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Compass Acquires Detectica, Deepening Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Capabilities Across the Compass Real Estate Platform
Compass today announced that it has acquired the New York City-based, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) company, Detectica. The Detectica team, including its founders Dr. Foster Provost and Dr. Panos Ipeirotis, join the Compass AI team led by Chief Technology Officer Joseph Sirosh.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
In October, our most popular articles ranged from the Halloween oriented (#8) to the frightening (the old, insecure web browsers of #10). But October also saw a flurry of popular, communications-focused articles—such as answering commission questions (#2), what NEVER to say to leads and past clients (#1), and how to ask clients for a referral (#7). What other topics struck a chord with agents and brokers last month? Read on to see the rest of our top 10 articles of October! 1. 5 Things an Agent Should Never Say to Leads and Past ClientsWhen you're communicating with real estate leads and past clients, it can be challenging to handle every conversation perfectly. But being aware of what you're saying (or not saying) can help you begin to have conversations that lead to more leads, more clients, and more commissions! Here are five things an agent should never say to leads, and what you should say instead. 2. Top 4 Ways to Answer Commission QuestionsJust about every real estate agent has been faced with home sellers who have commission questions. Usually, they want to pay a lower commission than your normal fee. It's frustrating because sellers sometimes don't realize all the knowledge and expertise that agents contribute to a successful home sale. Here are some ways to answer that "Will you lower your commission?" question most effectively. 3. Friday Freebie: Download This Monthly Marketing Kit SampleThe key to ensuring that clients refer you or use your services again is by making sure they remember your name between transactions. How? It's all about providing value. In this week's Friday Freebie, we'll introduce you to a marketing system that helps you do just that in order to stay top of mind, year after year. 4. 14 Easy Real Estate Photography TipsPhotos are what buyers are going to be looking at later — pondering second visits and offers, maybe thumbing through a whole stack of flyers and brochures from a day of open houses. And beyond that, the best real estate photography also impresses your sellers and further wins them over as clients. Here's how to take your listing photos to the next level. 5. 5 Social Media Strategies to Make Your Real Estate Business Stand OutSocial media isn't a short-term fad. These five social media campaign strategies will ensure your real estate business stands out from your competition. 6. Is the Square Footage of Your Listing Fake News or Are You Selling Properties Using Accurate Square Footage?Many agents assume the square footage information from an old listing in the MLS or found in public tax records is accurate. But is it really? No, it is not. It is what we call unverified square footage. Agents should always be using verified square footage of a property. Here's what an agent needs to know to understand how verified square footage can improve their level of professionalism. 7. How to Ask Your Clients for a ReferralThe Referral Dialogue makes it easier for agents to ask for a referral. It makes the asking part feel more natural so you don't feel like you're being pushy. The beauty of the Referral Dialogue is it explains how you're different from your competition, the concept of working by referral and why their referrals help drive your business. 8. 13 Last-Minute Halloween Events that Will Grow Your BusinessHalloween is right around the corner. It's a perfect way to bring fun, sweets and treats to your community and build your business. Many real estate agents wait until the big holidays. Why not begin now? Want to get known in the community or a neighborhood? This is a great time go begin. Here are 13 spooktacular ideas that are fun and can be put together quickly. 9. 6 Real Estate Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2020The countdown to 2020 is officially on! That means one thing: planning season. We're taking a look back at some interesting patterns from 2019 and discussing our top picks for real estate trends to look out for next year. 10. 4 Reasons You Need to Update Your Web Browser TodayHow old is your browser? If you are using Firefox or Chrome on your desktop or laptop PC, are you sure you have the latest version? And why should you need to be concerned about searching the web using an outdated version of any of the popular browsers?Let's look at four reasons that should motivate you to make certain your web browser is updated today.
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits an All-time Traffic High
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
Fall's here, and that means the market--like the weather--is cooling down. But that doesn't mean you have to slow down. In fact, autumn is an ideal time for agents and brokers to assess where they want their business to go from here. Our list of last month's most read articles can help you do just that. Check out article #7 for an annual business checklist of things you can do in every season to improve your real estate practice. Marketing need a refresh? Check out our #1 article for agent profile photos ideas, or swing down to article #2 for a free report you can send to buyer and seller leads. On a more serious note, September was Realtor Safety Month, and we published a sobering video inteview of a Realtor who escaped an attack (see #3 below). What else were your industry peers reading last month? Check out the full list below to find out! 1. Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the CrowdNine out of 10 are agent headshots are absolutely identical. The hands are either on the hips or arms are crossed. Is it any wonder that consumers have the notion that all real estate agents are alike? Step away from the pack during your next photo shoot. Here are some ideas from the pros. 2. Friday Freebie: Downloadable Report for Home Buyers and SellersIf you've heard us say it once, you've heard us say it a thousand times: quality content is one of the most effective ways to reach buyer and seller leads. But rather than putting you through the rigmarole of creating your own content, today we're going to introduce you to a top-notch source of professionally created real estate reports. 3. EXCLUSIVE: Interview with a Realtor Who Escaped an Attack"It was almost like there was enjoyment watching me squirm." That's what Debbie Morrisette, a North Carolina Realtor, had to say about the predator who tried to attack her last year. In this exclusive video interview, Real Safe Agent CEO Lee Goldstein speaks with Morrisette to learn more about the attack—from the first phone call, to the first meeting, and to the incident itself. 4. The Focused Strategy for Generating Real Estate ListingsHow much effort and money are you putting into direct mail marketing to generate real estate listings? Farming a neighborhood is a popular and very productive activity, but for many agents, there could be a more effective approach. 5. The 1-Minute Real Estate Video Strategy that Can Help You Win More ListingsVideos are essential for a real estate business—and to put it simply, if you're not doing videos, you're not making money. Real estate marketing videos don't have to be complicated or fancy. You can look just as good as other top agents in your market, boost your word-of-mouth, and get more clients without hiring contractors or buying expensive equipment—all you need is a phone! 6. Best Real Estate Instagram Accounts to FollowChannels like HGTV exist for the millions of us who are fascinated by other people's homes. Now, to get your real estate fix on the go, let's explore the best real estate Instagram accounts to follow. 7. Annual Business Checklist for Real Estate AgentsAccording to Mark Twain, "the secret to getting ahead is getting started." And when you're running your own real estate business, there's a lot of work to do. We've highlighted some important tasks to keep your business running smoothly and the best season to complete them so that you have ample time to grow your business while keeping your tools and systems up to date. 8. Analyzing the Good and Bad of a Property Photo ShootToday, we're analyzing a recently completed photoshoot of a property and will highlight what could be improved and what already looks great in the images. The goal of this blog is to give some tips and suggest things to look out for when shooting your next listing. 9. How to Go from New Real Estate Agent to Neighborhood ExpertYou may have recently started a real estate career, and find yourself struggling to build momentum. Maybe it's been a few months, and you still haven't landed your first client. Where should you be focusing your energy, time, and resources for the best results? The most effective way to steadily build your real estate business is to specialize in a niche and master it. So, here's your new plan, starting right now. 10. 5 Great Google Docs Tips and TacticsFor real estate agents and brokers, Google Docs helps increase job productivity by saving time. When it comes to collaboration, Google Docs is the undisputed online champ. Google makes it easy to create and then share documents with others, editing together in real-time. Best of all, you can download your finished work as a Word document or a PDF. Here are five ways to get the most out of using Google Docs.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
If July's most read articles are any indication, agents and brokers had three things in mind last month: Open houses, Facebook, and real estate photos. Want to turn your open house sign-in sheet into a sales opportunity? Then check out our #1 article on the list below. Just want some solid open house ideas? Scroll on down to #4. Agents and brokers also had photography on the brain last month. Check out article #3 for how to shoot bedrooms, #8 for a photo editing glossary, and #2 for a list of agent headshots you should avoid. For everything else that was popular last month, check out our full list of July's most read articles below. 1. Open House Sign-in Sheet Sales Funnel for Real Estate AgentsOpen house sign-in sheets are a common practice among agents conducting open houses in their local area. However, we believe that these strategies are somewhat obsolete and do not work in today's digital age. Today, we are giving you a proven, battle-tested funnel that top agents have been using to successfully convert open house attendees into lifelong customers. 2. 6 Head Shots to Stop TakingWhen someone in your neighborhood starts thinking of buying or selling, you want them to think of your smiling face. However, you want a head shot that makes them think to call you, not turn you into a meme for internet ridicule. I know they say all publicity is good publicity, but here are a few head shot trends to close the doors on. 3. How to Shoot BedroomsTrying to achieve some great images of a bedroom for your next listing? Brad Filliponi, co-founder of BoxBrownie and experienced real estate photographer, has you covered. In this article, he is going to share his secret top tips on how to take ideal shots of bedrooms. 4. 6 Effective Real Estate Open House Ideas for Today's Real Estate AgentIn the real estate industry, one thing may never change: open houses are one of the most effective tools for generating interest in a property. Technology and marketing trends shift across the industry; this is a universal truth for real estate professionals. So the question is, how do you make your open houses attract potential buyers and stand out in the marketplace? 5. Secrets of a Top Listing AgentChip Barkel is a Realtor who went from $0 to over $15 million in sales in just five years. So how'd he do it? Chip shares the secrets to his $36 million pipeline. 6. Kendall Jenner's House in 3D: How virtual walkthroughs give A-list celebrities anonymityHow do celebrities move home so secretly? Let's face it, they don't sit up all night trawling home listing websites or hurriedly tidy their house ahead of a full day of viewings. So how do they go about moving house? 7. Must-Follow Pages and Facebook Groups for Your Real Estate BusinessSocial media is a great place to build your business and showcase the many projects you're working on as a real estate agent. You also have the opportunity to learn new things for your business, discover new real estate trends, or even read breaking news about the real estate industry via social media—if you know which pages to follow and what groups to join. 8. Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate AgentsProfessional photographers make a bunch of tweaks to your photos behind the scenes that have a huge impact. Here is a guide to talking the photography talk even if you can't walk the walk. Use the guide to communicate changes you may need or to criticize your colleague's inferior photos—up to you! 9. 10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using FacebookPeople often feel like their company needs a Facebook page, rather than wanting to have a Facebook page, because many people do not know how to properly use Facebook to help their company. Not knowing the right way to use Facebook to help increase leads can cause people to dread having an account altogether. Follow these ten steps to increasing real estate leads via Facebook, and you will be more excited than ever to set up a company account and get started. 10. 5 Strategies to Generate Seller Leads and Build Better RelationshipsThe best way to build relationships with seller leads is to increase your visibility, provide a strong value prop, and stay in consistent communication. We compiled a step-by-step process of proven strategies top agents use to attract and build relationships with seller leads.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
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How Do You Say Award-winning AI in Real Estate? Try OJO
Last week was one for the awards record book for Austin-based OJO Labs, real estate's leading Artificial Intelligence powerhouse, which includes Twin-Cities-based data giant WolfNet. OJO Labs won two major awards that every tech firm cherishes: the prestigious "2019 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award" and the highly coveted Austin's "A-List Award."
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of April
Commission and its discontents were on the minds of real estate agents and brokers, according to our latest top 10 articles of the month. Our #1 article in April (by far!) looked at the rising trend of $1 and 1% commissions. What does that mean for your bottom line? Check out the post in the list below to find out! Email was a popular topic in April as well. For Gmail tricks, click on article #5. Learn how to fine-tune your email subject lines in #4, and turn your email list into a sale generating machine in article #10. Next, find out why you should get social... ...with other Realtors in Facebook Groups (article #2), and with leads on Instagram (#7). Want more? Check out the full list of RE Technology's top 10 articles of April below! 1. Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?Discount real estate brokerages have been around for decades. With the growing digital forefront, consumers (potential sellers) are being bombarded with different choices, 1 percent, 2 percent, flat fee, 45-day listings, etc. for their business. But no one works for free. How you set up your business model is your choice, and all commissions are negotiable. There will always be someone willing to get paid less. How can you make that work in your favor? 2. 5 Facebook Groups Realtors Should Join TodayFacebook Groups for real estate are excellent places to trade tips, speak with other pros, and catch up on the hottest trends in the real estate industry. Now it's simply a matter of finding the right Facebook Group for you, and there are loads of great options to choose from. Start your search with our guide to five Facebook groups that REALTORS should join today. 3. The Language of Sales: What to Say (and Not Say)The way an agent delivers their messages and converses with prospects can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a conversation. Using the wrong phrase or tactic might cast a negative shadow on your pitch, while tweaking your approach can build rapport and incite action. Here's how to achieve better follow-up, heightened engagement, and create effective conversations that still feel personal through the words you use. 4. 10 Real Estate Email Subject Lines and Why They WorkHow can you ensure that your audience is opening and reading your carefully crafted emails? The answer lies in the simple, unassuming subject line. About 80 percent of readers never make it past the subject line, but you change that. Here are ten real estate email subject lines to help you master the art of the email. 5. 8 Great Gmail Tips and TricksGmail has many unknown and little-used features that can be hugely helpful. But like the secret menu at the West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger, most people don't know what's available. Here's your guide to some great Gmail tips and tricks to help boost your business. 6. 5 Ways to Revive Stale Real Estate ListingsWhen a real estate listing has been sitting on the market for a long time, it's considered "stale." But how long is "a long time"? If you've taken a look at your market and think your real estate listing may be "stale," don't panic! Try these steps for freshening up your listing and enticing buyers. 7. How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on InstagramCurrently, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Is yours one of them? If your business is not on Instagram yet, you are missing out on potential leads and eyes from over 500 million daily users. Fortunately, it's easy to get started. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your business profile up and ready and plan your next real estate post. 8. How to Turn Online Leads into Commissions in 3 Easy Steps"I've already spoken to someone, thanks." *click* That's exactly how you DON'T want your first conversation with a new lead to go. And it doesn't have to if you have a system in place for attracting, following up, and nurturing home shoppers. No system? No problem. Today, we'll show you the "three Rs" that one successful agent uses to convert online leads into sales. 9. Create and Deliver a Winning Listing PresentationSome would say that your listing presentation is your one chance to create a good first impression. However, Google tells us that your customers are searching online for up to 90 days before even contacting an agent. If that is the case, once you get to the kitchen table, it's almost too late. So what is the goal of a listing presentation, and how do you create one that makes a real impact? 10. If You Are Not Generating Massive Sales from Your Email List, Try ThisNow more than ever, your ability to segment your market and deliver meaningful messages will determine the level of your success. Most people interpret this to mean that you can only serve a small segment of the market and ignore everyone else. But really, I think you can serve all the people in your database--you just need to be able to give them each what they find valuable.    
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T3 Sixty Releases Their Industry Rankings
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Reflecting on the REAL Trends 500 Report
This year's REAL Trends 500 report is now released and available for view. The process that Steve Murray has followed in collecting the sales data for the report is rigorous. They collect the data directly from the franchise organizations and directly from independent firms. We see this research quoted around the industry every year because it is important information to use in any kind of benchmarking. A lot of firms, teams, and agents talk about what they are doing to drive success in their business. The measurement of that talk is borne out in results. Talk is cheap, as they say.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of March
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REAL Trends 500 Report Ranks Nation's Largest Real Estate Firms
HomeServices of America and NRT LLC are leading the charge as the largest brokerages by transaction sides, according to the 2019 REAL Trends 500, an independently verified compilation of the nation's leading residential real estate companies. REAL Trends announced the results of the 2019 REAL Trends 500 on Wednesday.
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RE/MAX and Redfin Announce Exclusive Referral Relationship in U.S. and Canada
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of February
What were agents and brokers reading last month? According our list of the most popular articles of the February, their interests paralleled that dreaded time of year--tax season. Coming in at #9 on our list of the most read articles is a piece on apps that can help get your finances in order. Don't want to think about your own taxes just yet? Stroll on over to article #4 to learn more about where property tax values come from, and how that data goes from the county to your real estate tax software. If improving client relations is more your jam, check out #5 to learn about the types of clients you need to understand, or head over to #10 for ideas for attracting your ideal client. What else was on the minds of agents and brokers last month? Check out the rest of the list below to find out! *** 1. Is the First Offer Really the Best Offer?We hear this over and over as professionals. The first offer is the best offer – especially when there are no other offers on the table. This viewpoint has withstood the test of time. What remains to be proven is whether this perception is the truth or a tale that we have all accepted as true. 2. The Top 6 Things Agents Need to Know about PDFsPDF files are so prominent, you probably have at least one open on your computer screen right now. Many people utilize and share PDF files as documents or contracts in their business and daily life. Because agents often ask about this file format, today we bring you the top six things you need to know about PDFs. Read on to learn some quick basics that will help you harness your files in this type of format with more confidence. 3. Top 5 Beginner Camera Tips for Real Estate PhotographyStarting off in real estate photography? Not sure where to begin? We're here to help! This article will explore five practical tips for anyone starting off in real estate photography that will help speed up your workflow and improve image quality.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from January
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Ron Peltier Tops Annual List of Real Estate's Most Powerful Leaders
The Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200), the definitive ranking of the residential real estate industry's 200 most powerful and influential leaders, has named HomeServices of America Chairman and CEO Ron Peltier real estate's most powerful person in 2019. HomeServices of America has been a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary since 1999. The annual study was released Tuesday by T3 Sixty.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of December
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
You know the holidays are here when seasonally themed topics begin to dominate the monthly top 10 articles list. That's what happened in November--the #2 most read article of the month (8 Cool, Affordable Tech Gifts) just hit that holiday sweet spot. What else hit readers' sweet spot in November? A lot of nifty stuff: personalized emojis (#1), 5 exercises for choosing a farm area (#10), last-minute open house marketing ideas (#4), and more. Check out the full list below: 1. Friday Freebie: Get Your Own, Personal EmojiWant to make an emoji that looks like you in mere seconds? Now you can. This week, Google launched a new feature that uses machine learning to analyze your selfie and generate an emoji that looks just like you. Find out how you can create and customize your own emoji in this week's Friday Freebie. 2. 8 Cool, Affordable Tech GiftsEach year, we try to find affordable, cool tech tools and gear of the season that real estate agents and brokers would either like to give (great closing gifts) or even receive! Here's our holiday gift guide to tech gifts that are cool, affordable and highly practical. 3. Real Estate Video Marketing 101Real estate photography is something we've talked about often. From drones to VR, tech adds greater options. This week, we're going to simplify it down and cover traditional real estate property video marketing. 4. Last-minute Ad Blitz for Open House Nets 200+ LeadsOpen houses are useful tools for filling your sales funnel. That's what Realtor Steve Ford discovered when he was assigned to hold an open house for another agent's property at the last minute. With just 24 hours before the event, Ford had to think fast in order to generate interest—and ensure that anyone showed up at all. Here's how he achieved success--and hundreds of new leads. 5. New Lead? Follow Up Using These StepsTo be successful staying in contact with prospects, you have to have a game plan to connect with your leads as they come in and continue that connection for the long haul until they are ready to move. With these steps, you may feel that you are more prepared to build up your business with the leads that you have. 6. 5 Essential Apps for Real Estate AgentsBefore helping a client buy or sell a home, real estate agents must first keep their own organizational houses in order. This requires putting in place the infrastructure you need to meet and communicate with clients, help them find and view the home of their dreams and sign on the dotted line. The best apps for real estate agents will help you check off all these items on your agent to-do list — and more. Keep reading to find out which real estate apps make the cut. 7. Safe Selling: Screen Prospects with This Easy Phone TrickWe're keeping it short and sweet with a quick trick you can use over the phone to reveal 'red flags' that suggest a prospect might be dangerous. You recently learned the basics of spotting red flags in prospects. In this week's 'Safe Selling' episode, discover a trick called 'The Training Play' that can help you gauge a prospect's hidden motives. 8. How to Take Real Estate Pics Like the ProsReal estate is dependent on visuals, and agents are practically expected to produce the quality images that clients have come to expect. Although hiring actual professional photographers is usually the norm when it comes to getting snaps of homes that you're listing, the quality of your pics should be consistent across all of your channels. Here are a few ways to take real estate pics like the pros! 9. How to Choose the Best Real Estate CRMIf you're shopping for a CRM based on features and price, stop. People are like moths attracted to light. We love shiny new features, and we love a good deal. Is that healthy for your business? Definitely not. It's how you get stuck with a real estate CRM containing bloated features. Choosing the best real estate CRM starts with these four main categories. 10. Find Your Next Listing with These Geographic Farming TacticsReal estate farming is possibly the most proactive position an agent can take to build inventory. The method includes a series of steps that analyze a given neighborhood, ZIP code or market area to determine how many homes are most likely to sell, at what price range, and how long they will be on the market. A good farming strategy involves working through a set of five exercises to determine the area's viability.
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Qualtrics to Be Acquired for $8 Billion
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of October
The spooky season is over. Before we barrel head-on towards the 'thankful' season, let's take a look at what agents and brokers were reading in October. Only one truly 'scary' story made our list of the most read articles this month (see #10 below). The rest of the month, RE Technology's readers had one thing on the brain: SALES (see #1, #2, #3, #6, #8). Beyond that, see the list below for app recommendations (#4), a Friday Freebie (#7), -- and even tips on how to make your business benefit from the end of Daylight Savings Time (#9 - btw, that's THIS weekend, so read quick!). *** 1. 3 Unexpected Uses of Email MarketingYou know that email marketing is a key tool in converting leads and keeping in touch with clients, but you can use it for some unexpected things as well. Good email marketing can and will provide such a myriad of benefits. You shouldn't ignore any of them! 2. 6 Proven Ways to Sell Your Listings for Top DollarOne of the many skills listing agents bring to the table is the ability to see a home through the eyes of a buyer. Sellers are often completely unaware how some aspects of their home spell 'no way' to a potential buyer. With great tact, we can show homeowners step-by-step those areas that can potentially result in more money in their pocket at closing and a quicker sale. Here are six recommendations. 3. 93 Leads from a Facebook Post: One Agent's Strategy RevealedVanessa Calhoun knows the secret to budget-friendly real estate leads. From a single boosted post on Facebook, the Atlanta-based agent won almost 100 leads—and now has three buyers IN CONTRACT. How did she do it? Read on to learn four of her secrets.
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Realogy to Launch Two New Franchise Options to Fuel Growth
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OJO Labs + WolfNet: "We partnered a Ferrari with fuel"
News reports yesterday disclosed that OJO Labs and WolfNet were becoming one company. The news traveled fast and furious, despite the fact that the "official" news release was issued this morning on the newswire. How cool is it that one of the hottest artificial intelligence startups just bought an established, 20+ year-old real estate data giant? Here are some classic quotes from yesterday news coverage of this historic event:
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
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Two of the Largest Independent Brokerages Join Forces
Very exciting news today! Allen Tate and Howard Hanna have joined forces, creating a powerful partnership between the #1 and #4 private, family-owned brokerages in America. Together, these giants sold 119,000 properties equaling $24 billion in transactions. I cannot wait to see what the progressive leadership of both of these companies can do when they combine forces! They both have dominant market positions and highly trusted brands that consumers love.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
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Newscorp Acquires Opcity for $210 Million
While I was sitting in the NAR Innovation conference, news came across the wire that News Corp, operators of Realtor.com and realestate.au, acquired Austin-based Opcity for $210 million. On the very same day, it became official that Pacific Union would be acquired by NYC based brokerage Compass. Like Opcity, the trade was reportedly struck for north of $200 million. Congratulations to Ben Rubenstein and Mark McLaughlin. WOW--over $400 million in deals done in a single day.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
Winning new clients? We talk about that a lot. Last month, however, our readers were all about the opposite--firing bad clients! A post on the four types of clients you should show the door was our most read article of the month. That wasn't the only controversial article that made our list of June's most popular articles. Check out article #8 below for an exploration on whether running background checks on potential clients is really worthwhile. In lighter fare, our readers also ate up stories on soothing low inventory woes (#3), open house ideas (#7), and leveraging monthly market reports for lead generation (#10). For more on what agents and brokers were reading last month, check out out Top 10 list below! *** 1. Fire Your Client: The 4 Types of Real Estate Clients You Should Cut Ties WithFinding and converting leads is a challenge. This makes the idea of actually firing a client once you have one seem completely inconsistent. But sometimes firing a client is not only the best option, it is absolutely necessary. Here are four types of clients you need to cut ties with, and tips on how to break the partnership off in the most professional and graceful manner. 2. 4 Tools for Spot-on Property PricingRPR shares four tools that will help an agent refine the value of a property, use the platform's flexible comp analysis tool, create a Sales Comparative Analysis and Valuation Workbook for harder-to-price properties, and run a real-time analysis for investment properties. 3. Low Inventory? No Problem! 3 Digital Ad Campaigns for Finding Seller LeadsStruggling to find listings in today's low inventory market? You're not alone. So what's an agent to do? We suggest spending less to get more by employing digital ads that target only those consumers in your area who are most likely to enter into a real estate transaction in the near future. To learn more, read on.
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Ben Caballero is at the Top of the 2018 'The Thousand' List, Again
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eXp Realty Founder Glenn Sanford Named a Glassdoor Top CEO in 2018
Congratulations to our friends at eXp REALTY for achieving yet another important milestone. In addition to doubling the size of their agent count in less than one year, they have been able to do it while keeping their employees very happy – not an easy thing to do! What's the their secret? Here's the secret sauce from where I sit. Unique business model that focuses the money where it should be – in the hands of those creating value for the company, the agents Consistent training and coaching because of centralized management support Passion – these guys LOVE what they do and they work their butts off to make it happen! Read the rest of the press release to get the juicy details below!
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NAREE Conferences Continue to Break New Ground
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Northwood Acquires Penn.-based BHHS The Preferred Realty
In a video announcement released Tuesday, Tom Hosack, President and CEO and Broker of Record of Northwood Realty, announced the acquisition of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, creating what may be the largest real estate company in the greater Pittsburgh marketplace. The combined company forecasts more listings, more closings and more sales volume than any other competitor. For years, Howard Hanna has been in the first position followed by Northwood, Coldwell Banker and BHHS The Preferred Realty.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of April
The spring selling season is well under way. Are you prepared? If not, don't fret. Instead, check out our list of the articles that were most popular with agents and brokers during April. Learn how to download free real estate emojis in article #1 and time management strategies in article #8. Head over to #6 to explore eight lead capture tools, and article #3 find out how to get your foot in the door of prospective clients. Want more app recommendations, tips, and tech advice? Check out all of our top articles of the month below! *** 1. Friday Freebie: Text Messaging Stickers for Real EstateToday's emojis cover just about every situation imaginable. That is, however, except for one--real estate. That's all changed, though, thanks to a new collection of real estate emojis that integrate right into your smartphone's keyboard. Today, we'll show you how to nab this real estate emoji collection for yourself! 2. 6 Emails Every Real Estate Agent Should Be SendingBy combining the magic of email marketing and well-thought strategy, even the busiest real estate agent can succeed at keeping in front of their growing audience regularly! If you want to ensure that you are making the most out of your past, present and future clients, here are six top performing emails that you should absolutely be sending. 3. Five Agents Share: How to Get Your Foot in the Door without KnockingA panel of top agents shared their tactics for getting their foot in the door of prospective clients — and many agents were excited to hear that the panelists weren't recommending door knocking! Here are insights and best practices from the panelists, who service various markets and niches across the country.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of March
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REAL Trends 500 Report Ranks Nation's Largest Real Estate Firms
REAL Trends announced the results of the 2018 REAL Trends 500, an independently verified compilation of the nation's leading residential real estate companies. A record 1,752 firms qualified for this year's REAL Trends 500. According to a research report produced by REAL Trends, the 500 largest residential real estate brokerage firms in the nation closed over 3.2 million residential sales transactions in 2017. These transactions represent approximately one-third of all new and resale transactions completed by brokers during the year, yet the REAL Trends 500 represented less than one-half of one percent of all brokerage firms. The 500-ranked brokers closed 3.2 million home transactions with a value of over $1.1 trillion during 2017, up from $1.0 trillion in the calendar year 2016.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of February
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HUNT Real Estate Buys Large Boston Brokerage
Another member of The Realty Alliance is kicking up activity on the acquisition trail. As Real Trends CEO Steve Murray has spotted, large firms are getting larger. HUNT Real Estate, the second largest ERA franchise in the world has expanded from the upstate New York market into the Boston, MA market by acquiring ERA Key Realty. WAV Group congratulates the Hunt family and the Taylor family for opening another major demographic market area. I would expect that HUNT Mortgage and other affiliated companies in commercial, property management, insurance, and title will get added to the Boston market area.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of January
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Pam O'Connor Retiring as CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World
Pam Johnson O'Connor has announced that she will be retiring from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Paul Boomsma, who currently serves a dual role as LeadingRE chief operating officer and president of Luxury Portfolio International®, will assume responsibilities as president and CEO upon O'Connor's retirement. Pam has had an amazing career in the relocation and residential real estate industry. Below are just a few of her accolades.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of December
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eXp Realty Named a Best Place to Work in Glassdoor's 2018 Employees' Choice Awards
I just love to see great companies in our industry get recognized BEYOND the real estate industry for their hard work and dedication to building a strong corporate culture. eXp REALTY's growth over the past year has been unprecedented, They have grown from 1000 agents to over 6000 agents in less than 18 months. Revenue growth, according to their Q3 earnings report was up. Revenue increased 203 percent to a record $48.1 million from $15.8 million in the third quarter of 2016. This represents 22 percent growth quarter-over-quarter, from $39.6 million in the second quarter of 2017. Gross margin grew 96 percent year-over-year for the same quarter to $4.81 million; $12.1 million year-to-date compared to $5.3 million for the same nine-month period in 2016. They are not yet profitable, but they are moving in the right direction. Q3 net loss was $7.8 million, or $(0.15) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $14.6 million, or $(0.29) per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016. Congrats to the team that is working hard there to create a strong culture, albeit a virtual one, while finding a new and exciting twist on the traditional real estate brokerage! We can all be inspired by this success story! Here's the full story below:
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of October
Looking for more seller leads? Then we've got the perfect articles for you. October saw several posts on creating marketing handouts that homeowners will love (see articles #1, #6 and #9 below). If you want to make your marketing efforts more effective, check out article #7 for ideas on segmenting your CRM database. Then, click over to article #5 for a free guide on marketing to consumers in each stage of the real estate buying cycle. What else were agents and brokers reading last month? Check out our latest monthly list of the most popular articles on RE Technology to find out! *** 1. Must-Have Pages for a Winning CMAYou're probably used to taking a CMA to listing presentations or offering them to seller leads. But did you know that your CMA can be a powerful weapon for combating consumer misconceptions caused by inaccurate Zestimates? That's one secret shared by a top-producing Realtor Ray Fernandez. So what exactly is in Ray's CMA? He offered us a glimpse of the pages he includes in every CMA. 2. 4 Free Photo Editing Tools for Real EstatePhotos are a huge part of showcasing the homes you sell. With so many photo editing tools at your fingertips, you no longer have to stress about taking the perfect photo or purchasing high-end photography equipment. Although photo editing software can be expensive, there are a few free tools that you can use. Here are four of some of the most popular free photo editing software tools! 3. The Facebook Page ChecklistBefore you worry about Facebook's constant updates, make sure you haven't forgotten to update the basics of your Facebook Page. We have compiled a simple checklist to make sure that your page is up-to-date and that you're providing followers with the content they want to see and engage with.
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
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HomeServices of America Acquires The Long and Foster Companies
HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, announced that it has acquired The Long & Foster Companies, Inc., the largest private residential real estate company in the United States by sales volume. The acquisition includes Long & Foster's family of companies, including Long & Foster Real Estate and its market-leading affiliated business lines in mortgage, settlement services, insurance, and property management. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
What were agents and brokers reading in July, that most summery of summer months? Judging by our monthly list of RE Technology's most popular articles, it was seasonally appropriate fare, like a 'Friday Freebie' on summer open house marketing strategies (see article #4). Our readers also dove head first into articles on generating more leads (#1), building up your network, strengthening your brand online (#6). Already planning for autumn? Our look at Realtor.com's new school search figure should do the trick! Check it out below at #7, and then take a nice, leisurely stroll through the rest of this list. *** 1. Steal this Idea! How to Generate 300 Leads with Cloud CMAIt's no secret that the key to your success in real estate is how quickly you can generate seller leads. But how do you do that? While there isn't just one road to success, we had the opportunity to interview a local Orange County agent who has it figured out. Since getting into the business in 2011, Ray Fernandez has sold over 150 homes, made $135 million in sales, and has generated over 300 leads using Cloud CMA! So, how did he do it? Here are the four things Ray focuses on so he can generate more seller leads. 2. Tired of Your MLS's Clunky Interface? Here's How to Give It an Instant MakeoverMLS systems aren't exactly known for having the prettiest of interfaces, or the most intuitive, or the... well, you get the point. MLS software has a long way to go before it wins any design awards. But that's okay, because there's an easy way to bypass all the blah dished up by your typical MLS, thanks to this app. 3. 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know Google Could Do for YouDid you know that Google is much more than just a search engine? It is also a highly complex math calculator, a real-time currency converter, a sophisticated multi-lingual translator, a digital dictation machine and more. In fact, Google has so many hidden talents built into its search bar, these five may be only scratching the surface of what Google search can do for you. Here are five things that you can do with Google search shortcuts that you may not know about, but may save you an enormous amount of time.
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Crye-Leike's Technology Leader Joins Broker Public Portal Board
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
Did you catch the launch of our 2017-18 Technology Guide in June? It's an overview of the latest and greatest apps and other technology that can help you sell more real estate. Check it out here! Beyond the Guide, we featured a lot of other great content during the first month of summer--everything from an exhaustive overview of Facebook advertising (#10) to advice on acing your next listing appointment (#5) to writing neighborhood guides for your website that buyers will love (#7)! Over this long holiday weekend, take a look at the articles that were the most popular among real estate professionals last month. You might find a few tips, tricks, or downloads that can benefit your business during the busy summer selling season! *** 1. Friday Freebie: Brandable Property Showing Checklist for Your BuyersSo your buyers (mostly) know what they want in a home—but do they remember which homes matched their criteria after they tour them? After seeing a dozen or so houses, it may all start to blend together in your clients' minds. Which house was it again that had the great master suite, but an underwhelming kitchen? Whatever it was, your clients probably need a little help with keeping all the properties they see straight. This week, we're highlighting a free checklist, brandable to you, that can help.
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Chalk's "The Confident House Hunter" Wins National Book Award
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Broker Public Portal Announces Seven New Board Members
The Broker Public Portal (BPP) is a thriving real estate industry initiative that is delivering benefits to about half of all real estate professionals in America today. The company expresses its gratitude for those who have served as leaders and welcomes seven new members to its Board of Managers. "It is an honor to serve with so many great leaders of our industry to develop this company, and I am grateful for the time and commitment given by each of my colleagues that are stepping down from the board. I am equally excited to for the introduction of new leaders who will shepherd us into the future," said Merle Whitehead, Chairman of the Broker Public Portal. The Broker Public Portal Board of Managers is designed to include a fair and balanced group of executives who represent the interests of large brokers (5), medium brokers (3), small brokers (2), independent managers (2) and multiple listing service organizations (4). Agent count of participating firms establishes the size of brokerages eligible. The nominating committee of the board has seven of the current directors and was chaired by Joan Docktor of BHHS Fox and Roach REALTORS. The board has staggered terms of three and two years in each category.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
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HomeSmart Acquires Large Colorado Brokerage in Exponential Growth Move
HomeSmart has acquired Cherry Creek Properties, a large real estate brokerage serving the Denver metropolitan area, the company announced Wednesday. The acquisition makes HomeSmart the No. 1 real estate firm in the state based on agent count, according to the company. The addition of Cherry Creek Properties’ 1,500+ agents brings the firm’s total agent count to over 13,000, and widens its reach to 123 offices in 16 states. HomeSmart and its franchises’ closed sales volume, combined with those of Cherry Creek Properties, totaled more than $14.6 billion in 2016, with more than 53,000 in closed transactions, according to RISMedia’s Power Broker Report.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from March
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from February
February was unusually warm in many parts of the country, and we can't help but wonder if this will cause the traditional real estate selling season to start a bit earlier than normal. Regardless of whether that happens or not, we're still a mere three weeks from the official start of spring—and the busiest time of year for real estate professionals. Get prepared for the busy months by checking out our top 10 most popular articles from last month. From setting more appointments to new regulatory wrinkles in real estate marketing, these educational posts will help prepare for success in the season ahead. *** 1. CFPB Fines Real Estate Company: Do Agents Need to Worry?Is Zillow RESPA compliant? Are MSAs illegal? These are a few of the questions posed in a new video that examines the impact of a recent order from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). The video alleges that the CFPB "issued a warning shot to Realtors and brokers nationwide" when they fined a real estate company for an improper MSA (marketing services agreement) and referrals. 2. App Alert: Google Allo Offers Realtors 'Smart Messaging'Google Allo is a smart messaging app that incorporates the Google Assistant to connect you with your Google Suite on the go. In this installment of Google for Real Estate, you'll learn how Google Allo can improve your communications, where to get Allo, what it can do, how it can assist your business, and more. 3. Three Essential Questions to Ask Your Real Estate ClientsIn this fast paced world, every minute counts and that is why it's essential to ask your clients the right questions before you take them to see homes. Asking them the right questions will help you get clarity as an agent who is showing them the properties. Here are 3 essential questions to ask your real estate clients.
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Realogy Announces Franchise Group Leadership Succession Plan
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from January
Ready to make 2017 your best year ever? Our list of the most popular articles from January are a good starting point. You'll learn about cultivating the traits that lead to success (see article #1), resources that will help you sell more homes (#9), as well as sources for finding seller leads (#2) and more referrals (#3). We may be tip-toeing into the second month of the year already, but don't think it's too late to put into practice the suggestions you'll encounter in the list below! 2017 is still young and you still have every opportunity to meet and exceed the goals you've set for yourself. Read on for some New(ish) Year's inspiration. *** 1. 3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents As a top producing agent and speaker, Leigh Brown has met thousands of Realtors over the years. She says that most agents fall into two camps: the wildly successful and the, well, not so successful. When we take a look at the Realtors at the successful end of the spectrum, you'll notice that they all share some common traits. Here are the top 3 traits for success. 2. 3 Places to Look for Motivated SellersThe colder months are here, and many would-be sellers are hunkering down to wait out the season. As homeowners settle in, most real estate agents will find it progressively harder to get enough listings to keep their businesses running smoothly. But don't worry. There are always motivated sellers who want to sell fast, even in the worst weather. You just need to know where to look. 3. 65 Sources of Real Estate Referrals You May Have OverlookedReferrals make up a significant amount of an agent's bottom line. So what can agents do to cultivate more referrals? To start, it pays to know who to target and how. According to ReferralExchange, there are 65 major sources of referrals in eight different categories. Our bet is that there's at least a few referral ideas here that you may have overlooked. Check out this comprehensive list of referral sources for inspiration on cultivating new business.
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LeadingRE Names Marci Rossell as Chief Economist
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2017 Inman Influencers List Recognizes WAV Group Leadership and Clients
The impact of the annual reveal of the Inman Influencer List is like a social media cannon shot: you can hear the buzz everywhere. Once again, WAV Group Founder Victor Lund is on the list, and for the first time, Kevin Hawkins, a 30-year communications and marketing veteran who heads up the WAV Group Communications division, also appears. It's a list that both founders of WAV Group, Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund, have appeared on multiple times, but the rush one gets being on this prestigious list never gets old. And neither does surprise of those "missing" – exceptionally worthy influencers who didn't make this year's list. Either way, it feels like the entire real estate industry all at once clamors to click-through to discover who is and is not on the list. Most importantly to the WAV Group (and our sister company, RE Technology) are the leaders of our clients that have been honored by Inman by inclusion on this year's list—industry stalwarts such as: Mark McLaughlin (Pacific Union) Bob Hale (HAR) Pam O'Connor and Paul Boomsma (Leading RE) Chris Bennett (CoreLogic) Keith Krach and Glenn Shimkus (DocuSign) Ryan O'Hara (Move) Art Carter (Chair of RESO and head of CRMLS) Jeremy Crawford (RESO) Susan McHan (Opes Advisors) Ben Caballero (HomesUSA.com) Jim Harrison (MLSListings) John "OB" Jacobi (Windermere Real Estate) Stephanie Pfeffer Anton (Luxury Portfolio) Andrew Flachner (Real Scout) Ben Kinney (Ben Kinney Companies) David Friedman (Boston Logic) Russ Cofano (EXP) Jim Walberg (Pacific Union) Glenn Kelman (Redfin) Rebecca Jensen (MRED) Marty Frame (RPR) Luke Glass (MOVE) David Charron (MRIS) Jed Carlson/Molly McKinley (Adwerx) John Aaroe (John Aaroe Group) Joe Rand (BH&GRE Rand Realty) York Baur (Moxi Works) and a host of others We are truly thankful to have the opportunity to work with so many great executives that contribute far more to the industry than we do. The truth is that when Inman or Swanepoel names someone as "one of the real estate industry's most influential leaders for 2017," it's a big deal. Just 24 hours after the release of the list, there were thousands of Facebook shares, and tens of thousands of comments of congratulations from family, friends, business colleagues and even competitors.
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December's Top 10 Articles: A Final Look Back at 2016
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Four Brokerage Leaders Join RESO Board of Directors
For the past three years, the most impactful development in real estate technology has been driven by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). This nonprofit entity defines how MLS information is formatted for use by agents and brokerages. For years, this board of directors was mostly led by a combination of MLS executives and technology vendors. However, with today's announcement, you can see that brokerage involvement has reached its highest level. But that's not all—other new executives from many of America's largest and finest MLSs have also volunteered to step up and participate in guiding RESO into 2017. Executive Board of Directors Art Carter, Chair. Mr. Carter runs California Regional MLS, the nation's largest MLS, supporting over 80,000 subscribers. Alon Chaver, Vice Chair. Chaver is CIO of HomeServices of America, the second largest brokerage in America behind NRT. Chaver brings incredible technical acumen to RESO having owned and operated iHomefinder, held an executive role at Trulia, served as Director for Broker Public Portal, and other significant leadership roles. Richard Renton, Treasurer. Renton is the CEO of the Triad MLS, a regional MLS that covers 11 counties in North Carolina. He has been a longtime industry leader with longstanding support of RESO and the Council of MLS. Cary Sylvester, Secretary. As VP of Industry Development at Keller Williams, Sylvester has been steward of the technology solutions at Keller Williams as they've ascended to becoming the largest franchise organization in America. Sylvester is also a key contributor to Broker Public Portal and Upstream.
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John Aaroe Group of Los Angeles Merges With Pacific Union
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How did Ben Caballero – America’s #1 agent – smash his own $1B record? Hint: Builder Platform
When Ben Caballero became the first individual real estate agent to break the $1 billion production number in 2015, very few folks really understood how Ben did that. This year, Ben will obliterate his own record with a stunning 35 percent increase in business. That's a number north of $1.375 billion and a total of more than 3,400 home sales, up from 2,491 in 2015. Ben has won the Inman Innovator Award, was honored on stage by Gary Keller at Keller Williams MegaCamp (even though Ben is CEO of HomesUSA.com, a non-KW firm), and has been atop the RealTrends Thousand as published in the Wall Street Journal for several years straight – for both total sales and total production. Ben has produced more home sales than any real estate TEAM in America. Heck, his numbers make him the #1 real estate agent in the world. How does he do it? Many real estate agents cry foul when they see Ben's name at the top of production lists because what Ben does is VERY different than what any other top producer does. Like others, Ben has a system. Unlike others, Ben targets only new home builders — 100 percent of his business — but also built his cloud-based platform that powers his business. He also is the only name on every listing he posts on the MLS for his more than 50 builder brands, so he gets credit for every single sale. Technology is what allows Ben to do what Ben does, but it is just one part of his listing and marketing system for builders. What Ben's system also does in connect real estate agents – buyers agents – to builders. Builders do a terrible job marketing their listings to real estate agents and explaining why the new home sales process is different – and needs to be different – than an existing home sale. Ben helps real estate agents understand the opportunities with builders.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from November
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from October
We know--you're probably recovering from a post-Halloween candy hangover right now. But before you bury those sugary October memories, let's take a look at the top articles from last month. 1. How Digital Ads Helped a Rookie Realtor Sell 100 Homes in 2 Years Realtor Kevin Johnson has never held an open house, never mailed a postcard, and never door knocked--yet he's closed nearly 100 homes since he started selling real estate in August of 2014. Rather than rely on traditional real estate marketing practices, Johnson leverages a more modern form of lead generation to grow his business--digital advertising. He says that this method brings him three to four leads per day. 2. 3 Scripts Top Agents Are Using to Close More Online LeadsAgents and brokers have a multitude of methods for generating leads online, but there's still only one reliable way for converting those leads into clients--timely communication that's tailored to the prospect's needs. Today, we're going to look at scripts that you can use to close more internet leads. 3. 5 Ways to Market Yourself While You Get Your Morning CoffeeThe number one thing holding most agents back from executing an effective marketing plan is a lack of time. Easy Agent Pro breaks down the five tools at your disposal that will allow you to market yourself like a pro the next time you're in line at a Starbucks. Tip #2 is a huge time-saver!
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Elm Street Technology Poised for Acquisition Growth
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from September
What were agents and brokers reading last month? Our top 10 articles offer insight into which real topics most interested estate professionals in September. From scripts to communication tips to advice for staying safe (September was Realtor Safety Month, after all!), here are the articles that captured the attention of your peers: 1. Do's and Don'ts of Talking Real Estate with Your Friends and Family "Oh, I didn't realize you were a real estate agent" and "I would have used you if I knew" are some of the most heartbreaking phrases in real estate. Don't let your family and friends "forget" about your real estate business by implementing these four steps. 2. Stop Calling Me! Understanding the Do-Not-Call List for Real EstateThe courts have made it clear that a consumer has the right not to be contacted once they register on the Do Not Call List (DNCL). Don't let these rules scare you. They are there to protect you just the same as any consumer, and there is plenty of business to generate using the phone. It takes understanding the rules to get the leg up on your competition. 3. New SentriLock and Homesnap Integration Helps Agents Shine During ShowingsAgents have a new way to impress clients during a showing, thanks to a new partnership between SentriLock and Homesnap. Realtors can now access property data right from SentriSmart, the lockbox maker's mobile app. When obtaining lockbox information from the app, users are able to open the listing's property details from Homesnap in just one click. Here's how.
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Gurtej Sodhi Promoted
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Summer's End: Our 10 Most Popular Articles from August
The end of August means one thing: summer is, for all intents and purposes, over. For agents and brokers, this means that the busy sales pace of summer is over, too. But before you fire up the grill this holiday weekend and toast to the season's end, let's take a look back at all this summer had to offer. Here's a peek at the articles that most interested our readers in August. Want to see what else your colleagues were reading this summer? Check out our Top 10 lists from June and July. 1. 5 Small Talk Ideas to Break the Ice with Your Real Estate Clients It's easy to have a conversation with people you know. A new client? Well, that's a different ball game. I find it a challenge to get past the first couple of minutes in a conversation with a stranger. The struggle is real! But, over the years I've gotten better at speaking with strangers. Here are my five small talk ideas that might help you break the ice with your real estate clients. 2. How to Ensure First Time Home Buyers Will Think of You Every WeekThe idea of the housewarming gift should be as much a gesture of appreciation for your clients' business as it is a vehicle to have them remember you, fondly. The more they think of you (positively), the more they are apt to consider you again the next time they need the service you offer. Here is a comprehensive list of practical, and affordable housewarming gifts for a first-time home buyer. 3. Overlooked Microsoft Apps for Real Estate AgentsWhether it's Windows, Excel, PowerPoint or Word, many companies rely on Microsoft software for their business needs. But there are a variety of other apps and products that you may have overlooked. These are some great apps for small business owners and, best of all, these are either free or have free versions to try.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
Summer's officially here, and we've got a list of recommended reading to ease you into a long holiday weekend. Our list of the 10 most read articles from June runs the gamut from scripts for closing and reconnecting with past clients to how to create listing flyers that stand out. Looking for a pick-me-up? Check out article #9 to find out how consumers view their agents (hint: it's some pretty happy news). Read on to see what other topics piqued the interest of your peers in June. 1. 22 of the Absolute Best Real Estate Closing Gift Ideas As a REALTOR®, you often have opportunities to give gifts to your clients who have purchased their new home. It's a lovely way to thank them for their business, remain memorable, and hopefully secure more repeat and referral business from them! If you're challenged in the creative gift-giving department, we're here to help you with a list of the best real estate closing gift ideas. 2. 4 Genius Closing Scripts that Work Every TimeClosing the sale: the very last hurdle. Sometimes your prospects and clients will have a hard time making the final "yes." So how can you, as a real estate agent, help them make their decision? Coach Tom Ferry has got you covered. The second tip at 3:04 is so good, it will make you question life. 3. Unrealistic Seller Pricing: How to Handle it Like a ProAs a real estate agent, you do a lot of preparation before meeting with a homeowner to discuss their listing. After all this work on your part, there's nothing more frustrating than having the seller insist on overpricing the home. Here are four tips to help you work through tricky situations when sellers are convinced your price is too low.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
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Broker Public Portal Reveals Partnership and Plan
It is with much excitement that I would like to announce some major news for the Broker Public Portal project! We have been researching the value of consumer property search sites like the Broker Public Portal since 2005, and we're thrilled to announce a game changing opportunity for agents and brokers to captivate consumers! Broker Public Portal has executed a binding letter of intent with Homesnap, a creator of highly rated apps for consumers and agents, to launch a national home search experience defined by simplicity, integrity and common sense. The program will be marketed under the Homesnap brand. Homesnap is already the top-rated real estate app for consumers, and Homesnap Pro is already the leading mobile app for real estate pros. So What Is the Broker Public Portal? It is an initiative that was formed by an unprecedented partnership between 115 MLSs and real estate companies, including franchisors, independent brands, big brokers, and small brokers, operating in diverse markets across the country and collectively representing over 500,000 real estate agents. The goal of this project is to provide consumers with a simple, easy to use, mobile-first solution to get real-time data directly from REALTORS themselves. In essence, the Broker Public Portal operates very much like a local MLS consumer-facing website, but is a nationwide collaboration. We have learned from our years of research about MLS consumer websites that consumers really like these sites because they are unbiased, simple and allow them to connect directly to the brokerage and listing agent that is MOST familiar with the property. The consumers that use these sites are not looky-loos. They are the more serious buyer that is further down the sales funnel and serious about buying or selling a home.
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Upstream Names Alex Lange President and CEO
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Buyside Ramps Up Nationwide Adoption and Engages Industry Veteran to Lead Expansion Initiatives
Real estate analytics company Buyside today announced that Michael Pressnall, a respected and tenured industry executive and DocuSign veteran, has joined the company in the newly-created role of Vice President of Industry Engagement. "Mike is an ideal addition to our team as the Buyside platform continues its nationwide expansion and adoption by brokers, team, and agents looking to grow their top-line business income and serve customers more effectively. His success at DocuSign shows a stellar track record in bringing transformational technology tools to real estate brokerages of all sizes. Mike's depth of knowledge in the real estate industry means that the company can better craft solutions to meet and exceed marketplace needs and solve inefficiencies in customer engagement and monetization," says Charles Williams IV, CEO and Founder of Buyside. As one of the early stage employees of the now industry leader DocuSign, Pressnall led efforts to create partnerships and alliances with key real estate brokers across the country. With 12 years total in the real estate industry, including six at DocuSign and two as a key member of their Real Estate Leadership Committee, Pressnall's background is perfectly geared towards bringing together industry leaders to deliver state-of-the-art technology products. "Just as I knew DocuSign was going to forever change the way a house was a bought and sold, I know Buyside helps real estate brokers to leverage a billion dollar asset they already own—their buyer database. With Buyside gaining strong industry adoption and further honing its enterprise platform and technology tools, I could not be more excited to join such a dynamic and progressive company."
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of January
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RESO and the Real Estate Tech Startup: What's in it for you?
Joining the Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, may be one of the smartest tactical moves that a real estate startup can make, according to the leaders of two hot real estate tech startups. Both Krishna Mayala, co-founder and CEO of TLCengine, and Charles El-Moussa, Principal and COO of ImageIndxr, each view RESO as an important enabler of their companies' business strategies. In fact, common advantages gained by real estate startups that become RESO members early on are the tactical benefits that industry standards provide them.  Both TLCengine and ImageIndxr leaders highly recommend joining RESO as a must do for any real estate technology firm that intersects with listing data. "RESO is a great organization to join because this is really where standards are heading for the real estate community," Mayala says. His TLCengine offers next generation search based on RESO Data Dictionary Standardized data delivered via RETS to solve the three largest costs of home ownership: mortgage, utilities and commuting, or True Lifestyle Cost ( TLC ). Recently, Mayala was invited to become a RESO Ambassador, a new effort to share the benefits of RESO more deeply throughout the real estate industry. "This is an amazing opportunity for a startup," he said. For El-Moussa, his firm participation as a startup in RESO Fall PlugFest 2015 in Austin catapulted his firm's awareness among real estate technology decision makers. "We not only had the chance chance to network with the real estate tech community, but also an opportunity to engage with the policy makers that will craft industry standards in the future," El-Moussa said. By becoming a RESO member, startups benefit by gaining an immediate prestige factor, and being a RESO member also gives credibility to a startup when they have conversations with brokerage and MLS executives. "They take you seriously," Mayala says.
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BOLD Move: Pacific Union Names Selma Hepp New Vice President, Business Intelligence
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Swanepoel Power 200 Recognizes RE Technology Founders
Fresh off being named to the Inman 101 last month, RE Technology's co-founders have again been included on another list of the real estate industry's "who's who." The annual Swanepoel Power 200 is the most anticipated of these lists, so we're particularly delighted to announce that Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund have once again been recognized by the SP200. To learn who else made the list of real estate's most powerful, read the press release below. Annual SP200 Ranks CEOs of Realogy, HomeServices of America, and Zillow Group as Top 3 Power Players Swanepoel Power 200 Lists Real Estate Leaders January 13, 2016 Orange County, Calif.—The annual Swanepoel POWER 200 2015/16 ranking the most powerful people in residential real estate was released today. Leaders from all the largest real estate companies in the United States and Canada, including Realogy, Zillow, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Keller Williams Realty, RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Move, Inc., and the National Association of REALTORS® are represented. Holding the number one spot for the third consecutive year is Richard A. Smith, chairman and CEO of Realogy Holdings. Realogy owns many of the county's leading brands, including: Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby's International Realty, ERA Franchise Systems, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and ZipRealty. With approximately 13,600 franchised and company-owned offices, and over 250,000 brokers and agents worldwide, Realogy touches one out of every four home sales in America.
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The Future is Now: Thought Leadership from Two of Inman's Top 101
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Century 21 Does It Again: Sweeps JD Powers for Customer Satisfaction of Buyers and Sellers
Now in its 8th year, a J.D. Power Home Buyer/Seller Customer Satisfaction Study pitting the nation's largest real estate companies against each other for bragging rights in the customer satisfaction arena, has again declared Century 21 Real Estate winner, knocking out the competition in overall satisfaction across all four arenas of the home buying experience: First Time Home Buyer Satisfaction Repeat Home Buyer Satisfaction First Time Home Seller Satisfaction Repeat Home Seller Satisfaction Real estate trends point to the brokerage giant staying on top of the fight card for some time to come. The fight stats Among 6,059 evaluations from 5,066 first time customers and repeat home buyers, real estate trends and the J.D. Power study revealed customers' level of satisfaction in each of the four arenas (above), by surveying four facets of the home buying process: agent/salesperson, real estate office, closing process, and variety of additional services.
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Upstream Revealed
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Proxio Acquires PCMS Consulting
Proxio, Inc., the Silicon Valley-based provider of multilingual marketing and collaborative networking solutions to the international real estate industry, has acquired Miami-based PCMS Consulting. Jose Perez, founder and President of PCMS Consulting, will become an equity partner in Proxio as well as Executive Vice President of Global Sales. Perez will spearhead an aggressive expansion of Proxio's global solutions for brokerages, developers, MLSs, and media companies. Perez founded PCMS in 2007 to advise brokers on how they could re-invent their businesses and transform their brokerages into a model of leadership, adaptability and accessibility. "When Proxio approached me about helping with their expansion plans, I was impressed with their approach to international real estate, collaborative networking, and project marketing. The synergies were too good to pass up," Perez says. "This gives PCMS an expanded set of offerings for its brokerage clientele, while providing me the opportunity to accelerate the growth of an international company taking off in multiple markets." "We are thrilled that Jose has joined our senior leadership team," says Janet Case, co-founder and CEO of Proxio. "Jose's deep industry experience and proven track record at both Realogy and PCMS allows us to quickly leverage his expertise to build a senior sales and marketing team at Proxio. At the same time, PCMS clients gain international options and access to innovative technology solutions for serving multicultural consumers; we're happy to welcome them to Proxio's global family of brokerage, association, and MLS partners."
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Broker Public Portal Elects Executive Committee
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Project Upstream Revealed
For a few years now, industry leaders have been working together to address data problems, producing almost two years ago a solution concept called "Upstream." Not long after that, the WAV Group was asked to consult on the technical side of the development of the project. Our non-disclosure agreement has prevented us from saying much about it. However, now we are very pleased to be allowed finally to share some information about the concept. In an announcement this week, UpstreamRE, LLC, the standalone company that will direct the effort, announced that it is deep into serious negotiations with the National Association of REALTORS®, exploring ways to leverage the significant assets and capabilities of NAR's Realtor Property Resource unit to support key components of Upstream's functionality. Upstream is not an MLS! Real estate firms across America have obstreperous data management problems. Three of those problems include the disorderly replication of add/edit; the replication and inconsistency of data formats; and the challenge of perfecting copyright. These challenges that face firms are interrelated in many ways. [ Definition: Obstreperous – noisy, difficult to control, unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, rowdy, disruptive. ] The Solution for Duplicate Add-Edit When a firm acquires a listing, there are many actions that often take place before that listing is placed in the MLS. For example, firms likely create a transaction in their back office system that allows expenses such as sign services, photography service, staging, or other expenditures to be ordered and tracked. Franchise firms are also required to enter the listing into the franchise system for accounting. Although some of the larger MLSs have created a new status for tracking this pre-listing data management need, most do not.
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Top 10 Articles from April
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Broker Public Portal Elects First Board of Managers
A nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms supporting the creation of a national property search portal have elected their first board of managers. The initiative, known as the Broker Public Portal, was launched in January and includes a cross section of participants from 37 MLSs and 39 real estate brokerages representing the interests of 826,000 agents. WAV Group project consultant, Victor Lund explains that MLSs have long provided regional consumer facing property search websites. In December of 2014, a group of likeminded MLSs and real estate brokerages met to discuss the opportunity to build a National MLS consumer facing website to fill an unmet need in the online marketplace. At the first meeting of the organizers on April 22, 2015 in Dallas, they elected the board of managers that will be included in their corporate filings as a Delaware LLC. "There is a tremendous amount of support and momentum throughout the MLS and brokerage communities to create a new choice for how and where to display their listings," commented Robert Moline of Home Services of America. "And the formation of our Board of Managers is a significant step forward in our ability to deliver on that goal through the creation of a national broker public portal." Large Firms - 5 Robert Moline – Home Services of America Merle Whitehead – Realty USA Hoby Hanna – Howard Hanna Real Estate Chris Heller – Keller Williams Joan Docktor – Fox and Roach
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Lone Wolf Scores Investment Capital
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Behind the Scenes of the Swanepoel Power 200 Rankings
The most comprehensive list of the most powerful and influential people in the real estate industry has once again been released. Known as the SP200 (Swanepoel Power 200), this annual list is published by Stefan Swanepoel every January. There have been numerous other lists from time to time, but the SP200 stands as a milestone in the comprehensiveness, detail and objectivity it strives to portray. You can review the entire 2014/2015 list in detail at www.sp200.com. Comparable to Forbes, Fortune, JD Powers and other outside the industry lists, the SP200 utilizes a large selection of criteria. It takes hundreds of hours to put something like this together and often the people on the list are gratified, but those who do not make the list are disappointed. I had a phone call Stefan Swanepoel to understand more about his list and why he does it. "Our goal is to create an authoritative list by using information such as position held within a given company, size of company, tenure in the company, tenure in the industry, education, accomplishments, impact the person has had on the industry or is expected to have on the industry in the foreseeable future. We combine all of the stats, facts--as well as 26 years of research in the industry having personally met most of the people on the list--into our own unique SP200 algorithm. The list is as objective and real as we can make it. No pay-to-play, advertising or outside influencing is allowed. "We call this the power list for a reason. It is not just the influence a person has but the impact and control each of these people can exercise. Many of these people command large budgets, multiple resources, buy and sell companies, and can effect significant change. "We divide the SP200 into multiple categories for easier evaluation – Corporate Executives, Brokerage Executives, Technology Executives, Organized Real Estate, Outside Powers, Social Influencers, and Thought Leaders. My team and I, including my executive editor Rob Hahn, invested over 400 hours of specific SP200 research to provide this list as a service to the industry."
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RealScout Secures $6M to Empower Brokers and Agents with Collaborative Search
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Kamel Boulos Joins ClosingCorp as CTO
ClosingCorp offers several solutions to help mortgage lenders, real estate professionals, title and settlement companies calculate closing costs on residential real estate transactions. I love the value their products provide to source estimated closing costs and list options for service providers with actual rates and fees. In my mind, their closing calculator should be as pervasive as mortgage calculators on consumer property search websites. Kamel joined ClosingCorp from the mortgage industry. He's extremely excited about the opportunity because mortgage and title companies have really taken to the company's offerings. Both groups work with consumers that need to know what a transaction is going to look like before it closes. By utilizing best in class technology they deliver accurate data and information to their customers efficiently, it should help them close more transactions while being compliant – now that's a win. Join me in welcoming Kamel to the industry. WAV Group looks forward to watching how the company provides implementation solutions into agent and broker websites, consumer portals, and transaction management solutions. If you have not looked at ClosingCorp in a few years, you may want to put it on your list – visit Closing.com today. You can view the press release regarding Kamel's hiring on the next page.
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MOVE, Inc: An Open Letter to the Real Estate Industry
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Save Me Money and I’ll Be Your Friend
Once you've helped someone buy a home, you quickly fade from their lives unless you give them a reason to stay in touch with you. Since everyone likes to save money, sharing articles about reducing homeowners' ongoing costs is a great way to make your clients keep opening your emails. I see how well that strategy works when I look at which articles were clicked on by the more than 1 million homeowners who received the HomeActions e-newsletter in August. The most-opened HomeActions article in August was Will Shutting Vents Cut Your Energy Bill? The article, based on a blog from one of my favorite energy experts, explained why shutting too many vents can cause problems in your HVAC. The article worked because it delivered an "ah ha!" moment to viewers who thought they were saving money by closing off HVAC vents in their home. You wouldn't expect an energy-efficiency story to be contentious, but this one was. One viewer suggested the article was funded by oil companies. Ironically, there was also an email from a viewer with an oil company email address arguing that shutting vents couldn't possibly harm the HVAC. A few days later, a viewer wrote one of our Realtor clients and said the article was spot on. He'd had to pay $6,000 to remediate mold caused by shutting off about half the vents in a home.
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Midyear Broker Website Benchmarks
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Realtor.com and Top Producer Back Online After Two Day Internet Battle
Move, Inc. reports that it is continuing to combat the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which has interrupted its websites' operations since it began mid-day June 17. Move's technical team is working around-the-clock with the Prolexic division of Akamai Technologies, Inc., a leading DDoS mitigation service provider; other Internet security experts; and its network service providers to mitigate the attack and quickly restore operations. In connection with the attack, Move received a ransom demand, which it did not respond to. DDoS attacks on Internet-based businesses and associated ransom demands are unfortunately becoming more common. Move is consulting with appropriate federal law enforcement officials and other technology companies that have been targets of DDoS attacks in recent months to review best practices for responding. Law enforcement is working to determine the attack's origin. DDoS attacks are sent by people or botnets, which are Internet-connected programs that work on tasks. Move operates realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®. The DDoS attack is driving massive amounts of traffic from external sources to Move's data center, making realtor.com®, Top Producer® services, and Move's other Internet services available intermittently. The attacks also have targeted and impacted the redundant aspects of the company's systems.
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3 Surprising Revelations at the REALTOR® Party Convention
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What Engaged Homeowners in April
What content grabs the attention of homeowners? To find out, you need a lot of data. Drip marketing solution HomeActions has just that--information on the articles that over 1 million consumers are reading. They share those insights here every month so you can use it as a guideline in your own marketing efforts. The more than 1 million homeowners who got the HomeActions e-newsletter in April were most interested in avoiding scam calls, learning to be wise appliance shoppers, and losing a little weight without eating less. Fear Motivates The most-opened HomeActions article in April was, If Your Cellphone Rings Just Once, Don't Call Back. This engaged viewers because it warned something bad could happen if you do something many of us do without thinking -- return a one-ring call. The article revealed that scammers were calling U.S. consumers phone and hanging up after one ring to lure people into calling pay-per-minute phone lines in the Caribbean. When you share information about scams, like the article in last month's HomeActions e-newsletter, you position yourself as a trusted adviser looking out for your customer's financial well-being. Three keys to scam stories being engaging: It's got to be a new scam. Writing about a widely known scam makes you seem behind the curve. It's got to be a clever scam. The one-ring scam is interesting because it's so innocuous to call back someone who calls your phone. The report has to come from a reputable source. This one was from the Federal Trade Commission.
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