You are viewing our site as an Agent, switch your view below:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
No Internet? Here's How to Set Up Your Own Hotspot
Real estate agents know better than most that sometimes it's just easier to accomplish specific tasks on your laptop than attempt to do the work on your phone. But sometimes those tasks require an internet connection. If you are always on the go, and you don't have a nearby Wi-Fi connection, how can you get instant internet service? Use your smartphone and create your own internet connection for your laptop. Here's how.
MORE >
Generating Leads on a Budget
Paid lead sources are an easy and efficient way to fuel your business' lead funnel. But if you're just starting out or haven't found your real estate rhythm yet, you may be on the hunt for some free lead generation strategies. Check out these five free lead generation strategies below:
MORE >
Tips for Turning Real Estate Client Referrals into Recurring Business
MORE >
Why Are Floor Plans Important?
Real estate agents may be surprised to hear that a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that home buyers don't just want to see a floor plan as part of the listing, they think it's essential information that must be provided with every listing. In fact, homeowners rated floor plans as the third most important part of a listing and more important than neighbourhood information. According to a study from Rightmove, one in five homeowners will even ignore a listing that doesn't include a floor plan. However, floor plans aren't just important because buyers want them. They also offer value to real estate agents too. Floor plans can become an essential part of your real estate marketing efforts, and save you time. Here's how.
MORE >
5 Tips for Standing Out from Your Real Estate Competitors
MORE >
Key Findings from Our Third Annual Referral Report
Agent-to-agent referrals are a key part of every serious real estate agent's business — especially as markets slow from peak activity and business slows for many. ReferralExchange recently released their third annual referral report, "Why Agent-to-Agent Referrals are Key in 2019," where they surveyed more than 1,200 agents about their referral business, use of social media and the qualities they value in referral partners. Below are key findings from the report.
MORE >
Discover MLS-Touch!
MORE >
5 Cs of a Successful Farming Strategy with RPR
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 10:00 AM PDT Nowhere is there a more streamlined, single source of data and reports that fulfill every aspect of a successful farming campaign. From targeting and analyzing the marketability of potential neighborhoods to resources that help you "break the ice" with homeowners, it's all here. We'll show you a five-point plan for creating and cultivating a solid neighborhood prospecting strategy. Calculate the marketability of your target zone Create a customized farm area using search tools and maps Converse with homeowners using the RPR app and reports Convey your value to For-Sale-By-Owner listings Cultivate brand awareness with reports that peak homeowner interest Join us for tips and how RPR can help you hone your farming techniques. Register now!
MORE >
Making the Connection with Online Consumers
MORE >
Spring Cleaning for Your Real Estate CRM
Spring is in the air and you know what that means--lots of fresh new leads looking to buy and sell homes! The arrival of spring reminds us of new beginnings, fresh opportunities and, yes, spring cleaning. Now I don't know if you use this season to wash your windows or reorganize your closet, but I do know that it's a good time for agents to re-evaluate your real estate contact management.
MORE >
Dealing with Squatters: How to Ask Them to Leave
MORE >
The Essentials of Getting Started with TransactionDesk
Monday, May 20, 2019 at 12:30 PM PDT Join us for an essentials overview: MLS integrations (how to access) Creating a transaction file Using integrated Authentisign for e-signatures Receiving signed documents back into the transaction file Manage client files online with our web-based services Register now!
MORE >
The $14B Social Platform Your Competition Has Overlooked
MORE >
9 Technology Productivity Tips: Do this, not that
Technology is supposed to save us time and make us more efficient. Most often, technology does. But sometimes you need to give tech a rest and do things the old fashion way because it's actually faster. Here are tips on when technology can make you more productive, and when it can be a time waster.
MORE >
zipForm Plus: Power Up Your Business from Start to Finish (your NAR Member Benefit)
MORE >
Growing Your Brand with a Real Estate CRM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM PDT Over the course of this one-hour webinar, IXACT Contact co-founder Rich Gaasenbeek will show you how a next-generation real estate CRM can grow your unique brand in proven ways you never imagined. During this webinar, you will learn how to: Keep in touch with your database in a way that's guaranteed to build your brand as the authority in all things real estate and home related. Nurture and convert leads into clients by positioning yourself as the REALTOR that wants their business, and 'gets' where they're coming from. Build your online brand with your own customized, mobile-friendly, agent website. Double your social media engagement and lead generation with automated Social Media Marketing that brands you as THE source for high-quality home and lifestyle content. Register now!
MORE >
Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips
MORE >
3 Creative Ways to Deliver Your Next RPR Report
In a fiercely competitive real estate market, it's important to do everything you can to stand out. Meeting your clients when and how they prefer, with extra special touches, could serve as your tipping point. Here are three simple, creative ways to deliver your next RPR report that will definitely distinguish your services as unique.
MORE >
7 Outrageous Real Estate Marketing Ideas that Actually Worked
MORE >
5 Tips to Get Your Emails Read
Email marketing is a very vital tactic for businesses of all sizes – when executed correctly. In fact, it's actually the preferred way clients want you to communicate with them, with 91 percent of U.S. adults suggesting they would like to receive emails from companies they do business with. While it's a highly effective and low-cost marketing solution, many people keep making the same mistakes.
MORE >
Understanding the Difficulty of Differing Residential Square Footage Standards in North America
MORE >
19 Real Estate Memes and GIFs that Will Make You Smile
Looking for some fun real estate memes and GIFs to share with your coworkers and clients? Here are 19 animated real estate memes for you to share with your clients. Memes and GIFs travel through social media and are great to break up the listing, closing, and open house posts on Instagram and Facebook. Plus, many of these show the all too common experiences we all share being an agent. You have to have a sense of humor to stay motivated in real estate. You are free to share any GIFs on this page. To download a photo, simply right click on your mouse and select 'Save Image As.' Upload the GIF to Facebook as you would a regular image. Once it's uploaded and published on your page, the GIF will move automatically.
MORE >
Dealing with Squatters: How to Calm an Agitated Person
MORE >
Leveraging Google Calendar for Real Estate
One of the most important skills any real estate professional can master is time management. And that is a lot easier when you have the right tools to keep you on track and record what you need to do and when you need to do it. That's where Google Calendar comes into play.
MORE >
How to Market to Expireds the Right Way
MORE >
12 Tips for Gaining Client Attention with Google Ads
Google Ads is a proven marketing tool. Real estate agents are using its reach to bring in quality leads that have the potential to become customers. Understanding how to customize this highly targeted advertising approach is key. Use these 12 tips to get the most out of Google Ads.
MORE >
Real Estate Agents, Here's How to Spin Your Time into Gold, Not Straw
MORE >
You Won the Listing! Now Create a Winning Marketing Strategy
Congrats, you've done it! You followed the plan and you won the listing! Naturally, the next step is to follow through on your marketing plan. It's time to get as many eyeballs on the listing as possible and earn your commission. These days, Millennials between the ages of 24 and 38 make up the largest single group of home buyers, and nearly half of all buyers are diving in for the very first time. This means that you are more likely to be working with or marketing to a young, first time buyer than ever before. Is your marketing taking this into account? Chances are, you haven't refreshed your marketing plan in a while, so it may be time to do some housekeeping.
MORE >
How to Implement RPR into Your Resimercial Business
MORE >
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.
MORE >
7 Do's and Dont's of Handling Client Relationships
MORE >
Dealing with Squatters: Avoiding Confrontation During a Showing
Last week, we showed you what to do when the vacant home you're showing has a squatter. If you used the techniques we discussed, the squatter may leave the property voluntarily--but what happens if they refuse? That's what we're exploring in this week's episode of "Real Answers." Watch the video above to learn: Why you should treat them like the homeowner to avoid a confrontation A sample script for starting a conversation with them What NOT to say to avoid aggravating a squatter The physical signs that hint that a squatter may escalate the situation No matter how considerate your approach, sometimes a squatter may want to confront you anyway. Tune into next week's episode for tips on talking down an agitated squatter!    
MORE >
Elevate Your Content with High-Converting Guides
MORE >
7 More Ways Tech Helpline Can Help You
Some 600,000 Realtors in North America can get instant help when their computer gets infected by a virus or crashes, when their smartphones won't connect to Wi-Fi or gets wet, or they want to know how to stop their Alexa device from listening in on their conversations. Tech Helpline is a benefit agent and brokers receive from their MLS, association or brokerage, and getting help is only a call or a click away. Tech Helpline, created, owned and operated by the Florida Realtors, has earned a reputation as being "Real Estate's Genius Bar." Real estate's number one tech support service is a place for agents and brokers to solve their tech challenges comfortably. We've written a couple of articles about some of the more interesting technical issues that Tech Helpline can help resolve, including "10 Things You Can Call Tech Helpline About That You Didn't Know You Could," and "Tech Helpline Can Help You Get More than Your Computer Fixed." With new technology, like Alexa and Google Home becoming key resources for agents and brokers, Tech Helpline offers even more ways to help real estate professionals adapt to these new technologies, as well as avoid struggling using established ones. Here's a list of seven more things you contact Tech Helpline for help: Buying the latest smart home devices: Smart home technology is becoming easier to use and a lot less expensive. But which voice-activated assistant is right for you as an agent or broker? What other devices should you buy if you want to make your home smart, and get smarter about this technology by using it yourself? What are the pros and cons of these new devices and how challenging is self-installation? Tech Helpline can help you choose what's right for you. Buying a new computer: Do you need a Mac or a PC? Laptop or one of the latest tablets? What are the best brands? There's a massive maze of options to navigate when upgrading your most important hardware. Tech Helpline analysts can help you successfully navigate through all your choices and share their best buying tips. Transferring images: If you are struggling to quickly move your photos from your phone to your laptop, or from your laptop to your phone, Tech Helpline is there for you. You'll discover there are several different options to accomplish this quickly and easily. Casting to your TV: Do you know how to show that video on your smartphone on your big screen TV? Welcome to the world of casting! A Tech Helpline analyst can walk you through the best options available, and you will learn how to cast in no time flat! Craigslist do's and don'ts: Setting up an account on Craigslist is pretty straightforward. But what are the rules about what you can and cannot do related to a real estate post on Craigslist? Because if you don't know the rules, your post will be removed. Tech Helpline can help you out. Your digital music library: Do you have challenges with your tunes? Are they available on all your devices? Are you trying to print out a list of the songs you own? Whatever your digital music library challenge is, you can get help from a Tech Helpline analyst. Social media troubleshooting: How do you share a link that will take your customers precisely to the post on Facebook you want to see? What are the rules around tagging and where will you find the most popular tags to use? Using social media channels are a great way to boost your business, but the more you know, the better you'll be able to leverage social media for your business. Tech Helpline can help answer your social media questions. The great thing about having Tech Helpline available is they stay up-to-date with the latest technology agents and brokers most use. If you are not sure you have free access to Tech Helpline, ask your brokerage, association or MLS if they provide it as a member service. If not, tell them you want the tech support that Tech Helpline offers! Also, check out these other two related stories about how Tech Helpline can help you: "Top 5 Complaints Real Estate Agents Have About Technology" "Do You Fear Making a Call to Tech Support?" Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.    
MORE >
Mission Focused: Behind the Scenes of a Top Team
MORE >
How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on Instagram
Currently, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Is yours one of them? If your business is not on Instagram yet, you are missing out on potential leads and eyes from over 500 million daily users. Fortunately, it's easy to get started. Follow our step-by-step guide to get your business profile up and ready and plan your next real estate post.
MORE >
5 Facebook Groups Realtors Should Join Today
MORE >
How Real Estate Agents and Homeowners Can Get Accurate Square Footage Measurements
Avoid liability and be sure of the size of the home you're buying or selling Buyers care about the square footage of their potential home more than almost any other metric. However, there are no mandated measurement standards for single dwelling homes in almost any province or state. How can a buyer or seller be confident that their home's measurement is accurate? Kevin Klages, CEO of Planitar, argues this uncertainty can create problems for everyone. "When there is no 'standard,' then buyers won't know if the presented measurements include balconies, decks and other spaces that other agents may not include in other listings," he explained. "This creates major problems for the industry." Professional and ethical real estate professionals need to be sure that their measurements are consistent. Buyers want to know how large a home is, and providing that information helps you attract them. However, listing an incorrect measurement may open you up to liability. Many real estate agents rely on measurements from other sources, such as tax records, sellers, builders, or assessors. How do you ensure that those numbers are accurate? 1. Hire a Professional Chances are, a number provided from a homeowner, builder, or assessor is not what your buyers are looking for. They want to know a home's gross living area (GLA), which is a measurement of the space inside the home. Most measurements you'll be provided with are exterior measurements that may even include the garage and basement. Adam Fingret, CEO of Extreme Measures, recommends that as a real estate agent, it's best to hire a professional to get consistent measurements that are in-line with the expectations of the buyers in your area. "If I was a broker, I would insist that I, my firm, and the other professionals I deal with are armed with whatever local practices and information is available with respect to floor area measurement," he said. The advent of laser measurement technology has made measurement companies more popular and affordable than ever. Consider the iGUIDE, a tool that makes virtual 3D tours of a home, detailed floor plans, and produces highly accurate measurements at the same time. A quick walk through with the machine, and you have a reliable measurement that is consistent from home to home. Prospective homeowners may be less willing to engage a professional measurement company to measure every home they consider. However, if square footage is important to you, and may change what you consider offering on a home, verifying with a professional is the best way to protect yourself. Ron Usher, a B.C. lawyer and notary who specializes in real estate, told Zolo that homeowners and prospective condo buyers should get a professional measurement. He said, "With any aspect of a real estate purchase, if there's something that is really important to you, then you need to get it verified by a professional." 2. Know the Basics and Ask What Measurements Are Included A home's square footage isn't the whole picture. Without a measurement standard, you can't be sure what that measurement includes and excludes. What about areas with reduced ceiling height, open areas, or front porches? Don't assume that a number you're given only includes the home elements you would include, or that it follows even the most common standard (called the ANSI Home Measurement Standard). Instead, ask the real estate agent or current homeowners what is included in the measurement. In particular, ask about the basement, garage, and balcony, which Fingret argues are the most common problem areas. You also need to watch out for exterior measurements. These include the exterior wall space and often space from garages and patios, which inflates the square footage. For an accurate home measurement, insist on an interior measurement, especially when comparing two houses which, after all, may have dramatically different sized garages. Klages suggests that real estate agents who are looking to explain the difference between these two measurements showcase images of the home's floor plan with the measured areas shaded in. That way, homeowners can visually see which spaces you counted, and which you did not. 3. No Measurement Is Perfect Why is it that you and your agent have come up with slightly different measurements for the same home? According to Klages, small discrepancies are to be expected. Walls aren't always 90°, and even professionals well-versed in a measurement standard won't come up with exactly the same number for the same home. Instead of aiming for perfection, the goal is to get the number as consistent as possible across homes so that buyers can make a realistic comparison between them. 4. Get Your Square Footage in Writing Don't rely on verbal confirmation from whoever is providing you with the measurement to protect you in court. Homeowners should also be aware that the MLS has a disclaimer in most states and provinces indicating that the square footage listed is only approximate. If the square footage of your new home matters to you, it needs to be accounted for in writing. The written purchase agreement isn't always enough protection. Various states and provinces include different square footage disclaimers in the purchase agreement. Idaho and Mississippi, in particular, place the responsibility on the buyer to verify square footage. Wisconsin and Minnesota's purchase agreements state the square footage of the home is approximate. For many in North America, buying a home is the most significant investment they will make. It's worthwhile to have a real estate lawyer examine your purchase agreement. For real estate agents, professional measurements and the advice of legal professionals can help mitigate your risk, so you can still provide buyers with the square footage measurements they require. Brought to you by Sara Penny, Communications and Marketing Manager at Planitar Inc. the makers of iGUIDE®. Follow the link for more information on how iGUIDE provides all the listing information your clients demand.    
MORE >
10 Real Estate Email Subject Lines and Why They Work
MORE >
49 Uplifting Real Estate Quotes That Will Inspire You to Be Great
Real Estate Quotes "Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they're interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds." – Barbara Corcoran "Typically, the research tells us, that a high quality real estate agent that really knows what they are doing will add more to the equation than they cost. Because people make mistakes when selling their own home – the mistakes are costly." – Dave Ramsey "Don't beat yourself up. Some transactions will naturally go smoothly, and others are a month of challenges. Learn what you can from each transaction, move on, and start the next one." – Kurt Uhlir "A real estate agent has two property listings. Now add 11 more. What does the agent have now? Happiness. That agent has happiness." – Tim Dulany "In any market, in any country, there are developers who make money. So I say all of this doom and gloom, but there will always be people who make money, because people always want homes." – Sarah Beeny "To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients' best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations." – Anthony Hitt "Now, one thing I tell everyone is learn about real estate. Repeat after me: Real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values, and the least risk." – Armstrong Williams "Real estate is the purest form of entrepreneurship." – Brian Buffini Real estate is never easy. There are late nights, early morning, no weekends, and infrequent vacations—but the payoff is that you get to help people through one of the biggest decisions in their lives and make their dreams come true. There are multiple lists of the same 10 real estate quotes that people toss up. We wanted something more. Our team combed through more than 15,000 websites, 115,000 tweets, countess Pinterest pins, 300 hours of keynote speakers and a ton of other sources to find you the most real estate quotes that will inspire you for the long-haul, motivate you to take the next step in your business, and hopefully laugh a little too. In today's real estate market, we all get little sleep. You deserve at least five minutes to feel inspired and laugh. Don't you? I hope that this list of deservedly famous real estate quotes will give you the break you need to recharge today. Happy reading! Forty-one more motivational quotes (and shareable images!) are waiting for you. Click here to read them all!    
MORE >
How to Show a Vacant Property Safely, Part 2
MORE >
Real Agent Story: Online Branding Key to Winning New and Past Clients
How are real estate agents building their business online? To find out, we've been speaking with successful Realtors. Today, Delaware-based agent Debbie Phipps shares how she reaches buyers, sellers, and past clients through lead generation and strategic branding on realtor.com. Your branding on realtor.com—is this a tool to secure listings? I use realtor.com® Local Expert as an important element in my listing presentations. I log them onto realtor.com® and I show all of the exposure and how it drives everything to my DebbiePhipps.com site. I have a 15-inch laptop I bring to the presentation. I talk about realtor.com®. I tell everyone that it's the only site that's affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS®. I recognized early on that this was where I should focus my marketing dollars because the site would be there over the years. The other sites don't have the same correctness and accuracy and the amount of people looking at them. Other sites come and go. But realtor.com® will always be there. I tell my potential listing clients that this particular program I use gives them maximum exposure that is better than you could ever get with any other agent. Of course, it's a tool to make sellers understand the exposure you are giving them; but it's also a presentation tool. While presenting, I show them an example of a listing. I put in the appropriate Zip codes, so they see that my listing and my links to my website where they are featured are coming up 50 percent of the time as they scroll through three or four pages. If I get an appointment where I don't have the Zip code, I will still be able put it in nearby areas. Usually they're very impressed when they see how their home will appear on realtor.com®. Does this help you on the buying side? I use the featured property piece of the Local Expert for listings and the other piece of it as a way to help us close our leads. When the realtor.com® leads come through, they recognize me as someone that's a local expert. I have worked primarily in New Castle County, Cecil County, Chester County area most of my life. I've been in this business 30+ years. I want past clients to know how to find me. So past customers are reminded by your branding? You can't imagine how many calls I get because people remember me from our past association. When it comes to selling their house, they're still calling me. I keep my brand out there so that they can see I'm strong in business. Most people say they would use their agent again. But although they were happy with the agent they used last time, most don't even know what their name is now. If they can't remember their agent, how could this help draw them to you? Are they seeing your branding? As an example, I recently went to a $550,000 listing in our average $250K marketplace. They didn't know me at all, but they were impressed with my marketing. I am always marketing my brand through my website, social media and print ads. It is not easy to measure, but you eventually can see the effect. My marketing appears in quite a few places, but the realtor.com® Local Expert really grabs their attention. Many of my listing leads say, "Oh, we saw you on the internet," and when I drill down, they saw me on realtor.com®.    
MORE >
5 Ways to Revive Stale Real Estate Listings
MORE >
The Language of Sales: What to Say (and Not Say)
We are all being sold to... constantly. Unwanted ads, calls, and marketing e-blasts bombard us everyday. Here's how to be part of the solution and stand out from the noise. Many times it feels as if "permission" marketing has been thrown to the wind, but occasionally, we experience the better side of sales. The side where someone is presenting us with a valuable service in a helpful way. Successful agents know how to do this in their businesses. They deliver effective messages that persuade prospects and elevate their offering.
MORE >
Spring Is the Season to Prime the Summer Real Estate Buyer Pump
MORE >
How to Turn Online Leads into Commissions in 3 Easy Steps
"I've already spoken to someone, thanks." *click* That's exactly how you DON'T want your first conversation with a new lead to go. And it doesn't have to if you have a system in place for attracting, following up, and nurturing home shoppers. No system? No problem. Today, we'll show you the "three Rs" that one successful agent uses to convert online leads into sales. Ready? Let's go!
MORE >
The Risk of Using Tax Data in Your Listings
MORE >
Back It Up! But What's the Best Way to Protect Your Data?
What's the worst thing that could happen to you today, technology wise? A computer crash occurs and ruins your hard drive. Or worse, it could be stolen. But it's only a major catastrophe if you didn't back up all of your data. Except, when was the last time you backed up all your data? Agents and brokers are typically extraordinarily busy during this time of year, driven by a surge in market activity and deal-driven deadlines. If backing up your hard drive keeps getting pushed down your "To Do" list, it's time to make sure you automate this process completely. The good news is you don't have to back up the data on your hard drive manually. That's the least efficient way to save data. And the best news: the options to back it all up are now easier to set up, faster to accomplish, and less expensive than they have ever been. Backing Up to a Portable Hard Drive This may be the most popular way to store your data safely in case something happens to your computer. It's also one of the most cost-effective means, and there's a plethora of automated software programs—many that are free or already installed on the portable hard drive you purchase. The price to store to a tethered hard drive has dropped dramatically. The best-selling 2 terabyte portable hard drive that's small enough to fit in your jean pocket or your purse is under $60 on Amazon. It's estimated that a 2 terabyte hard drive can hold over 170 million pages of Word documents or 620,000 photos or 400,000 songs or over 1,000 hours of video. For PC users, the most recent versions of Windows come with a built-in software system to back up your data. On Windows 8 and 10, it's called File History; on Windows 7, it's called Windows Backup. For File History, you need to set up how often you want to back up your files. It can be found from the Start menu if you go to Update & Security, then select Backup. Once you add a hard drive to File History, you can set how often you want automated backups, from once every 10 minutes to once a day. You can even set File History to delete your very old backups if you need more space. For Mac users, the simplest way to back it all up is with its built-in backup system, Time Machine, available on every Mac. It keeps a copy of everything on your Mac, and if you leave your hard drive connected, it automatically can make hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the previous month, and weekly backups for each month. The way Time Machine works, like most back up programs, is that it doesn't copy your entire Mac each time, just what has changed. The reason why it is called Time Machine is that it will keep a copy of every document you change that day. If you deleted or modified a Word document on Monday and needed to get back that exact version on Friday, you can go back in time to retrieve it. But is using an external hard drive the best way to back up all your data? It depends, because there is a downside to portable backups. The biggest negative is you are likely to keep your computer and your portable hard drive in the same location. If there is theft and you lose both, you lose your data. The same thing happens if there's a fire. If you regularly store your hard drive elsewhere—like a weather and fire-resistant safe—it would be more secure, but how many people do that every day? And you have to remember to keep your hard drive plugged into your computer, or it can't back up your files. Backing Up to the Cloud Like the cost of portable hard drives, storage space online has fallen rapidly. When you use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft One Drive, realize that all of these services use bank-level security and encryption. Let's say that unless you leave your password lying around, you should not have to worry about anyone gaining access to your data. Google Drive offers a 2TB storage plan for just $99.99 a year, which is more than enough for almost any agent or broker to back up their PC or Mac. Dropbox Plus offers a 1TB storage plan for $99 a year. Microsoft OneDrive offers 6TB bundled with Office 365 Home for 6 users or 1TB for each user for $99 a year. OneDrive's biggest appeal is your backup protection comes with online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note for a PC or Mac computer, tablet or phone. Backing up to the cloud with any of these services is relatively straightforward: you have to go through a menu-drive setup process, and then your device can be set to sync with these services automatically. If you are (almost) always connected to the Internet, you also could use your cloud storage service to act as your primary hard drive, freeing up storage space on your computer. If you do this, you gain access to all your main files from any computer, not just your own. Like backing up to a portable hard drive, backing up to the cloud has its pros and cons. In addition to being secure, data backed up to the cloud is stored offsite and redundantly, so you don't have to worry about the impact of a theft or fire. And the backup process is getting easier, faster and, again, less expensive. The key downside to cloud storage is you must be online. That isn't always possible when an agent is hosting an empty open house without internet access. Hotspots help solve this problem, unless an agent can't get a reliable cell signal from the open house, and that renders access to the cloud impossible during that time. Speed is the other big issue when recovering a backup up from the cloud. If you have to restore a computer backup that contains a large amount of data from the cloud, it will take a lot longer than a portable hard drive—and require more patience. If you have data limitations from your internet provider, this could also impact your real costs, or speed, or both. Some internet providers limit your total monthly data use, ratcheting down your speed when you exceed certain limitations. Cloud storage could add significantly to your data use. One more option: Online backup services While you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive to back up your devices, there are specialized backup services online. Their only function is to back up your data online. The most well-known services are Carbonite and Backblaze. For $60 a year to use Backblaze, all of your data is backed up by default, so the setup process is automated. The service runs in the background with an internet connection. There's no storage limit, and that means unlimited backs. Backblaze also can be used with a portable hard drive to back up your data if you want to do both. It even saves copies of your deleted files so you can retrieve them later. Carbonite also offers automatic, unlimited online backup through a series of tiered plans based on how long you subscribe (discounted pricing with a 2- or 3-year plan) and how much protection you desire. Carbonite's basic plan is $72 a year with unlimited cloud backup. If you want to add the ability to also do an external hard drive backup for your redundancy protection, that price is $112 a year, and its Prime service combines a courier recovery service for $150 a year. The biggest downside for these online services remains speed if you only backup online. Bottom line Your client data is too important not to automate backing up your computer at least daily. If you also want to protect the priceless photos and videos you took on your favorite vacation that's on the same computer, your investment and time are minimal when you consider it protects you from a lot of potential pain and suffering, as when you lose your data, it is chaos. And before your backup, consider some spring tech cleaning to clear your hard drive of clutter and unneeded files. Finally, you may be one of the 600,000 fortunate agents and brokers with access to the number-one tech support service – Tech Helpline – through your MLS or association. That means you are a call or click away from getting expert help in setting up your new backup system at no charge, as you are covered. If you MLS or association hasn't added Tech Helpline as a member benefit, let them know you want access to one of the most popular benefits MLSs and associations can offer. More information is available at TechHelpline.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
MORE >
17 Common Real Estate Website Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
MORE >
What to Look for When Buying Online Marketing and Lead Generation Tools
There are three flavors of online marketing and lead generation solutions: some that work great, some that are okay, and those that over promise and under deliver. Doing your research will not only help you sort between the good and the bad, but also enable you to understand which solutions are matched up well to your personality. Begin your research by talking to your broker and/or franchise, and MLS and/or association of REALTORS. Nobody wants to help you sell more real estate than your broker who lives off of a portion of your commission. Brokers are highly focused on helping you by offering effective tools and providing training and support to make sure that you know how to use them. Your MLS and association are also great places to start. Like your broker, they have your best interest at heart. One of the drawbacks to tools offered by your brokerage or MLS is that they offer them to all agents in your office or market area. You can find yourself using a tool that is used by everyone in your area, which may undermine your ability to create an online marketing and lead generation plan that differentiates you. Look at the methods used by top producing agents and teams in your area. Again, these are likely to be tools that have a proven track record of being effective. Another great tactic is to look outside of your area to see what top producers are doing. Look at the Real Trends top 1000 list to find successful agents and go online and search for homes in their area like a consumer would. Test the experience. Moreover, feel free to call them. Read RE Technology every day. We are constantly highlighting stories of solutions that work in the industry. Pay close attention to our Webinar section. We are constantly hosting online meetings that allow you to learn about new tactics and trends. And do not forget to attend industry conferences. These offer a great way to learn and talk to vendors and fellow agents to discover opportunities to make the right choices. Want to learn more about online marketing and lead generation? Download our latest Success Guide today!    
MORE >
11 Reasons Why Agents Can't Ignore Virtual Walkthrough Marketing Strategy
MORE >
4 Tips to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Strategy
Creating the best ad strategy for your business is a delicate balancing act between maximizing success and staying within the advertising budget you can afford. That's what agents Garry Creath and Chris Scott did to maximize their usage of Facebook Ads to benefit their business. Garry, a cofounder of Paperless Agent and Chris, a marketing expert for Paperless Agent, hosted our last 'Secrets' webinar and shared how they were able to create a successful business utilizing an effective ad strategy with Facebook Ads. Working with Facebook can be difficult at times. There are so many pieces to work with Facebook, but Garry and Chris mentioned four different requirements for Facebook campaigns that can simplify the process. Check them out below.
MORE >
Why You Should Host a First-time Buyers' Seminar
MORE >
Contact Management Is a Contact Sport
Being a speaker, trainer and presenter supporting the real estate community for the past 19 years, I must say my attendees have taught me so much! During breaks and after my sessions, agents are quick to share their experiences with me. Many years ago, I was preparing to give my customer relationship management presentation when a 50-year real estate veteran approached me and asked if I was the presenter.
MORE >
Trends in Online Marketing and Lead Generation
MORE >
How You Can Add Flavor to 'LPMAMA' So Leads Stick with You
Imagine a slice of bread. Served plain, it doesn't look tasty, does it? But top it with a few other ingredients and sandwich it with another slice of bread, and you have a delicious meal suddenly. The same premise applies to LPMAMA in real estate. By itself, it provides agents a series of questions they can qualify leads with. However, there's one drawback to LPMAMA's questions. They're very "agent-focused." They're designed to serve you, not necessarily the consumer – which puts them in a weird emotional state.
MORE >
Why Size Matters When Marketing a House
MORE >
Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 2)
Welcome to part two of our two-series blog on how to stand out from your competitors in real estate! In today's blog, we dive deeper and show you how to become dominant in the competitive real estate market. Part one of this series mentioned three key points that include: being active on social media, creating your own agent website, and staying connected to your clients and leads through e-newsletters. This blog post will focus on how to elevate your real estate brand and enable you to stand out from your competitors.
MORE >
Marketing Tip: Pay More Attention to Gen Xers
MORE >
8 Great Gmail Tips and Tricks
Gmail by Google is the world's most popular email program: 1.4 billion users. It's robust, simple to set up, easy to use, wickedly fast to search, and for most people, free. No wonder it's wildly popular among real estate agents. Gmail has many unknown and little-used features that can be hugely helpful. But like the secret menu at the West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger, most people don't know what's available. Here's your guide to some great Gmail tips and tricks to help boost your business:
MORE >
4 Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Business with Instagram
MORE >
6 Must-Haves for Your Multichannel Real Estate Marketing Plan
Agents, we have a quick real estate marketing quiz for you. Here goes: Should your digital marketing plan start and end with a Facebook profile? Is it smart to put all your metaphorical eggs in your website's "basket"? Is it fine to keep things "old school" and just resist a digital marketing plan altogether? Answers: no, no, and no way! These days, you know your prospects are using all kinds of channels to get their information, so having a multi-channel marketing strategy is an absolute must. Here are some tips for staying top-of-mind across channels:
MORE >
How to Show a Vacant Property Safely, Part 1
MORE >
Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Technology
One of the rituals of the spring – in addition to home buying season – is spring cleaning. It's a time when many of us clean, declutter and purge throughout our homes. But what about our technology: our laptops and smartphones? Spring is an excellent time for some spring cleaning for your tech too. Here are some ways you can clean, declutter and purge your way to a better tech experience the rest of the year with a tech spring cleaning. How to make your smartphone sparkle Do you know the best way to physically clean – and sanitize – your smartphone? To clean an iPhone, Apple recommends using a soft, slightly damp (distilled water), lint-free cloth. For a Pixel, Google tells owners they can use regular household soap or cleaning wipes. Most recent Samsung smartphones are water resistant, so Samsung recommends running these models under fresh water, shaking out excess water from the ports, and then wiping it dry with a microfiber cloth. If you need to do a deep-clean of a grimy smartphone, the easiest, fastest and safest way is to use disposable screen wipes, available from online retailers such as Amazon. The good news is that research tells us all of these methods do a pretty good job of eliminating most of the germs on the phone too. Cleaning your computer The host of the podcast "Ask a Clean Person," Jolie Kerr, told The New York Times you only need four items to clean a laptop: Rubbing alcohol, microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, and canned compressed air. The reason isopropyl alcohol is ideal is that it won't damage the computer's internal components. Kerr also says there's nothing wrong with purchasing specialized electronic or computer cleaning products, but they are most likely overpriced, and these homespun solutions will do the trick. The key to cleaning your laptop is to take your time. The first step is to turn it completely off (not sleep mode). Next, using the can of compressed air, go to work on the keyboard, then spray out all the ports. Experts say when using canned air, always use short bursts, as longer ones can cause condensation. The next step is to dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol. Don't ever pour or spray fluid of any kind directly on your laptop. Now clean with the cloth between all the nooks and crevices. To clean your laptop screen, do not use any chemicals. You should only use a soft cotton cloth with a little distilled water. In fact, on a Mac with a Retina display, if you use a product like Windex, it will destroy the screen coating. Declutter and organize your screens If you save your files to your desktop as a shortcut timesaver and don't always remember to move those files to the proper destination, you could suffer from screen clutter on your laptop. Get your laptop organized during your spring tech cleaning by moving files into folders. For your smartphone, get your apps organized as well. On an iPhone, you can create different folders and group similar apps together to declutter your screen. At the very least, you should make sure you eliminate "widow" pages: screens on your phone that have one app – or a few – on an entire screen – requiring you to scroll more. That's a time waster. Consolidation of related apps on your smartphone screens can save you time. For example, keep all your travel apps on one screen with the ones you use most frequently positioned where you like to access best. For users who have access to Tech Helpline, they can reach out for help on setting up folders on their smartphones. For iPhone users who are do-it-yourselfers, Apple provides instructions here. For Android users who want to learn more about setting up folders on their own, this wikiHow article gives step-by-step instructions here. Time to purge How many apps are on your smartphone? Now, how many of those apps have you used in the last six months? If you don't know, the latest operating systems will tell you. If you have an iPhone, here's how to see when you last opened each app. First, select your Settings (gray gear icon) on your iPhone, then choose General (another gray gear icon). Go down and select iPhone Storage. You may have to wait until the data loads, but soon a list will appear of all your apps. They are ranked by the amount of data they consume and show that amount on the far right. Below the app is the information you want for purging: the last date you used the app. You may be surprised at the number of apps you have that you have not opened for more than a year. Don't be surprised if you have apps that have never been opened. We've all been there, done that, but the good news is you get a two-for-one: you purge the apps from your screen (declutter), and you will free up space to store more of what you want and use. To delete the app, you can do it on the next screen: select the unused app, and at the bottom, you will see a "Delete App" option. If you own an Android smartphone, it's also easy to clean up your unused apps by accessing the Google Play Store on your Android device. In the My Apps section, the place where you go to reinstall or update apps, you will see a list of all your current apps. The apps will show the amount of data they consume and when they were last used. The best part is you can sort these apps by "Last Used," which will group the least used apps at the bottom. From there, you can select the apps you want to purge. Your laptop probably also can use some spring purging. How many screenshots did you save for a quick email and then never deleted? Or created a duplicate image? Have you cleaned out your deleted files or trash lately? Have you gone through your programs to make sure you don't have any unwanted software – or bloatware – that you can remove? Going through your folders during the spring is a great ritual to start. Think about what you really need to save, what you can back up to the cloud or a portable hard drive, and what you can delete forever. Your tech devices, if they could thank you, would, because they may get even better without all that clutter. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
MORE >
If You Are Not Generating Massive Sales from Your Email List, Try This
MORE >
The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Keywords
There's no doubt that online search is one of the most important tools for helping prospects find your real estate business. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 50 percent of real estate customers find the home they eventually buy through online search, and plenty more use search to identify the real estate agent who helps them find the right home. So it's important to make your website as search engine-friendly as possible—which starts with using the right real estate keywords. Today, we're going to take a closer look at what real estate keywords are, how they work, and what you can do to leverage the power of keywords for your real estate website.
MORE >
Leveraging Insights to Drive Higher Lead Conversions
MORE >
Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 1)
For both new and experienced agents, spring is always a busy time in the real estate market. After the dull winter season, prospective buyers look forward to springtime to purchase a home. Of course, as a real estate agent, you want to take advantage of the growing market during this time, so how do you separate yourself from the competition? How do you capture more than your fair share of hot prospects, and how do you ensure that past clients call you when thinking of buying or selling a home this season? In this two-part series, we will show you how to stand out as a real estate agent in a competitive market, specifically during a busy time!
MORE >
Create and Deliver a Winning Listing Presentation
MORE >
111 Blog Ideas for Real Estate Professionals
Running a real estate blog can be a really great way to increase traffic to your site--and position yourself as an industry expert at the same time. But it isn't always easy to come up with blog topics, especially when you're always on the go! So to help you kickstart the creativity, here's a handy list of 111 ideas for when you just can't think of something your clients and potential clients will want to read.
MORE >
5 Essential Strategies for Your Real Estate IDX Website
MORE >
Safe Selling: Reading the Predator, Part 2
What are the signs that a prospect is gearing up to attack you? It's all about the adrenaline, and the physical and verbal signs that adrenaline is surging in a would-be attacker's body. So why are the signs of rising adrenaline important to look out for? Because it's the body hormone that's released when a predator is preparing to attack--and if you see the signs of an adrenaline surge, it's time to get out NOW. Watch the video above to learn: The nonverbal changes to look out for How a predator's voice changes prior to an attack, and why What to look for when a predator is trying to cover up adrenaline surge symptoms
MORE >
Listing Agents Offering 1% and $1 Commissions: Is This a New Trend?
MORE >
5 Tips for Winning More Listings with Your Property Data Tool
Looking for an edge to beat out the competition for listings? Look no further than your property data tool. From generating CMAs to helping you overcome seller objections, this tool can help you impress prospects and win more listings. But how? To find out, we turned to an expert. Nikki Morgan of CRS Data has spent years training agents on how to leverage public records. "The best thing agents can do is to come to the table with the information that your property data solution can arm you with," says Morgan. "Not just words, but the facts." Here are five ways agents can tap into their property data solution to impress sellers and win more business:
MORE >
How to Find a Fantastic Niche
MORE >
4 Ways to Use Market Stats to Win More Business
If there's one thing you should know about the psychology of your prospects and clients, it's this: they're nosy. And the sooner you let that fact sink in, the sooner you can use it to your advantage. It's simple human nature--we want to know what's going on around us. And for homeowners, that means knowing which homes are for sale in their neighborhood, what their asking price is, the value of their own home, and so much more. So how can agents and brokers use this to their advantage? Lean on your market analytics tool to create insight-driven reports that you can share with leads and clients. (Don't have an analytics tool? Check out our Success Guide to Market Analytics for a few great recommendations.) While there are myriad ways you can use a market analytics platform to connect with your sphere, today we'll highlight four easy metrics you can leverage to connect with prospects and win more business. 1. Days on Market Trends One of the most important things that market statistics can do is help educate your clients and set proper expectations from the beginning. To help sellers grasp how long their home may be on the market, use your analytics tool to compare how long local homes are staying on the market versus last year. 2. Median Home Price Changes Trying to get a potential seller off the fence and into the market? Use market metrics to demonstrate how now is a good time to sell. What do prices in your area look like compared to last year? If they're rising, now is a good time for sellers to cash in on ongoing price appreciation. If your analytics show local prices are slowing, becoming stagnant, or even dropping, that's good news for buyers and may be what you need to bring hesitant first-timers into the fold. 3. Inventory Changes How many months of inventory does your local market have? Most of the U.S. is experiencing on ongoing inventory shortage that's driving a seller's market. Use your market analytics platform to find out how true this is for your area. Generate a report that you can email to clients, share on social media, in your newsletter, or on your blog. Explain how things have changed year-over-year and what that means for sellers, for buyers—or even for affordability in your area. 4. Support for Pricing a Home We know that you know how to price a home correctly, and you know that—but do your clients know? Agents can rely on market statistics to demonstrate your knowledge on pricing a home correctly. And you can swim right through the emotional undertow that sellers often experience during pricing conversations. For example, you can can analyze home price versus days on market to show how homes you've listed have sold more quickly thanks to the thorough pricing analysis you offer to clients. If your seller wants to price their home at $500,000 and needs to sell within 60 days, this comparison can tell them how fast other homes in this range have sold. If the DOM is too high, then the price likely is, too. Offering this kind of numbers-driven information positions you as the local market expert, and helps you steer sellers to a better price from the get-go, avoiding price reductions in the future. Want to learn more about leveraging market analytics? Check out our Success Guide to learn more about analytics trends and how to select a market analytics tool.  
MORE >
Top Tips for Dominating Your Local Market this Spring
MORE >
10 Real Estate Apps that Will Amplify Your Productivity
Welcome to our annual "Best Apps" article; a yearly entry that has proven to be very popular among agents. Once again, we've researched and gathered up an impressive collection of digital applications that will make you a more efficient and more successful REALTOR. Gone are the days when apps were strictly for early adopters and tech wizards. Nowadays, incorporating business apps into your everyday workflow is the price of admission in the ever-changing, on-the-go real estate landscape. Using these apps can make you more productive, more responsive, and more capable to serve your clients and gain new ones. Enjoy this year's 10 Real Estate Apps That Will Amplify Your Productivity:
MORE >
Know Your Numbers to Get Analytics Working for You!
MORE >
5 Habits that Make You a Less Productive Agent
Productivity is a popular subject these days and rightfully so! We fight more distractions in our work day than any cohort of working adults before us. Are you maximizing your productivity as a real estate agent? Or, rather, is it a constant battle for you to work smart and complete your tasks each day? A productive day may help you sleep better at night, compared to an unproductive day, which can also be frustrating. Here is a list of five habits that interfere with productivity, along with some suggestions on how you can turn them around to be a more productive agent.
MORE >
Facebook Ad Changes for Real Estate: What Agents and Brokers Need to Know
MORE >
Success with Testimonials: 3 Steps to Getting Them with Ease
Remember the famous childhood rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me?" Well, think again. In today's digital age, words matter, and more importantly, what people are saying about you can make an impact on your business' reputation.
MORE >
Safe Selling: Reading the Predator, Part 1
MORE >
Facebook Live for Your Business: As Easy as Point-Click-Shoot
Are you wondering how you can engage more with your followers on social media and build your business at the same time? There are many ways to do this. Probably one of the best is to use video – more specifically, Facebook Live. Using Facebook Live to build your business will not only help you engage with your friends on Facebook, but will also provide you with opportunities to showcase the different aspects of your business. Whether you are trying to provide tips for your clients or show a listing, Facebook Live might be the next best thing for your business.
MORE >
How to Quickly Establish Rapport with Clients
MORE >
Why the Top Agents Leverage Success Metrics in a Shifting Market
3 key metrics you should be tracking There's been a lot of buzz lately about the shifting market, and you've likely been hearing steps and strategies to help you be prepared for what may come in your local market. Whether it just shifts slightly to a more balanced, normalized market, or there's a noticeable lull in home sales, the name of the game is being fully prepared at any time with a solid business model, that's evergreen and "shockproof," so that your profitability doesn't suffer. One tactic that will help solidify your profitability (no matter the market), is clearly tracking and measuring success metrics.
MORE >
CoreLogic and Homesnap Join Forces on Integrations to Matrix
MORE >
5 Simple Steps to Share Your RPR Market Activity Report on Facebook
RPR's Market Activity report is an ideal option for agents who want to create enduring and results-oriented relationships through social media. The report presents a snapshot of changes in a local real estate market based on listing and MLS information, and includes active, pending, sold, expired, distressed, new for lease, and recently leased properties, as well as recent price changes and upcoming open houses for a period of up to six months. Here's a quick tutorial on how to post your RPR Market Activity Report to Facebook.
MORE >
Best Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Real Estate Website
MORE >
57 Hilariously Terrible Real Estate Photos
Where would your dream home be? Would it be a rustic farm hidden in the woods or maybe a luxury condo in Manhattan? Would the interior be more traditional, have shiplap walls, or the latest modern trend? Yes, we love great real estate photos that really capture the perfect house. This post, though, is a tribute to the other kind that we've all seen.
MORE >
6 Surefire Ways to Get Top Dollar for Your Seller
MORE >
Safe Selling: Showing Prep Tips for When You Can't Arrive Early
In a perfect world, agents would always have time to arrive at a showing before their prospect in order to prepare the home for a safe showing. But as we know, the world isn't exactly perfect. What happens when you arrive to a showing at the same time as the buyer and don't have time to take the necessary safety precautions? That's what we'll show you in this week's Safe Selling episode. Watch the video above to learn: How to set expectations with prospects before a showing that you'll need to enter the home alone first A sample script to use when setting those expectations Why it's important to prepare the home for your safety... no matter what
MORE >
How to Spring Clean Your Real Estate Website
MORE >
The Secret to Success with Prospects Pro
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 10:00 AM PDT Get a full head start! In addition to all of the basic CRM functionalities, the Pro subscription offers a wide array of management, communication and development tools that will enable you to go beyond your objectives. These tools have been developed in collaboration with real estate brokers intent on providing impeccable service to an ever-demanding clientele. Which Prospects CRM features will be covered: Match CMA Facebook Publishing Tool Hotsheet Prospecting tools Register now!
MORE >
Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up and Using a CRM
MORE >
Simple Social Media Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents have been using social media to connect with real estate clients for many years now, leveraging sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to reach and engage clients and prospects – all with a goal of driving new business. If social media is on your radar as a marketing strategy to explore but you're not sure where to start, here are a few simple social media strategies you may want to consider.
MORE >
Top 3 Tips for Following Up with Real Estate Leads Like a Machine
MORE >
Managing the Meltdown: Successfully Navigating Your Clients through a Stress-Free Home Buying Process
Moving into a new home is among the most stressful events an individual will go through in their lifetime, right up there with a divorce, the death of a loved one and the loss of a job. Yet surprisingly, most real estate agents are never taught how to manage a client's emotions in a way that will prevent a meltdown from occurring. By using a few simple techniques and front-loading the process to show clients what they can expect at each step of their journey, it's possible to mitigate and even avoid meltdowns, says Steve Wener, a San Diego-based real estate agent.
MORE >
Getting New Business from Old Clients
MORE >
How to Create and Effectively Use Email Lists to Grow Your Business
Do you remember when we liked getting email? We liked it so much that Hollywood once made an entire movie about it. In You've Got Mail, the charming and feisty shop owner (played by Meg Ryan) had an email flirtation with the business savvy, but slightly annoying corporate executive (played by Tom Hanks). Each time they heard the addicting ding signifying a new message, they couldn't wait to read it. Remember that feeling? It goes without saying that these days, things may have changed a little bit.
MORE >