Welcome to the JoinBean Blog

December 11, 2019

Bean Group’s 2019 Holiday Toys for Tots Drive

Bean Group’s 2019 Holiday Toys for Tots Drive

Thank you to everyone who helped make our Toys for Tots drive a HUGE success! 

We are overwhelmed with the number of generous donations we received; some of you went above and beyond and we are enormously thankful for everyone’s support. Together, we are sharing the gift of giving and our efforts will bring joy to so many deserving children this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

December 10, 2019

What Does a Career in Real Estate Look Like?

What Does a Career in Real Estate Look Like?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you are not alone. There are over 1.4 million real estate agents in the United States. There are many good reasons to join the profession. If you want the independence of being self-employed, love networking, flexible hours, and the chance to earn a great living – then real estate could be for you.

Successful agents are ambitious problem solvers with strong customer service skills. They have the ability to get along with all personality types, and have the demeanor and focus to lead clients through a very stressful time and complex transaction. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live, or who you know. It all comes down to your drive and the effort you put in.

New agents have different goals in mind as they enter the business. Some want to earn six figures in their first year; others want to handle a maximum of 10 transactions to keep their personal lives in balance. Either way, all new agents need to be fully engaged in the business in order to achieve a true career instead of a hobby. While the annual income of a real estate agent can range from $5,000 to $500,000, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)’s latest research, the average agent made $41,800 in 2018, a 5% increase from 2017.

Getting started requires some degree of initial funding since your first transaction might not close for 3-4 months after you receive your license. Some of the upfront costs of getting your license include:

  • Cost for education
  • Fees charged to take the real estate salesperson test and subsequent licensing
  • Annual membership fees charged by local REALTOR® boards and MLS’s

Once you obtain your license and are affiliated with a broker, you’re typically responsible for any marketing expenses you incur as part of reaching out to your personal sphere of friends, family, and co-workers. You will also need a smartphone and a laptop or tablet if you don’t already have one.

Ready to take your first steps into real estate sales? Start by researching the requirements specific to the state in which you wish to practice. Next, select a good educator for the pre-licensing class. Note that some states allow online classes and others require live classroom instruction. Here are links for all this information for our service areas:

Connecticut

Maine

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

Vermont

Now that you have passed your exam, how do you choose the right brokerage? 

Start by comparing and understanding compensation, because there are a wide range of compensation plans offered. There are straight split plans where you start at a split of 50%-70% (you retain 50%-70% of the commission earned in a transaction); the split percentage may increase depending upon your production history. Capped plans offer an initial split, then once you have generated a particular amount of commission income, you “cap” and retain all commissions earned until your anniversary, then you start over again. Some firms will have franchise fees and other charges that are referred to in different terms, so make sure you ask a lot of questions until you understand it fully.

Check out the culture and reputation of the brokerage by asking around. Reach out to agents within the company you are considering, as well as agents in other firms to get a true picture.

After you have selected a company to partner with, as an independent contractor, you will effectively become your own boss and will need to manage your time carefully. You should begin to create and manage a database of contacts that you will regularly market to. Attend training classes available to you through your company or local board. Reach out and join networking groups, town and school committees, or anywhere else you will be able to network. Build and expand your social network – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all free tools (with paid options) that will help you to network and self-promote.

The rest of your real estate career will be defined by the amount of effort you put into it. Again, it’s important to have savings on hand prior to jumping in for those expenses that build up before your first commission. Even as you move forward in your career, it’s important to budget 5%-10% of your gross income for marketing efforts.

In summary, a career in real estate can be very rewarding. You get to meet and help people with the biggest purchase and one of the most important events in their lives. With the right work ethic and commitment, you can earn a great living while having the flexibility to enjoy your family.

If you’re interested in taking the next step, contact us today to get started.

What You Should Know When Selling a “Smart Home”

What You Should Know When Selling a “Smart Home”

The growing popularity of home automation and “smart homes” can cause potential complications when selling a property. Here we consider a common question for selling agents about smart devices. 

Q: I’m selling a “Smart Home” and my seller isn’t sure which devices need to stay with the property. Are smart devices considered fixtures? 

A: It depends. The analysis for determining whether a smart device is a fixture or personal property is not unique. A fixture is typically defined as an item that is permanently attached to the real property, such as a chandelier or window shutters. Items that are not fixtures are considered personal property – or chattel – such as the furniture in the home. Ownership of fixtures transfers with ownership of the house, whereas personal property does not. 

Many smart home devices, such as an Amazon Echo, simply plug into the wall – or are entirely cordless – making them easily moveable. These types of devices are likely to be considered personal property of the seller. Other smart devices, such as smart switches, smart thermostats, smart doorbells, and security cameras, may be hardwired, which would firmly place them into the “fixtures” category. 

There may be situations where the seller has a certain affection for a fixture and does not want it to remain with the property. In this situation, the seller should remove it prior to listing, or name it as an exclusion in the listing. In situations where a buyer wants a smart device that may be considered personal property to remain with the house upon transfer, the best solution is to have an express statement in the purchase contract that stipulates what items the parties expect to remain in the home upon transfer of title. 

If any smart devices are to remain with the property upon transfer, the contract between the parties should stipulate that all accounts that control those devices be fully transferred to the buyer at the time of closing. 

(Originated from Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Legal Hotline Q&A 12/2019)

December 3, 2019

Bean Group Celebrates Its Sweet Sixteen!

Bean Group Celebrates Its Sweet Sixteen!

This December marks 16 years since Bean Group first opened its doors for business. Since 2003, the family-owned company has expanded its footprint throughout New England to include hundreds of REALTORS® focused on meeting the needs of home buyers and sellers throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

On behalf of the entire Bean Group family, we would like to sincerely thank our clients, agents, and staff for their support throughout the years. We wouldn’t have come this far without your contributions to our success, year after year. Cheers to you! 

Bean Group New Agent Orientation: November 2019

Bean Group New Agent Orientation: November 2019

We had a great turn out for November’s New Agent Orientation session last week at our Portsmouth, NH headquarters!

We are pleased to welcome Mike Townsend (Bangor, ME office), Janice Ware (York, ME and Portsmouth, NH offices), Lisa Gagnon (Portsmouth, NH office), Nicki Connors (Portsmouth, NH office), Elena Petersen (Winchester, MA office), and Kerry Hoyt (York, ME office) to the Bean Group family!

November 4, 2019

Bean Group Partners with Toys for Tots as Official Drop Site for 2019 Holiday Season

Bean Group Partners with Toys for Tots as Official Drop Site for 2019 Holiday Season

We are excited to announce that Bean Group has partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program as an official toy drop site for the 2019 holiday season!

Over the last 71 years, the United States Marine Corps Reserve has distributed over 542 million toys to more than 250 million children. This year, Bean Group is proud to team up with this wonderful charitable program that provides happiness and hope to less fortunate children during each Christmas holiday season.

Collection will begin on Monday, November 4, and the campaign will run through Friday, December 13. The following Bean Group offices will be designated drop-off locations:

Portsmouth, NH (1150 Sagamore Avenue)
Bedford, NH (264 South River Road)
South Portland, ME (75 John Roberts Road)

Please help us spread the word and share this information with your friends, family members, and clients! 

Please note, only new items (toys, books, electronics, etc.) may be donated. For more information on Toys for Tots, visit www.toysfortots.org.