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It’s Realtor Safety Month, y’all! How’s about a pepper spray?

(BROKERAGE NEWS) It is Realtor Safety Month which means we have some information on some incredibly practical and useful products to help keep you safe!

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REALTOR SAFETY MONTH

September is National REALTOR® Safety Month, and the folks at SABRE (y’know, the pepper spray people) have some helpful tips to keep you protected on the job. Their press release notes, “from driving in cars with strangers to waiting alone at open houses, realtors deal with a unique set of personal safety problems while on the job

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“We’ve given their [real estate agents’] situation a lot of thought,” notes SABRE CEO David Nance. “In addition to having the right tools, we also try to give our clients the right knowledge to stay safe.” Brush up on SABRE’S suggestions to stay safe not just this month, but year round as well.

SET UP A CHECK-IN TIME

Let someone know where you’re going whenever you head to an open house or are meeting a client. Set up a check-in time with your coworkers, friends, or family so they know when to expect you back, or how long they should wait to hear from you again.

For example, when I have a friend going on a date with someone they’ve never met, we establish a check-in time. If my friend isn’t back home or I don’t hear from them during the discussed timeframe, I call or text to see if everything is okay.

ESTABLISH AN EXIT PLAN

When I call, if something is wrong or my friend just wants to leave, I pull from my list of excuses to get them out of the situation. When it comes to your safety, making excuses is okay. Even if there aren’t any red flags with a client, always plan for a way out ahead of time. If something doesn’t feel quite right, you’ll be prepared to leave instead of fumbling for a plan.

Brainstorm a list of possible, believable reasons to leave a situation ahead of time with your friends or coworkers.

My personal favorite: pretending to get locked out of the house or office. SABRE suggests getting even more spy-oriented and setting up a code word you can use in case you have to make the “save me” call in front of your problem client.

Other reasonable excuses: picking up a child from school or practice, urgent call from a coworker or family member, or some sort of office disaster. Get creative, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to provide details. Just be confident about your fake reason.

BE PREPARED

On airplanes, my dad taught me to count how many rows of seats to the exits. That way I can find my way in the dark and not panic in case of an emergency. Likewise, you should practice routes you’ll be driving with clients so you can be confident about directions, and can’t be taken advantage of by getting misrouted to an unsafe location.

Never let the client be the driver when carpooling to a location. Also make sure you have cell coverage during your trial drives. Walk around the house you’ll be showing and ensure you’ve got some bars in every part of the property.

SABRE also recommends utilizing their line of safety products, which range from keychain-sized pepper spray to personal alarms with motion detectors. Fun fact: pepper spray is legal in all 50 states.

MAINTAIN YOUR PRIVACY

Don’t mix personal and private. Only use your office address and work number on your business cards and paperwork. Don’t provide your personal home or cell phone number to clients, and if you use social media, create a separate business account.

SABRE stresses “the smartest thing to do is take your personal safety into your own hands.” Don’t get caught off guard. Regularly review how you’re maintaining your personal safety, and make plans with your coworkers to plan together. Check out their full line of tips and products at SABRE’S site and stay safe.

#BeSafe

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Real Estate Brokerage

Brokerages rarely write an internal communication strategy, here’s why they should

(BUSINESS) Almost no real estate brokerages have an internal communication strategy, but they absolutely should.

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It’s still early enough in the year that you can start fresh, personally and professionally. Help your organization by taking into account what’s happened in recent history and where you want to go. From there, you will determine what steps are necessary to achieve your goals.

Writing an internal communication (IC) strategy can be the first step in mapping your goals and is virtually unused in the real estate industry. According to All Things IC, an “internal communication strategy is like a map, an outline of your organization’s journey. It’s the big picture of what you want to achieve.” This can be done by a brokerage, or an independent agent alike.

Great! So, where do you start? First, know what an IC strategy needs to address. This includes the where, how, what, and why.

Write down the current state of the company, then state where you’re heading, or where you’d like to be. Create a list of objectives to support this.

Then break into your “how.” Explain how you are going to get to where you want to be, as well as how long it will take and why.

You’ll then venture over to a “what” by outlining what is involved along the way to your goal. Then, throw in a little “why” by explaining why this approach is the best for the job.

Go back to “how” and tell how you’ll know when you’ve reached your destination. This part will require tangibles, measurements to support a change in reaching your goal.

Finally, give one more “what” and address what will happen if you don’t change the way you’re currently operating. If things are working for your organization, that’s great! But, there is always room for improvement.

For an internal communication strategy, it is important to include the following: a title, an issue/purpose, structure, executive summary, audience segmentation/stakeholder mapping, a timeline, channels, measurement, communication objective, approval process and responsibilities, key messages, and an appendix.

Now, what was missing from the initial inclusions was a “who.” So, who should be the one to write this document?

Well, it needs to be someone with a strong understanding and implementation for internal communications. This can be done internally by someone on staff who is an expert; or, it can be outsourced to an expert. Regardless of who writes it, make sure it is clear and concise for the audience at hand.

What is most important to remember is that writing an internal communication strategy is just half the battle. Your work is not done once this document is agreed upon by the leadership team. And finally, you must be willing to enforce what’s written on these pages and be ready to make the changes you’ve outlined.

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Real Estate Brokerage

COVID-19: Huge list of resources to quickly help you and your clients

(NEWS) NAR has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for Realtors, homeowners, and insights on how the stimulus bill will impact the industry.

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As the COVID-19 crisis continues to rattle the globe, many of us have far more questions than answers. Realtors are trying to figure out how to be socially responsible, stay healthy, and maintain their business.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has collected several resources to help you and your clients stay informed of industry happenings during these difficult times.

Click the following headlines for the full lists.

Resources for property owners

This guide collects resources curated by trusted sources like the American Land Title Association, bank regulators, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide property owners with guidance during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the resources provided include:

  • A real-time list of county record office closures
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Information from major banking institutions regarding their policies and customer outreach
  • Information from mortgage insurers
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure and eviction moratorium

Guidance on tech-driven alternatives to open houses

As more states head into lockdown or shelter-in-place situations, open houses are a no-go now and for the foreseeable future. While many are concerned about what this means for their business, there are options available as long as you are willing to get creative and embrace technology. In order to help facilitate this shift, the NAR has created a set of guidelines to help members navigate this situation in a way that is safe for them and their clients.

How stimulus recovery will affect the industry

A $2 trillion economic relief bill just passed the U.S. Senate and is expected to pass through the U.S. House and Presidential office without issue. The NAR has been hard at work to make sure that self-employed and independent contractors will see relief from this stimulus package.

What are Realtors doing to help their communities?

Realtors are a vital part of their communities; they know the neighborhoods and small business owners whom they see every day. During the COVID-19 crisis many realtors across the country are doing their part to help the most vulnerable people in their communities.

This is a constantly evolving situation as every state is being faced with tough decisions that affect the health of the citizens and economy. We encourage realtors to stay safe and continue checking resources as the situation progresses in their area.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Project Hatch: Advice directly from successful people

(BUSINESS) Project Hatch shares stories of major founders around the world in an effort to help others grow professionally and “found” their dreams.

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Even if we’re at the tip top of the professional food chain, there is always something that we can learn from those who came before us. Additionally, there is always something that can be learned from peers (or mentors if you’re continuing the career-ladder climb).

This is the intent of Project Hatch, which is designed to tell the stories of founders in order to inspire others who are looking to go down that path. “The best way to learn how to build a company is from those who have done it before,” according to Project Hatch’s official website. “Project Hatch features case studies and analysis from the view-point of founding teams.”

Examples of case studies include some current heavy hitters, such as Tyler Handley – founder of Inkbox, Alex Zaccaria – founder of Linktree, and David Ciccarelli – founder of Voices.com. Their stories include where they are and how they got there.

“So for us, the primary drivers of growth have typically been performance marketing and the associated word of mouth and the organic and return off that. So Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap and we’re experimenting with TicTok right now,” – Tyler Handley

“We created a solution to a problem that we thought was unique to us; but it turns out millions of other people had the same problem. One of the key moments of validation for us, was early on, when the platform was uploaded to Product Hunt,” – Alex Zaccaria

“Exactly two years ago, we raised $18 million USD from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital out of San Francisco. As growth stage equity investors, they were attracted to a large and growing market for voice and audio products,” – David Ciccarelli

The case studies include four key areas that are broken down for major industries. These include: ecommerce, media, agency, and SaaS. With ecommerce, you can learn how to create scalable stores; with media, you can find out how media giants receive hundreds of millions of views on different social platforms; with agency, you can learn how to be more innovative in order to standout in today’s competitive market; and, SaaS offers the most passive form of online income when done correctly, so they feature those who have done it (and are making $600k per month!)

Project Hatch boasts over 15,000 monthly users, over 33,000 monthly page views, and 111 monthly interviews. The site also includes run downs of celebrities’ net worths (so, be sure to look through that if you want to feel bad about yourself).

This is a solid platform that offers something interesting for everyone at any point in their career. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, since there is so much professional advice out there, don’t go overboard looking into so much of it that you forget to do your own work.

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