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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
Fastest and Easiest Source of Listings Every top agent knows the number one source of business is word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat customers. Word-of-mouth is defined as: Giving people a reason to talk about you or your stuff. Making it easier for those conversations to take place. 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. Sending out useful real estate information on a consistent basis to everyone you know is the easiest and fastest way to make these conversations take place. Share tips, emails, blogs, social posts, and short videos that share what you know about real estate that also creates the perception that you are an expert—that you are competent at what you do.
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How Business Strategy Can Help You Stand Out in Real Estate
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5 Tips to Successfully Launch Your Real Estate Career
So you finally have your real estate license and you're ready to kickstart your new career as a real estate agent. What do you do now? While launching a career in real estate can be daunting, the following are a few ways to ensure you position yourself for long-term success in the industry.
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Risk Management for Your Real Estate Business
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Friday Freebie: Set (and Keep!) Your 2018 Goals with this Workbook
Are the goals you've set for your real estate business this year really goals—or are they just wishes? Here's how you can tell. If you say, "I want to make $10,000 more in commissions this year," and leave it at that—well, friend, you're just a wishful thinker. If, however, you say, "I want to make $10,000 more in commissions this year—and here are the specific steps I'm going to take to do that," then you're a bonafide goal setter. But here's the thing—it's easy to think of what you want to accomplish, but much harder to devise a plan for how to accomplish those things. If formulating the specifics of your strategic plan for this year is overwhelming, never fear! In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a downloadable workbook that leads you through the most challenging aspects of setting goals.
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[Infographic] Planning Your Best Year Ever
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7 Steps to Creating an Awesome Marketing Campaign
Marketing campaigns play a crucial role in our job as real estate agents, so it is always paramount that our campaigns are top notch and deliver results! Individual tactics aimed at creating awareness of your brand, building relationships, and connecting with potential clients are good but not nearly as effective as a strategic foundation of activities that all work towards a common marketing campaign. A well-designed marketing campaign can help to: Build your brand Promote your business presence in the local community Attract repeat and referral business Generate leads How does Garry Wise, co-founder of The Paperless Agent and co-owner of GoodLife Realty, and his team put together a marketing campaign that gets results? Great marketing comes down to one simple equation: Right Person + Right Place + Right Time Here are the seven steps you need in order to create an awesome marketing campaign:
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5 Steps Real Estate Agents Can Take to Finish 2017 Strong
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3 Tips for Agents Who Want to Open Their Own Brokerage
"It was never my dream to work for a real estate company for the rest of my life." —Stacie Perrault Staub Was it the idea of promoting someone else's brand, working around someone else's schedule, and splitting your commission that encouraged you to pursue a career in real estate? Probably not. Working for an established brokerage is a great way to get started in real estate, but it's rarely the end goal of aspiring agents. In a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Stacie Perrault Staub, founder and owner of West & Main Homes and the brain behind the popular Genuine Hustle conferences, shared her tips to start your own real estate brand. Watch the free webinar, Launching a Real Estate Brand from Scratch, for more information, or find our three tips from the webinar below! 1. Take Your Future into Your Own Hands It can be hard to leave a job or company you love, but eventually you have to "make the decision to take a leap and go out on [your] own and start [your] own thing." Staub stressed that "finding those like minded people that share your passions" is a crucial step toward building the confidence you need to launch your own brand. Consider planning a conference, hosting an event, or forming a mastermind group to help you connect with real estate professionals who have already started their own brand, or who, like you, are just starting down the path.
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How to Set Your Goals Now for More Commissions in 2017
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Real Estate Retirement: What’s Your Exit Strategy?
For many reasons, the real estate industry is one that doesn't lend itself well to retirement plans. For most agents, selling real estate is a constant battle to stay ahead of the curve--over-spending when the market is up, and struggling to survive when the market goes south. In a business where 20% of the agents do 80% of the business, it's easy to see why an exit strategy is the last thing on most agent's minds. However, as is the case in most situations, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. For those who can survive the first five years in the business and then avoid the high rate of burnout that permeates the industry, there is a built-in retirement plan for those who do two things: provide great service and then follow-up. It's that simple. A staggering 84% of home buyers said that they were satisfied with the agent they used and would use that agent again. Yet, less than 20% of buyers end up using the same agent in their next transaction. There is a huge disconnect going on and it is costing most agents hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Currently, the average agent reports earning 21% of his or her business from referrals from past clients. That number jumps to 29% if the agent is making $150,000 or more. The better agents get it. With the average homeowner buying and selling a home every five to seven years, that is a LOT of opportunity simply by making sure you simply stay in touch.
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The Weather Outside is Frightful – Now What?
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
With a new year just beginning, now's the perfect time to put pen to paper and calculate what you need to do to achieve your goals in 2014. 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, this week's 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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Best of 2013: 4 Steps to Becoming a Stronger Listing Agent
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5 Steps to Effective 2014 Business Planning
It is hard to believe that there is only a little over one month left in this year. Where did the time go? The holiday season is quickly approaching, bringing the new year in its wake and conjuring up images of all the things that were meant to be accomplished over the past 10 months, but never seemed to be completed. Oh, the guilt of having neglected the reorganization of your storage room! On the other hand, it also brings about images of all the successful tasks that did get done during the year, as well as ideas regarding opportunities and tasks that can be scheduled for the new year. Glorious visions of that newly-organized storage room, the freshness of a new daily organizer, the hope that your email box will eventually clean itself. Visions that won't become a reality unless a plan is put in place! To help you achieve your goals next year, we've compiled five steps to effective 2014 business planning. It's never too early to plan for success. Step 1: Retrospective of 2013 Emerson once stated that, "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." He was right. Wishing on stars and hoping that things magically turn out the way you want them to be does not work. Looking back to 2013, if there are things that did not go the way you wanted them to, then looking at the reason this happened will provide a strong foundation for your 2014 planning. In particular, answer the following questions: What was your particular focus for 2013? Did you achieve it or how close did you get to achieving it? If you did not achieve your goal, what prevented you from doing so? What could have been done to remove those obstacles? What worked? What didn't work? What reporting did you use to track your progress? Did you track your progress? What resources were pinpointed as being potentially beneficial for the future? What resources are no longer helpful and should be discarded? Who provided you feedback or insight that was especially helpful? What key events took place that changed your focus or aided in your staying on track? Can they be repeated? What new things did you learn about you, your clients, your business, the industry? What mistakes did you make? What did you learn from these mistakes?  
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5 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Successful 2014
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Turning Prospects into Customers…for the Long Run
As media reports continue to confirm on an almost daily basis, things are on the rise for real estate. With 2013 panning out to be a big year of recovery, agents across the nation are seeing a significant upswing in business as buyers and sellers get off the sidelines and jump back into the game. With this upswing come more leads, clients, appointments ... and more need for organization and close management of day-to-day demands. According to Karen Werling of Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty in Fernandina Beach, Fla., the right technology and systems are critical to taking care of business and maximizing the opportunities of the market rebound. As is the case for many real estate professionals around the country, Werling has witnessed noteworthy growth in her market. "The biggest change in the market is that buyers are ready to purchase," she explains. "They're no longer holding off to see what the market is going to do. Inventory is dropping, and prices are going back up, so they're taking action." Five-to-seven years ago, Werling and her team were prepared for the imminent advancement of technology in the real estate arena. Therefore, they focused on Internet leads and marketing. "Five years ago, home prices were spiking. We've been in the real estate profession for over 25 years, so we knew it was going to be short lived. We needed to prepare for what was to come. As we expected, the economy took a downturn, but we were ready for it," she says. Over the last year, Werling's market has recovered very quickly, which was also anticipated by her team. "Our inventory is down 30 percent from three years ago and our sales are up 40 percent. This is a result of attractive pricing and rates and the pent-up buyers who are ready to buy," she says.
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
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How to Keep Other Agents From Stealing Your Leads
It's a common practice in real estate to try to generate leads from a competitor already doing a good volume of business. The easiest way to steal leads is to look at a competitor's shortcomings and create a marketing plan based on their shortfalls. Easy Targets: Agents who don't focus on a target market. Agents lacking a comprehensive website. Agents without a lead management system. Lack of drive will also cost you leads. Don't become complacent with your marketing plan – there's always someone around the corner creating a strategy that tries to address your inadequacies. Target Market Casting a large net into a sea of leads seems like a good idea. But potential leads don't want to do business with an agent who doesn't specialize in a specific field. Without a target market, you will look like a generic agent. People want to do business with agents who know who their clients are and what they want. When you look at it from the client's perspective, it makes sense. They don't want to waste time working with an agent who doesn't understand their needs. Stand out from the rest by becoming an expert in your field. Dustin Russell, manager of acquisition marketing at Market Leader, offers this advice: "Make sure you aren't advertising alongside other agents. A site that places you next to one, two, or three other agents doesn't provide exclusivity. You may get a lead here and there, but you aren't positioned as the only expert in your area."
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4 Steps to Becoming a Stronger Listing Agent
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Creating Actionable Social Media Strategies
The list of social media networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Active Rain, and YouTube, could make your head spin. If the thought of starting and maintaining an actionable social media strategy seems overwhelming, it's time to come up with a game plan. In the world of social media, you are either a player or sitting the sidelines. Writing a blog from time to time, creating a Facebook page that you rarely visit or tweeting every couple of weeks doesn't keep you in the game. In fact, it shows that you are inconsistent. Go beyond just creating a presence. How to Get Started Before you start creating accounts on every social media networking website under the sun, take some time to think about your target market. By focusing on a target market, you can create a consistent brand and focused social media strategy. "Determine your target market, because you will want to use the social media tool(s) where you will find your target market. ... By establishing this, you will be more effective and efficient in your social media efforts," says Sheryl Johnson, founder and CEO of BD-Pro Marketing Solutions. A target market is who you think will buy a property or service from you. Create a list of characteristics that you think your customer base has—age, marital status, geographic location, occupation and hobbies to name a few. This list is referred to as a demographic profile. Use this demographic profile when creating your online presence.
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Holiday Deal: 2013 Business Plan (and Training!) from Market Leader
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Why Every Real Estate Agent Needs a Real Business Plan
It seems that at least once a year I get into a phase where I consider purchasing a new car. Of course, I rarely take the next step and actually buy one (my garage can only fit two cars at a time). I've always been a fan of brands like Audi, Toyota, and Nissan, but this year I was surprised to see some cool new car designs from Ford, and now I'm noticing them all over the place. I guess it's human nature to notice certain things once we've set our minds on them. For example, we recently launched the 2013 Real Estate Business Plan, so naturally I'm noticing other real estate business plans all over the place. In fact, for those of you who were able to attend this year's NAR conference, you might have picked up a copy of the Florida Association of REALTORS® November/December magazine. In this magazine are a slew of business plans for real estate professionals. I've included a list of them below, along with a few others, for your reference. As I look over the list, I notice a number of differences. Some are essentially guides for creating a traditional business plan – such as a small business might create. A couple of the plans mention trends for the coming year and advise agents and brokers on where to focus their efforts.
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An SEO Strategy That Pays Back
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99 Problems, but a Niche Ain’t One
99 Problems, but a niche ain't one. If you having SEO problems, I feel bad for you, son, I got 99 problems, but a niche ain't one. (With apologies to Jay-Z) So often when I hear real estate agents complain about their lack of leads or lack of web presence, I try to explain to them that it might be a lack of focus that is keeping them from success. It's so much easier to be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa. Are you a beginning real estate blogger trying to figure out how you will compete with the budgets of Zillow, Trulia or REALTOR.com? Washington State real estate brings 395 MILLION results on Google, and Seattle real estate, 174 million. A bigger city like Chicago brings 450 million results for the term Chicago real estate. These are horrible odds. Unfortunately, I hear of agents who actually try and service an area that size. If you serve five counties, four congressional districts and three area codes, I would argue that you aren't a "local expert" in much of anything.
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A Geographic Farm? Do it right the first time.
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HomeGain Releases 2nd Quarter 2011 National Home Values Survey Results
Guest Contributor Louis Cammarosano from HomeGain Says: Fifty percent of surveyed real estate professionals nationwide expect home values to decrease over the next six months; Sixty-five percent disapprove of Obama’s performance as President. HomeGain, the first company to provide free instant home valuations online, announced the results of its nationwide second quarter 2011 home values survey. Over 750 real estate agents and brokers and over 2,600 homeowners were surveyed. Most real estate professionals and homeowners continue to expect home values to decrease or stay the same through the middle of the year. Fifty percent of agents and brokers and forty-two percent of homeowners think that home values will decrease over the next six months. In the first quarter 2011 HomeGain National Home Values Survey, thirty-nine percent of agents and brokers and 30 percent of homeowners thought that home values would decrease over the next six months.  
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