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Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
When 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. If the sellers have moved out of the home before it has sold and taken all of their furniture with them, it is highly recommended to invest in furniture rentals.
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5 Tips for Building Trust with Clients
Real estate is, first and foremost, a business based on client relations. Real estate agents provide a personal connection that can't be replaced, which means building trust with clients is crucial. Set yourself up for success from the start--here are some ways to foster that agent-client relationship.
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How Personal Is Your Brand?
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Managing the Meltdown: Successfully Navigating Your Clients through a Stress-Free Home Buying Process
Moving into a new home is among the most stressful events an individual will go through in their lifetime, right up there with a divorce, the death of a loved one and the loss of a job. Yet surprisingly, most real estate agents are never taught how to manage a client's emotions in a way that will prevent a meltdown from occurring. By using a few simple techniques and front-loading the process to show clients what they can expect at each step of their journey, it's possible to mitigate and even avoid meltdowns, says Steve Wener, a San Diego-based real estate agent.
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5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
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Helping Consumers Make Better Real Estate Decisions, Confidently
Moving into a more normalized market, you are bound to face some hesitation from clients. Here are a few tips for getting them off the fence and to the signing table. The problem in real estate today is not due to a lack of information. It's the opposite, in fact. Consumers quite literally have the world at their fingertips to find information about where the market is going, whether average prices are going up or down, what the going mortgage rate is, etc. And most will have done plenty of research before they consider meeting with an agent. Not only can this lead to information overload, but oftentimes the information they find is either false or misleading. Confusion can make people fearful of buying or selling their home. So how do you get even the most hesitant buyers and sellers off the fence? And more importantly, how can you be sure they are confident with their decision?
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How MoveEasy Saves You Money When You Move
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Anatomy of a Successful Real Estate Agent
Oversaturated markets give consumers an abundance of options, but make it difficult for brands and vendors to stand out. With so many choices in a competitive playing field, real estate agents really have to differentiate themselves to stand out from the crowd – and become a powerful player in the market for the long-term. Here are the seven essential ingredients that lead to success in real estate.
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[Best of 2018] Fire Your Client: The 4 Types of Real Estate Clients You Should Cut Ties With
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Why Creating Value for Clients Is Important and How to Effectively Do It
As online home buying and selling web tools advance, real estate agents have started fearing that clients will believe their commission isn't justifiable with the services they provide. Creating value for clients by showing them how much easier the home buying and selling process is with an agent is the best way to earn referrals and get past clients to want to do business with you again. Here are a few of the most effective ways to create value for potential clients.
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5 Tips for Smooth Client Management and Communication
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Helping Your Clients Cope with Rising Interest Rates
For the past few years, low interest rates have been a major plus for those looking to purchase real estate. Unfortunately, those interest rates have been and continue to be on the rise. This time last year, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage were around 3.8 percent. Today they're averaging around 4.6 percent. Before long, buyers may start waiting for interest rates to go down before making a move.
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Buyers vs. Sellers: What They Need and How to Adjust
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Artificial What? 4 Tips for Appealing to the Traditional Consumer
Let's face it--the process of buying a home can be one giant migraine waiting to happen. From finding the right agent to closing the deal, the stressful decisions having to be made by buyers can often overshadow the generally exciting event that buying a home should be in one's life. Although the notoriously tech-savvy millennials may appreciate your incorporation of technology, for the more traditional consumer who is not up to speed with the latest tech advances, facing them can be an experience that adds even more stress to this already exhausting process. In order to help you, the agent, navigate the divide in capabilities and preferences, we are sharing a few tips that will likely make the process with the traditional consumer a more enjoyable and stress-free one from start to finish for both you, and your client.
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What First-Time Home Buyers Want to Know
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Realtors Make Moving More Affordable
One frustration that consumers have long faced is the logistics around moving. A report from the University of Colorado indicated that the average move costs about $10,000. In reality, that can sometimes be far greater, or do-it-yourselfers may save a bit by doing it themselves. Moving service providers have long tried to find a way to deliver their services to movers in the best possible way. They have never been able to connect to MLSs or other systems, so they resort to spray-and-pray direct marketing. MooveGuru came up with a better way, and partnered with zipLogix to solve the problem. Agents using zipLogix know when their clients are moving. Obviously, zipLogix cannot open the agents' customer record data to anyone, but they can make it easy for zipLogix users to invite their clients. That is what they did.
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Want to Sell More Homes? Walk a Mile in Your Seller's Shoes
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Fire Your Client: The 4 Types of Real Estate Clients You Should Cut Ties With
One of the most-discussed concerns of agents across the industry is finding and converting leads. This makes the idea of actually firing a client once you have one seem completely inconsistent. But sometimes firing a client is not only the best option, it is absolutely necessary. The following are four types of clients you need to cut ties with, and tips on how to break the partnership off in the most professional and graceful manner.
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What's Your Client Management IQ? 3 Questions to Ask
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4 Tech Features Consumers Expect from Their Next Real Estate Agent
We live in the digital age, and if consumers are working with a real estate agent, they want that agent to be pretty tech-savvy. Tech-savvy real estate professionals aren't just more convenient to talk to (although that is definitely a plus!), they also have better access to properties, can move more quickly through the process, and can help clients better home in on what appeals to them. Consumers want to work with the best real estate agent possible. Here are some tech features you should be using:
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Using Cloud Storage Apps for Real Estate Client Service
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4 Creative Ways to Stand Out in Real Estate
Real estate is relational. Whether working with a consumer to buy a new home or welcoming a new agent to your office, you are now involved with a major event in that person's life. Providing outstanding service should be coupled with providing a unique, ongoing experience that stands out. Here are a few creative (and easy!) ways to provide that above-and-beyond experience.
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5 Resources to Reconnect with Your Clients in 2018
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Holiday 2017: Giving Gifts While Giving Back
As an agent or broker, you've been a big part of creating a very memorable experience for your clients. Some are first-time homebuyers, while you helped others sell their home to move on to the next phase in their life. The holiday season gives you another opportunity to create something memorable for your clients. 2017 has been an incredible year for disasters. The United States has seen fires, floods, major hurricanes and other devastating events that have affected the lives of many. In light of this, families and companies are taking a different approach this year by choosing gifts that give back. Rather than purchasing large gifts for themselves, they are instead buying items that benefit worthy charities. This could be a great way for you to honor your clients this holiday season. Here are a few of our faves:
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The Roadmap to Unparalleled Customer Service
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3 Ways to Help Your Client Meet Their New Neighbors
Having your finger on the pulse of your community is a great way to find new clients and help your buyers get plugged into their new neighborhood, meet their neighbors, and save time and money. Luckily, there are tools to help you and your clients do just that.
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Positioning Your Value Proposition Against Zillow Instant Offers
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4 Ways to Prioritize Follow-up Over Following Shiny Objects
It's a topic covered exhaustively at every real estate conference, every coaching call, every new agent orientation: Technology is your friend, but it isn't your savior. New tools, apps and systems can help you win more deals by making you more productive and engaged—but they can't bridge the gap between a brand new lead and the closing table. Put another way: Real estate is a relationship business and industry technology should support those relationships, not replace them. What tech can do — and can't do
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How to Start Marketing With Clients – Not At Them
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4 Ways to Build More 'Client for Life' Relationships
We spend so much time talking about the importance of repeat business and referral business, but the reality is that MOST agents have still not come up with the right way to keep in touch naturally over the long-term. The result? Will your clients hire you the next time you buy or sell your home? Are you sure? After closing, 70 percent of sellers say they would "definitely" use their agent again — but only 25 percent of repeat buyers and sellers actually do. We aren't here to lecture you. Creating one client for life relationship is tricky enough, and aiming to keep in close touch with every client you've ever had is nearly impossible. Still, there are a few low key ways to ensure that you don't break a bond that could end up paying off — both in business and in friendship — after you walk away from the closing table. Below are four tactics you can employ to create more long-term, business-boosting client relationships.
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Don't Be 'That' Agent! Remember Your Sphere
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Why Your Neighbors Aren't Calling You to List Their Homes
I talk to agents every day, and sometimes notice trends in things that Realtors are asking for. It seems some things are simply universal problems for all Realtors, no matter how many years they've been in business. One of those things that I've been noticing more often these days is the idea of an agent wanting to own the market in the neighborhood in which they live. Specifically, they seem to have not made headway in becoming the resident real estate expert in their neighborhood. They want to become that person, but they can't figure out how exactly to go about it. The problem is kind of an interesting one. They want to dominate their neighborhood and list all the homes. They also realize, however, that these are their neighbors and, in many cases, their friends. They don't want to come off too salesy. This is a realistic problem to have. The thing about it, though, is that 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. So today, I want to share three things you can do make this headway in your neighborhood and establish yourself as the resident expert.
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How to Balance CRM Data with Your Natural Gut Instincts
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5 Steps to a Healthy Repeat and Referral Business
To say you're in for a treat is an understatement, as successful agent Leah Goldstein shares the secrets to how she keeps her repeat and referral business thriving. Leah's strategy is so easy to implement and effective that you'll begin seeing results right away. From finding out what makes your clients tick by sending a survey, to using that knowledge to provide the exceptional service and thoughtful surprises that will win them over, her strategy is nothing short of brilliant. Here's how she does it.
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How Healthy Is Your Sphere? 10 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself
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5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience
The life of a real estate agent doesn't fit the traditional 9-to-5 workspace most people are accustomed to – this is an environment that never sleeps. It's the New York City of work. And with research continuing to reveal that it's better to retain a customer rather than acquire a new one, the onus is placed squarely on how positive the customer experience is—which means that real estate agents always have to be on. Why a company's customer experience tells everything
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What Do Real Estate Clients Actually Want?
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How to Generate Repeat Business in Real Estate
As a real estate agent, your business is about getting people into their ideal houses, but it is also about customer service and negotiation. To be successful in real estate, you have to establish a great reputation and build a recognizable brand. A large part of your business success hinges on the ability to encourage your clients to return to you for any future buying or selling needs. Keep in touch after the sale through email.
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Leads Are People, Too: 4 Ways to Persist without Turning People Off
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How to Deal with Difficult Clients
Wouldn’t it be nice if all your clients were happy, patient, and understanding? Unfortunately, for many that isn’t always the situation. As a real estate professional, you’ve walked through the doors into the service industry—you work closely with clients on a personal and emotional level. Dealing with different personalities and emotions can lead to some tense and stressful interactions with clients. Difficult clients are part of business, but with a few tips, you can turn adversity into profit. Shhhh... Listen Listening is imperative to any form of communication and is an important starting point when dealing with clients. Many situations can be avoided completely if you just listen to the client’s needs, wants, and negotiables from the start. A great way to find this information is to pre-screen all clients during an “interview” process. This can be done over the phone or in person. This is your opportunity to ask questions to figure out what the client is looking for as well as to understand the client as a person. There are times when you need to take a step back and see the situation from the other person’s point of view. By constantly trying to make the client see things your way, you aren’t allowing the client to have a say in the matter and make her feel as though their concerns are not cared for. Think about how you would behave in this situation and give the client a response or solution in a manner you would like to hear/see.
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The Art of Planning Client Appreciation Events
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The 5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
In the "Age of the Customer," any business looking to survive puts their client at the center of their operation. Today, it's the consumer, not businesses, who are driving business decisions, which means that it's vital for real estate agents to understand their clients on a deeper level in order to make the sale. Don't assume you know what your clients want Anticipating what your clients want before they do is more important now than ever before due to the speed at which clients can conduct online research and receive referrals with just one simple social media post. Buying or selling isn't just about profit, function and timelines – it's connected to strong social and emotional factors that influence every client you serve. The most successful real estate agents don't assume that they know their client's needs; they spend the time to understand the world through their client's perspective. In the business of moving lives from one location to another, agents need to keep up with new behaviors that are emerging in the marketplace. Below are five types of real estate clients, and tips for agents to build an effective relationship with each one. 1. The "forever" home buyer Fast fact: Views their home as the foundation of their life. Attitudes: Knowledgeable and specific about what their "must haves" are, like location. Looking for: A memorable experience while buying their home. Agent tip: It's all about the relationship with this type of client. Use your CRM to build a rich contact profile and keep track of important information like family members and birthdays.
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Six Do's and Don'ts of Navigating the Busy Season
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How Tapping Into Your Community Builds Your Business
When you look at the socially progressive brands that really resonate in the market nowadays, the ones that find causes they're passionate about and incorporate their message into their business are the ones that have built a solid foundation for the future. Clothing company Ten Tree plants 10 trees for each purchase and allows you to follow along online to see where they're planted. TOMS shoes makes a donation of a pair of shoes to a child in need in another country. Both companies have found a way to combine the revenue generating side of the business with their philanthropic side, and to coexist in a way that carves out their place in the world. Real estate agents can take a page from these powerful value propositions to really help distinguish their brand—not because it's what they think consumers feel they should do, but because it's the right thing to do. The power of giving back You never want to just blindly write checks towards something because it looks like good PR; actually take the time and effort to get behind a simple and meaningful cause in your community. Today's consumers really want to know how you're making the world a better place. In fact, in a recent study, 91 percent of respondents said they wanted to hear about a company's social responsibility and progress, and want to hear about this in their marketing. Positioning yourself as an advisor of your community will build trust with your audience – and helps give your brand a sense of purpose by showing exactly what you stand for. It helps build deep relationships within your community – and helps you stay top of mind as a trusted source when it comes time to buy or sell.
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3 Tips to Understand Your Clients Better
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How to Deal with Buyers Who Love Property Portals
Ask any agent, and they're likely to agree: the Realtor-client relationship became more complicated when property search portals came onto the scene. Rather than relying on agents to find a home, today 51 percent of consumers find the home they buy online themselves, typically on search portals. And once consumers start using a home search platform, they seldom switch to another, even if their agent recommends it. This worries many Realtors, as their clients are exposed to competing agents while browsing property portals. But it's clear that property search portals are here to stay—and that consumers love them—so what's an agent to do? For veteran Realtor and broker Jesse Zagorsky, the answer is threefold: Understand client behavior Adapt to client behavior, don't change it Educate Zagorsky has years of experience in advertising on sites like Realtor.com® and managing portal leads. Here's his practical advice for dealing with portal loving clients. The First Step to Success: Understanding Client Behavior Realtors have a new role in the digital age, according to Zagorsky. "The value proposition has changed," he says. "Our role as an agent is not as much just to find the house as it is in executing all of the other elements of the process." In fact, you may have experienced, as Zagorsky has, a client that came to you with a listing from their property app or portal of choice—even though you know you already sent that to them in an MLS alert. "Once a buyer starts a pattern of search, they prefer to go back and look on their own again on the first site they tried," he says. "They still like to find it themselves. So we don't fight that."
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The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing for Realtors
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5 Ways You Can Use Video Chat to Boost the Services You Provide Your Clients
You've seen enough homes that you can understand the layout and special features from looking at a few listing photos. So when it comes to live tours, you ace it every time. But what about clients who live out of town, or who travel often? Are you able to provide them with the same seamless experience so they feel connected and excited about the properties they're viewing from afar? Last week, we reviewed the five best video chat apps for real estate. This week, we'll show you how to put them into action. Whether you're working with remote buyers or those who've been on the fence for too long, video chat can help you activate your clients when the perfect house is listed.* 1. Remote buyers If you regularly work with foreign buyers or active military, or you're hoping to get into this market, it's critical that you get up-to-speed with video chat. For these buyers, a virtual live chat tour will be the closest they'll ever get to the house, so you'll want to be sure you're giving them: A clear understanding of the layout An up-close view of the home's best and worst features Context on the size of each room so they understand its advantages or limitations (such as if the master would fit a king-sized bed) Ideas for any easy fixes that could be made, from creating an open floor plan to replacing outdated hardware The main thing to keep in mind is that remote video chat buyers may have a lot more questions than usual, or they may have fewer questions if they are having a hard time picturing the home and how they fit into it. Try to adapt by thinking of what your in-person buyers usually look at, inspect or inquire about, and answer those questions up front to keep the tour moving.
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The Keys to a Long-Term Real Estate Relationship
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When Your Real Estate Leads Become a Network of People
Full disclaimer: leads are great for business. A healthy funnel of leads typically means that your business is gaining some recognition, and the public is generally interested in your services and the solutions you're offering. Converting leads to closed transactions is a healthy sign of business growth, as well. Yes, leads are good, and everyone in real estate would love to get more. Here's the thing. When our business is about catering to an experience – in this case, it is home ownership – we can't speak about lead generation and conversion in the same manner as other industries. Real estate is about caring for arguably one of the most emotional transactions a person will ever make. If we were to trade places with our clients, we would want to have an agent on our side looking out for our interest – both from a financial and a personal perspective. The moment we sense that our agent only cares for his commission, and sees us as the conduit to that commission, we will lose faith in the transaction, in the agent—or, worse, in the industry all together. No one wants to be treated like they don't matter—or, worse, like something to be used and disposed of afterwards. Start treating your real estate leads like the people they are.
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The Real Estate Agent's Guide to 'Dating' Your Clients
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Three Essential Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Clients
Real estate professionals meet new clients every day and it's their job to find these clients their dream home. As we all know, it's not as easy as it sounds. I have heard of agents complaining about how it took them weeks and sometimes months to find their clients the perfect home. In this fast paced world, every minute counts and that is why it's essential to ask your clients the right questions before you take them to see homes. Asking them the right questions will help you get clarity as an agent who is showing them the properties. Here are 3 essential questions to ask your real estate clients: 1. What do you desire? There is a very fine line between what a person wants and what a person desires. Ask your clients to make a list of things they determine to be a necessity for them such as the number of rooms or bathrooms, size of the lot, etc., and another wishlist of things that, if present in the property shown, might add some brownie points. This exercise not only helps you find your clients the right property, it helps your clients set realistic expectations.
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3 Ways to Go Over and Above When Working with Referrals
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Essential Strategies for Winning Over Millennial Clients
Millennials. They seem to be the talk of the town in every industry, especially real estate, right now. There's a good reason for that – according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, millennials (ages 18-35) were the largest group of home buyers for the third year in a row. Sixty-seven percent of this group was also a first-time buyer. If you haven't already thought about how your marketing strategy should change to reach millennial buyers, it's time! Millennials are vastly different from previous generations. According to Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and author of the book The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, "Millennials are different from their parents and grandparents in ways that are already impacting all aspects of life. For example, they are less religiously affiliated and slow to marry and have kids. They grew up with cell phones and on social networking sites while also obtaining a high level of education, but are still struggling financially because of the economy." While times may be a little tough for the millennial generation with higher student loan debt and difficulty entering the job market, they are still eager to reach the "American Dream" of owning their own home. In fact, the median age of first-time buyers has stayed relatively unchanged at 31. According to Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research at NAR, this means that millennials "are ready and willing to buy if they can, in fact, break into the market. It's getting more difficult to get to that point, but the desire to do so hasn't changed." So how can you connect with this large group of young buyers? 1. Demonstrate Your Expertise More than any other generation, 71 percent of millennial buyers noted that help understanding the purchase process was the most beneficial part of working with an agent. They are new to home buying and selling and may need a little hand-holding as you work through the financing and overall process. Be patient and demonstrate how well you know your stuff! Take advantage of the millennial interest in infographics, videos, and visual content to take your expertise to the next level.
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Best of 2016: 184 Things You Do for Real Estate Clients (and they don't even know it)
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3 Tips to Build Better Relationships with Your Clients
We've all received those dreaded "sales calls" after filling out a form or requesting information online. Someone who is too pushy, not helpful enough, or doesn't respect your time or what you're trying to say can lead you to make a long-term decision to not work with them. On the flipside, an initial contact that leaves you feeling positive can create a lifelong relationship with benefits for both sides. With online leads and referrals accounting for a huge part of the real estate business, it's important to set up measures to ensure you're building a great relationship with your prospects and clients from the very beginning. We've put together three tips to help you build better client relationships that will ultimately help you close more deals. 1. Establish Communication Preferences As part of the initial on-boarding process with your new client, set expectations for how they prefer you communicate with them. Millennial client? Maybe they prefer text messaging over calling. Others may only prefer to talk over the phone or via email. Asking them for their preferences demonstrates that you care about the details and want to provide them with the best service possible. In addition to how they want to communicate, try to establish preferences for when they want to communicate. What's their work schedule? Would they prefer to talk about their real estate needs during the workday or after hours? Letting them know your own availability will also help to set their expectations for when they'll be able to easily get a hold of you so there's never a disappointed feeling if you're "never available to them" (at 10:00pm!).
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How to Become the 'Go To' REALTOR in Your Town
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What Does it Mean to Execute a Real Estate Transaction with Excellence?
On any given day, a real estate agent has a hundreds of tasks on the go. Between your listing presentations, open houses, contract drafts and phone calls, it can be easy to lose focus on the kind of service you're offering your clients. Do you put a lot of effort into being nice to your clients? Personable and friendly? That's important, but being nice isn't enough. A professional REALTOR has to be outstanding at their job, relentless about meeting deadlines, professional in communications, and knowledgeable about executing a transaction. You're assisting people with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. You are the expert and your clients are relying on your knowledge to see the transaction through successfully. Professional excellence is crucial in order to have a positive experience that results in repeat business and ongoing referrals. Are you providing outstanding service to your real estate clients throughout the transaction? Ask yourself these questions: Do you consistently meet every important date and milestone? Are you efficient, detailed, and organized? Do you return phone calls and emails the same day? Do you conduct yourself professionally with all related parties? Is your online marketing (emails, social media, website) professional and credible? Do you regularly update your client on the status of the transaction? Do you regularly go above and beyond the call of duty? Do you keep in touch with clients even after you've closed the deal? These questions are a good starting point for providing your clients with the best possible service.
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Four ways to NOT think about your sphere of influence
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Understanding Your Sellers Will Make You a Better Agent
What's the number one way to connect with your sellers and make the home transaction easier? Watch real estate coach Borino explain what really motivates sellers! It will help make the relationship between you and your clients a lot more positive. The 2:58 mark will reveal the secret to a harmonious transaction and a quicker sale!
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9 Do's and Don'ts of Excellent Customer Service for Real Estate
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The NAR Code of Ethics: How They Apply to Everyday Business
The National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics is a set of ethics guidelines, articles and rules set forth to govern the ethical behavior of all Realtor Members of the Association. Each member takes a pledge to follows these principles as part of their membership to a higher authority known as the National Association of Realtors. With the Code of Ethics, the National Association of Realtors sets rules and stipulations for Realtors in (1) Duties to Clients and Customers; (2) Duties to the Public: and, (3) Duties to other Realtor Members. This article is about what parts of the Code apply to almost daily practice of real estate. I hope you find this useful. While some of the duties and standards written within the Code do not apply to everyday practices of real estate, many of the ethical guidelines do. With over a decade of licensed real estate experience, I have personally observed many of the sections of the Code being misapplied, possibly forgotten or, worst, totally ignored. The last observation of “totally ignored” is inexcusable and is what gives some Realtors and brokerages a bad name among both other Realtor Members and the public. Consider this article a refresher course as to the duties and mindset all Realtor Members should have and uphold when both operating in business and dealing with clients, customers and members of the public. The Difference Between a Realtor and Real Estate Agent Many members of the public and, sadly, some real estate agents do not understand is the actual difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. In our state, Texas, the State Commission issues a real estate license. There are two types of real estate license in the state of Texas – (1) Salesperson; and, (2) Broker. Each new license holder must start their career as a salesperson and work directly under a sponsoring broker. Simply getting your real estate license does not make you a member of the National Association of Realtors. A license holder would then have to join a local Realtor board to become a Realtor member. A license holder may practice real estate without being a Realtor. A Realtor member is a license holder who has chosen to join a professional organization to adhere to an even stricter policy of ethics and rules as a National Association of Realtors member. Remember this – you must have a real estate license to be amember of the National Association of Realtors. But, you do not have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors to hold a real estate license. In fact, most commercial real estate salespersons are not members of the National Association of Realtors. Why? Because the MLS, which is controlled by the local Realtor associations, is primarily geared toward residential real estate and not commercial. Therefore, most commercial brokers do not consider it greatly beneficial to be a part of the local Realtor Association(s).
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184 Things You Do for Real Estate Clients (and they don't even know it)
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How to Make Your Real Estate Clients Feel Valued
It's no secret that real estate is about relationships. If you're able to make a prospect feel comfortable and valued, it's more likely that they'll trust you with one of the biggest purchases of their lives. Top producing real estate agents build rapport with prospects and clients, and continue building relationships over time. When you form a solid relationship with a client, repeat and referral business is sure to follow! Strive to build authentic relationships with your contacts to remain memorable, and for a more rewarding work experience. Here are my favorite tips on how to make your real estate clients and prospects feel valued. 1. Take notes. When you're chatting with a prospect or customer, don't hesitate to make notes on your conversation. Showing that you're interested enough to jot down your conversation reassures your prospect that you're truly interested in what they have to say. 2. Use the person's name—cautiously. If you've read How to Win Friends and Influence People, you know the value of using someone's name to make them feel important. It is a good move to use a person's name in conversation to show that you know who they are. But use it carefully so that your contact doesn't feel patronized. In the right context, using a person's name can add a very nice note.
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What Do Past Real Estate Clients Want?
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9 Customer Service Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make
On any given day, a real estate agent has a thousand tasks on the go. Between your listing presentations, open houses, contract drafts and phone calls, it can be easy to lose focus on the kind of service you're offering your clients. I've said it before and I'll say it again – real estate is about relationships. You're assisting people with one of the biggest decisions in their life. Clients may be anxious, overwhelmed, and full of questions. In order to have a positive experience that results in repeat business, you need to offer the best possible customer service as their REALTOR®. Here are some of the common customer service mistakes real estate agents make that can result in fewer leads and less repeat business. Mistake #1: Not responding on time. Clients expect their phone call or email to be returned as soon as possible. So when you leave them hanging, it could cause them to turn to another, more responsive Realtor. Replying quickly reassures your client that you're on top of the task. Even if you can't resolve the issue immediately, let them know you received their message and are working on it. Mistake #2: Using industry jargon. You'll likely receive a blank stare from your client if you ramble on about escrow analysis and third party origination. Remember that your customers don't work in the industry. Try to use language that they understand without insulting them. Using too much jargon can confuse your client and make them feel uncomfortable.
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How to Select a Client Retention Tool
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Boost Customer Service by Being an Expert on the Mortgage Process
Ah, real estate school: That time you spent reading or listening to what seemed like endless hours of lectures. And what did you learn about actually listing and selling real estate? Not much. Sure, you walked away from the experience knowing – without a doubt – that there are 43,560 square feet in an acre. But how to work with first-time buyers or how to determine the market value of a home? These things aren't covered in licensing classes. New agents are then cut loose to work with consumers with whatever real estate training their brokers provide. It's a safe bet that not much, if any, of that training has to do with the mortgage process. To many agents, the mortgage process remains completely foreign and they depend on the lender to explain the process to their clients. But agents who do their homework and learn the ins and outs of the mortgage process will not only be able to share valuable information with clients, they will also provide a service that will win referrals and take their business to the next level. Add Value for Your Clients Value is a popular buzzword in the real estate industry lately – how to bring value to the process and how to prove your value is top-of-mind with many agents. It's all about maximizing the value-added services that you bring to the table that few other agents can. Let's face it, it's not always easy to find ways to differentiate yourself from other agents. One of the best ways is by providing stellar customer service. What you think defines "customer service," however, and the definition your client gives may be two different things.
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This Overlooked eSignature Feature Can Enhance Your Customer Service
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Why Listing Portal Dominance is the Best Thing to Happen to Real Estate
2014 has proven to be the year of the race to housing portal dominance. The real estate industry has seen unprecedented mergers and acquisitions among key players Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. This activity has struck a chord with a plethora of agents, for better or for worse. However, one thing is certain--the change is forcing agents to prove their relevance in an age where housing information is literally littered all over the place. Real estate notoriously lags behind in technology adoption compared to other industries, but the fear of going the way of travel agents is empowering agents to reverse this trend. Zillow and Trulia alone control about 70 percent of online real estate traffic, and I am not surprised at all. These companies have ruthlessly innovated on behalf of the consumer as major real estate players stood idle. This massive land grab has finally caught the attention of the industry and literally forced the industry to start building and creating the demand for innovative products. Over the next couple years, agents will have to adopt new tech to simply survive. Starting in 2015, Millennials will represent the largest block of homebuyers. To no surprise, this demographic is also the largest users of smartphones. If these macro trends are any kind of indication for where real estate technology is headed, here are three tips to help empower agents in a world where portals dominate search and mobile is ubiquitous: 1. Leverage mobile technology to increase client retention There is no better platform than mobile to stay top of mind with clients. Your brand is literally in their pocket all the time. This represents an opportunity to cut costs and increase effectiveness of their marketing dollars. Whether it be your own app or popular blog, creating a user experience worth experiencing is a tremendously powerful way to create "stickiness" with your clients.
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4 Ways to Fail Miserably in Real Estate (and how to avoid them!)
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Repeat Business: Why Your Clients Really Stick By You
Guest contributor Melissa Dittmann Tracey of REALTOR®Mag says: The key to customer retention: Keep your clients satisfied with your services and they'll keep using you again and again. But satisfaction isn't always at the core of why customers return. Some customers may return for other reasons, and in some cases, those reasons can even backfire for your business. Clients sometimes "lock in" to service relationships over the long term not because they're necessarily satisfied with the service provided but rather out of a feeling of obligation or even a perceived nuisance of having to find someone else, according to research by Mary P. Harrison, assistant professor of marketing at Birmingham Southern College, and Sharon E. Beatty, professor of marketing at University of Alabama. In the study, Harrison and Beatty conducted in-depth interviews with customers who felt locked in — both in positive and negative ways — to service relationships (real estate was among the industries analyzed). Becoming aware of why clients may be sticking by you through transactions can help you foster more positive, loyal relationships with your repeat clients. The insight may even make you more competitive, too, by knowing why other clients may be latching onto your competitors and how you may be able to offer your services to those who are being loyal due to the perceived barriers of switching agents, the study suggests. It's also important to become aware of those clients who may be locking in to you for the wrong reasons, Harrison says. After all, you may be assuming your repeat clients are among your most loyal and raving fans. But repeat clients who are with you because they feel obligated or because they think finding another real estate professional will be too difficult can be detrimental to your reputation around town.
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4 Reasons Former Clients Forget You Exist
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Dealing With Disloyal Clients
Have you experienced a "cheating" client? Plenty of agents have. Maybe it happened when your buyer went to an open house and decided to buy with the listing agent. Or maybe the buyer decided to close with a friend after weeks of you chauffeuring them to showings. Whatever the case--and no matter how long you've worked in real estate--it still hurts to lose a client like this. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening again (we explored one method in this video), but here are some tips on what to do right now: Don't waste energy on angry emails. We get it. You feel betrayed. It's hard to know why the buyer acted as they did. It's very possible that they simply don't understand how agents are compensated and that you just wasted time (read: money) on them that could have been better spent with another client. Regardless of the reason, energy expended in anger on a disloyal client is not worth it. Keep calm and be professional. If you do decide to reach out, congratulate them on their new home. Pitch it your message as a service check and ask if there was something you could have done or communicated better to have closed the deal. Politely explain that you are disappointed that they went with someone else. Ask for a referral. It's very possible that your former client will be embarrassed when they finally understand how they wasted your time (assuming they didn't already know). If this is the case, they may be more than willing to refer friends and family to you to "make up" for your lost time and commission. Remove them from your database. If you find you can't move past the incident, deleting the client's contact info can be a cathartic experience. Use that moment to put the experience behind you and move on!
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To Serve and Be Served: A Once in a Lifetime Transaction
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Buyer Feedback is Essential: 6 Questions to Ask
Buyer feedback. Few things are this important to a real estate professional when it comes to the sale of a home. Buyer feedback is essential. It helps you to know what you're doing right and what you need to change or improve. "One of the most important questions you can ask a potential buyer who has just finished viewing a home is, 'What did you think about this house?'" says Properties Online CEO Amanda Cornelius. Make a habit of asking other agents and open house visitors several questions, including: What was your overall impression of the house or property? What did you like most about the home? What did you like least about the home? How do you compare this home with others you are viewing and considering? How do you feel about the price? Is it accurate? Underpriced? Overpriced? What would it take for you to make an offer today?
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Helping Senior Sellers
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9 Ways to Work Better With Negative Customers
In real estate, you can't avoid unhappy or dissatisfied customers. Buyers with wish lists twice the size of their budget and sellers who demand you find a buyer willing to pay more than fair market value create stress for even the best agents. Here are nine ways to stay upbeat in the face of negativity: 1. Always visualize a large $ stamped on your unhappy customer's forehead. Your customers pay your bills and feed your family. An unhappy customer may cost you this job and lose you a future referral. A happy customer creates a happy pay day for you. 2. Skip the news before work and listen to music or motivational talks on your way to work. How you spend the first part of your day influences how the rest of your day unfolds. Don't watch negative newscasts before work. Listening to music that pumps you up or motivational talks prepares you to tackle problem people or situations. 3. Find something to like about every customer. Maybe your client has great eyebrows or good taste in ties. During unpleasant encounters, keep your focus on the 5% you like about them and your focus off the 95% you dislike.
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Top Five Client Relations Resolutions for Real Estate Agents in 2014
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Agents as Liaison between Client and Contract
So many real estate processes have been digitized and automated – it's understandable that many professionals and consumers are afraid that the personal element of real estate is getting lost in the shuffle. You, the real estate agent, have the power to be the solution to this problem. You can demonstrate that technology will enhance personal connections rather than diluting them. Real estate agents have to have two very distinct, often contradicting skill sets. You need to understand the nuts and bolts of impersonal legal documents, but also have a warm and appealing interpersonal style. Technology shouldn't further separate these two sides of your personality. Instead, it should be used to draw them together. Contracts are where this fusion can really be seen. They are notoriously confusing to a layperson, so your buyers or sellers need your support in making sense of them. It's a perfect opportunity to enlighten rather than push-away your client – and technology can help. "There's no replacement for responding to your clients' questions or concerns," says Greg Robertson of Cloud CMA. "But there are ways that technology can be used to enhance and support this response. Cloud CMA was built with this in mind. Reports are approachable for the agent's consumer."
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5 Tips for Managing Client Expectations
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4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Skills
As an agent, your main focus is customer service. Whether you work for a brokerage or own your own real estate business, your reputation and interpersonal skills are the things that help you acquire and retain clients that keep your business alive. Social media tools play a major role in building your real estate brand and generating new customers, but you also want to adopt some best practices for all your interactions with prospects and clients. What kind of mindset should you adopt as a business owner when interacting with prospects and clients? The main goal is fairly simple: to understand what home buyers and sellers are looking for in an agent and using your customer service skills to try and meet those expectations. Here are a few things we've noticed that resonate with real estate clients: 1. Understanding Clients appreciate when a Realtor® understands their home buying or selling situation, especially if the sale is due to some stressful or sensitive matter. 2. Knowledge Clients appreciate having an agent who knows the process and can anticipate all the bumps along the road, whether that be dealing with financing, inspections, or what have you.
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Checklist: Are You Using These Tools for Customer Service?
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Pump Up Your Sales with New Twists
Have you noticed that business today is facing a bit of a challenge? With costs of doing business changing, today's large and small businesses are overwhelmed, overloaded and stressed to find new ways to save money, time and streamline. If you are struggling to figure out what to do and are looking to pump up your real estate sales, here are a few key activities that can help you take action: Amp up your attitude Change opens the door to look for more creative solutions, so focus on how to enthusiastically embrace new innovative approaches to what appear to be obstacles. Begin with identifying the possible positive outcomes that spur creativity. Every change reveals new opportunities that would ordinarily be lost in the mundane and routine! Investigate options When markets get tough, the tough go back to basics, get creative and become intensely focused in every aspect of how their business functions to discover new ways to deliver their products and services. When sales stall--redesign, rework and reignite new processes in how you deliver those services and the experience of your customers to pump up and refresh your service model. Look at how strategic partnerships can expand your service options. Change is a great motivator to turn up the heat and initiate new relationships and pursue new solutions. See: Mike White on how to create strategic partnerships that pay
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Who is Representing Your Buyers?
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What Do You Want Your Clients to Say About You?
Real estate can be a great career if you are hard-working, self-motivated, and honest professional. These qualities generally come from within you. You either possess these traits, or you do not. However, this alone, is not enough. There are many skills that you can learn and develop to ensure your clients stay with you for life, and refer other clients to you as well. Think about what it means to be the agent who garners the appreciation of his/her clients as well as the respect of fellow agents and is "showered" with referrals. This type of agent seeks to solve a problem for a friend or mutual client and has found a way to develop a unique and reliable way to consistently produce results in a professional consummate manner. Here are some ways to become this type of agent: Make yourself available and easy to find and contact. Always keep a stack of current, unique business cards on hand and invest in thoughtful, unique closing gifts. Ensure that all of your outward facing media items are "blanketed" with your contact details, so that it is easy and convenient to "reach out" to you. Be consistent and reliable, even when it hurts. Go the extra mile and do the unexpected. Respond to emails and calls very rapidly. Always be early and appear well in any company. Do what you say and say what you mean.
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The Top 3 Customer Service Rules of Real Estate
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Customer Service and Frank Lloyd Wright
Our resident video blogger and social media guru, Maya Paveza, is back! This is the inaugural post of her new column, Mondays with Maya: Setting customer expectations and knowing what they expect from you is the real key to success in real estate. And I showed a Frank Lloyd Wright house today.
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How to Provide Great Customer Service
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Unhappy Customers: An Owner’s Manual
A theme of dealing with unhappy customers keeps popping up as I surf the Internets. It's something that's already in the front of my mind, as the topic of agent ratings has been particularly compelling for me lately. After all, every agent has (probably) had at least one unhappy customer. And wouldn't it be better to manage them better before they go rogue on your online reputation? So, let's say an unhappy customer has cropped up. What can you do to (best case scenario) rebuild the relationship or (at the very worst) keep them from trashing you publically and ruining future prospects? 1) See them as an opportunity. Approach each unhappy customer as an opportunity to improve your customer service skills. Also, remember that an unhappy customer can become an even more vocal proponent than someone who was happy all along – that is, if you manage to turn it all around for them. 2) Don't let their anger influence your response. If you let their anger "get to" you, you're likely to either become angry yourself or to bend over backwards to placate them. Neither response is productive. Find a way to rise above their anger and keep your cool.
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Case Study: Is Technology a Scapegoat for Poor Customer Service?
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We Found the Perfect Agent(s)
When I last posted about My Tech House Hunt, my husband and I had decided to temporarily put it on hold. However, with the stork circling above us and our new arrival due in less than two months, we're realizing that getting some extra space might just be a priority once again. Thankfully, we've finally found the right partners (yes, that's plural) for our journey. So, without further ado, I'm picking up this column with an ode to our perfect agents! My last article about choosing an agent was more about questions than answers. This article is going to be the opposite. We have found the answer to the "How do I pick an agent?" question. And that answer actually comes in the form of two people: our wonderful husband-and-wife team, Eric and Carrie Kimmell. Meeting Eric and Carrie was strictly a matter of luck and coincidence. (Eric was the listing agent for an open house we stumbled into.) We'd met several agents and had several agents referred to us earlier in our hunt – but had never really "connected" with any of them and none of them had tried very effectively to build a relationship with us. Then, we met Eric and his wife. When we did, choosing them to help us in our house hunt was easy. Why? Let me count the ways: 1) They understand our priorities. We're a young, married couple with a baby on the way. They are a young, married couple with a 2-year-old. They've leveraged this understanding to help us in our real estate journey. For instance, I wasn't sure about how kid-friendly a certain property was going to be; so, when we went to look at it, Carrie and Eric brought their adorable little boy along with them and let him cruise around to see how he interacted with the property. My intuition was right – the house had too many stairs and too small a backyard (covered mostly in concrete) to be great for kids. Would I have realized this without watching their child explore the property? I'm not sure. As a first-time parent, I feel completely clueless 90% of the time. (I'm told this is normal.)
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What REALTORS® Can Learn from USAA.com
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Go for the Gold: How Better Service Can Win You a Spot Atop the Podium
What is better anyway? For world-class Olympic athletes, better is faster, higher, stronger. Olympic events are carefully defined and competitors are measured in hundredths and thousandths of a second or an inch. Service has become a world-class event. Two-thirds of the global economy (greater than 80% of the U.S.) has migrated from a manufacturing base to service. That makes service serious business and, in essence, a world-class event. Athletes competing at the highest levels train vigorously. They meticulously track performance, exercise great discipline, utilize technology and employ specialized resources to improve performance. World-class athletes recognize the value of performance feedback and understand the importance of common standards of performance measurement. Is there something to be learned from this? There certainly is. In business, the consumer is the Olympic committee. Consumers define the events and judge the results. Most industries, especially manufacturing and technology, have long embraced faster, higher, stronger concepts and the metrics that go with them. Common standards have become pretty common. In the service sector and especially in real estate services, it's more common for the service provider or each organization to define the event, decide what to measure and to develop its own measurement standards - it's convenient that way. But the service provider doesn't make the rules in today's economy, the consumer does. World-class competitors in business today are totally focused on consumer-defined events and are passionate about measuring their performance results with common standards and common metrics. And the evidence is clear that progress follows process.
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Prescription for Wireless Congestion
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dsSearchAgent IDX
dsSearchAgent is designed around Web 2.0 features that make connections and engagement between the consumer and the agent seamless. This product is built from the ground up to be a map-based search solution. Sliders and features that allow the consumer to narrow their search criteria are dressed along the left side of the map for ease of use. This design is not only very functional, but it allows the consumer to view more property information without scrolling down the page. Like most IDX solutions, dsSearchAgent has many features that encourage consumers to register to the website to access helpful property search tools. For example, customers can save a search and get listing alerts. dsSearchAgent goes even further by allowing the consumer to get the information in the form of an RSS Feed as well as email. Customers can also register to add their own notes to property. The agent back office control panel allows for easy access to customer searches, favorites, and viewing patterns. There are also some nice features that allow agents to organize leads.
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