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8 Modern Problems that Every Business Faces
Being a business owner today is anything but a walk in the park. A host of forces--local, national and global--challenge business owners to be resourceful or close up shop. But here are the top eightl business problems that entrepreneurs are up against today – and how you can overcome them.
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How to Prepare Your Real Estate Business for a Successful 2019
The start of a new year is the perfect time to both look back on what worked for your business in the previous year, and look forward to what you can do to build an even better real estate business in the year to come. Planning is an essential part of success in all aspects of the real estate industry, and that's certainly true when it comes to making the most of your opportunities in 2019. From uncovering new lead generation opportunities to retaining current clients, now is the time to start planning ahead for the New Year. Get started with our guide to preparing your real estate business for a successful year in 2019.
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Adjusting Your 2019 Budget with Economic Data
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Why Successful Brokerages Must Embrace Change
Don't get too comfortable. That's right, if you want to be a winner in today's real estate game, you have to start embracing change. We hear a lot about change, especially when it comes to technology. The rapid pace at which technology is developing is forcing businesses in all industries to adapt to new competition and changing consumer expectations. Rightfully so, many business leaders in our industry are resistant to change, hesitating to evolve their business into its next phase. However, getting stuck in your ways will only cause your business to stagnate in a market full of growth.
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5 Technology Expenses to Review for Budget Season, Part Two
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5 Technology Expenses to Review for Budget Season, Part One
As we embark into the first week of the fall season, the time is ripe to review and prepare next year's budget. When it comes to technology expenses for 2019 budgets, the following five areas are prime opportunities to harvest savings or craft better budget strategies. This is part one of a two-part series.
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What You Need to Know about Transaction Fee Brokerage
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How to Set Your Business Goals for 2018
The year is coming to an end and it's time for a moment of reflection. How close are you to hitting your goal this year and where were you this time last year? Are you guilty of setting lame, mediocre goals? There is a right way and a wrong way to set your business goals. Matthew Ferrara, real estate mogul, keynote speaker, and consultant, has some serious tips for how to go about and set your business goals. These best practices for goal setting will help get you to where you envision yourself and your business to be, because when you care, you succeed.
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How to Plan and Organize a Business Move
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SMART Goals and Why Your Business Needs Them
Every brokerage owner dreams of success, but far fewer define the goals needed to achieve those dreams. The S.M.A.R.T goal-setting methodology makes it easy to set realistic business goals and achieve them. Read on to learn about the methodology and how it can benefit your firm. What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals? S.M.A.R.T goals refers to a goal setting methodology that helps you set clear and reasonable expectations in order to maximize your odds of achieving a goal. Each letter of the acronym identifies an essential component of effective goal setting. "S" – Specific Business goals like "make more money" are rarely attained because the goal isn't specific enough to be actionable. You need to identify the driver and desired outcome of the goal. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself the five Ws: What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve this? Who is involved? Where will this goal take the business? When do you plan to accomplish it? With this approach, you can swap the goal of "making more money" for the specific goal of "finding one new client by the end of the month." This specific goal checks all the five Ws and can actually be implemented.
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Launching a Real Estate Brand from Scratch: Baby Steps and Big Changes
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The Top 3 Things Brokers Can Do to Rock 2017
I don't know about you, but I always get energized this time of year. The holidays are behind me, my year-end planning is done, and it's time to hit the ground running in 2017. If you're like me, you've probably identified some things you can start doing TODAY that will help you achieve your 2017 goals. I've identified three things I believe can have a huge impact for your real estate business in the new year. GO GLOBAL! You have heard me say this before, but real estate has become a global business. Global is the new local. Consider that over $100 billion was spent on real estate in the U.S. by foreign buyers, according to the NAR 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate survey. Furthermore, Americans are retiring abroad in record numbers. There is similar real estate migration happening all over the world, and multicultural buyers are prevalent just about everywhere in our country. All this points to the need to have a strategy and sales platform that allows you to connect to global agents and their buyers. If you are able to plug into the global network of agents, you will have a distinct advantage over your competitors that have not embraced the concept of a global, connected, real estate industry.
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5 Strategies for an EPIC 2017
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Rounding Third and Headed for 2017
As we head into the home stretch of 2016, many of us in the real estate industry are planning our digital marketing strategies and budgets for 2017. If your goal is to attract more real estate leads, increase your rankings in the digital marketplace and boost your online brand, then there's no time like the present to understand our wins (and losses) from the current year. How do you do this? A great place to get started is by using Google Analytics (GA) to evaluate your past and present online business. GA allows you to study your results to figure out what type of website content best resonates with your clients. In case you missed our earlier blog, Using Google Analytics to Evaluate Your Online Business, we provided a detailed explanation of how to use Google Analytics to convert more leads. Developing Your 2017 Digital Marketing Strategy A successful marketing plan in 2017--especially for the real estate industry--requires digital marketing to be at its core. In today's online real estate world, savvy real estate brokers and agents are finding the most creative and innovative ways to use search engine optimization, mobile responsive web designs, paid campaigns, social media, videos and email to boost their online presence and increase leads.
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Broker Business Tips: How to Read Your Financial Statements
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What Are You Budgeting for in 2017?
It's that time again... budget season! This is the time of year where companies are looking at the upcoming year and how they are going to spend their money to increase revenue. Marketing, sales, and operations—everyone has their favorite thing they are trying to get approved in the budget. Let's take a look at some examples: Brokers trying to list and sell more luxury listings. I talk to brokers all the time who are looking for ways to increase their average sales price. A great way to do this is to list and sell higher priced listings. This doesn't happen by itself. Sure, you can train your agents and do this organically, but most brokerages are looking for a luxury sales and marketing platform or affiliation that can put them in front of the right agents, sellers, and buyers. Again, all these things cost money. Which is the most efficient for the dollars invested? Builder/developers trying to expand their sales footprint. Many builders/developers are trying to expand their footprint of external agents. Typically, external agents produce 60 to 80 percent of their sales, so finding ways to get information in the hands of more agents is key. The question is, how do you get in front of more agents regionally, domestically, and internationally and how do you budget for it?
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What Are Your KPIs?
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Leadership vs. Management (Part 1)
“I want you to fire two people today.” One of my former executives (we will call him Sean) had just walked to one of my former peers/fellow sales manager’s desk (let’s call him Mark), pulled him into an office and shut the door. Mark replied, “Sure, who and why?” Sean replied with, “I don’t care who it is, you choose, but I want two people gone today. I am tired of walking through your area and not seeing enough activity. It’s time to send a message to your group and to those who will remain.” As I am sure many of you who are reading this have, I have read many books on leadership and management. I have also had many managers in my young career. I consider myself very lucky to be in the position I am in;  at 31 years old, I have held management positions, had as many as 52 people reporting to me and experienced things professionally that not one of my friends can relate to. It’s just business, right? Regardless of my past roles or experience, it doesn’t mean I am a good leader (I like to think I am) but what it does mean is that I have seen a lot of “leadership” in my career thus far. Through it all, if I had to choose one major takeaway it’s this: there is a distinct and obvious difference between a leader and a manager. Having the title of a manager or boss does not make you a great leader. In fact, I would argue that most “leaders” aren’t good leaders at all – they are good managers. What I find to be ironic is that most companies consider a manager and a leader to be one and the same. And if they don’t, they certainly don’t do a good job of showing otherwise.
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16 Ways to Be Productive in 2016
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Technology Providers Fake Enterprise
Is your technology vendor comprised of two guys in a month-to-month office using programmers overseas with no tech support? WAV Group works with a lot of enterprise organizations in real estate on technology planning and product acquisition. There are about 12 legitimate technology firms who can provide services to firms with more than 600 users today. The rest are want-to-be firms that have little clue about how to support big customers. Very few technology providers have the staff to support an enterprise client with ongoing development, communication, training, and support. Choosing the right one requires the purchaser to do a lot of internal soul searching to understand the boundaries between what the vendor will do or not do to support the business. The most popular article from last week's WAV Group Newsletter was titled "Stop Buying Technology." To quote a friend I spoke to yesterday, the market is saturated with anticipointment – unfulfilled technology promises. Companies purchase applications because they sound great and claim increases in productivity, recruiting or retention, but they do not deliver. We are currently fielding six concurrent broker assessments to determine the satisfaction levels across enterprise firms with technology. Our research is detailed and comprehensive. It combines qualitative telephone interviews with quantitative surveys. We inventory every technology solution across the firm and learn about adoption, usage, satisfaction, and dissatisfaction. We cross tabulate the results by business productivity, years in real estate, age, and region. We learn, very specifically, the role that a technology solution plays in the success of a company.
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Stop Buying Technology!
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Incentive Based Commission
Incentive based commission has been a component of real estate since the birth of the commission split between sales associates and brokerage firms. Some firms have innovated the incentive program with production incentives whereby the more an agent sells, the greater the percentage of the commission they retain. In some brokerage firms and franchise organizations, once you hit a top number, you "cap out" and get 100% of the commission. These production-based incentives are effective at attracting and retaining top producing agents, but fall short in many other ways. A new model for brokerages to consider is an incentive program that encourages sales associates to adopt brokerage-provided solutions. Agents who choose not to use brokerage firms' provided solutions undermine the professional standards of the firm. Going into 2015, brokerages may want to consider adding a points system to the production-based incentive program that is in place today. The thesis is that strategy would drive adoption of brokerage solutions that would increase the effectiveness of each sales associate and deliver a broker centric service experience to the consumer. This thesis sounds like nirvana to brokerage owners. But I believe that a significant amount of thought needs to go into developing a good incentive solution. Firms need to go through a strategic process to arrive at a great solution. If a firm whips up an incentive program with little research, the risk is significant: agents will leave the firm.
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Treat Your Brokerage Like a Sales Organization
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Reason #994 That You HAVE TO Have A Plan For Your Real Estate Career
Yesterday I was at a Sotheby's office, having a meeting with a Broker/Owner that I respect very much. I've known him for a long time and we don't just have meetings to talk business, but also talk about the industry, where we see it going, new technology trends, and also things we just find interesting. We got to talking about a luxury yacht website he was on that particular day (he loves boats), and he mentioned a quote he read in a post on their blog, and how much he thought it applies to many, many things, including real estate. The quote was this: "If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there." I'm actually familiar with this quote. It's actually a line from George Harrison's "Any Road,"which was essentially a paraphrase of an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland. What he pointed out though is so true. So many Realtors® tell us, "I want this" or "I want that." Our response to them is always, "If you get that, what does it mean to your business?" More often than not, they don't really have an answer for us. So at the end of the day, they want what they want, but don't actually have a reason for it. Is this a bad thing? Technically, yes. Officially, no, because so many agents are in the exact same boat. The trick is breaking yourself of this habit and only doing things that will be meaningful to your bottom line, with purpose. This requires planning.
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Technology Self Audit For Real Estate Companies
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Setting Goals for Your Real Estate Business
Maintaining business momentum and achieving new successes – your real estate business needs both. Setting goals for your real estate business is a simple but effective way to keep you on track, capitalize on the wins you've made, and strive for more – more leads, more clients, more listings, more home sales, more income. You set the goals. Let your ambition lead the way. Your goals will help you to measure your progress. Whether your goals are short or long-term, your chances of reaching them increase when you name them and specify a plan of action, in writing. Your motivation, which probably lags from time to time like mine, can be given a major boost with some careful goal planning. It's a great way to get inspired. Check in with yourself on a schedule – daily, weekly, monthly, whatever suits you – and see how your goals are tracking with the specific action steps you laid out when you wrote them down. This will highlight any roadblocks and provide great motivation as you start to see things moving along. Try not to get stuck if things don't go exactly to plan. Successful business people – real estate agents, brokers and others – all share the ability to be flexible and quick to respond to change. The ability to be agile will aid your goal setting tremendously. Not sure where to start with your own goal setting? Well, NAR statistics tell us that both home buyers and sellers wish the agents they worked with were quicker to respond to their queries. Seventy-seven percent of sellers expect a response from their agent within 30 minutes and 88 percent of buyers expect a response from their agent within one hour. But the vast majority of agents don't live up to that expectation. Do you? If not, there's your first goal!
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6 Business and Strategic Planning Tips for the Year Ahead
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5 Steps to Reach New Heights in 2014!
Have you created a business strategy for 2014? If not, then you need to pay attention. Hoping for success isn't going to produce the results you're looking for, but planning for it will. During the Homes.com webinar, Plan for 2014: Hope is NOT a Strategy, Jackie Leavenworth highlights different strategies that real estate professionals can use to help track their success and reach their goals in 2014. Leavenworth has been in real estate for 25 years, so she's no stranger to the obstacles that everyone inevitably faces during their career. During this time, she has become an international speaker and coach for real estate professionals who don't exactly have a well thought out or effective business plan. Jackie travels around the country every year to share her five step business plan with real estate professionals, providing a foundation for creating an intentional future and a profitable business. Jackie explains that it's not a question of "if" brokers are helping their agents, because most of them do. Rather it's "how" they are helping that determines whether the agent will find success or failure. Leavenworth explains that when she was first starting her career in 1984, she was trained "backwards" because she was only provided with ways to market herself. "It's a reverse business plan. We market ourselves and hope that marketing (a picture on a shopping cart, back of sports jerseys) attracts buyers and sellers we can work with and then turn into sales and get paid enough to pay our bills and run our business and have money left over to see the profitability in our life," she says. "Marketing should be the last thing we do, not the first thing we do. I would like for everyone to be very intentional about their life and business, which leads to marketability. It's going to be easy, just backwards from what we're used to."
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The Real Reason Resolutions Fizzle and How to Change It
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Business Strategy: Understanding Tech for Agent Adoption
Over the past 12 years, I've looked behind the curtain of many brokerages and spearheaded countless tech innovations and developments. One thing remains constant: If your agents don't see value in the technology and adopt it, your efforts and money are essentially wasted. Training and effective roll-out strategies are crucial for adoption, but there's a critical early step that is often overlooked. This step will determine whether your idea translates into a brilliant and useful tool or serves as just another bell and whistle that sounds great at conferences. You must ask: "Do your agents know they want or need this technology?" The most successful technology ideas I've seen implemented haven't come from industry blogs or innovative conference speakers. These ideas have come from within the organization, directly from the agents, and focus on helping them do MORE transactions in LESS time. Unfortunately, in many cases, the brokerage doesn't consult its sales force. You must engage your agents to evaluate their current needs, then use these findings to understand exactly what technology can help overcome these challenges. Doing so will allow your brokerage to present itself as the leader and ally in your agents' success.
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8 Secrets Every Real Estate Agent Needs to Know for a Successful 2014
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5 Questions to Ask Your Team for a Successful 2014
"The power of questions is such an important thing," says real estate coach Mike Lindstrom. "A good broker or good leader is always empowering the agent to ask those questions." With 2014 right around the corner, it's the perfect time for real estate professionals to take stock of where they want to go in the year ahead. Last week, we featured five questions from Mike Lindstrom that agents should ask to ensure a successful new year. This week, Lindstrom offers five questions that "brokers should always be challenging their agents with--constantly, throughout the year." Why are you in this business? What are your goals? What is missing? What are your shoulds? What is your identifiable niche? Lindstrom was one expert selected to provide one-on-one training sessions to the winners of the 2013 HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. For more details on these questions, read the transcript on the next page.  
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Have You Started Planning for 2014?
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The Epidemiology of an Emerging Market
Classic epidemiology is the study of the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and is used extensively to guide both public and private policy decisions and evidence based health care practices by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventative care. Epidemiologists control this process by designing, collecting, analyzing and interpreting health data. Epidemiology and epidemiologists are always at the front lines when their assigned populations begin to demonstrate health related symptoms and behaviors that suggest the potential of a mass outbreak of a particular malady AKA; an epidemic. With the information gained from their collection and analysis, epidemiologists undertake to develop strategies and tactics to control, or perhaps manipulate, the disease conditions in a manner that is consistent with the health, political or economic policies under which they work. As we discussed in last week's article, there is every evidence that the American real estate industry appears poised to experience an epidemic of its own in the shape of what is now being called the "hyper-market." The statement that establishes the vital link between epidemiology and real estate and its relevancy moving forward is simple; brokers who wish to take advantage of the new market must quickly move to understand and practice market centered economic epidemiology. In other words, every broker in the country must start this new era by making a decision to be either an observer, and ultimately a victim or, in the alternative, to exercise knowledge and leadership by taking advantage of the unique opportunities and challenges being created by the new "hyper-market" environment.
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Cloudy With a Chance of Disaster
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Give Your Company a S.W.O.T!
A S.W.O.T. analysis, while not a new tool, is nonetheless a highly effective one. In fact, it has the potential to be a real game changer for real estate brokerages today. In this first installment of this three-part series, we'll outline the basic structure of a S.W.O.T. analysis. The first step of a truly effective S.W.O.T. is to first gain consensus among the key stakeholders on what the objectives of the company are. They might include things like: Improved profitability Become the dominant brokerage in your market area Grow and train a highly effective sales team Improved communications both internally and externally Update company technology Establish a positive corporate culture Failing to obtain consensus on these objectives will render a S.W.O.T. analysis less effective, at best, and a waste of time, at worst. If participants have different results in mind, then how can they arrive at one correct result?
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What Has the Industry Learned From Keller Williams?
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Is There a Future for Brokers and MLS? I Think So.
I recently read a post on the WAV Group blog speaking about former broker Alain Pinel's opinion editorial about the future of MLS and common broker complaints. I felt compelled to share some of my opinion, and optimism, that with the right leadership both can prosper and coexist with less animosity. People blog their ideas (OpEd) all the time, but it doesn't mean there is a problem. That said, I believe with a clear vision and focus on execution, there's plenty of opportunity to not only survive, but thrive both for brokers and MLSs. My "OpEd" would suggest instead that brokers and MLSs redefine their relationship and MLSs clearly define their business model. Relationship: An MLS should be a technology company, and not a member organization. Many are spawned from member organizations, and are "stuck" in this dues-based revenue model. The MLS should define itself as a technology company, and clearly separate from the member organizations who are typically shareholders. The brokers and MLS shouldn't play tug-o-war over listing data and instead brokers should look at the MLS as a technology "buyers group," a technology "service provider," and a commercial "marketplace." All three should be separate business units (products). Changing this relationship can allow both to work together to align goals to their respective customers, the agents, and prosper when their customers prosper.
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Create Your Success Blueprint
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7 Business and Strategic Planning Tips for the Year Ahead
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to think about how you want your real estate business to grow. From building a business plan to formulating an online marketing strategy, we've published plenty of great articles that can help you get organized and plan ahead for success. The articles below are just a sampling of the best business and strategic planning articles of the past year. Take a look for ideas on how to succeed in 2013. 1. Tips, Tricks and Tools for Your Business Plan - by Emily Williams If the thought of business planning strikes fear into your heart (or just plain turns your stomach), you're not alone. Most entrepreneurs dread building a business plan. At the same time, it's an invaluable tool that can take your enterprise to the next level. We're going to provide a few tips, tricks, and tools to make the process less daunting. 2. Creating Actionable Social Media Strategies - by Market LeaderIf the thought of starting and maintaining an actionable social media strategy seems overwhelming, it's time to come up with a game plan. In the world of social media, you are either a player or sitting the sidelines. Writing a blog from time to time, creating a Facebook page that you rarely visit or tweeting every couple of weeks doesn't keep you in the game. In fact, it shows that you are inconsistent. Go beyond just creating a presence.
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Build a Business Plan... Build a Business Plan... Build a Business Plan!
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A Broker’s Dozen: 13 Productive Culture Trends - Part 2
This is the second part of a pair of articles on culture trends that impede success. Read Part One here. The following outlines the remaining real world observations of trends that are, I believe, counterproductive to a positive and growing culture. If you make changes in any of these areas, expect positive results. 7. Forgetting profitability is tied to desk production. Recently I spoke to an owner who had learned that a licensee had taken a full time job since he wasn't making it in the real estate business. The broker wanted to bring that person back onto his own personal sales team and utilize him on a periodic basis. If a desk cost is calculated at $10,000 a year, the licensee would need to bring in at least $20,000 in gross commissions on a 50/50 split in order to pay for himself. At what point do we let go and move on? 8. Haphazard orientation for new recruits and staff. Not having a 90-day plan to acclimate an experienced licensee into your company, update them on procedures, review processes and introduce them to all members of the team one-on-one is like walking a tight rope – you are balancing between having a great relationship with that sales associate or creating a poor first impression which may last through their entire affiliation with your company. The more effective you are in creating a powerful positive impression for a licensee in the first 90 days, the greater the loyalty over the long run. Take time to establish a sound, interactive orientation and enjoy the increase in retention of your key performers.
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A Broker’s Dozen: 13 Productive Culture Trends - Part 1
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Counting Down to Year End
Guest contributor Kashoo says: Just two months remain on the 2012 calendar. And you know what that means, right? Aside from the ensuing blitz of holiday marketeering, it means decision and action time for small business owners—and their advisors—whose fiscal years mirror the calendar. From retirement contributions to equipment purchases to tracking down contractor tax forms, there's plenty for business owners to consider when it comes to end-of-year finances. To help, we tapped a handful of accounting experts (including our own in-house CPA, Sandra Tomlinson) to offer a few tips. Reconciliations. There are specific reconciliations that should be done before year-end and then rolled forward to include year-end. These are necessary to ensure that transactions have been recorded correctly. Reconciliation examples include Bank to Books, Aged Accounts Payable balance to Accounts Payable balance on the Balance Sheet, Aged Accounts Receivable balance to Accounts Receivable balance on the Balance Sheet, and Undeposited funds on the Balance sheet to checks not deposited in the bank account.
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Boost Your Real Estate Business in 21 Days
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Business Building: A Little Social Media Creativity Can Go a Long Way
I've long believed in the power of social media to help people defy geographic and cultural boundaries to make lasting connections and build strong relationships. And this holds true whether social media is used for personal or professional reasons—or even a combination. In our industry, many real estate agents use platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter quite successfully to create a bridge between who they are as people and who they are as professionals. The most skilled users strike such a beautiful balance that the distinction between personal and professional is seamless. Social media is the perfect forum for showing people who we are, rather than telling them. And I recently witnessed one of the most moving displays of this over the summer. During a nine-week period, RE/MAX sponsored a social media contest. We asked a simple question: "What moves you?" More than 1,200 consumers shared stories about the things in life that move them—whether emotionally or physically from one place to another. And it was all about moving each other with their stories, because consumers voted for their favorites to win a weekly prize and qualify for the final round of voting. More than 70,000 votes decided the $10,000 grand-prize winner. The story of Sweet Sophie May, a beautiful 21-month-old girl who's battling neuroblastoma, won the big prize with 10,050 votes.
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Successful Brokers Measure Repeat Business, Not Just Closed Transactions
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What Keeps Your Agents Motivated? [Infographic]
Our team at BoomTown has the pleasure of hosting and attending real estate mastermind events on a regular basis. A frequent topic that we come back to is recruitment and team management. Many of the real estate brokers and team leaders that we work with have a different approach to real estate sales from the typical single agent business model. They are developing teams with specialized roles for Inside Sales, Listing Specialists, Buyer Specialists, Showing Agents, Marketing Managers, Closing Coordinators, etc. Team members are often independent contractors and not employees--however, the challenges are the same. How do we truly motivate our team members in today's work environment? Income is still a leading factor as everyone needs to support themselves and their families. However, we're finding in the mastermind sessions that money is not everything. Recognition and engagement win out over all other factors. The following infographic from our friends at Rypple does a fantastic job of illustrating the top motivators for today's employees or as we like to call them, team members. The key takeaways = Coaching, Relationships, and Dialogue. Start implementing weekly team huddles and regular one-on-ones with your agents. And always celebrate the successes! Click through to the next page to view the infographic.
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Look Out! Business Process Systems Are Everywhere You Look
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How Can the Franchisee Relationship Be Perfected?
Our firm recently completed a research project that required interacting with a substantial number of the companies that are currently marketing and operating franchises in the North American real estate market. Although not part of the research objectives themselves, we could not help but notice a significant level of disconnect between the value proposition, customer experience, market vision and services being offered and promoted by the franchisors and the level of buy in and adoption by franchisors. It appears that this situation has been a part of the business landscape, for those firms that participate in the market through a franchise agreement, for some time. It also appears that as competitive differentiation becomes more and more critically acute throughout the industry, the likelihood of this disconnect causing serious branding and competitive disadvantages significantly increases. The discussion of this subject is not intended to be judgmental or skewed in favor of either franchisors or franchisees. A great deal of additional research would be required to determine whether the issue at hand is one of disrespect, communication or misinterpretation. It is sufficient to say that it appears as though, at the present time, franchisors are expending a great deal of thought, effort and expense in designing and implementing programs, products and services intended to assist their franchisees to differentiate and be more competitive in today's increasingly transitional marketplace. It further seems to be the case that way too many franchisees are either consciously or unconsciously rejecting these efforts in favor of either the status quo or other solutions that may be totally at odds with the approach being designed and promoted by their franchisor.
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What's the social media strategy for your brokerage?
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You are YOUR Brand – Be Brand Strong Online
With the variety of ways to build your brand online, we decided to make it easy for you in today's blog. We want to share with your our favorite five ways to build a stronger brand online. Blogging. Establish yourself as a local expert with blogging. If blogging is included in your marketing efforts and you distribute your content on multiple sites, you will be exposing your brand across the web, therefore maximizing your presence and sharing your expertise. You'll also begin to enhance your search rankings for local real estate search key phrases. Endorsements. Being active on sites like Homes.com where we allow you to be endorsed or gain testimonials from your clients can be a HUGE advantage! These endorsements will allow the online community to see how others have succeded in working with you.
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The NAR Power Broker Roundtable: Search Engine Optimization: the Need, the Quest and the Payoff
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Six Philosophies Winning Companies Share
As part of the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate monthly talent attraction discussion series for network brokers and managers, Eric Post, VP and co-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Realty Partners in Oregon, shared a considerable amount of valuable insight with our network into what it takes to build a winning company. I was really excited to speak with Eric; I admire his energy and passion and I knew he had a lot to share with our network, and the timing seemed perfect. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Realty Partners has achieved many accomplishments over the last year. After many months of trimming the budget and committing to a campaign that would "organically and aggressively" grow the company, Eric agreed to share his company's strategies and philosophies that he believes all winning companies share. Creating a Balanced Life If you happen to friend Eric on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, you will see a man who understands the value of balance. He works hard to play hard and this attitude seems to play a considerable role in his many achievements. Whether it is hanging off a snow-covered mountain, smiling on a school bus with his daughter or the pictures involving his Father's Day Spartan Race, it is apparent that Eric is a man with drive, determination and a very big heart. When I asked him how he juggles personal and professional activities, Eric shared one of his biggest success secrets. He schedules appointments with himself, not only professionally, but personally as well. Time with his family, time at the gym and time spent building his business all go on the calendar. In an industry where it is easy to put in 80 hour weeks, Eric knows that the key to success is setting aside personal time. For him, the happier, healthier and more balanced he is, the better business partner he will be.
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Three Traits of Every Rock Star Real Estate Agent
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Five Steps to Setting Up Your Business Budget
This post comes to us from the Kashoo blog: The word "budget" is often a scary word to business owners, but it shouldn't be. A budget helps you to keep track of the financial goals for your business, as well as keep you updated on your monthly debt retirement activities. Always refer to your business plan for the "big picture" of your business goals, and then generate your income and expense reports from your small business accounting software. Then working with your bookkeeper and/or accountant, set up your budget in the following five easy steps.
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Social Media’s Impact on How Brands Connect to the Fragmented Consumer
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Marketing Your Business: You Gotta Have a Plan!
Marketing! Oh No! Often just the word sends chills into the bones of many small business people and freelancers. But ask yourself: how can I make people aware of who I am and what I do? Answer: Marketing! Many people just don't understand what "marketing" means, and often procrastinate because they feel they don't know how to successfully market themselves. Marketing is simply putting you and your business in a position to solve the problems of others. When you understand what the challenges and problems your potential customers or clients face every day, then you can craft a plan that focuses on how your products or services can help them to solve those problems. Developing a marketing plan doesn't have to be complicated. A marketing plan is simply a way to communicate with people how you can be of service to them. In what ways can you and will you contact people who may need your products and services in the future? How often will you create a contact, make a connection, advertise or announce the unique benefits of your business to others? How will you track your marketing efforts?
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Your Business Plan is Your Primary Navigation Tool
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5 Steps to Starting a Successful Rental Division
In Part 1 of this article, we shared the top 4 reasons that you should consider starting a rental division. The RentJuice whitepaper we used as a reference was pretty compelling, so we’re sure you’re ready to start a rental division of your own. In this article, we’ll cover 5 of the steps you can take to do just that. This is all courtesy of the same terrific RentJuice whitepaper, which you can download here. Step 1: Build an inventory. If you want to start working with rentals, you need rentals. There are a variety of resources to help you with this. Check your MLS Connect with local property managers Look at online ads For a closer look at each of these, read the whitepaper. Step 2: Get credentialed. Accessing credit reports is an important part of assessing potential renters. In order to be able to pull these reports, you need to be properly credentialed. Use a screening solutions company such as NTN Online to get started with obtaining your credentials. Step 3: Put together a team of rock stars. Natural talent will only take you so far. One of the ways to prevent turnover and retain top rental professionals is to implement a training program. Also provide access to the technology tools they need to be successful. It is a great strategy to train all residential real estate agents on rentals to refine their prospecting habits of calling rentals along with expired listings.
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4 Reasons to Start a Rental Division
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Ben Kinney's $180,000 Problem
During this 11-minute video from the December RainCamp hosted by ActiveRain, real estate marketing guru Ben Kinney walks through the “$180,000 problem.” This is the exercise used by Ben Kinney’s real estate team to get the average agent earning $180,000 in gross commissions every year.
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Simple Steps to Your Best 2012 Business Plan, Part 2
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SImple Steps to Your Best 2012 Business Plan, Part 1
Real estate agents are people, too. You have personal lives. You have emotional ups and downs in addition to financial ups and downs. Following my system of 16 steps, the first five of which are outlined in Part 1, will ensure that your 2012 business plan works for your business and your life. Most of the steps in this plan can be completed in 15 minutes or less. It is important to complete each step before moving on to the next. Spend no more than 60 minutes at a time with these business-planning steps, Complete this plan in a series of brief planning sessions over at least 30 days. This allows for your creativity and insight to rise and anxiety to fall. If you finish this simple planning process before the beginning of 2012 you will have your best year ever (or best for a long time). If it is not possible to complete this plan before the year's end, then complete it over the next 30 days. It is not the work that is hard. It is the self-discipline, which starts with beginning your work on this business plan, today.
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Be Thankful for the Good Things in Life
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What’s driving the changes in the real estate market and how will they impact your business?
What’s driving the changes in the real estate market and how will they impact your business? Ian Morris of Market Leader, Inc. and Steve Murray of REAL Trends, Inc. are industry leaders who answer this question and offer valuable insights in their new book, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in an Uncertain Future.Ian Morris will share “The 10 Trends That Will Drive the Next 5 Years,” featuring key findings from Game Plan on the evolving real estate environment and the trends you need to watch.When:                                            Friday, August 5Time:                                             10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM EasternCost:                                              NONETo Register:                                   https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/538866571 Who should attend:                       Real estate brokers and agents You’ll learn about: 10 trends that could affect your business Factors affecting brokerages and sales professionals Real estate challenges and opportunities Steps to thriving in the ever-changing industry You’ll learn how to create your game plan for the future and help your business thrive for years to come! Your questions are welcome in this live Q&A format.  
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Broker Management: Successful Leaders Know How to Follow
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Real Estate Technology: The Internet Has Staying Power
Overall, the Internet has surpassed every other resource in terms of consumer adoption. Today, more than 1.3 billion people worldwide over the age of 16 are connecting to the Internet through wired and wireless connections. This new form of communication is used for everything and accounts for about 25% of consumer media consumption time. Reflecting on this, I can’t resist sharing a bit about the company I work for.  
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If a Technology Solution Isn't Simple, Is It Really a Solution?
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3 Tips For Making Your Website More Readable
Guest contributor Elan from Ifbyphone says: Ifbyphone is a voice based marketing automation company. We help businesses manage, measure, and automate voice communications. For example, you can use Ifbyphone's software to measure which marketing efforts generate the most phone leads, manage how you distribute "hot leads" to sales reps, and automate follow-up communications. We are now on at least the 7th iteration of our website since 2005. Getting better at explaining our value proposition on our website has helped us grow to over 50 employees, earn the trust of thousands of customers, and raise millions of dollars from investors.
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It's Not Too Late to Get Your 2011 Business Plan for Free
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