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First-time Home Buyers Need More Tutorials
Last week's post was a more general discussion of process content for all types of buyers. This week, we'll focus on the first-time home buyer and their specific needs. If you're just placing content of interest or value to first-time buyers throughout your other buyer relevant content, you could be losing business.
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Friday Freebie: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need on Agent Safety
Your brokerage can help keep agents safe by building a "culture of safety." That's according to a new guide to Realtor safety--a comprehensive 65-page ebook that includes everything from a full safety training guide, to lead assessment worksheets, free resources, and more. Want to snag your own copy? In this week's Friday Freebie, we'll show you how (no contact info required).
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New RPR Videos Help Agents Learn at Their Own Pace
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eXp World Holdings Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire VirBELA
eXp is on the move again – big news from their EXPCON this week! Check out their press release below: NEW ORLEANS — Oct. 23, 2018 — eXp World Holdings, the holding company for eXp Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage by geography in North America (NASDAQ: EXPI), today announced at its annual EXPCON conference that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire VirBELA, LLC's core group of products and services, and bring its team and technology in-house to the eXp World Holdings family of companies. The companies are working toward a definitive agreement, which is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
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[Infographic] Get Your Home Ready for Fall
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The Student Becomes the Master
A few years ago, a student at the University of Tampa called and asked if I'd be willing to serve as his mentor for a class in entrepreneurship. He was bright, articulate, and had an unusual level of focus. I was impressed. He had done his research and made it very easy to say yes. What he may not have known then is that a mentor usually benefits as much as the mentee, which was exactly my experience with Scott Shuman. For example, in discussing his ideas, he didn't just want my advice. He wanted to understand the reasons behind my advice. This was a great gift because it challenged me to reconsider some long held beliefs. Today, Scott is the Director of Operations at the Sue Adler Team. Oh, and by the way, he's also finding time to be on pace for about $25mm of real estate transactions of his own. (Whaaaat?!?)
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Watch and Learn: This Year's Top 4 Broker Webinars
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zavvie Breaks with the Status Quo at the Big Tech Show
Inman Connect SF is next week, and it's so great to see the spirit and spunk that a startup called zavvie is bringing to our industry's biggest real estate tech conference. The headline of the news release they issued this week touting their appearance at Connect SF: "Real Estate Startup zavvie Breaks with the Status Quo at the Big Tech Show." The subhead is nearly as sassy: "Taps Top Pros for Inman Connect to Educate Agents, 'Debunk' Tech Hyperbole." Turns out zavvie will be at Startup Alley and they are sponsoring one of the coveted "Learning Lab" tracks in Parlor 8 at Connect SF, with a dynamite lineup of speakers who are all General Session-caliber: Jimmy Mackin, Co-Founder, Curaytor; Noelle Bortfeld, CMO, Windermere Real Estate, Victor Lund, Founder and Partner, WAV Group, author Bruce Gardner (Seven Styles: How To Design Your Real Estate Career of Success and Significance), and Director of Agent Development for Your Castle Real Estate—and that's just on Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 2pm to 5pm.
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Imprev Hosts Stellar Learning Labs at Inman Connect SF
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RPR Introduces Learn-as-you-go eBooks
Now is the time to take your RPR knowledge to the next level by checking out these brand new learning materials. Each of these topical eBooks, accompanied by corresponding videos and an online workshop, will show you how to apply RPR's data tools and reports to every aspect of your everyday business. Simply choose the format best suited to your learning style, interest and schedule, and you're off and running. Getting Started With RPR We'll begin by establishing your RPR comfort level—setting up your account and profile, covering different aspects of the homepage and then taking a deeper dive into the real guts and glory of how this all-important tool will become your most valuable, professional asset for years to come. You'll learn to research properties, markets, neighborhoods and schools. We'll show you how to gain a competitive edge by creating branded property, seller's, and market activity reports; as well as valuation workbooks and flyers. And along the way, we've woven in tips and tools on how to use the RPR app when out and about with clients. eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning
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RPR On-Demand Video Tutorials a Plus for Real Estate Pros
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5 Reasons Why You Should Attend Webinars
In this rapidly changing world, it is important to stay ahead of the game and continue to educate yourself. How many of us have had to learn a new skill or software to stay updated on current trends? How many times have you searched on Google and learned how to work with a particular software? How often have you been invited to attend a webinar regarding this software? How many times have you ignored it? Trust me when I tell you that I was skeptical, too, before attending my first webinar. But after I attended a couple, there was no looking back. Here are five reasons why you SHOULD attend webinars: 1. Convenience Webinars are a web seminar, which is a conference-style meeting that you can watch from your computer. It does not require you to step away from your desk and lets you learn from the comforts of your chair. Attending webinars does not involve travelling and therefore can be very cost effective. All you need is your computer and the Internet! 2. Topic Specific I know it is hard to take time from a busy schedule, but most webinars are short and would be topic-specific. You are able to attend a webinar and learn only a specific functionality of a product. Webinars are extremely handy in saving time and maximizing learning.
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Attracting Online Consumers: Listings and Syndication
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Groundbreaking Agent Safety Class and Study Announced
Austin-based Real Safe Agent is providing the student and instructor guide of their new Realtor Safety course to agents, brokers, associations, and Multiple Listing Services free of charge. The training material is uniquely effective because it's based on criminology and predator profiling. "This info is the first I've seen that is realistic," said Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, broker/owner of @Homes Realty Group in Huntsville, AL. "I appreciate it so much." "Because this class could prevent an agent from being a victim, this is something you make free to all; not something for which you charge money," said Wes Wiggins, VP Industry Relations for Real Safe Agent. The materials are available for free on RE Technology and at the company's website. The class was developed by Real Safe Agent's CEO, Lee Goldstein, and based on his own experience working with violent predators, as well as studies by noted researchers like Lawrence Cohen, Marcus Felson, Kim Rossmo and Ronald Clarke. "Our goal was to provide agents with practical knowledge of how to make their marketing, themselves, the properties, and showings as unattractive as possible to a predator without sacrificing attractiveness to a legitimate buyer," said Lee Goldstein, CEO of Real Safe Agent. The intent of making the student guide and the instructor guide freely available is to allow MLSs, associations, and brokers to teach the class on their own without having to pay third parties. To help those who wish to use the class within their organization or association, the company will also be providing train-the-trainer classes at no charge. To make arrangements for a Train-the-Trainer class, the company asks that people contact them through the "Contact Us" page on their website.
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Listing Syndication Now Part of Broker Office Policy Manuals in Colorado
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T3 Experts: Will Their Real Estate Tech Training Help You?
Some pretty big heavyweights released a brand new training product that I think a lot of real estate professionals are going to be interested in. There has been a lot of talk in forums, websites, and blogs about T3 Experts, founded by Stefan Swanepoel, Jack Miller, and Michael McClure. In a nutshell, T3 Experts offers digital training through a series of webinars, podcasts, Q&A sessions, interviews, checklists and buying guides. If you want a full review/preview of the membership, there are plenty of great articles out there that will give you a nice overview. Here is a great one from my pal Tracy Weir to brush up on the program. Since there already is a lot of published content about T3 Experts already, I wanted to do an interview with Michael McClure, the COO of the company and ask him some tough questions that I thought agents would like to ask themselves. Michael had no clue what I was going to ask him in the interview and answered every one off the cuff.
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8 Tutorials to Master Your Business in 2014
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6 Top Real Estate Podcasts to Check Out
Podcasts are a great way of keeping up with what's going on in the real estate industry. Being able to sync them with your smartphone or media player and listening while on the go is a great way to stay sharp with the latest trends happening in the real estate markets. While they are by no means a new thing, they still remain a great way consume new information. I find the podcasts I listen to, I sync them to my phone, then I'll take my dog for a walk. Makes for stimulating listening while doing a really passive activity. Here are a few of the top real estate you should check out to get you started with podcasts. Top 6 Real Estate Podcasts The Real Estate Guys Radio Show Fun and informative, this real estate investment talk show has been broadcasting on conventional radio since 1997. Hosted by professional investor Robert Helms and financial strategist Russell Gray, the show delivers no-hype education and expert perspectives in a fast-paced, entertaining style. Real Estate Uncut Each weekday Real Estate Uncut provides professionals in the real estate industry a free short, sharp audio program they can listen to on their computers or their smart phones.
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Friday Freebie: Free Training from realtor.com®
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Browsing for the best resources to benefit your real estate business
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: There are a number of resources you could read to benefit your real estate business. Maybe you read to inspire yourself, or to learn about the new marketing initiatives, or to keep on top of market trends. If you've made it this far, hopefully we've made your list of good real estate resources to read. You may follow some others, like Inman.com, or Seth Godin's famous marketing blog. Godin is a best-selling author, and considered among the best in marketing and branding. He targeted the real estate industry in a recent blog post when he wrote: "But, while these interactions and transactions have been growing, the amount of time we spend online and the number of pages we visit have gone up dramatically faster..." Godin went on to use the following example: "This thinking explains why good real estate sites are so mobile-friendly (and why mobile is so real-estate-friendly). If you're sitting in front of a house that's for sale and take the time to look up the information, you're exactly the right person in exactly the right place." The key Godin hit on is "good" real estate sites are mobile-friendly. We've long talked about mobile, and how important it is to modern-day business. But sometimes it helps to take a step back and remember exactly why.
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[VIDEO] Master the iPad in 15 Minutes!
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6 Reasons Why Down Payment Assistance Matters
Guest contributor Down Payment Resource says: Down payment assistance helps make buying a home as affordable as possible. We believe it can make a significant impact for many buyers, and it's never been truer than in today's market. According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey results, the percentage of first-time homebuyer purchase transactions are increasing in recent months, after hitting an all-time low at the end of 2012. And, market indicators of future home purchases hit a four-year survey high in February. However, access to a down payment still remains the number one obstacle for homebuyers. We review six key reasons why down payment assistance matters to today's homebuyers: 1. Helps homebuyers purchase a home sooner: Instead of waiting on the sidelines, down payment assistance can help a buyer get into a home faster. It immediately builds their buying power and can help them take action on a purchase more quickly. Many buyers have remained on the sidelines, saving money, watching interest rates and seeking desirable inventory. Down payment assistance can be a valuable tool to help move those buyers off the sidelines and get them into a home. 2. Makes the purchase as affordable as possible: Homebuyers of all income levels have seen the housing crisis up close and want to ensure their purchase is an affordable and sustainable one. However, since the downturn, down payments for fixed rate mortgages have significantly increased. Even with lower interest rates and home prices, the cost of buying a home was out of reach for many moderate-income families. Homebuyer programs can help more families take advantage of these record low interest rates.
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What Is A Brand, Anyway?
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What's Inside Your Computer?
How much do you know about the computer you're reading this article on? If you're like most people, you know that computers have a processor of some sort, a hard drive, and...well, people's knowledge often stops there. While you don't need to be a hardware guru to know your way around, say, CRM software or your MLS, it's always a good idea to have an understanding of what's going on inside your machine. This helps with everything from troubleshooting tech problems to knowing what specs to look at when shopping for a new computer. This quick video from My Computer Works provides a crash course in the basic components of a computer and what they do, including: Power supply - Supplies power to all components CPU (processor) - As the "brain" of the computer, the CPU is constantly calculating and moving data RAM - Short term memory; stores data for quick access and manipulation Hard drive - Long term memory. All data accessed by the CPU and RAM come from the hard drive Optical drive - CD, DVD, Blueray player Motherboard - All components are connected directly to the motherboard or through a cable Video card - Responsible for displaying everything you see on your screen Click through to the next page to learn more by viewing the video.
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Holiday Deal: IMSD Training Program
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Getting Google Calendars to Work on Your iPhone or iPad
If you are like most REALTORS®, you are not an ace at technology. Don't be ashamed. It's probably a good thing. Very few technology aces know how to sell a bunch of real estate. They spend more time preparing to use technology to sell than they do actually selling. Nevertheless, there is a certain amount of technology acumen that everyone needs. Namely, you need to be able to get your calendar on your phone. Many agents use Gmail for their email. It's free, and it does a great job of blocking out spam. You can also brand your Gmail account with the same domain name as your agent website. If you are doing this, it would be a shame not to take advantage of Google Calendar. It's free, and integrated into Gmail. Here is the rub: Unless you are a little bit geeky, setting up Google Calendar is not that easy if you have more than one calendar. RE Technology will help. Here are some instructions that will help you get your calendar on your iPad easily.
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Training "Team Us" at Your Brokerage
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Five Tips To Follow During the Fall Homebuying Season
Guest contributor John L. Heithaus of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) says: A recent real estate survey reported that 27 percent of the homebuyers during the fall season are first-time homebuyers. Although spring is traditionally the peak season for real estate activity, this year's buyer's market should lead to a healthy spike in real estate activity this fall. "For a prospective new homeowner, this fall's market is shaping up to be an opportunity to capitalize on a great blend of low rates, consistently low home prices, and a recovering economy," noted John L. Heithaus, CMO of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS), one of the largest MLSs in the country. "First-time homebuyer or not, all potential buyers can benefit from good information - even in a buyer's market - as they gear up to begin bidding on real estate." To prepare potential homebuyers for a busy fall market, MRIS has compiled the following tips to reinforce how important it is to be prepared before entering the market. 1. Get connected: Most first-time buyers think that they understand their local market by reading daily headlines. While keeping abreast of market headlines is always a good idea, it's important to remember that real estate fluctuates from month-to-month and from one place to the next. If you are buying a home and not closely connected to the neighborhood, get connected with a knowledgeable real estate professional that is. Make an appointment with a local agent and ask them for recommendations on the best ways to stay tuned into the local market, such as through local real estate blogs.
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Weekly Video Tip: What Is Eyeline Matching?
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SL Director’s Viewfinder Android App Review
Today we're sharing an Android App for Cinematographers. It's called the SL Director's Viewfinder.
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HomeFinder.com CEO August Appraisal: Learning the ABCs of Real Estate
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Powerful Tools for Real Estate Marketing: 6 Google Labs Features You’ll Love
Guest contributor Showing Suite says: Google Labs is a testing ground which allows you to try out experimental features that aren't quite ready to be made into regular features. Google described Labs as "a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them." They may change, break or disappear at any time; or some might work so well that they become integrated as regular features. Since Labs are tucked away in your mail settings, most Gmail users don't even know that Google Labs exists. If you're familiar with Google Labs, you know exactly how useful these tools are for real estate marketing. Take a look at six of our favorite Google Labs that will make your life a lot easier: Undo send: Have you ever sent an email, only to realize that you made an error, or completely forgot a section of info? The Undo Send feature allows you to "unsend" an email up to 30 seconds after you've hit "send." SMS in chat: Send and receive text messages through Google Chat. Just type in any US phone number in Google Chat, and save the number to your contacts. The Google Chat text messages will always show up on the receiver's phone as a "406" area code. Messages from the same person will always come from the same number, so you can bookmark your friends or clients Google Chat number in your phone.
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Ben Kinney’s Listing Lead Sources
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How to Use YouTube Analytics – Part 1
With YouTube analytics, you can find valuable data about your videos and your audience. Don't speculate or rely on others to find what works best for you, use your own statistics to develop a sound strategy for creating new and impactful video content. In this introductory post, I will show you to how to find basic information for your entire channel, as well as individual videos. Key Channel Metrics To locate analytics for your channel, visit YouTube.com/analytics while logged into your account. Subscriber Source Under Engagement Reports, click Subscribers. At the bottom of the page there will be a chart showing how your channel gains subscribers. This is a great way to gauge the impact of individual content on the whole. For example, videos with fewer views may actually drive more subscribers; or a particular video may contribute to a negative net change in subscribers. This is a great starting point to identify your most powerful content. Sharing Statistics and Services Also under Engagement Reports, you'll find "Sharing." The default view will rank your top 10 videos by shares and total engagement. The "Sharing Service" tab will allow you to see where your videos have been shared the most. This allows you to see how users on sites such as Facebook or Twitter interact with your content, and is beneficial for helping allocate your social media resources. Use the compare metric drop-down to view the correlation of total engagement and shares for your videos.
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A Cheat Sheet For Designing Your Facebook Business Page Timeline
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How to Educate Your Clients In Social Media
One of our main goals at ReachFactor is helping you stay connected to your clients by promoting your skills and reputation online. Part of that involves social media connectivity for your real estate agent marketing. But what good is a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an iPad and smartphone if your clients are not using technology to communicate with you and find new listings? Once you sign up a new buyer or seller, once the agreements are signed and the handshakes go around, take a moment to hook your clients up with some helpful smartphone apps and some social networking know-how. Here's what you can do: 1. Put their cell phone number in your phone on day one and send them a text: This is a great way to get the ball rolling. They have your number, you have theirs and a text session has already been started. When your clients need to reach you or want to request a viewing, you're instantly available. And from what we see in the client reviews that come through our office daily, this is what prospects want in a real estate agent — availability.
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What to Look for in Real Estate Back Office Software
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Masters of Customer Service
In a world where change is an ever-accelerating force and the body of knowledge is nearly doubling every four years, learning is not just kid's stuff, it's adult survival. At a time when attendance at business and professional schools is at an all-time high, participation in industry-related education programs is significantly off. Cutting-edge ideas and applications that once took five years or more to cycle into use from research centers and universities are now impacting business and society in less than a year - keeping up is ever more difficult. Just as staying "in shape" and physical conditioning are essentials for competitive athletes, mental conditioning and learning are essentials for top competitors in business. The newest field of study is the science of service--the new business science. Service as a science is an emerging field of learning and study for organizations and professionals who are serious about their business. Since service now claims two-thirds of the world economy and greater than 80% of the U.S. economy, that is serious business. New concepts, principles, applications, and metrics have been developed that will raise both the standards of service and the level of competition. The study of service at its most basic focuses on The Three R's of Service: Reliability, Responsiveness and Relationship.
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Be Thankful for the Good Things in Life
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Create a Disclosure Policy in 5 Easy Steps
Guest Contributor Ricardo Bueno of Diverse Solutions Says: Everyone needs a disclosure policy. By disclosing the purpose of your blog/website, you’re letting readers know more about the information that they will be reviewing. With DisclosurePolicy.org, it’s never been easier to create a disclosure policy for your site. If you’re a Real Estate Agent for example, you might create a policy to disclose your relationship to your Broker.  
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What’s driving the changes in the real estate market and how will they impact your business?
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If a Technology Solution Isn't Simple, Is It Really a Solution?
Adopting new technology solutions for your business is never an easy decision.  With so many choices, weighing the pros and cons is essential to get the best return on investment. Many companies offering technology solutions are in direct competition with one another, therefore have many similar features with minor variances.  Some offer basic packages at little or no cost, while upgrades usually require a monthly payment of some sort. When deciding on a new solution, it’s important to remember what best serves the individual or the company.   A recent article by WAV Group suggests that a successful technology solution should have a clearly defined purpose while being simple to use.
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Why using video is so important in your social media marketing mix
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Foreclosure Clean-Out Generates Additional Income
Elaine Zimmermann is the nationally known author of "How to Retire with a Million Dollars - A Levelheaded Guide To Real Estate Investing". She has appeared on numerous national TV business shows. Her endorsements include The New York Times, MONEY Magazine and many others Guest Contributor Elaine Zimmerman says on the topic of Foreclosure:
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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (Part Two)
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Useful Listing Syndication Terms Learned at Mid-Year
Today I was present in various meetings (before the fire in my hotel, of course) and one takeaway I thought would be useful to others was information from the CMLS Workshop on listing data syndication. There are often terms out there that people don’t know exactly what they mean, so I thought it might help to get these written down in the blogosphere for others. Consider it my listing syndication dictionary thanks to CMLS and volunteers to helped pull the first “Brings It To The Table” meeting together. A special thanks goes out to the organizers for a provocative discussion.
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Are Your Listing Descriptions Designed to Capture?
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Master the Timing of Your Email Marketing
How many times a day or week should you email your subscriber base or clients to get the maximum opens without getting "unsubscribe" responses? Do you know what time of day is best for emailing? Does it matter? The answer is simple: emailing is not a haphazard activity. It has evolved into a science. If you are interested in keeping a client and subscriber base informed and engaged with you and your business, it is well worth your time to invest in learning some of the research behind the science of email timing. HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella discussed his research on timing. He has conducted research on the Internet for the last 2-3 years. Of all the subjects he researches, the science of timing is the number one piece of data consumers want to know. He researches and identifies best practices. This webinar presents all the data to date that Zarrella has studied. It covers three marketing mediums businesses use for inbound marketing: social media, email and blogging. This article focuses on emailing specifically.
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11 Email Marketing Terms You Need to Know
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Agent Ratings - How We Got Here
All service professionals have been rated since the beginning of communication between people. Word of mouth sharing of opinions is perhaps the core foundation of interpersonal communications. "As societies have evolved, so too have ratings systems. In many ways, civilization is reaching a crescendo as a result of the information age. There are dozens of ratings systems for everything – doctors, lawyers, restaurants, products, entertainment. You name it, it's rated," says Victor Lund, partner of WAV Group. Over 20 years ago Larry Romito, CEO of Quality Service Certified and father of agent ratings, watched the germination of two key forces taking place in the real estate space collide. The result was a need for agent ratings.
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Custom QR Codes for Real Estate Professionals
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Twitterstate: Twitter for Real Estate Professionals
I started using Twitter again recently because of some blog posts that I read by some pretty influential people. What is Twitter? Twitter is a very easy-to-use, real-time messaging system for groups and friends. Another way to think of it would be text messaging (or instant messaging) from one person to many people at the same time. The length of each message is about 1 sentence (140 characters). Twitter is free and easy to use. When I got started with Twitter in June of 2007, it was a relatively new thing. The company launched in March of 2006. My first reaction was "interesting waste of time." Now Twitter has grown up, but is still in the early adopter phase, and can still be a waste of time. Those using it "bend" toward technology professionals, and it is popular among real estate bloggers. Today, I see the following uses which can make Twitter valuable for real estate professionals.
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Three in One: QR Code, Text Marketing and IDX
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Are You Ready for the Hit to Luxury?
Things were looking up for luxury home sales during the tax credit boomlet last year.  However, the credit wasn’t the primary reason; after all, $4000 isn’t a compelling incentive to well-heeled move up buyers in the million dollar plus housing bracket.  Rather, a plentiful inventory, good deals driven by price reductions, an improving outlook for appreciation and the beginning of the overall economic recovery made the difference.  When sales of existing homes dropped 25.5 percent year-over-year last July, data by Altos Research for the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing showed that summer sales of million dollar plus homes significantly outperformed sales in other price ranges.
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Use A Badge To Increase Website Leads
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Want a New Way to Generate Leads via Mobile Technology?
Did you know you can Google “Free QR codes” and create your own QR codes?  It’s true.  This technology is not patented and therefore costs nothing to generate.  Better yet, real estate technology vendors are offering this service for free too! The next step with a marketing tool, like QR codes, is lead generation. How do you track the success of your marketing efforts?  If you can’t measure it, does it have the value or reach you expect? The good news is that QR codes can be harnessed to validate marketing efforts, providing real estate agents and brokers with and understanding of who viewed your marketing, and more importantly – your QR code will track the potential customer’s phone number. This week we were able to preview the Goomzee QR code solution (www.goomzee.com) for real estate professionals. We spoke with Mike Sparr, founder of Goomzee.  Before founding Goomzee, Sparr worked for Nokia and believes in keeping a pulse on mobile consumers to target emerging technology trends.  While Goomzee started working with QR code technology three years ago, Sparr believes the time for QR codes is just now in the beginning stages.
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What is the Business Value of an API?
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New Innovative Way to Market Properties: QR Codes!
Where else could QR codes be flaunted to attract the eye of homebuyers trolling neighborhoods, looking for their dream home?  For Sale signs!  Homebuyers cruising around on a Sunday afternoon pursuing attractive neighborhoods can scan a QR code from a For Sale sign from their car and view photos, property details, pricing, open house schedule and the listing agent’s contact information.  In an era of convenience and catering to the consumer, QR codes start to look for attractive in promoting real estate listings. This week we were able to preview a marketing solution by Homefinder.com that provides a QR code component for real estate professionals. We spoke with Mark Tepper, VP of Business Development and Sales, specifically with regards to QR codes.
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Want to Start Effectively Prospecting?
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What are You Building? Relationships or Barriers?
When it comes to technology and the real estate agent, I believe agent 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 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. Tip #2: Build realtionships not barriers! This is still a people business, so the ultimate goal of prospecting is to secure a face-to-face meeting. Too many agents use the wrong contact methods at the wrong time and the misuse of technology has hurt the business as much as the proper use of it has helped. Technologycan build a barrier between the agent and the client. Are you properly handling your technology?
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When It Comes to QR Codes, What About Clikbrix?
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QR Code? What is That?
Want to stay on the cutting edge of technology?  Here is a cool new technology that has just entered the real estate scene. Imagine the small black and white box to your left could be used to translate your new listing properties details, photos and take homebuyers directly to your website? Meet QR codes. Small and powerful, mobile devices can scan the small code in seconds and get access the information they seek, right from their phones. It is quick and convenient. Techies and Smartphone users are embracing this new technology in droves. In response to this new technology and the benefits it holds for the real estate industry, here are some interesting things about QR codes. What is a QR code?
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Excuse Me, I Have a Question...
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One Thing Hackers Do Not Want You To Know
Technology has spawned some interesting terms like phishing and spamming. The latest conversation in the privacy world is about ‘history sniffing’. What is history sniffing and why do we care? When you click on a link on a website, the color changes from blue to purple (by default). Browser history sniffing compares the colors of links in your history folder to a master list of links (and their default non-visited colors) maintained by a website operator, who accesses your computer without permission. A color mismatch indicates a particular site has been visited. Why is this important?
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Lifestyle Search – What is it?
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Give the Next Wave of Customers What They Want
I interviewed a top-producing agent in San Francisco a few days ago. We were talking about the role of technology in the real estate process. It was a fascinating discussion. She is on the top of her game. Many listings, many successful transactions with buyers this year and yet she struggles with how to stay relevant with her younger clients. She told me:   “I am absolutely frightened of new technologies, and yet I KNOW I need to communicate and provide information differently than I used to. I believe it is much more difficult to create a deep personal relationship with younger consumers because they don’t want to sit down and talk about what their real needs are. They want me to provide information on my website so they can do their own research and then tell me what they’ve found. They require that the agent provide as much information as they can to empower the consumer to get comfortable with the information themselves.”
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A Tutorial To Help Straighten Listing Photos
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Homebuyers Search for Lifestyle Matches, Are You Their Source?
Have you ever had the pleasure of relocating from one city to another? You have the stress of the move compounded by the fact that you are losing all of your trusted resources and most importantly your “local knowledge.” Let’s say you’re moving because you’ve been promoted to run a new division out of state. You have a young child so you’re looking for good schools within your area and a family-friendly neighborhood. How about if you are a young professional moving for a great job opportunity? The last thing you want is to “live in the burbs” with people like your parents. What if you have lived in the city, in the “happenin’” part of town, but now you’re expecting your first child and want to find a quieter place with a backyard? Your logical first place to go to begin your research is on the Web. You can find boatloads of places to look at information about home pricing, number of bedrooms, number of baths and even if the house has a fireplace or not. But what if you want to narrow your search a different way? Perhaps you want to find a home near a dog park for your new puppy, or close to a health food store because you’re a vegetarian and you thrive on organic vegetables? What if you are retiring to a new area and want to be sure there are several golf courses nearby?
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The Value of Indexing for Real Estate Industry Websites
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Are Website Leads Directly Correlated to High Traffic Volume? No.
Trying to draw a direct correlation from web traffic fluctuation directly into lead volume is tough. The math does not always add up. Because we feel we don’t understand why the math does not work uncertainty sets in and changes are made with the web marketing strategies. More often than not the impact of these changes is not great and conclusions about the quality of the web traffic deteriorating are drawn.  The issue comes from the fact that most of us do not actually understand our web traffic well enough to figure out the formula to correlate web traffic to web activity. Here is the problem: Only a portion of your traffic is from actual prospects. When pushing your pay per click or other online marketing traffic you have to be able to observe a lift in the activity generated. If you don’t you are probably not attracting the right visitors to your site. In the same line of idea you will likely see a more important decrease in generated activity than the drop in traffic observed when your traffic goes down. It’s simple math but only tracking and time will help you acquire that knowledge. Here is a brief example;
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Recruiting Experienced Agents Is a Sales Process
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What Is In Your Twitter Toolbox?
If you set out to learn something, you might as well learn from the best. One of the pioneers of social media marketing is Chris Brogan, founder of New Marketing Brands. He works with large and mid-sized companies to improve online business communications like marketing and PR. With a vast Twitter following and a number of tools by his side, Brogan consults and speaks about how to better utilize Twitter for business developement. What type of tools does he use to make Twitter easier to use, and more effective? Keep reading to find out.
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7 Ways to Avoid a Tax Audit for 2010
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What Is the Right Keyword Density for My Real Estate Blog Posts?
Take a look around real estate blogs and you’ll see nuggets of wisdom posted that look similar to this: The Phoenix real estate market is a mess! If you want to buy a home in Phoenix, then you should consult with a Phoenix realtor who knows and understands the Phoenix real estate market. Never buy a Phoenix home without utilizing a Phoenix realtor! Feel free to search for Phoenix homes on our Phoenix real estate blog, but be sure to call your Phoenix realtor before you go too far! Yeah, they’ll even bold all those keywords because some “SEO guru” told them that helps Google understand that those words are important.
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Are You Armed with Thanks This Season?
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Want to Make Your Office Smart?
What makes a smart office is? A lot of things. Smart people are part of the equation. But they’re not the only factor, or perhaps even the most important. I’ve had the opportunity in the past to work with some very smart people – much smarter than me, in offices that were less than successful. Innate human intelligence alone doesn’t always pay the bills. At the end of the day, every office has processes that need to be performed, decisions that must be made, research that has to be handled, and so on. These things pay the bills, and more. How intelligently these functional aspects of day-to-day office life are carried out can play a big part in the making of a smart office.
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Creating a Broker Technology Plan - Control, Transparency & Profitability
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Have Writer's Block?
One question I get consistently any time I talk to people about real estate blogging is, “What do you write about and where do you find the time?” And a darn fine question it is. Actually, it’s two questions. We’ll attempt to tackle the first one now, ans the second one in a follow up article. What to write about Here is where I differ somewhat from many “blogging experts”. Personally, I don’t think a real estate blog needs to be exclusively about real estate. You don’t need to go all “hyper local” to have a successful real estate blog. “Blasphemy!” someone is saying.
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The Two Best Tools for Blogging
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One Broker's Case Study - Taking Back Control
Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into the technological mess they find themselves today.  The second part of this series discussed how to get through the maze of broker technology. The third part discussed the new technology solutions that provide light at the end of the tunnel. We have now come to part 4 of this 5 part series, to discuss a broker case study as a guide for brokerages.
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Using Market Statistics to Gauge Brokerage Productivity
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Light at the End of the Tunnel: New Products Bring Hope
Brokers, large and small, face significant challenges they did not face 20 years ago.  Profit margins have eroded and control over their independent contractors has been minimized.   The consumer has taken on a much more vocal role in the process and is forcing transparency and responsiveness never before experienced.   Some of these challenges are related to technology and the advance of the Internet while others are cultural challenges that have come about through the changing broker/agent relationship.  WAV Group’s new white paper explores the issues behind the broker’s challenge to gain better control and visibility into their companies while re-establishing a new value proposition for their agents! While part one of this five part series focused on understanding how brokers got into the technological mess they find themselves today.  The second part of this  series discussed how to get through the maze of broker technology. We have now come to part 3 of this 5 part series, to discuss the light at the end of this tunnel. Brokers are amazing people. They are leaders, motivators, trainers and counselors.
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No Broker Backbone: How We Got Into this Mess
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MySpace - Stake Out Your Space
MySpace works similarly to Facebook, but the pages can be made fancier with themes, which can be downloaded for free, or purchased. It also appeals more to people who like to share information on music, hobbies, sports teams and TV shows. Where Facebook has more pull with college students and professionals, MySpace has more pull with teens and pre-teens. As a result, it is a goldmine for parents who have MySpace accounts used to monitor their children online. Through the process of checking on their children, they connect with other parents and find that MySpace is actually quite fun and easy—hence, the reason why they have amassed more than 100 million members.
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Getting Past Loan Modifications
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Want an Easy New Way to Share Your Expertise Online?
Real estate agents are constantly seeing things with their eyes that has value for building relationships with consumers. Agents go to open houses, talk with buyers and sellers, talk with other agents about the market, and attend seminars and other forums to collect information that makes them better professionals. In the recent surge to adopt social media, Twitter has become a tool used by REALTORS® to share real estate information with consumers. This is done in short sentences or with link sharing to blog posts or other news that they find on the Internet. Using your video enabled cell phone, you can now extend your content gathering to your real life using twitvid.
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Top 15 Best Android Apps for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
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Where Are Your Advertising Dollars Going?
According to a survey last year by IPSOS Marketing and Media Survey the general business climate in the United States has taken a big turn in deciding how to allocate advertising dollars. The survey indicated a major change in attitude resulting in some significant shifting of ad dollars from one sector to another reflecting new direction.
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Power Up Your Blog with New PowerPoint Web App!
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Beware: Social Media and Cyber Crime
I commend REALTORS® for their adoption of social media. Although there are some who make a nuisance of themselves on social networks, most are great. The simple strategy is to be real, and don’t always slobber your marketing over all of your friends. Remind your friends that you provide real estate services – but don’t try to sell on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn – just keep people informed. Be careful too! If you recall the early days of email, before spam filters, your email inbox was cluttered with hundreds of messages (some quite graphic in the Adult sense). These nefarious people have now moved along to Facebook and Twitter. In fact, you may already be getting spam, or seen a friend’s Facebook account get hacked.
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The ABC’s of Hiring a Great Manager
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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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4 Tips for Finding the Right Inspector
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How To Control Blog Comment Spamming
This problem seems to come in waves. What problem is that? Paid blog comments spam. Comment spam is a real drag. Yes, there are plugins and spam filters and what not you can use to help stem the tide, but invariably some of it leaks through. Here’s one that landed on Phoenix Real Estate Guy today: How do we know this is a paid comment?
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When is it Time for Brand Transformation?
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Professional Real Estate Websites are Losing the Battle for Consumers Online
Professional real estate websites are losing the battle for consumers online. Today's real estate consumer has a dizzying array of websites that provide them with access to real estate listings. There are numerous third-party websites like Zillow and Trulia as well as national real estate franchise sites and local real estate company websites. Consumers likely assume that all of these sites offer the same quality of information. Unfortunately this isn't the case. This white paper from the WAV Group chronicles research findings on the consumer search experience. WAV Group has calculated the differences between third-party websites, franchise websites, and broker websites to measure “Property Search Delta." Consumers experience this delta when they click through from third-party sites to broker or franchise sites. By offering a better search experience with rich amounts of listing data, neighborhood data, market trends, tax data, sold data, school information third-party websites have taken a significant lead over most brokers and franchises in the eyes of the consumer experience. Do all sites present the same property data? Is the search experience fairly uniform? Not at all! There are huge differences, or deltas, in the type and quality of information found on property websites. The online landscape for property search is constantly evolving. In order for brokers, agents and franchises to compete for consumer interest, they need to keep their heads up and look carefully at their strategy for remaining relevant online.
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What's All the Buzz About Cloud Computing?
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How to Drive Sales with Customer Service
As business owners, you all know that customer service plays a significant role in the delivery of your products and/or services, and an even bigger role in building the loyalty and satisfaction of your clients after a purchase is made. Is there a role for customer service even before the selling cycle begins? What might that be? How do you offer service to people you haven't met and build a personal relationship that will lead first to a sale and then to a testimonial from a raving fan? How do you leverage what you know about customer service to drive sales and increase customer commitment? On Wednesday, September 15th at 1:00pm EST we will be sharing the answers to these questions.
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The Digital Calendar of the Future
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Which Wordpress Should You Use?
This is often a subject of confusion… What is the difference between a “WordPress.com” site and a “WordPress.org” site? In a nutshell, if you host a blog at WordPress.com, you do have a “WordPress blog”. But you will be greatly limited in the types of themes (a blog’s look and feel) and plugins (little programs that add functionality) that you can use. A “WordPress.org” blog, also called a “self-hosted blog” gives you all of the power that WordPress has to offer. Every theme and every plugin will be available to you. Some folks will tell you that setting up a WP.com blog is far simpler than setting up a WP.org blog. And that used to be true.
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