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Brian Buffini's Bold Predictions: 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 9:00 AM PST Brian Buffini, real estate industry influencer and lifetime entrepreneur, presents his Bold Predictions to unveil the 2020 market trends you can bet on. He cuts through the noise and shares what you need to know and do to build a profitable business that lasts. Brian covers: The State of the Market The productivity curve to keep you ahead of market forces in 2020 The State of the Industry The only disrupters you'll ever need to worry about for a thriving business The State of the Agent Three game changing activities every agent needs to implement today Register today and secure your virtual seat for the most important broadcast of the year!
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What Does a Possible Economic Recession Mean for the Housing Market?
By now you've likely heard murmurings of an impending economic recession. According to the National Association for Business Economics' Economic Policy Survey, three out of four of the business economist panelists expect a recession by 2021. But let's hold off on the panic button for just a minute, because this does not necessarily mean a downturn in the housing market. In fact, historically, it can mean quite the opposite.
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What Are iBuyers?
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
As a data junkie, I love Top 10 lists. So, when The Counselors of Real Estate releases its member survey of current and emerging issues that will have the biggest impact on real estate in 2019 and 2020, I'm all ears – and eyes. The 1,100 member Counselors released its Top Ten list once again at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, this year in Austin. The top concern? U.S. infrastructure was identified as the #1 issue impacting real estate.
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Gen Z is Buying Their First Homes! Here's What You Need to Know
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
Instant offer companies are a real thing and they are here to compete with you for their fair share of the real estate market. However, you should enjoy that people are reacting to instant offers as they have. Why? Because it opens up a whole new kind of untapped marketing strategy that might lead to you closing more clients. In this guide, we will teach you how to create marketing campaigns and close these instant offer clients.
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Real Estate Marketing Trends that Need to Die in 2019
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Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
A real estate agent called complaining that he spoke with one of his buyers who wanted to see a property he found online. When the agent went to check the listing out, he was shocked. The commission stated was for $1. Being the professional that he was, he went to show the condo. He sent me a copy of the MLS sheet and, lo and behold, it was true. Then I contacted the listing agent thinking perhaps they were new and had made an error. Nope, she said, it was correct. The commission was one dollar.
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The Latest Trends in Market Analytics
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5 Buzzworthy Real Estate Marketing Trends You Can Use
2018 was a tremendous year for the real estate industry, and 2019 is shaping up to be just as big! In 2018, real estate agents saw innovative digital technologies begin to change the way business is done. Customers looking for home listings have shifted their research almost entirely online. In 2019, emerging technologies will start to transform agents' day-to-day workflow. More things that were once considered "nice to have" will become online branding necessities. Below, we predict what will be most buzzworthy in 2019.
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Shift Happens: How Top Agents Survive (and Thrive) in a Turning Real Estate Market
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Real Estate Advertising Trends You Should Be Aware of This Holiday Season
Paid advertising is never static, as a direct result of supply and demand. Your cost-per-lead will fluctuate depending on the number of homebuyers relative to the number of advertisers in the market. Seasonality also impacts search traffic! Luckily, there are some patterns you can follow. Here are a few of the top paid advertising trends to stay aware of during the holiday season.
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Home Design Trends: What Homebuyers Are Looking for Today
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3 Easy Ways to Future-proof Your Real Estate Business
What can real estate agents do now to prepare their business for the future? Experts Kristi Kennelly and David & Jonah Stillman have a few ideas. During a recent conference, they (and many others!) shared action steps Realtors can take now to make sure they're staying ahead of the curve—and top of mind with their sphere and farming area. Here are the top three ways that agents can impress clients and ensure their business lasts for the long haul:
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4 Powerful Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
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How Mobile Tech Is Changing Real Estate Forever
It really wasn't too long ago that mobile technology for real estate agents was a "nice to have" technology. Visionary agents and teams rolled out their own mobile apps. They converted their websites to a mobile responsive design. The smartest ones set up mobile-centric lead generation systems that took full advantage of all the information a mobile home shopper would automatically provide. These early adopters reaped the rewards that mobile tech offered real estate sales professionals. The major portals, including realtor.com and Zillow, focused development efforts on mobile apps. They rolled out features that better connected agents to their customers. In 2012, one-fifth of all Google related real estate searches were on mobile devices. Today, Google reports over 60 percent of all searches are performed on mobile devices. In the last four years, real estate related searches have grown by a whopping 235 percent. Today, mobile tech is now a "given" for every agent and broker. It is changing the face of the real estate transaction forever. Every tool we now use, from our websites, to all the tech tools that help us manage our business and close real estate transactions, must be mobile friendly. Going forward, all new software must be developed with a mobile-first approach. It's vital to understand why.
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
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15 Real Estate Resources That Will Help You Sell More Homes in 2017
If you want to get ahead of the competition and thrive as a real estate agent for the next 12 months and beyond, you have to be willing to put some time into putting together a strategy for the year ahead. One of the best low-stress ways to ease into planning for 2017 is to spend a few hours here and there exploring resources that relate to your industry and profession. To help lead you in the right direction, I've collected 15 great actionable resources that you can learn from and apply to your business in order to sell more homes in 2017. Real Estate Trends You can't be an effective real estate agent without keeping up with the latest changes and trends affecting your industry. It's the same for any type of profession—you need to understand how the market is changing, what your potential customers are looking for and in need of, and what you need to do to differentiate from the competition. As you plan for the next 12 months, here are five trends to consider: 1. The Market Will Continue to Improve. According to the New York Times, buyers purchased single-family houses at the annual rate of 654,000 in 2016, the highest rate since October 2007. In the article from the Times, The Housing Market Is Finally Starting to Look Healthy, journalist Neil Irwin highlights the improvements that we've been seeing and experiencing in the market over the past seven to eight years. The article provides some great statistics and charts that can help you better understand where the market is likely heading in 2017. 2. Drones Are Coming. Drones aren't necessarily new to the real estate market, but they will become a lot more prevalent in 2017 due to some changes announced by the FAA earlier this year. In an article from Autelrobotics, titled The Complete Guide to Drones for Real Estate, author Andrew Hansen highlights some impressive statistics. He writes, Annual commercial drone sales are expected to reach 2.5 million units in 2017, an increase of more than 300 percent over 2016 estimates. Real estate is projected to be one of the largest industries to capitalize on drone technology, as experts predict it will account for 22 percent of total commercial drone use by 2020. As you already know, listing photos and videos are becoming an increasingly important part of connecting with potential buyers. Buyers today want as much information about a home as possible before they step foot through the door. It's your job as a real estate agent to collect and present them with that information. This article will help you understand what you need to do to invest in drone technology as a real estate agent in 2017.
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5 Social Media Trends You Need to Leverage
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Top Online Marketing Trends for Real Estate Pros
How many articles have you read that list the many ways 2016 will be a great year in real estate? Sellers are selling and buyers are buying. But how do you, as the real estate professional, capitalize on said growth? Utilizing the latest and greatest in online marketing technology will definitely help! Provide shareable, interactive content It’s time to take your blogging seriously! No more poorly written or irrelevant posts. Not only is it important to start writing articles about content that your prospects are actually interested in, but you also need to focus on creating content that’s share-worthy. REALTOR®Mag recently offered the following tips to better leverage your blog: Be an amazing storyteller and let your personality shine through your posts Use pictures, infographics, and interactive content to engage readers and grab their attention Be a friend to local businesses by mentioning them in your posts–this benefits you both! Use technology to automatically share your blog posts to various social media sites Incorporate video Video will continue to play a big part in online marketing this year, providing a great visual and helping to make your marketing messages more personal. Target your videos to the audience you would like to reach with a carefully crafted script. According to the National Association of REALTORS® report on “Real Estate in the Digital Age,” 26% of buyers are using online videos sites such as YouTube during the home search. You don’t even have to have fancy equipment. Many of today’s mobile phones take high quality videos. For iPhone users, you can change the quality of your recordings by going to Settings > Photos & Camera and then selecting Record Video to update your video resolution settings.
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7 Actionable Mobile Trends for Real Estate Agents
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Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016
Break out the hammer and nails: 2016 is predicted to be a strong year for home remodeling, according to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The report anticipates that annual spending growth on home improvements will increase from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2015 to 6.8% by the end of 2016's second quarter. Agents and brokers looking for potential listing leads can use this as an opportunity to connect. How? Here are a few ideas that immediately come to mind: Create a board for renovation ideas on Pinterest Blog about renovation projects (again, you can mine Pinterest for ideas) Share info about home improvement fairs in your area Touch base with former clients and ask if they need contractor referrals But how do you know what's "in" (and what's not) this season so that you can better engage consumers? A recent report from Zillow Digs, which factors what consumers are looking for with insight from home design experts, points to the following trends. You can use these ideas as a starting point when looking for content to share. Farewell, Farmhouse Chic The rustic, intentionally shabby look of the "farmhouse chic" trend seems to finally be on its last legs. In its place come sleek, elegant accents reminiscent of the 1920s. Texture Trends What's Out: Say goodbye to burlap details, which Zillow's design experts say is too harsh for indoor use. What's In: Instead, homeowners are looking to softer textures like nubby wool rugs or other natural fibers. The typically neutral colors of these fabrics are the perfect balance to bolder colors.
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Onwards and Upwards in 2016
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Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016
With the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5% and stable job growth continuing in a number of industries, 2016 looks to be a promising year for economic and industry advancement. For the real estate industry, the forecast is optimistic – especially for sellers, as home values continue to climb. Here are six real estate trends to watch for in the New Year. 1. Demand for housing will continue to grow 2015 proved to be the housing market's most profitable year since the recession, and sales of existing homes are expected to grow moderately in 2016. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, "Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home." The market is primed for current homeowners who plan to transition from their "starter homes" to larger houses that will accommodate growing families. Additionally, prospective sellers who had been sitting on homes that had decreased in value during the recession may now be able to sell without losses. The current inventory of available homes is low and the average cost of houses is on the rise. This can be an advantage for second-time buyers, but detrimental to first-time purchasers who face stiff competition while struggling to meet higher price tags.
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What Will Buyers Want in 2016? Smart Homes!
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Why Millennials Won’t Buy Boomer McMansions
Self-confession: I love surveys. Data is my kryptonite. I got hooked in my grad school stats class and I've never looked back. At Great Western Bank, I created the Realty Confidence Index, which surveyed, face-to-face, broker-owners in 23 states. At Fannie Mae, I got to pitch to reporters nationwide the most comprehensive housing surveys of its day. At Imprev, I helped craft and launch the real estate industry's first Thought Leader Survey and continue to spearhead that effort. This all means I know intimately what Mark Twain meant when he popularized the saying, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics." Two people can draw completely different conclusions from the exact same data. Which is why I am having problems with a few statistics about Millennials and their immediate impact on home buying: Zillow's economist Stan Humphries says, "By the end of 2015, millennial buyers will represent the largest group of homebuyers." The National Association of Realtors' 2015 report on generational trends says that Millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers at 32 percent and comprise 68 percent of first-time buyers. A TD Bank survey says that 62 percent of potential first-time home buyers think that they will purchase a home within the next two years; among millennial survey respondents, the number rises to 67 percent.
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Is It Walkable? More Buyers Want a Pedestrian-Friendly Community
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What They Don’t Tell You – Real Estate Market Trends
Everyone has an opinion about residential real estate market trends. Most predictions have merit, while some of them are just a shot in the dark. The focus tends to be on the volatility of housing prices, predictions on how long the mortgage lending rates will remain at record lows, and the influx of Millennial home buyers. All the while you are bombarded with across the board forecasts by economists and analysts predicting how the market will be affected in the coming years. Many real estate forecasts don't always reflect both short term and long term market conditions. The focus is often current trends of whether the real estate market is up or down, the difficulty of home owners trying to sell, and home buyers trying to qualify for and afford loans. Through it all, you will always have families that are struggling "to make ends meet", investors who are eating up supply, and real estate agents who are trying to cater to everyone's needs. Those buyers who were suckered into those misleading mortgages thought they would be okay making minimum payments since that worked before, but weren't actually told that they weren't paying off the interest. Unfortunately this happened to a lot of people, causing them to go into extreme debt. Those low mortgage rates that the banks rolled out had people buying all over the place. When many home owners weren't able to make their monthly mortgage payments, bankruptcy and the housing crisis happened. Of course there were a lot of other factors contributing to the housing crash, but one thing we need to be careful of is not making the same mistakes again.
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10 Insights into Real Estate Technology for 2015
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7 Signs of a Soon-to-Be Super Hot Market (and Why You Can’t Ignore Them)
Real estate is an industry that's all about hyper-local expertise. As an agent, you specialize in specific zip codes, home types, client types—you name it. This industry is as much about niche specialties as it gets. That said, if you want to be the agent who blows away the competition and makes your business go gangbusters this year, you need to know how and when to expand your expertise into new areas of interest. And that means that you need to anticipate what neighborhoods are going to be super hot in the near future. If you establish yourself as the go-to agent in those markets now, there will be no stopping you in the future. Here are the top telltale signs of a soon-to-be hot market. Play your cards right, and your business (and clients!) will thank you for it! 1. Trend-Following Businesses Are Moving In In my neck of the woods, when a co-working space, a Whole Foods or a Blue Bottle coffee moves into the neighborhood, it's a sign that the nature of the neighborhood might be changing. This is just as true for small, local businesses that attract people with disposable income as it is for businesses that sell the basics with flair. In fact, larger businesses tend to do a fair amount of economic research and projections on the neighborhood before moving in. Watching big industry and business moves can be a great way to spot emerging areas with strong fundamentals way before other agents might otherwise be able to see them.
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2013: The Year of Mobile
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A Portrait of the Agent – Realtor® Habit Survey
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: Market Leader surveyed 1,967 Realtors® in August 2013 to learn about their habits. We asked questions about offbeat topics not covered in NAR's Annual Member Profile or similar studies. Questions touched on topics as diverse as their procrastination habits, cell phone usage while driving, and favorite cuisine. Read on to discover what Market Leader's survey uncovered about Realtors® – from habits common across the profession to the differences in habits between the most and least successful Realtors®!
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Mobile Engagement
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How Real Estate Agents are Using Mobile Technology
Guest contributor Properties Online says: 2012 was a big year for mobile technology and social media use – especially in the real estate sector. Mobile technology has been called a 'Game Changer' for the modern REALTOR®, and social media offers a promising return on investment. Let's take a closer look at just how real estate agents are using mobile technology and social media. A Look at Mobile Technology The most popular device purchased by real estate agents in 2012 was a smartphone (44 percent), followed by tablets (27 percent) and laptops (19 percent). According to Pew Research's study "Mobile is the needle; Social is the thread," internet use in the U.S. has increased from 14 percent to 82 percent since 1995. Eighty-five percent of adults in America have a cellphone, of which 45 percent use smartphones, two-thirds are wireless internet users, and slightly over 66 percent of online adults use social media. The survey also revealed that: 83% of REALTORS® believe mobile technology has enhanced their real estate business 92% of real estate agents believe mobile technology has increased their efficiency 63% of REALTORS® believe they need the latest technology for their real estate business Real estate is about relationships and locations – it is not best served by being chained to an office or a desk. Mobile technology frees the real estate agent to work and connect with clients where ever and whenever.
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[Infographic]: Home Buyer Search Habits
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Study: How Online Is Driving Offline
Last year at this time, we saw several big reports showing how clearly the web is influencing the real estate market, with more consumers than ever beginning their home searches online. Here we are again in the early part of the year, and Google and the National Association of REALTORS® have a new report on online habits and real estate. What did they learn this time around? Real estate-related searches have more than doubled in last 4 years. The report, The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, includes custom research from NAR's 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in addition to internal Google data.
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Are You Recognizing the Trends in Your Market?
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Tablets: The Future of (Digital) Advertising
It's the attack of the tablet. Selling at an incredible rate since the launch of the iPad in 2010, tablets are rapidly changing digital advertising. In fact, we're about to experience a new golden age of advertising. It's content (and advertising) on-demand wherever you are. It's swipeable, slideable, pinchable, zoomable and scrollable, too. It's tactile. So what sets the tablet apart for an advertiser? Larger than a smartphone and more personal than a TV screen, tablets and the growing technology surrounding them offer a whole new world of advertising possibilities. Video on a decent screen size with high-resolution (that's mobile) provides a much richer experience. As a result, more and more people are consuming content on tablets. The tactility of the tablet offers advertisers the chance to engage users in a physical way that's more intriguing than simply digesting information on a screen. Not only will ads become more interactive, but advertising will take advantage of targeted demographics, location, movement, high-resolution screens, video and personalization. Consumers aren't heading to web pages to look at ads; they want the content they searched for. With tablet capabilities such as over-the-page ad units, advertising messages can be conveyed without taking consumers away from their content.
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Infographic: The Price is Right!
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Just how important IS technology in Real Estate?
Guest contributor Delta Media Group says: Does spending more money on real estate technology help you make more? Does making more money help you spend more on real estate technology?The question might be the industry’s chicken-and-egg. It’s tough to tell which caused the other, and if you polled 10 different people, you might get five to answer each way.Trying to assume conclusions out of the statistics might be irresponsible. But the stats show what the stats show, and the stats show real estate agents who invest more in marketing and technology make more money.This, according to a new survey InmanNext conducted that compared top-earning real estate agents (those who take in $100,000 or more per year) to agents earning between $30,000 and $50,000. Nearly 1,400 real estate agents responded—enough to reduce the study’s margin of error to a small percentage.
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33 Must-Know Stats about Modern Real Estate Customers
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For REALTORS, The Answer Is In "The Cloud"
      Guest contributor Austin Allison of DotLoop says . . . You’ve probably heard about “the cloud” in association with technology and the Internet. Phrases like “cloud-based solution” or “working in the cloud” seem to spring up in most technology-related conversations these days. Reason being, the cloud has completely changed the way we use the Internet. What cloud-based technology means for REALTORS® in the simplest terms, is sharing resources, programs and other applications hosted from a remote network that are accessible via Internet connection.
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Shedding Light on Online Security
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A T-Mobile Royal Wedding Tribute
It takes a lot to make me watch a phone company's ad. I do not normally attribute humor to cell phone companies. When given the choice, I'd bypass a Verizon or AT&T ad as soon as possible. But with over 19 million views and enough posts to my Facebook, this T-Mobile ad made it to the desk of our CEO and into my inbox. It was unavoidable.  That's the power of viral social media marketing. If it's good, and enough people like it, it stalks you until you like it too. So now I'm dropping this into your world too! I hope you feel the love! To commemorate the Royal Wedding between Wills and Kate last week, T-Mobile's marketing team released a genuinely funny and staged "dance-off" between members of the royal family at the wedding. It just goes to show edutainment is a great way to market your services to your target audience. I may never have given T-Mobile the time of day before, but they made me laugh and now I'm more open to listening. Does this marketing video have the same effect on you? Watch and see!
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Inclusion: Secret Sauce of Social Media
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Your Reputation: To Be Shared Online?
Consumers today are demanding more and more transparency in every purchase they make. They solicit input from fellow customers about everything from digital cameras to books to doctors. They look to sites like CNET for objective ratings on electronics and they look to sites like findadoctor.com and lawyerratingz.com to learn about the training, reputation and customer satisfaction levels of professionals like doctors and lawyers. This paper will show real estate agents how they can take advantage of this consumer trend to grow their business. It will help agents understand why consumers want more information about the reputations of real estate agents online. It will also show how fellow REALTORS® have capitalized on this strong consumer need to grow their business.
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Viewers Have Options: Make Sure They Choose You
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Time Management Begins With You
The funny thing about "time management" is the multitude of books, articles and seminars on the subject, all suggesting "easy" or "proven" techniques and tips. Set goals, prioritize your tasks, eliminate non-essential "to-dos" and find that magical system that will give you more time for your family. While many of these articles, books, podcasts, etc., usually vary in catchy vocabulary and clichés, successful time management boils down to one's determination and discipline. Spending your time reading about how to manage your time, the techniques to use and steps to follow seem to waste rather than save time. Also, not every system is one-size-fits-all. Different authors or speakers have different perspectives that may not tie into your individual situation. Besides, at the core of any effective time management strategy is one's attitude.
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The Science of Timing: Blogging
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The Science of Timing: Emailing
How many times a day or week should you email your subscriber base or clients to get the maximum opens without getting "unsubscribe" responses? Do you know what time of day is best for emailing? Does it matter? The answer is simple: emailing is not a haphazard activity. It has evolved into a science. If you are interested in keeping a client and subscriber base informed and engaged with you and your business, it is well worth your time to invest in learning some of the research behind the science of email timing. HubSpot social media scientist Dan Zarrella discussed his research on timing. He has conducted research on the Internet for the last 2-3 years. Of all the subjects he researches, the science of timing is the number one piece of data consumers want to know. He researches and identifies best practices. This webinar presents all the data to date that Zarrella has studied. It covers three marketing mediums businesses use for inbound marketing: social media, email and blogging. This article focuses on emailing specifically.
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Study: Only Takes 4 Minutes to Go From Funny to Irritating
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9 Easy Ways to Get Unfollowed on Twitter
Ever since the birth of paper.li and my obsession with aggregating all the content-sharing tweets in my Twitter stream, I have been very aware of annoying Tweeters. Why?  If I don't clean out my Twitter stream every now and then, my paper.li gets overwhelmed with stories I do not want to read about. (To view an example of a paper.li Twitter e-newspaper I manage, check out RE Technology, Inc.'s) Ironically, one of the articles I found interesting, while peeling through my RETechnologyInc Daily was on the very topic of pitfalls of Tweeting that will result in getting people to un-follow you.  In the world of social media, being un-followed is almost equivalent to being virtually told you are annoying or you like things that aren't cool.  It brings many of us back to school yard drama. Jason Yormark, social media marketer, sympathizes to a degree with people who unwittingly abuse common Twitter faux pas. In a recent post he outlines his top 9 Twitter annoyances.  I definitely agree with most. (I still un-follow people who flood my stream with nonsense, but that is due to my paper.li love as stated above.) Here are his top 9 ways to get unfollowed on Twitter:
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5 Things To Know about Marketing on the Web
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The Queue: A Look at RETechSouth, Bob Hale, and 4 New Technologies!
I have been to a conference or 12 this year. I had a chance to attend RE Tech South in the Atlanta suburbs this past week and for lack of a better analogy I am dubbing it the Roy Jones Jr. of real estate conventions. Pound for pound this was the best event of the year.          
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LinkedIn: Are You Leveraging the Premier B2B Social Network? [Infographic]
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3 News Online Spaces Where Users Consume Content and Engage!
I had a chance to spend time with Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan and C.C. Chapman recently all of whom are well respected New Media consultants and best selling authors. I highly recommend that you check out The Thank You Economy, Trust Agents and Content Rules if you are looking to truly understand the new spaces where consumers are consuming content and engaging. If you have not entered to win one of the 6 books I am giving away here is your last chance!
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Sales Skills: Some Kids Are Just Born With It
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Market Your Own Daily Newspaper Based on Twitter Stream
One of the keys to success in Social Media Marketing is sharing content. Whether you post links to interesting and relevant content to Twitter and Facebook from your RSS feed, or share content you create on your blog or find elsewhere, your audience thrives on good content. Curation is becoming more and more important as we collectively build a living history of social media. Why not add a daily or weekly newspaper/magazine to your content distribution arsenal? I can hear the groans already – “TOO MUCH WORK, TOO MUCH TIME!” You might want to give Paper.li, created by Smallrivers, a try.
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Meeting Gen Y's Demand for Online Transparency and Information
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3 Practical Takeaways To Boost Productivity
In this week's episode of The Queue I get back to basics and provide 3 practical takeaways to help your productivity. This week in the Queue: Rescue Time Mophie Kayawa Save the Zebra  
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The Queue: Live from the Keller Williams Family Reunion
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10 Reasons You Will Never Generate A Lead Through Social Media
Guest Contributor Daniel Bates of Tomato University says: Much has been written on the subject of social media being used to generate leads and most of it has not been positive.  In most cases, this is due to a misuse of the tools and not the tools themselves. When I teach social media marketing to students, I do not approach it as a one-size-fits-all-instant-cure and I don’t hype it to be something that it isn’t.  I try to look for a way that a specific agent can use it to reach their specific audience and develop a plan with them on how to accomplish this.
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Trends in Technology… Where Will We Be in 2020?
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The Truth about QR Codes
Guest contributor John Lim says: Unless you have been on a hiatus since the NAR Conference in New Orleans last November, spending all the money you made selling real estate on Facebook, you've probably noticed small, square codes popping up in places like print ads, magazines, billboards and trade-show booths. These useful, efficient little marvels are QR codes, also known as Quick Response Codes. They are all the rage in the real estate industry right now. Although virtually ubiquitous in Europe and Japan, they're just starting to gain popularity in the States. QR codes are readable by almost all smartphones and, with a simple scan, can drive a mobile phone user to any type of content—a website, someone's contact information, or even a simple message.
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Zap the Generation Gap
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Time to Reinvent the QR Code?
I finally got the kids to sleep for the night and was settling in to work on some content for The Hip Roof, when I stopped by Facebook to post a note to a friend about a TV appearance they made that was buzzing on Twitter, and I was hijacked by an ad. In the exact same place I saw the QR code ad last week there was a "UPC" – Universal Property Code, as the company is calling it. Stop, reverse, let's check this out. So I clicked through and was taken to their site, where I read, and I attempted to scan their "UPC" code. My QR scanner, which comes in the Blackberry Messenger, is supposed to be a 'universal' reader – couldn't read this code. I look a little further on their page and discover I need their app for Android or iPhone to read their code.
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Mobile Technology: No Signs of Slowing
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How Facebook Likes Increase Impressions and Brand Awareness
Our friends over at TechSavvyAgent offer a numerical illustration of the value of a “like“: In the top image Tech Savvy Agent received 10 Likes and 12 Comments which led to 4,892 Impressions of the status update. In the bottom image we received 472 Likes and 44 Comments which led to 22,466 Impressions of the status update.
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7 Deadly Tools to Make Your Social Strategy Killer
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To Check In or Not to Check In
I have been using FourSquare for longer than I can remember, but I do remember listening intently to Dennis Crowley at Inman Real Estate Connect last January in New York and really getting it. It is amazing the kind of data that FourSquare is aggregating, the value that the information alone could offer marketing and advertising agencies is mind blowing. The question has often been; what is the practical application for the real estate industry, if there is one? There are pros and cons to every technology we use, new innovations and movements are always happening. FourSquare seems to be picking up momentum, and still defining its place in our culture. I believe it is here to stay, especially as we see all the new “location” based applications and additions to existing social services.
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Business as Usual or Not?
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Fear and Loathing in Social Media
So many people are afraid of social media, or love to say how much they dislike it in the real estate industry. I ask – have they really even checked it out? There are so many great places online for a real estate agent to begin to use social media and understand how to use it. From free webinars, blog talk radio, websites, and much more to give you overviews and basic information to the membership based sites that provide you will truly substantial instruction that can result in incredible lead generation. Knowing where to find the tools and resources is half the battle.  
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Open Letter to Twitter: Promote Your Engagement, Really?
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Don’t Ignore Client Needs, Instead Become the Educator
Have you ever had the pleasure of relocating from one city to another? You have the stress of the move compounded by the fact that you are losing all of your trusted resources and most importantly your “local knowledge”. Let’s say you’re moving because you’ve been promoted to run a new division out of state. You have a young child so you’re looking for good schools within your area and a family-friendly neighborhood. How about if you are a young professional moving for a great job opportunity? The last thing you want is to “live in the burbs” with people like your parents. What if you have lived in the city, in the “happenin’” part of town, but now you’re expecting your first child and want to find a quieter place with a backyard? Your logical first place to go to begin your research is on the web. You can find boatloads of places to look at information about home pricing, number of bedrooms, number of baths and even if the house has a fireplace or not. But what if you want to narrow your search a different way? Perhaps you want to find a home near a dog park for your new puppy, or close to a health food store because you’re a vegetarian and you thrive on organic vegetables? What if you are retiring to a new area and want to be sure there are several golf courses nearby?
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Social Media Likes - To be Taken Seriously
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What are QR Codes?
Want to stay on the cutting edge of technology?  Here is a cool new technology that has just entered the real estate scene. Imagine the small black and white box to your left could be used to translate your new listing properties details, photos and take homebuyers directly to your website? Meet QR codes. Small and powerful, mobile devices can scan the small code in seconds and get access the information they seek, right from their phones. It is quick and convenient. Techies and Smartphone users are embracing this new technology in droves. In response to this new technology and the benefits it holds for the real estate industry, here are some interesting things about QR codes. What is a QR code?
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Proactive Propspecting in Real Estate
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Social Media Increases In-Person Contact and Referral Filtering of Information
As we keep our ear to the ground with social media, two new trends seem to be emerging from social media that have direct impact to real estate professionals.  Social media spurs in-person interaction and filtering of Internet information is moving towards friend referrals rapidly. All this begs the question: what does that mean for real estate? The face of the industry is changing, and the best way to change along with it is to stay informed. A common fear for real estate professionals, when looking to use social media to grow their business is that they lose the personal touch that sets them apart from their competition.  Certainly as sales people, personality and face-to-face interaction is vital to building relationships and eventually closing business.  Many feel it is better to work in-person connections more than trying to build virtual connections.
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Idaho Valley Foreclosures Down 25% in October!
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How Much is a Facebook Fan Worth?
For a while now the return on investment (ROI) for a Facebook fans has been hard to measure. Social media takes time.  Each day posting, linking and building a followership that you should engage with takes time. A not so underlying concern for real estate professionals is: is it paying off?  It this the best use of my day? Take heart, those of you who are faithfully working on your social presence, recent findings from Syncapse indicate that the average Facebook fan is worth $136.38 to a brand and Facebook fans spend an average of an extra $71.84 on a product. However, previous ExactTarget research indicates only 17% of US consumers reported that they're more likely to buy as a result of liking a brand.
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World Series of Wireless
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Want to Market Intelligently?
Three recent events brought to the fore the concept there is marketing and there is intelligent marketing. The difference is using business information tools, not available in the past, to become more efficient and intelligent in your marketing efforts. And at no time can we recall how critical and pivotal being more efficient and intelligent is than in today’s market. The three events were 1) the results of a test program done by California based RealAgile using direct mail to a large audience of homeowner prospects, 2) a revealing statement made by an executive of Broker Metrics at the recent REAL Trends Leadership Institute regarding targeted recruiting and 3) a program launched by Quantum Training Systems in generating prospective new sales professionals from outside the industry. In each case the process of targeting prospects, whether potential sellers for real estate sales professionals or potential new or transfer sales professionals for a brokerage was refined using business information to make the process both more intelligent and efficient.
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Impact of an Aging Agent Population
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Are REALTORS® Slow Adoptors?
REALTORS® are not stupid, just slow to adapt to new technologies. Not because they cannot, but rather because in an industry comprised of independent contracts, the majority chooses to use the Frank Sinatra style – “My Way.” Looking back through time clearly shows most real estate professionals are up to the task of adapting and implementing new technologies successfully. For example in 1973, almost 40 years ago, Electronic Realty Associates, a new real estate franchise at the time, (today known as ERA Real Estate) became one of the fastest growing franchises of the 1970’s by introducing new a technology into the industry. It was the fax machine and it was their competitive advantage.
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Want to Grow Your Real Estate Business? Go International!
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Early Bird Gets the Lead!
Perhaps you've heard the expression, "The early bird gets the worm."  When it comes to home buyers and generating leads, it couldn't be more true. MIT recently published a study on lead generation and lead response management that highlighted key implications for the real estate industry. Understanding lead generation and lead response management are essential to growing your real estate business. What good is lead generation without a way to manage and follow through with those leads? This study carefully examined the differences of two practices: using intuition and experience to generate leads (common in real estate today) or using science to determine how to generate leads.  Before we look into the implications of science over intuition, evaluate your current practice.  What do you rely on to generate leads?  How has it worked so far?  MIT researchers examined three years of data across six companies that generate and response to web leads, from over fifteen thousand leads and over one hundred thousand call attempts. The main questions covered in this study was: When should companies call web-generated leads for optimal contact and qualification ratios? In other words, when is a lead hot, and what is the time frame between that and when it goes cold?  The behavioral study revealed when sales representatives had success around calling web-generated leads.
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Target Practice: Aim for Gen Y
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More Women Use Social Media
RESTON, Va., July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a global report on women's online usage titled, Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet, which provides an in-depth analysis of the female Internet user, highlighting key trends by Internet activity, worldwide region and digital channel. Among its results, the report found that social networking sites reach a higher percentage of women than men globally, with 75.8 percent of all women online visiting a social networking site in May 2010 versus 69.7 percent of men.  "Understanding gender-specific differences in Web usage is valuable to any digital stakeholder looking to successfully reach and engage both women and men in the online environment," said Linda Boland Abraham, comScore chief marketing officer and executive vice president for global development. "We have seen that women across the globe share some similar usage patterns online, such as strong engagement with social networking sites, but it's also important to understand gender differences on a regional, country and local level, where cultural differences are continually shaping online usage and content consumption."
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An Online Advertising Revolution
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Wireless Broadband Revolution
Since the end of the NBA season, much of the media attention around basketball and sports in general has been focused on where superstar LeBron James will play next year. Well, last week, LeBron announced to the world that he would be leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat. While this may be the most hyped free agent signing to ever hit the world of sports, another signing happened this summer that could have an even bigger impact on the country, businesses and communication for decades to come. On June 28th, President Barack Obama signed the Presidential Memorandum: Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution. Back on March 1, 2010, we covered FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan for the United States to become the world leader in wireless Broadband. That plan has now been set in motion by the signing of this Presidential Memorandum, which directs that executive departments, agencies and offices take a number of different steps. Step one is to make available a total of 500 MHz of federal and nonfederal spectrum over the next 10 years, which will be suitable for both mobile and fixed wireless broadband use.
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Step 5: Your Social Network is Still Your #1 Profit Center
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They Text…What Next?
I think by now we can all agree on the fact that Mobile is an increasingly powerful medium for which to market one’s products and services. With over 277 million mobile users, the majority of whom carry their device with them nearly 24 hours a day, reaching someone on their cell phone, in real time, can have true impact on their actions if done properly. This week we’ll take a look at a company who not only got people to text, but also knew what to do next. First, let’s take a quick recap. There are a number of different ways to use mobile technology; one of the most prevalent is SMS/text messaging. As the most commonly used application in the world, it is not only simple but extremely efficient. Using text messaging for marketing also allows you to capture the cell phone number of anyone who texts in to the campaign in order to market to them again in the future; a vital part of impacting the bottom line! Guinness the Beer used text messaging as their primary means of communication for their national Rate Your Pint Challenge. This contest took place in bars and restaurants around the country which serve Guinness Draft Beer. Patrons could Rate Their Pint from 1-5 by sending a text message with the rating to the short code 31759. Each consumer who texted in to enter the contest was entered to win a Home Pub.
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Local to National, Traditional to Digital: Advertising Trends
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Keep Private Information Out of the Public Eye
The Information Age provides numerous advantages to real estate professionals, particularly in regards to marketing through social media channels, blogging, and emailing clients and colleagues. Building an effective online presense is a focal point of most real estate technology vendors. Real estate brokers and agents everywhere are beginning to see the necessaity for online marketing and communication. However, there is a downside to providing a wealth of information about yourself, your services and watching that information spread accross the Internet. The concern of personal information being leaking to the public is growing. Legal expert and CEO of Privacy Solution, Darity Wesley recently made a short video explaining three types of information, and what to be aware of. Continue reading to view the video and the summary of the video...
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Desire For Video Content Drives Online Searches
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Twitter Marketing Tips
Social media is all the buzz in the real estate space. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more are commanding a lot of attention in the real estate space. Twitter is now talked about in the mainstream media, and is one of the fastest growing and most heavily trafficked website on the planet.But where does the real estate agent start?
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10 Things Not to Buy in 2010
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Listing Syndication: The Fine Print!
After CMLS, there was a groundswell of discussion about the rights brokers are giving up when they send their listings to third party websites. WAV Group went to school on the terms and conditions of several of the leading third-party websites. We were specifically focused on the rights to display, distribute and maintain listing data. We learned that in some cases the broker is transferring the irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully paid, royalty-free license to use, retain, transmit, copy, create derivative work of, sell, or distribute the broker’s listing data to other parties or sub-licensees. Bottomline, brokers are giving away rights to their listings they may not be aware of. We also learned that all third-party listing sites are NOT created equal. WAV Group has researched this issue and produced a white paper on the topic that has been designed to help brokers ask the right questions before they syndicate their listings. Click here to download
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