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3 steps to starting down the right path as a new Realtor

While every new Realtor is versed in law and rules, the practice of business is not always a well taught concept.



brand new realtor

brand new realtor

Well versed in rules, but what about business?

When you get your real estate license, there’s often little or no training on sales and marketing approaches and techniques. You may be well versed in all the real estate rules and regulations but when it comes to starting your business on the right track, you may feel a bit lost.

In this article, I’ll share three steps new Realtors need to take on their journey down the road to real estate sales success.

Step one: get organized

As you begin gathering contact information of real estate leads, you need to make sure you store this data in one consolidated place. It’s essential to have a system to remind yourself of important appointments and commitments, or to make a phone call or send an email. Keep a task list and calendar and plan what you’ll be doing every day or week. Each morning, check your calendar and task list, and your appointments for the day, so you know what’s on your radar and how to schedule your time.

Here’s a good tip: as you meet more and more people and add them to your database, try to learn about hobbies, interests, pets, job, etc. and add this information into your database as well. It’s important to get phone numbers and email addresses, but try to go deeper than that. Why? So you can build stronger relationships. So the next time you call up Bob, you can ask him about that new fishing rod or how his tennis tournament went. After all, real estate sales is a people business.

Step two: grow your network and expand your sphere of influence (SOI)

When you’re starting out, you need to grow your sphere of influence (SOI) and expand your network. You can do this through planning various events such as home expert seminars and through an assortment of real estate prospecting techniques such as cold calling. A home expert seminar is when you invite a “home expert” such as an Interior Designer, to come and talk to a group of people you’ve invited. This expert will share tips and ideas that people will find helpful. Each one of the people who take you up on your invitation and attend this seminar is a lead to add to your database!

If you’re changing careers, and are coming into real estate from another profession, you likely already have a substantial amount of people who know you and vice-versa. Make the most of the relationships that you have. Send these people an email letting them know you’re now in real estate. Start sending them your monthly e-Newsletter so you can keep in touch and so they won’t forget that you’re an agent. Remember, the most successful Realtors get most of their business from referrals and repeat business. They don’t cold call and focus on real estate prospecting all day. In order to build a referral and repeat business, relationship-building and keeping in touch with your SOI needs to be in the forefront.

Step three: build your book of business

As discussed earlier in this article, there are a number of ways to grow your SOI and professional network. But you need to know how to make the most of your leads and maximize the chances that they turn into a client.

If you’re prospecting and marketing effectively, you’re going to get leads. Now, not all of these leads will be great so you need to know the right questions to ask to weed out the hot leads from the cold ones. Some leads will be good but may not be ready to buy or sell right away. Let’s say you get a new lead who seems interested. But you never hear back from him, even after following up on the phone. A good Realtor wouldn’t forget about this lead just yet. Make sure you set all your leads up on drip email campaigns.

Effective drip emails campaigns will consist of a series of emails designed to convert different types of leads into clients. When the lead is ready to buy or sell, you’re maximizing the chance that they choose you. Of course, whether a lead uses your services versus a competitor depends on a number of different factors (your listing presentation, for instance), but drip email campaigns will definitely help move the ball in your court.

A real estate contact management system is the foundation to all three of the steps discussed in this article. It’s how you’ll organize and manage your contacts and schedule, plan your events and keep in touch activities, and send out your e-Newsletter and drip email campaigns. Sometimes, there are special offers for new real estate agents, like six months free where I work (IXACT Contact), or benefits through local and national associations. These are usually great offers that are specially reserved for new Realtors, so it’s important to take advantage. You’ll save a lot of money and get started on the right track!

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

Business News

Walmart delays the launch of its Amazon Prime competing service

(BUSINESS NEWS) Walmart+ is being delayed once again, but the service has yet to be cancelled. Will it be another flop?



Walmart+ Amazon

Walmart+, the supposed Amazon Prime alternative of the century, has been delayed from launching until further notice. This marks the second delay of the year.

Vox reports that the Amazon Prime competitor was initially supposed to launch in the first quarter of 2020, but Walmart pushed the release back to July due to Coronavirus concerns. Now, Walmart+ doesn’t have a definitive launch date–indecision that’s easy to chalk up to both the ongoing pandemic and trepidation regarding profitability in an Amazon-dominated world.

Amazon Prime, a service which runs customers $119 per year, has well over 100 million members in the United States; that works out to at least one member in a little over 80 percent of households here. Between its ubiquitous nature and the fact that Amazon Prime members are more inclined to use Amazon frequently than non-Prime members, it isn’t hard to see why a premium Walmart subscription seems a little redundant.

But Walmart doesn’t see it that way. “Walmart executives have hoped the program would strike a balance of being valuable enough that customers will pay for it, while boasting different enough perks from Amazon Prime so that there aren’t perk-by-perk comparisons,” Vox posits. At $98 per year, Walmart+ would include things like same-day delivery, gas discounts, line-skipping, a dedicated credit card, and potentially even a video streaming service.

While there are some clear parallels between Amazon Prime and Walmart+, one can attribute those to convenience rather than imitation. People seem to enjoy having extra streaming options as a perk of Prime, so for Walmart+ to include something similar wouldn’t exactly be inappropriate.

The largest obstacle to Walmart+’s success in a post-Coronavirus world probably won’t have much to do with brand loyalty, but the fact remains that Amazon’s value is so far above and beyond Walmart’s that people who regularly use Amazon Prime aren’t likely to make the switch–and, as mentioned previously, the sheer number of people who have a Prime membership is high enough to be concerning to Walmart executives.

However, for customers who frequently shop at Walmart or live in relatively rural areas, Walmart+ doesn’t seem like a bad gig. It isn’t Amazon Prime, to be sure–but that’s the point.

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Business News

What COVID-19 measures do workplaces have to take to reopen?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employers can’t usually do medical screenings – but it’s a little different during a pandemic.



COVID-19 temp gun

Employers bringing personnel back to work are faced with the challenge of protecting their workforce from COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued guidelines on how to do so safely and legally.

Employee health and examinations are usually a matter of personal privacy by design through the American’s with Disabilities Act. However, after the World Health Organization declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic in March, the U.S. EEOC revised its guidance to allow employers to screen for possible infections in order to protect employees.

Employers are now allowed to conduct temperature screenings and check for symptoms of the coronavirus. They can also exclude from the workplace those they suspect of having symptoms. The recommendations from the CDC also include mandatory masks, distant desks, and closing common areas. As the pandemic and US response evolves, it is important for employers to continue to monitor any changes in guidance from these agencies.

Employers are encouraged to have consistent thresholds for symptoms and temperature requirements and communicate those with transparency. Though guidance suggests that COVID-19 screenings at work are allowed by law, employers should be mindful of the way they are conducted and the impact it may have on employer-employee relations.

Stanford Health Care is taking a bold approach by performing COVID-19 testing on each of its 14,000 employees that have any patient contact. They implemented temperature scanning stations at each entrance, operated by nurses and clinicians. The President and CEO of Sanford Health Care said, “For our patients to trust the clinical procedures and trials, it was important for them to know that we were safe.”

Technology is adapting to meet the needs of employers and identify symptoms of COVID-19. Contactless thermometers that can check the temperature of up to 1,500 people per hour using thermal imaging technology are now on the market; they show an error margin of less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. COVID-19 screening is being integrated into some company time-clocks used by employees at the start and end of each shift. The clocks are being equipped with a way to record employee temperatures and answers to a health questionnaire. Apple and Google even collaborated to bring contact tracing to smart phones which could help contain potential outbreaks.

Fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are the three most common symptoms of COVID-19. Transmission is still possible from a person who is asymptomatic, but taking the precautions to identify these symptoms can help minimize workplace spread. This guidance may change in the future as the pandemic evolves, but for now, temperature checks are a part of back to work for many.

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Business News

Technology that may help you put the “human” back in Human Resources

(BUSINESS NEWS) Complicated application processes and disorganized on-boarding practices often dissuade the best candidates and cause new hires to leave. Sora promises to help with this.



employee hiring

Even in a booming economy, finding the right applicant for a role can be a drawn-out, frustrating experience for both the candidate and the hiring manager. Candidates submitting their resume to an automated HR system, designed to “seamlessly” integrate candidates into their HRIS accounts, face the interminable waiting game for feedback on whether they’re going to be contacted at all.

Ironically, this lack of feedback on where a candidate stands (or even if the resume was received at all) and a propensity for organizations to list roles as “Open Until Filled”, overwhelms the hiring manager under a mountain of resumes, most of which will not be reviewed unless there is a keyword match for the role. And if they do somehow manage to see the resume, studies indicate that in less than 10 seconds, they’ll have moved on to the next one.

The problems don’t end there, however. Once the candidate and hiring manager have found one another, and the HR team has completed the hire, the dreaded phase of onboarding begins. During the first few days of a new job, a lack of effective onboarding procedures—ranging from simple tasks like arranging for technology or introductions to a workplace mentor—can be the cause of a significant amount of employee turnover. Forbes notes that 17% of all newly hired employees leave their job during the first 90 days, and 20% of all staff turnover happens within the first 45 days.

The reason, according to Laura Del Beccaro, Founder of startup Sora, is that overworked HR teams simply don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with all of those who are supposed to interact with the new employee to ensure a seamless transition experience. Focusing on building a template-based system that can be integrated within the frameworks of multiple HRIS systems, Sora’s focus is to set up adaptable workflow processes that don’t require the end-user to code, and can be adjusted to meet the needs of one or many employee roles.

In a workplace that is becoming increasingly virtual, out of practicality or necessity, having the ability to put the “human” back in Human Resources is a focus that can’t be ignored. From the perspective of establishing and expanding your team, it’s important to ensure that potential employees have an application experience that respects their time and talent and feedback is provided along the way, even when they might not be a fit for the role.

Take for example the organization who asked for an upload of a resume, then required the candidate to re-type everything into their HRIS, asked for three survey responses, an open-ended writing task, a virtual face-to-face interview, *and* three letters of reference—all for an entry-level role. If you were actually selected for an in-person interview, the candidate was then presented with another task that could take up to two hours of prep time to do—again, all for an entry level role.

Is that wrong? Is it right? The importance of selecting the right staff for your team can’t be overstated. But there should be a line between taking necessary precautions to ensure the best fit for your role and understanding that many of the best candidates you might find simply don’t want to participate in such a grueling process and just decide to move on. There’s a caveat that says that companies will never treat an employee better than in the interview process and in the first few weeks on the job—and that’s where Sora’s work comes in, to make certain that an employee is fully supported from day one.

Bringing on the best to leave them without necessary support and equipment, wondering at the dysfunction that they find, and shuffled from department to department once they get there creates the reality and the perception that they just don’t matter—which causes that churn and disconnect. Having your employees know that they matter and that they’ll be respected from day one is a basic right—or it should be.

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