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WAV Group Managing Partners, Clients Prevail in RISMedia's Top 2020 Newsmakers and Swanepoel Power 200
The new year brings many reasons for celebration at WAV Group as managing partners Marilyn Wilson, Victor Lund and a number of our clients are recognized on RISMedia's 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers and Swanepoel's Power 200 rankings. Nomination process RISMedia's 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers were first nominated in 2019 by RISMedia readers and editors and then later grouped into the following categories: Hall of Fame, Influencers, Trailblazers, Futurists, Achievers, Crusaders, Inspirations, Luminaries and Trendsetters.
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Latest Swanepoel Power 200 Names Zillow CEO Rich Barton as Real Estate's Most Powerful Leader
The Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200), the definitive ranking of the residential real estate industry's most powerful and influential leaders, has named Zillow Group Co-Founder and CEO Rich Barton as the most powerful leader in 2020. Published by T3 Sixty, the seventh annual edition of the report is out today at sp200.com. The four most powerful executives after Barton are, in order: Keller Williams Realty CEO Gary Keller, HomeServices of America CEO Ron Peltier, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider, and Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of December
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Broker Public Portal Names New Board Officers
The Board of Managers of the Broker Public Portal today announced its Board members for 2020. The Broker Public Portal, which is owned and operated by real estate brokerages and MLSs and operates a joint venture with Homesnap, Inc., connects consumer home searchers to over one million real estate professionals in America today through more than 200 MLS agreements. The five real estate industry leaders joining the Broker Public Portal Board of Managers include Nick Bozovitch, Chief Information Officer of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; Chad Gilbert, President and Owner of RE/MAX Suburban; Tom Hosack, CEO, President, and Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services; Donna Kreps, President of F.C. Tucker Company; and Stan Martin, Chief Operating Officer of Austin Board of REALTORS® and ACTRIS. "The surging success of the Broker Public Portal attracts real estate industry's most trusted and forward-looking leaders," said John Mosey, Chairman of the Broker Public Portal and CEO of NorthstarMLS, a regional MLS serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. "We have almost 90 percent of the property listings in America coming from 48 states. The Broker Public Portal with Homesnap has delivered millions of free leads to agents, a number we expect to grow significantly every year. Our new Board of Managers will accelerate the reach of, and our industry's commitment to the mission of, the Broker Public Portal," Mosey added. The Broker Public Portal Board of Managers includes, as it notes in its charter, a "fair and balanced group of executives who represent the interests of large brokers, medium brokers, small brokers, independent managers and multiple listing service organizations." The agent count of participating firms establishes the size of brokerages eligible. 2020 new Board members: Nick Bozovitch, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Chad Gilbert, RE/MAX Tom Hosack, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services Donna Kreps, F.C. Tucker Company Stan Martin, ACTRIS 2020 Board of Managers also includes: Alon Chaver, HomeServices of America Tim Dain, MARIS Craig Cheatham, The Realty Alliance Joan Docktor, Fox and Roach Realtors Rebecca Jensen, Midwest Real Estate Data Craig McClelland, BHGRE Metro Brokers Bill Miller, Metrolist John Mosey, NorthstarMLS Christina Pappas, The Keyes Company Pat Shea, Lyon Real Estate Gurtej Sodhi, Crye-Leike Andy Starck, Starck Real Estate Each officer term is three years, with about one-third of the directors rotating off each year. About the New Board Members Nick Bozovitch Bozovitch is the Vice President of Technology at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Working closely with the executive team, he oversaw all IT operations and technology initiatives in support of the company's growth as it became the third-largest brokerage firm in the United States. Bozovitch also serves in advisory roles for the Allegheny County Airport Authority and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group. Before joining Howard Hanna in 2014, he served in key strategic, operational, and technical positions at a large global law firm for more than 13 years. Chad Gilbert Gilbert is President and Owner of the rapidly growing RE/MAX Suburban and Precision Title Company. From 2015 to 2016, the company grew by $250 million and was recognized as the No. 1 RE/MAX in Illinois and the No. 14 largest RE/MAX by volume in the country. Gilbert and his wife and co-owner Sarah Gilbert were honored in 2016 with RE/MAX's "Above the Crowd!" award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to the RE/MAX brand within their office, the RE/MAX network and their community. Tom Hosack Hosack is the CEO, President, and Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty in southwestern Pennsylvania, as well as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services in northeastern Ohio. With over 1,800 agents and 54 offices, they are ranked No. 1 in market share in their region. Before his 26-year career in real estate, he was the principal of a general contracting company, but has now been in real estate for over 26 years. Currently, Hosack serves as President and board member of West Penn Multi List, top 75 director for NAR, RES board member for NAR, and board member and executive committee member for UpstreamRE, as well as a past Chairman of the Realty Alliance. Donna Kreps Kreps is President of Residential Real Estate for F.C. Tucker Company. With over 1,500 agents statewide and over $3.2 billion in sales, it is the largest independent real estate firm in Indiana. It also ranks among the largest independent real estate firms in the nation. She has been with the 100+-year-old firm for over 25 years. She was named Executive VP in 2007, President of the Residential Division 2016, and is the first female executive of the company. She has won numerous awards including the recipient of the coveted Fred C. Tucker Senior Award in 2016. She holds a Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation. Stan Martin Martin is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and ACTRIS, which provides MLS services to over 15,000 subscribers in Austin, Texas. He has worked in the MLS industry since 2004, providing a strong combination of product management and operational expertise to organizations. Martin currently serves on The MLS Grid Board of Directors, NAR's Leading Edge Advisory group, and was appointed by the Council of MLS to serve on the MLS Technology and Emerging Issue Advisory Board beginning in 2020.
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HomeSmart Adds 650 Agents with Latest Acquisition
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
Is November too early to start talking about the holidays or the new year? Not according to last month's Top 10 Most Popular Articles list. November saw articles on holiday marketing (#4 on the list below), 2020 market predictions (#3), and gift giving (#1) make our round-up of the most-read posts. CRMs were also on the minds of our readers. Not only did we release a Success Guide to CRMs in November, but articles #2 and #5 touched on the topic, as well. What else were agents and brokers reading in November? Check out the full list below to find out! 1. Top 10 Closing/Housewarming Gifts for Your BuyersWant to create a gift that is memorable and will bring you repeat business and referrals? Many real estate agents have said that they prefer to call it a housewarming gift and have it personally delivered when the buyers move into their home. Any way you choose to call it, a thoughtful gift in addition to your outstanding service will be welcomed and remembered by your clients. 2. The 6 Trends We're Seeing in Top Real Estate CRMsCRM is a constantly evolving category of technology for real estate. Vendors in this category regularly introduce new functionality to improve the breadth of services that agents or brokers can accomplish. Here are a number of new functions and trends that we see emerging across the real estate CRM landscape. 3. Friday Freebie: 2020 Real Estate Market OutlookA special annual event is upon us—and no, we're not talking about the holidays (yet). It's Brian Buffini's Bold Predictions: 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook, a free live webcast on Dec. 10 that we're telling you about a FULL MONTH in advance so that you can be sure to secure a seat. Why is this event so in-demand? Read on to learn all about it in this week's Friday Freebie. 4. 3 Easy Holiday Marketing Ideas for Real Estate AgentsSomehow it's that time of year again! Before you know it you'll be going full-speed ahead into 2020. While the holidays are a great time to slow down, enjoy family time, and focus on business planning, we all know there is always the opportunity to generate more business. So here are a few quick marketing ideas to capitalize on this holiday season! 5. 5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate CRMDo you want to be more productive, better organized and have more control over your business? Use a real estate CRM. A Customer Relationship Management program is intended to help professionals stay on top of their businesses and succeed. Here's how an investment in a real estate CRM will take your business to the next level. 6. Real (Estate) Talk: How a Single Mom and New Agent Achieved Success in 6 MonthsAs a new real estate agent and a single mom to an autistic son, Tina Minshall had worries about earning enough. But those concerns quickly receded as Tina built a real estate family of mentors and caring clients. In just six months, she has created an impressive book of business and far exceeded the goals she initially set for herself. How did she do it? Learn more in this video interview. 7. How Much Do Bad Real Estate Photos Cost You?Before the average buyer even considers visiting your property, they will look at your photos. With so much competition in the real estate market, you cannot afford what you lose when you just take a few pictures with your iPhone. Here, you'll find what bad or even average real estate photos cost you with every listing. 8. How to Grow Your Business with Leads from InstagramReal estate is more visually driven than ever before and to be a successful real estate agent, these days you need to know how to utilize all the tools. That is exactly what Marki Lemons-Ryhal explained when she shared her tips and best practices to help your Instagram business boom. 9. Enhancing Photos and Virtual Staging: Know the RulesDid you know that enhancing a listing photo could be a violation of your local MLS rules? It could be if you run afoul of your local MLS guidelines. There's another catch: the rules surrounding enhancing photos and using photos are unique to each MLS. 10. Success Story: How One Agent Knew It Was Time to 'Level Up'Realtor Don Harkins took his business to the next level—twice. Like other agents, Don realized he was "leaving money on the table," and decided to take steps to maximize his profits. Find out how in this week's Success Story.
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Heads Up: brokerWOLF Reporting Is Getting New Features
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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 October
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits an All-time Traffic High
A group of passionate and forward-thinking brokers and MLSs formed the Broker Public Portal (BPP) to help provide a nationwide alternative to the ever-more expensive third party sites. In just three years, BPP, through its partnership with Homesnap, has created a nationwide lead generation app and portal that helps brokers provide an effective answer to the two questions they get from their agents EVERY DAY: How are you going to help me generate leads and increase my referral business? The Homesnap solution chosen by the Broker Public Portal does just that. In September, the Broker Public Portal broke its own record thanks to the continued adoption and momentum by MLSs that collectively serve 1.1 million agents nationwide. Last month, traffic on the no. 1 rated mobile app and desktop solution hit an all-time high! Traffic is up 40% year-over-year. To date, Homesnap has delivered over 1.8 million leads and more than 20 million home buyers and sellers have been invited to join their local REALTOR® on the app. This program is truly helping to keep agents at the center of the transaction! If you would like to learn more about offering Broker Public Portal to your MLS members or if you would like to learn how to generate leads and referrals for your agents, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected], and I'll be happy to connect you to the right people! To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
RE Technology readers must have been eager to get back to school last month, as our #1 most popular article in August gave you a homework assignment (and, to be fair, a free marketing flyer). Content to share with clients must have been on your minds, as well, as our #2 article was on how to create neighborhood guides for your website. August also saw a couple of posts on unique ways to generate leads (#3 and #7) and apps for making your social media efforts better (#8 and #9). What else made our monthly list of the most read articles? Check out the full list below to find out! 1. Friday Freebie: Property Flyer to Download and PrintIn honor of back to school season, we're giving you homework this weekend. Today's assignment has one purpose: to expand your real estate marketing horizons by upgrading or adding a new lead generation piece to your repertoire. That piece? A property flyer of your choice. 2. How to Create the Perfect Neighborhood Guide for Your Real Estate WebsiteIf you are looking to create a piece of valuable content, start with one of the classics that will always be searched online. Every real estate agent should have at least one neighborhood guide on their website. This will be an incredibly powerful tool to help convert prospective home buyers and sellers that are visiting your site. 3. 3 Ways to Leverage HOAs for LeadsThere are nearly endless lead generation strategies that opportunistic real estate agents can use to create new business. One underused strategy is connecting with and leveraging home owners associations (HOAs) in your area. HOAs often have well-established communications with homeowners and renters in their neighborhood. 4. 6 Real Estate Marketing Lessons from Kim KardashianLove her or leave her, there is no argument that Kim Kardashian is a powerhouse marketer. Whether or not you follow or tune in for the latest drama, there are definitely lessons to be learned from her marketing expertise. As Kanye told GQ magazine, "In order to win at life, you need some Kim K skills, period." So... here you go. 5. Property Fraud Is Rampant. Don't Let This Happen to You or Your ClientsProperty fraud or "house stealing" is a white-collar crime that if left undetected can lead to a variety of issues. Along with deed forgery, identity theft and mortgage fraud are top in line for the hottest home crimes happening today, as seen in FBI's news releases. Let's look at what types of properties are at the highest risk. 6. Finding Rental Furniture for StagingWhen selling a home, you want to catch people's attention. You want to stand out so every potential buyer remembers your listing. You want them to envision themselves living in your home for years to come. Creating these experiences for potential buyers makes a home sell faster and many times for a higher price. The most effective way to create these experiences is to use furniture rentals for staging your listing. 7. How to Snag Baby Boomer Real Estate LeadsAs you know, Millennials are typically first-time homebuyers. The chances are quite good, however, that since 76 percent of boomers own homes, your older client will gift you with two transactions, both selling and buying. You'll need to earn their business, though. 8. 6 Tools to Help Your Social Media ThriveMost agents know what social media platforms they should be using. What they don't know, however, is that there are many tools that can make success on social media easier. Take a look at these six recommended tools to help your social media thrive. 9. Facebook Messenger Bots: How to Automate Conversations to Qualify Leads and Stay Top of MindIf you've been solely relying on traditional communication methods, then you've likely noticed a decline in interactions. It's just harder to get in touch with people that way these days. So if you want to keep your business strong, then you need to find another channel. And boy, do we have just the channel for you! 10. Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You MoneyTime is money and you need to make the most of both, especially in real estate. Don't waste your time acting like an amateur real estate photographer snapping photos with your iPhone. For around $150, you can have a pro do the job and return the photos to you in as little as 14 hours. Hire a professional and get back to doing what you do best—selling properties.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
School may be out for the summer, but there's still learning to be had here at RE Technology. Last month, our most popular articles included words of wisdom (see #1 and #4 below), a lesson in inexpensive listing photography (#2), and a bit of intriguing research (#5 and #8). If you're an advanced student, check out the essay at #3 on the future of the buyer's agent, or swing down to #7 for a crash course on marketing strategy. For the rest, check out our list of the most popular articles of June below! 1. 5 Quotes that Will Motivate You to Become the Most Successful Real Estate AgentWant to experience more success in your career? Sometimes all it takes is a few motivating words of wisdom. Check out these five quotes for motivation to kick your career into high gear. 2. How to Shoot a House for Under $16Real estate photography can quickly become expensive, which is less than ideal. However, creating high quality professional images can be achieved at a fraction of the cost. To demonstrate this, we're going to shoot a property with a smartphone. You'll learn the key tips on the most important areas in the home so your listing will stand out. 3. Will Buyer's Agents Survive?The buyer's agent is a hard-working agent, especially in an inventory-constrained market. They represent the person bringing the money to the transaction and, yet, they are often unappreciated, undervalued, and under-compensated for their efforts. Some would suggest that the buyer's agent may not survive the next 10 years in our industry, but I am bullish on them remaining a vital contributor to real estate transaction services. 4. How to Handle Tough Conversations with ClientsYou don't want a client to forego working with you again or sending a referral because of tough conversations that could have been avoided or handled more smoothly. In fact, by handling those difficult conversations well, you might earn a strong Google review for your transparent, honest approach. Getting through the challenges can require some difficult talks with clients, but here are some ways you can help them through it. 5. [Infographic] Best Seasons to Sell a HomeAsk most anyone which season is the best to sell a home, and likely, with little hesitation they will respond, "Summer." This stands to reason. Schools are out, giving families a clean break to transfer children to a new area. The weather is much nicer for attracting people to open houses. But is it the BEST time to sell? We wanted to know, so we consulted the data. Here's what we found. Take a look—the answers may surprise you. 6. 3 Outside-the-Box Marketing Strategies that WorkedThe importance of having a consistent and diverse marketing strategy for your real estate business cannot be underestimated. Along with implementing marketing fundamentals, a number of agents are finding success using out-of-the-box marketing strategies to appeal to a broader audience, garner free press coverage and generate viral buzz. Here are three examples real estate agents have used that got results. 7. Listing Tips and Strategies to Stand Out and Sell More HomesEvery top agent knows the number one source of business is word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat customers. Every real estate professional needs a marketing strategy to intentionally give people a reason to talk about you and to make it easier for them to have that talk. Try these tips to help you do just that. 8. Study Reveals How Long It Really Takes for Each Step of the Home Buying ProcessOn average, it takes just over half a year for a home buyer to move into their new home. The research that revealed this also broke down the time spent on individual steps -- and pain points experienced -- along the way to closing a deal. 9. Is It Time to Update or Replace Your Computer?What year did you buy the computer you use most for your work? If you can't easily recall the answer, there's a strong possibility that it is time to update or replace your computer. Here's a brief checklist to help determine if updating your computer's software is enough or if it's time to replace this vital technology that helps you do your job. 10. 7 Secrets to Owning Your AreaAs a Realtor, you have many responsibilities. One of the most important responsibilities is to find prospects and convert them to leads. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Nick Baldwin and Tristan Ahumada shared seven ways for you to do just that.    
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How Do You Say Award-winning AI in Real Estate? Try OJO
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
Spring must be in the air, as our monthly list of our most-read articles is a bit... free-spirited. We kick things off with 19 GIFs and memes (our #1 article) and outrageous marketing ideas (#2). Those who use their laptop more in their car than in their office will appreciate article #4's tutorial on setting up an internet hotspot on the go. Looking for attention? In May, posts about standing out (#5), getting attention with Google ads (#6), and impressing prospects (#9) topped our charts, too. Check them—and more!—out in the list below: 1. 19 Real Estate Memes and GIFs that Will Make You SmileLooking for some fun real estate memes and GIFs to share with your coworkers and clients? Here are 19 animated real estate memes for you to share. 2. 7 Outrageous Real Estate Marketing Ideas that Actually WorkedIf you truly want to stand out from the average real estate business, sometimes you need to take a leap of marketing faith. Agents who are willing to go outside the norm can make massive marketing gains with creative, quirky tactics that other agents aren't willing to try. Grab some outside-the-box marketing inspiration with our look at seven outrageous real estate marketing ideas... that actually worked! 3. Top 10 Real Estate Photography TipsWant your listing to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible? Make sure you listing photos are as good as they can be. In this article, BoxBrownie founder Brad Fillponi shares his expert tips and tricks to nail those all-important shots. By following these simple steps, you can ensure you are showcasing everything your listing has to offer in your photos. 4. No Internet? Here's How to Set Up Your Own HotspotReal estate agents know better than most that sometimes it's just easier to accomplish specific tasks on your laptop than attempt to do the work on your phone. But sometimes those tasks require an internet connection. If you are always on the go, and you don't have a nearby Wi-Fi connection, how can you get instant internet service? Use your smartphone and create your own internet connection for your laptop. Here's how. 5. 5 Tips for Standing Out from Your Real Estate CompetitorsIn real estate, things move fast and the competition doesn't sleep. So what are you doing to stand out? In order to be the go-to agent in your market, you need to be one step ahead of your top competitors. Start with these five quick tips. 6. 12 Tips for Gaining Client Attention with Google AdsGoogle Ads is a proven marketing tool. Real estate agents are using its reach to bring in quality leads that have the potential to become customers. Understanding how to customize this highly targeted advertising approach is key. Use these 12 tips to get the most out of Google Ads. 7. You Won the Listing! Now Create a Winning Marketing StrategyCongrats, you've done it! You followed the plan and you won the listing! Naturally, the next step is to follow through on your marketing plan. It's time to get as many eyeballs on the listing as possible and earn your commission. Learn the four parts of a good marketing plan. 8. Leveraging Google Calendar for Real EstateOne of the most important skills any real estate professional can master is time management. And that is a lot easier when you have the right tools to keep you on track and record what you need to do and when you need to do it. That's where Google Calendar comes into play. 9. A Guide to Making a Great First Impression with Your Real Estate ProspectsAs every real estate agent knows, May is one of the busiest months of the year. Buyers are on the hunt, which makes it a great time to sell quickly and for a good price. So at this crucial time of the year, making the best first impression is most important. Here are a few ways that you can "strike while the iron is hot" and make a great first impression. 10. A-Z Open House TipsIt may seem old school, or even cliche, but open houses are a tried and true way for agents to meet potential clients, break the ice, and gain their business. Whether you're a seasoned pro, or haven't closed your first deal yet, this complete open house guide offers proven tips and strategies.  
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of April
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T3 Sixty Releases Their Industry Rankings
In the same week, REAL Trends released their REAL Trends 500 broker rankings, RISMedia released their Power Broker rankings, and T3 Sixty released their Mega 1000 ranking of the largest brokerages, franchisors, and holding companies. In large part, these firms use self-reported dollar sales volume and unit sales volume data from brokerages and franchises to construct the rankings. As we noted in our article about the REAL Trends list, not all firms report. When you are missing data from companies like Weichert and Redfin, it skews the rankings.
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Reflecting on the REAL Trends 500 Report
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of March
If there's one thing we know, it's this: RE Technology subscribers LOVE reading about photography. As in February, this month an article about listing photos was one of our most read posts of the month--in fact, THE most read post (see #1 below). That's all well and good, because with the spring selling season gearing up, you're going to be shooting a lot more property photos very soon. What else were agents and brokers learning about in March to prepare for the warming real estate market? Apps for better productivity (#3), how to set up a CRM (#8), and how to sell a home for more (#6). Our readers also wanted to know about what NOT to do, with articles about lead generation mistakes and where not to go during a showing clocking in at #2 and #5, respectively. To find out what else made our countdown of the most popular articles of March, check out our list below! *** 1. 57 Hilariously Terrible Real Estate PhotosFrom horror movie-esque, semi-abondened homes for rent to home decor that overshot "unique," the owners and agents behind these funny ads thought things were perfect just as they were for their photos and open houses. If you'd like to see some incredibly terrible property photos and others that will make you question "Why?" the list of funny fails below will provide you with an answer and a few laughs. 2. 5 Lead Generation Mistakes to Avoid in Real EstateWhatever your lead generation strategies are, you've likely fallen into a few of these common traps. Fear not! Trial and error is part of what makes any business thrive. We've put together a list of the top five mistakes we see agents make when it comes to lead generation. If you can avoid these missteps, you'll save yourself a lot of wasted energy! 3. 10 Real Estate Apps that Will Amplify Your ProductivityGone are the days when apps were strictly for early adopters and tech wizards. Nowadays, incorporating business apps into your everyday workflow is the price of admission in the ever-changing, on-the-go real estate landscape. Using these apps can make you more productive, more responsive, and more capable to serve your clients and gain new ones.
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REAL Trends 500 Report Ranks Nation's Largest Real Estate Firms
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RE/MAX and Redfin Announce Exclusive Referral Relationship in U.S. and Canada
RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., parent company of RE/MAX, one of the world's leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, today announced a strategic alliance with Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. The alliance formalizes and expands a long-standing relationship between Redfin and RE/MAX agents via the Redfin Partner Program. In areas where Redfin does not have capacity to serve customers, Redfin refers customers to approved Partner Agents at other brokerages, including participating RE/MAX agents. When the customer closes on a home purchase or sale, Redfin receives a referral fee.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of February
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from January
Welcome to the new year! It's hard to believe that the first month of 2019 is already over. Before we transition fully into February, let's take a look back at what agents and brokers were reading on RE Technology during the month of January. January is resolution season, so it's no surprise that articles about achieving success in the year ahead played well (see articles #2 and #5). Want to improve your language skills in 2019? Check out article #9 for an easy, year-long way to boost your Spanish language real estate vocabulary. If it's your writing skills that you want to polish, article #3 can help you write better listing descriptions. Finally, if it's getting more organized that you desire, check out the list of free spreadsheets in article #1. For new closing gift ideas for the year ahead, see #4. To see what else piqued the interest of your real estate peers, check out the full list below. *** 1. 7 Google Sheet Templates for Real Estate BusinessesIt's crucial to have a base plan for your business. But if you're not the savviest when it comes to spreadsheet sorcery, Google Sheets has you covered. They have a library of pre-made templates to help make organizing your business (and your workouts, finances...life!) much much easier. Let's dive in to a few of of favorite templates for real estate businesses. 2. 8 Characteristics of a Successful Real Estate AgentWhether you are just starting out as a Realtor or have years in the books, there is always room for growth. Steps in the right direction for becoming the best of the best include looking at the type of skills you possess, and the ones you need to work on. Check out our top eight characteristics to begin building upon to become a successful real estate agent. 3. Writing Listing Descriptions that SellWhen buyers are searching for properties online, photos and property descriptions are vital to gaining exposure and showings. The same is true when agents are searching for properties to show their clients. But should the descriptions for both audiences be the same?
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Ron Peltier Tops Annual List of Real Estate's Most Powerful Leaders
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of December
Happy New Year! Before we dive fully into 2019, let's take a look at the month and year that just passed. As our regular readers likely know, each month we publish a list of our most read articles. But every December, we go one step further and count down our 10 most popular articles of the year. You can see the full list of our best articles of 2018 here. Below is our final monthly list of articles from 2018. (We didn't include articles that we re-ran as part of our annual countdown, though several qualified.) Check out what your fellow agents and brokers were reading during the final month of 2018. *** 1. 10 Gorgeous Gadgets and Accessories for Road WarriorsYour car isn't just a way to get from place A to B: it's a mobile office, your space to sing and so much more. We've put together a list of 10 gorgeous gadgets and accessories that every road warrior could use. We tried to choose a mix of high-tech and low-tech items. We also looked at a variety of price points. Which is your favorite gadget or accessory? 2. It's Business Planning Season: 4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid for 2019With less than a month left in 2018, some agents are preparing for the holidays, and others are ramping up their efforts to close with a bang! Personally, I love this time of year precisely because there's so much on the line. It's a chance to finish 2018 strong--and to set yourself up to make 2019 your best year ever. That's why I want to alert you to these Four Costly Business Planning Mistakes to Avoid for 2019. 3. 6 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents MakeWhether you're thinking about becoming a real estate agent, or you're navigating the early years of your career, there's a lot to take in. Colleagues are always full of tips for new real estate agents, and it can be overwhelming! To help make sure you're setting yourself on the right track, we've gathered six common missteps to avoid as you start your career as an agent.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
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Qualtrics to Be Acquired for $8 Billion
Qualtrics is known as one of the leaders in the online survey platform. Many companies in the real estate sector – including RE/MAX in 2013 – have utilized Qualtric's platform to gather informational feedback about services and products from their members, agents, or customers. Qualitrics has been in the process of doing its due diligence for an IPO and someone scooped them up for $8 billion.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of October
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Realogy to Launch Two New Franchise Options to Fuel Growth
Realogy Holdings Corp. today announced plans to franchise Corcoran and Climb Real Estate for the first time, expanding its portfolio of brand offerings for brokers, agents, and consumers. Both Corcoran and Climb plan to begin selling franchise agreements in early 2019. Born in New York City, Corcoran will leverage its strong brand reputation for highly personalized service and groundbreaking marketing to expand beyond its current East Coast owned offices as it targets franchise opportunities in global megacities and sought-after leisure markets both within the United States and internationally.
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OJO Labs + WolfNet: "We partnered a Ferrari with fuel"
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
September--it's not just the first month of fall. In real estate, it's also Realtor Safety Month. We observed the month here at RE Technology by debuting a video series on safe selling. You can watch the most popular of these videos at #9 on the list below of our most read articles of September. What else happened last month? Well, .realestate website domains went on sale early for NAR members only (see article #4 for more details). Apps were top of mind with agents and brokers (see #2 and #6), but ideas for memorable closing gifts won the day--you can see that article at #1 below. *** 1. Memorable Closing Gifts Your Clients Will LoveClosing gifts are a great opportunity to show your client how much of a pleasure it has been working with them throughout the entire home purchasing process. Closing gifts are also the perfect way for your client to remember you fondly after the home closing and hopefully refer you to friends or even hire you as their Realtor again sometime in the future. Here are a few gift ideas for you. 2. 10 Apps that Boost Your Real Estate Marketing FirepowerFor this year's awesome apps article, we've focused on apps REALTORS can use to quickly and effectively ramp up their marketing prowess. Some of these apps have been around for a while, while others are new, but they all provide a unique and polished offering. 3. 16 Definitions Every New Real Estate Agent Should KnowA key component to understanding the general lay of the land as a new real estate agent is to get a handle on the language real estate agents use every day. We've compiled the top 16 definitions you need to know to jumpstart your real estate vocabulary and set you on the path to being a rock star agent!
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Two of the Largest Independent Brokerages Join Forces
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
September is here, and for all intents and purposes, summer is pretty much over. Buy before we say our final goodbye to school-free days and warm weather, let's take a look at what RE Technology members were reading in August. Even though September is Realtor Safety Month, we got a headstart on things with August with a video series on how to safely show a home. You can see the first part of this series at #6 on the list below. What else was on the minds of agents and brokers in August? Refreshing your headshot (#2), FSBOs (#5), and a multitude of ways to drum up new business (#3, #7, #8, #10). You can check out the rest on the list below. *** 1. What Traits Home Buyers Look for Most in Real Estate AgentsWhile every consumer out there has their own taste, personality and priorities, there are certain things all home buyers look for when it comes to choosing their real estate agent. If you're looking for more ways to attract more clients, make sure you're working on improving these essential traits. And if you've ever wondered what made a client pick you over someone else, these could very well be why. 2. Realtor Headshot Photo: Why They Matter and How to Get Your Best One YetAh, the dreaded headshot photo. Some love it, most hate it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a headshot photo that leads to a property sale could be worth several thousand dollars. Headshots will also make you appear more honest to potential clients searching the web for potential Realtor candidates. They're important in building your personal brand. Get your best headshot yet with these picture perfect tips. 3. 8 Unique and Simple Ways to Get Real Estate LeadsTraditional methods of lead generation may be simple, but they may not be very effective, and they surely aren't very much fun. What follows is a list of simple, creative, outside-the-box methods for lead generation. Not only are they simple, but they cost little to no money, and you might even have some fun with them.
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Newscorp Acquires Opcity for $210 Million
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
Social media was on the minds of real estate agents and brokers in July, according to our latest list of the top 10 most read articles of the month. (See #4, #6 and #7 below.) But our #1 article last month was a topic that's top of mind for many Realtors--safety on the job. Our #1 article was the first in a new series of weekly videos that covers the ins and outs of agent safety. What else were agents and brokers reading last month? Check out the list below to find out! *** 1. Realtor Safety: Opening a Lockbox and DoorIn-person showings are fraught with potential dangers for real estate agents. So how can agents stay safe on the job? This new video series shows agents all the subtle safety tips they need to know. This week, learn how to open a lockbox or property door without turning your back on your prospect--a vulnerable position for Realtors alone in the field. 2. No Image, No Active Listing... PERIOD!In this day and age, it is ridiculous to be on a property site and see active listings with no images included. If we want to give sellers the marketing exposure their property deserves--and buyers the shopping experience they require--then it's time to get us past this problem once and for all! 3. What First-Time Home Buyers Want to KnowAs a first-time home buyer, where do you even begin? Saving enough cash to cover a down payment is a big enough hurdle to get over, but that's just the beginning. The entire process can be intimidating and overwhelming. Mortgages, offers and negotiations, inspections, homeowners insurance, property taxes, the list goes on. That's where you, the agent, come in.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
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Ben Caballero is at the Top of the 2018 'The Thousand' List, Again
Ben Caballero has earned the title "real estate legend." Fifty years as a Realtor, 18 years as a builder, dozens of years as an innovator, and the first Guinness World Record holder for real estate sales. Today, for the sixth time in a row, he is atop REAL Trends "The Thousand" list as published in The Wall Street Journal. The REAL Trends list is THE ranking of the top agent in the U.S.; highly coveted, it is well documented and the industry's established benchmark for agent ranking.
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eXp Realty Founder Glenn Sanford Named a Glassdoor Top CEO in 2018
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NAREE Conferences Continue to Break New Ground
WAV Group attended the NAREE conference for the fifth consecutive year. More than a few of our team members, like Kevin Hawkins, have attended nearly every year of their career. Here is the inside word. If you want to be heard, you need to be a newsmaker. The key to getting access to be heard is establishing a relationship with journalists – otherwise, you are a whisper.
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Northwood Acquires Penn.-based BHHS The Preferred Realty
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
The summer selling season? If it hasn't hit your market yet, it's heading at you full-barrel. And in these times of lean inventory (see article #4), it's more important than ever to be 'on point' in order to win the listing over the competition. How are agents and brokers prepping for victory? Our top 10 articles from last month shine a light on the most popular strategies. Want to create CMAs that convert more leads? Check out article #3. Then, learn how to follow-up on that CMA with article #7, The Free Home Valuation Email Series that Gets the Listing. To take better listing photos, see article #6. For ideas on how to generate a steady stream of leads, see article #2. And for seven ways to stay safe on the job, see article #10: Top 7 Safety Tips for Real Estate Agents. For more ways rock the summer selling season, check out our list of the most popular articles of May below! *** 1. 5 Signs That Sellers Are Itching to UnloadEvery seller wants to sell their property – otherwise they wouldn't be listing. But sometimes sellers get a bit carried away. And smart real estate buyer's agents know the signs: The signs sellers need to get out of Dodge. With the right foresight, you and your clients can snag a sale fast – and at a great price. 2. How to Consistently Generate 2-5 Leads per DayIt all comes back to leads. How successful you are in real estate is determined by how many you can generate, contact, and convert, so if you want to be a six-figure agent you need a consistent influx of leads and a dependable conversion strategy. Find out the essentials in this article! 3. 16 Ways to Make Your CMA Presentations PopWhen it comes to presentations, you have to put your best foot forward. Every other agent out there (more or less) is doing them digitally too, so in order to stand out, you have to do more. We've got you covered with tips on seller, buyer, open house, and all other presentation types. Try these to stand out.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of April
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of March
Spring has finally arrived, and while there may still be a chill in the air, soon the weather and the housing market will heat right up. Before things get too crazy, take a moment to prepare yourself for the season ahead--our monthly list of the most popular articles is a good place to start. In March, real estate agents and brokers were eating up articles about listing presentation do's and don'ts (article #4), email marketing (#3 and #9), converting open house leads (#5), and more. Want a taste? Check out our list of the most popular articles of March below: *** 1. The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLSWhen it comes to choosing listing photos, more is typically better. Consumers want a thorough understanding of what a home looks like before they reach out for more information. But if you can't upload a ton of photos, due to time or budget restraints, what is the bare minimum number of photos you should add to your listing on the MLS? 2. 6 Unorthodox Ways to Use Airplane Mode on Your PhoneWhat can you accomplish when you cut your smartphone off from the world? No wi-fi, no voice, no data--nothing but literal radio silence? A whole lot, it turns out. There are plenty of creative uses for Airplane Mode, so today we're going to show you a sampling of the best. 3. 10 Real Estate Lead Conversion Emails You'll Want to Send in 2018The fastest way to modernize your outreach is to implement anticipated, relevant, timely, personalized email campaigns. To help, here are 10 real estate email templates that will bring your communication into the digital age, for digital buyers.
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REAL Trends 500 Report Ranks Nation's Largest Real Estate Firms
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of February
Putting yourself on the map—literally—was on the minds of agents and brokers in February, according to our top 10 most read articles of the month. In our second most read article of the February, we learned the dangers of "geotagging" yourself in online posts. Our #1 article was also map related—Google Maps, that is, and the features you may not know about. You may not know that you can use Instagram without posting photos, too, so head to article #5 to learn how. Want to discover new promotion ideas you may not be using? Check out article #3! The rest of this month's top articles cover ground like the worth of open houses (#8), accessories that enhance your smartphone (#6), social media fails (#7), and beyond. Want to see what else was popular reading amongst your peers in February? Check out our list below! 1. 5 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could DoGoogle Maps does much more than get you from point A to point B. Maps actually has a whole list of functions – some more useful than others. Here are some cool ways Google Maps can help your real estate business run more efficiently. 2. Geotagging: How It Can Put You at Risk, and 4 Ways to Stay SafeWhile geotagging can be fun and convenient, it's important to be aware of how geotagging works--and its potentially unpleasant side. Because although we may like the benefits and convenience of geotagging, there are also dangers that come with it. 3. 14 Real Estate Promotion Ideas You Might Not Be UsingReal estate agents need to be social media and internet savvy as well as personable. Buyers and sellers are spending more time online, which means real estate agents need to mix tactics to reach new prospects. Here are 14 new and old-school real estate marketing ideas and tactics you can use to make yourself known and therefore get more leads.
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HUNT Real Estate Buys Large Boston Brokerage
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of January
One of the best parts of a new year is all the content aimed at helping real estate agents and brokers set and achieve their goal in the year ahead. In our monthly list of the top 10 most read articles on RE Technology are articles on honing your 2018 marketing strategy (article #9) and apps that can simplify your life (#5). Looking to communicate better in 2018? Check out article #3 for text messages that win over leads or article #2 to learn which spam-triggering words to avoid in your email subject lines. Are you looking to hone your skills this year, but don't have access to training opportunities at your brokerage? Look to article #8 for advice on taking your education into your own hands. What else were real estate agents and brokers reading on RE Technology in January? Check out the full list below to find out! *** 1. Friday Freebie: The 6 Emails Every Agent Should Be SendingEmail is an effective and affordable tool that lets you connect with a wide range of contacts--from new leads to current clients to former clients and beyond. If you're not sure what type of emails you should be sending, this guide offers six foundational emails that you can use as the base of your email strategy. 2. 50 Words Real Estate Agents Should NOT Use in Email Subject LinesIn the world of email marketing, subject lines are a tricky one. There have been countless studies conducted across a wide range of industries to find out which subject lines are most effective. Our opinion? Spend the energy learning what NOT to do in regards to email subject lines, rather than staying on top of the latest research and trends. 3. Use These 3 Text Message Pickup Lines to Land Your Next Real Estate AppointmentThere are a lot of strategies you can rely on to grab appointments through text messages, but one that's often ignored is using the right "pickup line." As strange as it might sound, there are certain lines that work better than others. Here are a few examples that you can use (or seek inspiration from).
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Pam O'Connor Retiring as CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of December
Happy 2018! Before we turn our full attention to the year ahead, let's take a moment on the month and year that just passed. As our regular readers know, every month we publish a list of our most read articles. But every December, we go one step further and count down our 10 most popular articles of the year. You can see the full list of our best articles of 2017 here. Below is our final monthly list of articles from 2017. (We didn't include articles that we re-ran as part of our annual countdown, though several qualified.) Have a look to see what struck your peers' fancy during the last month of the year. *** 1. Friday Freebie: The Realtor Tool that Creates Killer CMAsMany people use a dedicated CMA tool to create their reports. But did you know there's another tool that all Realtors have access to that can create knockout CMAs, too? And that, best of all, it's absolutely free? 2. 20+ Scripts and Tips to Help You Communicate Better in 2018We've gathered nearly two dozen resources that will help make you a better communicator in the year ahead. From lead closing scripts to tips on reading body language, learn how you can better connect with clients and up your real estate game in 2018. 3. Friday Freebie: Social Media and Business Planning Checklists for 2018Do you dream of more business and more commissions in the year ahead? Don't. Instead of wishing for success in 2018, plan for it. If you're not sure how to get started, we've got a cheat sheet of sorts for you--two of them, in fact! Read on to learn how you can download two FREE checklists that will help you get your business ready for 2018!
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eXp Realty Named a Best Place to Work in Glassdoor's 2018 Employees' Choice Awards
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of November
 The holidays started a little early in the minds of our readers this year, if November's most popular articles are any indication. November saw articles about Veteran's Day (article #4), holiday marketing (#7), and selling homes in winter (#2) draw big numbers. But seasonal thoughts weren't the only thing that piqued our readers' interest last month. Check out our #1 article to learn more about the free Realtor safety app that NAR now offers, or articles #6 and #8 to learn how to attract buyer and seller leads online. What else were RE Technology readers enthusiastically checking out last month? Take a look at our list below to find out! *** 1. Friday Freebie: Realtor Safety Tool Identifies Dangerous ProspectsWeeding out dangerous prospects just got easier, thanks to a new member benefit from the National Association of Realtors. Now Realtors can not only verify the identity of clients before meeting them in person, but they can also see a score denoting that person's trustworthiness—and all in mere minutes. 2. The Best Time to List a House Is in the Winter and Here's WhyPrices may be the highest (and hottest) in the summer, but the best time to list a house is actually near the end of winter. Strange as it may seem, and even counter-intuitive for sellers, buyers are more active and eager to close deals in the winter. 3. The Ultimate Open House StrategyThere are few questions that real estate agents dread more than "When are you going to hold an open house for our property?" Many experienced Realtors cringe at the thought of sitting at an open house on a weekend. Total waste of time, money and energy, right? In this post, we're going to outline exactly what he does to turn an open house into a powerful lead funnel and brand-building machine.
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of October
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The Top 10 Most Popular Articles of September
Got tech questions? We had a lot of answers in September. Our top 10 most read articles of the month offered answers to questions like, Can I post my client's photo on social media? (see article #3) or, What should I do if I drop my smartphone in water? (#4). Want scripts to help you communicate better? Check out article #7 to learn how to handle common objections from prospects and win more appointments. For advice on answering that question that everyone always asks real estate agents, "How's the market?" see our #1 article from September: 1. How to answer, "How's the market?" so strangers never (ever) forget youIf you're a chatty agent who tends to make new friends and contacts wherever you go, you likely hear the following question quite often: "So, how's the market?" Here's the script you should follow to wow your new contact. 2. Open House Pros and Cons for Real Estate Agents"Should I host an open house for my client?" It's a question that nearly every real estate agent asks at some point in their career. Yet, there never seems to be a clear answer. Open house pros and cons have been debated among industry experts for years, and both sides have valid points. Many factors should be considered, including your client's needs, where the house is located and your marketing plan for the home. But to help make your decision, here are some open house pros and cons. 3. Should You Post Your Client's Photo on Social Media?You just listed a home, sold a property, or started working with a new client and the first thing you want to do is brag on social media. It's okay, we all do it and working in the real estate industry, a client-centered marketing focus is necessary to show leads and clients why you are the perfect real estate professional for them. However, before posting your client's photo on social media, take your client's opinions into consideration.
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HomeServices of America Acquires The Long and Foster Companies
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of August
It's official: you made it through the busy summer selling season! Now, it's time bust out the grill and a nice, cold drink as we head into a long holiday weekend. But before you do that, let's take a look back at the articles that were most popular during the last month. They're a great barometer for understanding the topics that most interest your peers. August saw articles about photography (#4) and images for your website (#8) make the cut of our most read posts, as well as scripts for winning listings (#5) and following up with leads (#9). To catch up on other popular articles that ran during the summer, check out our Top 10 lists from June and July. *** 1. 14 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2017Chances are you're a busy REALTOR® who relies on word of mouth or happenstance to learn about the latest and greatest apps. If so, we're here for you. Here are 14 top trending real estate apps that we believe will support your core business activities. The list might even include apps for tasks or practices that you have yet to consider or procrastinated on, concerned they are too expensive or too difficult to adopt. Fear not, almost all of these apps are free or have upgrades starting at just $5 a month. 2. Why Your Neighbors Aren't Calling You to List Their HomesAgents want to dominate their neighborhood and list all the homes. They also realize, however, that these are their neighbors and their friends. They don't want to come off too salesy. But there are ways you can still get in front of your neighbors, establish yourself as the "resident expert" in your neighborhood and get that business you so desperately want (and deserve)—all without coming off too strong. 3. FREE Facebook Features You're Not UtilizingThere are some older features out there on sites like Facebook that real estate agents may or may not be utilizing. Today, I'll show you why the desktop version of Facebook is still one of your best friends. Yes, yes, I know, mobile is king. Nevertheless, the desktop version of Facebook is incredibly powerful for you and your business, and has unique features you can't find anywhere else!
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
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Crye-Leike's Technology Leader Joins Broker Public Portal Board
Gurtej Sodhi, chief information and operations officer of the Crye-Leike Group of Companies, has been named to the board of managers of Broker Public Portal, LLC. Broker Public Portal (BPP) is the collaborative venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs nationwide to create a national consumer home search experience defined by simplicity, integrity and common sense. Crye-Leike Group of Companies is the parent company of Crye-Leike Real Estate Services, the nation's fifth largest independent residential real estate brokerage firm. BPP has partnered with Homesnap to offer the Homesnap application and a new online search tool that provides consumers with direct access to the most comprehensive, timely, and complete property information while adhering to fair display guidelines.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
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Chalk's "The Confident House Hunter" Wins National Book Award
We told you about The Confident House Hunter: A Home Inspector's Tips for Finding Your Perfect House by America's new favorite home inspector Dylan Chalk just before it hit the bookstores and Amazon last year. Well, Dylan just won the Silver Award at the 11th Annual Robert Bruss Real Estate Book Awards, held during the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) conference in Denver last week. In my column from July of last year, I called his book a breakthrough in capturing "A Better, Different Way to Buy" a home. Now he has won one of the highest awards for real estate authors available.
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Broker Public Portal Announces Seven New Board Members
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
Notice anything... different about us? May marked the launch of RE Technology's brand new website! Our website got a major makeover and sports a modern new design that you can now read on your smartphone or tablet. It's just in time for selling season, too. In May, not only did big events like NAR Midyear take place, but the summer selling season officially kicked off. So what was on agents' minds as the busy season began to heat up? Open houses, for one, as posts on the topic made our monthly list of the most popular articles at #5 and #6. In-depth posts on using familiar tools to market our business were big, too, with articles on prospecting with public records (#1) and social media (#4). If you're looking for advice on working with niches, try articles #8 (FSBOs) and #10 (relocations). *** 1. Prospecting with Public Records: 7 Campaigns to Try TodayWe talk a lot about digitally targeting real estate leads—but what about targeting leads the traditional way via postcards and other print marketing pieces? Believe it or not, there's a digital tool you have access to right now that can help you prospect to your geographic farm: your public records tool. 2. Build a Better Listing Presentation PackageCreating the ultimate listing package requires tenacity, creativity and insight. Sellers want to know your presentation is based on a keen sense of the market, your expertise in determining value, and your ability to bring a deal to close in the shortest time possible and at the highest price. The key to nailing your next listing is to prepare—more thoroughly, more accurately and more creatively than your competition. 3. 11 of the Best Real Estate Agent ToolsBeing a real estate agent is challenging, and it's especially hard when you aren't aware of the tools that can help you. Trust us – there's a ton out there that can help if you know where to look. We've compiled a list of the best real estate tools, from mobile apps to CRM services, to help you do your job even better. Start adding to your real estate tech toolbox and become the best equipped agent you can be.
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HomeSmart Acquires Large Colorado Brokerage in Exponential Growth Move
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from March
Spring is finally here (though it may not yet seem like it in certain parts of the country). What that means is that the real estate selling season is imminent. Before things warm up, take a moment to get ready by checking out our most popular educational articles of last month. We kick things off with a free listing and closing checklist you can download to stay organized (#1), advice on polishing your listing presentation (#3), and tips for writing ads that highlight the benefits of your listing, not just the features (that's an old advertising trick—check out #7 to learn more). If you want something a little more fiery, we've got a few articles to spark debate, like MileIQ vs. Everlance—which is the better driving app (#6)? For real controversy, check out article #2 on our list, in which a real life FSBO shares why she didn't hire an agent—and the big mistake the agents who contacted her trying to win her business made. Don't neglect the comments section on this one—the debate there is almost as hot as the article itself! *** 1. Friday Freebie: Stay Organized with Listing and Closing ChecklistsWant a way to go from listing contract to cashed commission check faster? As we say in the RE Technology offices, the key is to "plan your work, and work your plan." This means having a set game plan in place for completing the routine tasks that every listings requires. Many solutions offer activity checklists that agents can use to help set up and close a listing successfully. If your preferred solution doesn't offer checklists—or if the checklists leave something to be desired—this Friday Freebie is for you! 2. True Confessions of a FSBOI work closely with real estate agents every day. Dozens of my closest friends are real estate agents. And I put my home on the market to sell it myself. I was a FSBO. It was quite the experience. I learned so much that I want to share some intel with you, my real estate professional friends. 3. 21 Steps to a Stellar Listing PresentationIt's all here. Twenty-one great ideas for building your listing business from the ground up, all neatly packaged in a step-by-step action plan. Let us know how it goes.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from February
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Realogy Announces Franchise Group Leadership Succession Plan
Realogy Holdings Corp., the largest full-service residential real estate services company in the United States, today announced the promotion of John Peyton to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for the Realogy Franchise Group (RFG), effective April 1, 2017. Peyton will succeed Alex Perriello, long-time Chief Executive Officer of RFG, who will serve in a senior advisory capacity as Chairman Emeritus for RFG. In his new role as President and CEO, Peyton will be responsible for managing RFG's portfolio of leading real estate franchise brands, including the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, ERA® and Sotheby's International Realty® real estate brands as well as ZapLabs LLC, Realogy's innovation and technology development hub. Peyton, who joined RFG as President and Chief Operating Officer in October 2016, previously served for 17 years as a senior executive with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. "John Peyton has brought a fresh perspective to our company from his tenure as a global branding leader in the hospitality industry, and I am confident in his ability to continue leveraging his valuable insight on behalf of our leading real estate brands," said Richard A. Smith, Realogy's Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. "He is the right business leader to focus our efforts and execute our plans for continued strategic growth and innovation at the Realogy Franchise Group. John has been working closely with Alex for the past five months, and we expect a smooth leadership transition."
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from January
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LeadingRE Names Marci Rossell as Chief Economist
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), the world's largest community of high-quality independent real estate companies, today announced the appointment of Marci Rossell as the company's first chief economist. Rossell, Ph.D., will be the voice of LeadingRE's global economic research. Rossell has a long history in analyzing the economic market from an international perspective. Former Chief Economist for CNBC and a groundbreaking financial journalist, Rossell also served as corporate economist and investment spokesperson for OppenheimerFunds, one of the nation's largest mutual fund companies. She began her career as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Southern Methodist University. In her new role, Rossell will provide updates and strategic economic insights for members of LeadingRE, as well as Luxury Portfolio International®, the luxury face of the company. "It's critical for us to provide our members with in-depth economic analysis on a global basis," said Paul Boomsma, COO of LeadingRE and president of Luxury Portfolio. "Marci has the innate ability to explore complex economic issues and make them relevant to people's lives, families and their home buying and selling decisions."
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2017 Inman Influencers List Recognizes WAV Group Leadership and Clients
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December's Top 10 Articles: A Final Look Back at 2016
Happy New Year! Before we turn our full attention to 2017, let's take a moment on the month and year that just passed. As our regular readers know, every month we publish a list of our most read articles. But every December, we go one step further and count down our 10 most popular articles of the year. You can see the full list of our best articles of 2016 here. Below is our final monthly list of articles from 2016. (We didn't include articles that we re-ran as part of our annual countdown, though several qualified.) Have a look to see what struck your peers' fancy during the last month of the year. *** 1. Did You Know You Can Farm a Neighborhood on Facebook JUST Like Postcard Farming? We're getting more and more questions about applying tried and true "old school" real estate marketing tactics to new technologies. One of the most popular of these use cases has to do with using traditional real estate farming strategies in Facebook. Today I'll share with you some ways you can use your traditional farming tactics on this digital platform to get more business and to succeed. 2. Agent Websites Are DeadIf you are planning to invest in a new website, or to update your current website, be sure to think deeply about it, and maybe even think backwards. Let me explain. Most agents do not need websites because they cannot afford to drive traffic to them. So when do you need a website? 3. 17 Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 2017Sometimes real estate agents fall into a rut of marketing in the same way, over and over. In honor of 2017, here are 17 fun and unique ideas to help you be in your community, establish yourself as a real estate expert and strengthen your overall brand.
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Four Brokerage Leaders Join RESO Board of Directors
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John Aaroe Group of Los Angeles Merges With Pacific Union
John Aaroe Group of Los Angeles has entered into a merger agreement with Pacific Union. The combination of the two firms will bring them in line with both Alain Pinel Realtors and RealtyONEGroup, two other California based firms in the national top 10 with sales in the $12 billion range. John Aaroe Group will retain all of its branding and management. John Aaroe Group is one of the leading independent firms on the west side of Los Angeles with more then 400 agents across nine offices in the communities of Pasadena, Downtown LA, Toluca Lake, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Baldwin Hills, Sunset Strip, Brentwood, and the fabulous Rodeo Drive office in Beverly Hills. The firm does just under $2.5 billion in transactions and currently has just under 200 listings ranging from a low of $840,000 to a high of $135 million. Here is an overview of the combined entity: This is the second deal of this size completed by Pacific Union CEO Mark McLaughlin. No one is really sure what inspired McLaughlin in 2009 when he was operating his boutique Morgan Lane office. But inspired he was. That was the year that he purchased Pacific Union from Brookfield, which was the same size as the John Aaroe Group. At the time, Pacific Union was doing about $2.2 billion in transactions with 430 agents across 17 offices. Since that time, Pacific Union has grown to one of the 10 largest real estate firms in America with sales under $9 billion. Pacific Union was grown by developing brokerage operation excellence, hard work and the development of great agents. The expectation is that similar growth projection are available for John Aaroe Group. The similarity of the transaction size is uncanny. The two firms have the same DNA, they are independent, strong brands, great agents, full service, offering luxury real estate services to the middle and upper price points of the market. Both firms work smart, agile, and 100 percent focused on the culture within their company. To be sure, a real estate agent has arrived in real estate when they are invited to join Pacific Union or John Aaroe group. Neither firm wants very many agents, but both seek to attract the industry's best professionals and to support each one at cultivating a strong, successful book of business. Pacific Union has seen some remarkable growth through many of their technology innovations that John Aaroe Group will now enjoy.
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How did Ben Caballero – America’s #1 agent – smash his own $1B record? Hint: Builder Platform
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from November
November was... quite an adventure. Between the presidential election, NAR Annual and Thanksgiving, I think it's safe to say that most of us are worn out. So it's with some relief that we're posting our round-up of the most read articles of the month--because it means the month is finally over! There were some interesting readership patterns this month. Since October, we've been seeing a lot of articles talking about preparing for 2017. We don't often see these until mid-December, but this year, they're out early and in force. In fact, you can read one at #10 on this list. I guess that means that many of us are already mentally checking out of 2016. That's okay, though. These cooler months are perfect for learning new skills, tools, and strategies to grow your business. Take the time to prepare yourself for the year ahead--we've got 10 great articles below that can help you get started! *** 1. Facebook Housing Ads Run into Trouble with HUD We talk a lot about Facebook advertising--and for good reason. It's one of the best ways to reach consumers, thanks to finely tuned targeting options. However, those targeting options are exactly what got the social network in trouble with HUD recently, who said that some targeting criteria may violate the Fair Housing Act. 2. 12 Proven Real Estate Lead Generation SourcesLead generation can be hard work, but you know that feeding leads into your funnel is one of the most important tasks on your to-do list, so you keep doing it. Dirk Zeller, CEO of Real Estate Champions, recently recommended several ways to generate leads more efficiently. Here, we've taken those recommendations and expanded on them with tips and tricks relating them to you. 3. How to Take Incredible Listing PhotosAre you taking the best photos possible of your listing? If you aren't, it might be the reason the listing is still on the market. First impressions are so important and that's why you need quality photographs of your listing. Learn the tricks to using a DSLR with Dave Dugdale!
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from October
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Elm Street Technology Poised for Acquisition Growth
Prem Luthra founded Elm Street Technology this year, and they are off to a fast start. Before founding Elm Street Technology, Luthra was a member of the senior leadership team at Real Estate Digital when the company was sold to Nationstar Mortgage, the parent company of Xome. After serving as Xome's Chief Marketing Officer for over a year, Luthra decided to leave Xome to pursue his vision of creating Elm Street Technology, which he formed in February with a group of investors. In July, Randall Kaplan joined Elm Street as its Chairman through the first acquisition, Listingbook. In September, Elm Street also acquired RLS2000, a well-known broker and agent website provider and marketing services firm based in the New England. Elm Street Technology is in the process of rolling up successful technology and service companies that, when complete, can deliver everything a broker or agent needs from lead generation to customer for life retention solutions. Luthra has had a string of wins in the real estate industry, with DNA that connects to the core of the evolution of real estate technology. His career was launched as a member of the team at Realtor.com that I call the Four Horsemen – Prem Luthra, Ben Graboske, Marty Frame, and Errol Samuelson. This team was instrumental in Realtor.com's success. Graboske left to join First American, spun out and led CoreLogic before leaving to become an executive with Black Knight Financial. Marty Frame left with Luthra to start up Cyberhomes for Bill Foley of Fidelity National. Frame was part of the team that sold/licensed Cyberhomes to create what is now NAR's Realtor Property Resource. Samuelson extended his career at Realtor.com and then jumped ship to join the executive leadership at Zillow Group, where he has been active in M&A activities. Luthra joined the Real Estate Digital executive team, where they sold the company once, bought the company back, then sold it again.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles from September
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Gurtej Sodhi Promoted
Two years into being assigned the role of the Chief Strategist in addition to being Crye-Leike's Chief Information Officer, Gurtej Sodhi has been promoted to the position of Chief Information and Operations Officer for the Crye-Leike Group of Companies. In his new role, Sodhi is chartered with the responsibility of ensuring that all the business units utilize the best systems and processes to operate in the most effective and productive manner. He reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Harold Crye. Technology, systems, and processes are all becoming critical to achieving maximum efficiency, noted Crye. "Gurtej has successfully delivered in all the roles he has undertaken over the past two decades as Crye-Leike has grown geographically, along with diversifying into multiple business units," said Crye. "As a key member of the senior executive team, we expect him to guide and assist all the business unit presidents in attaining a unified vision and cohesive goal of sustained growth and profitability in this role." "I am excited and optimistic to play a part in helping Crye-Leike's future success and aligning the business operations and technology for all our units in an integrated manner to deliver the best results for our agents, employees and customers," said Sodhi. "I am thankful and honored by the trust and confidence placed in me."
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Summer's End: Our 10 Most Popular Articles from August
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of July
Fireworks, pundits, and political conventions--July was a bit noisy this year! For most agents and brokers, it was more than a bit busy too, since summer is the height of the real estate selling season. To find out which articles our readers leaned on most to help them manage their increased workload, check out our list of the most popular articles from July. (P.S. August already?! If anyone knows where summer went, please let us know in the comments below.)  1. 5 Things You Didn't Know Your Lockbox Could Do A new partnership between two NAR Realtor benefits is making it easier for agents to impress buyers during a showing. Sentrilock has teamed up with RPR to offer agents one-click access to RPR property data from the SentriSmart mobile app. We think that's pretty neat, and it got us thinking about other cool things that lockboxes and their mobile apps can do. Here are the top five things you may not know your lockbox can do. 2. How to Find FSBO Leads without Lifting a FingerProspecting for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) properties has long been a favorite strategy of agents looking for potential listings. If this is a lead generation method you use (or want to), we've got a way to unearth FSBOs that requires virtually no effort on your part. 3. What Successful Agents Do Differently: 12 TechniquesWhy are some agents successful and others not? Well, it's not chance. Mike Ferry has been observing successful agents for 40 years, and now he shares the 12 things that sets successful and unsuccessful agents apart. #6 at 5:38 is the gem.
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of June
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of May
May was a whirlwind of activity, from NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. to the release of our 2016-17 Technology Guide. And with the spring/summer selling season finally underway, things are only going to get busier! So relax and take a minute to catch up on what your fellow agents have been reading lately. We've rounded up our most popular articles of May right here for your reading pleasure. 1. 184 Things You Do for Real Estate Clients (and they don't even know it) This list has appeared in several places across the web, but it's such a powerful and comprehensive collection of little-known services, we wanted to capture it and create a version you could use with your own client conversations — helping your sellers understand the critical role you play in their real estate transaction. 2. The 3 Deadly Sins of Real Estate SalespeopleWhy does the profession of selling real estate pay so much to some and so little to the rest? What's the secret of top producers? What do they do that is so different? The answer is to STOP committing the Three Deadly Sins of Real Estate Sales. Let's start by identifying the three most common "crimes" REALTORS commit. I call them the "Three Ps." In this overview, we will review each one and I'll tell you how to overcome them. 3. 10 Signs You're Married to a Real Estate Agent"I can't quite place my finger on it, but I'm having suspicions that my husband is secretly pursuing a real estate career. Am I being crazy?" We get this question – and others along the same lines – all the time. It's time we address the issue of real estate agents in our communities head on.
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Broker Public Portal Reveals Partnership and Plan
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Upstream Names Alex Lange President and CEO
WAV Group is pleased to officially announce and welcome Alex Lange to the UpstreamRE project as its first CEO. WAV Group has worked with the Upstream founders and Board of Managers as their consultant, curating the vision, shepherding the vendor selection process, working with the technology workgroup to kick off development, and now transitioning to Alex. I have known and worked with Alex for years and believe that the Board of Managers made an excellent choice. Working with our industry's leadership has been a most rewarding experience. I am especially thankful for the support of so many fellow teammates – especially Craig Cheatham, Dana Strandmo, Cary Sylvester, Gurtej Sodhi, and all of the board leadership. It has been a pleasure to serve at your side. The press release follows: Upstream™ Names Alex Lange President and CEO UpstreamRE, LLC, the broker-owned company responsible for the Upstream data management solution, announced today that Alex Lange has been named president and CEO, effective June 1. Lange is the first employee to be hired for the highly anticipated initiative. In his role, Lange will work with the Upstream™ board of managers to ensure that the organization has a well-articulated, long-range strategy in addition to a successful initial launch. A primary task will be to monitor the operational and technical work of Upstream's vendor, Realtors Property Resource (RPR), and ensure that software development, testing and implementation remain on schedule. He will establish working relationships and cooperative arrangements with all stakeholders, including brokers and agents, MLSs, vendors and partnering organizations.
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Buyside Ramps Up Nationwide Adoption and Engages Industry Veteran to Lead Expansion Initiatives
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Top 10 Most Popular Articles of January
From trend pieces to business planning tips, making 2016 the best year it possibly can be is a theme that runs through our list of the most popular articles from January. It may (already!) be February, but don't think it's too late to put into practice the suggestions you'll encounter in the list below! 2016 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. Top 8 Real Estate Gadgets for 2016 In 2015, technology became even more necessary, wearables more popular and smart phones got even smarter. We've reached the golden age of gadgets, and it's time to begin planning for what will come in the year ahead. We've made a list of the top gadgets that will help drive your business forward in 2016. 2. Messaging That Drives Lead ConversionGary Ashton of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage knows a thing or two about online lead conversion. His team is killing it with a successful program that blends traditional, hard real estate work with online excellence. The team does a lot of things right, but the goal of our conversation was to learn a few of the top triggers that Mr. Ashton considers to be most effective. 3. Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016Break out the hammer and nails: 2016 is predicted to be a strong year for home remodeling, according to a Harvard study. Agents and brokers looking for potential listing leads can use this as an opportunity to connect. But how do you know what's "in" (and what's not) this season so that you can better engage consumers? A recent report from Zillow Digs, which factors what consumers are looking for with insight from home design experts, points to the following trends. You can use these ideas as a starting point when looking for content to share.
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RESO and the Real Estate Tech Startup: What's in it for you?
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BOLD Move: Pacific Union Names Selma Hepp New Vice President, Business Intelligence
In an email dated January 25, 2016, Pacific Union CEO Mark McLaughlin writes: In a bold move within the residential real estate industry, Pacific Union names Selma Hepp to the newly created position of 'Vice President, Business Intelligence.' Selma joins Pacific Union from her position as Chief Economist for Trulia. Prior to Trulia, Hepp was Senior Economist for the California Association of Realtors and Economist for the National Association of Realtors, both trade organizations dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Selma's Ph.D. in Urban Economics, complemented by her deep expertise in understanding market dynamics in the western U.S. will give our team of professionals' insightful intelligence to help your clients make key decisions regarding how and where they will live. Selma will further monitor and write commentaries on housing markets, urban economics, international housing markets, and demographic trends. She earned her Master's degree from SUNY at Buffalo and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. In 2016, Pacific Union will make significant investments in business intelligence and technology advancements. These investments are designed to gain thorough understanding from a quantitative perspective; client demographics and empirical market dynamics on a hyperlocal basis. Our investments will give Pacific Union Real Estate Professionals definitive buyer profiles and specific marketing tactics to access key buyer segments.
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Swanepoel Power 200 Recognizes RE Technology Founders
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The Future is Now: Thought Leadership from Two of Inman's Top 101
If you read RE Technology regularly, you're sure to have seen the name "WAV Group" pop up more than a few times. Its founding partners, Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund, are also the founders of RE Technology and the dominant voice on our agent and broker channels. We're proud to announce that both Marilyn and Victor were recently named to Inman's annual list of the top leaders in the real estate industry. The award recognizes their forward thinking visions about how the industry can and must adapt to change. Marilyn, according to Inman, is "an articulate spokesperson about the threats and the challenges faced by the industry," while Victor is "an advocate for big strategic initiatives that the legacy industry must undertake to survive." "It's interesting to be acknowledged as one of the industry leaders because we operate a very small business," Victor told me earlier today. "The recognition is more of a testament to the privilege we have to work with so many MLSs, brokers, and technology companies as their servant." The recognition is also a testament to the huge potential impact of several key industry wide initiatives that WAV Group is working on: Supporting the communications of the Real Estate Standards Organization as they roll out Data Dictionary certification and the RESO API REDPLAN's efforts to protect the assets of the real estate industry and to defend those assets against patent trolls and other nefarious activities Supporting the Broker Public Portal in its strides to build a national MLS consumer facing website Helping Project Upstream become operational now that they've secured the support of NAR and selected RPR as their vendor
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Century 21 Does It Again: Sweeps JD Powers for Customer Satisfaction of Buyers and Sellers
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Upstream Revealed
As many of you know, WAV Group has been working with a group of brokers and franchises for more than a year on a project called Upstream. Today, Upstream is a corporation with one of the strongest board of directors in our industry. It has been an honor to work with the board along with the CIOs and CTOs of their corporations to define the Upstream application and talk to enterprise level technology firms who have the capacity to deliver such an enormous solution. Until now, very little information has been shared openly across the industry. Until the company's governance was established, the application specified, and a vendor sourced – there was little to say. Upstream has been theoretical. It is about to become operational. Although I love to write, the best explanation of the project comes from one of the directors, Craig Cheatham. Cheatham is also responsible for the operation of The Realty Alliance think tank, a group of 85 of the largest brokerage firms in America. Below are his words. (Italics are mine.) Upstream is a broad-based effort owned by brokers and designed to be managed at the strategic level by brokers, elected by brokers to a board and run at the operational level by a contracted vendor. (Upstream is for all brokers, not just large firms.) Upstream is a platform for data entry, data storage and data distribution. It is not a multiple listing service or a service that interfaces with the public in any way. Upstream is designed to operate outside of the core MLS functions of cooperation, compensation and valuation (and the enforcement of policies and practices relating to those). (WAV Group researched brokerages and franchises and learned that they almost all universally manage data sets not included in the MLS and that much of the MLS data is keyed into systems before it qualifies as an MLS listing.)
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Proxio Acquires PCMS Consulting
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Broker Public Portal Elects Executive Committee
The Broker Public Portal announces that the Board of Managers has selected the first Executive Committee. Chairman: Merle Whitehead, CEO Realty USA Vice Chairman: John Mosey, CEO NorthstarMLS Secretary: Craig McClelland, Director Metro Brokers Treasurer: Paul Wells, CEO RE/MAX Barrington At Large: Cameron Paine, CEO Connecticut MLS At Large: Chris Heller, CEO Keller Williams Realty "It's an honor to contribute to this vital initiative," says Chairman Whitehead. "The resolve to introduce a new type of property search portal for consumers has never been stronger. Now that we have our new Board of Managers and Executive Committee in place, the talented team can advance the portal project." John Mosey, Vice Chairman, said, "I am proud to be able to contribute to this initiative. It is a great example of how MLSs and the broker community can work together to bring some balance back to the industry such that brokers have a new choice in how and where to display their listings. Moreover, consumers will now have a direct pipeline to the same kind of quality property information that their agents experience everyday when they sign on to their MLS."
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Project Upstream Revealed
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Top 10 Articles from April
Spring selling season is underway--a fact underscored by our list of last month's most popular articles. In April, articles on taking great listing photos, time management, all varieties of marketing and preparing homes and clients for real estate's busiest time of year were all the rage. Here's a look at what else captured the attention of agents and brokers. 1. Discussing the Zestimate in Your Listing Presentation As a real estate agent, you understand plenty about the real estate market. One of the more awkward experiences that you can have is discussing the Zestimate in a listing presentation. The best way to discuss the Zestimate is to go in prepared. It is likely that your prospect has already looked at the Zestimate or discussed it with another REALTOR® or a friend anyway. Here are four steps for starting this conversation. 2. 5 Easy Composition Tricks for Better Listing PhotosDo you suffer from lackluster listing photos? Unclear or carelessly composed snapshots of the home you're selling can leave consumers underwhelmed and uninterested. Fortunately, it's easy to improve the quality of your photos. The following tips are easy to implement and help breathe life into dull listing photographs. 3. 3 Forms of Tech That Are Changing the Real Estate MarketThe future is right around the corner. Agents and brokers need to prepare for digital technology that could (maybe) change how or why people buy and sell homes. Here are our top three emerging real estate technologies that could (again, maybe) affect the real estate industry in a big, bad way.
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Broker Public Portal Elects First Board of Managers
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Lone Wolf Scores Investment Capital
It is always welcome news whenever fresh capital comes into the real estate industry. It's the fuel for innovation. Lone Wolf joins the list of private companies like DocuSign and others that are getting the support from investment capital. WAV Group partners Marilyn Wilson and Victor Lund had a phone interview with Lone Wolf CEO Lorne Wallace to talk about the strategy of bringing on an investor. "We are in an unusual time in our company's growth," says Wallace. Through growing core products like brokerWOLF and strategic acquisitions, Lone Wolf has grown revenue to over $25 million in sales. "Having a minority partner like Vista Equity Partners brings two important capabilities to the company: the capital for future acquisitions and the consulting expertise Vista has developed in growing other enterprise software companies." Lone Wolf is entering a new phase of company growth that has expectations for doubling the size of the company at a fast but well managed rate. Vista was selected from a pool of investors that have been in pursuit of investments in real estate technology. Wallace focused on finding a partner that would ask the right questions that would lead to the success of all of their product lines. Vista has deep experience on measuring customer support, churn, and compensation levels.
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Behind the Scenes of the Swanepoel Power 200 Rankings
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RealScout Secures $6M to Empower Brokers and Agents with Collaborative Search
When the Department of Justice and the National Association of REALTORS® agreed to a settlement that made virtual office website platforms available to every broker in the nation, WAV Group expected widespread adoption and innovation of client servicing tools leveraging full/VOW data. It did not happen. Perhaps it was because of the economy was slumping or perhaps it was because of category killers like Listingbook, rDesk, and AgentAchieve. Regardless, we have kept our eyes open for innovation. A Silicon Valley based company called RealScout jumped up on the radar in a significant way this week with the announcement of over $6 million funding round. We were aware of the company because the tool has been in use by one of America's top teams – Ken DeLeon, always ranked among the top teams in America by sales volume. Ken DeLeon is in a super competitive marketplace where massive firms like Alain Pinel Realtors, Intero, Coldwell Banker NRT, and Sotheby's NRT are duking it out. Moreover, tech brokers like Redfin and NRT's Zip Realty have a massive online presence that rivals Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com. Moreover, MLSListings has a superb client-servicing tool. To stay on track with a goal of $500M in sales this year, Ken has put RealScout front and center as the means for servicing the firm's clients. All of his agents are employees, not independent sales reps. Today, he employs 42 staff members, many with degrees in accounting or law to augment their real estate license. It is a unique and impressive organization. Before DeLeon's brokerage-wide launch of RealScout, his clients were mostly using the MLS portal or Redfin. "With RealScout, my clients can use natural language search – large backyard, near Google Shuttle Stop, etc. – 17 sales have come from RealScout as defined by customers. Clients use it as their primary search tool," said DeLeon. I spoke with him at 6:30 Sunday night, where he is easy to find in his office. "My customers love the categories and tagging solutions in the RealScout search. Clients can leave notes for our agents."
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