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How to Use Outsourcing to Reduce Your Workload
The rebound in real estate markets nationwide has been challenging for many agents. Tight inventory and multiple offers in many places is the norm. Working with buyers and sellers during a pandemic adds a new, extra layer of effort. Having to work remotely adds even more challenges. It seems agents find themselves today working harder than ever. How do you keep the quality of your work high and, at the same time, reduce your workload? Outsourcing is one option worth your consideration. Here's how to figure out what you can – and should – be outsourcing. Self-assessment test The saying goes, "Do what you do best and outsource the rest." After all, everyone knows the tasks they love as well as the things they loathe. The problem is, using this as a particular measurement to decide what you should be doing and what you should be outsourcing is not always in synch. For example, some agents love to develop their marketing materials. The problem is the creation of marketing materials can consume a significant amount of time. It's also easy to outsource these activities. By making an assessment, you can make the right decision. If you don't enjoy creating marketing material or are not particularly good at it, then you know outsourcing can be a great answer to reduce your workload. If you enjoy these tasks, then you need to measure it. When you track your time, you can see what it takes to create marketing materials for each listing. How much total time is it taking to develop a property flyer, update your website with a single property listing page, and create a virtual tour? Like most agents, you would be shocked as projects like these include tasks that can consume much more time than you expect. That's why you need to measure it before you decide. Low-hanging fruit In addition to marketing tasks, how does your client database look? Are you using a CRM or Customer Relationship Management software? Hiring someone to pull together all of your contacts in one place can reduce your future workload. You will avoid scrambling to look for past client background information when they contact you as you will have it all in one place – just a click away. How much time do you spend scheduling appointments with vendors to help your sellers? From arranging for professional photographers to stagers to inspectors, this is another area that can end up eating into your most productive time. Is there someone in your office that you can contract to help with these tasks? Another alternative is using a virtual assistant as this is the kind of ideal routine job that someone else can handle, even if they don't live where you do. Looking at photography, are you still shooting your listing photos? Research says you shouldn't be. Listings with professional photography sell faster and can help increase your ability to win more listings in the future. Home listings with high-quality photography sell 32% more quickly than listings with poorly shot images, according to the Center for REALTOR® Development. Even though your smartphone takes great photos, there's no substitute for a professional photographer's skill when it comes to showcasing the most important part of your business. A great way to outsource If technology isn't your thing, and you have FREE access to Tech Helpline—as more than 60 percent of all Realtors in North America do!—this can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to outsource! Tech Helpline can help you with every tech tool and nearly every software program you use every day. If you get a new smartphone or laptop, it's the first place you should contact. As a covered real agent or broker, you can ask Tech Helpline multiple questions about your tech challenges all on one call. Most importantly, Tech Helpline can help you with other business tech needs beyond just helping you reset your Wi-Fi for a faster connection or help get your printer to print. You can get assistance from adding a background image or video for your next Zoom meeting to the ins and outs of connecting your social media accounts. There are so many things that Tech Helpline can help you with when it comes to all things technology related. Here's an article that shares more ways Tech Helpline can help you reduce your workload. And if your Realtor association, MLS, or brokerage doesn't have Tech Helpline yet, encourage them to go online at TechHelpline.com and reach out to add this valuable member service. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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7 Advanced Strategies to Grow Your Real Estate Business
When it comes to advice on how to grow your real estate business, there's no shortage of suggested strategies and how-tos out there. The problem? A lot of it can be pretty basic. If you've been in real estate for a while, do you really need someone to tell you to "know your target market" or "work on perfecting your sales script"? Of course not. If you're successful, you've had that down for years now. That kind of advice cluttering the internet is more suitable for an agent just starting out. Instead, we'll focus on more advanced strategies for growing your real estate business that might not be so obvious—and can give you an extra edge in winning clients and dominating your sphere.
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Proven Tactics of Real Estate Super Producers
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How to Thrive in Challenging Times
As we handle the day to day running of our lives and businesses in a time where the everyday has been thrown out the door, some people find themselves missing tasks that they thought of as a burden, like door knocking or grocery shopping. However, times of adversity are often when we see the best from the people in our communities. Even while members of our communities are looking for ways to distance themselves from one another physically, we're also looking for new ways to connect with one another. In the coming weeks, we'll see people leverage their technology to network and communicate with their friends, family, and business contacts more than ever before. Here are a few tools and resources you can use to thrive personally and professionally in these unpredictable times.
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Friday Freebie: 2020 Real Estate Marketing Planner
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5 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Hit the Ground Running in 2020
Real estate agents know there's no such thing as a slow season for them. During the winter months when most markets are quieter, agents need to be ramping up their marketing and prospecting efforts so they have a deep well of leads going into the busy spring season. While the season is slow for your clients, move fast to hit the ground running in 2020 with these five real estate tips:
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Rebuilding Your Real Estate Business After a Disaster
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Make Giving a Part of Your Business Strategy
Whether it's running a charity 5k, serving lunch to the homeless or simply fundraising for a cause close to your heart, having a social giving strategy in your business is a must. It's also an easy and fun way to motivate and inspire your team while giving back and connecting with the local community you serve.
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Listing Tips and Strategies to Stand Out and Sell More Homes
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How Business Strategy Can Help You Stand Out in Real Estate
Have you ever come across a billboard you thought was ridiculous? It may have made you chuckle a bit, or you may have thought it was corny. Regardless of your feelings, the fact that you remembered the billboard was an attempt to stand out from a business--and it did its job. But doing something outlandish is not the only way to stand out in real estate. Yes, you can go the billboard route and do real estate parodies on Game of Thrones, the Lego Movie, or "Thinking about moving to Canada after the elections?" However, is that how you want local homebuyers and sellers to think of you?
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5 Tips to Successfully Launch Your Real Estate Career
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Risk Management for Your Real Estate Business
As a real estate agent, you should be focused on two main things: your success and the happiness of your clients. Part of creating a successful business and keeping your clients is being aware of and managing the risks you and your clients face.
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Friday Freebie: Set (and Keep!) Your 2018 Goals with this Workbook
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[Infographic] Planning Your Best Year Ever
Was your first year in real estate everything you hoped it would be? What about your fifth, tenth, or fifteenth? When you launched your career in real estate, you likely set some goals for yourself, ones that you've tweaked and refined with experience and a better understanding of your market. Now you can probably make a decent estimate of the transaction volume you'll achieve each year. However, that's about to change. In a Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Tom Ferry explained how with the right planning you can double, triple, or even quadruple your business!
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7 Steps to Creating an Awesome Marketing Campaign
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5 Steps Real Estate Agents Can Take to Finish 2017 Strong
While our strong summer market continues to keep agents busy across the country, fall is just around the corner—and you have only five months to close out 2017 with a bang! Below are five foolproof ways you can assess your business goals, tweak your projections and ramp up your business so 2017 is your best year yet. 1. Start with the goals you might not meet
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3 Tips for Agents Who Want to Open Their Own Brokerage
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How to Set Your Goals Now for More Commissions in 2017
It's a safe bet that most agents would like to earn more money in the year ahead, but do you have a plan for how you can step up your game in 2017? We're not talking about simply having vague goals in mind, but instead formulating a tangible plan that includes hard numbers for how many transactions you need to close to hit your income target, as well as how many leads you need to engage to generate those transactions in the first place. Or, as we say in the RE Technology offices, you need to plan your work and work your plan! Fortunately, with a little guidance, this is simple to do—and, it's a great time of year to start planning ahead. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when formulating a plan for 2017: 1. Establish your baseline Before you figure out where you want to go next year, first you need to figure out where you've been. How much commission did you earn last year? From how many closed transactions did you earn this commission? How many buyer transactions closed? How many listings? Once you've figured this out, you can begin to visualize how many more transactions you need to close in 2017 to hit your income goals.
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Real Estate Retirement: What’s Your Exit Strategy?
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The Weather Outside is Frightful – Now What?
It's well-known that winter can be a very slow time for selling real estate. So what can agents do with this downtime? Well, we've thought of a few ways you can leverage this cold weather slowdown to prepare and start the spring selling season off with a BANG—and position yourself for your best year ever! First, it's important to take some quiet time and think about what goals you would like to set for yourself in 2014. What revenues would you like to generate? How much money can you invest in yourself and your business? There are great business planning tools out there that can help guide you through the process of creating your own strategic plan. What are your key strengths and weaknesses? Have you asked your customers this important question? They can give you clues about the best ways to improve your service levels and create lifetime loyal fans. You can create a simple survey with just a few simple questions on an inexpensive tool like Surveymonkey.com if you want to get a quick read of your performance. Send it out to the customers you have worked with in the past twelve months and see what you get back. Ideally, you may want to think about going even further by signing up for a program like QSC that allows you to track client satisfaction for every transaction you're involved with. Once you identify your key strengths and weaknesses, you can think about the type of training you would like to participate in. Winter is a great time to complete some education courses so can take on 2014 with new skills. What kind of training would you like to engage in to make you a stronger real estate professional? Check out the attached list of training solutions to find some ideas. It's also important to check your Association and MLS websites for training courses. Many of them offer a variety of great courses that are free or very inexpensive.
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
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Best of 2013: 4 Steps to Becoming a Stronger Listing Agent
With only 10 publishing days left in the year, we're counting down our most popular articles of 2013. This article was posted back in January and is #10 in our countdown. How balanced is your business? If you're a buyer's agent with few or no listings, the strength of your real estate practice may be suffering. A healthy real estate strategy includes cultivating both buyers and sellers. After all, the two groups have a symbiotic relationship with each other. A robust pool of buyers to market to enables you to sell listings faster, while a set of solid listings helps you attract higher quality buyers. Growing both sides makes for a stronger, more well-rounded business. With the housing market making a recovery, plenty of buyers are searching for homes while interest rates and prices are still low. This can be a double-edged sword, though. While there's no better time to be a seller's agent, competition for listings is fierce. And it's no wonder—listings take only one-third of the time and effort of working with buyers! Fortunately, Market Leader's free Listing Agent Guide has outlined four strategic steps you can take to attract listing leads, convert them into clients, and sell their homes. Read on to learn more.
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5 Steps to Effective 2014 Business Planning
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5 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Successful 2014
"What's written is real, what's planned is possible," says real estate coach, author and speaker Mike Lindstrom. According to Lindstrom, too many agents only talk about what they want to do when it comes to marketing their business without investing time into setting specific goals and plans to achieve those goals. To help agents get started crafting a plan for success in the new year, he recommends that every agent asks themselves five questions: What is my purpose? What is my outcome? What is my business plan? What can I do this year to invest in myself? What can I do to change my mindset? Lindstrom was one expert selected to provide one-on-one training sessions to the winners of the 2013 HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. For more from Lindstrom on goal setting for 2014, read the transcript on the next page.
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Turning Prospects into Customers…for the Long Run
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
Now is a perfect time to reassess and calculate what you need to do to get your goals on track! As we move towards mid-year, it's time to put pen to paper to figure out what is working (and what isn't). A business plan isn't set it stone, nor should it be a heavy burden. Rather, it's a roadmap that helps clarify your objectives and how you're going to achieve them. Success stems from having established goals and a plan to achieve them. Fortunately, our latest Friday Freebie makes creating a plan with achievable goals simple. Read on to learn more. Free Business Plan Builder from realtor.com® Realtor.com® offers a free tool that allows you to review last year's results, set goals for the next year, and calculate just how many activities you will need to engage in to reach your objective. This free tool is designed for agents who have set an ambitious goal for prospecting, sales and closings. It includes recommendations for the following, based on your unique business objectives: Webinars Downloads Tools If you're looking for a strong foundation to get your goals back on track, spend five minutes with this free tool from realtor.com®. It'll help you assess the tools you're already using so you can plug in solutions that deliver results. You will see how many prospects you need to acquire each month, and how many follow-up calls you need to make to position yourself to meet your goal. Click here to learn more about this free benefit from realtor.com®.
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How to Keep Other Agents From Stealing Your Leads
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4 Steps to Becoming a Stronger Listing Agent
How balanced is your business? If you're a buyer's agent with few or no listings, the strength of your real estate practice may be suffering. A healthy real estate strategy includes cultivating both buyers and sellers. After all, the two groups have a symbiotic relationship with each other. A robust pool of buyers to market to enables you to sell listings faster, while a set of solid listings helps you attract higher quality buyers. Growing both sides makes for a stronger, more well-rounded business. With the housing market making a recovery, plenty of buyers are searching for homes while interest rates and prices are still low. This can be a double-edged sword, though. While there's no better time to be a seller's agent, competition for listings is fierce. And it's no wonder—listings take only one-third of the time and effort of working with buyers! Fortunately, Market Leader's free Listing Agent Guide has outlined four strategic steps you can take to attract listing leads, convert them into clients, and sell their homes. Read on to learn more.
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Creating Actionable Social Media Strategies
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Holiday Deal: 2013 Business Plan (and Training!) from Market Leader
It's December--the year is winding down, and savvy agents are beginning to look ahead to 2013. Our latest holiday deal aims to help REALTORS® do just that. Market Leader's 2013 Real Estate Business Plan is a free-to-download guide that empowers agents to achieve definable goals. It does this by helping agents: Understand consumer needs - By understanding potential clients, you are better able to connect with them. Today's consumer begins their real estate search online, but are often overloaded with information. Market Leader shows you how to differentiate yourself online and learn how to communicate with tech savvy consumers. Identify challenges facing the agent - It's all about the leads. Learn how to generate leads, engage them, and win their business, all while having fun. See what bad habits are holding you back and how to evaluate your online presence. Explore the tools needed for success - From a straightforward website to diversified lead generation, Market Leader shows you what you need to connect with the digital consumer. Most important, though, are action-oriented goals that are clearly defined.
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Why Every Real Estate Agent Needs a Real Business Plan
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An SEO Strategy That Pays Back
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: With so many 'voices' out there, how are real estate companies supposed to know who to listen to and what to believe when it comes to their websites and online placement (aka Search Engine Optimization)? You would think that some of the sources who tout themselves as SEO experts should have the best interests of these companies at heart. I'm here to let you know that they usually do not! With doing so many websites around the country, I think we've seen just about everything and heard just about everything as well. We see real estate companies receiving 'advice' on how they should handle customers and what should be emailed to them. We see 'advice' telling real estate companies how to handle data feeds and where to link the traffic. Well, here is some free advice that, if listened to, can generate your company millions of dollars in transactions. All links must link back to YOUR site You can not compromise on the fact that every link from all possible sources must link back to your website. This includes links from any portal, links from any emails. All traffic! While there may not be any link value and while search engines may not be able to follow some of these links, it is well known that search engines do favor sites that get more traffic. There is no way you should ever link any visitor to any website other than your primary website.
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99 Problems, but a Niche Ain’t One
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A Geographic Farm? Do it right the first time.
It is hard to deny that in many areas of the country (especially the Silicon Valley market, where we reside), the real estate market has rebounded nicely and is showing no signs of slowing down. Because of this, many REALTORS® have decided to start a new postcard farming area, or fire up an old one that hasn't had any action in a while. Many agents, contemplating such a move, call or email our office for best practice advice, tips on where and how to market, or even help carrying out a direct mail campaign. Here are a few of the most common questions and/or pitfalls we encounter and how we advise our clients. Hopefully this helps you out as well: 1) How do I pick a farm area? Selecting a farm area is one of the most important things you can do when planning your campaign. Think about it: You are going to be marketing to this area, on a regular basis, for months (actually years) to come. You are going to be spending hundreds, and most likely thousands, of dollars on this endeavor throughout the course of your career. With those two things in mind, why would you take this decision lightly? Whenever I speak with a client or prospective client about picking a farming area, I always bring up two things: Location Location Location: I am betting you are thinking I'm talking about picking an area that is "desirable," hot, or fashionable. Well, get ready for this--I'm not. What I mean is pick an area that you are in love with. Human beings are smart animals. We pick things up based on our interactions with people. If you are at a listing appointment with a prospective client, or holding a home open, if you aren't in love with the area, don't like the houses, or would rather be somewhere else, it's going to be evident. It might be slight little things, but people will see this and figure it out. Simply put, if you love what you do, it will shine, making those around you enthusiastic about what you are doing and therefore making you more successful. Just because "everyone else" is focused on a certain price point of home, or certain geographic area of your marketplace, does not necessarily mean you have to also be focused on that area. Work where you love, and many things will work themselves out.
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HomeGain Releases 2nd Quarter 2011 National Home Values Survey Results
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