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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?
A real estate agent's job today looks a lot different than it did 25 years ago, and in another 25 years, there's no telling what kind of changes will be in effect. What we can tell is that real estate may currently be undergoing a lasting change. What are we talking about? iBuyer programs. Companies like Opendoor, Zillow, and OfferPad are buying homes directly from homeowners and reselling them to buyers. While homeowners using iBuyers are currently a very small minority, as these programs spread, they could change the role real estate agents play in a home sale.
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Top 10 Issues Impacting the Real Estate Industry: Annual Forecast Reveals
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Gen Z is Buying Their First Homes! Here's What You Need to Know
Millennials and their buying habits have been under the scrutiny of the real estate industry for years. We've watched them go from a minority to the largest group of buyers in the market, but now Generation Z is taking its first steps into the housing market, and it's time we learned more about this new group of first time buyers. In an effort to do just that, Homes.com polled more than 1000 adults from Generation Z aged 18 to 24 years old. Questions focused on Generation Z's expectations about the home buying experience and their home buying plans.
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
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Real Estate Marketing Trends that Need to Die in 2019
It's not hard to find real estate marketing advice online--but proven, high-quality marketing tips are a different story. Too often, agents simply go along with the crowd, embracing the latest "hot" marketing trend, even if it's not actually delivering great ROI. Worst of all, some of these marketing trends can actively hurt your chances of landing new clients or getting a home sold. If your marketing tactics don't inspire confidence, then how can you expect buyers to be confident in your ability to close the deal? Make the most of your real estate marketing investment by avoiding these real estate trends that need to die in 2019.
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Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
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The Latest Trends in Market Analytics
Perhaps the most significant disruption in real estate market analytics has been the launch of Zillow's Zestimate. The Zestimate is an automated valuation model that uses mathematical algorithms to speculate what a home's value might be. In the banking industry, these mathematical algorithms are called AVMs, or Automated Valuation Models. As consumers gained access to the Zillow Zestimate, it sent the industry into a tailspin. "The Zestimate is too high," or "The Zestimate is too low," shouted the crowd of industry pundits, REALTORS®, and consumers alike. The tailspin was created by opening up the dark box of real estate data that had previously only been available to real estate professionals. On a property by property basis, real estate agents would carefully sift through dozens or hundreds of properties on the market, under contract, or recently sold in the process of establishing a market value for a home. This remains true today, and the real estate professional who painstakingly performs this analysis continues to be the authority in helping sellers price homes or supporting buyers with successful offers. So the battle is on. Real estate agents have a strong challenger in Zillow, who aims to become the source of real estate information on property values. The good news is that software vendors in the real estate industry continue to raise the bar for REALTORS® by delivering a wide array of products that not only enable the agent to gain astute insights into market data, but analyze and report on that market data with exceptional professionalism. Used correctly, the agent can continue to maintain their position as the most trusted source of what is happening in the real estate market. The challenge is adoption. We have seen an enormous effort expended by the National Association of REALTORS® to maintain the advantage of the REALTOR by the development of the RVM®, or REALTOR Valuation Model. It is like an AVM, but only available to members of NAR. The RVM is created by NAR though their subsidiary, Realtors Property Resource®. This is certainly nothing new, but it is a significant trend in the industry because of its enormous evolution. The product has gotten really advanced in the data available, its ease of use, and certainly the quality of its reports. Frankly, RE Technology believes that RPR is among the most advanced mobile tools available to real estate professionals today. Another enormous development in the real estate industry has been in tax systems. CoreLogic has shifted their development of REALIST® from a standalone solution and opted to focus on Matrix 360, a fully integrated MLS and tax system in one. Alongside this trend, we have seen CRS Data completely rebuild their tax interface and become one of the newest tax systems in real estate. These systems, along with the marketing focused tax system Remine, have splintered the strategic direction of off-market data accessed by real estate professionals. Of course, data quality as measured by accuracy (typos), depth (number of fields), and timeliness (speed of update from the recorder's office) varies by county. No matter how good the software or reports are, the underlying data is the most important resource. Agents and brokers continue to tie market data into their CRM and leverage market reports in lead generation forms for "What's my home worth?" In this regard, we have seen a lot of activity by leading CRM providers like Inside Real Estate, Contactually, Top Producer's Market Snapshot, Boston Logic, Booj, Real Estate Webmasters, Gabriels, and so many others. It is the most powerful drip marketing report with soaring open rates, some hitting as high as 40 percent because consumers are starving for this information and expect it from their agents. Want to learn more about how to make market analytics work for your business? Download our FREE Success Guide to Marketing Analytics today!      
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5 Buzzworthy Real Estate Marketing Trends You Can Use
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Shift Happens: How Top Agents Survive (and Thrive) in a Turning Real Estate Market
"Shifting, bursting, normalizing..." Whichever way you shake it, it's time to start planning for what's on the horizon in the real estate industry. It's been a whirlwind couple of decades in the real estate industry, with many agents experiencing both the peak highs and devastating lows. Defined by the crushing great recession of 2008 and the subsequent steady rise to a booming seller's market (fueled by sky-high home prices and stalled inventory growth), it's been a wild ride. Moving into 2019 the #1 buzz in the biz is undeniably the shifting market. Let's start by saying, the market isn't falling apart. No reliable predictions show that the market shift will mirror anything close to the 2008 collapse, so most real estate professionals are adopting a healthy sense of caution, rather than urgency. But it is shifting. So what does this mean for your business? It may be a period in time that separates the good from the great. The agents that adapt quickly and pivot strategically are the ones that will enter the next decade with a healthy, thriving business.
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Real Estate Advertising Trends You Should Be Aware of This Holiday Season
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Home Design Trends: What Homebuyers Are Looking for Today
The changing trends within the housing market are often fast paced and challenging for agents to keep up with. Thanks to the popularity of smart homes and Joanna Gaines (the queen of home-remodel TV), today's home buyers and sellers are becoming surprisingly knowledgeable about home design, and specific about which features and trends make up their never-ending lists of must-haves.
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3 Easy Ways to Future-proof Your Real Estate Business
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4 Powerful Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
Real estate agents have to not only master their core competencies, but they have to have a solid grip of sales, marketing and branding – because they will ultimately be the driving force behind this trifecta for the longevity of their career. And in the world of digital marketing, it is important to keep the pulse of an industry that sees algorithm changes every quarter. Far too often with marketing campaigns, we see companies get into grooves and not be able to adjust with the times. And it can be an all-out competition for your attention in a digital space that is growing, overcrowded and saturated with content by the minute. With that in mind, try to focus on these four key areas in digital marketing where all the current data points to being a primary focus in 2018.
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How Mobile Tech Is Changing Real Estate Forever
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
Real estate marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and in such a competitive environment, real estate agents need to be at the forefront of cutting-edge trends to appeal to the needs of their evolving clientele. Hot markets, fluctuating demand, evolving technology, and new generations of homeowners all play a role in shaping the real estate market – and how agents approach it. Competition forces creativity The Toronto housing market made global headlines this past year with its scorching hot listings – but it has also shown how aggressive the space can be for Realtors to compete in, and how it is forcing them to get really creative with listings. Consider this: since 2014, 9,000 new agents have received their license in the Greater Toronto Area alone, which is now home to 52,000 Realtors. Using this market as an example, some agents have started to offer a night out as a thank you to clients, a membership for a year at a local gym or fitness club, the free use of a drone for showing the property, complimentary staging – even going as far as slashing their commissions.
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15 Real Estate Resources That Will Help You Sell More Homes in 2017
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5 Social Media Trends You Need to Leverage
Let's face it: you know social media is essential to sustaining a successful business – but so do your competitors. And they're working tirelessly to build a reputable online presence. So, how do you stand out and build recognition? Well, for one thing, following the latest social media trends is a must. To maintain relevance and continue to influence your viewers and visitors, you need to ensure your posts evolve alongside a perpetually changing online landscape. We've compiled the latest – and most important – trends here, as an easy guide for staying on top of your social media game. 1. Mobile still dominates Traditionally mobile was perceived as helpful in improving your online presence – but its ascent to the primary (and not secondary) screen for most social media users means you need to be thinking of creating content specifically designed for smartphone users, according to Sprout Social. As handheld devices evolve and continue to gain prominence, it's time to start focusing your marketing efforts on mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
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Top Online Marketing Trends for Real Estate Pros
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7 Actionable Mobile Trends for Real Estate Agents
The year is 2016 and it seems that everywhere we turn, there’s new technology cropping up. Throughout it all, mobile technology not only continues to improve exponentially, but it’s nearly ubiquitous. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a mobile device these days. But, what does that mean for real estate agents? According to the NAR, in 2015, 50% of home buyers used mobile technology to find their new home. Most real estate agents spend very little time in their offices and they’re nearly always on-the-go, making mobile technology ideal for their business lifestyles. But are they all utilizing it to the fullest extent? There are plenty of reasons for real estate agents to integrate mobile into their business strategy, but they may not be aware of all the resources available to them for doing so, and how these trends could potentially make a huge difference in their day-to-day.
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Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016
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Onwards and Upwards in 2016
It's that time of year again—time to reflect on the year that's passed and look forward to what's going to matter most in 2016. Our hope is that when you do, you focus on some of your most celebrated moments and find a nugget or two of inspiration for 2016. Looking back on the market It's been a good year for real estate: Home sales are strong in most markets—likely to come in at around 5.3M. Moderate price increases continue to make housing affordable. Best of all, when it comes to that all-American dream, home ownership is an important part for 87% of people. (It's even higher for millennials at 91%.) And if you're wondering about next year, according to Jonathan Smoke, "We are entering a normal, but healthy, housing market." Here's his list of the top 10 markets to watch in 2016. Our prediction for 2016 We predict that 2016 is going to be the year of doing the basics better. Year after year, we see top producers doing the basics better, and even through the ebbs and flows of the market, and the whims and emotions of buyers and sellers, they remain at the top of their game.
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Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016
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What Will Buyers Want in 2016? Smart Homes!
Buyers want smart homes? What's that? Don't worry, if you don't know the slightest about smart homes, you're not alone. Technology, like real estate trends, is constantly changing. Sometimes it can be hard to stay in the driver's seat. Smart homes, or homes with built-in intelligence systems, are rapidly gaining in popularity, causing buyers to increasingly look for more high-tech home upgrades as technology advances. Who's doing the driving? The "Internet of Things," or "IoT," is the connectivity of everyday objects to the internet and one another, a phenomenon embraced and expected by the general public in all manner of applications. As wireless internet technology advances, and becomes easier to operate and more cost effective, smarter experiences can be provided in the home. Crash course There are an array of home technology options, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and Z-Wave, with various compatible home automation devices. However, technology compatibility issues abound, especially when a mix of wireless home technology solutions are used. The goal in the not-so-distant future: compatibility. Major players in the smart home technology market are joining forces in support of an open wireless network standard that would allow interoperability among various products.
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Why Millennials Won’t Buy Boomer McMansions
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Is It Walkable? More Buyers Want a Pedestrian-Friendly Community
People in cities across the U.S. are reaching the same conclusion: they're sick of cars. Favoring a more walkable city, current real estate trends are pointing toward buyers seeking out less pollution, less noise, and less stress in pedestrian friendly communities. How important is this feature? It's the number one real estate trend in both foreign and domestic buyers. Is society canning the cars? Coming full circle, Americans seem to be outgrowing the automobile in favor of more pedestrian friendly towns. Instead of moving out to the burbs, homeowners are looking for locations walking distance to work and play alike. The greater the mix of uses, the higher the demand is for homes in an area, driving up not only property values, but local tax revenue as well. What are buyers looking for? A healthy and convenient lifestyle, either within walking distance of jobs or walking distance to timely and reliable transit systems. A wide array of amenities – accessible sans automobile – including retail, restaurants, schools, parks, museums, waterfront and cultural landmarks, sports and athletics, nightlife, and more.
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What They Don’t Tell You – Real Estate Market Trends
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10 Insights into Real Estate Technology for 2015
2015 is shaping up to be a big leap forward for real estate technology. Venture funding is flooding into the space, and M&A activity is at all time high--not to mention the closing of the Trulia and Zillow merger! With mobile technology permeating every aspect of an agent's business, mobile real estate technology will begin to become more widely adopted. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphone adoption among real estate agents, 2015 is guaranteed to transform the technology landscape in the industry. 1. Prepare for mobile to take become the indisputable focal point of everything real estate tech 2. iBeacon technology will begin to be used in listing signs 3. Drone photography and video will be regulated for the real estate industry as FAA issues first set of guidelines in September 2015
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7 Signs of a Soon-to-Be Super Hot Market (and Why You Can’t Ignore Them)
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2013: The Year of Mobile
As a tech company with a popular mobile tool, we're in a unique position to observe technology trends as the years go by – and 2013 was certainly one for the books. What we saw in 2013 was double the number of people logging into our mobile applications--a trend that continues early into 2014. More specifically, we tracked over 15 million logins, over 40 million properties viewed, and over a billion photos viewed on mobile devices. Say it with me: WOW! Let's take a moment to look a bit closer at this trend. Why Mobile? This is a "chicken or the egg" sort of question. Part of the reason we're seeing such growth in mobile is that more real estate professionals are developing a purposeful mobile strategy and implementing effective mobile tools. However, the reason they're doing so is that more consumers are using mobile as part of their real estate transaction. NAR, for example, states that over 68% of homebuyers use their mobile devices to search for homes these days. Perhaps the largest use of real estate consumer mobile activity is when prospective homebuyers use a mobile device to begin their home search. This is where we come in, with our branded property search apps. Of course, if you don't provide an MLS data-driven property search app like ours to your buyer clients, they'll be getting their data from the other apps out there or from the mobile Web. Unless they're using an MLS app or the realtor.com® app, you can't be sure that the data they are looking at is accurate or up-to-date.
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A Portrait of the Agent – Realtor® Habit Survey
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Mobile Engagement
The explosion of mobile devices has changed how consumers search for real estate. More importantly, it's transformed how your website generates leads. Think that prospect who couldn't access your site on their iPhone will visit again from their laptop? Think again. The truth is, if your site isn't optimized for mobile, you're missing out on a huge number of leads. Mobile is an intimidating world, and it can be hard to know where to begin. In this week's Friday Freebie, we highlight a guide that can show you exactly where to start. Download a free whitepaper from Delta Media Group Delta Media Group started seeing dramatic changes in consumers' online search behavior starting in 2010. "Those changes in behavior are maturing now," said Delta CEO Mike Minard in a recent interview. "The method in which REALTORS® need to engage these customers is different." To get agents and brokers up to speed on these changes, Delta has released an informative white paper that's easy to read, regardless of your level of tech savvy. "The Mobile Customer Experience: Trending, Optimization, and Application" explores recent trends in online engagement, backed by traffic statistics from over 35,000 websites. In this free paper, agents and brokers will learn more about: Mobile engagement trends Measuring client expectations Mobile web vs. apps Click here to download the white paper now!
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How Real Estate Agents are Using Mobile Technology
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[Infographic]: Home Buyer Search Habits
Spring is here! Birds are chirping, the air is warmer, flowers are blooming and the beginning of a busy real estate season is upon us. To help prepare real estate pros for another busy season of "wheeling and dealing," Homes.com would like to share some valuable insight on homebuyer search trends. Recently, we surveyed consumers about their home search habits and have compiled them into this handy Home Search Habits infographic. Highlights: Make sure your properties are on national listing sites like Homes.com. Almost 70% of consumers reported that they search for properties here. Not only that, 40% indicated that they search online for homes every day! Get your fingers nimble because over half of consumers (52.8%) prefer to communicate via email. Deal breaker alert: Be sure to showcase eye-catching property photos as a whopping 90% reported that they're less likely to see a home in person if the listing has no photos. No photos. No deal. We hope that these trends will help you with your leads and client growth. Do these results represent your clients? We would like to know if these results are helpful and related to your own database demographics. Comment below or discuss with others on our Facebook page.
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Study: How Online Is Driving Offline
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Are You Recognizing the Trends in Your Market?
If you want to kick up your lead generation, one of the key elements is to be dialed into what's happening in your market. Five years ago, many of us were focused on working niche markets like new homes, but when the market shifted, the new home market fizzled out. Now the market is shifting again with news on the street that there is going to be less REO inventory and more short sales. The move-up buyer market is strong because interest rates are spurring folks to action. With this in mind, you have to be ready for these active trends and shifts in your market. Here are seven key things to pay attention to in order to find the emerging trends in your market and create marketing momentum behind them. 1. Study your market. The MLS has so many tools and resources to help you learn what is actively going on in your market. Run reports of what is selling in your market, what price point is moving and where the movement is happening. Sort the data so you can see if there are particular neighborhoods that are moving as well as what types of properties are selling more actively (i.e., condos, short sales in the move-up price range, investor market, etc.).
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Tablets: The Future of (Digital) Advertising
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Infographic: The Price is Right!
Our friends at ActiveRain and Market Leader created this gorgeous infographic to demonstrate where real estate agents are spending their money – and where it should be going. Data for the infographic came from a survey of more than 2,000 real estate agents as well as information from the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Member survey. So, without further ado, here’s the infographic. We’ll share some of the highlights on the next page.
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Just how important IS technology in Real Estate?
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33 Must-Know Stats about Modern Real Estate Customers
We love to remind our clients of Peter Drucker's critical insight: Know the customer so well, that your products and services virtually sell themselves. So, here's are 33 things you need to know about them if you want to grow your business! Let's talk real estate consumers, not houses, for a moment. If you want your sales, marketing and customer-relationship strategy to be as effective as possible, make sure you've understood just who you're trying to connect with this year. In fact, of the top 10 reasons people bought a home last year, most were "personal" reasons. So stop spending as much time worrying about housing inventory and make sure you have mastered the research about the housing consumer. Here are some to get you started, courtesy of multiple sources, including the National Association of REALTORS, Pew Research, Nielsen, Morgan-Stanley and a few other pieces we've brought together. Buyers: 37% of recent buyers were "first time" buyers – a drop from 50% in 2010 They typical buyer was 45 years old – up from 39 a year ago 37% of buyers were under the age of 31; 32% were over 55 While all buyers use the internet to search for homes, for 35% of them, it was the first step in the process; 21% started by contacting an agent 21% of buyers were single females; 12% single males 64% of all buyers had no children under 18 at home Buyers found real estate agents (83%) slightly more useful than the internet (81%) 92% said open houses were very- to somewhat-useful sources of real estate information Buyers found the home they purchased in the newspaper 5% of the time 58% of buyers wanted to see videos when looking at property online
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For REALTORS, The Answer Is In "The Cloud"
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Shedding Light on Online Security
Shedding Light on Security Concerns Growing concerns about the security of personal information will impact us all, on both a personal and professional level. As a REALTOR®, it's essential for you to understand these concerns so that you can answer client questions and choose the right technology for your business. If you're aware, informed, and diligent, you can safeguard your data and reassure your clients.
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A T-Mobile Royal Wedding Tribute
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Inclusion: Secret Sauce of Social Media
Guest contributor Chris Brogan says: Inclusion is the secret sauce of social media. It’s one of the biggest opportunities. We can fill that sense of a need to belong. Social media allows for this. Before you get all “gee whiz” about that, or think that it’s something too touchy-feely, realize that what humans want more than most things is validation. When we look at ads, the biggest emotion we tend to feel is, “I’m the type of person who would have that.” It’s this sense that we need to be included. But advertising and marketing quite often leaves people feeling left out.
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Your Reputation: To Be Shared Online?
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Viewers Have Options: Make Sure They Choose You
These days consumers have so many marketing messages and sales pitches to weed through, the challenge to marketers is to make your materials easy to find and engaging enough to hold their attention.  Consumers have a choice, and they know it. If it's boring, someone else probably made another video or flyer with similar information and they can easily find it.  Here is a short video detailing how to avoid getting tossed in the "boring" category as online home buyers search for the right REALTOR® for them.
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Time Management Begins With You
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The Science of Timing: Blogging
How many times a day or week should you blog to keep people interested? Do you know what time of day is best for blogging? Does it matter? The answer is simple: there is a science to blogging. With millions of bloggers, how do you make your message rise above the digital noise and gain traction within your industry? When are people listening? Don't worry, there are answers to this based on scientific research. Modern day blogging has evolved into a science. If you are interested in keeping a client and subscriber base informed and engaged with you and your message, it is well worth your time to invest in learning some of the research behind the science of blog 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 blogging specifically.
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The Science of Timing: Emailing
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Study: Only Takes 4 Minutes to Go From Funny to Irritating
The Onion News Network is the Saturday Night Live of news reporting. Creating humor from seemingly thin air, the creators of this hilarious media database enjoy creating newsworthy articles and videos based not at all on news.  I subscribe to all their channels and highly recommend you do as well.  Not convinced? Well, keep reading. They recently posted a study called "Threshold of Percieved Humor." This one is good. The following was taken from the Onion's online news section.
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9 Easy Ways to Get Unfollowed on Twitter
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5 Things To Know about Marketing on the Web
Developing your ability to engage customers online is critical now more than ever as people turn to the web in virtually every aspect of life. Turning your skills into something that can actually result in a transaction is a more challenging than simply posting an update on Facebook or Twitter. To use the Internet to market your product, (remember that real estate is a product) it’s going to require not only time but a determined commitment to learn how to use this powerful tool to your best advantage. Here are five marketing pearls to ponder upon.  
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The Queue: A Look at RETechSouth, Bob Hale, and 4 New Technologies!
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LinkedIn: Are You Leveraging the Premier B2B Social Network? [Infographic]
On RETechnology.com we talk about "edutizing" your clients. In 2011 potential clients won't look twice at your post/blog unless its evident that by reading your information you will give them something of value first and foremost. Often, especially in service industries, it is vital to impart some kind of education to potential clients. Give them a little something interesting to think about, share with their friends and feel like the source of valuable information. Don't give too much; you want to continually become the conduit to their valuable information. That is the goal. One of the best examples of this is HubSpot. I love reading their blog and today they posted something really facinating about LinkedIn. In their recent post, they provide some valuable marketing advice as they share LinkedIn's infographic:  
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3 News Online Spaces Where Users Consume Content and Engage!
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Sales Skills: Some Kids Are Just Born With It
So you call yourself a sales person?  Sales takes skills and certain type of person.  The question is: is it nature or nurture? In the case of this young rockstar the verdict is nature! 
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Market Your Own Daily Newspaper Based on Twitter Stream
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Meeting Gen Y's Demand for Online Transparency and Information
I interviewed a top-producing agent in San Francisco a few days ago. We were talking about the role of technology in the real estate process. It was a fascinating discussion. She is on the top of her game. Many listings, many successful transactions with buyers this year and yet she struggles with how to stay relevant with her younger clients. She told me:   “I am absolutely frightened of new technologies, and yet I KNOW I need to communicate and provide information differently than I used to. I believe it is much more difficult to create a deep personal relationship with younger consumers because they don’t want to sit down and talk about what their real needs are. They want me to provide information on my website so they can do their own research and then tell me what they’ve found. They require that the agent provide as much information as they can to empower the consumer to get comfortable with the information themselves.”
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3 Practical Takeaways To Boost Productivity
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The Queue: Live from the Keller Williams Family Reunion
I have to say that the Keller Williams Family Reunion conference was a blast. In this week's episode of The Queue I was able to interview several industry thought leaders and get the inside scoop on some innovative new technology solutions. This week I cover Ben Kinney, Stefan Swanepoel, eEdge, Tiger Leads, Howard Tager and more.
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10 Reasons You Will Never Generate A Lead Through Social Media
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Trends in Technology… Where Will We Be in 2020?
      It took us 20,000 years to invent the automobile, and it’s only been 30 years since home computers started showing up in our office cubicles.  And last year saw an explosion of tablets, smart phones and 3D TV’s, along with new ideas in software and advances in cyber security. Just think what can happen in the next 10 years.  It boggles the mind.  It’s likely that the things mentioned here will be fully realized and as common as the stapler on your desk in less than two years. What will be everyday in 2020 is anybody’s guess.  But here is what’s current now and is likely to improve in the near future.
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The Truth about QR Codes
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Zap the Generation Gap
Statistics tell us there are four generations in today's marketplace that are actively buying and selling properties. This generational dynamic requires sales professionals to become more aware of age preferences and core values as we strive to bridge communication gaps and improve our services. Our newest challenge is to meet this variance in demands by addressing each group's respective communication and service preferences using both traditional and electronic channels.
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Time to Reinvent the QR Code?
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Mobile Technology: No Signs of Slowing
In the early days of the Internet, every webpage had in its footer, "Copyright 1996 - Do not redistribute," according to economist Hal Varian. Now, a decade and a half later, those same pages have changed and at their core, a social aspect, listed as "Copyright 2011. Click here to share with friends." As a result, we find that sharing and storing all the information online, as opposed to a walled garden policy of guarding information, has become the golden standard for information access online. This shift speaks volumes to not only the amount of data created globally, but also to the way our lives are changed. It is estimated that 10 blog posts are created every second. If you post once a month, realize that by the time of your next post, some 27 million posts will have been made. If you post weekly, that number is approximately 6 million.
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How Facebook Likes Increase Impressions and Brand Awareness
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7 Deadly Tools to Make Your Social Strategy Killer
When I was asked to write a post about using social media to market listings, my eyes lit up with all the wonderful ways that social media can benefit your real estate business—and specifically marketing for your listings. The list in my head could fill the memory of your computer, but for the purpose of holding short attention spans, I have decided to limit this to only a few things. I'll share more in a future post. 1.) Use social media to spread the word. Let's start with one of the greatest marketing lessons since marketing began: Word of Mouth is the best type of marketing there is. Post your listing on a social media website and let it go viral. According to Facebook the average person has 130 friends, and Realtors are far above average. If you post a listing and have one person share it, your 130 friends now becomes 260 and if 2 more friends share it you are quickly at an average of 520 people seeing your listing. It grows quickly. As you get your listing to go viral it starts to be seen by clients that are not even in your state. Your listing crosses the country in the blink of an eye and relocation clients start seeing what is available and who they want to talk to about properties in your area.
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To Check In or Not to Check In
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Business as Usual or Not?
Throughout most of January, Karel Murray will be hosting a number of motivational podcasts.  One of these podcasts will be co-hosted by Marilyn Wilson, partner of WAV Group and co-founder of RETechnology.com. Podcasts will run January 3, 2011 / January 10, 2011 / January 17, 2011 January 3: Learn how a business owner can build their brand if traditional advertising vehicles are not effective anymore. January 10: Join Karel and Marilyn as they discuss how others can know when it’s time to start their own business and how to get the courage to do so – advice to the entrepreneur. January 17: The Power of Vision – discover how you can have a vision and take your life to new heights?
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Fear and Loathing in Social Media
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Open Letter to Twitter: Promote Your Engagement, Really?
Dear Twitter, I was reading your new advertising plan on promoted tweets, trends and accounts, interesting read in general, but a little confusing! So let me start with the big question, what are you thinking??? The whole Twitter community is REALLY about engagement, interaction, and brands come to the space to humanize their corporate machines. What does that tell you about this space you have created (yes I worship at the shrine of Twitter I will admit), we have adopted it. Just like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree or Tinkerbell, we believe and you have thrived. We clapped, we cheered, and we poo-poo’d the naysayers. So I ask you – ADVERTISING is one thing, promoted products are completely another.  
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Don’t Ignore Client Needs, Instead Become the Educator
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Social Media Likes - To be Taken Seriously
Several months ago Bing and Facebook announced a partnership to bring Facebook ‘likes’ into search results. More recently Google started testing social search as well. ‘Social search’ is when the data from social networks and search engines combine to provide a more personalized experience for everyday consumers. Google will display results from people in your social network on the first page of search results. This social-search-meld, I think, has huge implications for real estate agents. Given that the 30- to 45-year-old demographic turns to the Web to research people and things, agents who are active online and build connections with their customers and prospects through social media will have a huge advantage over agents who don’t.
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What are QR Codes?
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Proactive Propspecting in Real Estate
There are two schools of thought it seems in real estate when it comes to prospecting in social media. There is the “you can’t” camp, led by a coach who I won’t mention, and then there is the “you should” camp, which I would say most of the rest of the world fall into. I am often asked when I speak at events how I feel about prospecting, whether I do the traditional agent prospecting activities or if I only do the online activities. I do both. Social media and technology are wonderful resources for building your business, and serving your clients, but it does not replace the classic age-old tried and true methods we have all been well schooled in. You still need to call your sphere, you still need to call expired, you still need to knock on doors, you still need to market, but how and where you do that marketing has evolved.
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Social Media Increases In-Person Contact and Referral Filtering of Information
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Idaho Valley Foreclosures Down 25% in October!
The peaks and valleys of local NOD filings continue. After a 21% increase in September with775 filings in Ada and Canyon Counties, defaults are back down 25% for the month of Octoberwith 582 filings. The 582 filings is the second lowest monthly total in 2010 only behind June when 557 defaults were recorded.Since January of 2010 Ada County has averaged 418 default starts a month and Canyon County has averaged a total of 280 default starts. Together Ada and Canyon Counties have averaged 697 foreclosure filings a month to date in 2010.
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How Much is a Facebook Fan Worth?
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World Series of Wireless
When I was a young boy, I would practice throwing and catching against the wall of our boathouse. My parents grew to love watching me out the window of our living room, and even grew to love the hours of thump, thump, thump as the ball ricocheted off the wooden wall. I do not recall my age when all of that ended, but it did, very abruptly. You see, as boys grow up, they get stronger and eventually, they can throw the ball hard enough to break the wood on the side of the house. I will never forget that day. I was elated that I was strong enough to throw the ball hard enough to break the boathouse. My parents freaked out. For years now we have been watching the growth of wireless adoption among consumers. Yesterday, I visited with the CEO of one of the largest MLS service providers in the United States. Eighty percent of his agents report that wireless MLS is "very important" to their business today. You do not need to be a rockstar consultant to understand that wireless is an important and core MLS service.
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Want to Market Intelligently?
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Impact of an Aging Agent Population
Stefan Swanepoel, noted expert on real estate business trends and social media,  was the keynote speaker at the recent Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) annual conference in Chicago. Within the first 20 minutes, Swanepoel imparted one very important statistic – the age of real estate agents nationwide. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, real estate agents in the United States in 2000 were pretty evenly split between those over and those under 40 years of age. In 2010, the number of agents over 40 outnumbers those under 40 nearly 2-1. This statistic has major implications to the entire industry, which I have attempted to summarize below.
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Are REALTORS® Slow Adoptors?
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Want to Grow Your Real Estate Business? Go International!
Capturing business from American homebuyers has been tricky in the current housing market. But take heart. While real estate is local, foreign buyers are still buying in the US! REALTORS® focused on international homebuyers are seeing increases in that portion of their business. According to a 2009 study by NAR, “The 23% of REALTORS® with international clients seem have seen an increase in overall business. “Fully a quarter of [REALTORS® with international clientele] indicated that their international business had increased.” NAR also reported that, “A relatively small share of REALTORS® appears to account for the bulk of international sales in 2008/2009.” Statistics to this effect include: 10 percent of the over 1.1 million REALTOR® membership had 6 or more international clients Five percent of REALTORS® reported that more than 50 percent of their transactions were with international clients; of those, two percent indicated that 76 percent or more of their transactions were with a foreign client. The median number of foreign clients purchasing property was approximately 1 for those REALTORS® indicating that they had a foreign client. Many REALTORS® on the buy-side of a transaction have told us that they are familiar with the language, customs, culture, and needs of the specific nationality of buyers served, frequently having either been born in that country or having parents from the country. Given these statistics, it may be profitable for real estate professionals to look into engaging the international community of homebuyers. The study answered the following questions:
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Early Bird Gets the Lead!
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Target Practice: Aim for Gen Y
The disconnect between the couple looking to buy a car and the car sales person is painfully obvious.  While humorous, it demonstrates the point that understanding your audience is paramount to closing a deal.  For real estate agents today, understanding Generation Y (a.k.a. Gen Y) is the key. Why? Gen Y is the next big wave of homebuyers. As a group Generation Y, is larger than the Baby Boomers – there are 80 million of them compared to about 60 million Baby Boomers. Plus, they have more earning power than the generation before it, about $200 billion compared to $125 billion of Generation X. According to Terrye Underwood, senior principal at real estate research firm RCLCO in Los Angeles, “Generation Y stands to create the biggest wave of first-time home buyers ever in 2012. With this generation, we might naturally grow ourselves out of the current housing slump.” According to Terrye, Generation Y is “a label attributed to people born during the 1980s and early 1990s. Members of Generation Y are often referred to as “echo boomers” because they are the children of parents born during the baby boom(“baby boomers”).  Children born during this time period have had constant access to technology (computers, cell phones) in their youth."
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More Women Use Social Media
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An Online Advertising Revolution
The time has come for us – especially those in real estate – to seriously rethink online display advertising. Before deciding what this revolution should consist of, let us consider what we know. On the supply side, we know that the market for online display advertising is huge ($51.6 billion by 2010, according to PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2006-2010). It's everywhere, and it isn't going away. On the demand side, we know response rates are low (0.13 % average) and that most consumers simply ignore display ads unless they are forced to watch them. Advertisers are trying desperately to connect with consumers in the online space, but the opportunity to engage is clearly being missed. Despite the very clever attempts at contextual and behavioral advertising, consumers are not responding to online ads as they should, if at all. They may see them inadvertently, may not see them, or may completely block them from their browsers. The problem lies in the ads themselves, the banner model of advertising, or even the concept of display advertising and what it means.
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Wireless Broadband Revolution
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Step 5: Your Social Network is Still Your #1 Profit Center
In an effort to empower real estate agents to convert online listings to leads, REALTOR.com published the 6-Step Online Optimization Plan. This report covers the following topics: Intro: Get more buyer leads from your online listings Step 1: Generate more buyer leads with photos Step 2: Get more calls with Persuasive Property Prose Step 3: Capture more buyers with full-motion home tour videos Step 4: Getting online home buyers to your Open House Step 5: Your social network is still your #1 profit center Step 6: Increase exposure, increase buyer inquiries Following step four of this report, step five brings the discussion back to the real estate agent's powerhouse: social media.  This is still the number one profit center for real estate professionals!  Free online social networks are revolutionalizing the real estate industry.  The latest NAR consumer study reveals that 53% of transactions are conducted through social networks.  More than half of real estate purchases are through someone who knew the REALTOR® or through a referral. Now that these social networks are expanding from clubs, political organizations, and school activities to online social networks, you and your listings need to be there as well!
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They Text…What Next?
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Local to National, Traditional to Digital: Advertising Trends
The Real Estate Industry has been largely focused on local advertising, using more traditional means like radio advertising, snail mail flyers, door to door brochures, and even local television commercials. Establishing local prowess and credibility is paramount to a real estate professional’s success.  But will the recent shift in advertising trends for small to medium businesses in America give real estate professionals something new to consider? I was interested to read a post from Dan McCarthy’s ViralHousingFix, detailing two recent studies done by BIA/The Kelsey Group.  It seems  advertising trends are moving away from local and going mainstream; this trend is most obvious between the years 2008 and 2009. BIA/The Kelsey Group demonstrates that for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) a shift in advertising is occurring. Certainly what economists are referring to as the Great Recession in 2008-2009 impacted the amount of money spent on advertising. Yet, even with this taken in consideration, research reveals two interesting shifts: Less local advertising; Less traditional advertising channels and more digital advertising.
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Keep Private Information Out of the Public Eye
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Desire For Video Content Drives Online Searches
Have you heard about YouTube.com?  If you haven't, you should, as it is the second most popular site used for search on the entire Internet. Interestingly enough, YouTube is a site exclusively for videos. Lots of videos. In 2006, Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube hosted about 6 million videos. Last year, a YouTube search returned more than 80 million videos and 3 million user channels. Now it's safe to say that YouTube has over 100 million videos!  The online traffic to video content on the Web is increasing daily, and not just on YouTube. For real estate agents, understanding that consumers want quick, informative videos is important to how you choose to marketing your properties and your services. In a world of multi-taskers it is much easier for someone to watch a video while doing something else than it is for them to read a blog post. Plus, video reaches a person through more senses than straight text. This is good news for real estate professionals, as already so many video facets are available through modern technology. Technology vendors, may of whom are registered on RE Technology, provide solutions to help you create video content in many ways. Continue to read how video is driving online customers' need for information...
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Twitter Marketing Tips
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10 Things Not to Buy in 2010
Ten years ago, most homes relied on dial-up connections to access the Internet and iPods, flat-screen TVs and the Nintendo Wii didn't exist. In 2010, consumer should expect to see more revolutionary products supplanting old mainstays. In media, DVDs, books, newspapers and magazines will continue to lose ground to services like in-home movie rentals and gadgets like the Amazon Kindle. In big-ticket items, the push for energy efficiency will continue to influence consumer decisions on cars and home upgrades.  
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Listing Syndication: The Fine Print!
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