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Starter Kit for tech savvy agents: 2014 edition

(Business News) Tech savvy agents aren’t born, they’re made through endless fine tuning. Are you up to date on how to use technology in your own practice?

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2014 Tech-Savvy Agent Starter Kit

In an ever changing real estate market, where realtors have to constantly be on their game, it seems like answering the “what is new- now- next” is a question that savvy agents and brokers constantly have hanging in the balance.

Going into the new year, take look back at some of the amazing things that the AG staff have brought to the table as insight to keep you on the top of your tech-savvy game, and seek to discover new things whenever you can.

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Prepare for the boom of the beta-broker

You’re here now, so it looks as if you might be looking for some information on what beta-brokerages are doing to stay on the up and up in the 2014 Market. Good for you, that is already a good sign, because there are still agents out there who are sticking to the old school methodology of waiting for things to change and come to them, and well, you know the saying… if ya snooze… ya lose.

If you follow me online, you probably already know that I’m up here in the DC Metro area, Northern Virginia to be exact, and I happen to be a part of a boutique brokerage that I like to say, we may be small, our combined knowledge and savvy is quite powerful.

Having been a part of the Better Homes and Gardens Beta-Brokerages to watch, at Arbour Realty, we’re always seeking out what we can do to stay on the forefront of technology. Our firm is interesting because we’re not a team, we are actually a small firm that just so happens to be competing as the top in the Virginia market in terms of volume and transactions, which is pretty darn nifty considering that we are in the running with firms that can boast having over one hundred members to their firms.

How do we do this? Well, the individual knowledge-base is solid, but we also like to mix it up with our software and hardware, such as making sure we have some of the most useful apps that will keep us and our clients in the know, as well as constantly linked.

For instance, I take my iPad (you can get a tablet of your choice) with me on all of my appointments now, I email the client their listings before we go out, so they know what we’ll be touring, but then we utilize the iPad to stay as paperless as possible. I’d love to get to the place where I can give my clients their own iPad for tours – maybe 2014 is the year for that? We shall see.

For those of us who are design-impaired

The iPad (or a tablet in general) also allows the free-flow of ideas and creating projects on the fly… It is also great tinkering with some of the lovely marketing tools out there that designers create and put out there for those of us who might not be the most design-centric. The fellow amazing staffers here at AG clued me in to the Canva site a few weeks back, which allows for awesome presentation design and and even more wonderful… simple social media background design.

Since you’re already reading AG, you probably have an inkling of this, so, not to beat a dead horse, but having a supremely strong social media presence in 2014 is going to be something that tech-savvy agents really need to be on top of their game with; my broker can attest to this. He has utilized some of the wonderful tools such as Canva to produce the sleek header and background designs.

Recently, I also found the app for making my presentations stand out (simplified, yet beautiful) Haiku Deck. Consumers want the details, but they want them broken down and easily accessible.

Make yourself available

We have found that accessibility on our sites through tools such as home evaluations direct from our website has been a hugely powerful tool this year, and we will continue to hone in on that this year. As a savvy agent, you can expect to spend six to twelve thousand dollars on an a totally brand new site and between two to three thousand dollars on an updated website with the home evaluation (smart)tools.

Speaking to accessibility, having a website, but not having a mobile enabled website is a huge misstep. Get your website up to speed with your developer and even if it is a wordpress based site, get it looking sharp on mobile.

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Any way you cut it, the latest stats show that home buyers and sellers are starting their search for real estate professionals online these days. Not in the “majority” percentile… but in the full scale, nearing 100 percent. Interesting. In the past, the stat had been in the high nineties, but now, consumers are starting their search completely online. If that is truly the case, we best all be on our game.

Quick tip for some of our “old” favorites for apps:

Since you’re in the mood to be tech savvy, be sure to check out Takes (short videos put to music for listings), Capture (your videos straight to your youtube channel), Glympse, Magic Plan, HomeSnap… The list goes on.

We look forward to seeing you up your game while we up ours – tell us in the comments what tech tools have been added to your toolbox to improve your practice.

Genevieve Concannon is one of those multifaceted individuals who brings business savvy, creativity and conscientiousness to the table in real estate and social media.  Genevieve takes marketing and sustainability in a fresh direction- cultivating some fun and funky grass roots branding and marketing strategies that set her and Arbour Realtyapart from the masses. Always herself and ready to help others understand sustainability in building a home or a business, Genevieve brings a new way to look at marketing yourself in the world of real estate and green building- because she's lived it and breathed it and played in the sand piles with the big-boys.  If you weren't aware, Genevieve is a sustainability nerd, a ghost writer and the event hostess with the mostess in NoVa. 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. sedonakathy

    December 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks Lani and Genevieve! Great article! I’ll post it and teach it…. we were just talking about how many of the RE agents still need help finding the right tools.

    • Lani Rosales

      December 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Kathy, thank YOU!

      • sedonakathy

        December 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        🙂

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Business News

Finally the American workforce is now mostly women!

(BUSINESS NEWS) Women officially make up more than half the workforce, but that doesn’t mean total equality. So what does this tipping of the scale mean?

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Equality for women has finally been achieved: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now make up more than half of the workforce! That’s it, that’s the article.

Kidding. Just because women are currently in the majority doesn’t mean all their problems are solved.

First, it’s worth noting that although women currently make up more than half of employees on payroll, that number is slight (50.04% to be exact). Not to mention, women are very likely to fall back in the minority once construction – a male dominated profession – picks back up in the spring.

Still, the number of women in the workforce has been growing over the last decade. While jobs in manufacturing – another male dominated field – are dwindling, jobs in education and healthcare are growing. When it comes to K-12 teaching, for example, women are more likely to fill teaching roles. Women also dominate in nursing.

Not to mention, women are earning more degrees than men!

That said, despite this progress, women as a whole are still getting paid less than men. Part of the reason lies in the types of careers that women end up in. Those female-dominated fields we mentioned earlier? They don’t typically pay well. Plus, there’s that pesky glass ceiling that still exists in some fields. Remember, there are more CEOs named John than female CEOs.

It’s also worth noting that the information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics only covered people on a payroll. That means the growing number of freelancers aren’t being accounted for in the report. Freelancing has become a great way for individuals, often women, to stay home and care for their family while also earning money. It would be interesting to know how freelancers shift the balance, both in employment and income.

Finally, there’s the invisible labor that women often contribute to society. According to the UN, women account for 75% of all unpaid labor – which includes things like childcare, meal prep and cleaning. This is vital labor that is not accounted for by studies like that of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and sheds light into another reason why women might still have lower pay than men, on average.

So, yes, the fact that women make up over half the workforce is something to be celebrated! That said, we’ve still got work to do on the equality front.

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Business News

Interview escape plan 101: Because you definitely need one

(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?

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“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. Recently, 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

What’s DMT and why are techies and entrepreneurs secretly taking the drug?

(BUSINESS) The tech world and entrepreneur world are quietly taking a psychadellic in increasing numbers – they make a compelling case, but it’s not without risks.

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DMT

Move over tortured artists and festival-goers, psychedelics aren’t just for you anymore. An increasing number of professionals in Silicon Valley swear by “microdosing” psychedelic substances such as lysergic acid diethylamide(LSD) in efforts to heighten creativity and drive innovative efforts.

This probably isn’t a shock to anyone following trends in tech and startups, particularly the glorification of the 8-trillion hour workweek (#hustle). But business owners, entrepreneurs, and technologists are also turning to other hallucinogens to awaken higher levels of consciousness in hopes of influencing favorable business results.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is growing in popularity as business leaders and creatives flock to Peru or mastermind retreats to ingest the drug. It exists in the human body as well as other animals and plants. In his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Dr. Rick Strassman says “this ‘spirit’ molecule provides our consciousness access to the most amazing and unexpected visions, thoughts and feelings. It throws open the door to worlds beyond our imagination.”

The substance is commonly synthesized in a lab and smoked, with short-lived effects (between five to 45 minutes, however, some say it lasts for hours).

Traditionally, however, it is extracted from various Amazonian plant species and snuffed or consumed as a tea (called ayahuasca or yage). The effects of DMT when consumed in this manner can last as long as ten hours. Entrepreneurs are attracted to the “ayahuasca experience” for its touted ability to provide clarity, vision and inventiveness.

Physical effects are said to include an increase in blood pressure and a raised heart rate. Users report gastrointestinal effects when taken orally, commonly referred to as the “purge.” The purging can include vomiting or diarrhea, which makes for interesting conversation at the next company whiteboarding session.

Users are subject to dizziness, difficulty regulating body temperature, and muscular incoordination. Users also risk seizures, respiratory failure, or falling into a coma.

DMT can interfere with medications or foods, a reason why many indigenous tribes that work with it also follow specific dietary guidelines prior to ingestion. Not paying attention to diet or prescription medication prior to consuming ayahuasca or DMT can lead to the opposite of the intended effect, potentially even causing trauma or death.

So why the hell are people putting themselves through this ordeal?

Many claim profound mental effects, often experiencing a transformative occurrence that provides clarity and healing. Auditory and visual hallucinations are common, with reports of geometric shapes and sharp, bold colors. Many report intense out-of-body experiences, an altered sense of time and space or ego dissolution (“ego death”).

Studies have indicated long-term effects in people who use DMT. Some report a reduction in symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Subjects in an observational study showed significant reductions in stress after participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, with effects lasting through the 4-week follow-up period.

Subjects also showed improvements in convergent thinking that were still evident at the 4-week follow up. People who consume DMT generally chronicle improvements in their overall satisfaction of life, and claim they are more mindful and aware after the experience.

It’s important to note that dying from ayahuasca is rarely reported, but that doesn’t rule out the risk. It’s also illegal in the states, explaining why groups flock to Peru to visit licensed ayahuasca retreats or why technologists buy DMT on the dark web to avoid detection.

For those considering a DMT journey (and we don’t recommend it based on the illegal nature and health risks), it’s critical to gain a full understanding of the potential risks prior to consumption.

For more reading:

This story was first published here in June, 2019.

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