5 Signs of a Great Real Estate Agent

Adrian RubinWhile the characteristics may vary in terms of what makes a strong real estate agent depending on what type of interactions you have with this professional, there are five qualities that make for an excellent real estate agent no matter how you interact with this person. Whether you are buying, selling, or acting as another intermediary, the following characteristics are undeniably desirable for all parties involved in the buying and selling process.


While honesty may seem like a naive or easily overlooked characteristic, honesty is critical in a real estate agent. Honesty and integrity go hand in hand, and in order to maintain and cultivate a strong and satisfied client base, real estate agents need to practice transparency and honesty when it comes to all interactions. In this industry your reputation is extremely important and the only way to have a strong one is to conduct business with integrity and honesty. Subsequently it’s important that you get into this habit early. While this may perhaps cost some sales initially, in the long-run, being known for your scruples and honesty is one of the biggest attributes that you can have as a real estate agent.

Know Your Business

A key for any professional is to be knowledgeable and continuously learning about your industry. Make a point to learn as much as possible about your industry broadly as well as your specific markets. Stay as up to date as possible about news from the frontline of your field. Not only is this wealth of knowledge impressive and comforting to your clients, but it will also put you ahead of the curve since timing is everything when it comes to the real estate market. Keeping tabs on the industry is critical in building deals and relationships if you position yourself in the right place at the right time.

Strong Network

Networking is often touted as the golden goblet when it comes to succeeding in any industry. While networking in a superficial way is strongly discouraged, make a point to get to know others in your field (and outside of it). Find other people with integrity that you can build a mutually beneficial professional relationship. In real estate, it truly is about who you know, so make sure that you circulate and get to know as many people as possible. You never know when or how you can help each other.

Attention to Detail

This is crucial. Whether this means taking extra notes about your clients, double checking the show property before presenting it to your clients or sending a past client a birthday card, attention to detail is key. This will be what sets you apart from your competitors.

Strong Communicator

Communication is key in this business. Accurately representing the needs of your clients and being extremely clear about the properties that you are showing, you have to be excellent when it comes to communicating clearly and listening. Without this skill you are setting yourself up for failure. If communication isn’t your strong skill, work on it. Whether it’s taking a public speaking class, picking up some email pointers online, or asking for help from your mentor, work on this. Communication is key.


Real Estate Agents for the Millenial

An emerging trend in real estate development involves a shift in focus from the traditional and status quo to appeasing the new aesthetic and considerations of those of the millenial demographics. As millenials continue to age into considering property purchases some real estate agents are shifting their approach in selling to this particular market.

According to a recent article from BloombergBusiness news, devising property with the millenial set in mind is becoming commonplace.

One great example of a firm that pays particular attention to this new demographic is Timberlane, a real estate development firm based out of Seattle and Los Angeles run by two thirtysomethings.

The co-founders openly explain their current strategy. They purchase properties based in up and coming neighborhoods, then rejuvenate the property, institute a rent hike and then appeals directly to this young demographic.

What sets this enterprising firm apart from others is their attention to detail. They take care to find out what elements will make these properties more appealing to potential buyers. Whether it’s highlighting the bars nearby, or approximating historically accurate renovations in the building or adding a state of the art gym facility for young people focused on maintaining their health and wellness.

The video below describes why it makes sense for real estate developers today to really understand the purchasing wants and habits of these new owners by the numbers.

The Age of Pocket Listings

Adrian Rubin Real EstateFor residents of major cities all across the US looking to purchase new properties, new data reveals a challenging new trend. Research suggests that the growing popularity of “pocket listings” has already begun to displace the more traditional methods of finding or listing a home or property. Pocket listings used to be popular primarily with celebrities and the wealthy, but this process has trickled down to many.

A “pocket listing”, (also known as a “whisper “ or “coming soon” listing) is a property that is up for sale, but not publicly advertised anywhere. Instead the buying and selling depends on the word-of-mouth among networks of real estate agents and their clients. Instead, like a growing number of properties sold here and in other major cities, the home was sold as a “pocket listing.” Such properties aren’t advertised to the public but pitched mostly by word-of-mouth among tight-knit networks of agents and their clients.

While this practice may seem easier for the property owner and agent alike (fewer showings, less headaches, a targeted approach to buyers who are truly interested), critics of the practice claim that these listings reduce competition which can prevent the seller from receiving the full value of the property. Others note that this is unfair to buyers who do not have access to these networks.

As one can imagine, it is somewhat difficult to tabulate data for this practice considering the lack of publicity surrounding each purchase. However, according to MLSListings inc, the share of home sales that didn’t appear on the main listings database rose to 17% in the first half of 2014 from 13.6% in 2012, in California’s Silicon valley. And fifteen percent of the homes sold in Denver in 2014 weren’t listed. This is more than double those unlisted properties in 2011, which was eleven percent of properties sold.

As this trend continues across the US – particularly in cities, we have to ask ourselves who is truly benefitting from this practice and whether or not it is sustainable.

Hidden Fees for New Homeowners


adrian rubin homeownershipAs a real estate developer, the primary focus is on fulfilling the vision of the client for a property. While that client often represents a commercial space, it is always key to keep the ultimate resident or primary user of the space in mind. US News and World Report recently reported on some of the top ways that homeowners waste money on their new property. It’s a travesty to think of these money wasters as plaguing new homeowners when they have just invested in something that will be a cornerstone of the next chapter in their lives. Because of this, we decided to examine and dissect these notions a bit further.


Let’s face it, everybody needs something to sit on, sleep on and eat off of. And when moving from a smaller space to a larger one, new homeowners often feel the need to completely fill the new space. Whether you are shopping frugally or admittedly splurging on new purchases, these expenses can add up very quickly. Remember that you don’t need to fill the space immediately. Take time to evaluate how you actually use different rooms and spaces within the property and go from there. While you may have one vision in your mind about how you want your new home to look, really consider the necessities from the excess.


Who knew that there were so many types of insurance that often accompany the purchase of a new home? Appliance insurance, homeowner’s insurance and Private Mortgage Insurance all seem important when you are making such a large purchase. However, each has its pros and cons. When it comes to private mortgage insurance, this fee is often a monthly addition to your mortgage payment and you get nothing in return. Instead, consider waiting to purchase until you can afford a 20 percent down payment so you can avoid fees like this. As for homeowner’s insurance – take time to shop around. And appliance insurance is a bad deal because most likely you will spend more on that than if you made regular contributions in your savings account designated to cover repairs or replacements.


Another hidden fee that many new homeowners fall victim to is that of landscapers. While we all want pristine lawns, and perfectly pruned gardens – hiring someone to do this can often add up. Make sure that you evaluate the services and pricing before committing to these services and research the cost at other places. And don’t be afraid to negotiate. Worst case scenario, you mow the lawn yourself for a few months!


While there are many more fees that homeowners should avoid, these are some of the most pertinent that tend to add up quickly.


The Beauty is in the Buildings : Looking up in Philadelphia

As a long-time resident of Philadelphia, the architectural advancements of the city can soften into the familiar background of the day to day. However, for a city with innumerable assets, it’s always exciting to take stock of the things that make this city unique. While this list is a lengthy one, one of the most stunning things about the city is the architecture. While many people in real estate are well aware of the incredible landscape of this city, it is easy to take for granted. Because of this, I have compiled a brief presentation on some of the most interesting buildings in the city. Of course the list could go on, but this is a great starting place. Whether you are taking a stroll on Market Street or looking into the excitement ever present on South Street, you’re bound to come across one of these stunning buildings, so make sure to take in the view.


Are We Aging Out of Golf?

Many of us often ask the Question, “When is it time to retire our clubs?”Golf has long been viewed as a sport perfect for the more…seasoned adults. There is an unshakable link between those of us who may no longer be in our athletic prime, but still want to get some fresh air, and engage in an activity that won’t leave us with more doctors’ bills! But is there a point when “even golf” is too much for us?

It’s true that many people often overlook the athleticism and training that goes into golf, so it’s no surprise that there are certain things that we should be aware of when playing. While there is no solid cutoff age or date for when someone should consider giving up golf, there are physical reminders, that elderly golfers should heed.  The video below, shares great advice for seniors who still want to play the sport, and gain the benefits of strength, endurance and the clarity that comes with spending time on the green without risking injury.

The aging process is real, and golfers should pay attention to the physical side effects of this natural process. Research and experience show that the aging process adversely affects one’s mobility, segmental stability, balance , speed generation, and ability to build strength. Because of this, golf can be truly challenging at later stages when your body undergoes these sorts of changes. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways around the particular issues that you face when it comes to your time on the green. By truly evaluating your health, ability and stability, you can find certain aspects of golf that may still work with your particular situation. The most important thing is to consult your doctor and not put yourself in a position where you may get injured.