the closing costs. In these situations, sellers often are the ones to purchase the home warranty. Purchasing the warranty makes the property easier to sell and protects the seller from post-sale complications that may arise.

Nevertheless, whoever pays for the home warranty is negotiable between the buyer and the seller.

Note that if you are the seller and have an existing home warranty on your property, you can also transfer your warranty to the buyer.

If you are looking for a home warranty, our partners at American Home Shield can help. American Home Shield is the leader in the home warranty industry and our plans can help make your real estate transactions run smoother. If you’re in the market for a home, ask your real estate agent about our home warranties or if the warranty you purchased during the closing is coming to an end and you’re thinking about renewing, get a free quote today.

For more helpful tips, check out the American Home Shield blog!

NextHome Gadwood Group opens third office location

NextHome Gadwood Group opens third office location

Julie Gadwood

Pleasanton, CA — July 11, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Gadwood Group – Overland Park Branch. The brokerage represents the eighth office location opened in the state of Kansas for the NextHome franchise.

The new Overland Park location will be led by broker/owner Julie Gadwood who will handle all day-to-day operations for the company.

This branch will be the third office location opened by NextHome Gadwood Group, with two office locations already thriving in Shawnee, Kansas and Gravois Mills, Missouri. The opening of the NextHome Gadwood Group in Overland Park will introduce the superior agents of the company to residents of Overland Park, De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Olathe, Prairie Village, Shawnee, and the remainder of Johnson County.

NextHome Gadwood Group agents will provide assistance to buyers and sellers with residential property sales such as first-time home buyers, investors, farms, ranches and land, military and veteran’s assistance, relocation, foreclosures, short sales, and all forms of residential sales of 1-4 units. 

Located just 10 miles south of Kansas City, Overland Park is the second most populated city in the state of Kansas with nearly 200,000 residents. 

With the growth of business by NextHome Gadwood Group, Julie felt it was the right time to open another location.

“We do a lot of business on the south side of Johnson County,” said Julie. “The Shawnee office grew so quickly that we needed some additional space and having an office in Overland Park was a natural move.”

“This office will give all agents a great place to meet with clients and is going to give us some presence in that area,” she added. “My concept is that it is just another resource to help my agents achieve success. Agents can use both office spaces to meet clients and use as a work area. We haven’t even officially opened the doors yet and have already had some very seasoned and successful agents join us.”

Licensed since 2005, Julie started her real estate career with Coldwell Banker Regan in Shawnee where she worked for six years. She originally intended real estate to be an extra source of income, but after selling five homes in her first six months in the business, Julie realized she had the ability to turn real estate into a viable career.

While she grew her real estate business to see nearly $8 million in sales annually, the most important thing for Julie was that she was able to still spend quality time with her children and not miss any of the important events in their lives.

In 2012, Julie went out on her own and opened Gadwood Group Realty Company Inc.

“I started my own brokerage because I wanted to have a platform and a business that allowed me to put the total focus on the client,” said Julie. “By owning my own company, I was able to have a high level of service and know that our clients would be really taken care of.”

Julie was able to grow the brokerage to over 20 agents and saw the company do more than 125 transactions and over $40 million in a single year.

Additionally, Julie was recently recognized for the tenth year in a row as a 5 Star Award nominee for her outstanding real estate service in her community.

After several successful years as an independent brokerage, it was a random stroke of luck that Julie found NextHome.

“I found out about the franchise during a real estate conference that I attended,” recalled Julie. “Over the years, there were several different franchises we talked to, but none of them really piqued my interest. After years of studying what NextHome was doing and after speaking with (NextHome’s VP of Sales) Charis Moreno, I felt that it was the right time to align my brokerage with NextHome.”

Julie and her agents are excited about the freshness of the company, the consistent branding, and the entire suite of tools and services they now have at NextHome Gadwood Group.

In addition to selling real estate, Julie and her team volunteer time to bettering the real estate industry and providing hope in their community.

As a member of the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® (KCRAR), Julie has actively participated in Habitat for Humanity, where she and her agents have helped rehabilitate homes in her community for those in need.

In 2018, the Gadwood Group were the recipients of the Spirit Award by KCRAR for their service in the community.

The company has also volunteered in the local coat drive and the local Ronald McDonald House organization.

When not selling real estate, Julie and her husband of 27 years (and high school sweetheart) David love to spend time with their three children.

Their eldest, Jake (25), is a graduate of Kansas State University with a focus on Finance Economics. Nick (22) is currently a student at the University of Kansas and is not only an Accounting major but a licensed real estate agent as well. Their youngest, Carney (19), is a sophomore at the University of Kansas and is majoring in Business.

Please join us in congratulating Julie and the rest of the team at NextHome Gadwood Group on their new NextHome office in Overland Park, KS!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome brings client-first service to Slidell, Louisiana

NextHome brings client-first service to Slidell, Louisiana

Billy Dekemel

Pleasanton, CA — July 10, 2019 — NextHome Inc. is proud to announce the company’s 375th brokerage. Led by broker Billy Dekemel, NextHome Innovative Realty is now helping clients in the Slidell, Louisiana area find their perfect home. The NextHome Innovative Realty office is NextHome’s fifth brokerage in Louisiana. 

Billy and his wife Melissa will lead the real estate team alongside a growing number of deep-rooted and experienced agents. NextHome Innovative Realty brings its expertise to clients in the Slidell, Covington, Mandeville, and Abita Springs areas. The brokerage will help clients with residential, commercial, and investment property purchases across the Orleans and Tangipahoa Parishes. 

“We absolutely love living here because of Slidell’s family atmosphere,” said Billy, who has lived in Slidell since 1986. “It’s just a lot of great families and working people and that atmosphere is what attracted us to the area and the reason we’ve stayed here for so long.”

Although he has a decades-long career working for the St. Tammany Fire District No.1, Billy found a love for real estate early on. He purchased and managed two of his own rental properties and in 2008 he got his real estate license. So began a thriving career working for both boutique and national real estate firms in the Slidell area. In a matter of a few years, Billy was closing about 26 transactions per year and grew his annual sales volume from about $600,000 to more than $3 million. It wasn’t always easy though.

“I think the toughest thing starting out was to get your name out there and letting people know this is your career, not just a hobby,” Billy said of those early years. “The biggest struggle other than getting a client base was getting people knowing that you are in real estate and you are in it to stay.”

Billy’s persistence and dedication to his clients paid off. In 2017, Billy found himself working with RE/MAX where he handled $4.2 million in transactions with in 27 deals that year. 

However, he needed to take his commitment to his clients to the next level. That’s when Billy found NextHome. 

“It had that same family atmosphere that makes Slidell such a great place,” Billy said of his initial attraction to what NextHome had to offer. “People know your name. I’ve worked for big national companies where you very much seem like just a face in an office. NextHome has a very different and family-like culture. It really is what attracted me to NextHome as well as being a franchise and having all of the processes in place.”

Today, Billy and his team are establishing a reputation as the folks local homebuyers can go to for up-to-date information and customer-first service.

“I think for one it’s all about the client and what their needs are,” Billy said of his business model. “It doesn’t matter what our needs are, it matters what they need. A lot of people say that they are doing that, but when it comes down to saying it and doing it, that’s two different things. That’s one thing we pride ourselves on – we are very customer-centric and customer-oriented. We do what’s best for our clients all the time.”

Billy plans to combine that philosophy with the best technology around to create a business locals can feel good about. 

That passion for customer service is shared by his wife of 27 years and business partner Melissa. When Billy and Melissa aren’t helping people in the Slidell area find their perfect home, they enjoy relaxing by their pool and traveling across the country. They are the proud parents of  daughter Meagan who is 26 and pursuing a career as a CPA. 

“NextHome is thrilled to have Billy join our growing family and we can’t wait to see how, with the support of NextHome, he takes his real estate career to new heights,” said Imran Poladi, NextHome’s Vice President. 

Please join us in congratulating Billy on the opening of NextHome Innovative Realty in Slidell, LA!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.