The Missouri Real Estate Commission is the governing body tasked with safeguarding the interests and welfare of the general public in matters pertaining to real estate transactions.  Under the Real Estate Act of 1941, it’s responsibilities include:  licensing of agents and brokers, investigating complaints from the public, auditing brokerages and escrow accounts, and approving pre-licensing and continuing education courses.

This article will discuss the 10 most commonly cited infractions discovered during audits conducted at random by the MREC.

    It is unlawful to practice real estate without a valid license.  Here are some incidents of non-licensed activity.

    License Not Renewed – Every two years real estate agents and brokers are required to take continuing education classes to renew their licenses.
    Not Tax Compliant – Licensees are suspended in Missouri for non payment of personal property taxes under HB-600.
    Property Management – If you are not the owner, you are required to have a real estate license to manage property in Missouri.
    Receiving A Commission – without a license.

    Not Identifying The Brokerage – The MREC requires all advertising material to clearly identify the Company or Brokerage name that the agent works for, and the office telephone number (at a minimum).  With the rise of teams and agent personal branding, this violation occurs when the brokerage name and number are not prominently displayed.
    Licensees are required to respond to the MREC within 30 days.
    Material Facts – Agents are required to disclose material facts and adverse material facts that they know about the property to a customer.
    Incorrect Agency or Agency Not Disclosed – Missouri law requires agents to discuss the different options consumers have when working with them.
    Licensee’s Interest – Agents are required to inform all parties to a transaction if they have personal interest in a property or if they are a relative of the owner.
    Escrow accounts are where the public’s earnest money is held.  Violations include:

    Escrow Accounts Not Registered – Escrow accounts are required to be registered with the MREC.
    Failure To Close Escrow Account – This is required when a brokerage closes.
    Comingling of Funds – Mixing escrow funds with personal, real estate sales, or property management funds is strictly forbidden.
    Accounts Do Not Reconcile.

    Name Not Registered – ‘Doing Business As’ or Fictitious Names need to be registered with Secretary of State of Missouri.
    Registered Name Has Expired.
    Business Sign Does Not Match The Business License.
    To An Unlicensed Persona or Entity – LLC, team, group
    Blanks – There are to be no blanks on standard forms.
    Failure To Fulfill The Terms And Conditions – pertaining to the contract.
    Improper Agency Relationship Selected On Contract – needs to match any written documentation (buyer agency or listing agreement).
    Changes To The Contract Not Initialed – the only lawful changes to a contract are those that are initialed by all parties.
    No Office Policy – it is a violation for an office to not have an office policy or an incorrect office policy.
    Not filed with the MREC – all licensees must update their home addresses with the MREC when a change occurs.  Brokerages are also required to keep their address current.

Mastroianni Consulting is a unique consultancy firm assisting Realtors to grow their real estate practice.  For more information and to learn how we can help you become more successful, please contact one of our Client Care Specialists.

You can reach us at (636) 220-7481 or clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com.

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10 Keys To Having A Great Reputation | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING


Our reputations define us.  They determine how we are viewed by our peers, customers, clients, socially, in business – our very success depends on a good reputation.  After all, who wants to be associated with someone who is thought of as a thief, or lacking in integrity?

Here are 10 habits to adopt to build a great reputation:

  1. Be honest in deeds, thoughts and actions.
    Honesty and integrity are paramount to a great reputation.  Being honest means choosing not to lie, cheat, steal, or deceive in any way.  If you do those things, that is what you will become know for.
  2. Be kind.
    Being kind is more than just being nice.  It has more to do with genuinely caring about other people.  It is rewarding!  It strengthens relationships and builds communities.  It is a deliberate action, just as deciding to be a jerk is a deliberate action.
  3. Stay humble.
    Humility is important because it prevents hubris.  Being humble means you are not boastful or arrogant.
  4. Never stop learning.
    We always have more to learn.  Never think you know it all, and never discount others and what you might be able to learn from them.
  5. Keep good company.
    Surround yourself with people you want to be like.  This is a conscious choice and a reflection of your own values.
  6. Be genuine.  Make genuine connections.
    Genuine means actual, real, honest and sincere.  Genuine people are true to themselves.  Be authentic.  Not who you think you are or who you think you should be.  Be your self.  Who else is better qualified?
  7. Be sincere.  Value the details.
    Sincerity is your personal commitment to everything that you do.  Always be good for your word, even if it wasn’t an explicit promise.  Pay attention to the little details; write thank you notes, keep appointments, remember names.
  8. Go above and beyond.
    Value excellence.  Give excellence.  Give more than expected.
  9. Own your mistakes.
    How you deal with failure and mistakes says a lot about you.  Don’t blame others.  Step up, own them, fix them.  Move on.
  10. Persevere.
    Reaching goals requires hard work and perseverance.  Particularly in the face of difficulties.  Take the hard meetings, make the hard phone calls and work through any crisis.  Push forward and believe you will succeed.

Building a great reputation takes commitment and hard work.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.

For more information and to learn how we can help you become more successful please contact one of our Client Care Specialists.  You can reach us at (636) 220-7481 or clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com.

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Words To Earn Client Loyalty | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

Words matter.  Words can hurt and they can heal.  They can convey respect and understanding and they can also convey disinterest and ignorance.  Being on top of your game with your word choice offers you the opportunity to bond with a person while eliciting a positive emotional response.

Here are some words and techniques that may help you to stand out from the competition and earn client loyalty.

I hear…” After listening closely, follow up with questions that repeat back what you heard the person say.  Begin your sentence with “I hear”.  Eva Doyle, a national speaker on leadership issues and author of ‘The Reluctant Leader’, offers this as an example: “I hear that you like Washington Park, but your budget may not be enough for that area. Would you consider a neighborhood a little more north? Or would you rather stretch your budget?” This demonstrates that you’re listening well and interested in what the person is saying to you.

Fear, anxiety, reluctance, love, hope, home…”  Use emotional words that tap into people’s most inner thoughts.  In a real estate situation, remember that people are buying a home; a place where they will witness their life events.  Their inner thoughts may include challenging words, such as ‘fear’, ‘anxiety’, and ‘reluctance’.  You can balance these words with opposite, positive keywords, such as ‘love’, ‘hope’, ‘home’, and ‘future’.  Being aware of emotional cues can help cement your client relationships.

P” and “T” sounds.  Words and sentences with several ‘p’ and ‘t’ sounds have a staccato effect, which inspires excitement and communicates energy, says Amanda Plecas, vice president and chief creative officer at Waterhouse Public Relations.  Plecas says the cadence, rhythm, and musicality of what you’re saying can affect a listener’s perception of your words.  For example, saying “I have a tried and tested marketing plan” sounds more upbeat than “I have developed an exclusive marketing plan,” Plecas says. Or, “I’ll be your personal real estate textbook” is more enthusiastic than “I am a resource to help you make a well-informed decision.”

“Personally invite…” A personal invitation to anything ramps up its importance and engenders good will.

“Your kids are well-behaved…” Genuinely engage with people by complimenting them on their children or anything else that may apply.  This helps build rapport.  Listen to their story, find our what’s interesting to them?  Find out what makes them who they are before you launch into your sales pitch.

“I specialize…”  Showcase your expertise.  This inspires trust.  There are many ways to be an expert.  Do your research so you feel confident making the statement.

“Honestly…”  Only use it when you are speaking honestly.  It allows you to convey an opinion that may not be what the person wants to hear.  Said earnestly, it can soften bad news.

This list is not exhaustive and is only intended to demonstrate how important words are to our conversations on a daily basis.  Being articulate is just another aspect of being professional.

Sourced in part from a Realtor.com article by Danielle Braff.

Mastroianni Consulting is a small consultancy firm serving the needs of Realtors and their clients.  Dedicated to Excellence, they provide support services that assist real estate agents to grow their businesses.

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Best Time To Post On Social Media (Infographic)| Mastroianni Consulting

Times can vary depending on your location and the social media platform that you are posting to.  See below for the best times to post on each social media platform……


Sources:  RETechnology, SproutSocial, Hootsuite, ShortStack, CoSchedule Blog, Firebelly

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The Importance of Mindset | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

Every now and then many of us will have a self-limiting thought or belief.  That is why mindset is so important.

Mindset matters—perhaps more than anything else. The only glass ceiling you’re going to hit is the one you create for yourself. With every request made of you, your mind automatically moves to a “fixed” or “growth” mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe qualities like intelligence, talent, or networking and social skills are fixed traits that can’t be improved upon.
“I stick to what I know”
“When I am frustrated, I give up”

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—that having a brain and talent are just the starting point.
“Failure is an opportunity to grow”
“I can learn to do anything I want”

The importance of having a growth mindset is critical to your success. How you feel about yourself on the inside spreads to how you look and perform on the outside. Set aside time every day to work on yourself: your mindset, self-image, looks, self-talk and your belief in yourself.

Work on your ‘potential’ so that you never hit your own self imposed ‘glass ceiling’.

If you would like a success-minded business partner, team up with us here at Mastroianni Consulting.  To reach us, please call (636) 220-7481 or email clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com.

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Recovering From A Business Setback | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

Business setbacks happen to all of us at some point.  While the disappointment can be very difficult to work through, it is important that you do.

Here are 5 ways to deal with a setback and move forward:

1. Acknowledge and accept it.
Going into denial or letting your pride get in the way of owning up to a business mistake or failure will only make matters worse.  Take a deep breath, and accept that sometimes things go wrong.  Realize that when humans are involved in anything, there’s the potential for human error.  It’s OK to feel frustrated, but avoid pointing blame at yourself or others.  Take responsibility, and then hold your head high as you take the steps needed to turn things around.

2. Put it into perspective.
Many people get into the habit of blowing problems out of proportion.  Before going into “the sky is falling” mode, take a step back to assess how significant the predicament is in the grand scheme of things.  Is it a financial loss that is going to affect your ability to pay your vendors?  Is it a product flaw that has created a brand image problem?  Is it a contractual issue that could cause legal troubles?  Instances like those demand urgent action, but not every setback you face will put you in dire straits.  Evaluate the impact before jumping into crisis mode.

3. Don’t dwell.
Direct your attention toward determining what went wrong and fixing it.  Feeling sorry for yourself won’t help the situation.  Put your emotions aside, and objectively evaluate the cause of the setback.  Was it due to unclear language in your agreement with your customer?  Was it because your customer service staff didn’t have proper training?  Was it because you failed to do enough market research?  Immediately start laying out what you will change to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  This may require enlisting the help of professionals who specialize in certain business disciplines, such as human resources, law, finances, taxes, public relations, etc.  Make sure you develop a clear plan for what needs to be done differently, and share it with your team so everyone is on the same page.

4. Embrace it.
Use it as a learning moment that will make your business stronger.  As Malcolm Forbes once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”  As devastating as business speedbumps might be, they can benefit you in the long run.  The key is to look beyond your dismay, and use the newfound wisdom gleaned from the experience to improve your company.  For example, losing a key client that results in you implementing a customer loyalty program will help you retain clients—and the revenue they bring to your bottom line.  And making a bad hiring choice that prompts you to expand the breadth of questions you ask when considering job applicants can help ensure you choose top-notch talent going forward.

5. Reach out.
Trusted advisors can provide insight and support.  You don’t have to go it alone when the going gets tough. Connect with a trusted advisor, a mentor, a business coach, another entrepreneur who experienced a similar setback, or someone else you respect and can depend on for insight and guidance.  Talking through your issues with someone who understands what it takes to overcome business challenges can help you figure out how to get past the difficulties you’re facing.  It can also provide you with the inspiration and motivation to power through the situation with confidence.

Source:  Bridget W. Pollock, U.S. Small Business Administration

Mastroianni Consulting can be your trusted advisor.  We are a unique consultancy firm assisting Realtors to build their businesses and become more successful.  We invite you to reach out to us at (636) 220-7481 or contact one of our Client Care Specialists at clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com

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More than 1 in 5 Americans have been, or know someone who was a victim of cyber crime.  Protecting our personal and business information online is a daily task and requires vigilance.  There are dozens of ways we can be scammed.  It may be an email hack, a phishing scam, a Nigerian money order or a product that sounds just too good to be true.

Here are 8 red flags to stay alert for:

  1.  An Increased Number Of Pop-Ups.
    An increase in pop-ups in browser windows could be the first sign that your information has been compromised.  This is especially troubling if it is accompanied by sudden crashes or stalling.
  2. Odd Software Behavior.
    Automatic mouse movements, changing of passwords, and unsolicited software installs could mean that someone is trying to steal your information in exchange for ransom.
  3. Resisting Update Downloads.
    Regularly updating your antivirus software is vital, but if you are unable to do so or you are unable to visit the vendor’s website, it is likely that someone is tampering with your network.
  4. Phishing Emails.
    Cyber criminals can easily manipulate the sender field to appear to be from an authoritative or legitimate company.  These emails look trustworthy and people often click on them, exposing themselves to a cyber attack.  They have poor or no photos, terrible formatting and often result in ‘data ransom‘, often costing several thousands of dollars for the release of your data.
  5. Payment Required Without Clarity.
    If upfront payment is required before you are given any real information about a product that you are interested in, it’s likely a scam.
  6. Required Downloads.
    This is one of the top ways online scammers can get to your information.  They ask or require you to download something.  This download contains malware which infects your hard drive and steals your information.  Check the source and trust notifications from your anti-malware software.
  7. Jargon.
    Be wary of jargon you don’t understand.  While reputable companies aim for customer clarity, fraudsters aim to confuse and trick.
  8. Too-Good-To-Be-True Promises.
    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Lofty promises are usually an attempt to steal your banking information.

One of the easiest ways to verify the source of a suspected email is to Google the sender.  Consider this your due diligence.  Look for a working phone number and make sure someone actually answers your call—don’t settle for an automated message.  Look for an address and then Google it.  Lastly, trust your intuition.

We hope that you enjoyed this article.  It was sourced from several others and is only intended to bring awareness to this pervasive crime.

Mastroianni Consulting is a unique consultancy firm whose goal is to assist Realtors to build their businesses and become more successful.  For more information, please reach us at (636) 220-7481 or contact a Client Care Specialist at clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com

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Tips To Improve Your Productivity | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

In “The 12 Week Year,” Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington address the challenge of why some people get more accomplished than others.  They advocate that you can more easily develop consistent execution by implementing a scalable 12-week system.  The key is to focus on one week at a time.

Every day of the week counts.
By changing your focus from 365 days to shorter timeframes you are better able to inspect your progress (or lack of it).  To successfully accomplish this, you must begin by readjusting your daily activities.  A Daily Success Habits Tracker is one of the best tools to help you do this.  Use this tracker each day to record a daily target for a specific number of calls, handwritten notes and other dollar-productive activities that will help you develop incremental success habits every day.

Track your time and eliminate fake work.
Learn to focus on activities that create opportunities for you.  For example, target a specific age demographic that may be ready to move and offer them information, solutions and options.  It is important to not rely on new ‘magic’ platforms or super systems.  Pick up the phone for an hour every day and connect with people who need your services to see measurable results.

Deadlines create urgency.
People focus on the finish line and increase their activities once it is in sight.  Change your focus from a year-end finish line to a week-end finish line to see compounded results.

By navigating one week at a time you will build success habits that improve over time.  This then leads to better productivity and, ultimately, greater success.

If you would like a success-minded business partner then team up with us, here at Mastroianni Consulting.  To reach us, please call (636) 220-7481 or email clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com.

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Ten Business Relationships Every Realtor Should Have | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t be all things to all people”?   That is the reason every real estate agent needs a circle of relevant professionals; people to call on for answers or services that the agent can’t provide.

When you build strategic relationships with businesses in auxiliary services, you will find that they are targeting the same audience as you.   Not only are you making recommendations to your clients, they can also provide opportunities and referrals to your business.

Here are the ten business relationships every real estate agent should have:

  1.  Financial professionals & institutions
  2.  Loan officers & mortgage brokers
  3. Architects and builders
  4. Appraisers and inspectors
  5. Legal professionals
  6. Title & insurance companies
  7. Moving & storage companies
  8. Contractors
  9. Landscaping & cleaning services
  10. Maintenance professionals

Cultivating business relationships with other professionals and organizations in your community can strengthen your referral network and highlight your expertise.

Source:  Listhub

For more tips on building your business, please contact the Client Care Specialists at Mastroianni Consulting.

To reach us, please call (636) 220 7481 or email: clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com

Other articles that may be of interest:  Essential Business Skills for Realtors5 Ways to Build Stronger Customer Relationships17 Time Management Tips (Infographic)Email Subject Lines: Words to stay away from

Email Subject Lines: Words to stay away from | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING

Whether you are email marketing or simply sending an email, the words and phrases that you use in the subject line often determines whether your email gets through or is sent to the spam folder.  Here are 50 subject lines real estate agents should avoid using.

Avoid using special characters:

1.  100%guarantee
2.  Open house TODAY!!!!
3.  Save $$$ on this flipper

Avoid call to actions:

4.  act now
5.  apply now
6.  call now
7.  limited time
8.  click here
9.  hot information you requested

Avoid greetings in the subject line:

10.  Dear friend, today is the day to list your home

Avoid anything that looks like yelling, starts with a $ sign or has unnecessary spaces:

11.  JUST LISTED!!!!
12.  Can someone say v.a.c.a.t.i.o.n home?
13.  O p e n H o u s e t h I s S a t u r d a y
14.  $150,000 2 bed/1 bath condo just reduced

Avoid these words as professional spammers have tainted them:

15.  credit
16.  lower your mortgage
17.  offer
18.  refinanced
19.  loans
20.  easy terms
21.  mortgage
22.  cash bonus
23.  buy
24.  financial freedom
25.  make money
26.  satisfaction
27.  discount
28.  your family
29.  consolidate
30.  lowest rates
31.  now only
32.  compare
33.  don’t
34.  You’re a winner!
35.  extra income
36.  instant
37.  fast cash
38.  free
39.  free access
40.  free gift
41.  free offer
42.  get out of debt
43.  earn
44.  hello
45.  hidden
46.  delete
47.  amazing
48.  avoid
49.  stop
50.  collect

Source:  eMerge

Mastroianni Consulting is dedicated to excellence.  Team up with us in 2018 and watch your business grow!

mastroianniconsulting.com | (636) 220-7481 | clientcare@mastroianniconsulting.com