Mind Shift: 4 Quick Tips to Jumpstart 2018

Dec 6, 2017 by

Can you believe it? It’s less than a few weeks until 2017 closes and 2018 launches. If you’re reviewing your numbers and aren’t exactly where you planned to be, let’s focus on how to jumpstart your 2018 with high production.

Many agents buy into limited thinking about the “slowing down of the market” due to the upcoming holidays, but nothing could be further from the truth. What really happens is serious buyers and sellers need the help of agents who are available to assist them right after the holidays end…so we need to be ready. Don’t miss the opportunity to maximize these last few weeks to jumpstart your income and productivity before the first quarter of 2018 ends.

Here are a few quick tips to ensure your income rocks into 2018:

Use holiday celebrations to connect. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with all your current and past clients/prospects and referral partners. Whether it’s hosting a simple open house during the week for holiday cheer or a full-blown event, make contact to let them know you appreciate the opportunity to work together. Double the effectiveness of the connection by adding a charity benefit element. Ask for a food donation for the local food bank or animal shelter, or a Toys for Tots contribution. Don’t miss the chance to reach out with a face-to-face meeting when possible.

Make a donation in the client’s name. If a face-to-face event isn’t an option, send buyers and sellers a handwritten note thanking them for their business and let them know you’ve made a donation in their name to a local charity. By making a donation to a client’s favorite charity (for example, if they’ve recently adopted a dog, make a small donation to the local animal shelter), you’re showing them that you’re interested in their lives. Save those donation receipts, as those are a tax deduction for you, as well.

Go through your 2017 closed transactions. Pull the names and addresses of both the buyer and seller of each transaction that closed. Make hard copies of the closing documents and include a letter scheduled to be mailed the first week of January. The letter should acknowledge that the holidays are over, and remind them that tax season is right around the corner. For their convenience, you’re sending an extra copy of their closing documents to help them prepare. Include an offer from your lender partner to contact them for a no-obligation, no-cost annual mortgage review and identity-theft screening. This sets the stage for your lender and you to connect with purpose every year as an ongoing consulting opportunity. For a complimentary tax letter, go to

Set up a quiet hour to lay out your business plan for 2018. Review where your business came from and inspect the return on your investment from lead-generation platforms you may be paying for to be sure they’re worth the cost and conversion of each lead. It’s also important to determine your four pillars of income for 2018. Need more builder business? Develop a marketing plan to connect with more builders. Want to convert more expired listings? Look at online platforms to systematize daily contacts. Inspect what you expect for more profitability with consistency and focus.

Real estate will always be a person-to-person business. Reach out and “touch” clients during the holidays in order to propel yourself to profits, and to purposefully plan for more sales in 2018.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or

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The post Mind Shift: 4 Quick Tips to Jumpstart 2018 appeared first on RISMedia.


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Five Tips to Make Your Brand Top of Mind

Sep 29, 2016 by

Staying ahead of the competition in real estate is all about building top-of-mind awareness. Often, the more unique your approach, the better, as it sets you apart from competitors. When it comes to building and maintaining your image across multiple networks, it can be challenging to establish a strong identity and build trust with buyers and sellers, as each platform offers a different user experience and requires a distinct marketing approach.

The key to a strong branding strategy is to present a consistent tone, message and image, as it allows consumers to verify the authenticity of your brand. This helps to reinforce your identity, strengthens brand recall and drives positive sentiment. Here are five tips to help you develop a solid brand identity across your social channels, website, blogs, and more.

  1. Get to know your audience.

At this point in your career, you have an idea of the type of buyers and sellers you typically work with and understand their wants and needs. Take a look at their social channels to see what they’re posting and how you can create content that fits their needs. By the same token, when you gain a new follower, reciprocate their interaction. Engage with their posts where appropriate to show that you’re listening and have a true interest in the relationship.

  1. Develop consistent engagement.

Post regularly on social media, but don’t overdo it, either. There’s a fine balance, because if you post too often, you could risk losing your followers. Consider the advantages of posting your content on multiple channels to reach a wider audience, but be sure to tailor your posts to fit each site’s style.

  1. Offer helpful resources.

Today, building brand loyalty is about giving buyers and sellers instant access to valuable information. Since consumers can research and find anything online, agents and brokers need to stand out with specific content that can help clients in their selling or buying process. Developing blogs, videos, checklists and other content will resonate with clients, distinguish you as an expert and keep you top of mind. offers a variety of brandable consumer resources that you can personalize and share with your clients.

  1. Build authentic connections.

As a brand, agents should keep in mind that platforms like social media are forms of socializing. You’re building relationships just as you would when networking in person. Because of this, it’s important to establish and develop your online voice. When engaging with your followers, relax, show your human side, and be genuine. By creating a more relaxed identity, you’re showing that you’re more than just a real estate service. To do this, post content you’re interested in that doesn’t necessarily relate to real estate, such as your favorite decorating ideas, cute dog videos, etc.

  1. Consistency is key.

Consumers should recognize your brand regardless of the setting or platform. To do so, be sure all of your images and colors are tied back to your business. Remember, your brand style should be an extension of your business, so derive it from existing materials, like your website, marketing materials, signage and business cards. The goal is to seamlessly connect all of your platforms so prospects and clients will recognize your work in every location. Customize your cover photos so that your image has a consistent look and feel from one social network to the next. Remember to tailor the graphics to each network’s size requirements, and use your logo where possible, along with uniform colors, fonts and design style. For personal branding, agents should use their professional headshot. Sharing that smiling face on all networks will create a warm first impression.

Not sure you’re able to manage all of these moving social branding pieces? can help! With the release of Social Fuel, we’ve created new opportunities to ignite your social strategy. With specialized Facebook Ad targeting, personalized social content for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, and an all-in-one reputation manager, we offer content that is unique to your network and designed to receive maximum engagement. Learn more about our new Social Fuel to boost your brand and see how you can connect with more buyers and sellers today!

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4 retirement saving mind games

Oct 28, 2013 by

I was reading recently about endurance swimmer Diana Nyad’s feat of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. The physical details of what she went through are mind-boggling, but what struck me also was the psychological element. It reminded me that certain mind games can be very useful in reaching long-term goals, and there are some examples that might be effective when it comes to saving for retirement.

Nyad had to brave sharks, stinging jellyfish, and turbulent seas as she swam the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida in just shy of 53 hours. That would be an extraordinary physical accomplishment for anyone, but what adds another dimension to Nyad’s feat is that she is 64 years old. Significantly, she cited her age as a strength rather than a weakness because it gave her the right mental approach to allow her to keep going through hours of extreme physical hardship.

Retirement saving is a form of endurance challenge. It won’t tax you physically, but it will test your will power over decades of temptations to save less and spend more now. There are no sharks or stinging jelly fish, but there are investment setbacks and judgment errors that will take pieces out of your portfolio along the way. Like Diana Nyad, you will be helped greatly in going the distance if you get pretty good at the right kind of mind games.

Here are four examples of retirement saving mind games:

  1. Monitor projected income, not asset value. People tend to monitor their progress toward a retirement goal of a certain asset value they need to accumulate, and that can create two problems. First of all, it can make your goal seem impossibly far away, as when you’ve accumulated $ 30,000 and need to get to $ 1 million.

    Second, that asset value becomes a temptation. There will no doubt be many things you could use that $ 30,000 for now; and since retirement is so far off, why not spend a little of those hard-earned savings…. Instead of watching your asset value, run that asset figure through a retirement calculator and see how much income it would support in retirement. This way, it won’t give the illusion that you have a nice chunk of accumulated wealth at your disposal, and it will keep you focused on a very candid view of what kind of retirement standard of living you are facing if you don’t continue to save.
  2. The circuit-breaker. As you start to build up a decent retirement balance, you can get sucked into getting too excited when your investments are up and too frustrated when they are down. These emotional swings can be bad for retirement savings — counting your gains too soon can lead you to skimp on the next year’s contributions, while getting discouraged can cause you to abandon your retirement goals altogether.

    The best thing to do the next time you have a good year is build in the assumption that you are going to lose 10 or 15 percent next year. This will keep your retirement projections from getting too far ahead of themselves, and help you take setbacks more in stride. I’ve done this over the past few years, and it has been very effective in keeping my emotions on an even keel throughout the stock market’s ups and downs.
  3. The “401(k) or paycheck” comparison. When you are struggling to stretch your paycheck, it can seem like a shame to peel off a portion of it every week to go into your retirement fund, but what can help is a side-by-side comparison of what that money looks like going into the retirement fund vs. into your pocket. Let’s say you make $ 60,000 a year, pay about 20 percent in taxes, and have an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan with a 50 percent match on the first 5 percent of salary deferred. If you defer 10 percent of salary to the plan, that would be $ 6,000 with no taxes taken out, plus another $ 1,500 from the employer match for a total value of $ 7,500. If instead you take that $ 6,000 straight into your paycheck, you’ll get $ 1,200 in taxes taken off the top with no employer match added, for a total value of $ 4,800. Thinking of this as a choice between $ 7,500 and $ 4,800 makes it easier to defer money to the retirement plan.
  4. Look at mistakes as tools to build with. Back to Diana Nyad for a second — she succeeded in her Cuba-to-Florida swim on her fifth try, having failed four times previously. Instead of giving up, she just incorporated lessons from her past attempts into her successful try. Whatever mistakes you make with your retirement savings, let them make your future efforts that much stronger.

So, look out for the sharks, and prepare yourself for a long journey. Like any accomplishment, the difficulty of saving for retirement will make it all the more rewarding when you get it done.


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Create A Home Decorating Plan With Your Budget In Mind

Aug 12, 2013 by

Decorating your home doesn’t necessarily mean breaking your budget. However, most of us have no idea of where to start – budget or no budget. We may have a general idea of what we like (or don’t like), but turning those ideas into a reality is not as easy as it seems. With so many styles to choose from, it’s no wonder we have difficulties in getting started.

The best way to start on your decorating project is to decide where you are now (decorating-wise) and what needs that you and your family have that must be incorporated. Are there small children that can be injured if they fall on a table’s sharp corners? Do you have pets that will ruin a white sofa?

Will you be decorating only one room or your entire house? You will need to decide if you want all of the rooms of your home to be decorated in the same style. Once that decision has been made, you can start planning your first room.

The interior design process begins with a plan. Look through design magazines or home design websites for pictures of rooms that catch your eye. What do you like about them? Is there a common theme? This will lead you to your own personal design style. You will probably find that you are especially drawn to certain styles and find some designs that you downright hate!

Think about what activities will be done in the room. Will there be just one activity or more than one? What furnishings will each activity need? For instance, chairs and a table for a sitting area or a desk for an office area.

Decide on your budget. How much can you afford to spend on flooring, paint, furniture and accessories? Spend your money on furnishings that are well-built and will get the hardest usege. Remember that a room doesn’t have to be completed all at once if your budget doesn’t allow it. Some of the best designs develop over time.

When decorating your home, keep in mind that personality is what will keep your rooms alive. Even a sleek, modern style can have personality and doesn’t have to be cold and sterile.

Interior decorating should first incorporate the practicalities such as budget, space planning and special family needs. Then, worry about the ambience and style of your rooms.

Planning your decorating project will help keep it within budget and the final result will be worth the initial effort it took to plan it.

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