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Breaking the Mold

Local real estate guru Neil Beyer gives us a fresh look at the things that matter most

Neil Beyer isn't someone who waits for the storm to pass, twiddling his thumbs. He's right there, holding the umbrella for someone other than himself. His refreshing insight on real estate and education leaves a lasting impression.

Neil, I love the sound of a more intimate, relationship-based service when it comes to the home buying or home selling process. Can you share why this is important to you and why you didn't choose a more conventional type of real estate experience?

Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote is etched in a stone on my desk and is one of the cornerstones of how I try to approach life.

From a business perspective, my goal with every client I work with, regardless of the size of the transaction, is to connect, communicate, educate, and anticipate putting the needs of my clients at the forefront of every decision I make, and, as much as possible, taking the burden and stress of the home buying/selling process off their shoulders and placing it onto mine. The home buying/selling process is intimate by nature. I am prying into the personal lives of my clients to try to understand their needs, wants, and desires so I can help them navigate the market, guide them through the process, negotiate the best deal, and get them to closing with the highest level of confidence in their decision.

Can you tell me about the tools, support, and leadership that eXp Realty offers ELEPHAS Real Estate and why those trusted resources carry over into your business practice?

eXp Realty is shaking up the real estate industry by offering agents rare opportunities. Firstly, eXp’s business is entirely cloud based, allowing training, seminars, networking, and collaborating to take place entirely online via eXp World—a virtual workplace with offices, theaters, conference rooms, even sports facilities. The training that’s available and access provided by eXp through eXp World is unparalleled. Over 50 hours of live, virtual, free training is available daily, and if a training session doesn’t align with your schedule, they record them and make them accessible through the eXp University library. Secondly, eXp provides phenomenal support locally. Led by eXp State Broker, Damian Forrester, eXp went from one agent in the state of Montana to 260 in only six years. My colleagues in Billings are an experienced, dynamic, tight group of professionals who are always willing to provide support, advice, and suggestions.

Aside from helping your clients reach their real estate goals, I know nonprofits and access to education is important to you. Can you tell me about your community involvement?

Education exposes us to ideas and opportunities. It provides growth and awareness. It is the foundation for everything else. I created two education-based programs to help students and teachers achieve their goals and reach their full potential. The first is the MSU-Billings ELEPHAS Civic Leadership Award. I donate 10% of my commission on every transaction to MSU-Billings full-time degree seeking students who are civically engaged on campus and in the community. The second is my Classroom Contributor Program. The Classroom Contributor program identifies a K to 12 public school teacher with a project that lacks funding and develops and manages a fundraising campaign on the teacher’s behalf.

In 2021, the program raised nearly $4,000 to fund two classroom projects—a mental health support program called Creative Courage, spearheaded by Billings West Art teacher, Tori Wardrip, that utilizes art as therapy to help teens use art-making and mindfulness as a coping mechanism for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. And the second was the purchase of a large hydroponics growing system for Ben Steele Middle School Science teacher, Michael Thomas, who uses the growing systems to get students actively engaged in the classroom and excited about science.

In your opinion, what are the most ideal conditions for an uncomplicated and time efficient home sale? Any tips for someone thinking about listing their home?

There are many factors that could impact the complications and time efficiency of a home sale. However, the biggest mistake sellers can make, and one that is common in this market, is overpricing a home. Sellers see homes selling above listing price and conclude that they should list their home above market value, but an overpriced home runs the risk of extending the amount of time it’s on the market, decreasing the excitement and interest surrounding the home, and lowering the final sale price of the home. A listing receives the greatest amount of exposure the first several days after going live. You want to take advantage of that initial exposure by doing a thorough Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and listing the home at or slightly below the estimated market value. The lower price opens home tours and bidding to more buyers resulting in more offers, increasing demand, and driving up the sale price. The more offers received, the more leverage the seller has.

Home buying seems like such a high pressure, high stakes type of environment right now with the market being so competitive. What words of encouragement can you offer someone wanting to buy a home right now?

Despite the challenges that exist for buyers, it is a good time to purchase a home. While I don’t have a crystal ball, all indications suggest Billings is on the verge of tremendous growth—the combination of population growth and low inventory equates to high demand and appreciation. Know your budget and have a game plan. Examine additional ways, outside of price, to make your offer more competitive – consider increasing the earnest money amount; if making an offer above listing, consider an appraisal gap contingency; depending on the property, consider doing a home inspection for inspection purposes only not requiring the buyer to make repairs or adjust the price but allowing an exit if you find significant issues with the home. I know it’s easier said than done, but most importantly be patient, stay positive, and have faith. Understand the market and be dedicated to the process and you will have success.

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