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December's Top 10 Articles: A Final Look Back at 2015

January 05 2016

winter hand house 2Did you know that January get its name from the Roman deity, Janus? He's the mythical god of beginnings and transitions and is depicted as having two faces--one looking to the future and one to the past.

That's what our list of the previous month's most popular articles does--it takes one last look back before moving forward into the month ahead. And in December, we looked back more than usual as we revisited our most popular articles of the year. Below is our final monthly list of popular articles from 2015. Take a look to see what most interested your peers during the last month of the year.

1. Holiday Card Do's and Don'ts
Have you ever received a holiday card that just made you cringe? Whether it's a picture of the cousins and their cat in matching pjs or Great Aunt Mildred in a DIY wrapping paper dress, there's some things you just can't unsee. While sending out bad cards to family is a tradition to some, it's not one you want to carry over into your business. Here are some do's and don'ts to help your greeting cards shine this holiday season.

2. 13 Amazingly Awful Property Pics that Shouldn't Have Been Listed (Plus 5 Gorgeous Examples)
I always thought that posting property photos was rather high on the priority list of real estate agents — you know, to give prospects a rough idea of what their potential new home looks like. Based on these photos, it appears some agents aren't taking their job seriously. Or maybe they were just thinking outside the box? You can judge for yourself.

3. 6 Signs You Belong in the Real Estate Industry
Being a REALTOR® takes a certain kind of person. It's not a profession meant for everyone. You have to be hard-working. You have to be motivated. You have to be persuasive and compassionate. But there are advantages to being an agent. If you've ever questioned whether you truly belong in this competitive, exciting industry, it's time to set your mind at ease. Here are the signs you are meant to be a real estate agent.

4. Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016
With the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5% and stable job growth continuing in a number of industries, 2016 looks to be a promising year for economic and industry advancement. For the real estate industry, the forecast is optimistic – especially for sellers, as home values continue to climb. Here are six real estate trends to watch for in the New Year.

5. [Infographic] 5 Down Payment Myths Debunked
The latest data from the Down Payment Resource Homeownership Program Index debunks 5 common myths about down payments and programs. Find all the data and state-by-state breakouts in the infographic below.

6. 7 Easy Website Add-ons that Your Visitors Will Love
You've already heard a lot about what your website needs. Instead, today we'll introduce you to some fun extras that will enrich your visitors' on-site experience. These 7 items are "widgets" that can easily be embedded into your website. There's no heavy lifting required--just customize the widget to your liking, then copy and paste the provided HTML code into your site.

7. How to Leverage Google Maps for Real Estate
Google Maps is a wonderful (and free!) tool that's more than just a handy navigational guide. When leveraged in the right way, it offers real estate professionals an easy way to show off their local expertise. Imagine the applications--mapping a multi-home tour with your buyers for easier navigation, highlighting the best holiday light displays in your town on your website and social accounts. Here's how to make your own custom Google map in just minutes.

8. Drip Marketing 101: Put Your Real Estate CRM to Work
When done effectively, drip marketing has been shown to increase sales opportunities by an average of 20%. However, in order to achieve profitability with your email efforts, you need to be able to keep prospects engaged over time. Here are a few best practices for determining who should receive what type of email, and when they should receive that message.

9. A Look at Zillow's New Premier Agent App
Zillow Group launched the new Premier Agent app last week, available for free to all agents with a Zillow or Trulia profile. The app gives agents an easy way to manage their incoming Zillow and Trulia leads, and offers insights into those leads based on the consumer's search behavior on the portals. Agents can also manage their client reviews, listings, and leads right from the app.

10. Millennials, Shmillennials: Why aren't we marketing to the over 50 crowd?
Why are we spending so much time, energy and money marketing to 18-34 year olds when the greatest, wealthiest, most powerful spending group in the world in nearly every major product category is 50+ years old? Advertising contrarian Bob Hoffman helps us answer that question and a more important one: How should we be marketing to the over 50 crowd?