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How to Break Through a Plateau in Your Real Estate Business
Plateaus. We have all been there whether it is in our personal life or in our professional life--it's an unavoidable barrier that we all deal with at some point. It may seem like plateaus are never-ending and impossible to break through, but in this blog I will go over 10 different things that YOU can do to elevate yourself and your business to the next level. Nothing is ever impossible, including you breaking through to new, exciting levels!
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How to Find a Mentor in Real Estate and Grow Your Relationship
Ground Rules for Real Estate Mentoring There are many components to success in real estate. From networking to marketing and everything in between, it can feel like you aren't sure which things you should be doing now, later, or at all. This is where a mentor steps in--an experienced, successful agent who can show you the ropes is a great asset to have in your corner, and a highly recommended plan for any agent looking to grow their business. But before we explain how to obtain a mentor, we'll lay down some ground rules.
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Time Management Strategies for Overwhelmed Agents
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Miss the Mark on Your Q1 Goals? Try These Tips to Stay on Track in Q2
It's hard to believe, but the first quarter of 2018 is already behind us. Maybe you didn't quite have the start to the year you hoped for. We get it, the first part of every real estate sales year can be tough for agents. The majority of it takes place in winter, when sales are slower and the closings don't always stack up. This makes it tough to stay in shape for the spring sprint. We understand that the business is up and down and have a few suggestions on what to do if you're not confident your first three months' performance will lead to the year you had planned back on January 1.
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The Dance between Patience and Mindful Real Estate Sales
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7 (More) Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents
We're already halfway through 2017! The midpoint of the year is a great opportunity to pause and reevaluate how to ensure you'll meet the goals you set at the beginning of the year. In real estate, success is hugely dependent not just on the market, but on the personal traits of the agent. We started the year highlighting the 3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents. The article lists the first three of 10 traits that top Realtors embody, according to renowned agent and trainer Leigh Brown, who stars in this series of three videos produced by Washington REALTORS® (but is relevant to Realtors nationwide!). Today, we're revisiting Brown's advice and letting you in on the remaining seven habits of highly successful real estate agents. Check out the two videos below, and our summary, to discover how you can stay or get back on track to meeting your goals for 2017.
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The Biggest Secrets to Closing More Sales
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5-Step Exercise to Avoid Costly Time Traps
You've probably heard the adage that 20 percent of the people in real estate make 80 percent of the money. Why is that? Though everyone gets 24 hours in a day, it's HOW you choose to spend those 24 hours that's the great differentiator between whether you'll sell 5, 50 or 500 homes this year. Most of us can easily list off the things that we should be prioritizing to build our business. However, whether we are actually following through with prioritizing those things is another story. Use this five step process, adapted from real estate coach Tom Ferry, to see whether you're harnessing the best use of your time. Step 1: Identify Your Priorities The first step in managing your time is to find out exactly how you're spending it. Tracking your time closely for a week or two will often surface time leaks you didn't realize were there. You can track your time in a notebook or use a free time tracking tool and app like Toggl. Toggl lets you track unlimited number of projects and clients, and provides reporting so you can see how you spend your time. Ask yourself, "What are the top four to five things that I need to be doing for the success of my business?" You may be thinking of things like prospecting, setting more appointments, or scheduling open houses. Make a list, and remember that less is more here. Don't go over five priorities.
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Five Steps to Getting Back in the Groove, Fast
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Setting More Real Estate Appointments
Appointments with real estate leads are an important part of the life of a real estate agent. It's the starting point for a sale. But how do you get leads to agree to meet with you? It takes strategy, perseverence, and motivation. To gain more real estate appointments, you must not fear rejection! Every "no" brings you one step closer to a "YES." Real estate coach and IXACT Contact partner Bruce Keith has terrific strategies for how to secure more real estate appointments, and stay positive through the process. Bruce writes: Here are five critical insights to help you set more appointments this week: 1. Remember it is a "numbers game." The more contacts you make, the more opportunity you will have to ask for the appointment. Up your game – 20 per day is a good minimum. 2. Keep asking the three motivation questions over and over: Where would you like to move to? When do you want to do that? What's prompting your move? 3. Follow-up aggressively. Three rules: Every lead must have a mark over date, every lead must be called on that date (NO excuses), and every daily schedule must have a 30 minute "lead follow-up" time slot to ensure no one gets missed.
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Why Your New Year's Resolutions Will Fail (and How to Fix That)
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Feeling Confident and Showing It – 4 Keys for Real Estate Agents
Exhibiting confidence in the sales profession is critical. It especially applies in real estate sales. Here's a simple four step approach to master this important issue: The Art of Exhibiting Confidence has four main components. They are: Your visual image - Don't forget that everyone forms an opinion of you before you even open your mouth. It only takes 4-6 seconds! So here's the issue: do you present the professional image you want them to accept? Who do they see you as before you even get started? A great question to constantly ask yourself is, "Would I buy from me right now?" How you act - This one starts with your posture and the way you carry yourself. Everything from good eye contact, to a strong handshake, to having an easy relaxed manner, to asking for business without being "salesy" (or nervous). What you say - The actual words you use to communicate. The questions you ask. Using objection handlers that are logical and easy to understand. The stories you include to illustrate your point. Most important of all—the benefits your message provides to your customer/prospect. How you say it - Are you engaging and conversational? Are your tonality, your rate of speech, and your delivery relaxed and non-confrontational? Do you put them at ease by asking the right questions? Conversation patterns and styles of speaking are critical to presenting your image. Items #1 and #2 are physical strategies you can use to your advantage on an ongoing basis. The key is to be a master of "what to say and how to say it." Let's look at items #3 and #4 in more detail. Here are some specific ideas you can take on right away...
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The Sales Springboard: 'I Need One More Sale'
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Lost a Listing? Never Again with These Proven Secrets of Top Agents (10/19)
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Have you ever lost a listing to another agent that you felt you had in the bag when you left the seller's house? Find out what that winning agent most likely did and said during his or her presentation in this step by step webinar that hyper focuses on the listing appointment. Pat Hiban has interviewed over 400 top Real Estate agents on his podcast and hand selected 8 of the best to sit down with and give him their listing presentation exactly how they give it to a prospective seller. What he found was there were 6 crucial steps that almost all of them used consistently. In this webinar Pat will explain the six step process and go into detail as to what is said and done during these steps and why. Discussed will be rapport building, commission improvement techniques, objection handling and more. As a bonus Pat will give all webinar attendees access to several videos included in course he created from these agent interviews for free plus a discount coupon for the entire course should they wish to investigate these agents techniques further Register now!
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3 Ways to Be More Consistent with Your Marketing Efforts
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4 Real Estate Coaches Share How to Convert an Internet Lead via Phone
The strategies you use to successfully convert leads are a big factor in your level of productivity. As we are able to find leads through an increasing number of channels, it can be challenging to identify the best ways to move toward conversion. Taking advantage of the opportunities that come via the Internet can require some new ways of thinking, and creative combinations of tools that you might not have tried before. One traditional yet effective way to move an online inquiry into the pipeline is to make contact by phone. Following up is critical, and it's amazing how frequently initial contacts are ignored. For example, the WAV Group measured lead responsiveness from a sample of 384 different brokers across 11 states. Researchers inquired about online listings and recorded the data on responses by agents. In their experience: 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5 The average number of email contact attempts was 2.07 Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours) So, strategy number one: RESPOND. Beyond that, many industry coaches recommend using the phone to convert these online leads. Here's a roundup of wisdom on the subject.
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The Eye-Opening Reason Prospecting Sends Chills Down Your Spine
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How to Triple Your Business by Using the Power of 3! (8/24)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Learn how to take more listings, on your terms by knowing: The 3 Criteria to Accept a Client The 3 Markets and How to Price Accordingly The 3 Market Outcomes The 3 Ingredients for a PERFECT Marketing Plan The 3 Myths that will cost You Money The 3 Things You Should Know About the Coming Shift Register now!
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3 Fast Solutions for More Money this Month
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What Successful Agents Do Differently: 12 Techniques
Why are some agents successful and others not? Well, it's not chance. Mike Ferry has been observing successful agents for 40 years, and now he shares the 12 things that sets successful and unsuccessful agents apart. #6 at 5:38 is the gem.
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How to Become, Stay and Feel Successful: The Final Secret (6/22)
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Overcoming a Common Real Estate Objection
Does this sound familiar, "I can't move right now. I don't have any place to go." It's a common real estate objection that you have likely heard from sellers. In this video, real estate coach Bruce Keith outlines a four step plan for how you can overcome this common real estate objection.
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The Secret to Making a Great First Impression
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An Expert Speaks: How to Position Yourself for a Successful Year in Real Estate
Do you have big real estate goals in 2016? Well-known business coach and consultant Mike Lindstrom recently shared his secrets for a successful year with the winners of the Agent Transformation Sweepstakes presented by PNC Mortgage. And now you can steal some of his top tips! Lindstrom is a powerful orator who regularly gives talks for big names in real estate, such as Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX International, and Prudential. Watch the video to learn from this industry guru, and then download the accompanying How to Position Yourself for a Successful Year in Real Estate worksheet to put his guidance into practice. No time for a video? Check out the written highlights on the next page. <
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Why Every Agent Should Get Real Estate Coaching
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Not a fan of cheese sandwiches? It’s okay. You have options!
The story goes like this: a man was in the office lunch room, opened his lunch bag and sighed, "No, not a cheese sandwich again!" Next day, same thing: "No, I can't believe it, another cheese sandwich!" Then a coworker chimed in, "Why don't you tell your wife to make you something different?" The man looks up from his sandwich and says, "I make my own lunch." Let me ask you a question: How do you like your own "lunch" these days – in other words, your life? If you're not where you want to be, let me suggest a trip to the nearest mirror. Now, if you feel like your problems are the fault of someone or something else, please quit reading now. I won't be any help to you. But if you're willing to look in that mirror and admit you're responsible for you and all the situations you sometimes find yourself in, please continue reading – you're the kind of person I like to do business with. If you remember one thing from this article, please make it this: The most important choice we can make today – and every day – is to adopt a positive attitude and take action. That's one of the most important lessons I've learned after helping REALTORS® with their businesses over the last 20 years. It all boils down to attitude. You have a choice on how to react to every single thing that occurs in your life. And here are three other traits of successful REALTORS®: 1. Masters of time management. Every top producer I've ever met understood just how valuable time is in the real estate industry. They came to learn through trial and error which tasks yielded the most return on investment of their time. Then they created an ideal weekly schedule and followed it religiously.
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How One Agent Earned $10,000 from a Personal Note
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10 Steps to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent
Working in real estate requires hard work and dedication, but the rewards are plenty. Real estate offers excellent income potential, flexible work hours and freedom to set your own pace. But working in this field is like anything else. You need the right education, training and drive to compete with the best in the biz. To get started, follow the steps below to ensure your future success and profitability. Step 1: Get a Good Education Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have about real estate, the more clients you'll obtain. Not only will more clients lead to more listings, it will eventually turn into more money. Following are the top real estate schools as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report: University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia: The Wharton School's real estate department offers concentrations in real estate at three levels: undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral. University of Wisconsin – Madison: Wisconsin's School of Business offers undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. programs in business administration with a real estate concentration. University of California – Berkeley: The Hass School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in real estate, including an MBA with a real estate concentration. University of Georgia: The Terry College of Business offers a real estate major for undergraduates in addition to MBA and Ph.D. degrees in the field. University of Southern California: USC's Price School of Public policy offers a Master of Real Estate Development degree as well as a certificate in real estate development.
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An Agent's Dirty Dozen of "Do Nots" - Part 2
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An Agent’s Dirty Dozen of "Do Nots" - Part 1
Imagine life as an agent where the failure landmines have already been scouted, freeing you to focus on real estate. You immediately avoid 12 "Do Nots," saving you time, energy, exasperation and possibly your career. Taken from years of experience consulting hundreds of agents across the nation, I have identified the top mistakes agents make and paired them with my most effective advice in order to create solutions you can readily apply. If you are afraid of prospecting, unsure about how much technology is enough, and frustrated that your day is more white hot treadmill than lucrative career, read on – it just might make a difference in your life. Do Not... 1. Move too quickly or hardly move at all. There is an impatience with real estate licensees that creates an environment for making quick decisions on important topics. For example, they want a website, so they go online, search out an affordable template, pay the money and throw something out into cyberspace and they call it "good." Looking closely at the material, however, it is dated, obviously a template, does not reflect their personality, and often has clerical errors in the text. Or they go the other end of the spectrum and keep a to do list that never ever gets addressed. Making money is more important than building a sound business foundation. Recommendation: Slow down and define exactly what is that you wish to achieve. Talk to your peers and get recommendations from trustworthy sources. Make your decision with research under your belt and your objectives clearly in mind.
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Prepare Now to Sell More Homes in 2013
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Go Full Monty in Real Estate and Sell More Homes
"Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving." –Tim Sanders In 2004, I had the privilege of seeing Tim Sanders give the keynote speech at the Prudential Real Estate conference and it changed my outlook on business forever. Just a couple of years into the real estate business, I ran out and bought his latest book, Love the Killer App, which spoke of bettering ourselves by giving more to others – not just in a charitable sense, but also in a personal and professional sense. If we can lead those surrounding us to paths of success, then success will find us as well. So, when HomeFinder.com asked me to share my real estate industry successes with the five winners of the HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes, the answer was absolutely, without a doubt, yes. If I could get just one message across to this fortunate group, it was to see the market through different eyes. So many agents in this day and age are just plain discouraged. In their minds, the number of sales are down, prices are down, buyers are difficult, sellers are unrealistic and deals are falling apart – if they ever come together at all. Sound familiar? As the real estate world was crumbling around us, I made a decision to look at it through a different set of eyes. The landscape HAD gotten tougher, and I believed that subsequently the consumers needed the best possible version of me. I needed to become smarter, more strategic, a better communicator, more compassionate... just simply better. When I worked to achieve this, the results were amazing. When done successfully during adverse conditions, people believe in what you are doing. And belief breeds success.
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The HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Teaches Agents How to Revamp Their Business
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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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Real Estate Coach Radio Daily
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What Does Your Website Say About You?
If you're an agent working today, then you already know the importance of a good web presence. What you may not know, however, is what constitutes 'good'. If you have a website, take a look at this list to make sure you're not falling victim to technology. After all, having a megaphone is one thing; using it wisely is another.        
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Tuesday Tech Tip with Maya Paveza of TheHipRoof.com
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Becoming The Social Authority In Your Local Market
Guest Contributor Clark Alexander says:The trick is to execute a strategy that will allow your posting efforts to generate the most return. A while back we talked about how search engines rank social generated content with both Google and Bing now factoring them into their search results. So how can we leverage this to build your local presence?
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Tuesday Tech Tip with Maya Paveza of HipRoof.com
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7 Keys to Email Success
7 Keys to Email Success This is a very important topic for any professional, and vital for REALTORS® in particular – so let's cut right to the chase. Here are a few rules to follow if you're using email for your business. 1) Make it personal. Technology can offer professionals a competitive edge, but we need to be sure that it doesn't build a wall between us and our clients. In the context of email, this means you need to make an extra effort to give your communications a personal touch. Rather than writing your newsletter from the perspective of "the company," write it as you would a letter, from the perspective of an individual. Sign the letter as an individual. Include your contact information and even a headshot. This rule is particularly important for REALTORS®; for you, name and face recognition is vital.
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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (Part One)
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6 Communication Tips for Real Estate Agents
Guest contributor Katy Dean Cebe from Showing Suite says: We've all heard it a hundred times – clients stating their number one complaint during their real estate transaction was, "I never heard from my agent!" Perhaps "never" is a bit of an exaggeration. Surely, they must have heard from you at least once, right? If nothing more than for you to say, "I want to help sell your house," or, "I can give you tips on selling your home!" But when a client isn't getting what they want from their agent, the negativity they feel towards you will be exacerbated, and no matter how often you actually did communicate with them, to them it will seem like you never did at all.
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Lesson From the Wizard of Oz: 5 Things About Courage
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Zap the Generation Gap
Statistics tell us there are four generations in today's marketplace that are actively buying and selling properties. This generational dynamic requires sales professionals to become more aware of age preferences and core values as we strive to bridge communication gaps and improve our services. Our newest challenge is to meet this variance in demands by addressing each group's respective communication and service preferences using both traditional and electronic channels.
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How To Take Listing Photos in Wintertime
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Getting Comfortable With RSS – Part 1
So much information, so little time. Newspapers, magazines, podcasts, blog posts, books, webinars – we are overwhelmed with information from a myriad of sources. Most of us probably have our “towers of shame,” those stacks of must-read books beside the bed or our favorite chair. How would you like to be served filtered business, local and national news, blog posts, videos, and other items of interest, directly to your computer in real-time? An extremely simple and efficient way to manage day-to-day information is through the use of an RSS reader and subscriptions to RSS feeds.
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Use QR Codes to Avoid Facebook's Pay-per-Click Charge!
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Keep Your Eye On Data Privacy!
I've been in the data privacy and information security business for more than 20 years and there sure have been a lot of changes. I have really seen this industry grow up, particularly in the last nine years since I founded Privacy Solutions. Now privacy has its own official day- January 28th is International Data Privacy Day. To commemorate the day in true Privacy Guru® style, here are four easy things you can do which will do wonders to help protect you, your family and your business. If you want, you can even let me know you’ve done them by posting “Done” on the Privacy Solutions Facebook page.
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Missed the Boat: Six Sad Reasons Most Agents Fail
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Part 1: Looking to Improve Your Prospecting Skills? Be There!
What’s the world coming to? Doesn’t it seem that most businesses today actually are looking for ways to avoid talking to customers? The airlines are a classic example. Want to make an airline reservation by telephone? Good luck! Just to accomplish this means spending several minutes going through an elaborate push-button menu. Then you are on hold for who-knows-how long. Really, the airlines would rather you go online, make your own reservation, get an e-ticket and print out your own itinerary and receipt. I don’t think companies intend to avoid customers. I think they want to use technology to its fullest extent to serve customers better and in the most cost-efficient way. But they have been overrun by technology. Some real estate agents are doing the same thing, especially when it comes to prospecting. They are searching for a technique, tool, software or system that will eliminate the task of prospecting, when in fact it will only eliminate prospects. It’s time to get back in touch with some real, fundamental principles about the reality of prospecting.  
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Business as Usual or Not?
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De-Stressing Your Life
Have you ever just stopped in the middle of a busy place and study what is going on around you? I recently viewed a film of an event that occurred in Time Square, orchestrated by a group of 20 or so “performers”. In the midst of a frenzied crowd, these individuals, on cue, simply stopped - locked in position and appeared to stop breathing, as if suddenly flash frozen in place. For all intent and purposes, time ceased right along with them. The startled then puzzled stares of the bustling crowd bounced ineffectively off the human sculptures. In retrospect, watching this “calm” in the middle of the storm liberated me. I began to understand that I have been living my life in a hyperventilating mode…so much to do in such a minuscule period of time. That’s when I understood that the way we utilize time is extremely different than how earlier generations experienced it. If your parents were anything like mine, they rarely worked on those precious weekends or after dinner. That time was reserved for playing cards, enjoying a good book, golfing or anything else which they considered fun. Relaxing meant down time.
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Want to Promote Conversation on Your Blog?
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How to Maximize the New LinkedIn Share Button
The online world just got more social! Facebook and Twitter led the way making share buttons available for inclusion on blogs, websites and online content. By doing so and stacking up “likes” and “retweets” on almost every page on the Internet the popularity and business value of using Facebook and Twitter to saturate social networks has grown exponentially. In the last year a number of social sharing buttons have popped up, but noticeably missing has been LinkedIn. As of this week, LinkedIn will now have share buttons available to professionals looking to share information with their network. By adding the LinkedIn button, (as seen on the right), content creators can invite online readers to share their article, press release, listing, or social profile with their LinkedIn network and more importantly their groups.
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Proactive Propspecting in Real Estate
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Steer Clear of a Tax Audit for 2010
The Internal Revenue Service audits about one percent of US Taxpayers each year. As a real estate professional, you are likely to have an independent contractor relationship with your broker. Although your chances of being audited are pretty slim, there are basic principles that will reduce the likelihood of being part of that one percent. A few items to avoid are significant deductions for automobile expenses, home improvements, or outrageous meal expenses. By following these 7 steps, you can lower your chances of being audited.
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Live Your Life by Design!
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How to Shoot Listing Photos at Dusk
When I’m scrolling through a library of listing photos, I find myself most attracted to those shot at dusk or dawn. There’s something about the warm glow of a house contrasted against the cool sky that is not only punchy and attention-grabbing, but wholesome and safe. I’m no anthropologist, but I’d be willing to bet it has something to do with our instinctual attraction to a warm fire glowing from within a comfy cave. Even though these types of photos are arguably more attention-grabbing than daytime ones, there are good reasons why most real estate exteriors are not shot this way. For one, dusk shots are harder to execute – they require higher level camera knowledge. Secondly, they involve more elaborate setups often involving powerful fill lights, not to mention the task of turning on every light in the house prior to the shoot.  
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What Are You Thankful For?
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He Said, She Said - Manage Your Online Reputation with Naymz
Congratulations, you have now activated your personality in a lot of great places where people can easily find you and interact with you through the popular social networks. You have a Plaxo profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, MySpace profile, Twitter profile, profile on your broker website, profile on your personal website, virtual tours, and probably a number of other places people can find you on the Web. Now, how do you keep it all straight? With Naymz. Naymz is an excellent way to pull it all together and manage your online reputation, and, of course it is also free! With Naymz, you can have a webpage built around your name and link to all of the information about you. The really cool thing that we have noticed about Naymz is that they drive traffic to your profile on their network by investing in Pay Per Click keywords at Google using your name, so you don’t have to. They do not promise to do this, but I noticed that they do. The great news about Naymz is that you can tell anyone to “Google” you and click on your Naymz profile to find you everywhere online!
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Make Noise and Build Traffic with Twitter
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Laughter the Best Medicine
You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. - Michael Pritchard Happy Monday! I hope you woke up today jazzed to start a new week. I attended a comedy night fundraiser this weekend with a group of friends. It was great to kick back and watch 5 or 6 comedians for a couple of hours. But as usual it made me start thinking.... It might just be me, but it really seemed like people had more energy and were friendlier after the show. So I started doing a little research. While the data is sketchy, it appears that infants start laughing at about 4 months. In the younger years, estimates say kids laugh anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand times a day! As we age, this number apparently declines to anywhere from 0 to a couple dozen times a day. Basically as we get older, we don't laugh enough!
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Connect the Past with the Present Using Facebook
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Confused by Social Media Lingo?
By 2010 Generation Y has come to outnumber Baby Boomers and 96% of them have not only joined a social network, but also spend considerable time using it. We also wanted to share some of our thoughts and experiences in using social media for our business. As you read through this guide, we hope that you will find the information useful in forming your business's social media plan. Why do I take the time to use social media like Twitter and Facebook? Because after spending considerable time learning and using social media, I can safely say that we should expect our lives to radically and exponentially be changed by social media and social networks over the next few years. Many traditional forms of media that we have been using for decades are being eclipsed with a growth in membership numbers and adoption rates that we have never experienced before. Consumers no longer want or trust advertising to the same levels they did a decade ago.
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Want to Market Intelligently?
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Even if You Feel Like it, Don't Quit
Sometimes life can overwhelm us.  Success meets those around us, but turn away when we come close.  It has been a trying time in the real estate industry.  Chances are we can all use to be reminded to stay the course. If you need to be reminded to stick with it, and not give up, enjoy this video!
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What Does Your Website Say About You?
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Want to Get a Professional Distortion on Your Listing Photos?
In my last post I discussed how you can adjust your camera setup to ensure perfectly vertical lines in your listing interior photos and I believe that the technique is essential for any real estate photographer. But what if you have photos that are already distorted, or you have no choice but to shoot from a position that results in a distorted photo? Well, that’s simple. You digitally modify it to make it look perfect, of course. Before I get into how to correct distortion, let’s quickly take a look at some terms and definitions: Keystone Distortion – when your photo has converging vertical lines that result from your camera being tilted downwards or upwards during the shoot. Although the lines converge, they will still be straight, showing no signs of bowing/curving. Barrel Distortion – when the vertical and/or horizontal lines in your photo appear to be bowing outwards as if inflated. Typically results from using wide angle and fisheye lenses. Pincushion Distortion – when the horizontal and/or vertical lines in your photo appear to be bowing inwards as if pinched. Typically results from fully “zoomed-in” telephoto lenses.
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Stop Thinking Tick-Tock and Start Thinking Cha-Ching!
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Want to Give Your Listing a Professional Touch? Focus on the Angles
When shooting listing photos, or any architecture for that matter, you’ll find yourself dealing with lines, and lots of them. Unlike nature shots, urban structures are filled with perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines, and understanding these lines is very important when shooting real estate photography. The general standard for listing photos, especially interior shots, is to keep your vertical lines straight, while allowing the horizontal lines to create a sense of depth and perspective. Achieving perfectly vertical lines is not difficult if you know how to set up the shot. The trick is to keep your camera perfectly level, and elevated to about half the ceiling height. Here’s a diagram and test shot I performed earlier today:
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Want to Stand Out from the Crowd? Tell Your Story.
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Think Before You Tweet!
We can learn from Mike Wise’s mistake As we engage in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and blogging, we have all become journalists. Most of us have never been trained in the “rules” of journalism. We haven’t been trained on the code of ethics for journalism. When we get in to Twitter, it sometimes feel like we’re all by ourselves and nobody really ties our posts back to our “real” lives. NOT TRUE - just ask Mike Wise, sports reporter from the Washington Post. He created a false post about an athlete in his Twitter Account as an “experiment". He deliberately posted a false story just to see what major news sources would pick it up. His plan was to post the false story, then quickly create another post that would dispel the myth and make the first post a joke. The only problem was Twitter was over capacity and thus the second post never made it to print.  
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3 Simple Steps to Dominate Your Marketplace
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Avoid Mixing Business with Pleasure
If you have a Facebook profile, chances are you are very familiar with Facebook's ability to keep friends and family connected.  You can share pictures, write on walls, send messages, poke your friends and find long lost friends and relatives.  Facebook began as a social platform to stay connected to new friends. Beginning in February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin launch Facebook from their Harvard dorm room. The goal was to keep their freshman dorm connected with one another.  The vision grew exponentially, with over 1 million users at the end of 2004.  Current Facebook statistics include: More than 500 million active users 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day Average user has 130 friends People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook Expanding daily, Facebook has created new and exciting ways for business professionals to promote their products and services within their Facebook profile.  Facebook has recently added a new layer to user profiles, allowing users to create and maintain two images in their one profile.  Now you can separate your business image and contacts from your more relaxed image for friends and family. As real estate professionals, the ability to set up your online persona for your business without having to create a new Facebook profile is certainly appealing. The steps to take are simple.  Desiree Savory, a social media trainer, recently wrote an introductory "How-To" article discussing how to create a Facebook Fan Page and link it to Twitter.
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Achieve Your Best Results in Less Time
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Microsoft Outlook For Effective Contact Management
Learn how to effectively use Microsoft Outlook to build your real estate business. Work smart with an accurate database. Color Manual Provided Bring Your Laptop! Registration: $50.00 ($20 Cancellation Fee)   Gather information about alternative ways to send and receive email in Microsoft Outlook Customize Microsoft Outlook preferences for optimized use Create and manage client email sub-folders Create voting email buttons Create effective file management system for each client Utilize Outlook Calendar with color coding, recurring appointments, reminders and invitation Add and assign Tasks Create effective email signatures with your picture and other images Create distribution lists Create emails with embedded flyers Add contacts with categories and key words for effective filtering Create Email Mail Merges with Contacts Create Mailing Labels with Contacts Set up reminders for active clients and prospects Export closed emails to external client file folder Contact: Desiree Savory  Technography Solutions  [email protected]  713-557-1531 Where: Check A Pro  16300 Katy Freeway at I-10 and Park 10 Exit Suite 170 Houston, TX 77094 When: Thursday August 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM to Thursday August 12, 2010 at 4:00 PM
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Step 6: Increase Exposure, Increase Buyer Inquiries
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Step 4: Getting Online Home Buyers to Your Open House
In an effort to empower real estate agents to convert online listings to leads, REALTOR.com published the 6-Step Online Optimization Plan. This report covers the following topics: Intro: Get more buyer leads from your online listings Step 1: Generate more buyer leads with photos Step 2: Get more calls with Persuasive Property Prose Step 3: Capture more buyers with full-motion home tour videos Step 4: Getting online home buyers to your Open House Step 5: Your social network is still your #1 profit center Step 6: Increase exposure, increase buyer inquiries Following step three of this report, step four discusses tips on how real estate agents can get online buyers to their open house.  More consumers are now searching online for homes and open houses. That’s why it’s more important to optimize your listings and your Open House promotions in the places where more consumers are looking.
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Does Your Brand Have Mobile Integrity?
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Truth is Like a Middle Age Swimsuit Competition
When is the last time you really looked at yourself in the mirror? I’m talking about the full body once over from toes to the top of your head? I honestly can say I haven’t looked at myself in this way for at least five years. Quite frankly, I’m terrified as to what I might see. I have the same mindset when it comes to experimenting with a new technology option:  if what I have works, why worry about what else is out there? Perhaps that explains the video camera that weighs 10 pounds. Physically, the reality is we get older and as a result we experience changes in our faces, skin tone, bodily functions, bone structure and general health. I’m willing to bet most of us only think of the negative aspects of these changes to our personal being and not on the advantages of getting wiser through our life experiences. Purchasing my first iPhone® showed me that I could take video on the spot and using the computer software, I could have a moment captured and stored to enjoy again and again without lugging a video bag, cords, and equipment. Consider how your environment socially and technologically looks now that you are viewing your surroundings with focused intention. Do new parents look like infants themselves even though they are the age you were when you started your family? Is your definition of elderly subtly changed to mean “in their 80’s” rather than in their 60’s? How small will cell phones and/or computer screens get before arthritic fingers can’t push the buttons anymore or view a movie comfortably through tri-focal glasses? Truth is like a middle age swimsuit competition: Not necessarily pretty, but always revealing as we take off the filters and really look at ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. Now more than ever, it’s critical for us to look our businesses in the same spirit. Without clarity and truthful evaluation of our situation, how can we ever hope to fix what is going wrong or enhance those actions which are definitely moving our businesses forward in a positive manner?
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To Sell, or Not to Sell, That is the Question
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Step 3: Capture More Buyers with Full-Motion Home Tour Videos
In an effort to empower real estate agents to convert online listings to leads, REALTOR.com published the 6-Step Online Optimization Plan. This report covers the following topics: Intro: Get more buyer leads from your online listings Step 1: Generate more buyer leads with photos Step 2: Get more calls with Persuasive Property Prose Step 3: Capture more buyers with full-motion home tour videos Step 4: Getting online home buyers to your Open House Step 5: Your social network is still your #1 profit center Step 6: Increase exposure, increase buyer inquiries Following step two of this report, step three discusses how real estate agents can harness the power of video to sell more real estate. Today’s home buyers want more in-depth information when searching for homes – it’s the reason most buyers search online. They know they can get more pictures, neighborhood information and now even videos. Videos do something that virtual tours can’t – give you a feel of what it’s like to walk through a home. Best of all is that you don’t have to be a professional filmmaker and you don’t have to spend a fortune. This special guide will help you create a professional full-motion home tour video.
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Step 1: Generate More Buyer Leads with Photos
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Get More Buyer Leads from Your Online Listings
In an effort to empower real estate agents to convert online listings to leads, REALTOR.com published the 6-Step Online Optimization Plan. This report covers the following topics: Intro: Get more buyer leads from your online listings Step 1: Generate more buyer leads with photos Step 2: Get more calls with Persuasive Property Prose Step 3: Capture more buyers with full-motion home tour videos Step 4: Getting online home buyers to your Open House Step 5: Your social network is still your #1 profit center Step 6: Increase exposure, increase buyer inquiries Today's column will begin with the introduction to the report. In order for real estate agents to maximize on their listings, they need to successfully convert these listings into leads. To learn how to do this, begin by reading REALTOR.com's advice...
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The Dos and Don'ts of Email
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A Sound Bite World
Took a trip on Twitter…a virtual vacation for the purpose of learning as much as possible about this communication venue.  The process of sending an update to people who chose to follow your “streaming thoughts” is called Tweeting.  The first thing I thought when I heard the term Twitter was what people did on the long train ride as a scene in “The Music Man” written by Meredith Willson. Talk a lot, cheep, cheep cheep.  The passengers exchange information and gossip at an astounding rate as the train barrels forward to its destination. I’m not far off base for understanding the intent of this social network.   Small bits of information tossed out to the virtual world and if you’re lucky, someone grabs onto the sound bite and decides to follow your comments.  It is Internet blogging in short hand. Reading a few of the tweets makes me realize exactly how old I am.  It truly is a brave new world out there and as a solidly placed baby boomer, I’m trying to adapt with as little personal anxiety as possible. The first hurdle to get over…why would anyone care what I am doing at a particular moment?  My husband only checks in on me once a day, much less several times in a 10 hour period.  And in that single conversation with Rick, we cover all of the interesting and bland things that occurred during the day while enjoying a hot meal.  Glasses are clinked, jokes are exchanged and personal observations enjoyed.  Total time – 30 minutes.  How do I write about that in 140 characters?
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Auto Focus
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Communication Alert! How Behavior Impacts Clarity
According to E. H. Schein, Consultant, the most important thing for people to understand is what goes on inside their own heads.  If we enter into a conversation without knowing how we assert our own feelings and biases, we won’t be able to tell whether the information we are receiving is based on reality or our perceptions.  As human beings, we can’t help but filter all communication through our own personal filters which include prejudgments, expectations and alert our defenses if we hear or read a statement a certain way.  Because of our tendency towards misperception of what happened or why it happened, we may “allow” ourselves to respond emotionally to our interpretation without being aware that it is based on incorrect information.  As a result, if we don’t check whether our observation and emotional reaction were correct and appropriate, we may act rationally but make the situation worse.  How do you think an argument can brew to a boiling point after discussing the type of cheese you may want to incorporate into a salad? To illustrate and imbed what E. H. Schein has discovered, I’ve often used the “telephone game” in my training sessions.  I whisper a short five sentence statement into the ear of a volunteer.  That person then repeats the statement to another person and tells them exactly what I told them.  This whispering process is continued through 10 people.  Much like gossip, don’t you think?  Someone hears something interesting, they pass it along to another person, and before you know it, when you hear the information it is the truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God!  Wrong.
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Balancing Work and Life
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How to Target Your Marketing Efforts and Master Your Business Niche
If you want to make more money in today’s competitive environment, then you need to master your business niche. Let me show you a perfect, prime example of niche marketing at its best: The AARP card appeared in the mail again. This time I actually opened the envelope and reviewed the material included with the invitation to join. Offers of insurance, magazines, on-line registrations and general information related to aging spilled out across the table. Everything in the packet maintained the specific intent of enticing a middle age person to join the group dedicated to senior citizens. A scant five years ago, I wouldn’t have acknowledged the promotional material. It would have been swept into the nearest garbage can as I briefly wondered why this organization wasted its marketing dollars on me. Now, as I scan the introductory letter, the supporting messages delivered in the envelope are beginning to make sense. I’ve discovered that the magazine is dedicated to providing me with information on medical advancements for cholesterol control, suggestions to slim the middle age bulge and tips to improve my memory. That last one caught my attention. Startled, I realized that I aged into the targeted demographic of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and didn’t feel it coming on. When, for god’s sake, did I stop being 35? AARP knew it would happen and patiently primed the pump for several years as it waited for me to emotionally recognize that my body and brain would change. My perspective would alter and this organization graciously waited until it was needed. Now, that’s niche marketing!
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Your USP… It Can Be the Difference Between Success and Failure
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Social Media Strategy for Real Estate Agents: Why You NEED It
In today’s highly competitive real estate market, there is a multitude of ways for real estate agents to try to differentiate themselves from their market competitors.  Social Media is the newest “miracle” approach, or so many believe.  Many try, most fail, few succeed.  It isn’t a science, nothing in real estate is, it is all relationship based, a lot like social media. Agent Approach and Failure You can hardly glance at a social media site without seeing a real estate agent, telling you what their latest listing has to offer, or how they can better represent you as a Buyer’s Agent. When it comes right down to it, is that the way to win the heart, and mind, of the consumer?  Let’s consider this, in today’s world of DVRs, do you watch the commercials, or do you fast-forward past them?  How is social media any different, there may not be a fast-forward option, but many people will just ignore it.  Congratulations Mr./Mrs. Agent, you just became white noise and were filtered out.  When this happens, and an agent makes repeated efforts, with no response, they tend to say “This doesn’t work!” and give up.  This is exactly where the failure is occurring.
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How Do You Know You Don’t Like Social Networking?
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Making it Hard for Buyers to Book Showing Appointments?
Already use a showing appointment product? Are you using it to its potential? A real estate agent's goal is to make it easy for potential home buyers to book a showing for their listing. Why go to the trouble of picking out a showing appointment software program that you don't know how to use, turning away home buyers instead of signing them up? ShowingSuite, a company that provides showing appointment software solutions, recently wrote a blog post detailing three ways to make booking a showing appointment easier on the buyer. Keep the home available to show; Be flexible with showing appointments; Respond to ALL showing appointment requests asap. Continue reading to find out how to avoid common scheduling pitfalls...
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Don't Get Blinded by SEO Science!
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Key to Blogging: Be Original and Passionate!
Blah, blah, blah blog. Blogging is a powerful way to inform, entertain and provide real estate coaching to an online audience.  Sharing insight and developing an online personality is a great marketing tool to garner more home buyer attention.  Without a doubt it diversifies you from your local competition, as so few real estate professionals actually blog. It's daunting, time consuming and it can be hard to motivate yourself to be consistent. Real Blogging, a Real Estate Blog, recently posted two blog posts that give two practical, good pieces of advice to aspairing bloggers. 1.) Develop original content; and 2) Let passion drive your blog home.
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Add a Business Page to Your Facebook
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Seven Ways to Differentate Your Service
Terri Murphy, a leading real estate speaker, trainer and coach, is providing an excellent Tuesday Tip program over on YouTube. This is part 11 of the 52 week series. In this session, she discusses the 7 pieces of Differentiation—Product, Price, Process, Relationship, Experience, Technology and Marketing. Today, consumers use the internet throughout their lives to become informed about products and services before engaging a company or supplier. This is especially true of real estate, where consumers jump immediately from print to the web to learn more about properties. When we refer to Print, we are referring to all types of print—business card, yard sign, newspaper ad, magazine ad, flier, park bench, billboard, etc. Everything that you do to market yourself in business today is a path to your online business strategy. In real estate, your Product is the service you provide to buyers and sellers. How do you differentiate your service? Good service is typically measured in terms of responsiveness and the quality of your responsiveness. Be sure to let your clients know how they can communicate with you—email, text messaging, phone calls, website, online chat, etc. Moreover, let them know the hours you work and who to contact as a backup when you are not around in an emergency.
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Twitter… Facebook, Not Just for Kids
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Real Estate Blogging: Quantity, Not Detail!
Beginning a blog is hard. What do you write? How long does it have to be? Does it fully capture who you are and what you can offer your readers without making you sound lame? Jim Cronin of Real Estate Tomato hears these types of questions all day long, when working with real estate professionals who want to begin to blog. In answer to these frantic, initial questions, here's what he has to say: "The following is based on a phone rant that I have let loose so many times that I’m starting to feel myself on auto-pilot, almost thinking about something else, as I explain the basic formula to guaranteed blogging success. It struck me that I need to write this down before I mistakenly consider it to be no longer relevant. The fact is that it couldn’t be more relevant for new and struggling real estate bloggers. I am adding this article to the Pre-Class Homework that all of our new clients will receive, for it is the foundation of their path to blogging reward.
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