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5 ways agents can become more organized and in control

With better organization comes more productivity which leads to more income, and with a detail oriented career like real estate, it can be overwhelming. Here are five tips for improving your organization skills.



organization tips

organization tips
Interested in becoming more organized, proactive, and in-control of your business? After all, real estate can be hectic. These five tips will help you get a grip on the disorganization and chaos in your everyday life.

1. Manage your active business

Use a CRM for REALTORS® to manage and organize your listings and the buyers you’re currently working with. In one place, you should be able to see all the listings you have at the moment and details about that listing such current status, property details, asking price, commission rates, contingency dates, related parties, and more.

What’s more, if you’re working with a number of buyers at once, it helps to view at a glance who these buyers are and their requirements. When it comes to listings and the buyers you’re working with, you don’t (and shouldn’t) have to rely on your memory.

2. Reminders and to-dos

It’s important to ensure you’re maintaining contact and building relationships with past clients and your sphere of influence (SOI). Top real estate coaches and trainers suggest that you make quarterly keep in touch calls, send out direct mail pieces, do some email marketing, and plan periodic events such as client appreciation nights.

You can schedule, plan, and organize everything you’re doing to keep in touch with your real estate database right from your CRM. And then you can set reminders so you’ll know what to do and when you need to do it. And that’s not all. Have an appointment with a prospect? Meeting with a client next week? Need to prepare paperwork? Set reminders in your CRM so you don’t forget. Tip: a good CRM will include the option to send yourself email reminders.

3. Calendar and task list

Organized agents log into their Realtor CRM on a daily basis to check their calendar and task list. This lets them immediately see the appointments they have for the day and what tasks need to be accomplished.

And as you complete various tasks, make sure you check them off of your list. This serves two purposes. First, it helps you keep track of your progress and be aware of where you stand work-wise. Second, it “feels good” to check off items on a “to do” list. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, you can look at your task list and see just how much you’ve accomplished.

4. Listing and closing activity plans

It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks, especially when it comes to details pertaining to listing and closing a home. Listing and closing Activity Plans will help you manage and remember the steps involved in these processes. By assigning a listing or closing Activity Plan, all the things you need to do to move a listing or closing forward automatically appear in your task list and calendar, and as email alerts if you so choose.

5. Drip marketing plans

From a sales perspective, it would be great to be able to call every single person in your real estate database regularly and send them ongoing direct mail. These things are fantastic relationship-builders and often help with getting more referrals and repeat business. But in reality, calling and mailing everyone isn’t too feasible from a cost and time standpoint. For your best clients or “A-List,” it is possible and should be done.

But what should you do to keep in touch and build relationships with everyone else in your database? This is where drip marketing comes in. Email is cost effective and takes up very little of your time. That’s why you need to be regularly emailing everyone in your SOI. A good CRM for Realtors will come with automated drip email campaigns for different types of contacts. You would simply select the marketing campaign that works best, and assign the contact(s) to it. The beauty of drip campaigns is that emails automatically go out (or “drip” out) at various points in time, which means that while you’re showing a client a home, you’re also marketing to a lead or keeping in contact with a past client at the same time.

The takeaway

Put into practice the suggestions above. You’ll find that they’ll work wonders increasing your day-to-day organization. And when you’re more organized, you’ll be able to perform your job better and project a more professional image.

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

Everyone should have an interview escape plan

(BUSINESS NEWS) A job interview should be a place to ask about qualifications but it seems more people are asked about their personal life. How do you escape this problem?



interview from hell

“So, why did you move from Utah to Austin?” the interviewer asked over the phone.

The question felt a little out of place in the job interview, but I gave my standard answer about wanting a fresh scene. I’d just graduated college and was looking to break into the Austin market. But the interviewer wasn’t done.

“But why Austin?” he insisted, “There can’t be that many Mormons here.”

My stomach curled. This was a job interview – I’d expected to discuss my qualifications for the position and express my interest in the company. Instead, I began to answer more and more invasive questions about my personal life and religion. The whole ordeal left me very uncomfortable, but because I was young and desperate, I put up with it. In fact, I even went back for a second interview!

At the time, I thought I had to put up with that sort of treatment. Only recently have I realized that the interview was extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t something I should have felt obligated to endure.

And I’m not the only one with a bad interview story. Slate ran an article sharing others’ terrible experiences, which ranged from having their purse inspected to being trapped in a 45 minute presentation! No doubt, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mistreatment by potential employers.

So, why do we put up with it?

Well, sometimes people just don’t know better. Maybe, like I was, they’re young or inexperienced. In these cases, these sorts of situations seem like they could just be the norm. There’s also the obvious power dynamic: you might need a job, but the potential employers probably don’t need you.

While there might be times you have to grit your teeth and bear it, it’s also worth remembering that a bad interview scenario often means bad working conditions later on down the line. After all, if your employers don’t respect you during the interview stage, it’s likely the disrespect will continue when you’re hired.

Once you’ve identified an interview is bad news, though, how do you walk out? Politely. As tempting as it is to make a scene, you probably don’t want to go burning bridges. Instead, excuse yourself by thanking your interviewers, wishing them well and asserting that you have realized the business wouldn’t be a good fit.

Your time, as well as your comfort, are important! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, it probably is. It isn’t easy, but if a job interview is crossing the line, you’re well within your rights to leave. Better to cut your losses early.

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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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