Articles

Friday Freebie: Business Planning Checklist for 2020
There are 15 days left in January--and 15 items to check off in this week's Friday Freebie. Today, we're highlighting a free business planning checklist that agents can use to make sure their business is prime, commission-earning shape for the year ahead. Read on to learn how you can end the first month of 2020 poised for success. Free 2020 Business Planning Checklist, courtesy of Homes.com Have you ever heard the phrase, Plan your work and work your plan? It's somewhat of a mantra at the RE Technology office. That's because we know that goals are never achieved without a plan to achieve them. But planning can be intimidating. That's why we like this week's Friday Freebie. It's a 15-item checklist from Homes.com that breaks down the work of preparing for a new year into small, manageable tasks. That way, you won't get overwhelmed and give up before even starting. Aim to accomplish one task every day starting today, and your business will be in tip-top shape once the real estate market starts to warm up again. Here's a sampling of checklist tasks: Update personal information on your website and social media channels Research competitors' advertisements and content for new ideas Add customer reviews to your website Take a new headshot Pretty painless, right? If you're ready to take on the new year, download Homes.com's 2020 Business Planning Checklist today!
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How 3D Tech Is Ensuring Accuracy and Transparency in the Transaction
A residential property was measured and photographed. The living room looked big enough to fit the new owner's suite of antique furniture. The staging photos certainly made it look like the right size. What's the worst that could happen? It's a story all to familiar to most and, as it turns out, a good deal can go wrong. Staging photos can give the impression of more space. Eyeballing a room's size (no surprise) isn't the most reliable system of measurement. Even legacy floor plans can prove to be suspect. There is no substitute for an accurate representation of the space itself, and physically being there has been the only way to get it—that is, until now.
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Must-Have Tools for Online Lead Conversion
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2020 Market Predictions for Real Estate
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM PST Steve Harney, Founder of Keeping Current Matters, will join us for a 2020 Market Forecast Overview. Steve and his team of researchers have reviewed what the experts are saying about this year’s real estate market and will provide you with the key insights on what they’ve found. You’ll walk away with the answers to simply and effectively communicate the truth about what is happening in today’s real estate market. On this webinar, Steve will cover: Home price appreciation over the next 3-5 years What the experts are saying about mortgage interest rates Inventory and demand going into the spring market What you need to know right now Register now!
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Products

Showcase (SM) Listing Enhancements by realtor.com®
The complete marketing solution for listings, buyers, social and mobile. Expose Your Listings on THREE Dominant Sites Get exposure on the entire realtor.com® network that includes the award-winning realtor.com® mobile apps and top search sites MSN and AOL Real Estate.  Engage SERIOUS Buyers Serious buyers prefer realtor.com® over other national listing sites2, and Showcase(SM) Listing Enhancements help them find your listings first.  Connect with International Buyers and Investors Showcase(SM) Listing Enhancements powers up your listings on realtor.com® AND realtor.com® International, so you’ll be able to deliver your listings to more international buyers and investors.  Keep Sellers Informed Maintain a professional dialogue with your sellers with listing-specific insights and buyer engagement information via detailed client reporting.  Master Social media marketing User the Social Connections App for Facebook to generateconversations AND leads from the king of social media.  QR Code mobile marketing System Get a complete listing package that includes a property-specific mobile website, QR code, lead-gen and lead capture AND a set of property specific flyers and
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Top Producer
Top Producer 8i is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that helps users manage tasks and relationships and to organize leads, manage repeat clients, referrals and sales. The 5 steps of top producer are to get more leads, turn leans into sales, convert more web leads, offer stellar client service and grow market share. Benefits include: Stay in Touch with Leads- Post on Facebook, follow on Twitter, send email, postcards, and letters. No matter how an agent prefer to connect – and how regularly – Top Producer is designed to help Know Exactly Who to Call, When, and What to Say - Agents can engage their database Access Anytime, Anywhere - Top Producer Mobility - Agents can access their database from their Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry® or Palm™ device Discover and Focus on Activities that Drive Business Growth - Top Producer shows agents where their business is coming from. They can track where leads are coming from, what new leads have come in, and which of their prospects are ready to transact. Top Producer 8i gives agents insight into their clients' situation, so they can convert more leads to appointments, and more appointments to sales. Win Repeat Business and Referrals - Top Producer 8i was designed to help agents engage before the transaction with relevant, timely information, ensuring they are the agent of choice when it's time to make a move, and they can stay in touch for weeks, months or years. Know the next 10 people you need to call - Everyday. Top Producer 8i helps agents reach out to their sphere, showing them who they need to call and when. Live reports show agents who is ready to transact, giving them a reason to make that call, and live connections to social media like Facebook and Twitter give them something relevant to talk
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LeadManager by WolfNet
WolfNet Technologies offers a LeadManager solution for real estate brokers to help agents stay current with their lead funnel. The technology allows the broker to track agent productivity and manage their leads. Their LeadManager solution includes an administrator dashboard for the agent to control and organize their lead information. LeadManager provides office and agent productivity reports, agent dashboard, lead distribution methods and administration and preparation tools. Key product differentiators include: Control and manage agent participation, lead assignment and distribution rules, leadtypes and lead delivery methods, including SMS cell phone lead acceptance. Agents are provided with a control panel to set up their lead profile and manage their leads. Includes calendar application and daily "to do" reminders. Generate lead reports to determine agent and office successes and deficiencies. Quickly determine closing ratios for agents, offices, date ranges, and lead types.
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RPR for Commercial
RPR for Commercial For those specializing in commercial properties, this program providers users comprehensive market data on a single platform. You can search for data by demographic, psychographic, or spending information to identify areas of high concentration of the customers your client is looking to target.  RPR for Commercial also helps business owners find a location based on an analysis of spending data within drive time, radius, or general area. Commercial reports can also be put together in minutes for your client to show trade area, business opportunities chart, or property reports as well.
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Industry News

Redfin Ranks the Most Competitive Neighborhoods of 2019
Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, MI; Tacoma, WA; Minneapolis and the Bay Area Rank Highest for the Year SEATTLE -- Bay Area neighborhood White Oaks is the most competitive neighborhood of the year for homebuyers, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Alger Heights in Grand Rapids, MI and East Arlington in Boston rounded out the top three competitive neighborhoods. "While neighborhoods in the Bay Area and Boston are still among the most competitive in the country, robust competition for homes in Grand Rapids, Minneapolis and Tacoma neighborhoods signals the desirability of more affordable areas," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "An influx of buyers from more expensive neighborhoods contributes to competition in these affordable neighborhoods, especially because they can make higher offers than local residents when they sell their previous homes." The report is based on 2019 rankings from Redfin's Compete Score, which uses a combination of proprietary Redfin data and data from local multiple listing services to determine how difficult it is for buyers to win a home in individual neighborhoods and cities. Below are the most competitive U.S. neighborhoods based on an average of monthly stats from January through November 2019. Of the 10 Bay Area neighborhoods among the most competitive in the country, half are in Oakland. Although the median sale price in Oakland is more than double the national median—$720,000 versus $312,000 for the typical home in the U.S. in November—it's still well below that of San Francisco ($1.4 million) and San Jose ($1.1 million). Oakland Redfin agent Katy Polvorosa said the area has been particularly hot this year, partly because it's more affordable than neighboring parts of the Bay Area. "I've heard a lot of people say the Bay Area housing market is cooling this year, but I'm seeing the opposite in Oakland," Polvorosa said. "I'm writing offers that are seeing aggressive competition. Homes that are move-in ready and priced right typically receive offers within 12 to 14 days. The Oakland market is so hot that sellers are still expecting and receiving offers that waive contingencies." Although the Bay Area is still home to plenty of competitive neighborhoods, homebuyers are gravitating toward more affordable inland metros as housing markets in coastal job centers have become more expensive. In the third quarter of 2019, 26% of Redfin.com home searchers looked to move to another metro area, with affordable places like Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas as popular destinations. The appearance of two neighborhoods in Grand Rapids on this year's ranking of most competitive neighborhoods is an example of the trend of migration away from more expensive metros. "Affordability plus quality of life are big draws to the Grand Rapids area. I've worked with buyers from Chicago, California, Hawaii and other expensive parts of the country who are looking here because they can get so much more bang for their buck," said local Redfin agent Shellie Silva, who moved to Grand Rapids from San Diego three years ago. "Homes in neighborhoods with price points below $275,000, like Alger Heights and Creston, are prone to bidding wars and they tend to sell quickly because they're even more affordable that some other parts of Grand Rapids." In Alger Heights, nearly 67% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home was on the market for one week before going under contract so far this year. And in Creston, 59.3% of homes sold for above list price and the typical home went under contract in just six days. To read the full report, including methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/most-competitive-neighborhoods-2019. About Redfin Redfin is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $85 billion.
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Waning Affordability Contributes to Slower Job Growth
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CoreLogic Reports U.S. Overall Delinquency Rate Lowest for an October in at Least 20 Years
No states posted an annual gain in overall delinquency rate in October CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report. The report shows that nationally, 3.7% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in October 2019, representing a 0.4 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with October 2018, when it was 4.1%. As of October 2019, the foreclosure inventory rate – which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4%, down 0.1 percentage points from October 2018. The October 2019 foreclosure inventory rate tied the prior 11 months as the lowest for any month since at least January 1999. Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency, as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next. The rate for early-stage delinquencies – defined as 30 to 59 days past due – was 1.8% in October 2019, down from 1.9% in October 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due in October 2019 was 0.6%, down from 0.7% in October 2018. The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.3% in October 2019, down from 1.5% in October 2018. The serious delinquency rate has remained consistent since April 2019. Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.7% in October 2019, unchanged from October 2018. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2%, while it peaked at 2% in November 2008. "Home price growth builds homeowner equity and reduces the likelihood of a loan entering foreclosure," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "The national CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a 3.3% annual rise in values through October 2019, and price growth was the primary driver of the $5,300 average gain in equity reported in the latest CoreLogic Home Equity Report." No states posted a year-over-year increase in the overall delinquency rate in October 2019. The states that logged the largest annual decreases included North Carolina (down 0.9 percentage points) and Mississippi (down 0.8 percentage points). Eight other states followed with annual decreases of 0.6 percentage points. In October 2019, eight metropolitan areas in the Midwest and South recorded small annual increases in overall delinquency rates. The largest annual increases in October 2019 were in the following metros: Pine Bluff, Arkansas (1.0 percentage points); Dubuque, Iowa (0.2 percentage points) and Rockford, Illinois (0.2 percentage points). Five other metros were up 0.1 percentage points: Columbus, Indiana; Kokomo, Indiana; Manhattan, Kansas; Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin and La Crosse-Onalaska, Wisconsin-Minnesota. While the nation's serious delinquency rate remains at a 14-year low, 14 metropolitan areas recorded small annual increases in their serious delinquency rates. Metros with the largest increases were Panama City, Florida (0.4 percentage points) and Dubuque, Iowa (0.2 percentage points). The remaining 12 metro areas each logged an annual increase of 0.1 percentage point. "National foreclosure and serious delinquency rates have remained fixed at record lows for at least the last six months," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "However, as markets can be much more volatile at the metro level, both late-stage delinquencies and foreclosures have continued to increase at this level in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country." The next CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report will be released on February 11, 2020, featuring data for November 2019. For ongoing housing trends and data, visit the CoreLogic Insights Blog. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), the leading provider of property insights and solutions, promotes a healthy housing market and thriving communities. Through its enhanced property data solutions, services and technologies, CoreLogic enables real estate professionals, financial institutions, insurance carriers, government agencies and other housing market participants to help millions of people find, acquire and protect their homes. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.
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Realtors Announce Partnership with Census Bureau in Promotion of 2020 Census
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Companies

Elevate
Welcome to pure productivity for real estate brokers, agents & teams: CRM, IDX websites, lead gen, email, text, social, automated campaigns & workflows, and custom consulting. Intuitive, easy-to-use technology, complemented by fanatical training, support and business consulting.
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eMerge
Who is eMerge designed for?The eMerge email marketing platform is designed for any business, brandor individual looking to create, manage & track email marketing initiatives.eMerge real estate campaigns provide brokers, agents & teams a helping hand each month withconsumer engagement, agent recruitment & retention, and lead nurturing &
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Realtors Property Resource® (RPR)
This initiative is based on the collaborative efforts of REALTORS® and the real estate community, including Brokers, MLSs and Associations. RPR’s core mission is to reinforce the REALTOR’S® value in the market place by keeping them ahead of the technology curve and better able to serve today’s’ technology empowered
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VirtualTourCafe
VirtualTourCafe embarked on a journey to completely redesign and redevelop the online software to meet the needs of today’s real estate industry as well as the new “Web 3.0” graphical and responsive designed websites. Eight thousand hours of developing later, VirtualTourCafe 3.0 was launched on June 1 st , 2016. The new and improved service offers many new features and benefits for the real estate agent, but more importantly positions VirtualTourCafe for the future! The VirtualTourCafe difference: An integrated easy-to-use modern solution for every real estate agent! Today we are still a small but growing company based in Pleasanton, CA with a small staff and lots of help from our friends, family and business partners. We work with independent contractors, photographers and virtual partners around the world. We are proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time with loyal customers who have been with us from the beginning! We have been able to maintain our values and moral compass pointed in the right direction, while always treating our customers, employees and associates as if they are family, and living life full of love and gratitude, one day at a
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Webinars

WATCH: Make 2020 Your Best Year Ever with the Best CRM
2019 is winding down and that means it's that time of year: New Year's resolution season. Whatever your specific goals are for your business in 2020, one thing is certain--you're going to need a plan to get there. In a recent webinar, we helped agents do just that. Special guest Shannon McGee of IXACT Contact shared an 11-item checklist for changing your business game in 2020. Shannon ran us through each item on the list and even gave us a brief demo of features in IXACT Contact's real estate CRM that can help you achieve that objective. So if you're looking to make the year ahead your strongest one yet, tune in to the webinar recording below to find out the actions you can take to achieve all your goals in 2020. Webinar Guests Shannon McGee, Sales Director, IXACT Contact Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the webinar topic and guest. 1:59 - Shannon McGee outlines the objectives of the webinar and what a CRM is, what it can do for your business, and how real estate CRM IXACT Contact can help. 7:13 - Shannon shares an 11-point "wish list" for changing your business game. 7:40 - #1: Get my contact list organized. 12:05 - #2: Never again miss the opportunity to follow up with a prospect or past client. 16:53 - #3: Automate my lead capture, nurture, and conversion. 18:22 - #4: Stay in control and have better management of my business pipeline. 21:03 - #5: Become an email and text marketing superstar. 29:15 - #6: Go mobile! 30:30 - #7: Develop your online presence. 35:08 - #8: Turn my social media marketing into a lead-gen machine. 37:58 - #9: Get more referrals and repeat business. 39:57 - #10: Stay organized and in control of your business. 40:08 - #11: Set business goals and achieve them. 45:37 - Shannon talks about IXACT Contact's Concierge service that gets you up and running with no heavy lifting on your part. 48:41 - Shannon reveals an exclusive offer for RE Technology readers. 49:12 - Question and answer segment. A Special Offer for RE Technology Readers For a limited time, RE Technology readers can get an extended free trial of IXACT Contact. Claim your FREE 60-day trial at www.ixactcontact.com/RETECH. Next Steps Learn more about IXACT Contact on their website Claim your 60-day FREE trial here: ixactcontact.com/RETECH
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WATCH: Do You Fear Anonymous Reviews? Take Back Control
The experience of buying or selling a home carries a lot of emotional weight for consumers. Sometimes these strong emotions come out in online reviews in both positive and negative ways. Whatever the tone or the of the reviews you receive, one thing is certain: online reviews of your service or going to happen whether you like it or not. So how can you stay in control of your online reputation? That's a discussion we had during a recent webinar with a panel of active Realtors and industry professionals. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out how you can take advantage of online reviews—and ensure that only real reviews from your real clients impact your professional reputation. Webinar Guests Ashley Young, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Laurie Davis, Broker/Owner of BHGRE Lifestyle Property Partners, VP of Industry Relations at RateMyAgent Mark Armstrong, CEO and Co-founder of RateMyAgent Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 2:15 - Marilyn shares a WAV Group real estate consumer survey on the importance of online ratings. 4:42 - Mark Armstrong takes over and talks about how emotional buying/selling a home is for consumers. He shows us a negative agent review and the agent's response to it. 8:05 - Next, Mark displays a review from a consumer that "loves" their agent. 8:50 - Mark demonstrates how RateMyAgent takes your agent reviews and links it to the real estate transaction so that you can use those reviews as a marketing tool. 11:27 - Ideas on how you can leverage reviews reviews from your clients—on social media, in email marketing or in digital ads. 12:06 - What is RateMyAgent? 13:55 - First in a series of questions for panelists Ashley Young and Laurie Davis. Do you fear reviews? How has your opinion of reviews changed in the last three years? 22:40 - What are you doing with your reviews after you've collected them? 32:08 - What are the elements that make up a marketable or portable review? 41:25 - What results have you gotten from promoting verified reviews? 50:04 - How do you prepare clients for receiving a request for a review to get a better response rate? 54:00 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about RateMyAgent on their website Register for our next webinar, Growing the real estate client relationship: Connecting opportunity, community and reality capture
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WATCH: Data Driven Tips to Generate, Convert and Close Your Leads
Pop quiz! A buyer is interested in a home. Who is going to convert them? Is it: The listing agent The website the consumer found the home on The first agent they hear from The data points to "C." According NAR research, 68% of buyers only interview one real estate agent. So what does that mean for you? "We know that speed is critical, but this data here shows that you need to be fast and you need to be first," said Joe Sesso, author of the books Secrets of Top Selling Agents and The Foreclosure Revolution, as well as a Realtor, real estate investor, national speaker and trainer. Joe was our guest during a recent webinar—a special "Secrets of Top Selling Agents" event for RE Technology readers. He not only shared techniques, tips, and tricks to beat your competition to the first contact, but he also outlined some of the new lead generation models—like iBuyers and referral networks—that are pushing their way onto the real estate scene. Webinar attendees got in-depth insight into three resources and strategies for leveling the playing field and generating your own leads. Want to get these insights for yourself? Watch the recorded webinar below! Webinar Guests Joe Sesso, Executive Director of Sales at Homes.com, Realtor, real estate author, speaker, trainer, and investor Moderator: Marilyn Wilson, Co-founder and President, RE Technology Video Timeline 0:00 - Moderator Marilyn Wilson introduces the topic and panelists. 1:25 - Joe Sesso talks about how "speed to lead" is critical to lead conversion. 3:25 - Joe offers an overview of the Referral Network lead gen model. 5:40 - Joe outlines the iBuyer lead gen model. 8:19 - Three ways to own your leads. 11:56 - Resource #1: Lead generation sources 22:38 - Resource #2: Lead conversion strategy 35:07 - Resource #3: Your website 53:35 - The keys to beating your competition every time. 54:15 - How to fill your pipeline with more leads from other peoples' listings. 55:50 - How to get a free SEO website audit from Homes.com. 56:35 - Question and answer segment. Next Steps Learn more about Homes.com Local Connect Claim your free website SEO audit by contacting [email protected] Register for our next webinar, Do you fear anonymous reviews? Take back control of your online profile today.
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WATCH: Growing Your Brand with a Real Estate CRM
There are a lot of misconceptions about what a brand is. For starters, it's not your logo or your website design. So what is a personal real estate brand and your can you build yours? That's what we explored in a webinar last week. A brand is, first and foremost, all about how you can serve your clients and sphere of influence. "The more you have a regular, consistent flow of communication, education, insight, counsel that you provide to your sphere, the better your own personal brand becomes," says webinar moderator Marilyn Wilson. "[Your] CRM can become a guide to helping your create your own brand." That's right—your CRM can be an important tool in building your visibility and influence with your sphere. In this webinar, Rich Gaasenbeek of IXACT Contact shows us how your CRM and marketing automation system can help you build your brand through regular, consistent communication across multiple marketing channels. Watch the recorded webinar below to find out more (and how to claim an exclusive FREE offer from IXACT Contact)!
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WATCH: Win Over Sellers and Close More Listings with This Tech Tool
From wowing sellers during listing presentations, to increasing sight-unseen offers, to increasing your speed to market, there's a marketing technology that can turbocharge essential aspects of your business. We're talking about 3D virtual tours--and during a recent webinar, we took an exhaustive look at all they have to offer. We were joined by representatives from Amy Kite Realty, who gave us first-hand insight into how their business is winning new clients and closing deals faster, thanks to Matterport. If you missed the webinar, no worries. We recorded it for you! Check out the video (and our notes) below:
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