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3 Keys to Successfully Scaling Your Real Estate Business

Apr 16, 2019 by

If you’re looking to scale your real estate business this year, you may find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.

In our recent Voice of the Real Estate Agent Report, over 1,000 real estate professionals from around the U.S. shared insights on the biggest opportunities for growth in the next year. Specifically, we looked at how these opportunities translate into earnings.

Responses to the survey show that the top opportunities to earn more this year focus on three key areas:

  1. Build a Strong Referral Network
    Fifty-six percent of respondents said that referral growth is the most surefire way for agents to realize profitable gains in their business this year. More than 92 percent of top-performing agents in the study attribute their professional success to their strong referral base. These top performers gain most of their business from repeat clients.

Where does that leave those who don’t yet have a portfolio built to rely on repeat business? Two opportunities rise to the top: community involvement and growing your local market knowledge. Those who climbed to top-performing status grow their referral base through community efforts. They engage in volunteer opportunities and network in both professional and community venues. They cultivate referrals by working side-by-side with neighbors.

The second key to growing your client referral base is growing your local market expertise. Focus on becoming the go-to resource in the community by publishing blogs, videos and social media posts that truly help others.

  1. Embrace Digital Marketing and Social Media
    Thirty-two percent of agents recommend increasing online marketing to grow your business. Across every segment measured, agents unanimously warn against ignoring online marketing and social media opportunities. Some responses cross over into a broader concern for the profession’s ability to keep up with evolving technology. Most agents shared that they don’t embrace digital and social media marketing because they don’t have time to invest in the area, they don’t know where to start, or they simply prefer to not have a digital presence.

If you’re not skilled in this area, you can build a mentor relationship or enroll in continuing education and professional development courses to help you gain the skills and comfort you need in this space.

  1. Manage Your Time
    Twelve percent of agents indicate that time management is the most important aspect of earning more this year. Sometimes that’s easier said than done given the competing priorities in the day and the life of an agent. Respondents who are successful in owning their time rely on several habits, including building out their team, automation and taking a “whole lifestyle approach” to their time, which means they plan their real estate schedule into their lifestyle versus the other way around.

You can download the full Voice of the Real Estate Agent Report at realestateexpress.com/agent-insights. The report shares tips and best practices from real estate professionals spanning all markets and specializations.

Alexis Petersen is the director of content at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. For the last six years, she has been educating real estate professionals on how to successfully launch and advance their career. She’s also a seasoned marketing veteran, with nearly 15 years of experience.

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Facebook Ad Changes: How Will They Affect Real Estate Agents?

Mar 21, 2019 by

Federal housing laws prohibit the discrimination of people based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and family status, but for years, civil rights advocates have been warning that Facebook’s ad targeting can be used to discriminate against these protected classes. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint that Facebook’s ad targeting options were in fact being misused to discriminate against protected classes of people. After lawsuits from housing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Facebook reached a settlement to make changes that will prevent landlords, employers, lenders, real estate professionals and others from discriminating against these protected classes.

In the past, Facebook has put the onus on their advertisers to use the targeting capabilities fairly and legally by providing anti-discrimination guidelines. When that proved ineffective, Facebook attempted to solve potential misuse of their ad targeting by removing over 5,000 ad targeting options.

Now, Facebook is planning a complete overhaul to their ad targeting options that will remove many of the options entirely to prevent people and companies offering housing, loans and jobs from discriminating against protected classes. Facebook will also be working with representatives from the NFHA to develop an in-house training program on fair housing for Facebook’s staff and leadership team. The NFHA will also monitor Facebook advertisers to ensure compliance with federal housing and lending laws.

The hyper-targeted ads on Facebook were an incredible asset to real estate agents who were not abusing them, and it’s too early to tell if Facebook’s new ads will be as effective with limited targeting options. However, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expressed that “our job is to make sure these benefits continue while also making sure that our ads tools aren’t misused. There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads.”

The new ad targeting changes will not allow people in the housing, credit and employment industries to target by age or gender, or by options associated with protected classes. These advertising sectors will also require zip code-targeted ads to include a minimum 15-mile radius around the area to prevent regional discrimination, and will no longer consider age, gender and zip codes when creating “lookalike” audiences for advertisers.

One way the changes could actually be beneficial for real estate agents is through the new tool Facebook is creating that will allow users to search for all housing ads regardless of whether or not the user is actually in the targeted group. This could help make real estate ads more widely available than they currently are, and help agents reach interested people outside their immediate advertising area.

Facebook intends to roll out all these changes to their advertisements by the end of the year, and the changes will likely be reflected by other social media sites and big advertising providers, such as Google and Amazon.

For more social media guidance and help with content creation, posting and engaging with your audience, check out Homes.com Social Fuel.

Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing at Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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CNN Sees Strong Spring for Real Estate

Mar 21, 2019 by

CNN Sees Strong Spring for Real Estate As loan originators we need to rethink everything and take our fight to the ground.  The giant cloud based mortgage tech companies are stronger, bigger and better than you at winning consumers from their vantage point in the cloud. You have a vantage point, which is “on the […]

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Women in Real Estate: Breaking Through the Leadership Glass Ceiling

Mar 5, 2019 by

Female real estate professionals outnumber their male counterparts by 26 percent, with women making up 63 percent of all REALTORS®, according to the 2018 Member Profile Report from the National Association of REALTORS®. Why, then, is there such a significant gap between men and women leaders in a female-dominated industry? NAR data show more men lead real estate businesses—52 percent as broker/owners and 57 percent as selling managers.

There may be a glass ceiling for women seeking leadership positions in real estate, a statement that 34 percent of working Americans in a female-dominated industry agree with, according to a recently released Coldwell Banker survey, Examining Women and Leadership. The survey, conducted online by the Harris Poll, compared the professional ambitions of 2,000-plus U.S. adults who are working in female-dominated industries versus those led by men.

In female-dominated industries, 14 percent of men already hold an executive-level position, a stark contrast to the only 8 percent of women who hold similar roles, according to the report.

Where is the disconnect?

A Fear-Inducing Environment
There’s an overarching concern that women have to work harder than men to achieve the same leadership positions. In fact, 41 percent of all employed U.S. adults surveyed believe that the path to these coveted executive positions is more difficult for female employees. Nearly half of these surveyed women (48 percent) said that even at their own company, obtaining an executive lead position is more difficult for females—35 percent of surveyed men agree.

This could be major deterrent for women interested in pursuing roles in leadership. In response to an environment where females are expected to work harder, women may be unwilling to be as direct as their male counterparts when asking for raises and promotions.

For example, the report states that in female-dominated industries, 42 percent of women are typically hesitant to request either a raise or promotion even if they are qualified. With men, that statistic drops down to 37 percent. Additionally, there is a 20 percent gap between men and women who have pursued career advancement—59 percent of men have directly asked their supervisor or boss for a raise or promotion, while 49 percent of surveyed women have done the same.

A salary gap also amplifies this unease. The survey found that among all surveyed U.S. adults, 79 percent of men believe they are fairly compensated, a bit inflated from the 70 percent of women who feel the same.

Of those working in a female-dominated industry, 36 percent of women have ambitions to hold a future role at the executive level, compared to 53 percent of men who responded the same way. Are inequalities and enforced perceptions holding women back?

Widening the Path, Eliminating the Gap
The majority of workers (58 percent of men and 72 percent of women) in female-dominated industries say that female leadership within their company is important to them. This sentiment is stronger among employed U.S. adults aged 18-34—70 percent value women in executive-level positions at their workplace.

What could help alleviate these stressors and obstacles? Leadership training, or increasing the awareness of such opportunities, could help fill the current void. According to the report, 58 percent of men working in female-dominated industries state their company offers some type of formal leadership training. Comparatively, only 35 percent of women in those same industries can say the same. Additionally, for 21 percent of respondents across all industries who don’t yet hold an executive or senior position, a lack of leadership training or education at their company would prove an obstacle should they decide to pursue this type of career advancement.

Increasing Awareness of Existing Opportunities
Some employees in female-dominated industries (16 percent of women and 8 percent of men) are not aware of any leadership training or seminars offered by their company. Many brokerages provide leadership training; however, internal programming is not the only solution.

Here are a few leadership initiatives that today’s female REALTORS® can take advantage of:

The Leadership Institute at REALTOR® University – Created to fill a need for leadership training in several real estate fields, the National Association of REALTORS® offers several resources and programs for those pursuing a role in association or MLS leadership.

Institute of Real Estate Management – Membership to the program, an affiliate of NAR, empowers students, professionals and industry veterans to seek career advancement in the real estate fields.

WomenUP!® by the California Association of REALTORS® — A nationwide campaign and community for women who want to own and lead a real estate brokerage or support the cause. The platform allows female industry members to connect and seek advice and mentorship from experienced women broker/owners and leaders. 

Women’s Council of REALTORS® — A network of experienced REALTORS® who are helping to advance women as professionals and create leaders in the business and the community.

CREW Network – A membership to connect with women in commercial real estate. The network states it is committed to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.

“Women in real estate face an upward mobility challenge, and it’s our responsibility to help correct the gender leadership gap,” says Zoe Horneck, vice president of Product Marketing and Communications at Coldwell Banker, in a statement. 

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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