Industry Influencers: Letting Others Experience Your Business

Sep 1, 2019 by

Editor’s Note: The Industry Influencers series analyzes the industry’s most effective marketing efforts and shares experts’ actionable insights.

Record. Review. Repurpose.

That’s the ideology Michael Hellickson—CEO and founder of Club Wealth®, a real estate coaching and consulting company—follows. His company’s YouTube page has nearly 2,000 subscribers and his Facebook business page has nearly 10,000 followers. Hellickson typically speaks to a broker audience, presenting video resources to help them grow their business.

“We use video in ads and posts on social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as our blog and in training videos,” says Hellickson. “Once recorded, our production team analyzes, edits and repurposes the videos in numerous ways. Video is at the core of our marketing.”

Leveraging Immediacy With Live Broadcasts
Hellickson’s presence is particularly strong on Facebook, where he’s been able to use the Live functionality to host webinars with multiple panelists. These events span myriad topics, such as agent onboarding, building an army of inside sales agents and tricks to boost business.

Typically, they range from 30 minutes to an hour, and viewers can ask questions and have them answered in real time.

On Instagram, Hellickson creates a more personalized experience, speaking directly to the camera about quick takeaways for ensuring business success. Additionally, he blends personal posts with business tidbits, allowing viewers to experience the coaching side of the company, along with the personality.

“When someone engages with enough of your videos, they begin to know and trust you, and often feel like they know you before they’ve ever met you,” says Hellickson. “This leads to increased opt-in and conversion of leads. Traditional marketing fails to offer consumers the opportunity to experience you and get to know you.”

According to Hellickson, video performs much better than other types of posts on social media.

“Most social platforms rank videos higher in their algorithms and serve video up to far more people than images or text,” says Hellickson. “Additionally, motion creations emotion, so your posts get noticed.”

Hellickson shares the following tips for agents wanting to incorporate video into their marketing:

  1. “Use what you have, even if it’s just a smartphone camera. You don’t need expensive equipment.”
  2. “Caption everything. Over 80 percent of all video views are done without audio.”
  3. “Despite No. 2, audio quality is very important. Consumers expect clear, clean audio, and will leave quickly without it.”
  4. “Don’t overthink it. No one cares about your hair, makeup, etc. Just be your authentic self and learn to get comfortable on camera no matter what you’re wearing.”
  5. “Post regularly (ideally daily) and in multiple places.”
  6. Watch the video below to see how Hellickson approaches live broadcasts:

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Liz your real estate news ideas at  

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3 Decor Factors That Shape How We Experience a Room

Jul 31, 2019 by

The positive or negative response we get upon entering a room is nearly instantaneous. We don’t need to carefully examine each corner or turn over every pillow to decide if a room makes us feel good or not. But what gives us such a strong first impression? Many of the ways we experience a room have to do with a psychological response that happens behind the scenes. This is why most homebuyers end up choosing a house based on the emotional response they get within moments of entering a home—not the detailed list of pros and cons they’ve made.

There are various factors that go into how we experience a room, and in fact, many of the principles of feng shui are based on the intangible influences of design. Here are three different ways we shape our impression of a room:

How we perceive a room with our senses tells us what we know to be true about the room and provides a way of describing it. Through our sense of sight we experience colors, each of which will elicit a different impression. Our eyes also pick up on important details such as patterns, scale and lighting. Our sense of smell is the most tied to memory, so a pleasant one, like scented candles, will connect us with memories that inspire positive emotions, while a foul smell, like garbage, will really turn us off. Textures used to decorate a room should also be taken into consideration. Materials such as silk, wood, linen or wool give satisfaction to our sense of touch.

Our personal feelings significantly impact how we experience a room and will usually take precedence over our ability to rationalize. With that in mind, there are many decorating details that can trigger subtle (or not so subtle) emotional responses.

Art is one example. If the subject matter features a depressing scene or sad characters, it’ll definitely bring down the mood of a room. If you had some cut flowers on your coffee table, but they’ve wilted and dried out, that’s another detail that’ll put a damper on someone’s emotional response. It’s important to think about the kind of symbolism placed in a room and how it might influence our emotions.

Spatial Harmony
If furniture placement and scale is out of sync or doesn’t make sense, it can negatively affect how we experience a room, especially a small one. Chairs that are placed too far away from each other make conversation difficult, while being too close together will make a room feel cramped. It’s important to consider how the furniture, decorations and room are meant to interact with each other.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to interior decorating than just picking the right shelf ornament. If you keep these principles in mind, guests won’t be able to quite describe why they feel so good in your home.

Source: Mikkie Mills/RISMedia’s Housecall

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Delivering the Experience Clients Demand

Jul 13, 2019 by

EliteAgent by zipLogixTM Sets Real Estate Professionals Up for Next-Level Success

As consumers continue to demand more from their real estate agent, providing a world-class experience that will stick with the client for years to come is more critical than ever before. But how can real estate professionals set themselves up for next-level success?

For Mercy De Jesus, a REALTOR® with eXp Realty, the answer lies in EliteAgent by zipLogixTM—a new premium transaction management technology suite.

Launching earlier this year, EliteAgent by zipLogixTM is a curation of all the best new and existing zipLogix technology and priority services that support top-producing real estate professionals.

A huge proponent of zipLogix since she got her real estate license in 2013, De Jesus purchased the technology suite soon after it became available.

“The reason I chose to purchase EliteAgent is because it had a bundle of things I was already interested in using, including zipForm Record-ConnectTM and ListFlash®,” says De Jesus, “making it an affordable way to purchase what I was looking for.”

While zipForm Record-ConnectTM empowers agents to increase their speed to sale, ListFlash® is a boon when it comes to instantly broadcasting just-signed listings.

But it doesn’t end there. In fact, the elite technology suite also allows agents to keep their clients’ data secure with CyberSafe, stay connected anywhere business calls with zipForm® Mobile, and further boosts productivity by adding a zipForm® seat license for a transaction coordinator or assistant with zipForm® Transaction Coordinator—a tool that De Jesus is looking forward to taking advantage of as she continues to become more comfortable with the product.

Upping the ante even further, EliteAgent by zipLogixTM complements De Jesus’ personality, as well as the way she prefers to conduct business.

“The fact that EliteAgent is paperless means everything to me,” says De Jesus, who prefers to do everything electronically, saving valuable time in today’s fast-paced environment.

“I’d rather do everything online than have to print documents because it makes the entire process easier to organize—and keeps things moving quickly,” explains De Jesus. “While there are still folks in El Paso who need that one-on-one, in-person meeting, we’re seeing less of those as time goes on.”

EliteAgent is now owned by Lone Wolf Technologies, who acquired zipLogixTM in April 2019. The company will lean on its combined resources and industry experience to increase the value EliteAgent provides REALTORS® like De Jesus, and enhance the transaction experience they’re able to provide to their clients in the future.

Looking ahead, De Jesus has no doubt that EliteAgent by zipLogixTM will continue to help her stand out in the crowded El Paso marketplace.

For more information, please visit

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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Cartus Accelerates Into Next Phase of Digital Transformation With Reinvigorated Client Experience

Feb 6, 2019 by

Cartus Corporation, a Realogy company and a market leader in global mobility, has a dedicated focus on creating innovative technology for clients, customers, partners and employees. With key leadership in place and a clear strategy, Cartus is poised to drive the business forward by building expertise in areas such as product innovation, digital transformation and predictive analytics.

The recently-launched version of the new client interface in CartusOnline® is the first of many planned tech enhancements Cartus will be unveiling over the coming months. This latest reinvigorated version incorporates dynamic data analytics while offering a modern look and feel for an enhanced user experience. All clients will benefit from advanced business intelligence and data visualization right on their homepage.

The new homepage offers mobility leaders a complete snapshot into their active relocations. Key features include:

  • Simplified navigation and streamlined interactivity
  • Integrated data visualizations with enhanced drill-through capabilities
  • Powerful ad-hoc reporting capabilities to build your own reports from the ground up
  • Consolidated “To Do” items with color-coded badges
  • Move phase categorizations
  • Integrated feedback mechanism
  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design
  • Advanced keyboard shortcuts for power users

In a truly collaborative effort, the Product Solutions team aligned with Cartus Account Management to develop this new client experience. The redesigned client interface provides enhanced access to tools and incorporates key features based on client suggestions and feedback.

MovePro Vision available for clients with significant supporting data

Cartus recently unveiled their next predictive analytics innovation for global relocation, MovePro VisionSM. MovePro Vision is the first client-facing product designed to anticipate events and provide data-driven decision support during the corporate relocation process. Clients who have completed a statistically significant number of moves—which is required to generate the data needed to fully benefit from this technology—can designate MovePro Vision access to key mobility leaders.

MovePro Vision is powered by LEAP, Cartus’ Leading Edge Analytics Practice, which predicts and develops insights based on the company’s rich history of industry-exclusive data:

  • 3 million relocations
  • 7,700 unique country combinations
  • 80 million financial transactions

“Whether you’re managing dozens of moves in a single country or thousands of assignments across multiple continents, relocation is a complex machine,” says David Pascoe, senior VP of the EMEA and APAC regions at Cartus. Our reinvigorated client experience simplifies the entire online management process by putting the most relevant tools and information at your fingertips from the initial log-in. From verifying expenses, authorizing new assignments or predicting exception trends, the new client experience is designed to provide our clients what they need to make their job easier and your employees’ moves better.”

“It is an exciting time to be at Cartus,” says Michelle Vallejo, senior VP of the Americas region at Cartus. “We have a sharp focus on developing technology that delivers substantial benefits for our clients and customers. We initiated in-depth discussions with a variety of stakeholders and were able to incorporate many of their ideas and suggestions into our new client interface. The result is a clean and fresh look with easy-to-navigate pages filled with pertinent information.”

“Cartus’ technology evolution is focused on creating a smarter and more intuitive digital experience across all of our products and services,” says Nica Ganley, VP of Analytics and Technology Solutions at Cartus. “With our shift to an ‘Agile Development’ model, we will be able to meet client needs in a timely manner while offering flexibility in adapting to their changing priorities.”

For more information, please visit  

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2018 REBAC Hall of Fame Inductees: How Education Can Enhance the Buyer Experience

Nov 24, 2018 by

Nearly 30,000 members make up the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC)—25,000 of which hold the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. On an annual basis, REBAC recognizes a select group of individuals who have displayed exemplary acts of buyer representation and who have played a significant role as experts and leaders in the industry. These ABR® designees are chosen for the REBAC Hall of Fame by an independent panel.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include John Ralph of Team North Star of the Wells Group in Durango, Colo; Lyla Stark of RE/MAX Jefferson City in Missouri; and Michael Straley of the Go Straley Group at eXp Realty. The inductees were showcased during the ABR®, SRES® & GREEN Networking and Awards Reception at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 3, 2018.

But what does it mean to be a Hall of Famer?

According to Straley, who is the supervising broker of Stafford Market Center at eXp Realty, the recognition comes with a sense of responsibility for elevating the real estate industry and the value of homeownership.

Michael Strale

“I hope to raise awareness for what I believe is foundational for our country: the ownership of real property and the laws surrounding it,” says Straley. “When you own something, as opposed to renting it, you treat it differently and you feel like the rule of law protects you. It’s a lifelong dream, and when people achieve it, they go through a transformation that’s exciting to watch. I hope my Hall of Fame achievement helps to promote that.”

Stark, associate at RE/MAX Jefferson City who never dreamed she’d be so successful in real estate and has found her calling, has always followed the philosophy of working toward truly helping people instead of being a salesperson, which aligns with the REBAC mission of buyer representation—to bring that goal of homeownership to clients with a service-oriented attitude.

Ralph, licensed associate real estate broker of Team North Star at the Wells Group, believes Hall of Famers have an obligation to show dedication to their career and clients.

John Ralph

“This includes continued education that helps enhance service to those buyers you can help throughout the years. It also means participation in your real estate boards and community activities, whether it’s on a local, state or even national level,” says Ralph. “Helping promote the REALTOR® brand and image so that those you work with understand the benefits—and realize they can trust you to do the best job on their behalf—is a major contributing factor.”

Community involvement is another common thread that binds Hall of Famer recipients together.

Playing a significant role in local groups and real estate associations can help REALTORS® establish themselves as experts, which goes a long way toward helping to advance REBAC’s mission—commitment to buyer representation and its practice.

For Ralph, a recurring involvement in local and state boards is very rewarding and one of the resources he uses to stay well-informed of changing technological and industry trends, as well as local and national real estate market shifts.

Lyla Stark

“While participating on various committees over a 15-year period, I served as president of my board twice and as one of the six district vice presidents on our state board,” says Ralph. “Knowing that I can make a difference helping to shape the future of our profession as we deal with so much new technology and how it affects our role in real estate is exceptionally gratifying.”

Additionally, volunteering his time and resources to charity has made Ralph realize that he gets back so much more than what he gives—a sense of accomplishment and being able to help others. Ralph’s brokerage sets aside a percentage of each closing commission to put toward community causes, such as for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Project Merry Christmas for disadvantaged families.

Straley agrees on the benefits of community involvement, having been involved with multiple organizations over the years, both with industry groups and also with non-real estate-related associations.

“I volunteered at the Thurman Brisben Center, a homeless shelter, for about five years and helped run a job-assistance program there twice a month. In addition, I was also the Women’s Council of REALTORS® president in 2016 for the Fredericksburg Network and received the Virginia Women’s Council of REALTORS® Member of the Year award in 2015.”

In addition, Straley has been involved with local church groups, as has Stark.

“I’m a very strong member of my church and make donations,” says Stark, who has also worked with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise donations for cancer research, in addition to working with Habitat for Humanity alongside her son to help build residential homes for families in need.

Most important, however, is a shared goal toward self-improvement, specifically regarding client care.

What does education do for real estate professionals?

“One of the most important things it does is give you new insight into how buyers should be treated and how they should be given special guidance. Counsel them and you open up a whole new world,” says Stark.

According to Straley, continuing education and designations take agents and brokers to another level.

“Being a real estate professional and running your company means that your education, in so many aspects, needs to continually incline. When you see people in the industry educate themselves, they go through these transformations of understanding, and watching them elevate their company…it’s like these light switches go off.”

“One of the most important highs for a REALTOR® is to take the time to learn about buyer representation and get the ABR® designation,” says Stark, who shares that the confidence learned from these courses shows buyers that you’re looking out for their best interest, especially in today’s buyer-beware environment.

Ralph, who has benefited highly from his ABR® designation, doesn’t understand why there aren’t more industry professionals in his area who take advantage of continuing education.

“I can proudly advertise being an expert at helping buyers,” says Ralph. “When I put this together with CRS, RSPS, e-PRO® and CIPS, it gives me a point of differentiation so that I can explain to people that only a small percentage of REALTORS® around the country are committed enough to this profession to do what it takes to earn these designations.”

In the end? These Hall of Famers understand that ABR® and other designations show clients how passionate an agent or broker is about their career and helping clients reach their homeownership dreams.

“The ABR® designation is very recognizable. Most people wouldn’t climb a mountain without being outfitted properly, and I believe this designation is the proper ‘equipment’ for industry professionals,” says Straley. “The ABR® designation lets you learn from the success of others, instead of by making mistakes, and is the highest level of professional acumen out there. Leverage all of the designations—there’s so much to learn.” 

For more information, please visit

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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