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Think Your Lead Generation Is Expensive and Ineffective? Watch This Short Video for 3 Lead Gen Tips from Industry Experts
Lead generation: two words to strike unease in the heart of any dedicated agent or broker. Funneling potential clients into a sales cycle takes time, energy, and resources... and then comes the actual nurturing of the lead to convert them into a customer. Technology continues to change the way we market ourselves to clients. Lead generation has moved from the tactile world of newspaper listings and flyers to a digital landscape with seemingly endless options. And yet, navigating this terrain of resource-hungry advertising platforms can be treacherous on all sides, especially when only an average of 2% of leads are ready to move to contract within 30 days and it could take up to seven years to close a deal for the other 98%! If it seems like a daunting task to come up with new leads, you're not alone. Many agents face similar issues in their campaigns to create business through lead generation, whether they hire a service or pursue new leads themselves. Recently, Bondilyn Jolly, VP of Marketing at Elevate, an online lead generation and marketing provider, sat down with Denis Pepin, Broker/Owner of United Real Estate Professionals in Huntington Beach, Calif. to talk about common lead generation challenges and their solutions. Here's the video and recap: Problem: Lead generation is expensive. Solution: Generate new leads from your current clients. As an industry average, for every $1000 spent on lead generation, only $10 is spent on lead nurturing. Disrupting this statistic will set you apart from other agents who simply walk away after a deal closes. Actively maintaining a relationship with past clients positions you at the top of their minds when someone they know starts talking about moving. According to NAR's 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Profile, 90% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend to a friend—take advantage of this fact. Problem: More leads exist than actual business. Solution: Lead gen that specializes in analytics could provide higher quality leads—meaning, customers that are more likely to buy. Investing in companies like Elevate that work closely with dedicated and experienced marketing professionals to add value to their lead gen services can help ensure you're seeing a profitable return on your dollar. Problem: Most agents do not have a system to effectively handle and nurture inbound leads. Solution: As part of your sales funnel model, it's extremely important to send potential clients down a tested, proven track towards contract to get the most out of your leads. If you're losing clients at a certain step in your cycle, don't keep trying the same methods over and over until you wear yourself out—change your approach! The best thing to do when you're feeling stuck is to find a reliable, consistent company to work with that responds to agent/team needs.
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Is Your 3D Property Tour TRULY 3D?
Do you remember when virtual property tours were just glorified slide shows stitched together into two-minute YouTube videos? Digital property tours have grown up a lot since then. Now a high tech version, the 3D virtual tour, is dominating the space. However, like all exciting new technologies, the 3D tour has spawned a sea of copycats—and despite their claims, many are not actually 3D at all. Today, we're going to explore what makes a 3D tour actually 3D, and how real estate agents can tell the difference. Will the real 3D tour please stand up? First things first: what is a 3D virtual property tour? Well, a three-dimensional property tour lets real estate consumers remotely "walk through" a virtual model of a home. It's perhaps best described as "reality capture," as that's precisely what takes place, and the process brings any built environment directly to anyone, from anywhere, on any device. Viewers can navigate the space simply by clicking or tapping their screen; they can look up or down, as well as side to side, just as they would in real life. The transition from one point to the next within a tour is seamless. There are no visual distortions in a true 3D tour. So what differentiates a true 3D tour from imitators? It's all about the depth. Any virtual tour can capture two dimensions—height and width—but true three-dimensional tours also capture depth. Typically this is done via a specialized camera equipped with multiple lenses and infared that can sense, measure, and capture depth. However, in utilizing the spatial context of spaces already captured from around the world, Matterport has trained its AI-powered software to add depth to images captured with simple 360 cameras. The resolution and features vary depending on your camera but the experience remains. In other words, Matterport can create true 3D from 360. "Our technology has depth sensors that actually capture spaces with 3D depth perception and allows us to stitch it together into a true 3D walkthrough," says Mark Tepper, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Matterport. Matterport is a pioneer and the leader in 3D tour technology. "Others call their tours '3D,' but they're not. They're a 360-degree panoramic photo that's stitched together with a non-3D walkthrough." Now that you know the difference between a real 3D tour and the stitched together panoramas that call themselves 3D, that begs the question—does it really matter? What 3D tours make possible One big difference between 3D tours and 360-degree tours is their verisimilitude, or how true to life they are—there's a reason it's known as "reality capture." When virtual property tours are true-to-life, consumers are more likely to substitute them for in-person tours. This offers real estate agents benefits like: Fewer disruptions to your seller, thanks to buyers being able to narrow down whether or not a home is right for them before requesting an in-person showing Out-of-area buyers are more likely to purchase a home with a 3D tour, as they can "tour" a property without physically being there, opening greater opportunity to "sight-unseen" sales Serious buyers are able to make a purchase decision without requesting multiple showings of the same property What to ask when evaluating 3D tours Now that you know the basics of what makes a virtual tour truly three-dimensional, we're going to leave you with a brief checklist you can use to evaluate vendors in the future. Use it to not only determine whether a tour is truly 3D, but also to determine if a tour offers other benefits for your business. Does this tour require capture by a specialized camera, or can you capture it on your phone? If your tour doesn't require a depth-sensing camera, it's probably not 3D. Does the tour offer smooth walkthroughs, or is the navigation rough or somewhat jarring? Rough transitions indicate a tour that's probably not 3D. Does the tour offer a "dollhouse" view of the property? Real 3D tours like Matterport will create a virtual model of an entire property that you can zoom into and out of. What other assets does the tour vendor offer? A single Matterport shoot gives agent a 3D property tour, a virtual reality tour, high-res listing photos, floorplans, and more. Where can I distribute my tour? Marketing is important, so look for tours with partnerships with major online property destinations. Matterport tours, for example, can be automatically distributed to Realtor.com, Homesnap, Homes.com, and beyond. They also offer animated teaser GIFs of your tour that you can easily share on social media and boost client engagement. Want to learn more about 3D virtual tours for real estate? Visit Matterport.com.
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Top 10 Roadblocks: Clearing the Path to Success
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Pricing in a Shifting Market
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM PDT In a shifting market it's very important to understand not only comparables, but also actives, absorption rates, months supply, and more when wanting to price a home properly. Join Martin Bouma, the founder and visionary behind The Bouma Group, to learn the ins and outs of expert pricing that sells listings. Register now!
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Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
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Have You Ever Considered What Your Slash Says About You?
Do you have a good "/" or a bad "/"? The slash (/) has many different names, like stroke, slant and right-leaning stroke, to name a few. Many of us define it as a substitute for the words "and," "or." For example, "his/her" is an appropriate use of the slash to mean "or." Looking on LinkedIn, I see slashes used a lot, like "Residential/Commercial" or "REALTOR®/Associate Broker," which I think is very good for explaining that you are working in the same field, just in a slightly different position. One of the most famous slashes in all of sports was Kordell Stewart with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a Quarterback/Wide Receiver/Running Back and became known simply as "Slash". For Kordell, having all those slashes enabled him to have a 11-year career in the NFL. First, let's discuss good slashes. Many of us have divisions in our career—I looked at my LinkedIn account and would need five slashes to list everything I am currently doing. All five of my areas are closely related and work well together and actually strengthen the different areas I list. A speaker needs research on a subject, which can lead to writing and can lead to training. Listing the same task done with different organizations can offer credibility—but again, like Kordell Stewart, it's all in the same basic vertical of expertise. Now let's look at bad slashes. When looking for a professional to provide you a product or service, you need to see if they have a slash. Would you go to a doctor/Uber driver? Lawyer/lawn care? Funeral director/exotic dancer? As you can see, the slash can help you or hurt you and cause people to doubt your commitment to the primary product or service you are offering. During the housing crunch of 2008, I saw many REALTORS® adding a slash to help them through rough times. I sure hope they have since removed the slash. I see new agents concerned about leaving a current position to take on a new challenge in real estate adding the slash. The public sees the slashes, and I am sure they consider the slash when selecting a person to help them with their needs. So, I ask again: do you have a good / or a bad /? Dick Betts is the National Director of Seminars, New Home Co-Broker Academy. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com.
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A Crash Course on Homesnap
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Facebook Marketing Best Practices
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 10:30 AM PDT There are a lot of people on Facebook. It's what makes advertising on Facebook so powerful: you have the potential to reach TONS of new sellers and buyers to make your business grow. Unfortunately, it also means that your ads will be seen by the wrong people from time to time. Join us as we teach you Facebook ad best practices to help you reach the right potential customers. We'll show you: How to share your Cloud Attract landing pages on social media quickly and effortlessly How to boost your posts How to create your first Facebook ad and who to target ...and more. Register now!
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3 Ways to Leverage HOAs for Leads
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zipTMS Transaction Management: Soar to the Next Level
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 12:00 PM PDT Take what you know to the next level. This learning path will provide best practices in utilizing zipTMS for efficient, time-saving workflow processes. What is zipTMS? Review Agent Dashboard and explain how to populate the graphs Create a New Template which includes a Checklist with set due dates Add the Template to a Transaction Explore and understand Tasks View zipForm® Plus Notifications for Tasks Display and discuss Transaction History / Recent Activities Register now!
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The New Agent's Guide to Open Houses
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The Generational Cheat Sheet: Best Ways to Communicate with Each One
We live in an age of ever-changing ways to communicate: social media, email, text (SMS) and telephone. Which one is the preferred method for your clients? In an industry like real estate, it's vital to know the best way to communicate with your buyers, sellers, peers and just about everyone. What makes this fascinating is how communication styles can differ by generation. Right now, there are six generations that comprise our society. Every one of these six generations plays a role in the real estate marketplace. And today we bring you the best ways to communicate with each generation. So keep this cheat sheet handy!
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Create Your Own Branded App with MLS-Touch
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Friday Freebie: Property Flyer to Download and Print
In honor of back to school season, we're giving you homework this weekend. But don't worry--we promise it'll be fun and that you'll walk away with an upgraded real estate marketing toolkit. Ready? Let's get started! Expand your marketing mix with a free property flyer from ProspectsPLUS! Today's assignment has one purpose: to expand your real estate marketing horizons by upgrading or adding a new lead generation piece to your repertoire. That piece? A property flyer of your choice. We've teamed up with ProspectsPLUS! to offer RE Technology readers a free property flyer (with promo code FREEFLYER) that you can customize, download and print right from your computer. Your homework is to choose a flyer that either upgrades a property flyer that you're currently using, or is a type of flyer that you've never used before. There are multiple designs to choose from, and various flyer types like: Single property flyers Multiple property flyers Multiple property 'Just Listed' flyers 'Just Listed' lead generation letter to neighbors 'Just Sold' lead generation letter to neighbors Once you choose a flyer, you can customize it on the ProspectsPLUS! digital platform. Next, you'll download the flyer as a PDF and either print it at your office or take it to a local print shop. (Homework cheat: Before you get started, read our last Friday Freebie to learn how to get a $25 gift certificate just for creating a free ProspectsPLUS! account.) Use your flyer to create A+ marketing campaigns that target buyers, build your brand awareness, and attract seller leads. Download your free property flyer now! Use promo code FREEFLYER at checkout.
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WTF? No, it's not what you think.
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Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Live Streaming Guide in 2019
In 2019, live streaming content for your real estate business is one of the most lucrative social channels on which to generate tons of organic traction. Most real estate agents are not using the power of live streaming to its full potential. While hosting one of our webinars with local real estate agents, we found out that the biggest obstacle agents are facing from doing live streams is lack of training. Agents do not know how and what kind of content to create for their live videos. In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about creating live streaming content for your real estate business. We will also share some blueprints of how to use live streaming videos to reach out to homeowners.
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We Don't Rise to the Level of Our Expectations, We Fall to the Level of Our Training
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Use These Holidays for Great Social Media Content
Did you know that there is a unique holiday for every day of the year? Learn how you can use some of these fun holidays to spice up your social media content calendar! It is important to have content to get your audience engaged. DO: Use holidays like these to spark conversations with your followers, express your personality and/or share some information about your business! DON'T: use holidays that will create a disconnect between you and your audience about who you are or what you stand for. And remember, not all social media posts should be promotional. Use these holidays as a way to get closer to your audience. Below we give you a handful of holidays you can use to start your content calendar, as well as some tips and example posts you can share on those specific days.
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Transaction Management Update: Form Simplicity gets a brand new look
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What's the Safest Way to Manage Your Passwords?
It may be the biggest Catch-22 of technology: password protection keeps your data safe. After all, one in five Americans says they have experienced a compromise of an online account. But to be genuinely safe experts recommend using different, highly complex passwords: a mix of random letters, numbers, and characters. However, that approach makes these passwords nearly impossible for most people to remember!
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Market Dominant Yet Still Marketing: One Agent's Secrets to Success
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3 Tips to Attract Your Ideal Real Estate Clients
As an independent contractor, you have the freedom to make choices in every aspect of your real estate business. From the broker under which your license is hung to how you market and advertise your business and, yes, even the clients you work with. New agents can't imagine turning down or even firing a client. But as the years go by, they begin to understand that some clients are just not worth the time spent on them. From those with champagne tastes, shopping on a beer budget, to those who are just downright toxic, you have a choice to avoid or embrace each client that enters your sphere. How to choose the embraceable ones is what we'll show you with three basic tips.
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What Are iBuyers?
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Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You Money
Time is money and you need to make the most of both, especially in real estate. Don't waste your time acting like an amateur real estate photographer snapping photos with your iPhone. For around $150, you can have a pro do the job and return the photos to you in as little as 14 hours. Hire a professional and get back to doing what you do best--selling properties.
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RU Getting the Most Out of Txting?
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5 Real Estate Retargeting Tips for Local Marketing
Are you frustrated with the bounce rate of your website? Do you have potential leads visiting, only to never return? You're not alone. On average, more than half of website visitors will leave a website almost instantly after landing on it. This is like a person walking into a clothing store and not being satisfied with the merchandise that is being displayed. Convinced that they won't find what they are looking for, they turn around and head to another store, or in your case, another agent.
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Increase Your Inbound Leads with Twitter and LinkedIn
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
As a data junkie, I love Top 10 lists. So, when The Counselors of Real Estate releases its member survey of current and emerging issues that will have the biggest impact on real estate in 2019 and 2020, I'm all ears – and eyes. The 1,100 member Counselors released its Top Ten list once again at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, this year in Austin. The top concern? U.S. infrastructure was identified as the #1 issue impacting real estate.
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Facebook Messenger Bots: How to Automate Conversations to Qualify Leads and Stay Top of Mind
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First-Time Home Buyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
First-time home buyers have historically been a large niche for real estate agents. As each generation enters the workforce, their desire to own a home logically follows right after. This trend has been hotly debated as the rise of the millennial home buyer has spurred some interesting opinions. Conversations in recent years have resulted in many agents believing the millennial generation is the first group to break the status quo of homeownership. Are you a real estate agent that feels as though first-time home buyers are not worthwhile? In this post, we get into whether or not first-time home buyers are an asset to your real estate career.
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Efficiency in the Closing Process with 3D Tours
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The Missing Ingredient that Can Ensure Your Success in Real Estate
Time is money! How to get off the real estate hamster wheel and be more dollar-productive Here is a pretty simple pattern. The larger your lead database grows, the more successful your real estate business will be. We have seen a direct correlation between real estate growth and the size of a lead database. Seems like a no-brainer, right? More leads equal more opportunity for success. In fact, we've discovered that teams and businesses investing in lead generation efforts experience a compounding growth effect. Over eight years, they typically witness growth in production volume by four times. On top of that, we've uncovered a formula to virtually ensure success in real estate.
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Understand the 3 Ps to Win and Sell More Listings
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How to Snag Baby Boomer Real Estate Leads
Need listings? Our advice is to get very familiar with the older generations. According to the chart on page 96 of NAR's latest Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, 55 percent of all home sellers are members of the baby boomer (age 55 to 73) and silent generations (age 74 to 94). When it comes to buyers, Millennials make up 39 percent of the pool, but those 55+ generations loom large as well, making up 37 percent of homebuyers. As you know, Millennials are typically first-time homebuyers. The chances are quite good, however, that since 76 percent of boomers own homes, your older client will gift you with two transactions, both selling and buying. You'll need to earn their business, though. First, get to know them They may be older, but they're not "old." And they aren't "seniors" either. In fact, "they flat out reject the term 'senior citizen' with all of the implications that come with the phrase," according to John Brandon, contributing editor at Inc. magazine. If you want to market effectively to this generation, dump the stereotypes, warns Brent Green who wrote the book Marketing to Leading Edge Baby Boomers. "They will not tolerate … generational stereotypes and clichés," he warns. This brings us to the second misconception about baby boomer real estate consumers. They're not tech dolts, either Remember: the World Wide Web was created by baby boomers, so there's always been a certain curiosity about tech advances among the cohort. Today, nearly 90 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 use the internet regularly while nearly three fourths of those age 65 and older do, according to Pew Research. Surprisingly, more than half of adults age 75-79 use the internet (there goes another stereotype!). They make up a large part of that 90 percent of homebuyers who shop for homes online before calling an agent. How to market to older Americans If you plan on concentrating your marketing efforts on the baby boomer generation, start with your website; ensure that it's boomer friendly. Remove anything that may be offensive or makes you appear out-of-touch. Remove the words "seniors" and, most especially, "elderly." Use "mature," "50+" or "baby boomer" instead. Avoid referring to them as "retirees," as boomers make up nearly 30 percent of the workforce. Use a slightly larger font to make your content easier to read so they'll stick around longer. Sprinkle your pages with testimonials – this type of social proof means a lot to this cohort. Then, work on beefing up your content to match what boomers are seeking: Community descriptions and resources Keep it hyper-local Educate – it's been awhile since they've been involved in a real estate transaction. Not all of your content should be about real estate. Use your hyper-local posts to highlight nearby businesses or amenities that serve their interests. Some of these include: Dining out Entertaining Gardening Golf Home improvement Online and video games Travel Walking, jogging, hiking Working out at the gym Don't neglect to share your content on social media. This generation is especially prevalent on Facebook and LinkedIn, according to Irfan Jafrey at Forbes.com. Additional marketing ideas Two themes regularly appear in real estate articles and studies of baby boomers: they will either age in place or sell their homes and rent. They may say they want to age in place, but reality is setting in: it's going to take a lot of time, effort and money to retrofit their current homes. Even if they have the time, effort and money, they simply no longer need as much space. It turns out, however, that aging in place doesn't necessarily mean aging in this place. Older adults are "redefining what it means to age in place, with one in four planning to move to a new home to accommodate changing needs that come with aging," according to recent research from Home Instead Senior Care. "A growing number of older adults no longer see aging in place as having to stay in the same home where they've lived for decades and perhaps even raised their family," according to the company's gerontologist, Lakelyn Hogan. One-story homes, less square footage and low-maintenance landscaping are about to become quite popular in the real estate world. Use your real estate postcards, newsletter articles and social media shares to help educate boomers on the benefits of buying another home instead of renovating their McMansions and of owning over renting. Overall, your older clients expect to be taken care of with excellent customer service. Provide it and you'll get the bonus – they love to refer their friends and family members to those who have served them well.
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Friday Freebie: $25 Gift Card to ProspectsPLUS.com
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Facebook Ad Campaigns: 5 Common Mistakes You Don't Want to Make
Facebook ads can be a powerful part of a real estate agent's marketing repertoire. Digital ads are attractive for their ability to spur immediate response to your listings or services. Unfortunately, the learning curve for using them is much steeper than it first appears. Some approaches to Facebook ad management seem like intuitive sabotage and can negatively impact your results at the end of the day. When this happens, your ad budget can become pure overhead: You'll either get no website visits or visits only from people who never follow up.
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How to Create the Perfect Neighborhood Guide for Your Real Estate Website
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Homesnap Launches New Net Sheet Calculator: Tell a Seller How Much They Could Make Today
Homesnap has just released a Net Sheet Calculator. With just a few clicks, you can send your clients an easy-to-ready Net Sheet PDF. This PDF includes individual costs, total costs, and net proceeds. You can find this new tool on Homesnap Pro, where you can find the rest of our on-the-go tools.
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Maybe It's Time to Add New Homes to Your Showing Schedule
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Instagram
Out of all social media, Instagram users are the most likely to "take action" on posts. Because of this, Instagram has become a very welcoming place for businesses. Engagement is encouraged in a much stronger way than on other social media platforms, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to advertising on Instagram. Take a look at these ten ways to Increase your real estate leads on Instagram and take your profile to the next level.
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6 Head Shots to Stop Taking
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Tips for Working with Saved Properties and Searches in RPR
There are many reasons to save your search criteria or even a property in RPR. But do you know how it all works? This article will explore the simple how-to's behind saving searches and properties in RPR.
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Facebook Business Page Training
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Turn Your Listing Descriptions into Sales
Think back to 2006. You may remember hearing about the launch of a new social media platform, Twitter. You most likely didn't, because it had little fanfare. Posts to the social media platform were dubbed "tweets" and tweeters were limited to only 140 characters. Jack Dorsey, one of the platform's founder, claims they chose the word Twitter, because it was "perfect," defined as "a short burst of inconsequential information." Today, tweeters are allowed to use 280 characters to tweet out their inconsequential information, but the majority use only 33 characters, according to Sarah Perez, at TechCrunch.com. Remind you of anything?
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Gen Z is Buying Their First Homes! Here's What You Need to Know
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Secrets of a Top Listing Agent
Back in 2014, Chris and I took a trip to Mississauga, Canada for a real estate conference. It was there where we first met Chip Barkel. Today, Chip has a pipeline of over $36,000,000 of upcoming sales. But on that day we first met, he had just started his real estate career. Over the last five years, I've been able to follow Chip's career--and I've seen him go from $0 to over $15M in sales production.
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10 Reasons Why You Are Not Generating Real Estate Clients Online
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Email Marketing Makes Customers for Life
Email marketing is, without a doubt, one of the biggest keys to success for real estate agents. When you meet someone, they may not be ready to immediately use your services. They may be considering buying or selling a home, but need months before they'll take action. Often, that means your potential business slips away. Email marketing helps to keep that from happening.
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Just When You Think You Are Having a Bad Day!
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Facebook
People often feel like their company needs a Facebook page, rather than wanting to have a Facebook page, because many people do not know how to properly use Facebook to help their company. Not knowing the right way to use Facebook to help increase leads can cause people to dread having an account altogether. By following these ten steps to increasing real estate leads by using Facebook, you will be more excited than ever to set up a company account and get started.
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From Restaurants to Real Estate: How One Entrepreneur Closed 79 Transactions in 1 Year
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6 Quick Tips For Real Estate Contact Management
Managing your real estate contacts is the foundation to a successful career as an agent. When you properly care for your database, you save time and energy that you can dedicate to other important aspects of your career and even your personal life. Ultimately, using a real estate CRM will help you to stay more organized and get more out of your workday. If you're just getting started and are looking for some advice, here are six quick tips for real estate contact management, and how a CRM can help you:
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Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
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How to Get More Reviews and Boost Your Google Reputation
No doubt you've used online reviews to make shopping and dining choices before. Consumers similarly beeline to the internet when they start thinking about buying or selling, so agents should always be thinking about how to get more reviews. An impressive 86% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a business, and 91% trust online reviews as much as referrals from friends. A recent J.D. Power study found that first-time buyers and sellers actually valued reputation — read: online reviews — more than the referrals they got.
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4 Ways You Can Reach New Leads Faster
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
Instant offer companies are a real thing and they are here to compete with you for their fair share of the real estate market. However, you should enjoy that people are reacting to instant offers as they have. Why? Because it opens up a whole new kind of untapped marketing strategy that might lead to you closing more clients. In this guide, we will teach you how to create marketing campaigns and close these instant offer clients.
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Real Estate Pipeline Management: 6 Tips to Manage Your Pipeline
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Why Agents Should Try 'Cluster Tasking' over Multitasking
I admit that I am as guilty as everybody else by neglecting my own attempt to improve my time management by not multitasking. For example, a few weeks ago, I had a social event to attend at 5pm, errands to run from 3:30 to about 4:30, and a plan to start preparing an appetizer for the event at 1pm. I had my act together and all the ingredients on the counter ready to start—and the phone rings. It's a possible client who asked if I had time to talk. Did I have time to talk? No. Did I talk? Yes, for over an hour.
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How to Find a Virtual Assistant
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3 Lazy Listing Tours to Stand Out as the Expert Agent
As a listing expert, you know one of the ways you stand out amongst other listing agents is how you market and sell homes. You can use the method and technologies you use to market homes as a point of distinction in your market place. For example, if most people are just listing homes in the MLS, you can tell prospective sellers how you do things differently. Maybe you use Facebook Ads, or online videos, or Google to get prospective homes in front of buyers. Whatever combination of steps you use to market homes becomes your competitive advantage. And you can stand out in the marketplace when you communicate and share your competitive advantage and what makes you different. In our real estate practice, we use a lot of online video to stand out in our market. One of our favorite types of videos for marketing listings is what we call a "Lazy Listing Tour." In these videos, we simple show people one or more highlight features in a home. Why do we call them LAZY? Because we don't use expensive equipment or contractors to produce these videos. We typically use just our phones or our computer's webcam to create these videos. And even though they are easy and free to make, they get great engagement and results in our marketing. Let's take a look at three different examples of Lazy Listing Tours that you can use to stand out as a listing expert through the innovative marketing of real estate... Garry's Walking Tour In this video, Garry just used his phone's camera, his ear pods as the mic, and a selfie stick to hold his phone. Then he just walked and talked to give some insights into this home. After posting on Facebook, we created Facebook Ads to promote this video and got rewarded with tons of engagement. Facebook's algorithm favored this style of informal, yet interesting information. Wood from the Chicago Stock Exchange This is a short yet effective video. Chris just used his phone's camera and mic with a selfie stick. In this example, we're just showing one highlight feature of a home—in this case, the wood beams featured in the house. After posting on Facebook, we created an Facebook Ad to promote the video. We only spent a $1 a day on Facebook for a few days, but got thousands of videos and dozens of people clicking to get more information about this listing. Angelwilde Lazy Listing Tour For this example, Chris never left the comfort of his own home. Instead of physically going to the listing, we pulled up pictures of the home and talked about them while recording his screen and video on his laptop's webcam and a screen recording app. Tools like Wistia's Soapbox make it easy to create this type of screen sharing video. Now that you've seen how easy it is to make videos to market listings, all you need is the real estate. If you don't have a listing of your own you can use, we suggest asking your broker for help in getting a listing you can use for marketing purposes. Another option is to partner up with a listing agent with a listing to host an open house where you can market the open house and feature the home. To view the original article, visit the Paperless Agent blog.
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6 Effective Real Estate Open House Ideas for Today's Real Estate Agent
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How to Shoot Bedrooms
Trying to achieve some great images of a bedroom for your next listing? Brad Filliponi, co-founder of BoxBrownie and experienced real estate photographer, has you covered. In this blog, he is going to share his secret top tips on how to take ideal shots of bedrooms.
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4 Real Estate Tips for Turning Listings into a Social Media Lead Magnet
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Using OneDrive: 5 tips for storing and sharing photos, videos and docs online
Microsoft created its cloud storage service, OneDrive, to allow people to "access, share and collaborate on your files from anywhere." Eighty-five percent of Fortune 500 companies and a quarter of a million organizations worldwide have OneDrive, according to Microsoft. While Google and Dropbox may have more individual users, for business, OneDrive is dominant. The best thing about OneDrive may be how it allows you to work securely from any device: your desktop, laptop or on your phone through its mobile app. In terms of flexibility, OneDrive is powerful because in addition to supporting Office files, it is also compatible with more than 300 file types, from Photoshop files (PSD) and Illustrator (AI) to Adobe PDF and 3D image formats. Here are our five successful OneDrive tips and tricks for agents:
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Friday Freebie: Take a 5-Minute Survey on Listing Strategy, Get Rewards
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8 Simple Ways to Get Customer Testimonials
Testimonials work. They're one of the most effective, least expensive methods of establishing credibility and helping prospects decide to work with you. Potential real estate leads will put more stock into the recommendation of a client, friend, neighbor or relative than they will any direct sales or other marketing efforts--and rightfully so. However, you already knew all of that, so why haven't you been asking for them?
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Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Real Estate Webinar
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Email Marketing Dos and Don'ts
Studies show that Americans check their email up to 15 times per day, making email one of the most effective marketing channels for staying top-of-mind with existing clients and for reaching new clients. It's important to remember, however, that with a large number of emails hitting inboxes each day, the quality and usefulness of your emails will determine whether it's clicked on and read or sent directly to the spam folder. Here are some important dos and don'ts for creating emails that get read and remembered.
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5 Strategies to Generate Seller Leads and Build Better Relationships
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5 Tips for Building Trust with Clients
Real estate is, first and foremost, a business based on client relations. Real estate agents provide a personal connection that can't be replaced, which means building trust with clients is crucial. Set yourself up for success from the start--here are some ways to foster that agent-client relationship.
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Must-Follow Pages and Facebook Groups for Your Real Estate Business
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Friday Freebie: Holiday Weekend Freedom Edition
A Friday Freebie that talks about freedom? That's a lot of "free" mentions--and for good reason. Not only is this week's Friday Freebie free to try--as in no cost, gratis--its primary benefit is to free up your time so that you can earn more money and convert more leads. Ready to find out more? Read on to unveil this week's offer.
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Kendall Jenner's House in 3D: How virtual walkthroughs give A-list celebrities anonymity
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How NOT to Get Ripped Off by Your Contractor: Protect Your Clients and Your Properties
How would you feel recommending a contractor and finding out the work was not done properly? Do you think that it would affect your future business and recommendations? It certainly can. And it happens more often than you think. This does not just happen to our clients. It happens to real estate agents all the time. I spoke this week with a real estate agent that inherited a condo from her mother. She decided to completely gut and renovate it. She went to the condo office to ask who they recommended since they have firsthand knowledge of the contractors that do a lot of work in the building. The office manager recommended a contractor that had renovated three units in her building in the same line. She went to take a look at them and was impressed with his work. Sounds good so far, right? She signed an agreement, and he began his work by demolishing the whole inside of the condo. Now, normally there are notices put up on the door indicating that permits were pulled. She did not see any and asked him where the permits are. He said that he did not pull any. Fear set in. She looked him up online and found out that the name of his company, which is on the contract along with his license number, is no longer active. This contractor had no license to do work. She immediately fired him and requested her deposit back. How much deposit did she give him? $42,000. Yikes! Has she seen one penny of it back? If you said no, you guessed right. Then the agent found out that the contractor was banned from the building for previous shoddy work. The big question now is, why did the condo office manager refer a contractor that was banned by the condo association? Now she hires an attorney. The cost and aggravation of pursuing this and the probability of getting her deposit returned appear to be futile. Nothing turns the excitement of your dream remodel into a nightmare like a bad contractor. Here are the eight essential tips for selecting a contractor that won't leave the home underwater. 1. Make sure the contractor you hire has an active license in your state. This is number one. Go online and search for their name. Make sure the company's name is active and look for the names of the people within the company. Sometimes, the person you are hiring is not a contractor and is working under the license of someone else. Know this upfront before you make a commitment to avoid potential risks. You want to make sure that the person you are dealing with is a licensed professional with work under their belt in your state. If anything goes wrong, you can file a complaint with the city or state licensing bureau. If any issues arise while the work is being performed, you can bring in an inspector to make sure it is being done correctly and according to the local building standards. When you hire someone to remodel a home and they don't have a license, it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to take any recourse that will bring you a satisfying result. By hiring a licensed person, at least you know the licensing state has done some backgrounds check on them. 2. Check their online reputation and reviews Most of us today learn about those we work with by what people are saying online. Check out their reviews, and if there have been any complaints filed against them. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a good place to start. 3. Look into your contractor's background Whomever you decide to hire, make sure that you can trust that person. That can be a very big endeavor, yet there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. There are many good and bad people that do not want the headache and expense of getting a contractor's license, so they work under the license of another person. Know this beforehand and check out the work they have done. Here's an example of why that is important: A real estate agent who purchased a condo met a contractor doing work in the same building. The contractor told her that he gave his license information to the condo office, and the agent trusted that (or else he would not be working there, right?) So, she hired him to remove and re-tile her entire condo. When the contractor and his worker said they had finished the job, she went to go check. The place was covered in dust and was not completed. Upon investigating further, the agent found out that these men working in the building were ex-felons without a license. They threatened her with her life if she did not pay them, so she did. Lesson learned. Know as much as you can about the background of the person you are entrusting with keys and the remodel of your home before making a decision. 4. Interview the contractor Find out if he or she will be the one doing the job and ask how hands-on they will be. Will they be doing the work themselves or hiring others under their license to do the work? Does the contractor you hire plan on showing up every day to make sure the job is completed on time and correctly, or will they be performing multiple jobs at once and only available via phone or text? Will the contractor you hire commit to a start date? I have seen more than once a contractor saying they will begin work next week, take your deposit, and then call to postpone your job. This is common practice. Find a contractor who has a track record of showing up and completing the job within an agreeable time frame. Yes, some things can get out of our control—like weather, building inspectors and unforeseen problems. Still, you want a contractor who shows up when they say they are going to start the job. 5. Check out their referrals Rule number one is to go see their work when possible. At the very least, definitely call to verify their references. Many contractors will show you photos of the work they have done. Yet, how do you know if it was truly their work? 6. Get multiple estimates Get estimates from at least three different contractors. I believe that you get what you pay for in life. So remember, the cheapest bid does not mean it is the best. Many times, the cheapest bid ends up being the most expensive due to delays and adjustments in price that the contractor adds during the course of the project. 7. Structure payments so it is a win-win. Consider paying for the materials and supplies up front. Either you can buy them, or they can purchase them and provide receipts. Also, check that you are paying for items that were purchased for your job and not for anyone else's. Pay for work completed during various phases of the project. For example, the first deposit is made once 1/3 of the job is completed, then 1/2, then 3/4 and a final payment once completed. This can help protect you from the contractor holding all the cards (money) and then delaying the start or completion of the remodel. 8. Make sure permits are pulled and closed when the job is finished. I can't tell you how many times prior to a closing the title company finds that there is still an open permit for a job that was done years ago. It usually shows up as a lien on the property. It can delay the closing and cause undue aggravation. So make sure the permits are closed and check with your city, county or local municipality that this has been done when the work is completed. I wish there was a foolproof method to prevent contractor nightmares. By following the above tips, you can help prevent or alleviate any potential stress down the line. For additional concerns, consider speaking with an attorney specializing in condo and home construction so you take every step to protect yourself BEFORE the remodel or construction begins. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach, and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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Reducing Objections and Real Estate Buyers Remorse Before Showings
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Open House Sign-in Sheet Sales Funnel for Real Estate Agents
Open house sign-in sheets are a common practice among agents conducting open houses in their local area. Many real estate marketing coaches have their own version of the "perfect open house sign-in sheet" alongside follow-up strategies and more. However, we believe that these strategies are somewhat obsolete and do not work in today's digital age. Please understand that we are not taking a jab at these real estate coaches. Instead, we are giving you a proven, battle-tested funnel that top agents have been using to successfully convert open house attendees into lifelong customers.
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Realtor.com Launches Commute Time Search Filter for iOS
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How Personal Is Your Brand?
What was the name of your last Uber driver? What kind of car were they driving? What rating did you give them? After jogging your memory a bit, your answers are probably some version of: "No idea.""Ummm…probably a Prius?""Five stars." In 2019 and in the world of perpetual rating scales for nearly everything we consume, it's critical to take a step back and understand the meaning (or lack thereof) of such an arbitrary system.
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10 Tasks to Cross off Your Summertime Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
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3 Reasons Why Every Agent Must Embrace Digital Transformation
Did you realize that a dozen states allow or are testing a digital driver's license? That's right: no more fumbling in your purse or wallet to show your vital ID. It is digital, and all you need is your smartphone. You don't even need a paper passport at many ports of entry into the U.S. today with the Mobile Passport app. This is not a fad; it's our future as experts predict that it's just a matter of time that all IDs will be digitized. The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether you like it or not, it's a reality that for your business is worth embracing. Why? Because it will increase your productivity and that can be a big bump to your earnings, personal time, or both. Embracing Transaction Management Fundamental to the digital transformation in real estate is transaction management software. If you haven't included transaction management as one of the core services you offer your clients, you are not only falling behind competitively, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to boost to your business. Florida Realtors® has been a pioneer in the digital transformation movement. Our Form Simplicity transaction management program was created by Realtors for Realtors and is the only Realtor-owned and operated, major solution today. Hundreds of thousands of Realtor members in Florida and nationwide use Form Simplicity as an essential business tool to power their ability to provide a paperless transaction process. The benefits of using transaction management software like Form Simplicity include some obvious ones and some hidden and delightful surprises. Here are three major reasons why you will immediately appreciate your transaction management solution—as will your clients: 1. All forms are digital. Digital forms mean faster everything. Digital forms make it faster to create a transaction, faster to fill in the data because the forms are 'smart,' faster to monitor the status of the transaction, faster to manage the transaction process, faster to collaborate with others, faster to close your transactions, and finally, faster to go back and find the transaction later—with all of its details needed for compliance and legal protection. Transaction management is also safer. No more missing paper pages and everything is secure and easily accessible to you in one place (and backed up for you). Form Simplicity, for example, allows you to add other documents, files, and photos related to your transaction in a transaction folder. Files are always up to date, which protects you and your clients. 2. Convenient, instant, safe, and secure collaboration with others. Transaction management software, like Form Simplicity, makes collaboration easier and more convenient than ever. Buyers and sellers and participating agents all are part of the digital process. You get to control what everyone sees. Their dashboard allows them only to view the documents they should be able to access. And because everything is stored safely in the cloud, transactions can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device with internet access. This makes the ability to collaborate more accessible than ever before. You also can let others add documents and comments in real-time, eliminating back and forth emails—and it tracks all these conversations in one place, reducing misunderstandings and mistakes that can be caused by broken email chains. Most importantly, top-of-the-line transaction management software like Form Simplicity uses bank-grade security, making digital transactions the safest kind. For compliance and legal security, going digital provides the assurance and protection your clients—and your business—need and deserve. 3. E-signing. When your business is powered by a transaction management software like Form Simplicity, digital forms give you another essential benefit. You get expedited signing with digital signatures through the most secure way to get a proper signature: e-signing. Electronic signatures are a godsend: First, you don't need to find time to schedule everyone to meet up, so it's convenient. And because you don't have to drive, you are safe from going out in areas, or bad weather, late at night. Also, clients won't miss a signing a specific page because your transaction management software makes sure your clients sign where they are supposed to before the form is finalized and submitted. That means never having to drive around getting a missing form signed by all parties or waiting for a returned fax. Plus, the final documents and signatures are easy to read—not degraded from all the scanning/faxing/copying/downloading/uploading that could take place. Digital logs track all the signers. And distribution to all parties, including admin, lenders and title company, is super easy. Research shows that you can reduce your signature time by as much as 95 percent. A study by Forrester Research showed one bank cut documentation errors by 75 percent, cut client visits from 3 to 1, and avoided $8 million in administrative costs. The bank saved more than 80,000 hours annually, the equivalent of 40 full-time employees. The best part, once a customer participated in an e-signing, 90 percent said they would do it again. Because of e-signing, an entire end-to-end paperless transaction is not only possible but a reality in some 15 states and growing. In the future, it should be commonplace as already every state today allows electronic signatures. The bottom line You are not only saving trees by embracing the digital transformation in real estate with transaction management software, but you also are proving the added value a real estate professional brings to today's real estate transaction by embracing new technology. A transaction management solution should free you from a lot of paper pushing, and that means more time to build relationships with existing and new clients. The time and cost savings are enormous, but the extra time you gain spending more time with people will make deciding to go digital with a program like Form Simplicity priceless. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
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Smart Realtors Need to Understand Smart Homes
A few days ago, I had a call from an agent. We discussed the many reasons why an agent needs to include new homes to show prospective buyers. When I mentioned "smart homes," she stopped me and said there needs to be a seminar on smart homes and just how much a Realtor needs to know. I agreed, and after the call I started doing some research on smart homes and what homebuyers are looking for in a smart home. But first I wanted to understand the market, so I visited the National Association of REALTORS® website to look at who is buying homes currently. Millennials, the generation born between early 1980s and 1990s, make up the largest generational group of homebuyers. I decided to start there with what Millennials are looking for in a home. After reviewing a bunch of surveys, the one common thread was what I call smart home technology. I strongly believe REALTORS® need some basic knowledge in the following areas of smart home technology. Each buyer will have their own order of importance, but here are my top five categories of smart home technology:
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Learn These 7 Meeting Skills to Land More Real Estate Clients
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Make Giving a Part of Your Business Strategy
Whether it's running a charity 5k, serving lunch to the homeless or simply fundraising for a cause close to your heart, having a social giving strategy in your business is a must. It's also an easy and fun way to motivate and inspire your team while giving back and connecting with the local community you serve.
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Impact of the Absorption Rate in Real Estate
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The Power of Knowledge and the RPR Learning Menu
It's June, and that means it's graduation season. Congrats to every member of the class of 2019! Chances are you've recently seen some grad caps flying up in the air, or at least seen some photos on social media. However, educational ceremonies aren't the only place you'll find the iconic grad cap image; it also resides on RPR as a symbol for the new RPR Learning Menu. (You can file that one under a "we see what you're doing there" segue.)
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Most Real Estate Agents Aren't Using the Right Photo File Type
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10 Reasons Real Estate Agents Need Their Own Websites
Every modern real estate business needs its own website, from the smallest brokerages to the biggest brands. Your website is the face of your business online, and the place where customers come to learn what you have to offer. But it's also so much more. Check out our ten reasons why real estate agents need their own website.
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7 Secrets to Owning Your Area
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
Each year, thousands of real estate agents and brokers who use Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity have the opportunity to meet some of the folks who make the magic happen for these two Florida Realtors owned products at local conventions and conferences. This year's schedule includes visits as far north and east as Nova Scotia, Canada, as far south as Hollywood, Florida, and as far west as Los Angeles, California. As real estate's number one tech support firm, Tech Helpline serves more than 600,000 real estate professionals in North America. Available through MLSs or local associations, as well as real estate brokerages, connecting with Tech Helpline is typically accomplished via a phone call, online chat or email inquiry. Our annual direct outreach gives agents and brokers, as well as MLS and association executives and staff members, an additional opportunity with face-to-face communications. Opportunities to connect This year, we kicked off our spring and summer schedule for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity with an appearance at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in mid-May. Tech Helpline was just represented at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Association Executives Seminar in early June, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up, Form Simplicity will be at "Rock the Market" at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on June 25. The next two days on June 26 and 27, both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity will be heading to the Florida Realtors Association Executives Education Workshops in Cocoa Beach, FL. August marks two major conventions for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Association leadership from all business disciplines will convene at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Columbus, OH on August 10-13, followed by our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo (August 21 and 22) and Governance Meetings (August 23-25) in Orlando, FL. Tech Helpline will head to another big convention as the Colorado Association of REALTORS® hosts its "REfresh Expo" in Denver, CO on September 5. The summer tour schedule ends with two back-to-back events. The first one is in North Carolina, the NC REALTORS® 2019 Convention & Expo "Xchange'19" at the Pinehurst Resort during the Expo dates of September 14-16. That's followed by the Arkansas REALTOR® Annual Convention & Tradeshow being held in Memphis, TN at the Guesthouse at Graceland, during the Expo dates of September 16 and 17. More to come As the fall begins, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be back at it, with appearances by Tech Helpline at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Expo "REImagine!" held in Los Angeles on September 24-26, followed by opportunities to ask your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2019 in Salt Lake City on October 16-18. The last two conventions for Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline currently are scheduled for both the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this year (booth #1234), November 6-11, and finally December 9-12 at the 2019 Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, which brings together members from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Realtor associations. If you happen to be attending one of these events, please stop by and bring your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline. We hope to meet you face-to-face! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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5 Quotes that Will Motivate You to Become the Most Successful Real Estate Agent
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3 Outside-the-Box Marketing Strategies that Worked
The importance of having a consistent and diverse marketing strategy for your real estate business cannot be underestimated. Whether you are a real estate agent who is just getting started or a veteran with years of experience, coming up with fresh ideas and staying up-to-date on the latest marketing channels can keep your book of business booming even in times of downturn. Along with implementing marketing fundamentals, a number of agents are finding success using out-of-the-box marketing strategies to appeal to a broader audience, garner free press coverage and generate viral buzz. While there are no one-size-fits-all rules to coming up with the creative ideas that will get noticed, here are three examples real estate agents have used that got results.
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3 RPR Report Customizations You Should Be Doing Now
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Real Estate Video Marketing Using Just Your Phone
Real estate videos for marketing don't have to be complicated and they don't have to be fancy. You can make marketing videos marketing using just your phone--and the video will still get lots of views and engagement. One of my favorite videos to use for real estate marketing is what we call a "Walk Through" video. Like the name implies, the video is simply walking and talking about the home or a specific feature in the home.
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Why an Up-to-date Agent Profile Helps You List More Homes
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4 Ways to Market Eco-homes to Buyers
According to a National Association of Realtors survey, 61% of real estate agents have worked with home buyers who are interested in sustainability. Eco-homes are appealing to more buyers, so knowing how to market eco-friendly homes is very important. There's a balance to marketing these features, though. Some green features can boost the listing price, and others might not appeal to every buyer. Here are four tactics you can use to sell eco-homes:
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Top 3 Tips for Agents to Build Wealth through Real Estate Investing
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How Agents Can Benefit from the Zestimate
The Famous Zillow Zestimate Zillow defines its Zestimate as the "estimated market value for an individual home," and one that is "…a starting point in determining a home's value and is not an official appraisal." Sounds harmless, no? While the Zestimate's goal to assist in the automation of home valuation is well intended, the challenges it has created for real estate agents, home buyers, and home sellers has left Zillow, and those who followed in its path, with an arduous defense battle, inclusive of actual litigation (more on that below).
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Top 10 Closing Gifts for Your Clients During Hurricane Season
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3 Quick Ways to Print What You See in RPR
RPR's wide variety of reports are one of the most popular features of the platform. However, Realtors report that sometimes they simply want to print what's on the screen. That's exactly what this article is all about. Check out these three tips for printing what you see in RPR.
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