Using LinkedIn as a Lead Generation Tool

How LinkedIn can generate new business leads.

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is an online networking community created to connect friends,
colleagues, clients and potential new customers.  Here are some ideas for using LinkedIn for lead
generation:

Connect with all new relationships — Every time you enter new leads into your database system,
send these same people a LinkedIn invitation.  Once you are connected, you have access to the
person’s profile, posts, connection list,  joined groups, and employment history.  This helps you
learn more about them, which gives you a foundation on which to maintain a relationship.

Become an authority by posting value-added content — LinkedIn lets you post updates
with links or attachments.  This is a great place to post important and relevant articles.  If someone
reads it,  and wants to learn more, they can easily contact you.  They can also share the content so
that their connections see your post and expand your reach.

Answer questions that target your expertise — LinkedIn has a section where members ask
questions and you can post answers.  Monitor this section for opportunities to share your expertise
and gain new connections. Don’t self-promote.  Use the opportunity to make it all about solving
your potential customer’s problems, it is all about them.  

Join groups and be active — This is another way to monitor customer’s needs and give input
that could inspire people to connect with you or visit your profile.  Remember business-to business lead generation, one good business connection can open an entirely new group of prospects.  BNI and other networking Groups are a great place to find referral partners.

Summary
• Make sure your LinkedIn profile targets your audience and shows that you know how to
solve their problems and your profile is 100% complete with a good picture.  
• Post value-added content that helps readers solve problems

Stop Arguments

by Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.

Ever found yourself in the middle of a heated debate with someone and wish you could turn it into something more productive? Here are three simple things you can do to stop any argument in its tracks

Do you need to stop arguments? These three steps will turn almost any argument into a productive discussion in less than five minutes.

1. Go to the bathroom. When you are in the throes of an argument or difficult discussion, just say, “I really want to have this conversation, but first, please excuse me I must go to the bathroom.” Interrupting the argument will give each of you a chance to cool down and collect your thoughts.If you are on the telephone, say “Excuse me for a moment, I have to handle a call on the other line.” If you are on a cell phone, break the connection in the middle of one of your own sentences. Call back a few minutes later and apologize for being cut off.

Stop Arguments

2. Use your break time to think. Decide what you really want to accomplish by turning the argument into a discussion. Get very clear about your own objectives.

Stop Arguments

3. Return to the conversation, summarize the argument so far, and then ask politely what the other person wants the outcome of the conversation to be.

These steps work because they give each of you a chance to think instead of react to what has been happening. And neither of you needs to lose face or look weak or act disrespectfully.

When you approach any conversation with your goal in mind, you are far more likely to achieve it than you are in the heat of an argument. When you ask others their goals, they too must think about what they want to accomplish.

When you create a productive discussion, you create mutual respect and the opportunity for excellent future relationships.

 The key is to allow your adrenaline to stay low and your wisdom to stay high, don’t allow it to become personal.  

Want to Stop Procrastinating?

Here are 10 Ways to Do It!

Procrastination robs you of your productivity and hurts your credibility. Stop putting off the inevitable and get it of the way with these 10 tips for pushing past procrastination

People usually procrastinate to avoid a task that’s unpleasant or daunting. Everyone does it. But you know it’s time to stop putting the task aside and get on with it when procrastination starts to interfere with your work performance. Perhaps it’s causing you to feel worried, fearful, and stressed-out, or perhaps your behavior is causing others to feel anxious because your holding up progress.
Don’t let things get that far. Instead, try these 10 ways to get out of the quicksand of procrastination. When you do, you’ll enjoy improved productivity, enhanced mood, less stress, better coworker relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and restored reputation at work as a “doer.”

1. Identify the challenge.

Write down the specific task you’ve been putting off. For example, “I have to convert all of my client contacts and notes into the new file-sharing software system and learn how to navigate its tools and folders.” Writing down the challenge helps you focus on it.

2. Pinpoint the underlying emotions.

This step helps you see the act of dragging your heels for what it truly is: an emotional reaction.
What’s preventing you from diving in to this task? It’s typically one or more of three core emotions. Perhaps, to use the above example, you’re intimidated by all the new functions you’ll have to learn (fear). Or you’re resentful about having to change when the old system worked perfectly well (anger). Or you’re bummed that you’re just not tech savvy (sadness).

3. Express and release the emotions.

Take some time in private to express those emotions constructively. By crying to express sadness, punching or yelling into a pillow or stomping around to release the anger, or doing exaggerated shivering for the fear, you give yourself permission to express the emotion. The emotional energy that’s been holding you back will get released and you won’t feel stuck. It’s like letting steam out of a pressure cooker.

4. Define your goal.

Good planning is the foundation of success for most any project. It’s helpful to write it down so you have it for ready reference. Start by getting clear on your goal. Your goal is your beacon to keep you on track in treacherous waters. For example, “I want to get good at this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an impediment to my progress.” Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you on track and motivated.

4. Define your goal.

Good planning is the foundation of success for most any project. It’s helpful to write it down so you have it for ready reference. Start by getting clear on your goal. Your goal is your beacon to keep you on track in treacherous waters. For example, “I want to get good at this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an impediment to my progress.” Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you on track and motivated.

5. Neutralize sabotaging chatter with “truths.”

Identify sabotaging thoughts that are hanging in the wings, ready to pounce in a weak moment, then come up with a couple of truths to contradict them. For example, if you continually tell yourself “I’ll never be able to learn all this,” you might say to yourself, “I can do this” or “If others can learn this, so can I.” That’s a plain and simple truth. To neutralize your frustration at having to do this task, you might say, “I’m doing this because I want to be a team player” or “My boss thinks I’m the best person to do this.”

6. Break the task into small, doable steps.

You’ve envisioned the goal, dealt with what’s been holding you back, and fixed your destructive thinking. Completing the task requires deciding when you’ll get started and figuring out a doable step-by-step game plan. Write it down, schedule it, and commit to it. Then go on a mental journey, plotting out each part of the task, including details such as whom you will talk with and what about, where and when you’ll be working, and how long you expect each part to take.

7. Be ready for roadblocks.

Once you’ve created a game plan, step back and imagine challenges and obstacles that are likely to pop up along the way. For example, other projects with shorter deadlines might land on your desk. How will you tackle such challenges in order to keep moving forward with the big task at hand? For every such scenario, have a tactic ready for sticking to your original plan. You may also want to find a mentor or supporter whom with whom you can consult on a regular basis.

8. Take the leap.

With all this preparation, it’s time to tackle the task you’ve put off. Before you do, acknowledge your emotions–whether it’s anger, fear, or sadness. Take just a minute or two and release the pent-up emotion in a physical and constructive way. Without the emotional energy dragging you down, you’ll feel prepared to take the leap and be amazed how easy it is as you just focus on one step at a time.

9. Fight your resistance.

As you move through the task, you’re likely to meet with resistance in the form of excuses, bad moods, and discouragement. Meet resistance with tenacity and stubbornness, and continue to deal with any emotions that surface. Say to yourself, “I can do this. I’ll feel better when I handle this.” Say it over and over until it’s set in your mind. Any time you feel discouraged or are tempted to procrastinate, refocus on the goal.

10. Focus on the upside.

Getting through a daunting task is incredibly satisfying. Praise each little step along the way. Remind yourself at every step that you’ll feel incredibly virtuous when you get the task off your plate once and for all. Accomplishing what you’re avoiding will simplify your work life. You’ll feel more energetic. You’ll sleep better at night.

Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years working with clients as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the subject of her award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.Learn more at www.attitudereconstruction.com.

http://worksmartbesmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/motivation.jpg

Want to Stop Procrastinating?

Here are 10 Ways to Do It!

Procrastination robs you of your productivity and hurts your credibility. Stop putting off the inevitable and get it of the way with these 10 tips for pushing past procrastination

People usually procrastinate to avoid a task that’s unpleasant or daunting. Everyone does it. But you know it’s time to stop putting the task aside and get on with it when procrastination starts to interfere with your work performance. Perhaps it’s causing you to feel worried, fearful, and stressed-out, or perhaps your behavior is causing others to feel anxious because your holding up progress.
Don’t let things get that far. Instead, try these 10 ways to get out of the quicksand of procrastination. When you do, you’ll enjoy improved productivity, enhanced mood, less stress, better coworker relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and restored reputation at work as a “doer.”

1. Identify the challenge.

Write down the specific task you’ve been putting off. For example, “I have to convert all of my client contacts and notes into the new file-sharing software system and learn how to navigate its tools and folders.” Writing down the challenge helps you focus on it.

2. Pinpoint the underlying emotions.

This step helps you see the act of dragging your heels for what it truly is: an emotional reaction.
What’s preventing you from diving in to this task? It’s typically one or more of three core emotions. Perhaps, to use the above example, you’re intimidated by all the new functions you’ll have to learn (fear). Or you’re resentful about having to change when the old system worked perfectly well (anger). Or you’re bummed that you’re just not tech savvy (sadness).

3. Express and release the emotions.

Take some time in private to express those emotions constructively. By crying to express sadness, punching or yelling into a pillow or stomping around to release the anger, or doing exaggerated shivering for the fear, you give yourself permission to express the emotion. The emotional energy that’s been holding you back will get released and you won’t feel stuck. It’s like letting steam out of a pressure cooker.

4. Define your goal.

Good planning is the foundation of success for most any project. It’s helpful to write it down so you have it for ready reference. Start by getting clear on your goal. Your goal is your beacon to keep you on track in treacherous waters. For example, “I want to get good at this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an impediment to my progress.” Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you on track and motivated.

4. Define your goal.

Good planning is the foundation of success for most any project. It’s helpful to write it down so you have it for ready reference. Start by getting clear on your goal. Your goal is your beacon to keep you on track in treacherous waters. For example, “I want to get good at this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an impediment to my progress.” Having a clear and precise idea of your goal will keep you on track and motivated.

5. Neutralize sabotaging chatter with “truths.”

Identify sabotaging thoughts that are hanging in the wings, ready to pounce in a weak moment, then come up with a couple of truths to contradict them. For example, if you continually tell yourself “I’ll never be able to learn all this,” you might say to yourself, “I can do this” or “If others can learn this, so can I.” That’s a plain and simple truth. To neutralize your frustration at having to do this task, you might say, “I’m doing this because I want to be a team player” or “My boss thinks I’m the best person to do this.”

6. Break the task into small, doable steps.

You’ve envisioned the goal, dealt with what’s been holding you back, and fixed your destructive thinking. Completing the task requires deciding when you’ll get started and figuring out a doable step-by-step game plan. Write it down, schedule it, and commit to it. Then go on a mental journey, plotting out each part of the task, including details such as whom you will talk with and what about, where and when you’ll be working, and how long you expect each part to take.

7. Be ready for roadblocks.

Once you’ve created a game plan, step back and imagine challenges and obstacles that are likely to pop up along the way. For example, other projects with shorter deadlines might land on your desk. How will you tackle such challenges in order to keep moving forward with the big task at hand? For every such scenario, have a tactic ready for sticking to your original plan. You may also want to find a mentor or supporter whom with whom you can consult on a regular basis.

8. Take the leap.

With all this preparation, it’s time to tackle the task you’ve put off. Before you do, acknowledge your emotions–whether it’s anger, fear, or sadness. Take just a minute or two and release the pent-up emotion in a physical and constructive way. Without the emotional energy dragging you down, you’ll feel prepared to take the leap and be amazed how easy it is as you just focus on one step at a time.

9. Fight your resistance.

As you move through the task, you’re likely to meet with resistance in the form of excuses, bad moods, and discouragement. Meet resistance with tenacity and stubbornness, and continue to deal with any emotions that surface. Say to yourself, “I can do this. I’ll feel better when I handle this.” Say it over and over until it’s set in your mind. Any time you feel discouraged or are tempted to procrastinate, refocus on the goal.

10. Focus on the upside.

Getting through a daunting task is incredibly satisfying. Praise each little step along the way. Remind yourself at every step that you’ll feel incredibly virtuous when you get the task off your plate once and for all. Accomplishing what you’re avoiding will simplify your work life. You’ll feel more energetic. You’ll sleep better at night.

Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years working with clients as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the subject of her award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.Learn more at www.attitudereconstruction.com.

http://worksmartbesmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/motivation.jpg

http://worksmartbesmart.com/2451/

Frequently we are asked “what did I do wrong” when one of our Members’ ads gets Flagged on Craigslist.  The first and most important note about Flagging is that Craigslist is NOT the one flagging your ads, they don’t flag ads.  Below we have re-printed directly from Craigslist, their page on Flagging.  The key point made is USERS flag ads, and there are not any Craigslist police to regulate when and why people flag ads.  Having had many, many ads flags I have learned some people are just Flaggers and Flag your ads for their own reasons, the solution is to post again.  The upside is when you are flagged, you know your ad was active and seen by many others before the Flagger came along.

Happy posting and keep on putting those ads out there.

 

Craigslist Flagging Page

craigslist users enjoy free and nearly instantaneous self-publishing of tens of millions of postings each month, subject only to the CL Terms of Use and posting guidelines.

Users may flag postings they believe to be in violation of craigslist guidelines, by clicking on one of the flagging links at the upper right corner of each posting:

  • miscategorized – wrong category/site, discusses another ad, otherwise misplaced
  • prohibited – violates craigslist Terms of Use or other posted guidelines
  • spam/overpost – posted too frequently, in multiple cities/categories, or is too commercial

Free classified ads sufficiently flagged are subject to automated removal.

Forums postings and paid classified ads sufficiently flagged are subject to further review.

Postings may also be flagged for removal by CL staff or automated systems.

Funny or memorable postings may be positively flagged, for inclusion in “best of craigslist“.

Millions of ads are removed through flagging each month, of which the overwhelming majority are in violation of the Terms of Use and/or posting guidelines.

Of course no moderation system is perfect, and a small percentage of ads removed by flagging are compliant.

Flagged postings that meet craigslist guidelines and Terms of Use may be reposted, reworded as necessary.

For help from CL users as to why your ad may have been flagged, visit our flag help forum and provide detailed information about your posting to the forum participants.

10 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

Image of man on headset.There’s plenty of wisdom in this article on Entrepreneur.com about the ways you can leverage your time and lower your stress with virtual assistants.

Allow us to play virtual assistant and give you a heads-up on how the most successful out there are clearing their calendar of humdrum grunt work:

1. Bookkeeping: ”Many small businesses choose to share their bookkeeping systems with their virtual assistants who can then follow up on tasks such as outstanding invoices or unpaid bills.”

2. Online research: ”Common requests include finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and vetting potential employees or business contacts.”

3. Database entries: ”Whether it’s a slew of new business cards picked up at a conference or updated information for existing contacts, keeping databases current is a suitable task for virtual assistants.”

4. Data presentations: ”Turning raw data into a clear PowerPoint presentation or summarizing research findings in a Word document can be a huge timesaver.”

5. Managing email: ”Some virtual assistants will filter your most important emails and respond to the rest on your behalf.”

6. Social tasks (cards, thank you notes…)

7. Travel research: ”A great resource for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out trip itineraries both for business and pleasure.”

8. Scheduling: ”Tasks include dealing with meeting invitations from others, scheduling appointments with clients and helping to plan events.”

9. Chasing new business: ”Prioritizing potential business opportunities can be challenging, but virtual assistants can help with the process.”

10. Industry knowledge preparation: ”With limited time to keep up with industry news, some small businesses have turned to virtual assistants to keep tabs on the most important happenings.”

For a detailed look at each of these 10 areas, read the entire article on Entrepreneur.com:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225318

http://worksmartbesmart.com/2447/

It’s that time of the year again to focus on your “B.U.T.” – or Best Use of Time. It is amazing to me how many people will track their marketing dollars from the previous 12 months to see what actually worked and what didn’t, but won’t invest the energy to track their most invaluable resource of all… their time.

Time is your most valuable resource because it is the only thing that you can’t get back. If I lose money, I can gain it back. If I lose time, it is gone forever. We only get a certain amount of it. Think about that for a second – but not too long because you don’t want to waste any time.

Your best use of time has been the activities that you have done that have brought you the greatest return. Not just from a profit standpoint, but also from the perspective of what has brought you the most joy and peace in the last 12 months. I think we all can agree that we operate more often at our peak potential when everything seems to be in order in our personal lives as well.

That is why it is important to understand that, just like our cars need to be refuled and have the occasional tune up, we too need the same kind of maintenance if we expect to get the most out of ourselves. That may mean more time with your children or spouse, a renewed commitment to exercise or just time alone to read or pray on a regular basis. For each person it may be different.

Having said this I recommend that you write down your top four best uses of time from the last year and instead of trying to implement 10 new strategies or tools into your business – just get better at what you already do well and scale those!

I wrote last week about how your sphere of influence doesn’t make you money. It is actually all of the things that you did or continue to do that build your sphere of influence that make you money. The key is not to reinvent the wheel or completely change your business model. The key is to figure out what you are already doing well, what are your top four best uses of time are and increase your efforts in those areas in the coming year – and at least one of your best uses of time should have nothing to do with your profits in business at all!

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises

When you get a “Failed Delivery” email from MAILER-DAEMON or a Mail Delivery Subsystem, it means a message you sent was undeliverable, and has been “bounced” back to you.

Bounced messages normally consist of two parts:
The first part contains the reason for the bounce.
The second part contains your original message. That’s convenient, because Failed Deliveries usually happen when you mis-typed a person’s email address. If that’s the case, you can simply copy and paste your message from this second part, and re-send it.

Spelling
Double-check the spelling of the address you entered. A single incorrect letter or number will cause a failed delivery.

Incorrect Domain
If the person to whom you’re trying to send an email uses Yahoo! Mail under a domain other than .com (for example, yahoo.au or yahoo.com.sg), ensure that you’ve entered that domain correctly. Email addresses that incorrectly end with @yahoo.com won’t automatically be re-routed to the country you’re hoping to reach.
This error accounts for many failed deliveries.

Their Account
If you’ve verified the address and you continue to receive failed delivery messages, the other person’s account could be having problems, or a filter on their end could be blocking your messages.

Over quota
If the second part of a “Failed Delivery” message says,
“This user is over quota”
then your recipient has used up all the space in their email account. Call and ask them to delete some emails so your message can get through! :o)

 

 

by Anne Bachrach

The only way to get more time in your day is to work faster or work smarter. Most of us are already working as fast as we can without sacrificing quality. These tips for eliminating time-wasting habits can help you work smarter.

It seems like the world is running at such an accelerated speed that we barely have any time to catch our breath. We start the day running out the door at full tilt; only keep going until we crash into bed from exhaustion. Then we get up and do it all over again day after day. The weekends don’t seem to offer much relief either, because we have soccer practice, ballet recitals and business social events. While most of us would consider ourselves effective time managers, few of us actually are.

We’re constantly on the go and can accomplish a lot in one day, so we must be effective time managers, right? Wrong.

In the ever increasing rat race that we run to impress our boss and maintain job security (or turn

business profits so we can pay ourselves), all the while making time for our family; we find ourselves suffering from sheer exhaustion trying to create more hours in the day so we can get everything done we need to do. At some point, you have to concentrate on only what’s important to your success and sanity. It’s a process that all successful business owners and professionals find themselves having to learn, in order to focus their energy on the most important things. All the miscellaneous stuff that consumes your time with little or no return eventually must be eliminated from your schedule.

The bottom line is that anyone who has a demanding career or runs their own business has to practice excellent time management, effective delegation and learning to say the word, “No.” It’s just not possible to maintain the simple life while achieving a high level of success. And with today’s technology, it’s harder to hide when you need a break. Your email inbox is dinging, your cell phone is ringing and your spouse is trying to call you on the car phone because your cell line is busy. It is at this point that you have to filter the input so you can begin to regain control over your life. As good as you think you may be with your time management; there are always “time-wasters” that can be eliminated from your daily life. Let’s review some practical tips:

Time-Wasters Tip #1

Regarding your work email – how much time do you spend typing and replying to emails each day? More than an hour? Two? Four or more? Now, ask yourself how much of your time is spent on essential emails? And by essential emails I mean, emails that are directly related to the execution and completion of your job. Think about how many emails you receive that do not require your response and think about the percentage of non-essential emails you could eliminate from your inbox each day. It is estimated that only 10% to 20% of emails that most people get at work each day require their attention and are essential to their job. Even if you estimate that 50% of the emails you receive are considered essential that stills leaves 50% that are time-wasters.

If you are spending the majority of your time on non-essential email, do whatever you can do to either delegate or eliminate needless email. You could have an assistant filter your emails to eliminate time spent on non-essential emails or you send a polite request to your email contacts to be removed from non-essential bulk emails lists. The goal is to spend as close to 100% of your time devoted to essential email only.

This goes for personal email as well. If you are spending valuable time scanning chain, spam and video of the week emails – it’s time to re-prioritize. Your time would be better spent in the gym – working – or with your family. It’s OK to ask your friends to remove you from their bulk email list, and a courteous request will go a long way.

Time-Wasters Tip #2

Another popular time-waster is watching TV. This is one of the hardest habits to break – but there is simply much more effective ways to spend your time. Unless you’re on vacation, turn the TV off. Besides, removing the exposure to devastating and negative news will greatly benefit your outlook on life and help you sleep better at night. Don’t believe me?

Try it for a week and see if you notice improved sleep and reduced nightmares.

Think about things that you would prefer to do during the time that you would normally spend watching TV. Maybe it’s playing a board game with your family, sharing the hot tub with your spouse, reading a ‘fun’ book, getting a massage, or doing yoga. Make a list of the things you would like to do if you had some of that TV time back and arrange them in order of importance. The ones that make you feel the best should go at the top of the list and should be the first thing you do when you create the time.

Time-Wasters Tip #3

Reduce time-wasters by creating a To-Do List for the following day the night before. Writing a To-Do List before you go to sleep every night will help your mind run through the day and organize it. While you’re sleeping, your brain is organizing how to create successful outcomes for the next day‘s tasks. If you give it a task, it will figure out a way to complete it successfully – and be more focused on success supporting actions instead of time-wasters. Prioritize everything on the list so if you don’t have time for everything, you at least get the most important items done (I didn’t say the easiest to do).

Time-Wasters Tip #4

If you have an assistant at work, evaluate if there are additional tasks you can delegate to them. Have your assistant look through your email, screen phone calls or walk-ins, schedule all appointments, or research something you need more information about. When working with my clients, I’m amazed and how each one of them doesn’t utilize their assistants or team to the fullest extent – whatever you can delegate to free up some time – do it.

If you are self-employed, find an assistant! For non-essential delegation, you can hire a college student at a reasonable rate. For vital tasks, stick with professionals. What you don’t want is to suffer the negative consequences of trying to hire an inexperienced worker for a professional’s job – it will end up costing you more time and energy in the end. If you have young adults in the house, offer a part-time job to one or more of your kids; just be sure to establish firm ground rules and expectations. Hire an experienced virtual assistant to help you part-time or full-time. There are many good people out there if you can live with them not being physically located in your office. Again, the goal is to minimize and reduce the time-wasters that are demanding your attention, but not delivering big payoffs.

Time-Wasters Tip #5

Last, but not least you have to learn to say “No.” You cannot always take care of everyone else and if you spend more than half your day on the phone, you’ve got to figure out a way to scale back. Sure, many of us go to the store, make dinner, drive and dress our kids while we’re talking on our cell phone, but spending more than 4 hours a day on the phone is taking away from other valuable opportunities. It is literally impossible to be focused 100% on more than one task simultaneously and if you’re multi-tasking while talking on your phone – someone or something is missing your full attention.

If you feel compelled to give back and want to be involved in good causes and volunteer projects that make you feel good, you can always do this at a later time. However, if you are short on time and still in the process of building your business or career, you can still contribute money and save your time for when you have the improved leverage to do so. Many of us just don’t know how to say “No” when someone asks because we care. You can still care and say “No” and find another way to contribute without sacrificing your success.

The goal is to slow down and be focused on the highest pay-off activities that will produce the results you desire in the timeframe you want – personally and professionally. The goal is not to figure out how to move faster. It’s impossible to create more hours in the day and it’s simply not healthy to run at full tilt constantly. Learn how to eliminate the time-wasters in your life to improve your quality of life and success.

[1]If you want to know who will push the economy forward in coming years, look no further than Generations X and Y. The Generation X and Y age group, ranging from 18-48 is 103 million strong making them a group of consumers and eventual homebuyers that will make a major impact on the market.

I had the opportunity to listen in as Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate spoke at the 2012 NAR REALTORS® Conference and Expo about the buying habits of Generations X and Y.

Below is an excerpt and my key takeaways from her presentation and the details surrounding a recent survey released by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

Distinct Traits of Gen X and Y

In a 2012 survey released by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and conducted by Wakefield Research, Generations X and Y were revealed to have distinct traits and characteristics, molded by the era and technology-driven world they grew up in. However, not all of their beliefs, including a motivation to save before buying, are that much different than earlier generations of consumers.

With that said, there are stark differences between generations due to the pervasiveness of the Internet. Compared to previous generations, Generations X and Y consider themselves more knowledgeable because of the availability and accessibility of information through online tools and websites. They embrace technology and are very willing to put in the time it takes to sufficiently research location, community and home specifications before making a purchase decision.

The survey also found that 77 percent of Generation X and Y Americans feel that the increased media coverage surrounding the real estate industry over the last six years has improved their knowledge about home ownership.

This enhanced understanding has been defined by the major economic events or shifts that have taken place within the real estate market. While the oil crisis of the 1970’s had a profound impact on Baby Boomers, Generations X and Y have formed opinions based on the housing downturn. This coupled with an insatiable appetite to learn and thereby make informed decisions, causes the average Generation X or Y consumer to delve deeply into the risks and rewards before they commit to buying.

Attitude and Habits of Gen X and Y

The survey also reveals the attitude of the Generation X and Y consumer. As high as 71 percent consider home ownership something they have to earn, rather than believing it is something they deserve. They are also willing to “walk the talk” by adjusting their lifestyle in order to purchase a home.

62 percent of the Generation X and Y homebuyers were willing to eat out less, 40 percent were willing to take on a second job and 23 percent have considered moving back in with their parents in order to save for a home.

These traits show Generations X and Y as wise and proactive; adopting a strategic approach to their future and the possibility of homeownership.

They also readily embrace technology as their preferred communication method. While Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face contact, Generations X and Y are more comfortable with emails, voice mail and text messages.

Above such generational changes, Generations X and Y are more adept at using technology than any of their predecessors. The spread of digital devices such as tablets and smart phones provides information at their fingertips, at any time of the day.

Marketing to Gen X and Y Buyers

This makes it evident that today’s real estate professional must be able to harness technology to increase awareness and grab the attention of the Generation X and Y homebuyer. They must leverage technology to offer relevant content that this consumer finds enlightening and engaging.

As real estate professionals, now is the time to gain an understanding of how these generational differences impact your business and build systems that cater to their needs. It is evident that marketing to and conversing with generations X and Y takes a deep understanding of who they are and what matters most to both them and their families.

The good news is this: from blogging to social media, the tools for continued success are accessible and easily available!

Amy Chorew is the Vice President of Platform Development at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.

To view this article on the Better Homes & Gardens blog, Clean Slate, click here [2].