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How to Take Advantage of This Real Estate Market
Agents, how are you viewing this market shift? Rather than seeing it as a slow-down period, you should be thinking about it as your chance to gain the upper hand and boost your business for years to come. Now that you can come up for air, it's time to focus on your business, budgeting, and best practices. With the new year right around the corner, now is the perfect time to be planning out your action plans for 2023 and beyond. Here's how you can take advantage of the market conditions to get ahead in your business. 1. Talk to Your Team With the market slowing down, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to resync with your team. As a first step to making the market work for you, you want to check in with all of the people who power the business and get their feedback on: What's working What's not working What they need help with What ideas they've come up with for improvements What their goals are for the next year This can help you get a real-time status update on your team's collaboration, productivity, and process. Opening the line of communication can also boost team morale and empower every individual to step up and share their unique insights. Pro Tip: To make this process as efficient as possible, we recommend that you give your team time to think about what they'd like to say. Set a formal meeting time and explain to them what you'd like to speak about so they can gather their thoughts in advance, rather than bringing it up unannounced — which may catch your introverted team members off-guard, preventing them from sharing their point of view. 2. Think About Connecting Your Front and Back Office Is your front and back office humming together in perfect harmony? If not, you should be thinking about how you can create seamless collaboration between your client-facing and team-facing tasks. The deeper integration between these two types of software gives your business the bandwidth it needs to create pristine client experiences and more efficient team workflows. Think seamless syncing of systems, instant data access, and a user-friendly transaction management portal that keeps everyone in the loop — helping you work better together. 3. Revisit Your Budget As we're arriving at the end of the year, it's the perfect time to revisit your budget. Take a long, hard look at your finances for the 2022 year. Pay attention to where you were overspending, where you underspent, and where you can cut back on waste. An important thing to think about when looking at your budget is that you want to be investing in tools that will generate solid returns for your business. You don't necessarily want to cut back on the tools and infrastructure that keep your business running strong. Otherwise, you could be cutting back your spending — at the expense of reducing your profitability. A strategic budget puts your dollars to the best use in order to generate more financial gains in the future. 4. Refine Your Tech Toolkit How did your tech toolkit perform for you this year? With the market slowing, it's a fantastic time for you to audit your technology. We're moving into a digital-first world, and the best agents are relying on their technology to empower their business models in the new year. Even if you don't make any changes to your tech, you might want to reach out to support teams to find out if there are any updates that you weren't aware of. You may also want to inquire about any additional training you can get to help lock in your team's expertise with their toolkit. 5. Clean Up Your Database Finally, you should take the time to clean up your database — getting it ready to do its best work in the new year. 5 To-Do's to Improve Your Database Make sure all information is current and accurate Fix any typos or mistakes in your contacts Incorporate any new information you may have gathered into your contacts Segment your contacts into categories Tag your contacts based on where they are in the transaction timeline To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Real Estate Branding: 6 Steps for Agent Success
Quick: name three brands! Don't read further until you do. Seriously. We'll wait... Okay, so which came to mind? Maybe popular consumer brands like Coca-Cola and Nike, or perhaps big-name brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21. Because of branding, you already have an idea in your head about what those companies stand for or represent and the kind of experience you'd have when using their products or services. Personal real estate branding isn't much different. Instead of branding for a large corporation, real estate branding is the effort of accurately and attractively representing you or your team, which helps you sell your services. Real estate branding is important because when consumers in your local market are asked to think about real estate agents, you want to come to the forefront of their minds. With real estate branding, you become the agent consumers think of by conveying to them your personality, what you represent, and what type of experience they can expect when they work with you. Learn why real estate branding is important, what different components real estate branding involves, and how you can enact real estate branding best practices to get the most out of your marketing and public image. 1. Create a Visual Real Estate Branding Identity It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We don't know whether that's true, but it is clear that having an effective visual presentation and theme to your marketing materials will improve your real estate branding. If you need a visual branding revamp, take it step-by-step. First, brainstorm the main messages you want your brand to convey. There are two directions you can go in: either focus on the type of real estate you specialize in (luxury properties or veteran housing, for example) or consider which type of real estate agent you are, as your personality type is directly related to how you'll work with clients. Next, come up with a short, memorable slogan/phrase/keywords/sentence that literally tells people what you want them to know about you and your services. It doesn't need to be clever to be memorable. Keep it simple and straightforward. Then, work with a graphic designer to create a logo that fits with your slogan and embodies your brand. Run a few samples by people who you trust so you can gather feedback. Ask them for their first impression, what they like, what they dislike and any general feedback for future iterations. It's important that you spend time getting this right. You may think that it will be easy to change your visual identity — logo, colors, slogan — but it's not easy considering how many marketing materials will carry your real estate branding. Plus, consistency is what will make your brand memorable. So don't stop iterating until you create a visual brand identity that you're happy with, because you'll likely be using this identity for years. 2. Develop a Written Real Estate Branding Identity Having a strong visual identity is essential to building your real estate brand. But it's only the first half of the creative real estate branding identity equation. You must also work to create a strong written real estate branding identity. Visuals may attract people's eye, but well-written agent biographies and listing descriptions are also going to be integral to establishing yourself as a real estate leader. Think of it from a buyer or seller's perspective: A poorly-written, uninformative agent biography is going to cause concerns about your ability to conduct a real estate transaction. And listing descriptions that aren't telling a descriptive, coherent story risk turning consumers away from your services. As you develop a written real estate branding identity, keep a few general tips in mind: Be authentic – Use your words, not the words you think people want to hear. Your tone should match your personality. Don't eliminate contractions if you typically use them. Don't use formal language if you speak casually. Share your passion – Why does your work excite you? Weave your enthusiasm for your job into your bio. No one wants to work with a two-dimensional agent. Showing passion will make others feel eager to work with you. Tell a story – Use your written materials to tell a concrete story about your brand, your services, your team, and the properties you're listing. Remember that the story should consider a consumer's point-of-view – use the second-person "you" and focus on stories that end with satisfied buyers and sellers. One other, absolutely essential tip: Proofread. Always proofread every piece of collateral to be sure that there aren't nettlesome typos, misrepresentations, or other mistakes – you want to establish your professionalism, and those sorts of mistakes don't help. 3. Own Local Google Search Results for Real Estate Services If you want to develop a winning real estate brand and grow your business, you can't hide in the shadows. Visibility is key, and it's accomplished through marketing. In the same way that you put up yard signs and A-frames to draw attention to your listings in the offline world, you need to create similar visibility online so that it's easy for prospects, leads, and clients to find you. With well over 90% of all real estate searches starting online, the best place to achieve that visibility is on Google. Visibility is an important part of branding. Prospects equate you being at the top of a Google local search page with you being a credible, trustworthy agent. Now, more than ever before, Google is prioritizing local search results. That means that when prospective buyers and sellers search for terms such as "real estate agent near me," they're going to be served results that list agents in their neighborhood and town. If your competitors appear in those searches and you don't, you've essentially signaled to buyers and sellers that your competitors' brand is more trustworthy than yours. Google gives clear, written instructions for improving your local search ranking. It instructs users to create a Google business profile that includes information such as your address, phone number, website, and industry. The profile should also have a verified location, accurate business hours, and up-to-date photos. Most importantly, Google urges businesses to solicit and manage reviews. Google uses these reviews to determine your prominence and relevance and decide whether to feature you as an agent consumers can trust. Solicit reviews from clients, fellow agents, friends, and family – anybody who can speak to your skill, professionalism, and ability should give testimony. 4. Spread Your Brand With a Personal Real Estate Website If Google is the front door of the internet, then think of a personal real estate website as your living room. It's where you can welcome guests, explain your services, and establish your credibility and style as an agent. Plus, a clean real estate website with a modern design and easy navigation demonstrates to potential clients that you are tech-savvy. So much of the present real estate transaction experience occurs online, so you need to be sure that your brand indicates that you are an agent who will be up to the task of helping clients market their products online. Make sure your agent website includes your basic business information and your listings. By publicizing your existing listings, you let sellers in particular know that you're already trusted by other home sellers in their market. 5. Use Social Media Social media is an increasingly important brand-building platform for real estate agents. In particular, Facebook and Instagram have become popular places for buyers and sellers to look for agents, homes, and general real estate services. In order to earn new leads and business, then, agents should have a strong social media presence. We recommend that you use the EAT framework to develop a well-branded, fully-organic social media presence. EAT Social Media Framework EAT stands for: Engagement Authenticity Thought leadership The first portion of EAT is engagement. With engagement, you should consider posting on social media channels and responding to consumers' comments on the posts. Agents should also ask questions to spur audience engagement. Consider asking questions such as "carpet or hardwood?" to get people talking about their preferences or "what homes are catching your eye this fall?" to learn about why people are entering the market and the homes they're most excited to tour. The second component of EAT is authenticity. By producing authentic social content, agents can tell honest stories about the home selling and buying processes and the real estate market in general. For example, you shouldn't solely post videos and photos of fully staged homes and tours. Instead, consider posting before and after photos, or a video of your open house preparations. This way, consumers see that buying or selling a house is a process, and that you're dedicated to the work necessary to make it happen. The final part of the EAT framework is thought leadership. For agents, social media provides the opportunity to display subject matter expertise, which is especially valuable knowledge to share in a complicated time for the real estate market. Following the EAT framework ensures that when people view your social media content, they see a credible, engaged real estate professional. If a consumer sees one of your paid advertisements and later searches for your information, strong organic social media may help reassure them that there is substance behind your advertisements. With engagement, authenticity, and thought leadership at the forefront of your organic social media efforts, you can develop a solid foundation for social media success. 6. Remember Offline Real Estate Branding Opportunities As you work to build your brand online, don't forget about the benefits that offline real estate branding can provide. Yard signs, sponsoring a little league team, setting up a booth at community events – these types of real world opportunities to connect with consumers and people in your local market are invaluable if you want to establish yourself as a leading local agent. Offline real estate branding extends all the way to the end of a real estate transaction. Providing buyers and sellers a small but thoughtful closing gift is a good way to communicate how much your value your clients' business – and also ensure that they come to you the next time they need real estate services. How Can You Develop the Strongest Real Estate Branding? Clearly, real estate branding is important if you want to be the agent that buyers and sellers turn to when they have real estate needs. Overall, having the best real estate branding in your market requires: A visual real estate brand identity A written real estate brand identity Owning Google local search results An personal real estate website Using social media Practicing offline real estate branding To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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New to RPR? Start Here to Boost Your Business
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Why and How to Boost Your Online Presence to Get More Leads
Real estate marketing, social media, repeat and referral, top-of-mind marketing. You've probably heard of all of them, but may not know how they apply to your real estate business. And even if you do, the nuances may be so eclectic they continuously escape you, leaving you with a social media marketing strategy that no longer works or an outdated well of tactics that Google and company no longer smile favorably on. Take a deep breath, massage your temples and embrace social media — even as a real estate professional. Why social media marketing is so crucial in real estate Social media platforms have a wide range of new lead generation potential, while allowing you to stay up-to-date with your past clients. The relationship aspect of social media accounts is a well-known facet of the platforms and their target markets. But other than just having access to more leads and past happy clients, what are successful real estate agents using their platforms for? Marketing and influence. Most social media platforms allow you to utilize their built-in metrics to gauge what marketing strategies are working with your brand and which to leave by the wayside. Social media posts pushed from marketing and business managers often come with insights that tell you who engaged with the post, what the engagement was like, and whether to update your locale to reach more of your target market. But to get the most out of this, you'll have to ensure you have a deep well of influence across your channels. How do I strengthen my social media presence? Post often and post about more than just houses, neighborhoods and market updates. While these things are great to post about, venture out and give your target audience more to take in than just housing. To start, try posting general real estate advice. Use your social media channels to make yourself the expert real estate agent in your particular location and desired market. From there, use your Facebook page, Twitter posts, Instagram page or other platform to engage with your social media followers. These engagements are key to understanding what it is your clients and leads are hunting for in the current real estate market, and what pain points you can solve for over other real estate professionals. Be sure to genuinely follow some of your followers back, engage with their posts and paint yourself as the available expert ready and willing to help, at normal and non-invasive intervals. After all, you want to post often and frequently, but you don't want to post about the same exact things so often that you lose the social following you've worked so hard to gain. Use the resources available to you Probably one of the most overlooked success strategies out there is utilizing the resources available to you through your social media platform. Each is designed with extensive help desks and knowledge bases to help you navigate through their resource pool. Likewise, support channels also exist where you can get live feedback. If you still need a little extra help with your online presence and digital marketing strategies, education and coaching opportunities are available to give you an extra edge when working toward your influential marketing goals. So whether you're in the market for a new marketing strategy or just want to understand the landscape a little bit more, starting with social media is a great, low-cost way to give your marketing prowess the extra boost it needs. Download this FREE GUIDE for actionable ideas for your social media marketing Your free Social Media 101 Marketing Guide will give you fresh ideas for how to create awesome social media marketing content. Download this guide and get the tips and trips from pros to elevate your social media marketing content today! DOWNLOAD GUIDE
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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing Strategy
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Dotloop Beginner Agent Training
Multiple dates Whether you just got started with dotloop or need a refresher, our basic training will help you navigate your account and efficiently close deals. Account overview How to create a transaction How to edit, share and eSign documents How to create tasks How to submit for review Register now! Other versions of this training: in Spanish, for California agents.
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Running Out of Space? A Dropbox Primer: What Every Agent Needs to Know
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Remember Single Tasking? Probably Not!
The mobile technology revolution has completely eliminated the single tasking we remember from many of our pre-Palm and pre-Blackberry days. I never want to go back to that time, but rather adjust our life — and more importantly — our brain. Before I get into single tasking, here are facts from people much smarter than me. (Don't believe me? Google it!) Multitasking decreases your productivity by 40%, lowers your IQ by 17% and shrinks your brain by reducing density in area that controls cognitive and emotional control. Please re-read this section and think about yourself. I did while writing this — scary, huh? 7 Actions You Can Take Right Now So what is our plan to keep our brain from shrinking, be dumber and raise our productivity? I personally practice single tasking in spurts, and will share how in my next article. In the meantime, try these actionable steps: Acknowledge the fact multitasking is a bad thing, and decide it's time to take your life back. Teach yourself one task at a time. Try to stop daydreaming or letting your thoughts wander from the task at hand. Find a work environment free of distractions (we will discuss this point in a later article). Once in a while give. your brain a break. Find a place to reflect on your thoughts. Quickly learn to say No when folks push you to do something that gobbles up your time. Involve family and co-workers to help you stay on task. I know most of you are REALTORS® and will quickly argue multitasking is part of doing business. I will partially agree — but let's find a way to turn it off and on as needed to be successful. Personal note: After I finished writing this article and before I did my proofread, I checked my computer and phone. I answered three emails, responded to two text messages, and read a few news and weather alerts. Oh, I need help, too! Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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The Blueprint to Generate More Seller Leads
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Friday Freebie: 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan
You've got your overall 2023 business plan down—now it's time to hone in on the nitty-gritty details of your lead generation strategy for the year ahead. To help you do just that, we're highlighting a lead generation planning guide in this week's Friday Freebie. It's completely editable and helps you focus in on your strengths, weaknesses, lead gen goals, budget, strategies and more! Read on to learn how to download your FREE copy. Free download of the 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan, courtesy of Zurple There are 44 days until the new year. Are you ready to meet the challenges of the 2023 real estate market head on? Put your best foot forward with a solid strategy for generating and converting leads. The 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan helps you define your goals and strategies in order to give you solid, actionable steps to take in 2023. The Plan is editable and acts as a worksheet to help you think about and map out your lead gen strategy. Here's what's included: SWOT and competition analyses Lead generation goal setting worksheet Lead generation initiatives worksheet Worksheet for identifying your ideal customers Lead generation plan with space to detail strategies, lead gen channels, performance, budget, etc. And more Get ready to drum up all the business you can handle. Download the 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan now!
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TikTok Trends for Real Estate Agents
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Real Estate Farming: Sowing, Growing and Expanding Your Business
Of the myriad lead generation strategies available to real estate agents, one of the most consistently successful is real estate farming. This type of strategy offers focus on a geographic area and the prospects therein. According to The Close, agents who use the farming strategy can capture at least 30% of all sales in a target area and turn leads into long-term clients. It seems like a solid marketing model, but is farming for real estate the right strategy for you? Even if you're happy with your current marketing plans, having a more profound understanding of farming methods and concepts can prove beneficial in any real estate market. How to create a real estate farming strategy The first step in any farming strategy is to choose your target area. You'll want to choose somewhere with high demand and a high turnover rate to focus your real estate farming idea. The next step is to plan the kind of marketing efforts you'll use on your target audience. Some popular examples include sending real estate farming postcards via direct mail, offering market updates via email and creating neighborhood websites. Think of this stage as sowing the seeds in your garden. Tracking your progress necessitates a customer relationship manager, or CRM. With a real estate-specific CRM, you'll have all the tools to create records of correspondence and the growth of your influence in your farm area. Once you have everything in place, focus on publishing or delivering your high-value content into your geographic farm area. Experts suggest using a mixture of long-term automated communication, like email newsletters, and personal follow-ups. What does it cost to start real estate farming? The most successful farming techniques do come with an upfront cost, but the more you invest in your farm, the better your returns will be. Real estate farming will likely require an annual budget of several thousand dollars. However, don't forget that commission from a single home sale will recoup your investment — and then some. While it might take some time to get established, even one home sold in your local real estate market means your farm is alive and growing. Real estate farming through social media Social media is an important tool for any real estate agent, but an essential one for successful geographic farming. With your potential clients spending so much time online, it's crucial to focus some of your real estate farming techniques in those particular spheres. One example of how to farm on social media is creating a community Pinterest board featuring community members, local business owners and other topics to add value. Host community events for your real estate farm area Don't forget to include face-to-face marketing among your real estate farming ideas. Organizing neighborhood or community activities can be an enormous source of both new leads and strengthened client relationships. If you're not sure where to begin, start with major holidays, school fundraising events and engaging local businesses. Real estate farming and relationship marketing Relationship marketing is the lifeblood of a successful real estate business. Whether primarily through word of mouth or online communication, it's relationships that form the basis for future transactions. Real estate farms make the process of creating and cultivating relationships even easier. As your prospects and relationships grow and blossom, they will spread to plant new seeds. All you need are the right real estate farming tools and a real estate farming area — your fertile soil. Want to boost your farming and overall marketing results? Download this 30-Day Marketing Challenge and put your skills to the test! The 30-Day Marketing Challenges provides you with eight steps to elevate your marketing in less than one month. [DOWNLOAD NOW]
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Forget Black Friday: Thursdays are the day for home price cuts
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5 Reasons Why the Sky Is Not Falling: By the Numbers
The spike in home sales during the middle of the pandemic took nearly everyone by surprise. Previous housing predictions had been dire. The March 19, 2020, headline from CNBC recapped the initial universal sentiment among industry experts: "Home sales could fall 35%, as coronavirus stalls spring housing market, new analysis says." Money magazine reported on April 30, 2020, "Four out of five agents surveyed in early April by the National Association of Realtors said they saw fewer houses on the market. Only half of Americans said they think that now is a good time to buy a home, according to a recent Gallup survey — the lowest share since Gallup began tracking people's sentiments on real estate in 1978." With hindsight, we know the exact opposite happened: We saw record home sales and homes flying off the shelves at an unprecedented speed. It shouldn't be surprising for anyone who has been in real estate for more than a decade that we're hearing the same doom and gloom forecasts today. This time, the catalyst is not a virus, but an unprecedented rise in mortgage rates. Current headlines forecast more bad news for housing: CBS News reports, "U.S. home prices could fall as much as 20% next year," with the New York Times adding, "The Housing Market Is Worse Than You Think." One of the most recent negative headlines buries the news for doom and gloom, leading with: "More than $1 trillion in equity shed during third quarter." The same story notes that "tappable equity at the end of September was at $10.5 trillion," and that "home prices remain up 45% from the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Median home prices are still at least 19% above their February 2020 levels in every major market in the country." It is the headlines that are causing an overreaction among many real estate agents, resulting frequently in panic. The good news is that 2023 is not 2008. The numbers prove the difference. So, let's stop talking about single-source predictions and economic forecasts and instead focus on what the data tells us about today's real estate market compared to 2008. 1. Massive versus little equity: In 2008, "homes were underwater." That was the dominant buzz phrase to describe the chaos that followed when the financial markets collapsed. But the rapid rise in home values during the pandemic has created a completely different real estate market in 2023. Homeowner equity keeps growing, even today despite recent market turndown, reports real estate data guru ATTOM. Only one in 35 homes are seriously underwater. In 2008, nearly one in five homeowners were underwater, CNN Money said on October 31, 2008. 2. Highest FICO scores ever: Between 2004 and 2013, which included the mortgage crisis, average credit scores were at their lowest recorded level at 686. From 2018 to 2020, the average rose to 710, a record high according to a report from credit firm Experian. Others find the average score is even higher, hitting a record high of 788 in the first quarter of 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported. Between 2001 and 2009, nearly a third of all home loans were made with a FICO score below 660. Today, few new mortgage loans are made for borrowers with credit scores below 670. What drove the last housing crisis to the brink was the wide availability of no-doc and subprime mortgage loans (below 600 FICO scores). We know that lower FICO scores resulted in more loans that were seriously delinquent in 2005 through 2007. Subprime loans today are but a small fraction of mortgages originated: just 3 percent, according to the N.Y. Fed, versus about 1 in 8 loans from 2003 to 2007. 3. Lower foreclosure rates: In January 2009, the MarketWatch headline said, "2009 foreclosures hit a record high: No relief in sight as delinquent loans continue to pile up." That month, foreclosure filings jumped 21%, comprising 2.21% of all U.S. housing units. A stunning 2.82 million housing units, or one in 45, were in foreclosure. In September, 31,836 properties had foreclosure filings, according to ATTOM, saying they are still lagging at pre-pandemic levels. 4. Inventory shortage of homes needed for population growth: Between 2007 and 2020, homebuilders started at nearly 400,000 homes fewer than their historical average. As the No. 1 ranked real estate agent Ben Caballero expertly detailed for Inman News in May 2020, even if homebuilders can increase production to 1.5 million new homes a year, it will take at least six years to catch up. We have a major housing shortage. Supply and demand drive U.S. markets, including real estate. Keep in mind that the U.S. population in 1980 was 226.5 million people. Today, we have 100 million more people: the population is 331.9 million. While we will see many markets have more home inventory coming online, we have a systemic national shortage and will continue to need more homes. 5. 4 million to 5 million homes are sold each year, regardless of interest rates: From 1998 until 2022, over 4 million homes have been sold annually. When interest rates were below 3%, more than 6 million existing homes were sold. But when interest rates were close to 6% in 2005, 7.1 million existing home sales were made. Interest rates are not the only driver in a home-selling decision. If they were, home sales would completely collapse when interest rates are higher. But they don't — because life happens. People marry, have children, kids move out, divorces happen, families relocate to retire, careerists move for a new job, family members die, Americans want a bigger or smaller home, to move closer to family — those are just some of the reasons driving home selling decisions. Also, remember the adage that you "marry the home but date the rate." This is as true today as in October of 1981, when mortgage rates exceeded 18%. Rates go up, and they also come down. People refinance. How many people do you know have had the same home mortgage for 30 years? No one can predict interest rates — but historically, we know they do not remain high forever. 2023 is not 2008 As you can see, the sky is not falling. But will the housing market experience a correction? Yes. Prices cannot go up forever without wages keeping pace: History shows us that. But will we have a collapse in pricing? The data says, "no." 2023 is a year with homeowners having more home equity because of the run-up in home values. FICO scores will remain high, and the activity in subprime loans and foreclosures remain far below anything like we saw in 2008. While we will likely see more inventory in many markets, it won't be enough to fix our housing shortage problem. Life happens regardless of the news. People will still move whatever interest rates are doing. Of course, some may pause — just like people paused when the pandemic first struck — but history shows buyers adjust and come back into the market. Jessica Morrow, a founding team member at Revive, is the Chief of Staff and oversees company-wide operations. A real estate industry leader, Jessica's background includes real estate brokerage management and ground-up construction. Learn more about Jessica and Revive at revive.realestate.com.
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How to Plan for Success in the New Year
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RPR for New Members: The Complete Beginner Series
Five dates, from Nov. 17 - Dec. 14 If you're a new member of NAR, this webinar series is designed for you! Learn techniques to start building your business. As a REALTOR, you have access to Realtors Property Resource, included in your membership with the National Association of REALTORS. RPR provides data, tools and property reports that can help you "wow" your clients and close more deals. With RPR you have access to: Local public record data and MLS data in one database. Neighborhood information, school data, walkability and livability scores. Residential and commercial real estate tools to identify, locate and price properties as well as prospect for new clients. And remember, RPR is already included in your dues to NAR. So there are no extra costs or fees. All it takes is just a little bit of time to help you learn how to navigate and integrate RPR into your business practices. Register now!
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Showing Gratitude to Your Community as a Real Estate Agent
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Augmented Reality and Generative AI Could Transform Future of Real Estate Marketing
Augmented reality and image generation through generative artificial intelligence are two emerging technologies that could play a key role in the future of real estate, according to experts at 2022 NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience, in Orlando, Florida. Sessions at NAR's annual conference covered the role these technologies may soon play and the possible legal and ethical ramifications Realtors® should keep in mind when using them. On Friday, Dan Weisman, NAR's director of emerging technology, discussed how augmented reality could become a mainstream tool for creating a new experience for home buyers and sellers. He noted that although virtual tours are used in the real estate industry, augmented reality may change how consumers preview a potential house. "Through the use of a phone, augmented reality will allow us to scan rooms, get dimensions, detect objects, remove them and even replace them with a décor that may be more fitting to your client. This technology will create a totally different virtual experience for a potential buyer of a home," Weisman said. On Saturday, Weisman took the stage at the Emerging Business and Technology Forum to discuss how the evolution of artificial intelligence has allowed consumers to easily create and manipulate photos. He showcased examples of tools like Dall-E 2 and Google Imagen, which can take a text prompt and use artificial intelligence to produce and alter images with an extraordinary degree of photorealism. "There is power in this technology that ties into the real estate space," Weisman said. "It could have an impact on renovation previews, listing photo modifications, and stock photo generation." Weisman showed an example photo of a backyard with a sandbox. With a simple text prompt, the sandbox was removed. With an additional prompt, it was replaced by a fire pit. "This technology will give you the power to change photos to better portray what your client may envision for the space," he said. Matt Troiani, NAR senior counsel, director legal affairs, shared copyright best practices and discussed some of the legal and ethical ramifications this new technology may create, noting these new tools currently pose more questions than answers as the law tries to keep up with technology. "The biggest takeaway is to be very mindful about how you use these tools," Troiani said. "Ensure that you have copyright protection for the works that you are creating. Make sure you have a directive element over the generative AI and be careful not to infringe on someone else's copyrighted work."
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4 Ways Agents Can Help Military Veterans Become Homeowners
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Affluent Consumers Find Value in Agent Expertise and Will Use an Agent Again, Says Study
A recent survey released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program indicates that buyers are looking for much more than a transactional relationship when it comes to choosing and staying with their agent. Real estate agents are now financial, wealth and lifestyle ambassadors, and consumers are finding more value in working with a real estate agent than ever before, especially as they face a transitioning market. The survey data conducted by Censuswide, as highlighted in the 2022 Trend Report, showcases the luxury real estate market sentiments of over 2,000 U.S.-based high-net-worth consumers, insight from Coldwell Banker Global Luxury property specialists and data collected by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and Wealth-X. Paired with the top trends currently driving the luxury market, the report provides an inside look at how consumers are working with agents and their plans to use a trusted advisor again for their next home purchase. Real estate agents are crucial to any luxury transaction Luxury property specialists are seen as a trusted resource to a community and all that it offers. As that connection point, they are expected to go beyond just sharing market knowledge to providing insights on other factors luxury buyers consider when purchasing a property, like connections to desired schools, introductions to social groups and philanthropy efforts, and much more. The white glove service and world-class expertise of a top agent provides immeasurable value, as evidenced by the survey. Four in five (86%) respondents with a household income of $5 million or more have used a real estate agent to assist them in the purchase of their home and find value in their expertise. The U.S. luxury consumer would use a trusted agent again The advice and service of a luxury real estate agent when buying or selling a home does not go unnoticed, as many affluent consumers would use an agent again for a future home purchase, especially among younger millionaires. 83% of respondents who have used a real estate agent to assist in purchasing a home in the past will use a real estate agent for their next home purchase. Younger respondents, those aged 25-34 (86%) and 35-44 (86%), who have used a real estate agent to assist in purchasing a home in the past, will use an agent in the future. More mature respondents, aged 45-54 (75%) and 55+ (80%), say they will use a real estate agent for their next home purchase. "More than ever, it is necessary for agents to have deep market insight and connections to help their clients navigate in today's environment and set themselves apart from everyone else," said Jade Mills, president, Jade Mills Estates and international ambassador of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. "Keeping regular touchpoints with clients – past and present – is so essential to our business. By sending little notes on life events or updates on community gatherings, it really shines a light on the value we bring as agents, and the importance of enhancing and deepening those client bonds to keep them coming back."
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10 Video Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents
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Why Your Buyer May Be Dissatisfied with Their New Home
Everyone wants to know that their purchase is satisfaction guaranteed. But FOMO (the fear of missing out) has led to "I can't get no satisfaction" for many people across the nation. Homebuyer's remorse is not something you want to hear about when trying to build your real estate business. It is difficult for buyers to fully understand a property when there is a lack of reliable information. Quick listings and even quicker property sales have led to many dissatisfied homeowners. However, there are ways to help your clients get the satisfaction they deserve by giving them the tools and resources to work with. Understand the buyer's needs It is said that there is a buyer for every house. That may be true, but how do you know which buyer is for which house? Focus on the needs of your clients. Forty-three percent of homebuyers are concerned with commuting costs and convenience to their jobs, according to a 2022 NAR report. They want to own their home, but the past couple of years and the fear of missing out has led to impulse decisions. You may find a home within the ideal proximity to their place of employment, but the buyer needs to know that their new living space will accommodate their furniture, family, and lifestyle. Examining floor plans and 3D tours helps everyone understand the fit and flow of a home. Things of regret The majority of homebuyers over the past year experienced some form of homebuyer's remorse. Regrets include miscalculating the overall costs of owning a home, paying too much, poor layout and wrong location. Though not much can be done about unforeseen maintenance costs, a buyer would benefit from an accurate floor plan if one was provided before the purchase. Highly detailed floor plans with intuitive navigation allow potential buyers to understand the space before moving into it. Advanced measurement tools make it easy to measure for future renovations to avoid spending extra money on mistakes. Try before you buy Fear of missing out can have your buyer seeking a new home before they have settled into the one they just bought. That may sound like the perfect opportunity to make another sale, but a dissatisfied buyer may also seek out another agent who can guide them on their buyer's journey with better results. The "try before you buy" method of understanding the fit and flow of a home can help. Interactive floor plans and 3D tours allow a buyer to picture living in the space. Proptech tools offered by companies like iGUIDE® assist the buyer by giving them the ability to play with the space by virtually changing colors and fixtures or modifying floor plans. Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware! One way to avoid a serious case of homebuyer's remorse is to be aware of the big picture. Help your clients with a little "construction" criticism. All houses have the potential to be the perfect home when you remove a wall here and there or add an extra bathroom. However, before beginning any major or minor construction, it is wise to speak with an architect to discuss the viability of the property's floor plan. Theoretically, you can change any home with an unlimited budget, but in reality, changing the house to match that 3D tour you loved from HGTV requires time, money and a whole lot of planning. Foresight is better than hindsight The fear of missing out has led homebuyers into a frenzy of grabbing up properties without fully considering all the facts. Now some of those unhappy homeowners will want to re-sell their pandemic purchases. With home sales falling back in 2022 you can give your new listings a competitive edge by using 3D tour technology and floor plans to successfully market properties. Have a little foresight by ensuring measurements are ANSI-Z765-2021 compliant and ready for Fannie Mae appraisal requirements to help speed up the mortgage process. It may be better to regret doing something than to regret not doing something, but not when it comes to one of the largest acquisitions in someone's life. According to a recent article from Zillow, homebuyer's remorse is as high as 75%. You can help the buyer avoid regretting their purchase by communicating the important aspects of every home, from location to floor plans. Make those regrets too few to mention. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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The Real Estate Agent's Guide to Liability Protection
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5 Reasons Agent Teams Get More Leads Than Solo Agents
Have you ever considered working as a real estate team, or are you already part of one? If so, there are a lot of benefits to working as a dynamic duo, and if not, you may want to think about it. Stats from around the industry show that team agents tend to get more leads than solo agents. But why? Here are the top five reasons real estate agent teams get more real estate leads: Reason #1: More Options = Broader Appeal Think about home shoppers and sellers. In most cases, there will be two decision makers, sometimes even more. So it should be no surprise that having two agents, each with a unique personality, skill set and disposition, can increase the likelihood of home shoppers wanting to work with you. Reason #2: Two Brains Are Better Than One Think about it—as a buyer or seller, would you rather have one person helping you find or promote your home... or two? Real estate teams have more manpower, therefore can theoretically accomplish more than a solo agent can. Even if the search or promotion strategy ends up being the same as that of an individual agent, the perception is there. Reason #3: More Marketing Dollars and Connections As a seller, when the amount of exposure your property is going to get is directly tied to the amount of money your agent is willing to put into promoting it, seeing two faces means having access to two wallets and two sets of networks. That in and of itself can be very powerful, especially when the agents have been in the industry for a number of years. Reason #4: More Testimonials With two agents working with more clients, you get more testimonials and people trust the opinions of their peers. Seeing 40 testimonials instead of 20 can make a dramatic difference in the number of potential clients who decide to pull the trigger and reach out to you. Reason #5: More Experience and Accountability With a combined 30 years of experience, team agents are able to learn from each other and get more exposure into a wider variety of different real estate scenarios. That experience helps them manage their business more effectively, and leads recognize that. You can see that there are many reasons why team agents typically get more leads, and this isn't an exhaustive list. If you've never considered it before, think about whether or not working as a team could be a good option for you. In an industry that's all about generating numbers, two can be much stronger than one. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog. Further Reading Should I Join a Real Estate Team? Onward and Upward! 8 Tips for Growing a Thriving Real Estate Team The Agent Onboarding Action Plan Every Real Estate Team Needs Why You Should Consider Sales Talent for Your Real Estate Team
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Study Identifies Challenges of New Agents and What It Takes to Succeed in Real Estate
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Buyer Leads Think You're a Tour Guide? Here's What to Say
Have you ever encountered buyers that want you to show them houses... but they "don't want to buy for at least a year"? Those aren't serious buyers, and any time spent showing them homes isn't likely to result in you being compensated for your efforts. So how do you handle these buyers? Realtor Karin Carr has just the script for that, and she shares it in this video. "You are not a tour guide," says Karin. "Your job is not to put people in the car and drive them around and look at pretty houses and waste your whole day having fun with somebody who has zero intention of buying a house anytime in the foreseeable future." Watch the video above to learn how to set expectations and boundaries with buyers who are asking for the moon.
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5 Strategic Tips to Make You a Social Media Pro
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Friday Freebie: 64 Graphic Templates for Promoting Your Listings on Social Media
What's eye-catching, easy to edit, and perfect for promoting your listings on social media? Why, it's this week's Friday Freebie! We're highlighting a free collection of 64 digital listing flyers that you can use to attract the attention of potential buyers online. All 65 templates are completely editable and professionally designed to make your listings look good. 64 Real Estate Listing Flyer Templates for Social Media, courtesy of Zurple No need to spend time designing graphics to promote your listings. This free collection of templates makes it easy to add photos of your listing, your contact info, property info (beds/bath, square footage/address/price), and — optionally — your headshot. You can also easily edit the "For Sale" headline to "Just Listed," "Sold!" or "Open House" to promote your services to local real estate consumers. Use the graphics to: Promote your listings to buyers on social media Engage sellers with "Sold" social media posts Create attractive ads or promoted posts And more! Download 64 Real Estate Listing Flyer Templates for Social Media now to make your listings stand out online!
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NAR Finds Share of First-Time Home Buyers Smaller, Older Than Ever Before
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11 Tips to Increase Engagement on Your Blog and Generate Real Estate Leads
You should think of your blog like a home. Provide regular maintenance and it will produce returns. Ignore it for too long and it can become a blight. We want to avoid that last part. So here are 11 tips to increase engagement on your blog and generate real estate leads. 1. Know Your Reader To increase engagement on your blog, you need to know what your readers want. You should get into their heads. Ask yourself: What information do they need? What questions are they asking? What would make their lives easier? Provide the answers on your blog, and you'll see engagement and leads spike. 2. Use Keywords In journalism, there is a saying: "Don't bury the lede." This means don't muddy what's important with what's not. The same lesson applies to blogging: don't bury your content with poor keywords. Find a few words or a phrase that get to the essence of your article. Make sure these keywords are in the title, the URL, and scattered regularly throughout the body. This will help your content appear higher in the search engine results. It will increase engagement on your blog and help you generate real estate leads. 3. Be Consistent Going three weeks without posting is not going to increase engagement on your blog. That much is certain. So you should try to be consistent. Keep a calendar and a rolling list of ideas — and stick to them. 4. Respond to Comments You do all this work to get leads to engage on your blog. You should reward them when they do. If someone comments, comment back. If someone asks a question, answer it. Real estate, after all, is a relationship business. Don't waste these opportunities to build relationships and generate leads. 5. Go a Step Further There is no shortage of real estate blogs. So how do you stand out and generate leads? Do more. Find your favorite blog. Study it. Keep track of all the content that's posted. Do all of that on your own blog, and then go a step further. Add one more thing. It can be a new feature, or new photos, or new market information. The more needs you can fulfill for your leads, the more you will increase engagement on your blog. 6. Present Data As an agent, you have a wealth of data at your disposal. This data helps you assist your clients with buying and selling decisions, but it can also help you increase engagement on your blog and generate real estate leads. Present market statistics on your site, and you'll start seeing the benefits. You can also compile these statistics in a report to generate leads at your next open house.  7. Create a Quiz If you've ever used Sporcle, you know how long people can spend doing online quizzes. Why not create your own? Your quiz could be about anything. You could ask readers to name the neighborhoods in your town. You could ask them to pinpoint local landmarks or quiz them on local history. Better yet, use all of these. Create regular quizzes to increase engagement on your blog and keep it at a high level. 8. Create a Reader Contest People like winning stuff. So consider a reader contest with a small prize. This could be a photo contest. Or submissions for best community garden. Encourage readers to participate and vote. 9. Include a Call-to-Action Readers will engage on your blog if you ask them. So don't forget a call-to-action in all of your posts. This can be as simple as a request to leave comment. It can be a pop-up asking for subscribers. It can be a call for submissions. The important thing is that you make the ask. 10. Cross/Guest Posts Every real estate agent has a network. This is a group of colleagues and other professionals that provide advice, partnerships, and referrals. You should tap into your network for your blog. Accept guest posts from other agents. And cross-post your content on other blogs run by people in your network. This will help position you in the market and increase engagement on your blog. 11. Guide Readers to Relevant Content You're not always going to hit a home run. Not all content is going to generate real estate leads, but that does not mean the lead is lost. You simply need to direct the reader to more relevant content. You can do it with a robust internal linking strategy, or you can include relevant content at the bottom of your posts. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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The Real Reasons You Should Be Using a Professional Real Estate Photographer (It's Not What You Think)
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of October
Agents and brokers must have had email on the brain last month, as two articles on the topic made it into our October list of RE Technology's most-read articles. See for yourself: check out article #1 for advice on juicing up your email signature, and article #3 for tips on Gmail features you may not know about. And — extra credit — hop on over to #9 for Chrome browser extensions (including one for Gmail) that will boost your productivity. Next, scroll on down to article #5 to get a jump on 2023 with a free business planning guide and workbook. Then see articles #4 and #6 for social media growth hacks and inspirational real estate influencers. What else were agents and brokers reading last month? Check out our full list of October's most popular articles below to find out! 1. What Should Be in a Realtor's Email Signature?Have you ever looked at another professional's email signature and cringed? Strong real estate signatures should be attention grabbing, while remaining professional. Also, leads should be able to easily access your website and contact information. Know which elements to include and how to format them with this short list of do's and don'ts. 2. Google Just Announced an Update About 'Helpful Content.' What Should Real Estate Agents Know?When Google updates its algorithm, the effects ripple through the internet. In September, another Google update went live. Agents who want to succeed online need to know how to adjust to what's being called the "helpful content" update. Here's what you need to know. 3. 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with GmailGmail is great for sending, receiving and efficiently organizing email. But did you know that there's a ton of baked-in functionality that you may not have heard of? Watch this video to learn more about these hidden Gmail features and see simple tutorials for setting them up. 4. 12 Real Estate Influencers Who Built a Business on Social MediaYou can also use social media to build a niche and promote your brand. But social media also can be used to generate secondary income or spin off a new business. In this post, we'll review some real estate professionals using social media for this latter purpose. Here are 12 real estate influencers who built a business on social media. 5. Friday Freebie: 2023 Real Estate Business Plan + WorkbookThanks to market factors like high mortgage rates and buyer hesitancy, 2023 could be a tough year for real estate agents. But with the right planning, it doesn't have to be a tough year for YOU. Get a jump on your goal setting with this week's Friday Freebie — a real estate business plan for 2023 and a workbook that'll do all the necessary math for you (thank goodness, right?!). 6. #GrowthHack: The Types of Accounts You MUST Follow for Success on InstagramDid you know that there are certain types of Instagram accounts you should follow in order to game the algorithm, forge connections, and make your posts, Stories, and Reels more visible to your followers? In this video, the Broke Agent explains which types of accounts you should follow to maximize your Instagram success. 7. How to Pivot (Not Panic) in a Market ShiftRight now, everyone is talking about the shifting market and expressing concerns about a possible recession. But pivoting is not about stressing out. It's about rising to the occasion and taking on the challenge at hand. Here are four critical tips that can help you pivot in a market shift without the panic. 8. What Are the Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Listing?Homeowners know the value of maintaining their homes, but when it comes time to sell a home, they may wonder, "What are the best ways to increase the value of my home?" As someone who has helped purchase, renovate, and resell more than 1,000 homes in Southern California as a successful flipper, here's what I've learned: the marketplace tells you what works and what does not. 9. 4 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Browser Work for YouDid you know that Google's Chrome browser offers thousands of extensions that you can install to boost your productivity? In this video, Realtor Loida Velasquez shares her four MUST-HAVE extensions for real estate. Learn how to put your web browser to work for you! 10. Facing the Future of the MLS Buyer Broker Commission LitigationIf you ask any attorney who is following the buyer commission lawsuits, the outlook is grim. MLSs that require a listing broker to provide a blanket, unilateral offer of compensation to buyer brokers in order to submit a listing to the MLS is likely to be rendered obsolete. Moreover, the case may require those commissions to be returned to home buyers. Imagining a future of the MLS without the offer of compensation should be the top issue discussed in MLS boardrooms today.
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New 2022 Realtor Tech Survey Reveals Advances, Shortcomings
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4 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Browser Work for You
Did you know that Google's Chrome browser offers thousands of extensions that you can install to boost your productivity? Like apps for your mobile phone, these add-ons range from social media sharing buttons to extensions that block online distractions so that you can better focus on important tasks. In this video, Realtor Loida Velasquez shares her four MUST-HAVE extensions for real estate. Watch the video above to learn how to put your web browser to work for you! Note: One of Loida's recommended extensions is for her preferred eSignature program, CocoSign. If you don't use that program, don't worry! Other eSignature and transaction management apps, like DocuSign and dotloop, offer similar extensions for their platforms.
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So What Do You Do About That Nightmare Client You Fired?
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12 Real Estate Influencers Who Built a Business on Social Media
Social media presents a wealth of opportunities for real estate agents. You can use Facebook, YouTube and other platforms to market listings and generate leads. You can also use them to build a niche and promote your brand. But social media also can be used to generate secondary income or spin off a new business. In this post, we'll review some real estate professionals using social media for this latter purpose. Here are 12 real estate influencers who built a business on social media: *Influencers listed alphabetically. 1. Ricky Carruth Ricky is a real estate agent in Orange Beach, Alabama. He has been the number one REMAX agent in the state three times and has sold more than 100 properties every year since 2014. Ricky promotes a second business as a real estate coach and speaker on Instagram, where he has 31,000 followers. 2. Bryan Casella Bryan is a real estate agent in Southern California. Since 2012, he has been making videos on YouTube that touch on real estate best practices, cars and his general lifestyle. The high quality content has helped him attract 123,000 subscribers and build one of the most popular real estate channels on YouTube. 3. Sam DeBianchi Sam started DeBianchi Real Estate in 2011 and made a cool $25 million in sales in just three years. Since establishing herself in Miami real estate, she has used social media to drive more business as a keynote speaker and real estate commentator on the Fox Business television network. 4. Tom Ferry Tom Ferry is a prolific YouTuber, where he has nearly 1,000 videos and more than 275,000 subscribers. He built his business around real estate coaching, private event speaking and sales training. He has been ranked as the #1 real estate educator by Swanepoel Power 200 and is a bestselling author. 5. Luna Ge Luna is a Philadelphia-based real estate agent recently named as a top 100 real estate agent by Property Spark. On Instagram, she doubles as a fitness model, providing workout tips and motivational quotes for other exercise obsessives. 6. Katie Lance Katie is one of the top social media marketers in real estate. Named one of Inman's 100 most influential real estate leaders, Katie provides online courses and books on how to build a business through social media. 7. Max Maxwell Max is a real estate investor who has built a business wholesaling. On his YouTube channel, he coaches new real estate wholesalers by sharing advice and experiences and hosting a podcast with others in the business. 8. Chastin J. Miles Chastin began as a real estate agent in 2014. He soon branched off into a career providing tools for other agents. On his YouTube channel, he provides scripts for client calls, roleplaying for client negotiations and lead follow-up steps. He also packages his courses into books and toolkits for sale on his website. 9. Kevin Paffrath Kevin is a real estate agent in California who has sold over $100 million in the last five years. On YouTube, his videos focus on real estate investment tips and wealth strategies, as well as general commentary on the economy, which has helped him develop a subscriber base 1.85 million people strong. 10. Graham Stephan Graham is a real estate agent in California. He started in real estate when he was 18 years old and within 10 years, he sold $120 million in residential real estate. He started his YouTube channel in 2016 where he shares investment advice, wealth strategies and general details of his life. With more than 4 million subscribers, Graham's channel is one of the most followed in real estate. 11. Loida Velazquez Loida is a real estate agent in Florida. She also has a fast-growing YouTube channel targeted to other agents. In her videos, Loida shares advice on succeeding in real estate and provides the details of her struggles and success in the business. 12. Kevin Ward Kevin got his start in real estate selling residential homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Within three years, he was selling 100 homes annually. In 2010, he started a YouTube channel, which he uses to help build his training course, YesMasters Real Estate Success Training. Now you have a solid base of inspiration for starting your social media business and becoming a real estate influencer! To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Promoting Your Real Estate Webinar Videos on YouTube
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Leverage Your Inbox to Cultivate Leads and Repeat Business
We've all heard that staying engaged with past clients is a phenomenal way for real estate agents to nurture their real estate business. But what does that mean when it comes to your inbox? Email templates and a catchy subject line? Should you be sending your past customers constant emails about their dream home being listed, or just sending them a friendly celebratory email for their birthday? Maybe they have a friend or family member they've mentioned on Facebook or Instagram who's looking for a home — should you reach out just to see if you can help them in their search? Could you even send them a follow-up email about a school in their district that's holding a meet-and-greet event for new parents in the area? The answer is: Do it all. Reach out, even if nothing's going on As a real estate agent, you understand how imperative it is to build connections and keep them going. Staying in touch with your client base, even if they're settled in their homes and not searching for a change, is a great way to maintain a relationship and build credibility as a trusted source for all things real estate. By casually reaching out, you stimulate memory of the interactions they've had with you, reminding them that you helped them during an extremely stressful and pivotal time. Anyone within their immediate sphere of influence then becomes a prospective buyer or seller capable of perpetuating further lead growth for your business. Utilize real estate email templates Email templates are everywhere. Whether for real estate, general marketing ideas, proposals, newsletters for community events, etc., there's an email template ready and waiting. Use them. Not only do they save time, but they can have a fairly positive effect on your stress levels. In fact, using an email template set to a steady drip campaign can free anywhere from two to eight hours of your time per week, leaving you available for that last minute open house or to explore a new local market for a client. Specific email templates geared toward agents also give ideas on how to set up an open house invitation, present housing market data and generate buzz around your personal brand by using proven design and content strategies with your personal branding. It's okay to be human It doesn't matter if you use a template or craft an email from scratch, it's essential to connect with your clients on a human level. For example, if you had a past client who needed more nurturing reach out, try engaging with them on a gentler level by asking how they are, changing your punctuation usage and possibly adding a few emojis here and there. Showing empathy, even in an email, is a great way to build a positive connection with you and real estate, negating some of the more stressful facets of the transactions. If you decide to use a template, try adding general interest information about home design, the buying process, things to do at home or anything else that displays you as a thoughtful expert in your area. Your inbox is a simple yet powerful relationship online meeting tool. It's excellent for engaging established clients, prospecting new buyers/sellers and just staying generally connected with the homeowner community. There are also great learning opportunities that allow you to leverage your emails more effectively, displaying proven strategies and techniques to increase open rates, save money and thoughtfully engage with your contacts. Interested in more tips and tricks to master your email marketing? Dig in deeper with this FREE DOWNLOAD Your free AWESOME EMAIL MARKETING GUIDE will give you more ideas on how to use your inbox and email marketing strategies to stay in touch with past clients so you can create repeat business, as well as generating new and referral leads. Need help with leveraging email marketing to cultivate more business? Elm Street Technology does the work for you and offers solutions that help you stay in touch with past clients so you can generate referral leads and repeat business. Connect with an Elm Street Technology Success Coach today to learn more.
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What Is the Most Valuable Service Buyer Agents Provide?
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How to Reduce Stress from Tech: 4 Time-Tested Tactics
Brokers and their agents are stressed out: long hours, a seismic shift in the market, a record jump in mortgage interest rates, not to mention a pandemic that turned so many lives upside down. And because of the pandemic, the entire real estate industry jumped on the tech bandwagon, catapulting the adoption of new technology by industry pros — we Zoom, Dropbox, eSign, Facebook, and Google more than ever. Screen time is soaring with the onslaught of new technology dominating a broker's workday. What can you do to reduce stress, especially from tech? Here are four time-tested tactics experts suggest can help brokers – or agents – reduce technology-induced or aided stress. Digital Detox: You need to take a complete break from technology, starting with your smartphone. Build this into at least a weekend vacation. A few days of near-zero screen time can do wonders to help you learn to relax. That means no social media scrolling or checking texts or emails. No video games playing or even watching the news. It's time to break away. Get help from a coworker or your significant other who can monitor urgent messages that may need your response because we all know real estate happens. Pro tip: Go to your happy place – your favorite vacation spot or getaway to chill out (unless, of course, your happy place is an internet café, but that's doubtful.) Divorcing yourself from all things tech will reduce stress, increase social interaction and give you more time control. In addition, you are likely to discover how much negativity digital devices may be contributing to your daily life. Change your tech tendencies: Most people are creatures of habit. The same is true when it comes to the technology we use. Is your phone by your bedside at night? Do you ever check your email in the middle of the night or pick up your phone immediately after waking up? Do you use your phone in the bathroom? How much total time do you spend looking at a screen each day? Your smartphone tracks that and can tell you. How do you feel after spending time on Instagram or Facebook? Happy or sad; frustrated or angry? Taking a full assessment of your tech habits and how you react when you use technology for different things can help you change your tendencies. Be proactive: create one if you don't already have family rules in place, such as no phones out at the dinner table. Understanding how you cumulatively spend your time and energy now with tech will help you correct or reduce bad habits and discover better, more positive ways to use your time. Increase face-to-face interaction: Are you Zoomed out? A lot of brokers find being in Zoom meetings all day can be exhausting. It's a great tool, but like everything, it requires use in moderation. Have you noticed increased pleasure when spending time face-to-face with other people? Humans hunger for interpersonal interaction, which seems particularly true for real estate professionals. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication as a stress reliever. Spend more time meeting with your agents and other professionals in person. You will likely find it less stressful but a lot more enjoyable, productive and fun! Set a curfew for your tech: Did you know that blue light emanating from your phone that you are looking at in bed can wreck a good night's sleep? According to health professionals, your mobile phone screen reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone controlling your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. As a result, using a mobile phone at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and wake up the following day. In addition, researchers note that the circadian rhythm appears extra sensitive to blue light, making your brain think it's daytime. The best advice: unplug at night. Turn your electronic devices off an hour before you go to sleep. Let's also acknowledge that while technology may contribute to your stress load, it can also relieve stress. You can enjoy silly videos or funny memes and listen to your favorite music on your phone. Meditation apps like Calm or Headspace can help you relax – and fast. Your Fitbit or Apple watch can help monitor your physical activity, which also reduces stress. You can even schedule a video session with a therapist to discover more ways and methods you can use to reduce stress. Even broker tech tools such as transaction management software like Form Simplicity can help reduce work-related stress. They help keep you compliant, streamlines your workflow, and help you stay connected to your agents. You can learn more about how Form Simplicity can help brokers at formsimplicity.com/brokers. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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The Future of Agent Safety: A Conversation with Carl Carter, Jr.
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What Should Be in a Realtor's Email Signature?
Have you ever looked at another professional's email signature and cringed? It seems like there are two extremes out there: those who include their entire resume/portfolio in their signature or those with the bare minimum. Strong real estate signatures should be attention grabbing, while remaining professional. Also, leads should be able to easily access your website and contact information. Know which elements to include and how to format them with this short list of do's and don'ts. Here's what should (and shouldn't) be in a Realtor's email signature: Don'ts JavaScript - Most email programs block emails with JavaScript through anti-virus measures. Clear your HTML code of JavaScript. Animated GIFs - GIFs are image files compressed to display movement. Some images and GIFs are not compatible with certain email programs. Your lead may receive a bunch of code instead of your intended image, decreasing your credibility. Cheesy Quotes - This one is more geared towards personal preference, but my own is that inspirational quotes are cheesy. Unnecessary Disclaimers - Try to avoid unnecessary disclaimers. However, local, state and brokerage rules and regulations may require you to insert your license number, address, or other physical address. Physical Office Address - This depends on the operational aspects of your brokerage. If you receive many walk-ins or your broker's address is difficult to find from the Google search results page, consider including your office address. Do's Name Job Title Phone Number Designation and DRE/License Number (i.e., Realtor, broker / CABRE XSSSS) Email - It may seem counterintuitive to include an email address, since you can simply hit reply. However not all email providers show the email address on forwards. There maybe times that a lead or client forwards your email to another lead, but that lead does not have your address in the forwarded section. Brokerage Name - Always include your brokerage's name, as it may carry more weight than you think. Call-to-Action - Do you need more reviews on Realtor.com or Zillow? More blog views or likes on Facebook and Instagram? Your email signature is your opportunity to direct leads' attention to your preferred links. Your Profile Picture (in appropriate sizes) - Humans are visual creatures, making pictures more powerful than words. Your personal picture will leave an impression much faster on leads than any words will. Include a profile picture if your email provider allows you to. Gmail and Outlook have this feature. Your Logo and Brand Slogan - Have you ever received an email from another professional with an entertaining slogan? Make your lead smile with a witty slogan, but make sure it aligns with the slogan on your website. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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You Might Know Less About Real Estate SEO Than You Think
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7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Gmail
Gmail is great for sending, receiving and efficiently organizing email. But did you know that there's a ton of baked-in functionality that you may not know about? For example, real estate agents can set up pre-written responses to quickly reply to clients and leads. And, a new Gmail feature lets you use layouts pre-designed by Google to make whatever you send out look as professional and polished as possible. Watch the video above to learn more about these hidden Gmail features and see simple tutorials for setting up the following: Pre-schedule sending emails Multiple email signatures Sync contacts to your CRM Create an email alias Create canned responses Use pre-designed layouts Send a newsletter Leverage these tips, and you'll soon be using Google's excellent email tool to its fullest!
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RPR Integrates with CompStak to Deliver a Deal-Making Commercial Tool
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Friday Freebie: 2023 Real Estate Business Plan + Workbook
Thanks to market factors like high mortgage rates and buyer hesitancy, 2023 could be a tough year for real estate agents. But with the right planning, it doesn't have to be a tough year for YOU. Get a jump on your goal setting with this week's Friday Freebie — a real estate business plan for 2023 and a workbook that'll do all the necessary math for you (thank goodness, right?!). Read on to learn how to download your free copy. Free download of the 2023 Real Estate Business Plan, courtesy of Zurple Any good business planning session starts with figuring out how you've performed in the past year so you can better understand how to plan for the next year. The downside? There's a lot of numbers and calculating involved. Fortunately, this business plan has you covered. In addition to helpful information, this plan includes a workbook that automatically calculates everything for you. Just plug in your numbers from 2022 and your goals for 2023, and the workbook does the math for you, making the future clearer than ever! Here's what else is included in Zurple's 2023 Real Estate Business Plan: Review of your 2022 performance and expenses Guide to setting your 2023 goals, KPIs and stats Best practices and ideas for marketing and lead generation Guide to executing your 2023 plans A spreadsheet with 7 worksheets to review, forecast, and plan Prepare to take on 2023 and download the 2023 Real Estate Business Plan now!
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4 Productivity Tips for Real Estate Agents
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Matterport Releases Survey Results of U.S. Residential Real Estate Buying Trends
In June of 2022, Matterport issued a global survey to check the pulse on consumer preferences in seven key global markets in the face of a shifting post-pandemic residential real estate market. With interest rates in the United States hovering around 7%, combined with economic uncertainty, buyers have become a bit more hesitant with many taking a wait-and-see approach on purchasing a home. Some homeowners have also expressed a hesitation to sell as prices are decreasing and the prospect of obtaining a new mortgage loan for themselves would likely entail a higher interest rate. As a byproduct, the residential real estate market has slowed with listing prices dropping in some markets and buyer activity returning to pre-pandemic levels. Despite a slowing in the market, the Matterport survey did find that many of the market shifts and consumer preferences that took place as a result of the pandemic have retained their importance in the buying process. To navigate this changing market landscape, residential real estate professionals are seeking strategies and adopting tools that increase visibility for their properties to buyers, accelerate sales cycles, and provide a competitive advantage for the entire sales cycle including winning listings, marketing those homes, then closing those sales. Here are our findings for the residential real estate market in the United States: Remote Work Isn't Going Away In a post-pandemic market, buying trends are still strongly influenced by making accommodations for remote work 41% of home purchases were driven by the need for more space 35% of home purchases were inspired by the need to support remote work 34% of buyers who purchased a home in the last two years relocated more than 50 miles from their previous home Digital Twins Engage Buyers For real estate professionals, these trends present an opportunity to close sales with the adoption of technology that casts a wider net to attract and accommodate a larger amount of buyers from a wider geographical radius: 31% of buyers spent more time viewing listings with virtual tours 30% of respondents made an offer on the property sight unseen 62% of buyers surveyed stated that virtual tools would be an essential resource for future purchases Digital Twins Close Sales 89% of respondents stated that virtual property tours were an important part of their purchase decision 52% of respondents indicated that there was a virtual tour of the listing they ended up purchasing 33% of buyers made their purchase sight-unseen Maintain a Competitive Advantage As the real estate market tightens and becomes more competitive it is essential to leverage tools and processes available to ensure your business remains competitive. Matterport digital twins are proven to shorten sales cycles by reaching a broader range of buyers and providing buyers with the data they need to make a confident and informed buying decision. To view the original article, visit the Matterport blog.
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3 Ways to Protect Your Tech from Natural Disasters
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Social Media and Kids: 5 Ways Realtor Parents Can Monitor What's Going On
As a parent, what can you do to protect your child from the potential dangers of social media? After all, while nearly all social networking sites allow users 13 years and older, it is not uncommon to discover children younger than 13 are active on social media. In fact, 95% of all teens use YouTube, and two out of three teens use TikTok, according to Pew Research. What's the best way to monitor what's happening when your child is online? Here are five ways you can keep dibs on your kids: Use an app Children are getting tablets and smartphones at a younger age more than ever. In addition, the pandemic accelerated the need for all school-age children to use the internet for schooling and schoolwork. This has made it particularly challenging for parents to monitor online behavior continuously. Thankfully, there are several different monitoring apps available that parents can use to protect their children from the unsafe elements of the internet and social media and monitor their screen time. One example is the top-ranked parental control app Bark. It's a paid application that monitors texts, emails, YouTube streaming, and social media platforms for signs of unsafe online behavior such as cyberbullying, internet predators, depressive behavior, threats of violence, and so forth. Its content monitoring tech will send you email and text alerts when it detects harmful issues, allowing you to talk to your child to ensure they are okay and staying safe. Bark offers two different packages: Bark Jr. ($5/month or $49/year), designed for families with young children, and Bark Premium ($14/month or $99/year), geared towards families with students of all ages. Each payment plan also comes with a 7-day free trial. Other monitoring apps include mSpy, Qustodio, and Net Nanny Family Protect Pass. Link your accounts Nearly half of all agents use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and know from experience that managing multiple social media accounts can be time-consuming. But did you know you can link your accounts to your kids? For example, Google Family Link is a free tool that links your Google Account to your child's account. This application allows parents to limit what apps their kid downloads and restrict their screen time. It also allows you to look through your child's browsing activity on Google Chrome and track where your kid is if they are using their device outside the house. It can be used on up to six devices and only requires you and your child have a Google Account. Facebook also allows parents to add family and friends with an existing Facebook account as friends for their child, using a Parent Dashboard. Parents can also create a Messenger Kid's account for their child and connect to their child's Messenger Kid's account. TikTok will automatically disable Direct Messages, disallow private accounts, restrict comments to friends or no one, and won't allow videos to be remixed or downloaded for children 13-15 years of age. If you allow your child of age to use TikTok, be sure the correct birth year and date are entered because once an account is created with that date, the birth date cannot be changed. Require password access to keep an account If you are not monitoring your kid's online behavior, you must be able to access their account information, especially with the abundance of cyberbullying. A recommended quid pro quo: if your child has online accounts, you will always need their current password. Child safety experts recommend setting ground rules for your child, which includes always having the ability to access their online accounts, including email, text, chat, and social media. A best practice is to sit down with your child and work with them to create their social media profile so you can set up their privacy and safety features to protect them from harmful behavior or content. Review their history Once you have access, you must keep track of your child's online activity regularly. It would be best if you went through your child's search and browsing history to ensure they are not being exposed to harmful web content or messages from others. Unmonitored internet behavior can lead to bad decisions. All major web browsers offer a "History" option on the top menu, so it's easy to do. Even smartphone browsers provide built-in history tracking. In addition, parental control apps can automate much of this process. One history app – Famisafe – allows parents to track browser history in both regular and private mode. It also filters out suspicious websites, alerts you on websites your child visits, and comes with screen time controls to limit internet time or lock them out of using a browser. In addition, Famisafe provides Home plans for under $50 a year. Restrict social use to a laptop or desktop: no apps on phones If your child has a smartphone, they can easily access content you don't want them to see. Instilling a house rule that only allows social media access on a laptop or desktop will give you control over what social media accounts your child can access. This means having a family rule that restricts the download of any social media app on their phone. If all of this seems a little harsh, consider that Facebook removed over 36 million posts that encouraged suicide or self-injury last year alone. As a parent, the safest rule for your child's online behavior and use of social media is to trust but verify. If you need assistance monitoring your kid's social media or downloading or setting up a parental control app, contact Tech Helpline, and one of our analysts will guide you through the process. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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7 Email Marketing Campaigns for Your Real Estate Business
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Using Webinars to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Is educating your clients on the home buying and selling process at the core of your real estate business? Do you consider yourself an expert on the local market or have a knack for working with first-time home buyers? Could you easily make a Top 10 list with tips and tricks for staging your home for professional photos, open houses, and showings? Do you regularly connect with your team to keep them engaged, involved and progressing as real estate professionals? Webinars to Educate and Inform If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, have you considered creating a webinar series that educates, informs, and showcases your value as a real estate professional? A mainstream marketing tool in today's digital and virtual world, webinars are a low-cost, low-commitment medium for staying connected and establishing credibility with your current and potential client base. Typically 30 minutes to one hour in length, webinars can be recorded, shared, and published with attendees after the live event. Do you have a branded YouTube channel for your business? (Note: YouTube handles were just announced this month; look for more information on effective YouTube branding and marketing in an upcoming post.) Structuring Your Webinar Content A great way to practice presenting information within a designated time frame, webinars can help you refine your message and organize information in a way that helps you in the real world — one-on-one client education and brown bag "lunch and learns," for example. Be sure to leave time for Q&A at the end of the session; this helps you understand what additional information you can address and clarify for your next presentation or in your "thank you for attending" follow-up communication. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog. Further Reading Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Real Estate Webinar 7 Real Estate Workshop (or Webinar) Topics that Generate Leads Advanced Lead Generation: Hosting a Seminar Top 10 Tips for Successful, Lead Generating Webinars
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How to Pivot (Not Panic) in a Market Shift
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5 'Golden Rules' of Excellent Real Estate Customer Service
"I'm never too busy for your referrals!" This popular tagline is front and center in countless real estate agent email signatures. Though I agree it doesn't hurt to remind clients to recommend you to their friends and family, referrals should be a natural outcome of providing excellent service and a job well done. When you provide a great customer experience, people can't help but boast about you! As a customer service manager, I analyze how I am treated during interactions with vendors (both in personal and professional settings) and use my experiences to motivate my own behavior and guidance on how customers should be treated. I draw from THE Golden Rule we are all taught as children: Treat others as you would like to be treated. The easiest way to learn how to provide great service is to act like a customer, an especially critical thing to remember when you're working in an industry where emotions and stakes are always running high. I recommend everyone in a customer-oriented position follow this practice. Become aware of what a great customer experience feels like and use that insight to identify what it takes to create that experience. I used my experiences to develop five "Golden Rules" that you can use to build a pipeline of lifelong customers. 1. Let empathy be your guide Having empathy means having the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand what that person is feeling. No matter the circumstances (first time buyer, investor, downsizer, re-locator), a real estate transaction is a big deal and it's always personal. Whether you have to deliver bad news or you feel like a client is being a pest, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy not only helps you to relate to your clients, but feeling empathetic will also help guide your ability to communicate, problem solve, react and, at the very least, make the customer feel understood. 2. Be engaged and responsive Clients expect immediate follow-up. In real estate, you aren't treated like an organization with business hours — you will get calls and emails after hours and on weekends. The key isn't necessarily being available to answer emails at 1am (work/life balance is a great topic for another day). Instead, the key is reacting in a timely manner — and if you don't have all the answers, don't leave your customer hanging. Keep them updated and try to give accurate timeframes whenever possible. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will. 3. Remember ABC: Always be communicative Good, clear communication is highly underrated in a high-speed world of "lol" and "omg." How you communicate and how well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Taking time to construct a thoughtful, well-written email or calling instead of texting for more important discussions will give your client great comfort that they are in good hands. 4. Go the extra mile Give your clients a "wow" moment whenever possible – and keep in mind that wow moments don't have to be complicated. They can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Think beyond the stated question and seek the implied follow up question — so when your client asks, "What are the HOAs at this condo?" don't just provide the HOAs for that one unit. Follow up with more information – maybe some comparable condos where HOAs are lower and ask questions about what amenities are important to them so you can guide their search. 5. Show your appreciation You are nothing without your customers, so be sure to show them how much you care. Make sure your clients feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. Many agents do this with a closing gift (already a great concept), but rather than going the generic route, choose something meaningful. A handwritten "thank you" note makes a great impression, too. To show true appreciation, let them know why you enjoyed working with them (i.e., were they patient, funny, knowledgeable, easy-going?). Also try sending them a note or give them a call to wish them a "Happy Anniversary" to celebrate the date they closed or moved in. There are countless ways to make people feel special, but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building personal connections with your clients. Empathy may sound easy, but if you are having a bad day, it can be difficult to see someone else's perspective. It's easy to have a great idea for a closing gift, but it takes effort to make the purchase. It's easy to find out the HOA fees on that condo, but it takes enterprise to dig deeper. Real estate is all about relationships and the strongest relationships take effort. Providing great real estate customer service is an incredible way to build trust and loyalty. Apply these "Golden Rules" diligently to wow your clients and increase referral business. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Consumers Think Home Prices Will Decline. Are They Correct?
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RPR's Latest Release: A Refreshed Version of the Property Details Page
On the afternoon of March 8th, 2021, from 2:26 to 2:28, someone put their feet up and exhaled. Those two minutes were the last time an RPR product developer sat back and stopped thinking, "What's next?" At RPR (Realtors Property Resource), we simply aren't satisfied with "good enough." We constantly ponder, push and pursue to improve and enhance the RPR platform to help REALTORS® be better at everything they do. Our goal is to make you more efficient, more skilled and more productive so you can "wow" your clients and close more deals. Our latest site upgrade is a textbook example: a refreshed and redesigned version of our Property Details pages. Based on feedback from surveys, user groups and one-on-one testing, we heard what you wanted, we listened and we're delivering it proudly. With less clicks and scrolling, consolidated sections, faster load times, and more info where you want it, the reworked Property Details pages are sure to optimize your workflows. Here are the highlights of this latest release. PRO TIP: Take a guided tour and see the new Property Details page for yourself See the big picture (and everything to the right of it, too) Here's the big reveal! Right off the bat, you'll notice that the new layout offers better "at a glance" visibility to key property information. That's because we've taken the Property Summary and Basic Facts information and moved it right next to the property photo. By moving these details right alongside the media viewer, you'll no longer have to scroll down to view this important information. (This was a big "ask" from many of our users!) Putting the Basic Facts and quick links to valuation info right next to the property photo(s) is a strategic workflow improvement that helps you see more with less effort. Check it out: Search 'til your heart's content Another frequent request we kept hearing from users was that they wanted the ability to search for a property from any page they were on. Drum roll… the full search bar is back! Now agents can "property hop" and conduct searches from the page they're on versus having to go back to the homepage. This includes the ability to pull off a full search by applying all the parameters and filters they desire. The full search feature is now available on the Property Information, Market Trends, Refined Value, My Updates and Trade Area pages. The reworked Property Details pages are sure to optimize your workflows Clean. Concise. Consolidated. That's the best way to describe the new Listing and Public record history sections. The history of a home and all the relevant data associated with it have never been easier to locate and digest now that we've consolidated multiple areas (Historical Records for This Property, Mortgage, Deed, Tax, Prior Sales Transaction and Price Change History) into two. This valuable information is located on the Property Information page. The Listing History card shows more details on status changes for the current listing, including a tab to view previous listing details (this Listing History is also now available in RPR Commercial). The Public Record History section includes tabs for Deed, Mortgage and Tax Information. Simply click the forward arrow button to browse through the three areas. (RPR will show as much historical data as available for that jurisdiction.) And once again, the amount of scrolling and clicking required to analyze the entire history of a property has been reduced and reworked. Easy to navigate, hard to duplicate To help make your most used tools and features easier to find and access, we've also added some new Navigation Bar elements. You'll notice the new Market Trends tab as your first choice, just to the right of Property Information. (Check out Future Proof Your Business by Knowing Your Market and Your Numbers to see what you can do with these insightful stats!) This is followed by Refined Value, CMA and Neighborhoods. A new addition, the My Updates tab now resides in the Property Details navigation bar. This section is now easier than ever to get to, and its capabilities have been beefed up. In addition to refreshing the Sellers Proceeds area, some nice improvements have been made to the Photos section, including the ability to select/deselect all photos, and a quick button to select a photo as your report cover photo. We're working harder–so you can work smarter The changes in this redesign are sure to make agents more productive and more precise in RPR. We revel in taking your feedback and turning it into real, tangible improvements that make your RPR experience easier and your business more successful. Watch this video to see it in action, and also be sure to check out these convenient Printable Guides that offer step-by-step explanations on all the new features. And these are just the highlights! For even more details on the Property Details, dig deep with these product release notes. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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#GrowthHack: The Types of Accounts You MUST Follow for Success on Instagram
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What Are Today's Millennial Homebuyers Looking for?
What percentage of home buyers are millennials? Millennials constitute 43% to 47% of home buyers, currently the highest percentage of all age groups. Millennials are considered anyone born from 1981 to 1996; the majority of the oldest millennials are currently between the ages of 34 to 41. According to the Arizona Pathways to Life Success study, 29 is the median age for millennials. And 80% of millennials are first-time homebuyers. I'm a real estate agent. What should I know about working with millennial homebuyers? Housing prices have risen substantially over the past decade, and wages have not jumped at an incidental rate. As a result, millennial consumers have waited longer to purchase a home. After graduating college, many millennials moved back home with their parents to pay off some (or all) of their student loan debt. To compound this challenge, millennials have struggled to find high paying jobs. Today's millennials will typically look for homes that will cost between $100K- $200K. Among millennial buyers, 27% pay around $200,000 and 29% pay around $399,999, while 10% spend between $300,000 and $399,999 on first-time home purchases. What kind of houses do millennials want? Millennials are especially attracted to spacious, inexpensive houses in the suburbs. While they want the possibility of public transportation, they'll value locations that benefit their young families, such as parks and well-rated public schools. Millenials who grew up with smart technologies in their parents' homes are likely to want their own homes equipped with gadgets like smart locks, security systems, and Nest thermostats that can be linked and monitored through a website or app. Read this article for more insight into the millennial demographic and how to connect with them on a personal level. How can millennials benefit your business in the short-term and the long run? Millennials who are first-time buyers are a lucrative group for real estate agents to pursue because they can lead to many years of repeat business and valuable real estate referrals. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Real Estate and Floor Plan Frustrations: Why Consistency Matters
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New Study Reveals Increased Transparency on Commissions Leads to Increased Value in Consumers' Eyes
WAV Group's new Buyer Agent Commission Study reveals many insights from buyers about their awareness, understanding and appreciation of how commissions work when buying a home. Chief among these insights is the undeniable connection between transparency and perceived value on the part of home buyers. Those who indicated they were "totally clear" about the commission paid were 59% more likely to think their agent "completely earned the commission" than those who were unclear. In general, the large majority of buyers were satisfied with the services they received from their agent (88%). Buying a home in any market can be complicated. No two transactions are exactly the same, and something always comes up right when you think all is clear. With this many moving parts, buyers appreciate clear communication and prompt responses. As one buyer indicated in the open-end questions, "My agent showed me many many houses and answered every phone call and email and text quickly and with answers I was able to understand. She walked me through every step of the process." Buyers recognize how hard it is to successfully purchase a home, especially in the recent housing market. They are appreciative and grateful for the creativity and hard work their agents deliver to help them successfully purchase a home. Agents earn their commission, and home buyers recognize that. Get the full report now. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Social Media Tools Every Real Estate Agent Should Leverage
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Does a Typed Name Count as a Legally Binding Signature?
A lot of people wonder whether typing their name on a screen counts as a legally binding signature. So, is it? We have the answer you're looking for. In the past, the only way to sign a document was to whip out a pen and trace a line of ink across a sheet of paper. Today, things are a lot different, and knowing when a document is properly (and legally) signed can be confusing, despite being defined by federal law more than two decades ago. One question we see a lot is, Are typed signatures considered "legal"? The short answer is yes, but there's a little bit more to it than that. Read on to find out what. Will a court of law recognize typed signatures? Most e-signature solutions allow users to draw or create a stylized signature that looks like it was written by hand. Users can then add it to the documents they want to sign. Signing this way often makes all parties feel secure, combining the old (handwritten signatures) with the new (electronic documents and forms). But signatures don't necessarily have to look like handwriting to hold up in a court of law. According to the definition provided in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-Sign Act), the U.S. federal law that regulates electronic signatures in nearly all 50 states, an e-signature is an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. To cut through the legalese, an e-signature can take a variety of forms (even an audio file), provided it meets certain criteria. All of the following are considered valid types of e-signatures: A name typed at the end of an email A name or initials typed into a field on a webpage or electronic form A checkbox or radio button corresponding to a phrase such as "I Agree" or "I Accept" for terms and conditions on an e-commerce site A signature drawn on a screen using a finger or stylus A signature created using an electronic signature solution Typed signatures are therefore legally binding, as long as the other E-Sign Act requirements, which we covered in a previous blog post, are followed. As a reminder these are: Authentication: Signers must be authenticated so their identities can be proven. Consent: Signers must consent to doing business and signing documents electronically. Intent: Signers must demonstrate intent to sign to prove they did not sign unknowingly and weren't tricked. Paper trail: There must be a detailed audit log of all signing session activity, users, clicks, actions, etc. Some solutions might also certify documents using a digital Certificate Authority on the Adobe Approved Trust List to "seal" the document, so you know if anything has been altered. Retention: All signed documents are sent to all parties and stored securely for reference. Want to learn more about electronic signatures? Click here to download Constellation1's free security and legal overview for electronic signatures: Do you have specific questions about whether eSign will stand up to the electronic signature requirements in your industry? Get in touch and our dedicated e-signature team will be happy to tell you about our industry-leading features in greater detail. You can read our previous post on the legality of eSignatures here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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5 Underrated Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas
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4 Access Methods You Can Use with a SentriGuard Lockbox
Lockboxes are used to keep people out of homes, but they also need to be accessible by multiple people when selling a home. This is a time of stress for some homeowners. REALTORS® need a secure way to give access to buyers, contractors, inspectors, all while keeping the homeowner's property secure. The SentriGuard® Lockbox is the perfect answer to secure property access. Let's review the multiple ways to access a lockbox key compartment: 1. Bluetooth® Bluetooth® technology is used from everything from your AirPods to controlling your vacuum. But did you know it is also the easiest way to provide access for your lockbox? To use this feature, launch your SentriKey Real Estate App and simply press the enter button on your lockbox. Now enter your ID or authorize your facial recognition, and the key compartment will open. You can also enable your Apple Watch to open lockboxes as well! 2. Touch-N-Show™ This exciting new option uses NFC or Near-Field Communication, just like using Apply Pay at the convenience store or gas pump. To use Touch-N-Show™, launch your app and tap the Touch-N-Show™ button on the screen. Note: The first time you use this feature, you will receive a notification that Touch-N-Show™ is only available for the SentriGuard® Lockbox. Press Continue and tap your phone to the lower half of the lockbox, and you will see a flashing green light and the key compartment will then open. If it does not, simply pull the tab on the bottom of the lockbox. 3. FlexCodes™ Another exciting new feature for the new SentriGuard® Lockbox is using the new FlexCode™ as a temporary means of access. This is an easy way to provide temporary access to agents, contractors, home inspectors, or non-SentriLock members. This code can be assigned from 30 minutes to 31 days by using the SentriKey Real Estate App®. Simply go to My Lockboxes and navigate to my My Access Code and select a lockbox from the list. Assign the name of the person receiving the code and a start/end date and time for property access. Tap Get Flex Code and enter your pin or your facial ID; your app will generate a unique code. To share the code, click the share icon in the upper right corner and you can send the code with instructions via email or text. 4. SentriConnect® Lastly, listing agents can grant temporary access to out of area agents or consumers through the SentriConnect® app. The agent can schedule access up to 14 days in advance, and for 14 consecutive days. This is a great product for use on rental properties and other property management needs as well! You are busy enough working with buyers and sellers. Let the secure access technology products you use be one less thing on your mind. Each of these property management methods are secure, and trackable so your client can trust their home is in good hands. Click on any of the links above to learn more about each of these access methods or the SentriGuard® Lockbox. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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Hear Wedding Bells? How the Marriage Boom Could Affect Your Real Estate Business
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Experienced REALTOR Makes RPR His 'Go-to' for All Things Real Estate
The inbox at RPR (Realtors Property Resource) continues to fill up with praise and success stories from our users. Last month, we received this email from Eric Nitzschke, a seasoned, industry vet who had this to say about NAR's property data platform: RPR is an industry "must"... what a tremendous resource with relevant analytics, and detailed information that caters to both agent and customer. My number one "go-to" for real-time, accurate and informative data. — Eric Nitzschke, eXp Realty, Bend, Oregon Well, we could've ended it right there, but we decided to dig a little deeper in Eric's RPR experience and find out how he uses RPR to nurture and accelerate his business. Here's this month's Success Story Q&A, with Eric Nitzschke: Q. Hi Eric, how long have you been a REALTOR®? Just over 30 years, and I'm licensed in California, Oregon and Washington state. West Coast guy! Q. Thirty years, that's impressive! What area do you specialize in? Residential mostly, and I work with both buyers and sellers. I will do a commercial deal here and there. Q. How did you hear about or first get started in RPR? I first learned about RPR when I worked in Florida. This particular real estate group used RPR all day long, every day. The office would use RPR to assess current values of homes. Once I was exposed to it, I realized it was way more than just a valuation tool. There's just so many capabilities and it's especially helpful in doing listing and sales presentations. The property reports are good and the comps are so valuable, and both are really easy for customers to digest and comprehend. I think RPR is super helpful and it's my go-to for every day tasks. Q. What are some of your favorite features in RPR? The reporting aspects are super valuable, especially with the market as frothy as it was. Using RPR really lends credibility to your work. For example, the market here in Bend, Oregon is small. And people are getting all this info about the market, but it's disparate and it's off the mark. RPR is a good resource to bring people to the baseline of understanding what is accurate and realistic. It really helps me explain to folks what our local market is doing and to take out the emotional aspect. I do this by providing RPR Seller's reports, Market Activity reports and Neighborhood reports. They're super valuable. Everything is always very current and up to date and accurate. I see it as a good third-party resource at arm's distance, so you're not skewing the info. It backs up my recommendations and gives my advice some data-backed credibility. Plus, it's readily accessible, and it doesn't cost anything. That's huge! Real estate people get chiseled at every turn, so this should be a real go-to resource for real estate agents. 100%. I also like that it's user friendly, it's not over technical. For someone new or not so tech savvy, it's easy to interpret, which can't be said for a lot of tech. That aspect is a big benefit. Q. Well said! Does RPR relieve any pain points for you in your day-to-day tasks? It's just super user friendly, in my opinion. I tried using some other tech tools and it's frustrating, and you give up. But RPR is so much more straightforward. Every application I've used is different, and you have to learn, and there's a steep learning curve. With RPR, it's the same every time. It's consistent and easy to navigate, and that's a huge relief for me. Q. Any good RPR "wow"' moment stories? I just had a client who closed on their home a little while ago. They were new to selling (in their 60s!) in that they had never sold a home before. I helped them through the process and put an RPR report together for them. It really simplified things for them and gave them a comfort level that they weren't in over their head. They could relate to it, you know? The supporting data I provided helped in figuring out and agreeing on the listing price. They were "wowed" and very appreciative! Thank you Eric, we really appreciate your story and for using RPR as your "go-to" tech tool. Whether you're a brand new agent or 30-year vet, RPR can help you, too! Check out our line-up of free webinars to help you get started in the platform and on your way to "wowing" clients and closing more deals. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Friday Freebie: Referral Lead Strategy Guide + Scripts
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Meet the Winners of NAR's 2022 Good Neighbor Awards
The National Association of Realtors has announced its 2022 Good Neighbor Awards winners. For 23 years, the Good Neighbor Awards has recognized Realtors who make an extraordinary impact on their communities through volunteer work. The five individuals named as this year's winners exemplify how Realtors make their communities a better place to live, work and raise a family. The 2022 Good Neighbor Award winners are as follows: Jennifer Barnes, Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia, founder of Solidarity Sandy Springs Dennis Curtin, Legacy Investments, Kansas City, Missouri, founder of Mimi's Pantry Jim Edmonds, Emerald Isle Properties, Kilauea, Hawaii, founder of Permanently Affordable Living (PAL) Kaua'i Heather Griesser LaPierre, RE/MAX Preferred Newtown Square, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, founder of Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia MaliVai Washington, Diamond Life Real Estate, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, founder of MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation "I am so proud to honor our Good Neighbor Award winners for how they've effected change to improve the lives of others in their communities," said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor® from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. "Each of these Realtors® has devoted hundreds of hours a year and raised huge sums of money for their respective causes. I salute them for their vision, dedication, passion and selfless generosity." Each of the five winners – selected by a multi-stage, criteria-based judging process – will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and be featured in the fall 2022 issue of REALTOR® Magazine. They will also be presented with crystal trophies on November 12 during NAR NXT, NAR's annual conference that will take place in Orlando, Florida this year. More About Each Winner: Jennifer Barnes, Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia In 2020, Jennifer Barnes thought she would feed people for just a few weeks until the COVID-19-induced shutdowns ended. That experience opened her eyes to an underlying vulnerability in her affluent, Atlanta-area neighborhood that extended well beyond food. She founded the nonprofit, Solidarity Sandy Springs, which inspires more than 2,600 volunteers to provide wide-ranging community services for thousands of families, including free eye exams and glasses, flu vaccines, job fairs, back-to-school backpacks and more. Barnes has also distributed nearly one million pounds of food to approximately 46,000 shoppers. Watch video Read more Dennis Curtin, Legacy Investments, Kansas City, Missouri Dennis Curtin founded Mimi's Pantry to offer a more positive food pantry experience to people in need. The state-of-the-art, 6,000-square-foot facility welcomes shoppers to browse the aisles and choose their food, just as they would in a grocery store. The nonprofit invested in commercial refrigeration equipment and offers fresh meat, produce and milk. It also has a play area and library for kids and is currently building a greenhouse and an orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes. In three years, it has served 50,000 individuals. Watch video Read more Jim Edmonds, Emerald Isle Properties, Kilauea, Hawaii Since the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i may only have a handful of homes for sale under $1 million at any time, Jim Edmonds, founder of nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living (PAL) Kaua'i, partners with other nonprofits to build and convert affordable housing for workers. Edmonds navigates the complex challenges of poor infrastructure and resource scarcity through innovative, cost-saving solutions like solar energy, edible landscaping, shared electric vehicles and shared bicycles. Watch video Read more Heather Griesser LaPierre, RE/MAX Preferred Newtown Square, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania To address food insecurity in her neighborhood and worldwide, Heather Griesser LaPierre founded Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia. She rallies hundreds of volunteers each month to pack nutritious, ready-to-make pasta- and rice-based meals. When schools were shut down in 2021, she doubled production to 350,000 meals per month to ensure children who depended on school lunches were fed. Since 2015, she has packed and distributed more than 9 million meals. Watch video Read more MaliVai Washington, Diamond Life Real Estate, Jacksonville Beach, Florida For 26 years, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation (MWYF) founder Mal Washington has been breaking the cycle of poverty through a vibrant after-school mentoring program. Originally rooted in his beloved sport of tennis, MWYF now serves 500 kids annually through a comprehensive youth development program of academic tutoring, leadership skills, financial training and fitness. He is proud of the 100% high school graduation rate of the program as the surrounding neighborhood's dropout rate is 20%. Watch video Read more Honorable Mentions In addition to the winners, the following five Realtors® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Award honorable mentions and will each receive $2,500 grants for their charity: Tamara "Tami" Hicks, Century 21 Signature Real Estate, Ames, Iowa, for Overflow Thrift Store, which has raised more than a half million dollars for charities and has saved millions of items from landfills. Lisa Hoeve, Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt, Holland, Michigan, for Hope Pkgs, which has provided overnight comfort bags to more than 4,200 foster children. Debbie McCabe, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, and the Trident Group, Devon, Pennsylvania, for Covenant House Pennsylvania, which houses and empowers young people facing homelessness. Debbie Miller, Webpro Realty, Lakeland, Florida, for kidsPACK, which feeds 3,000 children on weekends when they don't get school lunch. Kathy Opperman, Long & Foster Collegeville, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, for Pillars of Light and Love, which has offered 800 free workshops and support groups to build self-esteem and resilience in adults and kids. NAR's Good Neighbor Awards is supported by primary sponsor Realtor.com® as well as the Center for REALTOR® Development. Web Choice Favorites In September, Realtor.com® invited the public to vote for their favorite of the 10 finalists. The top three vote-getters all received additional donations for their charities. The following Realtors® have been crowned as this year's Web Choice Favorites: Kathy Opperman, who will receive an additional $2,500 bonus donation for Pillars of Light and Love Debbie Miller, who will receive an additional $1,250 bonus donation for kidsPACK Lisa Hoeve, who will receive an additional $1,250 bonus donation for Hope Pkgs "We were thrilled to see more than 129,000 people voted for their favorite award finalist," said Realtor.com® CMO Mickey Neuberger. "At Realtor.com®, community has always been at our core, which is why we are happy to sponsor the Good Neighbor Awards and help further amplify the amazing work of these honorees. These Realtor® heroes saw a need and took positive action to make their communities a better place."
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What Are the Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Listing?
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5 Signs You Need to Hire a Transaction Coordinator
When contemplating if you want to spend the extra money to hire a transaction coordinator, consider a few signs that you may desperately need one. Transaction coordinator services can make all the difference in your business, allowing you to be less stressed, have more free time, increase your revenue, and thoroughly enjoy going to work everyday. When you hire a transaction coordinator, they are devoted to handling all the mundane contract to close paperwork that only gives you headaches anyway. So continue reading, and if any of these clear signs sound like you, it may be time to invest in a transaction coordinator today. 1. You Need a Trusted Ally on Your Side In the real estate industry, it is always best to have a partner, or ally, you can rely on—someone you can count on during the times you really need it. Having a person like this as a part of your team will completely change the way you do business for the better. Hiring a transaction coordinator guarantees you have a trusted partner on your side who will always deliver. You will be less stressed, happier doing more of the face-to-face client work you love, and quickly be able to increase the amount of clients you are able to care for at once. 2. You Can't Remember the Last Time You Took a Vacation You work very hard as a real estate agent. Constantly finding new leads, building your marketing plan, staying active on social media, and filling out endless paperwork easily becomes exhausting. That's not even mentioning that you still need time to actually have substantial face-to-face interactions with your clients. All of these responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming and tiring. You deserve a break at least once a year. Doesn't taking a vacation to a nice, sunny, relaxing beach sound pretty close to perfect? A transaction coordinator manages all your paperwork, allowing you to focus on revenue generating tasks. Therefore, you will be able to concentrate on increasing your revenue while also saving time on paperwork tasks. When you use a transaction coordinator, a yearly vacation that may have once sounded like a pipe dream can become a reality. 3. If You Have Ever Forgot the Time of an Inspection Forgetting an appointment, or inspection, is embarrassing and can make you look unprofessional. While it is true that people are forgetful and things are bound to slip your mind here and there, it is best to have as few of those instances as possible when you're working. Securing the trusted help of a transaction coordinator ensures a forgotten inspection will never happen again. They will have your inspection and appointment paperwork, dates, deadlines, and start times perfectly organized. This allows you to be on top of everything, and always present your best foot forward with clients. 4. If Your Commission Check Has Ever Been Delayed After Closing As you already know, it takes about 30 days to close a real estate deal. After 30 days of putting in hard work, the last thing you want is your commission check to be delayed due to compliance issues. Getting signatures from clients and other agents after a deal has closed can easily and quickly become a nightmare. Thankfully, having a transaction coordinator on your team ensures that your file is always compliant before closing. You will never have to wait around, or chase down anyone, for a signature ever again with the virtual assistance of a transaction coordinator. 5. If You Don't Have an Outstanding Closing System As a new real estate agent, or even an experienced one, it can be difficult to create a bulletproof closing system that is easy and efficient for every case. This is where a transaction coordinator can step in and be exponentially helpful. Transaction coordinators are vastly experienced in organizing efficient closing systems. This lets you and your clients have a seamless real estate experience. You'll ensure your closing system is always perfect and completely handled when you enlist the help of a transaction coordinator. Finding the Reliable Help You Need Hiring a transaction coordinator can undoubtedly become the best business decision you ever make. Evaluate if the services of one could positively impact your day-to-day business operation, as well as the long-term goals you've set for yourself. You will find that there is far more than one benefit in using a transaction coordinator. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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4 Ways to Dominate Your Market
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12 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Real Estate Blog and Build a Community
Blogs are a vital feature of your real estate website. They help improve traffic and SEO. They help establish authority in your marketing niche. But real estate blogs also serve another purpose—they foster community. In this post, we will explain 12 strategies to get more comments on your real estate blog, so you can build a community and generate leads. Why Are Blog Comments Important? Comments are important on a real estate blog because they provide an avenue for your readers and leads to interact with you. They can take in your content, provide feedback on it, and tell you what they need to be more informed buyers and sellers. Comments also allow readers to interact with one another. This can help create a community around your real estate blog. Community is important because it brings more permanent readers. Readers that feel they are part of something are more likely to keep coming back, and this can have a positive effect on your lead generation. How Can You Get More Comments on Your Real Estate Blog? 1. Write for Comments The first strategy to get more comments is to produce content for comments. Above all, your content should provide value. No one is going to take the time to leave a comment if your blog post is not even worth reading. This means providing information to help people understand the market and the real estate process. You should also sprinkle some open-ended questions into your blog. This invites participation from your readers and encourages two-way communication. How many questions did you include in your last blog? It is also useful to have an opinion. Positively or negatively, people react to opinions. This makes them more likely to respond. Here's an example: Dear agents, stop reposting listings in your blog. It's completely useless. Your leads don't come to your blog for listings. They go to Zillow. Finally, be personal. Community comes from personal connection. You can help foster this environment by being open about what is going on in your business or life. 2. Ask for Comments You've probably learned about the CTA, or call-to-action, in your marketing trainings. A CTA is where you tell your leads what you want them to do along the path to a sale. Without a CTA, your leads may not be motivated to take the next step. Or worse, they may not even know what the next step is. The same principles apply to blogging. To get comments, you should ask for comments. 3. Minimize Barriers Many commenters are leads, so learning about them and gathering some basic contact information can be helpful. However, any registration requirements should be evaluated against the potential for user loss. Will it take too long to sign up? Will these questions cause users to hesitate? To maximize returns from your blog, you will need to find the right balance. If you are not receiving any comments, consider minimizing barriers or removing them all together. 4. Reply Obviously, if someone comments on your blog, you should reply. Even a simple thank you acknowledges their contribution and creates a welcoming environment. 5. Allow Comment Likes and Shares Some users may want to support a comment without replying. Others may want to quote a comment and use it on another platform. Both of these forms of engagement are valid and useful. You can encourage them by allowing comment likes and shares. If you do not currently have this function, check with your website builder. It may be a feature in your blog software or perhaps an add-on that you can purchase separately. 6. Notify Users Depending on your website builder, you also may have the option to notify users when someone likes, shares or replies to their comment. Notifications keep readers aware of what is happening even when they are not on your blog. This can increase engagement on your blog and help grow your community. 7. Recent/Trending Comments Widget Readers like active blogs. They like the idea that their comment will draw a reply and spark a conversation. It is a smart idea to promote this idea on some of the major landing pages on your site. You can do it with a recent or trending comments widget. These tools display new comments or those generating likes on the side of your page. They can help draw people to your blog from other parts of your website and encourage them to participate. 8. Comment on Other Blogs It is a good practice to follow some other blogs out there. This will help you stay connected with the general real estate conversation and help you develop ideas for your own blog. While you are visiting, leave some comments. Real estate blogging is not zero-sum. By commenting on other posts, you are helping to grow the real estate community. The larger the community is, the more people will find and follow your blog. 9. Mention People Directly One way to get people to comment is to mention them directly in your blog. If you draw inspiration from another blogger or a real estate influencer, give a shout out. If you know how one popular commenter might respond, acknowledge them in your post. Once you mention someone, send them the blog, let them know about it, and ask them to comment what they think. 10. Send to Your Email List No online strategy in real estate is complete without an email list. Email gives you the ability to provide information to your clients and leads in a direct and convenient way. While most agents use an email list to promote listings and other services, you can also use it to suggest blog posts. The click rates for links provided via email are much higher than those found through Google search. 11. Hold a Contest A little incentive never hurt anyone. If your blog is lacking and comments are sluggish, consider holding a contest with a small prize. Local trivia and photo contests provide simple, fun ways to drive readers to comment on your blog. 12. Develop Content from Comments Finally, you can boost participation on your real estate blog by developing content from existing comments. Ask for suggestions to get a feel for the type of information your readers want. Then, do the research to produce new blog posts based on these suggestions. A reader who suggests an idea that ultimately becomes a blog post is likely to comment on it. And once people see that you will take their ideas, they will keep commenting suggestions. Now you know how to get more comments on your real estate blog and build a community. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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5 Simple Ways to Increase the Screen Value of Your Online Real Estate Listings
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Google Just Announced an Update About 'Helpful Content.' What Should Real Estate Agents Know?
When Google updates its algorithm, the effects ripple through the internet. In September, another Google update went live. Agents who want to succeed online need to know how to adjust to what's being called the "helpful content" update. In short, the helpful content algorithm update is a commitment to serve "people-first" content, and another indication that Google doesn't want its search pages clogged with spam. How can you ensure your online presence is considered helpful? What guidelines are important to follow while building out a real estate agent website, Google Business Profile, and other online content? 1. Stay Focused and On-Topic The first step to creating online content Google considers "helpful" is to stay focused and on-topic. As a real estate agent, being focused means targeting an audience of buyers and sellers with content that is related to real estate. Having an online presence is great, but will be less effective if it's cluttered with information about unrelated pursuits. After all, would a buyer or seller looking for real estate information find much use in an agent's website that was actually filled with cat photos? Of course not. That's why Google ranks content that is focused, on-topic, and relevant to searchers. 2. Show Expertise and Experience Once you've established your topic – in this case, being a real estate agent – Google wants to see that your online content demonstrates expertise and experience. Your expertise is in real estate, and specifically as being an agent in your local market. Make sure your agent website and Google Business Profile reflect your status as a go-to agent in your region. And take pains to explain how you specifically help people in your local region. If you've sold homes in certain neighborhoods or specialize in the west side of town, say so. Let Google know you have a relevant niche. Google also wants to see that you have experience. For an agent, this could mean maintaining a slideshow of current and past listings on your website. And for every agent, having helpful content that demonstrates experience requires a verified Google Business Profile with positive, plentiful reviews from past clients and respected colleagues. 3. Answer Searchers' Queries When Google talks about helpful content, what they're really talking about is: Does this answer the questions people are typing into the search bar? As an agent, you should endeavor for online content that answers searchers' queries. Those questions start simply. Who are real estate agents in my town? What is this agent's business hours? Do they have contact information? Examples of current listings? But some searchers are looking for more than just basic biographical details. They're asking questions about an agent's specific experiences. Who are this agent's past clients? Do they represent both buyers and sellers? What's their experience in my neighborhood? Do they have a marketing plan? Social media? References? A good reputation? Google wants you to preemptively answer those questions. After all, when consumers search for "real estate agents near me," what they're really asking is for Google to show them the best agents possible. The best agents can answer consumer questions on and offline, so have online content that helps address what buyers and sellers are searching for and wondering. 4. Stay Up-to-Date on Other Google Core Updates The "helpful content" update is a big one. But it's not the first Google update, it won't be the last, and it isn't the only update agents should consider. Just this year, Google has released: The "Vicinity Update," in which Google more heavily weights proximity when serving up local search results. This update hyper-focuses search results on local businesses and services consumers are likely to use or hire. The "May 2022 Core Update," in which Google dinged AI-generated content and reshuffled search results pages so that human-written content is more likely to appear at the top. Overall , Google updates in 2022 have advantaged real, live, local agents – particularly those who demonstrate the expertise, experience, and focus to help buyers and sellers accomplish their real estate goals. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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5 Successful Morning Routines for Real Estate Pros
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4 Basic Tips for Upping Your Real Estate Game
Excelling as a real estate agent is a lot of work. Absolutely no one is denying that. You essentially become a one-man (or woman) business even when you are associated with a brokerage. You are often responsible for your own prospecting, marketing, network building and, of course, the entire process of helping your clients buy or sell a house. So how do you accomplish all the tasks you are responsible for, and still find the time to get new clients and be the absolute best agent for them? Have a Strong Online Presence Having a strong online presence is the gold standard for real estate agents in this day and age. The first thing any potential client will do when considering hiring you is find your social media accounts. (If, of course, that is not how they came across you in the first place.) Based on the impression they get from your profiles, they will make a decision to contact you or not. So, it is your job to make sure that first digital impression is one they will not soon forget. To accomplish that, follow these tips: Diversify your content. Your content could include blog posts, shared articles, quotes you find motivating, houses you are representing, promotional material, client reviews, etc. Make at least a couple of posts every week to ensure your profile is updated Have your contact information easily accessible. Every post should look professional and carefully thought out. Use a few hashtags and emojis to catch people's attention. Keeping up a strong online presence is a free way to continuously be focusing on self-promotion and client procurement. So, it is well worth your while to find the time necessary to get your profiles in tip-top shape. Put Your Relationships First To be the best agent you can be, you need to maintain and build relationships with your previous clients, and all the business professionals you connect with. Reach out with a meaningful card during the holidays or birthdays just to remind everyone that you are still working in the industry. Staying in touch opens the door to forming partnerships that can greatly benefit your business. Other industry professionals, like bankers or contractors, can recommend you to their clients who they know are planning on moving. Your previous clients can also recommend your services, and are much more likely to if they feel they still have a connection to you. Essentially, your network is the lifeline of your business. Without a focus and commitment to it, you will never be able to keep your pipeline full. Take Care of Yourself At the end of the day, you need to be making your mental and physical health a priority. Without getting enough sleep, breaks from work, or balanced meals, you will not be at your best. Take the necessary steps to make sure you are maintaining your health, and the positive effects will quickly become evident in your work. Here are some strategies you can implement today: Turn off your phone at a certain time every night. Practice mindfulness Go on a short walk when you need a 10-minute break. You will feel more energized, focused, and resilient if you are taking care of yourself everyday. Learn to Delegate You can not do everything on your own—especially if you want take care of yourself and dedicate time to actually growing your business instead of just maintaining it. It's a hard fact to come to for many real estate agents, but all the best agents know it is true. So don't wait until you feel so burnt out and overworked you begin to hate your job to finally invest in some help. Be proactive and do it now, so you can start focusing on tasks that will help propel your business' growth instead of just keeping it afloat. For example, hiring a transaction coordinator can give you back up to 16 hours of your time per transaction. Imagine all the progressive work you could accomplish with that time! Hiring help is not as expensive as you may think, and it is a cost you could potentially pass along to your clients. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Follow-Up Is Still the #1 Reason Agents Lose Business
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5 Things Real Estate Photographers Wish Sellers Did -- and Did Not -- Do
Working with hundreds of photographers nationwide who have delivered more than 4,000,000 images to help real estate agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings, we've come to feel their pain when something doesn't go as planned. That's why we polled more than 100 professional real estate photographers who work with HomeJab to get their "rants and raves" for listing shoots. We already know from a large body of research that professional real estate photography helps sell homes faster and for more money. The good news from the survey results is that most of the time – 67% – of professional real estate photographers have a great experience with highly cooperative sellers. But that still means that sellers are not as cooperative as they should be during one in three listing photo assignments, and, sometimes, surprisingly, they are uncooperative. Fortunately, our "rants and raves" survey uncovered a series of "best practices" for home sellers – comments, ideas, and suggestions shared almost universally by our photo pros. Photographer rants Here are the top five things professional real estate photographers wish all sellers did — that still is missing from too many shoots: Declutter – 95% Remove objects in the way of a photo (toys, bikes, hoses, etc.) – 86% Clean the house – 75% Fix light bulbs – 73% Clean pathways and driveways (remove cars) – 54% Again, remember that most shoots go well, and most of the things on this list are taken care of before the photographer arrives. Overall, real estate agents are doing an exceptional job of educating sellers and ensuring they take the steps necessary to prep their homes before the appointment. However, one item shared by photographers was a bit surprising – and this might be an opportunity for all agents to clarify the concept of when to declutter. The survey found that the "one thing that sellers forget" that bothers professional real estate photographers most is decluttering during the shoot. It turns out that many sellers attempt to declutter while the photographer is shooting, going room by room, clearing clutter one room at a time just before the photographer shoots! A photographer from Lakeland, Florida described the impact of doing this best, saying, "Moving clutter room-to-room like musical chairs disrupts the flow and slows down the process." In addition, he points out that this approach can add significant additional time to a shoot. Another photographer from Chicago shared the frustration, explaining, "Many sellers begin prepping after I arrive. They should know the home should be ready upon arrival." That's excellent advice for sellers, but it also should nudge real estate agents to ask their sellers to finish all decluttering before the photographers shows up at their door. Seller raves The survey also asked professional real estate photographers about the one thing sellers do that they appreciate most. The consensus is no surprise: having the house ready when they arrive. An Austin-based photographer says puts it succinctly: "decluttered – neat and tidy" is a huge help. A veteran photographer from Greenwood Village, Colorado, adds, "A place that's ready to go when I arrive – that's awesome." Photographers also were asked, "What is the one thing a seller can do to make your job easier?" Again, the answers were mixed, sometimes even contradictory. One point of contention: should the seller hang around during the shoot – or get out of the house? What was clear was the need for sellers to stay out of the way during a shoot. Some suggested that sellers should leave during the shoot. But other photographers want them to stay "within earshot" if they need permission to move an object that's in the way, for example. Another point of disagreement: some photographers don't want the seller to interrupt with questions, while others enjoy a good banter back-and-forth with a seller. The best approach: sellers should ask what they can do to make the professional's job easier upfront. The professional tells us they will get better photos if they do. For sellers, photographers had a few other suggestions to make their shoot easier, including controlling pets, parking cars away from the property, and ensuring the photographer has access to the home when they arrive. Advice to real estate agents Photographers often rely on the seller's real estate agent to make sure everything is ready before they show up. But, again, three out of four times, that happens. Yet, for all those other times, photographers shared some advice for agents. "Good agents will arrive at a property ahead of time and turn on all the lights and clean up anything that shouldn't be there," said a Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based photographer, adding, "Bad agents show up late and demand that everything be cleaned to perfection." The survey points to three things photographers wished every agent told their seller, including: Photographers cannot retouch photos or remove something (the seller's agent provides editing instructions, and HomeJab handles the editing) How much time the photographer will need. Photographers can't send the photos directly to the seller. Instead, the seller will get them from their agent. The survey also found three things that professional real estate photographers appreciate most when they arrive at a shoot: All the lights are on, fans and TVs are off, and blinds or shades are open Pets are secured, the house is clear of other people, and the seller stays out of the way Access is available for photographers when they arrive. One professional offered this parting comment: "Do not underestimate the photographer. We are part of the success of the property's sale." Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros and architect of the real NFT Marketplace at real.art. HomeJab delivers over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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Is That Your Headshot?
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Does Your Listing Presentation Nail the One Thing Sellers Need Most?
Top-producing real estate agents use a solid, informative listing presentation to win deals. Research by RPR tells us that five of the most frequently used elements in a listing presentation include a CMA (86%), a home value estimate (80%), local market analysis (77%), agent marketing plans (73%), and tips for sellers to prep the home (69%). But the real estate market has shifted away from a seller's market toward a more balanced market, even a buyer's market in some regions. Once again, buyers are influencing which homes sell quickly and which linger unsold in the market. Listing presentations are adapting to share these changes with sellers and what it means to their home sales. But they are missing some of the most critical factors influencing today's real estate market. The biggest change is a decision that sellers must make before listing their homes. So what's missing from your listing presentation? The one thing sellers need today more than ever: making sure their home is market-ready before listing it for sale. As the largest generation, with tons of buying power, millennials are driving home purchases. And they want move-in-ready homes. According to a study by TD Bank, millennials shun the fixer-upper, as fewer than one in five would buy a home that needed a lot of love. By comparison, 71% of millennials indicated they want a move-in-ready house. Enter the hottest new ways to sell a home: the presale renovation. About presale renovations Presale renovations are not new. And flippers have been renovating as-is homes for decades. Individual agents and brokerages have routinely assisted some sellers with significant home improvements to increase the marketability of a home. As a result, more minor home improvements — deep cleaning, fresh paint, and other cosmetic enhancements — have become commonplace. What's changed is the scale and new accessibility of presale renovation. A new category has emerged called Concierge Services. It's driven by savvy startups, including Revive Real Estate. Companies like Revive have taken this old dog and taught it some new tricks. The result is a better way for sellers to hire and pay for renovations. Today, most homeowners miss out on 15% to 20% of the value of their homes when they sell. Presale renovations prevent that from happening. Here are the most common advantages a presale renovation gives sellers, using Revive as an example: Presale renovated homes sell faster, while as-is homes sit on the market and must reduce their price. Presale renovated homes sell for more — the average ROI is over 250%. Presale renovated homes give sellers an average of $186,000 more in sales profits. Less stress for the sellers as the presale renovation is turnkey — the process is managed for them. The funding for the entire renovation is free — the improvements are paid for at closing. Faster turnaround times — tap into a ready-to-start network of vetted, top-quality contractors. Smarter renovation through expert advice and proven design experience for maximum results. The new "must have" for your listing presentation Today, spotlighting a presale renovation is a must for any agent's listing presentation. Right now, according to RPR research, listing presentations often have a low success rate. About 45% of agents lose anywhere between 25% and 75% of their potential listings after their presentation. You know that in today's market, as-is homes struggle to sell; explaining to your sellers the value of a presale renovation can tip the scale and help you win more listings. After all, our homes in the U.S. are aging — now averaging 39 years old — and almost every listing you take can use some love, if not a lot, to sell fast today. Working with a Concierge Services firm like Revive can help you deliver precisely what your clients need. From smaller prep-for-sale projects to full-blown renovations, Revive can help agents help their clients without breaking a sweat. For the agent, when a home sells for $100,000 or $200,000, or $600,0000 or more (as many Revive homes have), that means higher net commission income. The brokerage wins with more revenue. But more importantly, when you include presale renovation in your listing presentation, you are helping your seller maximize their profits — which can be life-changing. Want to see dozens of real-world examples — including "Before and After" photos — of presale renovations? Go to www.revive.realestate/solutions/customer-stories. To learn how to help your clients work with Revive, go to www.revive.realestate. Dalip Jaggi is at once an active entrepreneur, a highly skilled technologist, and a profoundly passionate business leader. Today, Dalip is co-founder of Revive Real Estate, a PropTech with a goal to democratize house flipping.
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5 Shared Traits of Highly Successful Real Estate Professionals
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How to Ask for Real Estate Referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing generates more leads than any other. As every Realtor knows, asking for referrals is crucial to boosting your businesses growth rate. In fact, 84% of Realtors we recently polled said referrals were the greatest source of increasing sales. But how do you ask for referrals in a way that is authentic and effective? Many people aren't sure how to begin writing a referral or know exactly what you are asking for. Providing them with examples or past referrals can help drive action and give them a template for tone, length, and content. And like many things in life, timing is everything. Send Periodic Follow-up Messages to Past Clients Perhaps the most crucial way to obtain real estate referrals is by staying in touch with past clients. There are probably plenty of people in your sphere of influence that would love to refer you to friends, but simply need to know your best contact information. This is where CRM software that can improve your communication with clients while keeping track of every customer in your greater contacts list comes in. Use Referral Cards and Run Referral Contests When sending a handwritten thank you note to clients, either at or immediately after closing, add an incentive in the form of a referral card that can be exchanged for a physical or digital gift card or gift certificate, ranging from Amazon.com to a local restaurant. Incentives drive action, and if the real estate transaction was favorable, clients are more likely to recommend you to a close friend, colleague, or family member. Some agents have had great luck (and great fun) with referral contests that reward clients with a tiered-level of incentives based on the quantity and quality of referrals they provide in person and on social media. Before implementing a referral contest, be sure to review your social media channels, website, and Google Business page and verify links are not broken and that your contact information is correct. Stay Involved in Your Community If possible, donate or sponsor community events like community theater, sporting events, or fundraisers. Not only are you helping to make the events possible and successful, you are building brand awareness for yourself and your business. While not asking for referrals directly at the event, you can promote and display your best referrals on promotional materials and your social media pages that promote and share the event in print and digitally. Use a Real Estate CRM A real estate CRM not only helps you get more referrals, but it also helps you track referrals more effectively, increasing your odds of converting them to clients – whether it's right away or down the road. What you do with your referrals, specifically how you manage and keep in touch with them, can make a significant impact on your business. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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New Agent Maps out a Promising Future With an Assist From RPR
RPR (Realtors Property Resource) success stories are examples of how Realtors are using their NAR member benefit to "wow" their clients and close more deals. RPR can really help newer agents get up to speed in their skills and everyday transactional tasks. That's why we were so glad to see the following email from Michela Navarria: Hi RPR, I'm a huge fan of RPR because it's very user friendly and it has a neat layout. And of course, with the huge amounts of data, RPR makes my job easier and my clients happier. If I can be efficient in pulling data and analyzing it, I have more time to focus on customer care, moving transactions forward and delivering results by using advanced communication tools. -Michela Navarria Now that's a well-thought out take: use RPR as a tool to crunch data, send reports, create CMAs and prospect, while freeing yourself up to focus on taking care of your clients. Here's our Q&A with new(er) agent Michela Navarria. Q. How long have you been a REALTOR® and what area do you specialize in? I've been a REALTOR® for one year. I do residential mostly, and I also help buyers find second homes and vacation type of properties in Central Oregon. Q. How did you get started using RPR? Well, as a new REALTOR®, I did and still do a lot of research. During one of my Code of Ethics classes, I heard someone mention "RPR," so I decided to check it out. I couldn't believe we had access to this for free! The layout is clean, easy to understand and I just love it! Especially the maps—they are great! I'm really into using the maps to search for properties, boundaries and locations. Q. Well, the next question is what is your favorite, "go-to" feature in RPR? I guess we know the answer! Maps! I can look at one house for sale and use the RVM® (Realtor Valuation Model®) to see the estimated value. Then I can see every lot and every property around it. I like to play around with them. I also see great value in doing a radius search. For example, if someone is looking for land, which is common here in Portland, I can easily expand my search. I can use the map to see what's a 90-minute drive from the location because the distance and driving tool is really amazing! I can also do a center point search and see all the land listings. It's just so easy and user friendly. Oh, and I also really like the Neighborhood reports, the School reports, and the Market Activity report. Q. You said that "being efficient in pulling and analyzing data" helps you focus on your customers. Tell me more about that. I feel like I can give a better quality service when I don't have to mine for data. RPR is easy to digest, it makes it so much easier. It's very transparent. It's a value that I know my clients appreciate. And it really represents my style of how I want to work: to be fast, more efficient, and not waste time. It helps free me up to focus on the client and the job. Q. What else are you using in RPR? I really like the ClimateCheck feature, that is awesome. AARP Livability™ Index is really neat, too. Those quality of life stats, those are great to show to clients, especially those that don't know a neighborhood. Because what's around a house is very important and it's not always clear. Walkability and livability play a big role. Michela sure doesn't sound like a rookie agent! She's using RPR data and reports to help support just about every facet of her business. We really appreciate hearing new agent stories like hers and hope you'll use RPR to do the same. If you're a new or new-ish agent, be sure to check out our free webinars that are designed to help agents get started in RPR and get their career going in the right direction. Check out and save your seat for "RPR For New Members" and "New to RPR? Start Here to Boost Your Business." To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Friday Freebie: 7 Real Estate Spreadsheets + Calculator Tools
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4 VR Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Listings
Want to give your client an exquisite marketing experience? Consider virtual reality (VR) as your go-to solution. With the help of new VR technology, agents can now offer their clients an out-of-the-world experience while closing deals. Continue reading to learn more about four VR marketing ideas you can add to your marketing strategy. 1. Virtual Staging Virtual reality is becoming a popular staging tool for real estate professionals, and buyers enjoy it. With VR staging, prospective buyers can enjoy an immersive property tour, saving them the inconvenience of physically traveling to the listing. The chances of a client buying a property after having a tour are likely to increase if it ticks all the boxes they are looking for. 2. Guided Visits Managing short-term rental properties can be daunting, especially when there is high tenant turnover. That's why VR instructional guides for vacation rentals are the industry's hottest new trend. With VR, tenants can easily view a comprehensive tour of the property's amenities and have any concerns addressed in advance—not to mention the stunning immersive experience. 3. Property Showcases Your clients can visit properties virtually from any location using VR. This is helpful when clients can't reach the real estate site physically due to distance and other inconveniences. So, if your client can't make it to an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances, VR is your next best option to showcase the property. 4. Virtual Sales of Property Like every other transaction, real estate transactions can also be completed online. Now, with the help of virtual reality, potential clients can view a listing, get a guided tour, and eventually rent or buy a property. The use of VR to market real estate can be very appealing to potential buyers and investors. Virtual staging allows clients to imagine their dream homes and even make changes to them in the virtual world. This amazing touch leaves a lasting impression on clients, which is good for your brand image. Final Thoughts Virtual reality adds an immersive touch to online property viewing, and helps real estate professionals avoid canceled appointments that could have resulted in a sale. For success in your real estate business, ensure that you keep up with trends by using new technology to keep your clients coming back while attracting new clients. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Revive Is Changing the Way Homes Are Sold. Realtors, Be Ready for Incredible Opportunities!
Unlike a finely aged wine, homes that show signs of aging are not going to pique the interest of potential buyers, let alone capture the attention of image-driven millennial home buyers (the highest market share at 43%) when they are online shopping. In the U.S., the median age of a home currently stands at 39 years old. In California, the state with the most housing stock, that number increases to 43 years old. And while some could argue that being in your 40s is simply the new 30s, think about how much style has changed since the 70s – even the 80s! (Do any of you remember the glass brick phase? Yikes...) The fact of the matter is, while some design styles return hotter than ever, most do not, at least not all at once. And so, the need for renovations and improvements grows. But hey, maybe your client is a homeowner who's on the fence about whether or not it makes much of a difference to renovate their home before you, their Realtor, puts it on the market – it makes a huge difference! Here's why. Again, it's all about what the buyers want. Millennials prefer move-in-ready homes. Research shows that 70% of Millennial home buyers would choose a smaller home, giving up the need for more space, to secure a move-in-ready home. That's huge. One of the biggest annual home buyer studies also found most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations. While most homeowners getting ready to sell their homes would benefit largely from pre-sale renovations, most lack the funds, time, or industry insight needed to make them happen. And, so, a change began. The move-in ready movement An innovative new solution for homeowners emerged, becoming one of the hottest real estate movements today. It's known as the concierge category, which includes companies like Revive Real Estate—a presale renovation firm that specializes in $0 down, pay-when-you-sell, major and minor remodeling. It gives homeowners the option to turn their as-is property into the move-in-ready home today's buyers want. Still, sellers have two options. First, there's the DIY (do it yourself) approach. But for most home sellers, undertaking even minor improvements is too daunting. Why? Well, there's the hunt for reliable, available, and proven contractors – which is especially tough in today's market, not to mention having the available cash to front the cost of needed repairs and renovations. Add in the time to meet with the designers, contractors, and hunting down the right materials to get the job done, it's a nightmare. A DIY project quickly becomes a hurry-up-and-sell project which causes homeowners to lose out on thousands of dollars! When sellers go at it alone, they also assume all risks and liabilities, and that's often something most homeowners would rather avoid. Despite the best-laid plans, ask anyone who has undertaken a kitchen or bathroom remodel, and they are likely to tell you that when you involve multiple contractors, you are at the mercy of their schedules. But this is nothing new! Many people already understand these are common concerns. Thankfully, there's another option. You bring in the experts. The BIG $$$$ benefit Working with an experienced and proven firm like Revive gives homeowners more than just a move-in-ready home to put on the market. It gives them, as home sellers, the opportunity to maximize the sales price of their home. What does that mean in actual dollars? Most sellers who sell their homes as-is leave 15-20% in potential profits on the table. Imagine leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in built-up equity behind. That is life-changing money! Revive homes sell for more – a lot more. In fact, the average Revive home seller nets over $186,000 more by undergoing pre-sale renovations. The return on their investment – using Revive's funds, not their own ­­– is a stunning 257%. The average net return to Revive home sellers is even higher in higher-priced markets where homes are often worth more than $1 million. The smart way to renovate When Revive works with a homeowner and agent to get a home ready to sell, they are partnering with a team that includes a property advisor (the point person for improvements), in-house designers, and other real estate specialists. Because knowing what to improve is the secret to unlocking the greatest value the home has to offer. Revive's design team has that knowledge. The biggest mistake in home improvement is fixing and replacing the wrong things. Every home is different, and having current market knowledge of what homes are selling and why is vital to the renovation's success. Smarter renovation means more than just knowing the trends – it also is knowing what materials are available and properly priced. Home sellers want to stay on time and budget and still maximize the value of their improvements. That's where Revive's expertise excels. Quality is also paramount – you can't settle on a contractor simply because they are the only ones available. Revive maintains a network of fully vetted, experienced contractors who are loyal to Revive because of the unmatched support they get and the steady stream of work they get from Revive. Revive keeps its contractors busy and focused on what they do best, the work, with Revive handling their back office support, material sourcing, ordering, scheduling, and more. Curb appeal attracts more prospects. Pre-sale renovations make homes market-ready, and that also means improving the curb appeal. After all, you don't get a second chance at making a first impression, and that's why homes with excellent curb appeal sell faster – and for more. Curb appeal sets the tone of what home buyers can expect to see when they step inside. Securing a positive first impression through exceptional curb appeal sets the stage for a sale. And the nicer your curb appeal, the larger number of prospects you will attract. In fact, homes featuring well-kept lawns and professional landscaping sell for 7% more than similar homes without! The Washington Post reported that 87% of home buyers rely on photos when house hunting. Those professionally photographed homes showcasing their features, including their curb appeal, sell 32% faster than other listings and net a 47% higher asking price per square foot. Different types of renovations – what makes sense? Getting a home in move-in-ready condition is a huge undertaking and varies from property to property. Real estate professionals and home sellers can benefit by having a team of Revive experts who do this daily. Revive takes on projects from big to small. There are no project minimums or maximums, and every project is designed uniquely to that home's unique design and neighborhood style. Minor fixes with Revive Interior painting Exterior painting Appliance replacement Roof repairs Carpet and flooring Window repair Door replacements Deep cleaning and professional staging and more Major improvements with Revive Kitchen remodels Bathroom replacement and additions Roof replacements HVAC replacement Window new installations Mold removal and prevention Basement finishing Deck and patio installations Outdoor living spaces and more Many markets also have unique locally related improvements that can maximize the property's value. Revive can help uncover those as well. From repairing a dock for a waterfront home to building a complete entertainer's space in the backyard, Revive's goal is to maximize the return on the sale of the home. Bottom line: Revive homes sell for more and sell faster. When completed – often within 90 days or less – Revive homes are move-in ready. Homes renovated with Revive often massively increase a seller's asking price, creating significantly more wealth for the seller. Just look at all of the case studies that provide the before and after photos of dozens of Revive renovation projects here to see how much more sellers made using Revive. And the best part? In addition to Revive fronting the money for the cost of renovations, there is no interest, fees, or financing charges due from the seller or agent. Revive is a win-win-win-win for homeowners, contractors, agents, and brokers too, because everyone benefits when a home is renovated to sell for its highest price. Jessica Morrow, a seasoned real estate veteran, is Revive Real Estate Head of Operations. Revive's mission is to guide home sellers through presale renovations without upfront costs. Working with Revive, home sellers gain an average of $186,000 in additional profit when selling their homes.
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Cost-Per-Lead: Is It as Important as You Think It Is?
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Establishing Digital Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT)
Before the evolution of real estate websites, smartphone apps, and multimedia messaging services, agents and brokers were the keepers and gatekeepers of listing data. Today, Realtors use real estate websites to share this information, generate leads, and communicate other useful information about their local communities and the home buying and selling processes. But how do you beat the competition when it comes to a Google search? It turns out, the experience you offer your clients can be easily transferred to your digital marketing strategy. As cliché as it may sound, remember the acronym EAT any time you add new information or make updates to your website or social media messaging. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust and strategy built out over time. Expertise Expertise is evaluated at the content-level. Google SEO rewards subject matter experts who write authentic, original content in their subject matter areas. You know the ins and outs of the real estate industry. Write about what you know. Authority Authority is reputation based. When people leave online reviews on sites like Google Business, G2, Capterra, you grow your authority. Authority can also be given in the form of inbound links from news stories and other high-authority sites within the same (or complementary) industry. Trust As in real life, trust is about legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy. Trusted sites are ones that strive to have up-to-date and accurate content, use SSL (secure) certificates, and provide contact information and disclosures when using affiliate links and cookies used for tracking user behavior. SEO The next step in the EAT strategy is to monitor your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to monitor who is coming to your site, how long they are staying for, what they are reading, and how they are accessing the information (desktop, tablet, smartphone). You can review demographics such as age, gender, and location to better adjust your content and know what might be important to them. Match your content with the selling season and write ahead of time (so the information is there when the searching begins). And, of course, we recommend using a CRM to manage leads, keep-in-touch and stay organized to the needs and preferences of your customer base. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Checklist: Is Your Website ADA Accessible?
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The Social Media Secret to Getting 2.5x More Leads
In the past, you've heard about the importance of social media when developing a business brand, finding new clients, and providing virtual tours or open houses. If you're evaluating your social media performance and creating a social media plan, you'll likely consider the classic social media dilemma: Do I focus my social media efforts on organic posts and engagement with potential clients? Or do I put my resources into paid social media advertising to turbocharge my lead generation? Here's the secret: That's a false choice. Agents should pursue organic and paid social media together, leveraging engaging, authentic, organic social media content to market themselves and their properties — while also pursuing paid advertising on social media platforms. We know this strategy works: Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have hundreds of millions of users and provide opportunity for direct contact with potential clients. Meanwhile, agents who buy paid ads see positive results, exemplified by Homesnap's data scientists' finding that agents who buy Facebook ads through Homesnap receive 2.5 times more leads from Facebook than agents without paid Facebook ads. That's why you should approach social media as a virtuous cycle: By creating strong organic social media, you can engage with consumers, demonstrate your expertise, and build your brand. Then, with paid social media, you can generate leads for specific listings and direct more people to your real estate services. Read on to learn how to create compelling organic social media and why consistent investment in paid social media will benefit your business. Use EAT Framework for Organic Social Media The first step to optimize your social media should be to burnish your social media profiles with organic content that follows the EAT framework. The first portion of EAT is engagement. With engagement, agents should focus on regularly posting on social media channels and responding to consumers' comments on the posts. Agents should also ask questions to spur audience engagement. Consider asking questions such as "Carpet or hardwood?" to get people talking about their preferences, or "What homes are catching your eye this fall?" to learn about why people are entering the market and the homes they're most excited to tour. The second component of EAT is authenticity. By producing authentic social content, agents can tell honest stories about the home selling and buying processes and the real estate market in general. For example, agents shouldn't solely post videos and photos of fully staged homes and tours. Instead, consider posting before and after photos, or a video of your open house preparations. This way, consumers see that buying or selling a house is a process, and that you're dedicated to the work necessary to make it happen. The final part of the EAT framework is thought leadership. For agents, social media provides the opportunity to display subject matter expertise, which is especially valuable knowledge to share in a complicated time for the real estate market. Consider the value that the EAT framework provides. For one, social media content that follows EAT principles helps you maintain a relationship with consumers and hear directly what questions or concerns they have about the market. Also, EAT content allows you to demonstrate your own knowledge about real estate, and establish yourself as a trusted voice about the market. More broadly, following the EAT framework ensures that when people view your social media content, they see a credible, engaged real estate professional. If a consumer sees one of your paid advertisements and later searches for your information, strong organic social media may help reassure them that there is substance behind your advertisements. With engagement, authenticity, and thought leadership at the forefront of your organic social media efforts, you can develop a solid foundation for social media success. Invest Consistently in Paid Social Media Advertisements After laying the groundwork with strong organic social media, you can use paid social media to draw large numbers of leads into your sales funnel. Our data scientists crunched the numbers and found that consistent investment in paid advertisements pays off for agents. In fact, agents who buy Facebook ads through Homesnap earn 2.5 times more leads from Facebook than agents who use social media but do not buy paid ads. Consistent paid social media ads will generate leads. And if your paid social media is complemented with strong organic social media, you will be able to introduce leads not just to a specific property or listing, but to an agent brand. Learn more about how Homesnap Pro Ads can complement your organic social media without breaking the bank or your schedule. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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RPR Now Boasts a Better Buyer Tour
If you're an agent who works with buyers, you're pretty accustomed to weekend afternoon tours of homes for sale. You line up a list of homes that meet their wants and needs (and budget, of course), and then you drive around and view each one. This list can be achieved through your hard work and research, but will also often come in the form of specific addresses from your online house-hunting clients. Either way, it's a process. And that process is a whole lot easier with the RPR (Realtors Property Resource) Buyer Tour report, an app-exclusive that is only available via RPR Mobile. The app has recently been updated and improved to make your Buyer Tour experience that much better! The new and improved RPR Buyer Tour Simple in nature but comprehensive all the same, the Buyer Tour Report easily allows agents to select properties and determine an order to tour them. And under the "wait it gets better" category, it then lets agents create a colorful, client-friendly report to share with buyers. It's a great way to set up a schedule and keep a record of what was viewed, and what was liked. If you're already familiar with the RPR app and using the Buyer Tour, we've got great news: the app was recently updated and now boasts some quality enhancements! The most important (and requested) is the ability to "Add known property" to the tour you're building by address or listing ID. The ability to add properties manually, versus running a search and using the map, is a big deal in the Buyer Tour user world. This has been the number one ask from our app users, and we're glad to deliver it. The new Buyer Tour is also the only RPR report that allows you to feature more than one, single property. Watch the new Buyer Tour in action To see how the new Buyer Tour function works in the updated app, watch this step-by step video. It's just over three minutes long and will walk you through the necessary steps to properly set up a buyer tour. And if you prefer written directions, or want to print something out to keep at your side, check out our handy Buyer Tour Printable Guide. It also has step-by-step instructions and some screen grab visuals to help you follow along. Take your buyers on a tour! Reminder: The Buyer Tour is only available via the RPR Mobile app. Download and/or update your app today to experience all the new changes and features, including upgrades to the Buyer Tour function. Set up appointments and tours, add or delete properties from the schedule, then follow up with a report that includes all the homes that were viewed — all from your phone and wherever you have service. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Tips for Buyers on Choosing Their Next Neighborhood
Have buyer clients that need clear strategies for choosing a new neighborhood? Share this article with them to help them learn how to narrow down the best area for their unique needs. Deciding to move and buying a house can be a stressful, yet exciting process. One of the biggest decisions you'll make when beginning your home search is where you will live. After you decide on the location of your new home, it's time to pick your new neighborhood. Picking your new neighborhood can be tough, especially if you have a family. It's important choose the safest and most practical neighborhood with something for everyone! Neighborhood Safety The first and most important thing to consider when choosing your next neighborhood is the overall safety of the area. At Homes.com, we know the importance of safety, so we have created the "Scores" section on every listing details page of every home for sale or rent.  On the "Scores" section, you can see the Walk Score, Sound Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score.  How Walkable Is the Neighborhood? To find the "Scores" section, go to any property listing details page and scroll past the "Transit" section. Once you get to the "Scores" section, you will see the Walk Score. The Walk Score tells you the walkability of the address and gives you a score out of 100. According to Walkscore.com, a score from 0-20 and 25-49 means Car-Dependent, 50-69 means Somewhat Walkable, 70-89 means Very Walkable, and 90-100 means Walker's Paradise. Even though a Walk Score below 59 seems low, if the score is between 25-49, your family may still be able to walk around the neighborhood, but you won't be able to run errands on foot. If you want an area that's more friendly to walkers, try to find a home in an area that has a walk score above 50. How Loud Is It? To learn about how loud your neighborhood will be, check the Sound Score. Below the Walk Score, you will see the Sound Score. The Sound Score tells you about the outside noise level at the address. The scale for the Sound Score is from 0 to 100. Zero is very loud, and 100 is very quiet. Getting a good night's rest, no matter who you are, is important, so if you are concerned about the sound near your home, it's best to choose a home with a sound score between 70 and 100. Is There Transit Nearby? To check on nearby transit for you and your family, check the Transit Score. You should see the Transit Score to the right of the Walk and Sound Score on the listing details page. The Transit Score tells you how close the address is to nearby public transit, and the scale is from 0 to 100. According to Walkscore.com, a score from 0-24 means Minimal Transit, 25-49 means Some Transit, 50-69 means Good Transit, 70-89 means Excellent Transit, and 90-100 means Rider's Paradise. Using public transit is not only an environmentally conscious decision, but it's a more affordable option than using a car every day. If you want to ensure that your new neighborhood has as many public transportation options as possible, pick a home that has a Transit Score above 50.  Is It Safe to Ride a Bike? To learn about how safe it is to ride bikes in the neighborhood, check out the Bike Score. The last part of the "Scores" section is the Bike Score section, located below Transit Score. According to Walkscore.com, the scale is 0 to 100. A score of 0-49 means Somewhat Bikeable, 50-69 means Bikeable, 70-89 means Very Bikeable, and 90-100 means Biker's Paradise. If you and your family enjoy riding your bikes together, you should look for a home with a Bike Score of at least 50 and above to ensure all of your rides are as safe as possible.   Streetlights Next, look around and see how many streetlights will be near your new home. At night, a few streetlights will help you and your family feel safer. If you see streetlights on your street but they don't come on at night, you might be required to pay a small monthly fee to your power company to keep the lights on. This sometimes occurs in areas outside the city limits. Crime Rates Finally, to get the best idea of the safety in your new neighborhood, you should check out the crime in the area. On City Protect, you can check out the nearest law enforcement agencies and see the incidents happening near the neighborhood. You can also sign up for incident updates to always be in the know and protect your family. Commute to Work Another big consideration you need to make before choosing your next neighborhood is your daily commute to work. You may find a neighborhood you love, but the commute may be over an hour to and from, and that commute could be even longer depending on traffic. Therefore, you should put the home and work addresses into Google Maps to see how long the commute will be. If the commute seems too far, you should pick a neighborhood closer to work.  Schools If you have kids, you'll likely want to check out the schools in the neighborhood you are considering. We have created the "Schools" section on every listing details page. The "Schools" section is below the "Request a Tour" section. Typically, each listing has four schools listed. With each school, you will learn its score out of 10, whether it's elementary, middle, or high school, if the school is public, private, or charter, and how long of a car ride or walk it is from that address. Homes.com gets their school's scores from greatschools.org. Greatschools.org is a website where you can search by the address or name of the school and check out the overall ranking of schools and their test scores. By learning the most about the schools in the area, you can be sure that you are sending your children to the best schools available. Amenities Nearby You might also want to consider the amenities you would like your neighborhood to have, whether it's a park, pool, gym, or restaurant. Determine what kind of amenities would be best for you and your family to enjoy. To find out more about your new neighborhood's amenities, scroll down to the "Parks and Recreation" section or the "Property Details" section on the listing details page. Having these amenities is fun for the whole family and a great resource when making new friends in your neighborhood.   Engagement Speaking of making new friends, you may want to consider the engagement of your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods host group events such as block parties around the holidays. If you and your family enjoy these types of activities, then try and find a neighborhood with a community that engages with one another. Most neighbors that have a lot of engagement usually have an HOA. An HOA is a homeowners' association that charges monthly fees to residents to maintain the neighborhood and keep engagement high. To learn more about HOAs, check out our article, What Is an HOA, or Homeowners Association? Hopefully now you know how to pick the safest and most comfortable neighborhood for you and your family. And if you ever get stuck, Homes.com is here with our Search feature to help you find the perfect home! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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10 Ways to Level-Up Your Real Estate Photography
When it comes to selling real estate, image is everything. The quality of your property photographs and 360-degree panoramas matters. And yet, many real estate agents fail to invest wisely in professional real estate photography. Or, worse, perhaps they don't invest at all. The truth is, real estate photography is not as easy as it might seem, and a lot is at stake when it comes to the quality of these images. Great photos and 3D virtual tours will help a real estate agent sell more properties, sell them faster, uphold a higher standard of branding and marketing, and get more listings in the future. Bad images, on the other hand, get you nowhere. If you are a real estate agent, make sure you know what is required to make a high-quality real estate photo or 3D virtual tour. Don't resign yourself to putting out amateurish images just because you don't have access to specialized software or super high-end camera gear. While those things help, believe it or not, you can still get your real estate photographs to look more professional with some thought and patience. Here are 10 tips to distinguish professional-level real estate photography and 3D virtual tours from amateur jobs: 1. Make Sure Your Horizon Line Is Level Make sure your horizon line (also known as eye level) is perfectly horizontal and level in your pictures. If the horizon line is crooked, your photograph will seem unbalanced and distorted. If you fail to level your horizon line, your audience will subconsciously think there is something wrong with your photograph. This is because as human beings, we have a natural built-in auto-correct in our brains so that horizons will always seem horizontal and level when we look at a room. While it might not be noticeable at first, crooked lines can cause a person to intuitively dislike your photograph. UNLEVELED LEVELED Think about it: when we hang pictures on the wall, we make sure they are level and straight. We intuitively feel like there is something wrong if the picture is hanging askew. Making sure your real estate photograph or 360° panorama is horizontally level is a basic step towards taking more professional-looking images. Here are two easy ways to make sure your horizons are level: A) LEVEL YOUR CAMERA By far, the easiest thing to do is to make sure your camera is level when shooting your photo. By leveling the camera, you can be certain that the horizon will be close to perfect. There are many economically priced spirit levels you can put on top of your camera to make sure it is level before you shoot. Some tripods and cameras even have built-in levels. B) ROTATE IN POST-PROCESSING SOFTWARE If, for whatever reason, you neglected to make sure your camera was level during your shoot, you can always straighten the horizon later, during the editing process. Almost any basic photo editing software will allow you to rotate your image so that the horizon levels up. Rotate by eye, or use a grid to assist you. 2. Correct Your Vertical Lines Now that we have addressed the issue of crooked horizontal lines, let's talk about vertical lines. Tilting the camera slightly up or down will cause the vertical lines in your image to converge. For a more professional looking image, be mindful and make sure your vertical lines are 100% perfectly vertical. Crooked vertical lines are more noticeable in still images than 360° panoramas, but the effect is still noticeable. Angled Down Level Angled Up Here are two ways you can make sure your vertical lines are straight: A) LEVEL YOUR CAMERA Once again, ensure your lines are straight by making sure your camera is level. Use a spirit level if you have to. It is advisable to use a tripod to make sure your camera is level, unless you have very steady hands. B) TRANSFORM THE IMAGE IN POST-PROCESSING SOFTWARE Fixing vertical lines in post-processing is a little tricky, but here is a method that will work using any image editing software, including Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. First, rotate the image so that a vertical line in the center of the image is as vertical as you can get it. Then, use the Transform tool to warp the image so that all the vertical lines on the edge of the frame are also vertical. This may cause areas of the image to have no data, so these areas will have to be filled or cropped. 3. Achieve Even Exposure A prominent characteristic of a professionally shot image is even exposure. What this means is that the image will appear to be consistently and evenly lit, with no areas of extreme shadow or brightness. Even exposure is achieved artificially, but it creates a natural effect, because the human eye and brain automatically adjust to perceive rooms as more evenly lit than they are. So the goal of the real estate photographer is to recreate this effect as much as possible, so that things feel authentic in the photograph. Think about it: when we hang pictures on the wall, we make sure they are level and straight. We intuitively feel like there is something wrong if the picture is hanging askew. Making sure your real estate photograph or 360° panorama is horizontally level is a basic step towards taking more professional-looking images. Here are three ways you can achieve an even exposure in your real estate photography: A) SHOOT IN RAW Your camera can capture more data than what is visible in the images it captures. This extra data can be recovered with post-processing software, by making shadows brighter and highlights darker. Be warned, however, that there is a limit to how much data from these areas can be recovered, so this strategy may not work in every circumstance. B) SHOOT HDR (HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE) Shooting HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a technique where you would capture multiple images of the same room, at varying exposures, and then combine these images to recreate a final image that has even exposure. C) ADD LIGHT BY USING A FLASH Using a flash will add light to the dark areas of your photo subject and reduce the difference between the bright and dark areas of the photo, for the desired effect of even exposure. 4. Attractive White Balance and Color Sometimes, objects that appear white in "real life" do not appear white in your photograph. White balance corrects this. The appearance of color in an image is highly subjective, and can be influenced by the device that captures the image. Ideally, as a general rule, the colors in your real estate images should be close to what you see in real life. TOO COOL BALANCED TOO WARM Here are two ways to get the white balance and colors right in your real estate photography: A) ADJUST WHITE BALANCE IN CAMERA Most cameras will automatically choose a white balance that is acceptable, and they usually do an accurate job. In any case, you can work around white balance issues by shooting RAW images because the white balance can be changed later in post processing with no ill effects. However, when shooting in JPG format, it's important to closely monitor the results achieved with automatic white balance, and manually intervene if required. There is less data in a JPG image, so the ability to adjust white balance later is reduced. This is usually done by selecting a preset white balance setting or by choosing specific temperature settings in your camera. B) ADJUST WHITE BALANCE IN POST-PROCESSING Adjusting white balance in post-processing can be achieved by using an Eyedropper tool, temperature and tint sliders, or by selecting an automatic adjustment. Be prepared for some trial and error to get the white balance right using these methods. White balance doesn't always have to be accurate. If an image has very warm lighting, it may be easier to change the colors so that it doesn't distract from the rest of the images by looking out of place. 5. Correct Lens Distortion and Vignetting The lens in your camera is a circular piece of glass that stretches light into a rectangle. This often leads to a slight circular distortion around the edges of your photo frame. In some cases, this distortion can be more dramatic, and quite jarring. In real estate photographs, this distortion is particularly unnerving, as it can result in curved walls or bent vertical lines – all of which are distracting to look at. Similarly, vignetting, or light fall-off, will sometimes occur at the corners of the frame. Here are two ways to fix lens distortion and remove vignettes: A) REMOVE AUTOMATICALLY IN CAMERA Your camera may remove distortion and vignettes automatically when shooting in JPG mode. Check your camera's menu and adjust your settings if this option is available to you. B) REMOVE IN POST-PROCESSING In most situations, you can correct lens distortion and vignetting in Photoshop or Light Room. If your lens doesn't have an automatic profile, you can do it manually and apply the same manual adjustment to all your subsequent images. 6. Remove Color Fringing Color fringing is the occurrence of magenta or green-colored lines that outline the border between light and dark in high contrast areas. This distracting effect typically happens around the edges of bright windows. Here are two easy ways to fix color fringing: A) REMOVE AUTOMATICALLY IN CAMERA Once again, when shooting JPGs, you may be able to have this undesired effect removed automatically within your camera. Set up your camera to remove it by finding the option in your camera's settings menu. B) REMOVE IN POST-PROCESSING You can automatically remove color fringing for most lenses, using Photoshop or Lightroom. If the automatic results are not to your liking, you can do it manually to any image. WITH FRINGING WITHOUT FRINGING 7. Choose Your Camera Angles Carefully Be mindful and put some thought into the camera angles. Every property will have unique challenges when choosing what angles work best, but as a general rule of thumb, the easiest camera angles that yield consistent results are shot from corner to corner. THINK ABOUT WHAT ANGLES WORK BEST Shooting a room from corner to corner yields a few advantages: You will be able to show more of the space in one photo, enabling you to communicate more with fewer images. Leading lines will draw the viewer into the image. Shooting this way makes it easy to get vertical lines vertical and a level horizon. An alternative way of capturing the space is to think of it like a grid. However, this is a more challenging approach, as it requires vertical and horizontal lines to be perfectly aligned. With this approach, your camera needs to be level and squared to the wall. If it is even just a few degrees off, the photos will look off. 8. Use a Wide Angle Field of View Using the wrong lens to take your real estate photograph is a telltale sign you're not a professional. The typical field of view for a professional real estate photograph is 90 degrees or greater. STANDARD LENS WIDE ANGLE LENS A wide field of view makes it possible to show more of the room in a single photo than would normally be possible with a typical camera. This can only be achieved by using an ultra-wide or wide angle lens that can meet or exceed a 90-degree field of view. 9. Stay in Focus At the risk of spelling out the obvious, make sure your real estate photos are in focus! Not only does having an out-of-focus image not represent the room you are trying to showcase well, it reflects poorly on the brand of you as a real estate agent. It implies laziness and a lack of professionalism and care. Keep in mind that focus is subjective to a point, depending on the size of the screen and the viewer's distance from the screen. Ensuring that you have captured the sharpest image possible will help you down the line, should you wish to enlarge and/or crop the image. Having a crisp image to begin with means you won't have to worry about losing focus if you need to recompose the picture in post-processing. Here are a few easy ways to avoid having fuzzy pictures: Use a tripod Set your camera to refuse to shoot if the subject is not in focus Set your camera to exposure delay Set your camera to single point auto focus. 10. Practice Good Composition We've discussed extensively on how to take a great photograph. However, it's important to acknowledge that what you photograph is just as important as how the photograph is taken. Every image should tell a story. When you are getting ready to shoot, think about what reaction or thoughts you want your audience to have upon viewing your image. What features of the property are you trying to highlight? What aspects of the space are you trying to convey in a positive light? Why are you even taking this photo? Make sure to capture a scene that identifies the space. Carefully frame your shot to avoid cutting off objects. Each shot should feel complete and self-explanatory. Real estate photographs that look like they were shot by a professional photographer sell more properties, and sell them quicker. Amateurish shots will hurt a real estate agent's bottom line. With just some extra thought and care, you can take your real estate photography to the next level! To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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What Are the Best Tips for Successfully Nurturing Real Estate Leads?
Whether from your website, social media, or even yard signs, not all the leads you get will be ready to move forward right away. In addition to the time you need to prepare their listing, sellers may need to make needed repairs and renovations and properly stage their home. Buyers might still need to get preapproval, identify their ideal neighborhood or, in times like these, adjust their expectations and budgets to find the right home for them. None of this can happen overnight. In fact, it can take a long time. According to some industry experts, real estate leads can incubate from anywhere to six to 24 months. It's important to think of leads like seeds: if you plant them regularly and nurture them with care, you'll have a steady stream of sales down the road. But what are the best ways to nurture real estate leads? Regular, reliable, relevant touchpoints A touchpoint is any interaction you have with your leads. Once they reach out to you by phone, email, or through your website (the first touchpoint), follow-up touchpoints are important to keep leads warm. Three factors are key: Regularity We are, by nature, a little forgetful. To be memorable, you actually need to remind your leads you're there. By following up regularly—but unobtrusively, such as by email—your name and brand will stay top of mind, so your leads won't end up working with someone else after you've put in all the work to cultivate them. Reliability Homebuyers and sellers usually have a lot of questions about the process. After all, it's one of the biggest steps and transactions most people undertake in their lives. They must trust you as a professional, and that you're providing reliable information. Brand your communications consistently, use proper spelling and grammar, and share useful facts and data. Relevance We're bombarded with information all day long. If your touchpoints don't speak to your leads' unique concerns and interests or aren't relevant to where they are in the sales cycle, they'll quickly tune out. To avoid this, provide the information your leads can really use: For Sellers: Staging tips, neighborhood reports, recent sales comps, and more. For Buyers: Preapproval and lending information, recommended properties, tips for picking a good inspector, or checklists to bring to showings. Tailored nurture campaigns Speaking of relevance, your leads should be plugged into tailored campaigns that account for much more than just whether they're a buyer or seller. Are they a first-time buyer, and therefore need more support? Are they a seasoned property investor or home flipper that needs a little less handholding? These two different profiles should not be receiving the same information, and your lead nurture strategy and tools need to provide the flexibility to speak to both. Customizable content Out-of-the-box content sometimes just won't cut it. A library of lead nurture content is important and can save you lots of time, but it won't reach its full potential if you can't customize it. No one wants to receive canned, impersonal emails, so make sure your communications have the human touch. At a minimum, you need to be able to address your leads by name and send content that is specific to their area and budget. The more customization, the better. Personalization tokens are an easy way to do this, and you need the ability to write and add your own messages to your campaigns. Smart automation You're busy! Manually tracking and completing these tasks could be a full-time job, but we understand that busy brokers and agents have a lot of other things to worry about. This is where smart automation comes in. Smart automation allows you to put lead nurturing on autopilot, so you intervene only when you can add value, like answering a specific question, hopping on the phone, or scheduling a meeting. Less tedium, more transactions! Tracking Finally, you need to be able to track your leads effectively. How many have you received? How many have been actioned? How many are in a specific campaign? How many have gone cold? With the right tracking tools, you can sort leads by where they are (or aren't) in your lead nurture workflow and act accordingly. Constellation1 CRM provides robust and granular lead nurture capabilities. Learn more here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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