How to Get Ahead in 2018

Feb 11, 2018 by

Success doesn’t happen by chance; it’s the result of creating goals, developing focus, practicing good habits and committing to hard work. The process isn’t glamorous; however, the results lead to the life and business you want. The key to getting ahead begins with a solid start.

Have a plan. “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” especially if you live in a competitive market. Once you’ve set goals to reach, outline your plan to achieve them. What activities will help you achieve your goals and how often will you do them? Write down each activity, as well as whether you’ll do them daily, weekly, etc. Then, schedule them into your calendar so you can ensure you do them. If you’re using a relationship-based CRM, what you need to do and how often is automatically calculated and proposed as you establish your goals.

Get back to basics. The fundamentals are the bedrock of your business; they’re the timeless non-negotiables required to move from stability to success, and then onto significance. Although technology and other tools can aid along the way, by sticking with the basics, and building long-term relationships with those in your database, you’ll develop a thriving business.

Sharpen your communication skills. We all prefer to be communicated with in a certain way, and when our expectations aren’t met, that’s when misunderstandings occur. When you understand your clients and their communication style, you can connect with them on a deeper level. Do they prefer to get the facts first or do they want to imagine themselves in the home? Are they straightforward and get straight to the point of the conversation, or do they prefer a bit of small talk before you get to the reason for calling? By understanding different communication styles, you can speak to your client how they wish to be spoken to and stand apart from your competition.

Use your time more efficiently. Efficiency and productivity go hand-in-hand. If you want to boost your productivity, it’s essential to get organized. Organization is a struggle for many agents and real estate professionals, and many become overwhelmed trying to rein in the chaos. It’s important to develop strategies that will help you work more efficiently.

  • Delegate the smaller, time-consuming tasks to an assistant or to someone with that specialty. For example, if taxes aren’t your strength, hire a tax professional to handle your business and personal taxes for you. If you have trouble remembering to send your monthly marketing materials each month, assign it to an assistant or have them sent for you.
  • Set priorities. When you work for yourself, everything seems like a priority. The trick is to pinpoint the tasks that are a true priority from the tasks that aren’t as important. When you review your to-do list each day, select one or two tasks that have to get done no matter what. Then, once those are complete, choose the next two most important tasks. You may not get everything done in a day; however, you will complete all the tasks that matter the most.
  • Time block. Schedule your day to ensure you’ll complete your top priorities. Time blocking allows you to focus on a single task for an hour or so. During that hour, you’ll keep distractions and less important tasks at bay. This allows you to focus on your top priority of the hour, whether it’s lead generation or planning your next client party.

Commit to personal growth. If you want to grow your business, it’s essential to grow your mind, as well. Attend seminars to get game-changing tools to boost your business and network with other successful professionals. Also, make time in your day to read books written by or about successful business leaders and listen to podcasts in your car when you’re on your way to a listing appointment or driving to the office. These tasks may seem small (and are often pushed off to the next day’s to-do list); however, their impact is huge, both in your business and in your life.

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The post How to Get Ahead in 2018 appeared first on RISMedia.


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Achieving Financial Wellness in 2018 and Beyond

Jan 20, 2018 by

Financial security during your working years, and in retirement, is a top priority for every member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). However, since most members work as independent contractors, or brokerage owners/managers, they don’t have access to employer retirement savings plans, making it especially challenging to plan for long-term financial security.

Many REALTORS®, including those who are enjoying success in their careers, do not achieve basic financial planning goals. NAR research shows that:

  • 43 percent are not saving for retirement
  • 42 percent do not feel prepared for a financial emergency
  • Only 46 percent are “completely confident” they can retire when they are ready

Adding to the problem, REALTORS® tend to be extremely busy and preoccupied with helping clients. Early in their career, it’s easy to postpone retirement planning; later, it’s tempting to assume it’s too late to make meaningful improvements.

Turning the Corner
Changing course requires action. Recognizing the importance of the challenge, 2017 NAR President Bill Brown pledged to help members take charge of their financial lives. He convened a Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) of REALTORS® from across the country chaired by NAR Past President Sharon Millett, and met twice for a total of four days to identify and recommend steps to support members’ financial strength through education and other resources. Major recommendations and initiatives stemming from the PAG’s work include:

  1. New Financial Wellness Program
    The PAG’s top recommendation focused on engaging members on the importance of financial wellness and wealth-building, including negotiating with a national financial services firm to provide personalized financial and investment planning services with valuable member benefits for those that participate.

This past November, NAR announced that Bank of America Merrill Lynch had been selected to develop a financial wellness program with customized member benefits. The program will include personalized financial education services, as well as online resources and financial workshops designed to assist NAR members with achieving their financial goals based on age, life stage and needs.

The new Bank of America Merrill Lynch services will be offered through NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. Later this year, watch for a new interactive website (at with worksheets and personal assessments, as well as planning tools that deliver an understanding of budgeting, goal-setting, planning, saving, and investing.

  1. Investing in Real Estate
    Even though REALTORS® are intimately familiar with the benefits of building wealth through real estate, only 30 percent of members own investment properties. NAR’s eight-hour course titled “Real Estate Investing: Build Wealth Representing Investors and Becoming One Yourself” is an excellent resource for honing a smart investment strategy. To learn more about the course and current classroom offerings, visit
  1. Selling Your Business
    With proper planning, many brokers, agents and teams can position their business to be a salable asset upon retirement. NAR’s commitment to financial wellness includes developing best practice tools and “how-to” advice for preparing well-documented records and systems that can help you monetize your book of business at the time of a sale or merger.
  1. Regional Events
    To continue raising awareness and provide additional learning opportunities, watch for a variety of regional events and educational programming throughout the year.

Stay Tuned
NAR is fully committed to helping members save, invest and build wealth for a strong financial future. Each of the initiatives noted above, and several others, are part of a coordinated NAR “Retirement and Financial Wellness” program, rolling out later this year.

Updates will be posted at Working together, we aim to help all members achieve strong financial footing by offering resources and other tools for wealth-building, business-planning, and investing in real estate.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

The post Achieving Financial Wellness in 2018 and Beyond appeared first on RISMedia.


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2018 Rate and Housing Outlook with Barry Habib – Replay

Jan 8, 2018 by

There was a technical issue of the original release of this show last Wednesday, so we are re-releasing it today if you missed it.

The post 2018 Rate and Housing Outlook with Barry Habib – Replay appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

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2018 Outdoor Living Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations

Jan 7, 2018 by

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures, Cantina doors, and the home owner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space.  In fact, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS’ Profile of Home Staging report, the desire to see outdoor spaces staged when selling a home was at 63 percent.  It was not even mentioned in the previous survey.

This outdoor space total transformation is a great example of the kinds of living trends you can expect to see for 2018 and beyond.

Trend #1 – Capitalizing on Available and Unusable Yard Space by Creating Multi-Functional Entertaining Areas

This side yard off the kitchen and dining area was an unusable space used only for barbecuing and the occasional outdoor eating. The patio was too small.  Today’s yards are multi-functional and serve to entertain, lounge, and maximize lot square footage.


BEFORE / Photo credit:





The side yard appears to be much bigger than before and now serves as an extension of the kitchen and living room area.  The wasted and unused yard is now a highlight of the home adding nearly 1,000 square feet of living space.

Trend #2 – Bring the Outside In with La Cantina/Folding Doors








Removing the kitchen wall and adding La Cantina folding doors allows for seamless movement between the inside and out.  Almost every new home being built in San Diego County has one of these doors inside, so expect to see a lot more of these in the coming years.

Trend #3– Home Bars and Wine Rooms for Entertaining

The casual setting of a home bar is on the rise with a large selection of finishing materials and resources available online to home owners.  More people are entertaining larger crowds in a “help yourself” type of atmosphere.  The Houzz category of “Home Bar” is one of the fastest growing and searched type of photos. So it’s no wonder people are adding them to their outdoor space.






Trend #4 – Textured Walls/Tongue and Groove Siding

Part of making an outside addition appear to be seamless to the inside is to not have the walls look like the outside of a house.  An easy way to create the “indoor look” is to banish stucco entirely and use tongue and groove, as well as wood cabinets (treated and painted) to add character.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:


Trend #5 – Seamless Outdoor Heating that Works and is Energy Efficient

It wasn’t that long ago home owners were relegated to the indoors for most of the year due to cold and hot weather issues.  Sophisticated and low energy heating units embedded into the ceiling make this a year round space for watching TV and entertaining!


Photo credit:

Photo credit:


Trend #6 – Matching Flooring as an “Extension” of the Indoor Space

Keeping in line with the home owner’s desire for a seamless movement between inside and outside, flooring options have widened allowing owner’s to use tile that looks like wood but is hardy and easy to wash in their outside space.







From a resale standpoint, these outdoor spaces cost much less than additions and add buyer lifestyle value.  Light fixtures, finishes, and furnishings that can withstand the outdoor elements are easier to source than ever before, so it can be fun for the designer/stager to get creative with their clients.

Slinkey ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and RedesignersConnect with her on Facebook!




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