Make More Money – Work Less!

money Make More Money & Work Much Less!I am temporarily motivated to be permanently lazy! That means I am willing to work my butt off now so that I can chill out a few years from now. Here’s how I see my life: spending time with my family, going on exotic vacations, getting up when I’m done sleeping, golfing when everyone else is working, and just living and loving life…doing all this while making more money and working much less.

If any of what I want makes sense to you, then keep reading. I can honestly tell you that you deserve to have all that you want and more.  I’m going to share some insights I’ve discovered that you can immediately start manifesting your dreams and desires while using much less energy.

You must stay focused: Start every day with clearly defined goals and avoid personal conflict. There are so many distractions around us at all times that staying focused will be challenging. With TV, facebook, skype, emails, and other common distractions, it is becoming more and more challenging to stay focused on how to make more money and work less right now more than ever before.

By having clearly defined goals you will be able to get more done in less time. This will greatly increase your focus and as a result you will not have to put so much effort into getting tasks done.

Exercise Daily: Make it routine to exercise daily! This does not mean that you have to hit the gym everyday but make sure you are getting some form of physical activity. A healthy body will create a healthy mind. Try to work in some yoga once or twice a week also. Yoga will prove to be an invaluable way to center yourself and find inner harmony and balance.

Personal Development: I tell everyone I coach that personal development is MANDATORY. If we aren’t challenging ourselves to grow and expand our minds, then we do the opposite…shrink and die. No less than 20 minutes of personal development everyday! This can be in the form of books, audio books, videos, podcasts etc. Just make sure you do it. For me, when time is a factor, I have audio books I listen to while I’m driving from place to place. This way while I’m sitting in traffic doing nothing, I’m listening to empowering and inspirational materials and growing mentally, spiritually and emotionally. If you’ve read Think and Grow Rich you understand that personal growth is one of the oldest secrets to success.

By focusing we can have a clear blueprint for action daily. By exercising we center ourselves physically and get stronger, by engaging in personal development we challenge ourselves to think outside our current realm of understanding. All of these factors will contribute to your goal to make more money and work less. Now to the really fun stuff…enjoying life!

Schedule time for yourself: Always schedule time to do what YOU like to do…and do it on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean blowing off everything else I previously mentioned. It does mean that you need to reward yourself daily for setting and accomplishing your goals. This is creating a win-win for your self. Reward yourself by playing that round of golf, or taking your family to their favorite restaurant. Just make sure to DO IT!

Now go get to work!!!

 

No copyright Infringement intended. Source: Make More Money – Work Less!

7 Ideas to Move Your Listings

Selling real estate in today’s market requires more than knowledge and a go-get-‘em attitude. Successful real estate professionals are willing to use creative strategies when representing sellers, even if that means trying something new. Here are seven ideas that may be just what you need to move your latest listing.

Dress up the signage. Make sure buyers can see your sign after dark by investing in solar-powered lighting. Include a QR code on each sign so potential buyers can scan it with their smartphones and get more information — pictures, video, a full list of amenities — about the property. A Talking House radio transmitter will let passersby listen to a home’s features from the comfort of their cars. Simply post a sign that lets them know how to tune in.  Even better, have a lead capture 800# with a recorded message about the home.

Practice Feng Shui. We all know that home staging is an important part of the home selling process, but it doesn’t have to stop at fresh paint and potted plants. Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of balancing the energy (chi) of a space for optimal harmony, could help too. Check out fengshui.about.com for resources.

Host a party. Take the idea of an open house one step further and hold an open house party. Offer wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music. The time and effort put into this could pay off when you create a buzz about the property.

Create a better informational flyer. Yes, potential buyers appreciate the one-page flyer listing the home’s details and amenities. But what about all of the nearby conveniences? Include local shopping centers, schools, hospitals, fire stations, restaurants, parks and other attractions as way to showcase more of the home’s benefits.

Offer extras. You can offer a pricey, luxury item like a flat screen TV, or more practical incentives, like a furniture allowance, flooring allowance, a year’s worth of yard care or a year’s worth of HOA fees. Offer a referral incentive — say, a $200 gift card — to the friend and colleague who helps you find a buyer.

Harness technology. Listing the house on the local MLS and your website is a good start, but try other online tactics. Purchase online ads to display on Google or Facebook (the sites have tutorials that make it easy to set up an ad campaign). You have free options, too: Tweet photos of the property to your Twitter followers and encourage them to retweet.

Let them sleep on it. It may sound like a radical move, but some sellers allow serious buyers to spend the night in their home. It’s perhaps the best way to give them the experience of actually living there. It may not be feasible in all selling situations, but for others, it might just close the sale.

http://worksmartbesmart.com/2024/

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Over 100 Ideas For Realtor Blog Posts

Ideas for Your Real Estate Blog

  1. Metro Area Quarterly Market reports
  2. Neighborhood Market Reports / Sales Data
  3. How’s the Market in XYZ Neighborhood?
  4. Local Adsorption Rates
  5. Most expensive recent sales in XYZ neighborhood or town
  6. “Dream” homes for sale in XYZ neighborhood or city
  7. Celebrity home sales
  8. Home buyer incentives
  9. Interest rate changes (or forecasted changes)
  10. Changes in current legislation (that would be important to home buyers or home owners)
  11. Case Schiller monthly affordability index (i.e. “Is it a good time to buy or invest?”)
  12. Why Buyers and Sellers need a real estate professional
  13. Just Listed home
  14. Just Sold home
  15. Under Contract home
  16. Success Stories (i.e. Toot your own horn!)
  17. Marketing Tips – Promoting your business and listings on Facebook
  18. Marketing Tips – Using new technology to promote your listing… or your business
  19. Deal of the Week (highlight best buys in your area)
  20. Subdivision of the Week (use lots of photos and/or video!)
  21. Neighborhood of the Week
  22. Condominium Complex of the Week
  23. Townhome Community of the Week
  24. Loft of the Week
  25. Thursday (or Tuesday) Townhome Tours
  26. Freebie Friday
  27. Weekend Festivals and Events
  28. Weekend FREE Events & Things to Do
  29. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Condo
  30. 10 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home
  31. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Short Sale
  32. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Foreclosure Home
  33. For Buyers – 10 Reasons Why to Buy a Home this Year
  34. For Buyers – 5 Mistakes that First-Time Home Buyers Make
  35. For Buyers – What Expenses to Expect When Purchasing your Home or Condo
  36. For Buyers – Tips for Interviewing a REALTOR
  37. For Buyers – The importance of hiring a home inspector
  38. For Buyers – Improving your credit score / preparing for homeownership
  39. For Buyers – Checklist for home ownership
  40. For Buyers – Find the best deal on a home (not just the foreclosed home)
  41. For Buyers – Financing options (Conventional Loans, FHA, 403b Streamline, HomePath, etc)
  42. For Buyers – Minimum credit score requirements for Conventional and FHA Loans
  43. For Buyers – Investing in your first property
  44. For Sellers – Tips for Interviewing a REALTOR
  45. For Sellers – Avoiding foreclosure
  46. For Sellers – Staging your home to sell
  47. For Sellers – Pricing your home to sell
  48. For Sellers – What NOT to do when selling your home
  49. For Sellers – Removing pets and pet supplies when showing your home
  50. For Sellers – Preparing the FRONT of your home for sale (clean windows, doors, lights, etc)
  51. For Sellers – 10 Most important marketing tools when selling your home
  52. For Sellers – De-personalize your home before putting it on the market
  53. For Sellers – Home improvements that will increase the value of your property
  54. For Sellers – The benefit of a pre-inspection
  55. For Sellers – Is this the right time to sell your home?
  56. For Sellers – Why isn’t my home selling?
  57. For Sellers – Before and After Staging Photos
  58. For Sellers / Listing Agents – The importance of using a professional photographer
  59. For Homeowners – Reminders to apply for Homestead Exemption (in Georgia)
  60. For Homeowners – Updates on County or City Property Taxes and Milage Rates
  61. For Homeowners – Going Green
  62. For Homeowners – Rebates on energy-efficient items for the home
  63. For Homeowners – Landscaping tips and tricks
  64. For Homeowners – Household repair tips, tricks and reminders
  65. For Homeowners – Resources for home owners in distress (i.e. short sales, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, etc)
  66. Popular Atlanta Real Estate BlogGoing Green – 10 Ways to green your home interior
  67. Going Green – 10 Ways to be green at the office
  68. Going Green – 10 ways to green your home’s exteriors
  69. Going Green – 10 ways to save energy
  70. Going Green – Local green companies
  71. Going Green – Area green events (i.e. document shredding, fundrasing)
  72. Going Green – Places you can recycle electronics, computers, light bulbs in your community
  73. Going Green – Where to get the best green stuff for your home
  74. Personal Finance – New credit card rules
  75. Personal Finance – Check your credit score for free!
  76. Personal Finance – 529 College Plans
  77. Personal Finance – Tips to Improve your credit score
  78. Hyper-Local – 101 Reasons Why I Love My Town or Neighborhood
  79. Hyper-Local – Neighborhood of the Week
  80. Hyper-Local – Suburb of the Week
  81. Hyper-Local – Things to do in your neighborhood (parks, playgrounds, etc)\
  82. Hyper-Local -Highlight a local business in your neighborhood
  83. Hyper-Local -Promote a special event in your neighborhood
  84. Hyper-Local -Promote a special person in your neighborhood who is committed to helping others
  85. Hyper-Local – A tour of your neighborhood (using photos or video)
  86. Hyper-Local – Restaurant Reviews (with food photos)
  87. Hyper-Local – New locally-owned restaurants or shops
  88. Hyper-Local – Local farmer’s markets
  89. Hyper-Local – New companies moving to your town / employment opportunities
  90. Hyper-Local – Animal Shelters & Rescues (highlight a special pup!)
  91. Hyper-Local – Heliports and small landing fields for jets (great for the luxury market!)
  92. Hyper-Local – Consignment / Yard Sales
  93. Hyper-Local – Get outside!  Hiking trails, bike paths, and parks
  94. Hyper-Local – Volunteer opportunities
  95. Hyper-Local – Offerings at the local library
  96. Hyper-Local – Best Happy Hour
  97. Hyper-Local – Best Golf Courses (and rates!)
  98. Hyper-Local – Best BBQ / Ice Cream / Steaks / Margaritas
  99. Hyper-Local – Local Businesses I Love – feature one a week (i.e. favorite parks, charities, city leaders, restaurants, etc)
  100. Schools – Sporting eventsAtlanta top schools
  101. Schools – Sports – Game Scores
  102. Schools – School supply lists
  103. Schools – Accolades (top schools, recent awards)
  104. Schools – Top Elementary Schools in XYZ
  105. Schools – Top Middle Schools in XYZ
  106. Schools – Top High Schools in XYZ County
  107. Schools – Top Private Schools in XYZ
  108. About Me – Interesting Real Estate Experiences (i.e. whining, complaining, ranting – LOL)
  109. About Me – Personal hobby updates
  110. About Me – 10 Things that set me apart from the competition
  111. About Me – 10 Things about me that most people don’t know
  112. About Me – Book recommendations
  113. About Me – Family updates (birth announcements, 50th Birthday, new puppy, etc)
  114. About Me / Personal — Tribute after loss of a co-worker, client or colleague
  115. Contests – Monthly photo contests
  116. Contests – Best garden or yard in XYZ neighborhood or subdivision
  117. Contests – Partner with a local restaurant and offer monthly coupons on your blog post
  118. Seniors – Things to do
  119. Seniors – Local Resources
  120. Seniors – Popular communities, condos, townhomes
  121. Coupons / Discounts – Offer a weekly or monthly coupon to a local business
  122. New in town?  10 things you MUST do in your first 30 days
  123. New in town?  Important phone numbers and service providers
  124. New in town?  Popular neighborhoods and/or schools
  125. New in town?  Hot spots for dining and night life

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1844051/let-s-get-blogging-101-ideas-for-your-real-estate-blog-part-ii-

Getting More YouTube Video Views

Increase exposure with these 7 tips. 

The value of video in real estate marketing is well-established.  From introducing yourself to clients online to providing in-depth tours of your premium listings, video is one of the best ways to leverage your marketing efforts online.  They’re shareable, they’re engaging, and they’re also reported to help with your overall visibility in search engines.

Shooting a video isn’t enough to get it viewed, though.  There’s no “build it and they will come” magic at work here. In order to make sure the videos you post get the exposure you’re looking for, you need to place them in a way which gives you the best shot at earning additional traffic.

This article by SocialTimes, “7 Little Known Tricks That Will Get You More YouTube Views” provides actionable, tactical tips. The ideas include:

1. Annotations across videos (the habit of linking one video to other videos with clickable, in-video notes)

2. Playlists (videos chained together… imagine, all of your listings in a playlist)

3. Subscribers (getting people to subscribe to your YouTube channel)

4. Bulletins (updates pushed through YouTube to your subscribers’ YouTube home page)

5. Video responses (posting a video in response to a video)

6. Community (commenting and subscribing to others’ channels)

7. Topical content (a video about what’s going on right now)

For a closer look at each of these tips (as well as examples of how they work), read the original article on SocialTimes:

http://www.socialtimes.com/2011/03/get-more-youtube-views/

Getting More YouTube Video Views 

What a Nutrition Expert Can Teach You About Business

A few weeks ago I went to see a nutritionist–Dr. Philip Goglia, who has been a featured expert on shows such as The Doctors and Dr. Phil–for several reasons. First, I liked the results I was seeing in a tennis partner in terms of fat loss, fitness and overall performance. Second, I wasn’t entirely happy with my own physique or performance. I felt like I should be in better shape, be faster and have more energy—especially considering I wasn’t eating much and exercised like a maniac.

What I learned, and what has happened over the course of two short weeks, is not only amazing, but contradictory to what I thought I knew about both personal and professional performance. And I believe that lesson has a parallel in business.

The first thing I discovered was that I was starving myself, and getting slower and bloated in the wrong places because of it. In an effort to get leaner and faster, and thus better, I was barely consuming one thousand calories a day. And the way I was consuming them in what and how and when I ate, was entirely wrong for my specific metabolism. Through a body composition measurement, blood test and lipid profile, my nutritionist was able to tell me my exact eating patterns without even asking me. And through the same test, he showed me how my specific metabolic type fell into the 3% of the population that is equally efficient at burning fat, carbohydrate, and protein. (74% of the population is fat and protein efficient, and 23% are carbohydrate efficient.) It didn’t take much for me to see why simply cutting calories and one-size-fits-all diets don’t work.

I was essentially shutting my metabolism down, making myself “run cold.” Here’s what happened.

When I reduced my calorie intake, my body perceived it as a starvation threat, sensed weight loss, and cooled its metabolic rate down in an effort to become more efficient. As I kept cutting calories, my body perceived it as trauma and further cooled (slowed) down, causing my body to hoard fat to survive. My metabolism then looked to a new source of fuel for energy, consuming muscle tissue that had no caloric support for repair. As it used muscle tissue for energy, my lean muscle mass declined while fat stores remained constant, or even elevated. Then I began to get sluggish and tired, craving sweets and fats. The release and utilization of insulin and blood sugar became inefficient. Psychologically, I become emotionally distraught as my body fat and weight began to rise. I started binging, so my blood sugar utilization got sporadic, creating an inability to utilize nutrients effectively. The increased inconsistent calorie intake lead to further weight gain since my metabolism had cooled to compensate for the original lack of fuel in my diet.

I see the same kind of thing in business. A startup in its infancy grows like crazy, progresses through adolescence and young adulthood, all the while maturing in structure and performance until finally full maturity sets in. The founding group is not necessarily complacent, but comfortable. But growth slows, and at some point performance just isn’t what it used to be. Layers have been added, walls and silos erected, and the vim and vigor that once characterized the company is somehow missing. Innovation wanes. Competitors start nibbling at market space. Costs swell in proportion to growth, and senior management puts the squeeze on to stem the tide. In other words, they go on a diet. They cut and cut and cut, and eventually begin burning the equivalent of lean muscle tissue. Speedbumps get put in place and all of a sudden good ideas–the essential creative nutrients–don’t get implemented. But the bad ones do, the ones that run along the lines of what else can be cut. Opportunities don’t get fed properly. Company metabolism and performance slows even further. Management begins looking for silver bullet “diet” programs, aka the latest management fad. The company, with all good intention, starves itself, just like I was doing, unable to figure out why it keeps slowing down.

My nutritionist immediately wanted to reverse my downward spiraling metabolic rate. “We need to rekindle the fire,” he said. “Turn up the heat.” He bumped my caloric intake 50%. But how I got that 50% was the secret. It was through six meals–three larger and three smaller–each one strategically arranged in a specific mix of carbs, protein and fat to play to my metabolic profile, each one meant to simply get me to the next meal. And all healthy stuff, essentially single ingredient items. I loved the simplicity of that. And I felt like I was constantly eating!

But that’s not all. He ordered me to drink five liters of water everyday. I didn’t know how important water is to metabolism. Inactive people should drink half an ounce of water per pound of body weight, active people twice that. Water is a catalyst for the transport of nutrients, a thermostat, and a key protective insulator against environmental temperature swings. If your water level is low, your body perceives it as trauma, and stores fat under your skin to insulate and protect the body. Water is even more important than food in a way. “Miss a meal, but do NOT miss irrigation,” he said.

In business, you can not only starve your company of the creative fuel it needs, you can dehydrate it. The equivalent of water in an organization is information. Information must be massive and flow freely, to promote transparency and visibility. Otherwise, people will hoard knowledge rather than share it, to protect themselves and their jobs. Innovation cannot happen without sharing knowledge. Lack of free flowing, clear information will eventually wreak havoc on performance.

In two weeks of eating correctly and 50% more, and drinking water constantly, my body fat dropped three percent. I lost five pounds on the scale, which because of the change in my body fat to muscle ratio really meant I had lost about six pounds of fat and added one back in muscle. I was amazed. Based on the shift, he then laid out an adjusted plan for the next week. We set a long term goal of 8 percent body fat, down from the original 18 percent. It’ll take a while, but I’m now a believer. I’m never hungry, I have no cravings, and it’s actually quite a lot of fun creating meals. The options seem endless.

The health of a company, I believe, works much the way it does with the human body. Both need proper care and feeding to maintain performance. Are you inadvertently starving and dehydrating your company? It’s easy enough to reverse.

 

No Copyright Infringement intended.  Source: What a Nutrition Expert Can Teach You About Business

9 tips for better real estate video

Corner your market, win clients

If you’re not promoting your listings using video, you’re missing a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition, provide a higher level of service to your clients, and reach the hot Gen X and Gen Y markets.

According to NAR, only 1 percent of all agents used video in their businesses in 2010. This year, the number is 8 percent. If you want to edge out your 92 percent of your competition, creating fun and engaging videos is a great way to do it. Below are nine simple tips that can help you to shoot great videos for your business.

1. Perfect quality not required
If you were shooting a video five years ago, most people expected commercial quality. With the advent of YouTube, this is no longer the case. YouTube has made amateur videos shot with a cell phone or a Flip camera acceptable. While there are definitely times when you will want to use a professional videographer (e.g., when you have an expensive listing or are shooting a video about the area that is expected to have a long shelf life), shooting your own videos can be a great way to attract more business.

The key point to keep in mind is that people today expect your video to inform, entertain or to provide value for the time they spent watching it.

2. Play and learn
Perhaps the most challenging question is where to begin and how much to spend. If you own a smartphone or a computer with a built-in video cam, these are great tools to begin your learning process. In most cases, all you have to do is point and click and you’re shooting video. Rather than worrying about being perfect, look at it as an opportunity to play and learn.

3. Length
In terms of the length, 60-90 seconds is optimal. The research from YouTube shows that their users are much more likely to open a short video that is under 90 seconds in length. Videos that are two minutes or longer have significantly lower open rates. While people are willing to commit to a minute or so to watch a video, most won’t even open the video if it’s more than a couple of minutes long.

4. Purchase a tripod
To make sure that your video isn’t too shaky, purchase a tripod. My personal favorite is one that looks like a three-legged octopus that allows you to mount your video camera on a variety of surfaces.

5. Wear a microphone for better sound quality
To provide the best visuals and the best sound quality possible, it’s smart to shoot closer in to your subjects rather than too far away. While the sound quality on your camera or phone may be acceptable, it will be significantly better if you use a second microphone when you record.

While people tend to be forgiving of the visual quality being less than perfect, the sound quality must be good for two reasons. First, your viewers will go elsewhere if they can’t understand the sound track. Second, Google now has technology that converts audio into searchable text. If the sound is not clear, you may fail to generate the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits that video can provide.

6. Visuals do matter
Whenever you shoot a video, you must constantly be aware of light sources. While the natural sunlight may look wonderful to the naked eye, it can create washed-out areas on your video. If you’re shooting a video outside, overcast skies are often better because the light is more even. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about shooting into the sun or how harsh shadows may obscure the picture.

7. Check the background
It’s also important to pay attention to the background where you’re shooting. For example, we recently shot a video of a live role-play during one of my speaking engagements. Because of the room setup, the only place we could conduct the role-play was in front of the projector screen. The woman that I role-played with has blond hair just like me.

The result was our blond hair completely disappeared into the white background. While the result looked pretty funny, it was a great reminder to always check the background. Additional guidelines include avoiding sparkly jewelry or fabrics. These items may cause strange light reflections on the video.

8. Where are the windows?
When you’re shooting indoors, windows (even when they are covered) can cause major issues. For example, you may have the Roman shades closed in a room, yet the direct sunlight shines through the sides of the windows. Again, small rays of direct sunlight can wash out part of your video. The challenge is that you won’t notice the issue until you play the video back.

9. Green-screen challenges
Many professional videographers use what is known as a “green screen.” This technology allows the videographer/editor to add almost any type of background. If you’re in front of the camera and are using a green screen, avoid wearing red. The camera will read it as green. The result is anything that is green or red disappears on camera.

Also avoid wearing patterns. The checks on your shirt or jacket can create clownish-looking results. As a rule of thumb, solid dark colors or jewel colors (with the exception of red or green), usually work best.

Most of these issues can be avoided simply by shooting a short sample video to check for light, sound and other issues. This allows you to spot the problems and to correct them before they ruin your work.

By Bernice Ross    Inman News™

10 Social Media Lifeskills for Real Estate Professionals

If you have kids, then you probably know that most schools teach character education along with the ABC’s and 123′s. And when I was teaching elementary school, there were 10 lifeskills in particular that I focused on with my class each year: integrity, active listening, effort, respect, caring, responsibility, cooperation, trustworthiness, courage, diligence.

These lifeskills set the stage for better communication between teacher and student, student and student, and even child and parent. The lifeskills provided me with the opportunity to help my students interact more positively, engage in cooperative learning, and problem solve when disagreements arose.

With the advent of new marketing techniques (namely social media strategies), it seems rather apparent that we should infuse the lifeskills we learned back in the day (when we began learning to better communicate and cooperate) within our current business goals and strategies. So I’ve taken character education full circle here by suggesting the following: “10 Social Media Lifeskills for Real Estate Professionals”.

1.       Integrity- Be the real you. Strive for authentic engagement by being the same person you are online that you are offline. Instead of selling what you do, share who you are and your daily experiences. And when it comes to your avatar (profile picture) be a person, not a real estate logo. People connect with people, not signs and buildings.

2.       Active Listening– Although it’s important to share your  interests, it’s even more important to pay attention to others. Learning what your network is passionate about only helps you ask better questions, provide better resources, and become a better advisor.  Who’s Talkin? and SocialMention are 2 social search engines that make it even easier to monitor certain people and topics you care about.

3.       Effort- Add value! Know your expertise and passion well enough to identify resources that may be helpful to your network.  If you’re not sure where to look for great resources, try a social bookmarking tool like Delicious or Digg where others share their favorite articles. Monitor your resources and share regularly, provide your own insight and strategies for implementation.

4.       Respect- You gotta give it to get it! Show respect for others, even your “competitors” in your niche. And when it comes to connecting with new people on social networks like Facebook or Linkedin, consider sending a brief authentic message explaining why you’d like to connect or how you know them. Don’t bombard people with spammy or salesy messages. Social Media is NOT about hard-selling, it’s about mutual respect.

5.       Caring- Reach out to others, colleagues and clients alike! And do good things without being asked like retweeting others tweets, “liking” or commenting on Facebook posts, and commenting on or praising blog articles you enjoy. Connect and befriend local clients and business owners online.  For example, join local interest or business based Facebook groups that you care about or want to get involved with, or create your own. Join or volunteer for a local cause. This shows how much you care about the city and neighborhoods you work and live in.

6.       Responsibility- Think before you act and take responsibility for your social interactions. If you write an article or share a resource that you found from someone else, be sure to source that person by linking back to the original article or a social profile. If you make a mistake or offend someone unknowingly, apologize. And be sure to welcome feedback and be responsive to it.

7.       Cooperation- Sometimes you can get to your goal that much faster by collaborating. Share and work together with others in the real estate industry or in your local market area. Draw upon the strengths of others and pool your resources whether it’s organizing an event, creating helpful Web content, or asking for help with a project.  For example, co-host a blog based or Facebook contest, help plan a Tweetup or nearby REBarCamp, guest-post on local business or interest based blogs, co-author a local ebook for homeowners, co-sponsor a charity event, etc.

8.       Trustworthiness- If you make a promise to someone, then do it.  Don’t be a slim shady and betray someone’s trust in you. That’s the fastest way to get unfollowed or unfriended. Provide clear expectations on your blog and social profiles about the real estate services you DO provide. If you list your expertise as working with independent women homeowners, make sure you deliver that expertise online and when working with clients. That’s how you become your network’s trusted advisor!

9.       Courage- Try something new! Are you interested in getting your feet wet with video? Don’t be afraid to dive in and give something a try! It’s all a learning process anyway, and even failed attempts can be endearing!

10.     Diligence- Create a custom social media marketing plan for your real estate business and commit to it. Schedule daily check-in times for maintaining your social profiles and/or read and research time for blog articles. Be consistent!

One last reminder….measure what you make! If you share a resource via Twitter or Facebook, use a URL tracking tool like BudURL, Cli.gs, or Bitly. If you blog, be sure to take advantage of what good analytics can tell you, try Google Analytics or GetClicky.com. Studying what your clients do or don’t react to can provide you with insight as to what kind of content or resources your network finds helpful! This way you can reach more folks and keep the conversation flowing!

 

No Copyright Infringement intended.  Source: 10 Social Media Lifeskills for Real Estate Professionals

Forget What the Experts Say…You CAN Shortcut Your Way to Success with Social Media

The Social Media Experts I’m a fan of will tell you that if you want to succeed in applying social media as a business strategy that it requires planning, consistency, balance, originality, relevancy, and listening…among other things. And they would be right. But when it comes to real estate marketing, many agents struggle with working ON their business because they’re tapped by working IN their business. And for the most part, I’ve always considered that an excuse (myself included).

There is some validity however, to the shear amount of effort required in implementing social media marketing strategies….or ANY effective marketing strategies for that matter. And that’s why I’m not surprised when agents ask me if I can do “the social media” for them. But if you know me, then you know I’m not an automator…I’m an educator. Which means I prefer you learn about the new strategies available to you, best practices for using them, and how to measure their effectiveness.

So whether you or your marketing assistant is syndicating your listings, sending an email drip campaign, blogging or engaging in social media channels…KNOW the plan, the process, AND your role in it! By being a participant who’s just as knowledgeable about your own business as you are about your market area it’s much easier to become a trusted advisor. But obviously it’s not just about being a trusted advisor…it’s about closing deals too. So no matter the strategy or the channel…you need to create an opportunity to convert.

Now the reason I’m so passionate about social media as a real estate marketing strategy is because it gives agents who are willing to be a participant….a huge conversion opportunity. When you take an active role with blogging or Facebook comments and posts, you can directly connect with current and past clients, as well as potential leads.

For example, let’s say you’re passionate about the schools in your local market area. So you decide to get involved with a local “Back to School” cause. You post information about the cause on your Facebook Page telling locals about the supplies needed, where to donate, associated fundraising events, interviews and pictures of local teachers setting up for the school year, etc. If you’re a part of the plan and the process…as well as actively engage on the Page, then you’re creating an opportunity to convert. Especially, when you run into thankful teachers, parents and locals who you’ve been engaging with online. Taking an active roll in your online engagement means it’s easier to take an active roll in your offline engagement.

When you haven’t got a clue what social media strategies are being deployed on your behalf, you’re missing out! Sure you might be getting more online exposure for your brand and listings….but the opportunity to convert is greatly lessened. That’s because when potential client Susie Q sees you at Starbucks and thanks you for helping her neighborhood school you won’t have any idea what she’s talking about. But had you taken an active engagement role online you would be easily able to strike up a relevant and thoughtful conversation…a conversation that could possibly lead to new business tomorrow or someday in the future. And that’s your ROI when it comes to social media.

But if you’re still of the “have it done” mindset, there are plenty of “blog for you, tweet for you, post for you” services popping up. These companies are happy to take your money and create your Web presence for you, as well as automate, duplicate, replicate, and syndicate “relevant” content on your behalf. So if you’re looking for the shortcut to success with social media, there you go! And to be honest, you may very well get the exposure you want….but I highly doubt you’ll get the conversion opportunities you need to take your business to the next level. But who knows, I could be wrong.

I WILL say that there is a happy medium. The relevant content that you drip out through the various channels you participate in can be created by others (but should be supplemented by your own) and can also be scheduled. Tools like HootSuite and Tweetdeck let you schedule and post to a variety of networks. In fact, I created a Tweet Plan for using Hootsuite for both general business and for real estate. And innovators, like the folks at Roost, understand the content dilemma and deployment that real estate professionals are faced with and have created a new tool that will soon ROCK your Facebook world!

Probably the biggest social media roadblock for agents is identifying content that can be shared, retweeted, commented on, blogged about, curated, etc. So I am all for making the organization of content much easier with a homepage or dashboard of content. Alltop, Regator, My6Sense, and Google all offer great options in the organization department. A few savvy real estate companies have even created their own custom content dashboards, and are regularly creating content their agents can share and re-purpose!

So clearly there IS a benefit to “systematizing” your content flow to maximize online exposure…BUT remember that if you go the route of scheduling resourceful tweets and/or posts, that you still need to be listening, responding…and initiating social interactions! More importantly, you still need to be you and bring your passion to whatever marketing strategy you plan for!

MyTechOpinion: You CAN shortcut your way to “success” with social media…but that depends on what success really means to you.

 

No copyright Infringement intended.  Source:  Forget What the Experts Say…You CAN Shortcut Your Way to Success with Social Media

The 40 Hour Work Week

A couple of weeks ago I blogged that one of my goals was to work 40 hours a week or less. Next year it might get decreased to under 35 hours a week, but baby steps are important when dealing with someone who not so long ago worked 80, 90 and 100 hours some weeks.

First of all, recognition of not having a life outside of my real estate business and my kids was the first step – yes I had a problem.  It didn’t seem like a problem though, mainly because I was having a whole lot of fun. Kind of the same reasoning or justification an alcoholic or drug addict speaks of when he or she is still in denial, I’m not hurting anyone and I’m having a great time so whats the problem?  I’m happy!

Next step was to write out a goal to change this life. I sat up all night and I wrote and wrote and wrote this huge long mission for my business and my life like the scene from Jerry McGuire, and I’m not even a writer : ) I read it over and over and it seemed cool, optimistic and encouraging but the next day I trashed the whole plan (even though I loved it). It was too much and how could I even remember the goal when its multiple pages?  So I re-wrote it in 30 seconds and here is what I wrote – WORK 40 –  Pretty damn simple.

All I wanted to do was work like most people in North America, work 40 hours a week so I could make money to have a life. I kept thinking, just because I don’t have a “job” doesn’t mean I should be working double shifts every day.

Lets make something clear before any of you start saying “Well I can’t afford to do that”, Working less doesn’t mean making less. Working less means WORKING LESS!

Of course we have all heard of the 4 Hour Work Week but I hate to tell you this, for most people, especially Realtors, this is impossible. Even the 4 Hour Work Day seems impossible to a lot of people. So yes lets stick to the 40 hour week for a start.

Its funny how people think about working and then dedicating yourself to your career. Back in the 1980s and 1990s it was cool to say I work so much, I put in 80 hours minimum every week and I’m crazy busy. People would say “wow he’s successful. working lots just comes with the territory. He works hard and plays hard. I admire that…” But now that isn’t so cool anymore.

What I think is cool is being able to say I have a created a business that works even when I don’t. I work hard when I work but I don’t work stupid hours anymore and my business doesn’t control me. Can you say that?

The biggest question was how can I make the same amount of money and work half the time I used to? It took me a while and took a lot of soul searching, researching, and I finally came up with this. Ready? And if you want to follow my path here it is. Just follow this simple rule. Look at everything you do in your business and ask yourself this “Do it? Delegate it? Or, Delete it? This will not only save you money, it will also save you a whole lot of time. (Fuck that’s brilliant – doesn’t happen everyday but I have to admit, this one is brilliant.)

Think about everything you do. From printing and filing? To, do I need an office? Do I need to lick these stamps? Do I need to respond to stupid emails? To getting an initial from a client. To even answering blocked numbers… instantly I smell a TW (time waster).  How about this? Writing thank you cards.

Do it. There are certain things we need to do and since we ARE our product we can’t get around them. So these are the things we must do. Like showing properties, getting listings, and signing offers.

Delegate it. You can’t get around accounting, marketing, and other Must Do tasks, but do WE need to do them? Presenting offers is usually under this category for me. All my thank you cards and expired cards are hand written by a retired woman in the West End and her hand writing looks amazing and she only charges me $2.00.

Delete it. Here are the things that are going to blow your mind. For example, and this might be an extreme but I never answer my phone unless you are an active client, close friend or family member. Realtors setting up appointments need to text or email me. Buyer leads need to do the same.  This is a huge time saver.  Dinners and lunches were also a massive TW that I don’t do anymore. Breakfasts only (***** NOTE ***** The problem with dinners is that they never end). The list goes on and on and I love it!

Another way I have saved time is becoming pickier with with taking listings.  If its not a condo or in Downtown Vancouver (unless its a family member or someone close to me) I wont take the listing. Since I don’t use lockboxes and I actually work for my listings, its too much of a waste of time driving an hour for 1 showing.  I’d rather refer it to a local specialist and this is what I mean by Delegate.  Make money doing nothing, who can argue with that?

Even the amount of people I want to work with has changed. We can file this under DELEGATE too. All the Internet leads go to people I work with. I have enough business so why am I working these leads? I would rather delegate these leads and get a referral rather than waste my time. Now I only work with 1 new buyer a month. They either have to be past clients or motivated clients. Just because I have 5 new leads everyday and I could do 100 more deals this year doesn’t mean I should.  It certainly doesn’t mean I would be happier either.

Another huge thing I needed to do was set parameters so I could control my business, instead of letting my business control me. Parameters as to what kind of product I want to sell. Where I want to sell it. Who I want to work with. How much I am going to work for. And the hours I’m going to work. Everything is posted on my website.

Personally in the summer I work Saturdays and Sundays and take Monday and Tuesdays off because my kids are out of school. However, when my kids are in school I don’t work Sundays… no ifs ands or buts.

Regular Hours

Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Saturdays 12:00 to 4:00.

Or Summer Hours

Wednesday to Friday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 to 4:00.

Yes mathematically that makes up more than 40 hours a week. I don’t work all those hours, they are my office hours, those are the hours you might get me out to a property, a listing presentation or get an email reply. Yes those are my hours and I stick to them as best I can and if you don’t like it there are 10,000 other Realtors in Vancouver who are out there who would be happy to run you around the city.

Think about this. If I went to my favourite restaurant that obviously post their dinner hours on the door and I called with 24 hours notice and asked if I could come in 4 hours earlier to have a steak, they  would most likely say, take a hike. If I called my doctor and told him I’m coming in at 10:00 pm because I have a sore throat, he probably wouldn’t even answer. And lastly, if I went to the Vancouver Airport and said I need a flight to Hawaii in 5 minutes they would probably laugh in my face. So why did I as a realtor jump when a potential client (not even a past client) calls to see a condo?

Its easy to set these parameters but it takes a whole lot of discipline to be true to them. It may sting at first and seem totally unnatural but in the long run you’ll have a more solid business, have more free time, and more importantly be known for something, like Downtown Condos.

I love my business, I love my clients, and I love my life but just making more money is kind of a boring challenge year after year. So not only is this a goal but its kind of a riddle for me that challenges me everyday – How can I make more money and work less?

This post means the world to me and I could go on and on for days about this but I’m going to leave you with this one question and please answer this question honestly.

Do you control your business or does your business control you?

 

No copyright Infringement intended. Source: The 40 Hour Work Week