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Safe Selling: New Listing? Here's Why Agents Should Meet the Neighbors
Did you know that there are certain neighborhood and property features that scare off predators? It's true, and in this week's Safe Selling episode, you'll find out what those are. They say information is power, and the more your agents know about the neighborhood their listing is in, the safer they and other agents will be. So, brokers, encourage your agents to knock on doors and meet the neighbors of their new listing. (And, bonus, it's a good way to find potential new business!) Watch the video above to learn: What you should find out about a neighborhood Which neighborhood/property features scare off predators How to seamlessly incorporate the information you've learned into conversation with a prospect What to listen for in a conversation that signals that you may be dealing with a predator Why you should always input the information you've learned about the neighborhood into the showing notes field of your MLS. Next: Learn how you can use the showing appointment time to establish power and control.
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Safe Selling: A Script (and a Trick) for Screening Prospects
We've talking a lot about red flags lately--specifically how to spot them in new prospects. This week, learn a quick trick that agents can use over the phone to uncover hints that a prospect might be dangerous. The trick is called 'The Training Play' and it can help agents gauge a prospect's hidden motives. Watch the video above to: Hear a sample script for using the Training Play on the phone Find out which vocal cues to be alert for How agents can decide if they should take another agent with them to a showing Next week: See why it's so important to learn about the neighborhood—and to share your findings in the Showing Notes.
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Safe Selling: How to Spot Dangerous Red Flags Over the Phone
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Safe Selling: Why Agents Should Avoid Getting Personal in Their Marketing
How can brokers help their agents stay safe? You probably already know all the physical basics, but did you know the way your agents present themselves online can actually deter--or attract--predators? We've already learned how an agent's profile photo and the language they use in their marketing can put off a potential attacker. In today's episode of "Safe Selling," we're deepening that knowledge by exploring what types of marketing information attracts dangerous people, and what repels them. Watch the video above to learn: The difference between personal and professional information Why agents should NEVER include personal information on their website or other marketing channels The personal details that can cause a predator to stalk an agent in person What topics your agents' marketing should focus on instead Tune in next week when we'll learn the ins and outs of social media safety!
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Safe Selling: How to Avoid Marketing Language That Attracts Predators
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May We Please Start Saying 'My Pleasure' Instead of 'No Problem'?
Customer service in real estate is paramount. It's a key differentiator promoted by the vast majority of brokerages and agents. It's vital because real estate is a relationship business. I've written about this before, but growing up and working for my dad in the hotel business, I was taught how essential it was to provide exceptional customer service. That has made me acutely aware of the overall decline in excellent customer service in our society at large.
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Real Estate Journalists Heading to Austin
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 4
Over the past month, we've been showing you what to do when an agitated person visits your brokerage, MLS, or association office. Today, our series wraps up with the final steps you need to take to deescalate a tense situation. Watch the video above to learn: How to guide an agitated person to a resolution by offering them options Why it's important to stress the consequences of each option Why respect and validation are crucial—and why ultimatums never work Sample scripts for offering options and validating their choice Need to catch up on this rest of this series? Check out parts one, two, and three here.  
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 3
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 2
When an agitated visitor comes into your office, it's better to be proactive than reactive. If you can identify an angry person before as they approach, you can prepare yourself to de-escalate the situation--and keep you and those in your office safe. How can you do that? In this week's episode of "Real Answers," we'll show you exactly what to look for. Watch the video above to learn: The physical signs of an agitated person Why you need to lead the de-escalation process, not the visitor The body language to display to better calm a person--and the physical stances to NEVER take in a tense situation Want to learn more? Check out part one of this series, where we showed you what NOT to do when an angry person visits your brokerage, association, or MLS office. Then stay tuned for a new episode next week!
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors
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Real Estate Buyers Want More Process Content
Real estate buyers come from various financial situations and with widely different ideas of what makes a great home for their needs. They also arrive with very different levels of knowledge of the process, from a first purchase to a seasoned investor. So, what's a common characteristic of real estate buyers that can work for us in marketing to them? No matter how many properties they've purchased, every real estate buyer is always open to learning more about the transaction process or particular niche information that applies to their deal. You may be covering most of the major phases of a common transaction, but more information is always a plus for site visitors, and even for the search engines.
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3 Uses for Microsoft Teams in Picking Up the Slack
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Is Your Real Estate Seller Content Hitting the Mark?
The real estate seller is a prime prospect, as listings are known to be the best business building tool for real estate professionals. They also can feel like they're the targets of tons of marketing, emails, and repetitive advice. When you're pursued by a throng of real estate agents, it feels like a pack, and your attention is mostly in getting away; nobody stands out.
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Upping Your Game with Real Estate Investor Content
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ERA Real Estate Launches IVR Enhancement to TextERA Platform
ERA Real Estate announced the addition of an IVR (interactive voice response) feature to the TextERA platform. TextERA, already hugely successful among ERA® affiliated brokers and agents, allows potential clients to immediately access the listing agent, pricing, video and details about the property within seconds by following prompts from their yard signs. TextERA's new IVR feature ensures that potential clients who still opt to make phone calls will also receive an immediate response.
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Great PR Begins with Great Storytelling
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Format for Writing Agent Bios
WAV Group has written a lot about agent profiles, and usually with scorn. There is nothing that demonstrates a lack of professionalism than a profile with a grey cutout instead of a professional photo, or an empty bio page. In some small way, I hope that this quick article will stimulate a few more brokers, teams, and agents to rekindle the professional flame and update headshots and bios now. Have your agents answer these questions to get started:
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What's the Best Way to Announce Leadership Changes?
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Best PR Quotes of All Time
My top favorite pastime is being a professional mentor of high school robotics team where I live, just a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle on Bainbridge Island. It's a FIRST Robotics Team (4915 Spartronics) that I helped found six years ago. I'm the lead marketing mentor. One of the mantras we have taught each student on the team as they go through the program is "Everyone's a marketer." That quote really captures the importance of the business side of the robotics team. Marketing impacts everyone on the team. It is vital to the team's success and sustainability for many reasons, the biggest one is the team is self-funding.
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4 Types of Content Real Estate Pros Need to Use
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7 Communication Apps for Your Business
Is your business communicating or miscommunicating? Mishandling the exchange of information with clients or even staff and business partners can have major repercussions on your bottom line. Fortunately, help is on the way through a number of mobile apps you can download to streamline your business communications. Keep reading for a list of the best communication apps.
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How to Differentiate Your Content Between Social Media Channels
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Let's Get Our Language Right
In real estate, agents and brokers talk about sales. They talk about how many and how much. Time to get our language right. Instead, let's say...
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Talking Your Way to Better Real Estate SEO
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Twilio Acquires SendGrid for $2 Billion -- Real Estate Tech Wins
Twilio sent out a press release about buying SendGrid on October 15, and it seemed to fly past the radar of everyone in real estate. Maybe the lack of interest is because both companies supply backend services to products who need communication services. Building multi-channel communication features in an app just became easier.
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How to Create Content That Makes You Stand Out
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What Is a Cloud Phone System?
You know how important a good phone system can be for your business. But you may not know what a cloud phone system is. Let's go over what it is and how your business can benefit from it.
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Working Your Real Estate Vendors and Lenders for Content
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The ABCs of Marketing Acronyms for Real Estate Brokerages
Marketing is full of acronyms—and sometimes, looking at them can feel like trying to make sense out of a bowl of alphabet soup. They're key for your marketing plans, but there are so many (and so many similar ones!) that it's hard to keep track. But what do those collections of letters mean for your and your real estate brokerage? Keep reading for your cheat sheet of some of the most common marketing acronyms!
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The Emergence of Dark Social
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Live Video Chat: The Way Modern Communication Is Supposed to Be
Technology has transformed the ways we communicate with clients. Today we have more channels available to us than ever: email, text, direct message on social media, and so on. Unfortunately, with each advancement, communication has become more impersonal and the use of chatbots and pre-recorded messages have made clients feel like they are talking to robots. However, there's one advancement in communication technology that can be the answer your clients (and you) have been searching for: video chat. Live video chat may seem optimal for friends and family, but it also holds great potential for businesses. Video chat can even help you increase engagement on social platforms and gain the winning edge over your competition.
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Less Is More When It Comes to Your Corporate Boilerplate
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Should You Use Live Chat Apps on Your Website?
Live chat apps are literally popping up everywhere. Today, we'll take a look at this talked about tech, and whether or not it might be right for your business. Put a Bug in Your Ear You spend countless hours driving traffic to your real estate website. But in your business, and with today's instant-access lifestyle, it's easy for first-time visitors to feel ignored. Let's face it, as much as it would be great for initial client contact to be one-on-one with you, the nature of the realty business makes a prompt, live response tough to tackle.
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The Most Dangerous Words in the English Language
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Audience Engagement in a Noisy World
We all do it. Wake up, grab our mini computers and see what we missed in those all-too-short hours of slumber. Whether we jump into our favorite social app, go directly to email, or just start scrolling through notifications that built up overnight, come morning we want to be instantly informed about the world spinning around us. But don't worry, this isn't a self help article like 5 Steps to Grow Your Twitter Following. No, this is a different look at audience engagement from the supply side of the equation and all of our quests as to how to do it better. So join me for a conversation with NAR Commercial's communication guru Jacob Knabb where he shares some of his thoughts on how we can communicate with target audiences more effectively.
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Registration Marks Do Not Belong in News Releases
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What Is Public Relations?
I am still stunned by the number of people I meet in the real estate industry, including prospective clients, who really don't understand what public relations is. More importantly, many people often have misconceptions about what PR can do. Most often, PR is confused with activities and outcomes that are entirely in the realm of advertising. A better widespread understanding of what PR is, what is not, what it can do and what it should not be expected to do would greatly benefit the real estate industry. That's because PR is one of the most potent and underutilized business disciplines that yields one of the highest ROIs when executed well.
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Evergreen Content for Websites, Breaking Content for Blogs
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The Secret to Having the Best PR Program
When I met the "father of public relations," Edward Bernays, he was in his 90s. I was a USC grad student in the School of Journalism working on my Masters in Public Relations (MPR). A small group of us had gathered at a Public Relations Student Society of America reception at a national conference to meet the living legend. His body may have been feeble, but his brain was still wickedly razor sharp. He said something to us so simple, and perhaps even obvious upon reflection. At the time, the full impact of his words and what he meant was not apparent or immediate. But they lingered in my mind, almost hauntingly.
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Effective PR Means One Message Does Not Fit All Audiences
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Chat Bot 2.0 for Brokers
In 2013, WAV Group performed the most comprehensive research on responsiveness to consumer leads on broker websites. At the time, more than 50 percent of consumer inquiries were not responded to at all! For those that did respond, the quality of the response was very low and the time to respond was about 15 hours. The research highlighted an enormous disconnect between the efforts of brokers to drive consumer engagement though marketing and the problem with conversion. Since the paper, we have seen a few trends emerge. Zillow has created a center of excellence around concierge services to connect consumers from their websites with agents in real time. Zillow is the first responder and endeavors to make a live hand off to Zillow Premier Agents. Howard Hanna and others have adopted the offering of live operators too. It's working! But the expense of operating these call centers is significant, averaging about $58,000 in full-time employee costs.
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Great PR Begins First and Foremost with Understanding the Media
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How to Choose the Right Phone System for Your Business
Your phone system is a vital part of your business. Here's how to choose the right phone system and why you should consider a cloud phone system.
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3 Tips for Writing Great Real Estate Content
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Stop Struggling to Create Content: 5 Steps to Simply Get It Done
There are plenty of advanced tips available to teach you to get the most from Facebook Ads, Snapchat, Twitter, and every other social network. However, before you learn the ultimate tips for any social site, you should nail down your content plan. You can't have an effective social media strategy without a content plan, and social content plans work best when kept simple. With that in mind, here are five tips from Katie Lance's recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar for creating a simple but effective social content plan.
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The Ultimate Guide to Email Follow Up
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5 Technologies Helping Brokerages Crush Client Communication
It seems as though every day there is a new way to communicate, whether it be on a new social media platform or via a new app that connects people. Brokerages are picking up these new technologies to help them crush client communication and help improve the relationships they have with their clients. It's important in an industry that is built on relationships to make sure that brokerages stay connected and in sync with both prospects and clients. Here are five technologies that help make that happen.
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How to Identify, Optimize, and Upcycle Your Best Content
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How to Compete as Redfin Lowers Their Listing Fees
Redfin recently rolled out an initiative to drop their listing fees, significantly undercutting the industry average listing fee. The company tested the strategy in major markets—such as Washington D.C., Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego—and, not surprisingly, saw a substantial increase in business. In many of these markets, the typical listing fees are around 2.5 percent, yet Redfin has lowered their fee to 1 or 1.5 percent. Redfin has claimed that their listing count has grown in every market where they've dropped their listing fee. The new low-fee strategy is spreading into residential real estate, which is leaving many brokerages concerned about how they'll compete. Lower listing fees will put pressure on your pricing, which is painful in an industry with already dwindling margins.
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Real Estate Definitions Handbook for Sales, Marketing and Tech Terminology
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The Complete Guide to Promoting Your Business with Texting
Staying current has never been more important for business than it is today. As millions of consumers turn to Amazon for ease of ordering and delivery of a wide variety of products, the worst thing a small business can do is be complacent. Most entrepreneurs would do almost anything to avoid being considered obsolete or out of date. That's among the reasons why it's so crucial for business owners to leverage all the tools they have available. Sure, that includes email and social media and whatever other kinds of marketing is pertinent to a given industry. But if a marketing plan doesn't include text messaging these days, it's definitely missing a golden opportunity to not only stay current, but to stay in touch. Text message marketing continues to flourish as one of the most cost-effective and result-driven methods to keep customers happy. Here is what you need to know about using texting for business. 3 Steps for Texting for business:
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Which Brokerage Intranet Solution is Right for You? (Part 2)
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Which Brokerage Intranet Solution is Right for You? (Part 1)
Gone are the days when the brokerage itself was the physical hub of agents' activities. Thanks to mobile apps and cloud-based solutions, agents are able to access everything they need from the field or their home office. That said, if the various apps your firm offers are unconnected from each other, it can result in both disorganization and low agent adoption of your solutions. One of the best ways to cure this mess is by setting up an office intranet—accessible from anywhere—that your agents can use to download files, access software, and see announcements and other communications. But which intranet solution is right for your company? Well, we highlighted two big intranet players in our 2017-18 Technology Guide, and today we'll take a closer look at one, DASH! for Brokers from Clareity. (Stay tuned tomorrow when we look at the second solution, WOLFconnect!)
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3 Powerful Tools for Communicating Your Brand
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Putting Storytelling Back Into a News Release
The art of storytelling is celebrated today as one of the most effective ways to communicate. When I first started practicing public relations, the most effective news releases were the ones that told a story. They were called feature news releases. I'm not sure what happened to them, but over the years, that term has all but disappeared from the PR vernacular. In fact, Google yields a paltry 5,700 search results for the term, which makes me very sad, as it once was the most effective way to get a reporter's or editor's attention. It was a great way to cut through the clutter of the boring, mundane and often useless and news-less releases that were being sent out – and stand out from the competition.
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Can You Sell More with Fewer Adjectives?
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Do Real Estate Professionals Need Grammarly?
If you're like me, you may have come across a few Grammarly ads and commercials over the past few months. Grammarly touts itself as the 'The World's Best Grammar Checker.' The question is, do real estate professionals need Grammarly? What is Grammarly? Grammarly is an advanced grammar checker more powerful than the spelling and grammar check found on Microsoft Word. Beyond spelling and basic grammar, Grammarly identifies confused prepositions, wordiness, plagiarism, overuse of passive voice and much more.
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9 Tips to Improve Your Email Writing Skills
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Throwback: Why Classic Communication Skills Give You a Marketing Edge
Hate the constant texting, tweeting, posting, and annoying constant digital interruptions in today's real estate marketing world? Be true to yourself – and your customers – by taking a few steps back to your snail mail roots. Really. It can work for you. #DigitalFatigue Yes, Tech Can Better Your Biz, But It's Not the End-All, Be-All Because clients yearn to work with someone genuine, honest and authentic, some of your favored forms of dated communication can make you memorable and unique, giving you an edge against a flock of smartphone sheep. While staying up on industry trends in tech is advisable, getting back to basics and flaunting your social skills (while today's internet encrusted generation rapidly sheds theirs) can help you become a big bad business wolf.
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Manners, Please: The Best Way to Say 'Thank You' (Plus BONUS Email Templates)
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Pay Attention to Me: The Best Subject Lines
With the frequent emergence and growth of new, lucrative social media such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram (the #trifecta), combined with the existing ease of communications platforms like text messaging, it tends to become more and more difficult to grab the attention of the reader through old school email. One of the few existing grandfather media, your email gets flooded every day with spam, work messages, subscription check-ins and other various, undulating updates. Stewart Butterfield, CEO of real-time messaging platform Slack, suspects that about 80 percent of your email inbox is not coming from an actual person, and that's not even including spam. "Here's your Uber ride receipt, someone's following you on Twitter, marketing newsletters," and so forth, he said. Because of this, people usually skim down their inboxes, ignoring those emails that don't seem relevant or interesting. In fact, 21 percent of email recipients report email as spam, even if they know it isn't. You may be asking yourself: how do I get my emails to rise above the rest and get noticed? Your answer lies in the construction and creativity of the subject line. Believe it or not, 35 percent of email recipients open emails based solely on the subject line. As the first thing people read when they receive your email, the subject line needs to be welcoming, attention grabbing, and brief.
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What Real Estate Pros Should Know About Private Communications During a Showing
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Leverage Facebook Messenger for Lead Generation and Conversion
Facebook Messenger, the most popular app in the world, was downloaded 59.7 million times in the first six months of 2016 alone. Do you have the real estate selling tips you need to take advantage of its newest ad features? Destination: FB Messenger In previous versions, Messenger users had to seek out your business. Now you can select Messenger as a destination for website click objectives, simplifying the conversation initiating process (which allows clients to receive your messages) with a "Send Message" call-to-action to link to the app. This not only brings prospects further down the sales funnel and directly to your door, but allows for faster assessment of where they are in the sales cycle without being intrusive. Heating up sales The update offers businesses greater opportunity to warm up sales leads, drawing cooler leads away from "cold" general interest content and getting them in on the action. Those unlikely to have progressed can be warmed up via direct conversation, generating sales potential that would not have previously existed.
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All of a Sudden the Future is Real: Are You Ready?
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5 Ways to Communicate Effectively in Business
Your communication skills can have a major impact on how your business performs. It's not just about being able to speak in public or in front of crowds, as communication skills are beneficial for every stage of your business. Enhance your business communication skills by learning these five ways to communicate effectively in business. Listen Up Two of the most effective communication tools at your disposal have been with your whole life: your ears. Listening to your audience gives you clarity on the characters, conflicts and context of a situation before speaking. It also keeps you from making assumptions, jumping to conclusions or pointing blame. Regularly practicing active listening, or listening with focus, will make you a more well-reasoned communicator and business leader. It will also demonstrate to audiences that you have a vested interest in understanding what is important to them. Speak to Your Audience In your everyday life, you probably communicate differently with friends, family or co-workers. Tailoring your messaging to your audience is also one of the best ways to communicate effectively in business. Moderate the content and tone of your communications to appeal to the unique concerns of the party in front of you. When you cater your speech to the priorities of your customers, partners and future prospects, you can meet both their objectives and yours.
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Action Words That Generate Responses
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5 Easy Ways to Expand Your Business Network
Effective networking requires seeking out authentic connections to build mutually beneficial business relationships. But if your business network is scarce or even non-existent, how do you expand it? Read on for five techniques you can use to start expanding your business network today. Take Your Existing Network to the Next Degree Leveraging existing connections to build new ones makes networking more natural and less forced. This is why one of the easiest ways to expand your business network is to analyze your existing network. Then, seek out second or third-degree connections of these individuals. These might be current or former colleagues, clients or even fellow alumni. You are already trusted members of these individuals' networks. This means that they can recommend or even introduce you to their connections without hesitation. Identify Networking Events Networking events with the highest potential for success will depend on your industry. Find out where industry influencers engage with the business community. Chances are high that a networking mixer, trade show, workshop or business luncheon is taking place at a venue near you. Identify a venue that aligns with your goals for the event. Then, plan to attend on a date when the individuals you want to meet will also be in attendance.
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How to Reinvigorate a Past Relationship
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Content Curation 101: The difference between curating content and plagiarizing
If you think curating is only for art galleries, you may be spending entirely too much time creating your own original content. Content curation is a simple idea. When you curate content, you review a large amount of information and resources around a particular topic, then present that information in a meaningful way. And, perhaps most importantly, you add your own ideas and analysis into the mix. When done correctly, everyone benefits from content curation: The original content creator has their ideas shared with a larger audience who can easily find them to get more insights Your audience benefits from content that you aggregated from multiple sources You benefit because you added your own thoughts to a particular topic, proving you are a thought leader in the space Good content curation practices include: Getting multiple perspectives on one subject by reviewing varying sources Considering any anecdotal or real-life experiences you have to contribute Rephrasing any content you found useful, while citing the original source Repackaging the information with your own insights and analysis Crediting all original sources (did we say that twice? That's because it's important!)
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4 Ways to Keep Your Relationships Fresh Over the Holidays
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9 Sales and Marketing Buzzwords to Avoid
We've all fallen victim to a sales pitch or a marketing email chock-full of buzzwords. You don't have to admit it, but you may have even been swayed to make a decision because of some cleverly used buzzwords, or in desperation used them yourself in a sales or marketing pitch. Don't worry, we won't fault you for it. You see, sometimes those buzzwords really do work! But, there's only so many times you can send out that catchy email before your network or clients gets smart to it and realize what game you're playing. And no one likes feeling like they're being played by a salesperson or a service they're paying for, right? So, in an effort to kill the use of buzzwords, we polled our sales and marketing team to ask what buzzwords they avoid in their pitches, their emails, or their advertisements and why. Their answers may surprise you, but you'll understand right why they picked it and you might just want to add it to your own banned phrases list in your sales and marketing efforts. The Worst Buzzwords: If you do a quick search for some of the bigger offenders in the world of buzzwords, you'll find plenty of lists of offenders and why sales teams or marketers really dislike using them. And to be entirely honest, most of these buzzwords are fairly evergreen. Sure, new ones crop up every year and get added to the list, but the same ones tend to stick around, getting more and more stale with each passing season. A few years ago, Salesforce put out a list of their 'love to hate' buzzwords and their top three were some that we commonly giggle at here in the office when we either hear or read them... because, low-hanging fruit?
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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Business Communication Skills
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Chat Bots: Don't Miss Out on the Latest in Real Estate Tech
Struggling to keep up with the seemingly endless issues of clients? Real estate and technology can work in harmony for better control of these queries. What is this miracle cure? It's not an added staff member, but bots – those little help-chat boxes that pop up on every website from your health insurer to your cell phone carrier. Building bots Carey is a DIY bot development product technology that is currently in development. It will allow users to create their own 'automated response technology,' or bots. Created by AgentPair founder Clark Giguiere, it's very close to wrapping up beta testing. One bot, built for industry news-provider Inman, will be ready any day. Another is already in-use by Trulia, helping renters find places in major markets and providing local stats and data. Smart-bot Bots are simple to find and use – even Facebook is using them. Just tap the Messenger's search tool to find a list of your friends and favorites, as well as available bots: Bots for sports teams and scores, news bots, bots for the Presidential race – you name it, there's a bot for it. Though certain key search terms must be used, bots are getting smarter and easier to use every day. As industries struggle to rise to the top in today's digital era, bots are an emerging power. Will you take advantage of the innovative opportunities they have to offer?
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The Convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media
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Don't Bounce Back: 5 Tips on How to Write Better Emails
We've all been at the receiving end of a bad email. The kind of email that makes you groan and probably almost immediately discredits the sender. Here's the thing, as email becomes more and more prevalent and we continue to use it as a quick means of communication between co-workers and friends, we could potentially forget our etiquette completely when writing a business email, and it may be detrimental for both you and your relationships. So, what's the fix? Write better emails? Sure, to simplify it, you need to write better emails. But this goes a little bit deeper than just writing better emails, it's about defining what you use emails for and how to best use it as a tool for communicating. Because at the end of the day, that's what it's there for, to aid in your communications and it's one powerful tool for doing so! But in the wrong hands... it can make one big mess. The average office worker gets about 80 emails a day and if you want your email to be answered, you're going to have to stand out from those 79 other emails your contact received by sending the best email they saw and read all day. 5 Tips on how to write better emails: Know thy audience Who are you emailing, anyway? You don't speak to your buddies the same way you speak with your boss, right? This rule also goes for your emails. Before you hit 'send,' you may want to read it over to assure that it's written appropriately for the receiver. While we're big proponents of internal emails full of gifs and emojis, they may not work for the client you're sending a prospective email to. Instead, we recommend that you keep it more formal than you normally or usually may write your emails, especially if you're sending one off to someone you haven't spoken with before.
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5 Surefire Ways to Keep Your News Releases from Being Used
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10 Email Habits that Annoy Your Clients
Think about all the emails you receive every day. How often do you notice something that is so irritating that you can't even read on? What started out as a promising email exchange quickly spoiled, and the convo hit your Trash. It's bad email etiquette we experience daily, but have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, you could be guilty of these email faux pas as well? 1. Blast the "eblast" Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to email. Crafting just one message and blasting it off to your entire list every week, hoping it resonates with the multiple personalities you service just doesn't work. There are few things more annoying than receiving a batch email only to realize any prior communication with the company meant nothing – you're just a number on a spreadsheet. The MarketingProfs post, "Six Email Habits That Are Alienating Your Customers," puts eblasts and the concept of "Batch-and-Blast" right at the top of the list of email etiquette practices that grate on our nerves. Here's why they hate it: "...think about the impression you're making with customers who also have relationships with merchants that more fully understand their needs and desires. Customers who sense you don't care will delete, ignore, or unsubscribe, so focus on sending the right email at the right time for the right reason."
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Does Your Email Blast Stack Up?
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The 6 Simple Truths that Inspire Audience Engagement
You know social networking is important, so you joined all the big social sites. You know it's important to have a website, so you built one and sent your listings to it. You know blogging is important, so you built a blog. But, are you getting the results you expected from your online marketing? If not, it may be time to look at increasing your engagement. Are you ready to "get in the loop" and "take your audience by storm?" Check out these six universal truths to help you "think outside the box" and "put your best foot forward." These tips will help you "stand out from the crowd," "reach the top of your game," and take your audience engagement "to the next level." 1. "Content is king" Let's start with the obvious...you have to create and post content to get engagement. Posting new content to your website and social media each week creates a consistent online presence your readers will come to expect and look for. It is also the best way to solicit engagement. Don't wait for your audience to wander to your website to fill out your contact page; give them a reason to interact and engage by offering free eBooks or asking for their comments or opinions on your content.
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Get People to Do What You Want: How to Create Effective CTAs
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7 Crucial Metrics to Measure for Follow-Ups
When you send an email, you are probably expecting a response. Sometimes that response comes, and sometimes all you hear are the sounds of crickets. The next proper step that you think of is to follow up. You want the answers to the questions you have. Or maybe you need the answers because they are vital to a business transaction. Maybe it's not a questioning thing, but maybe the follow-up is vital to your networking skills. You need to stay top of mind with your contacts to grow your business. Don't worry, you are not alone in this. We know these challenges all too well. You've sent dozens of follow-ups for one or both of the reasons above; how do you know if they are working? You've gotten a few replies, but some of your follow-ups are still hanging out in the ether of the dark email universe. Are you sending out follow-ups blindly? Or are you measuring the performance of your follow-ups? What are the metrics you need to keep tabs on so that your follow-ups get answered? Over the past year our users have sent millions of follow-ups out of Contactually and here are the top 7 metrics to measure for your follow-up performance. What you start measuring for your follow-ups: 1. # of Follow-Ups Sent How many follow-ups have you sent in the day or week? How many did you send before you got a response? Knowing the just how many follow-ups you have sent is important to your overall communication strategy. You'll be able to see how many emails you are sending out in response to previous correspondence. And furthermore, knowing this number is important to the metrics outlined below. If you already know the person who you are following up with, you may not need to follow-up 8 different times to get a response. This number can give you a glimpse into your communication strategy and if you are following up too much (or not enough). Measuring the number of follow-ups you've sent can give you a more holistic picture into the lifecycle of your relationships in your contact database.
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The Future of Engagement: Content for One
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How to Make Yourself Unforgettable to Your Network
How many people a day do you come into contact with? A week? A year? It's safe to say that the number's pretty big, and the same goes for all those people who in turn come into contact with you. You might just be a blip on their radar of all the people they meet, while you can't forget them. We're looking into what makes those folks so memorable, and how you can make yourself an unforgettable person in your own network. The theory behind our dive into becoming unforgettable is inspired by Chip and Dan Heath's Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. While the Heath brothers study what makes ideas and marketing pushes 'sticky,' we find that the same principles apply for what makes a person memorable and, dare we say, unforgettable. How to be memorable: Did you read 'sticky' and think...huh? Don't think too much about it, it's exactly what it sounds like; successful ideas all tend to be successful because they stick with you. Think about that commercial you can't forget or story or urban legend you can't stop thinking about. Most likely, you'll head to the store or at least check out the website for the commercial you saw and after that urban legend, you've become a bit more superstitious about taking drinks from strangers–or stepping on the cracks of the sidewalks.
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[Infographic] Blueprint for Creating Real Estate Content
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Tips for Text Message Marketing for Real Estate
Mobile technology is exploding – its speed, ease-of-use, and effectiveness make it a favorite of consumers and businesses alike. Adopting text message marketing is a definite feather in your cap, but this relatively new marketing medium is about more than simply thumbing out a text. The success of your text message marketing endeavors rests squarely on your shoulders. Heed these do's and don'ts to ensure text message marketing success: Basics DO introduce/identify yourself in every message, and respond promptly. DON'T leave prospects wondering who sent them, or dawdle with responses. Building a contact list. DO build your list from scratch, adding information from consumers and prospects as you initiate communication. DON'T purchase a bunch of phone numbers from a vendor. The chances a bunch of strangers you send a random marketing text to will look to you for their business are slim to none.
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The Perfect Follow-Up Email
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5 Email Templates to Recruit Top Real Estate Agents
Brokers, we've got something for you. Back in late winter, Contactually spoke with 120 top-tier brokers to learn what their priorities were for 2016. No surprise, 96% of them told us that recruiting was one of their top two priorities. Of that 96%, an overwhelming majority identified recruiting as an evergreen focus – in other words, a topic they were constantly dedicating time to, regardless of the age of the brokerage or time of year. Why is this the case? Apart from the annual agent turnover rate, which necessitates near constant recruiting in order to have a full roster, recruiting serves as a focal point because it's one of two principal levers for growing the business. (The other, in case you're curious, is to improve the productivity of existing agents.) How can you send the right messages to keep recruiting real estate agents that you want to attract? Simply put, the more agents a brokerage has on its roster, the more chances it has to bring in revenue. But it's important, too, to have the right mix of agents. Your recruiting efforts will have gone to waste if your roster doesn't stimulate the growth you want.
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Brokers Can Help Agents Drive Success through Communication Support
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Improve E-Mail Open Rates by 40% with Personalization
I just listened to an amazing webinar on e-mail marketing. It featured Nate Johnson from Realtor.com (very smart) and great tips on personalizing your email marketing (also very smart). What were some of the key takeaways? Email Marketing is Still Relevant According to the survey behind this webinar, e-mail has a 246% return on investment for midsize companies. Those are some strong numbers. Because over half of people look at their email at least six times a day, you can get in front of targets effectively through email. Email is a dominant channel for most marketers. Everyone in the survey is spending more time, resources, energy, and effort on email and seeing bigger returns year-over-year. "I get really excited about email. I've seen how effective it can be as a marketer and a product executive," said Johnson.
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Is Real Estate Still in a Slump?
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Using Market Data to Drive Media Coverage
Are you getting published in your local media? Is your firm shaping the way opinion leaders and real estate consumers view critical issues in your housing market? Associations, MLSs, and brokerages have access to the best local data ever available on trends in their local markets. Sales, prices, inventories, time on market—every day real estate professionals interpret these and other data to win the confidence of their customers and clients. You have a significant opportunity to turn market data into news that attracts business and establishes credibility. National data services like RealtyTrac and CoreLogic as well as sites like Realtor.com, Zillow and Redfin have perfected the practice of building awareness by creating news from their data. As a result, it is easier for consumers to track the non-existent "national" real estate market than their local marketplace. They are hungry for a better understanding of current trends where they live. Market trends aren't always positive. Lower sales, falling prices, distress sales and tight inventories are part of the real estate business, but they can also generate negative coverage. If you are a credible source and on top of the market, you can mitigate potentially damaging data by putting it into perspective. Remember, the market is always working to someone's advantage. Lower prices advantage buyers and first time home buyers. Distressed sales create opportunities for property management and investors. Tight inventories drive consumers to sign up with brokers for new listing notifications. Great communications programs highlight the good in everything.
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"Sexy" Sells in Luxury Real Estate Marketing Verbiage
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How You Should Be Talking to Your Clients
Are you an effective communicator with your clients? One of the most important things about working in real estate is your relationship with your clients! Listen as real estate coach Jo Mangum teaches a few lessons on how to properly communicate with your clients. The third tip is fail-proof!
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Content Marketing, Step 3: When to Speak
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Content Marketing, Step Two: What to Say
Welcome to the second installment of our series on content marketing. Inspired by the interest of clients, partners, and colleagues, we wanted to create a guide to help you master the art of content marketing. The first step is to understand WHO you are targeting. Once you have a good sense of who you’re talking to, you’ll need to figure out what to say. There are 4.6 billion pieces of content created every day. That’s 4.6 billion pieces competing for the attention of your target. You will only win if you have a firm grasp on two things: your purpose and your voice. If you have clarity in those two areas, your content will resonate and your business will see results from your efforts.
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Do You Have a PR Plan for 2016?
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Spam Emails vs. Email Marketing: Know the Difference
Raise your hand if half of your inbox is flooded throughout the day with emails that mainly get sent straight to the trash. Everyone? Yeah, we thought so. But, can you tell the difference between spam emails and email marketing? Sometimes, the difference is more subtle than you may think and the last thing that you want to do is start sending your client spam. Because that's just bad business. So where do you go from here? It starts with defining both spam and email marketing. You can then move forward with an understanding how you can utilize email marketing and more personalized messaging to best reach out to your network in order to build the best relationships. The best business relationships are built on trust between both the client and the business, and you can't gain anyone's trust by sending spam. Don't be a spammer. Read on to understand how.
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The Importance of Knowing Your Audience
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[CHEAT SHEET] Finding Inner Peace in Your Inbox
Do you find yourself consumed all day with the struggle of keeping up with the emails in your inbox? If your inbox is the cluttered place where you store all your notes, events, to-dos, on top of all your emails, then it may be time to reevaluate the way you utilize your emails. Here's where Inbox Zero steps in. Created by Merlin Mann in the early 2000s, his theory has been adopted by people all over the globe who have found peace of mind in their inbox. It allows you to clear out your inbox, move past the stress of all those cluttered emails and on to the more important tasks in your life. We chatted with Jack Sinclair, CFO of Stack Overflow, an early adopter of Inbox Zero and our go-to guru on the subject and got his top tips and insights for those of you ready to get organized and embrace Inbox Zero. Approaching Zero in 3, 2, 1... Why Should You Adopt Inbox Zero? Your email should be utilized for communication. But as we all know, your inbox often becomes a catch-all for everything else in your life. From your to-do list, to notes to yourself, to a way to keep track of your events and dates, your inbox can very quickly become a crowded place. And once it becomes that crowded place, it can become a source of stress and who needs more stress in their life?
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