Staying Organized!

Staying organized during a busy season can be daunting, or even impossible, for some. Here are some great ways to cut down on the clutter and keep your clients’ files controlled.

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In The Office

  • Before you file anything, take a real look at what you’re putting away. Many of us stack papers and pile things up that we may never need or look at again. Realtor.org recommends that you “organize those you must keep so they correspond with how you transact business. For instance, arrange papers by prospect or neighborhood. Make one file each for maps, expense reports, and legal documents.”
  • Use different colors for folders or tabs to indicate the types of files in your system. And of course, make sure everything is clearly labeled for easy retrieval.
  • If something can be scanned and saved electronically – do it. Keep it all safe in a cloud-based system like Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar.
  • Finally, use a quiet day to organize the paperwork and do it frequently to avoid getting overwhelmed.

On The Road

  • Keep your papers in a plastic file case to make things easier to tote so that your important documents won’t be left behind, damaged by rain, ruined by food, etc.
  • Find a container that you can easily store on the floor of the backseat to keep the things you often need, like an umbrella, clipboard, measuring tape, air fresheners, etc. By keeping it all in one handy container, you’ll be able to carry things easily into the house and unload at your own office or home.

Helpful Apps

  • Apps like Everlance and MileIQ will track your mileage automatically so you’ll have it at your fingertips at tax time.
  • Circle Back will clean and complete contact information and merge duplicates so that your list can stay up to date.
  • If you’re looking to simplify your social media pursuits, Pocket is an easy to use bookmark tool that helps you to save content and articles you find on the web to your “pocket,” making it much easier to access (and remember) for your blog or newsletters later.

 

What tools do you use to keep your business in order? We’d love to hear about them!

Using LinkedIn to Boost Your Real Estate Business

In this social-media-saturated world, chances are you have a Facebook page. You probably even have a Facebook business page, and a Twitter account. You may even have an Instagram if you’re really in the know. But what does your LinkedIn page look like? LinkedIn seems to be a lost resource for many real estate agents. That might be because of the perception that it’s used mostly by people looking for employment opportunities. This is not the case and, hopefully, by using some of the tips below, you’ll grow your business by using LinkedIn well.

LinkedIn may have a reputation as a job search site, but you should consider it as a 24/7 networking event for business professionals. Even better, it’s an event that will give you time to speak your mind, tell others about what you do, and make the case for what makes you better than your competition.

Step One: Look The Part

You wouldn’t ever arrive at a networking event dressed casually. Make sure your picture is recent, professionally taken, and cropped well. Snapshots and family photos have no place here – your profile picture makes a difference.

Step Two: Complete Your Information

You’d never hand someone an outdated business card. Make sure that your profile information is complete. Your summary, current role, and previous positions should be detailed and written in the first person. LinkedIn, like all social media, is conversational. Consider recording yourself speaking about who you are and what you do, then transcribe it to make sure it truly “sounds” like you. People on LinkedIn are interested in your past experience, but if you have a gap in employment, irrelevant jobs in your history, or a job you only took for a few months, it’s okay to omit the information. It’s more beneficial to see the positions that helped you become the amazing professional you are today.

Step Three: Connect

In the world of LinkedIn, connecting with acquaintances, or even people you’d like to get to know better, doesn’t have the creepiness factor that Facebook does. Growing your network is important (we’ll get more into this in Step Five). When you send or accept a connection request, send along a quick note. The note can be as simple as, “It was great meeting you last week” or “I really admire you and I’d love to connect.” Again, at a live networking event, you’d want to reach out to others. Standing on the sidelines won’t help you grow your business.

Step Four: Interact

LinkedIn gives you lots of opportunities to interact with others. You can comment on articles and updates, congratulate colleagues on promotions, new positions, work anniversaries, wish people a happy birthday, etc. All of these instances give you an opportunity to send a personal note. Leave business out of it and send your genuine well-wishes. You’ll be happy to reinforce the connection and the recipient will be appreciative of a sincere message without a sales piece.

Step Five: Publish

Now that you’ve got a strong audience (thanks, Step Three!), you’ll want to remind them that you’re there. By publishing links to articles, quotes, and status updates, your network will recognize you as an authority in your field.

 


SOURCES AND FURTHER READING:

So You’re On LinkedIn – Now What?
9 Effortless Ways to Use LinkedIn to Generate Real Estate Leads
How to Use LinkedIn for Real Estate Leads

Open House Tips from Retail Psychology

Did you know that when stores pipe in a vanilla scent, customers are more likely to impulse buy? When preparing an Open House, a vanilla scent may lure buyers into considering the property, but impulsive decisions don’t often end well for either party. Likewise, the smell of cleaning products, particularly orange scented products, gives consumers a feeling generosity.  The clean, orange smell may help your potential buyers see the value of a home.

There are so many things that influence the way we buy. Retail stores have used psychological triggers to their advantage for years. And some of those same tips may help you sell more quickly!

SCENT

As stated above, vanilla scents lead to more impulse purchases, while clean scents lead to generosity. And of course, most of us have heard that the scent of baking bread, or even bacon, gives many people a feeling of “Home Sweet Home”. So, for your next open house, ditch the vanilla candle and try something new!

COLOR

Our minds are easily provoked by color, which is why color psychology should be considered when staging or even repainting a home to sell.

Red – Red gives consumers a sense of urgency and encourages people to take action quickly.

Blue – Blue gives us feelings of trust and security. It may be the perfect choice for a great home in a less-than-ideal neighborhood.

Green – Green is calming and soothing and linked to growth and wealth.

Black – Black evokes class and sophistication, used most frequently when marketing luxury items.

MUSIC

If you’re hoping your potential buyers will linger and take their time as they walk through an open house, the right music can help. Music with a fast tempo increases heart rate and encourages us to move quickly. Conversely, a slower tempo helps us slow down and take our time.

Genre can make a difference as well. Consumers listening to classical music in a retail environment are more inclined to spend their money on luxury items. Customers listening to Top-40 pop music usually make smaller and cheaper purchases.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

Using Colors and Shapes to Convert Shoppers
6 Psychological Triggers that Win Sales
Smell Manipulation
Sight, Smell and Sound and Consumer Behavior

 

Marketing Tips for Fall

Autumn is on its way! In Texas, that means more football than falling leaves, but there’s still a distinct feeling in the air throughout the fall months, and with some of the ideas below, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to lead generation.

Get Involved

There’s always something to do in the fall months. From high school athletics to community festivals, there are wonderful opportunities for sponsorship and involvement. Go a step further than placing that ad in the football program and volunteer your time. It will give you a chance to talk to people instead of just hoping your ad catches someone’s eye.

Give Back

This is a great time to sponsor a food or clothing drive for the less fortunate. Partner with a local business and spend a day collecting items for those in need. Bring along some refreshments to hand out to your new friends.

Refer Your Fall and Winter Weather Vendors

Remind your mailing list about your favorite gutter cleaners or lawn clean up crew. As your clients prepare their homes for colder weather, you’ll be able to keep yourself in the top of their mind by helping them find good help quickly.

Help Your Clients Prepare

Create a Winter Weather Prep checklist or ebook that visitors to your site can download by signing up for your email list. The information will be useful, and you’ll be able to keep their attention with future emails.

Beat Them to the Punch

Every business sends Christmas greetings, and most homes are so inundated with cards that promotional mailing gets completely overlooked. Get a step ahead by sending a Thanksgiving card and recipe to your mailing list!

Big Dates

There are great dates to take advantage of during the fall season that may help you reach a new audience. Remind your constituents of these dates or plan special promotions around them.

October 3 – Rosh Hashanah
October 10 – Columbus Day
October 12 – Yom Kippur
October 31 – Halloween
November 6 – Daylight Savings Time Ends
November 8 – Election Day
November 11 – Veterans Day
November 24 – Thanksgiving
Sources and Further Reading:
Fall Real Estate Tips
20 Fresh Fall Ideas for Generating More Leads
3 Fall Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents

 

Fall 2016 Social Media Trends for Business

There’s no question that social media plays a bigger part in business every day, with new ideas, trends, and platforms appearing constantly. Here are some recent trends that are making an impact on businesses using social media to reach their audience.

Facebook’s Members Keep Growing, But Instagram May Offer More Opportunity

As most of us have noticed, Facebook has taken over the world. Almost everyone you know has a Facebook page and its numbers and revenue just keep growing. However, when it comes to engaging users Instagram is king of the castle. User interaction on Instagram is far greater than Facebook in both comments and likes (10x greater, in fact). This is making it easier to determine how well your social media efforts are paying off. If you aren’t using Instagram yet, consider it’s benefits: it’s user-friendly, clean, growing in popularity, and extremely visual (great for real estate). In a 2016 report, Instagram had 28% of adult internet users and 24% of the entire population. And in case you’re thinking it’s just for kids, the same report stated that 44% of users were over the age of 30.

Interactions Are Decreasing

Across all social media platforms, engagement is decreasing. Facebook’s interactions alone have taken an 8.76% hit. This doesn’t always mean that your message isn’t being received. However, some platforms are making adjustments to their algorithms, making business page posts work harder to get to a user’s front page without advertising. The good news is that advertising on social media is still more affordable than many other forms of advertisement. The bad news is that costs may continue to climb.

Videos Reign

Video popularity keeps growing. And live videos are more commonplace than ever. Many platforms have live video options, and there are even some platforms that focus solely on live feeds, like Periscope.  Considering these video statistics from Facebook: engagement on videos is 135% higher than on posts and images and on average, users watch a live video 3 minutes longer than they’d spend on a video that wasn’t live.

 


Sources and Further Reading:
https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/marketing/the-top-10-stats-from-2016-that-will-jumpstart-your-social-media-marketing-strategy/
http://trackmaven.com/blog/2016/07/social-media-marketing-strategy-report/

The Demographics of Social Media Users


http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/top-5-facebook-video-statistics-2016-infographic

Marketing To Senior Citizens

In recent years, more real estate professionals are considering expansion into the real estate market. And with over 20% of the population in the 50+ age range, marketing to seniors could mean a big boost to your business. As with any prospective client, your strategy and consistency need to be on point. If you’re looking to market yourself to an older clientele, consider the following advice.

Don’t Give Up On The Internet

The idea that Facebook is out of the question for grandparents will lead you in the wrong direction! In fact, 26% of Facebook users are 50 or older, with half of those being older than 60. Even more importantly, when you are marketing to senior citizens, you may want to be reaching their children, and another 16% of Facebook users are ages 40-49. Consider sponsored posts and ads to build your following and emphasize your interest in helping the older generation buy and sell.

But Mail Is Still Your Friend

Research shows that about half of senior citizens prefer television and print media to receive their news and information. Direct mail listings will allow you to reach your target demographic and give your prospective clients information on the retirement neighborhoods and communities in their specific area. Aside from bulk mail, consider purchasing an ad in the newspaper or a magazine that targets seniors.

Not Everyone Is Downsizing

While some older clients may be looking to downsize their home or to move into a retirement community, some are looking to maintain the home and lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. Others may want to keep enough space in their home for children and grandchildren who come to visit.

Anticipate The Emotions

There are lots of reasons senior citizens may want to move out of their home, and not all of them are happy. Some may be dealing with loss of pride and independence as they move into assisted living, some may be moving after the death of a spouse, and some may be moving at the insistence of adult children. If an adult child is involved, the parent may feel like they are left out of the decision, so make sure to include them in conversation. The process may not be an easy one, so offer kindness, sensitivity, and patience.

 

 

 

SOURCES:
http://www.seniorlivingmag.com/articles/2013/07/why-todays-seniors-are-buying-real-estate
http://themembersedge.blogs.realtor.org/2012/07/11/tips-for-realtors-specializing-in-real-estate-for-senior-citizens/
http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/64529/real_estate/marketing_to_seniors_in_the_real_estate_market.html

 

The Resource: September 2016

We’re happy to share some great articles with you this month. Please feel free to pass these along to clients, friends and family.

Fall Friendly Tips

Around The House

Food

Buying And Selling

Great Ideas