5 Easy Steps to an Organized Office

While the old saying that an organized home is the sign of an empty mind is cute, a disorganized office is a distraction and will cost you in terms of productivity. Clutter destroys creativity. Do you find yourself arranging and rearranging the same files and papers over and over? Are you constantly looking for that misplaced USB cord, head set, or stapler? Do you look at the mounds of paperwork on your desk and don’t know where to start? You’re not alone, but there is something you can do about it. Start With Your Desktop Begin by clearing everything off of your desktop that you don’t need. If it’s not essential, find another place for it. Headphones, tablets, pens, and pencils – everything that isn’t necessary needs to be cleared off your desktop. If you are facing a pile of papers and don’t know where to start, move onto the next step to an organized office first. It will make finding a place for tablets and headphones much easier. Deal With The Pile of Papers If you deal with papers first, you will quickly reclaim your desktop and create a place to work. From that point on, it’s important to resist the temptation to let papers pile up again. Placing it in another pile on another flat surface will only work against your best efforts at organizing your office. Deal with it now, and you won’t be sorry later. File it numerically or alphabetically, but unless you are waiting for information or a response, file any receipts, documents, or papers in a file cabinet. Corded Clutter We all have USB’s for our phones, printers, monitors, and speakers. Though you need headphones from time to time, unless you are an answering service, you rarely need them on your desk day after day. Place them out of sight in a drawer where they can quickly be found. Is it Necessary? Ask yourself three simple questions, and you can determine if something...

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25 Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Real Estate Marketing Ideas. Online marketing is more important than ever. Today’s buyers and sellers are searching online, and it follows that this is where marketing conscious real estate agents need to be.  Listing Marketing Create a single property website. Your clients will love the personal attention that their own properties’ website offers. Use professional photographs for your listing – at least high end listings. Provide your sellers with a list of where you are marketing their homes. Make it easy for them providing a link to each website. Post your listings on your blog. Even if your current theme doesn’t support it, many online programs offer HTML coding where you can add a flyer or poster to your website. Create a YouTube account and post a virtual tour on YouTube. Plan an open house at your office. Encourage all your past, current, and prospective clients to stop by. Send an eFlyer to past and current clients asking if they know anyone who might be interested in your current listing. Network with top producing agents in your area. Content Marketing Consistently add compelling, relevant content to your website that will attract and keep your reader’s attention. Provide neighborhood information – there are areas where no one is doing it. Local Search Marketing – Add geographical keywords that differentiate you from agents across the nation. Slideshow of the neighborhood Home decorating ideas are ideal for those who have just bought a home. Post a list of kid friendly, or better yet – kids eat free, restaurants. Offer unique tips for first time home buyers. Share home improvement tips for homeowners and sellers. Places to visit is the area – a great idea for one of your Website pages. Is there a noteworthy event about to happen in your area? Write about it. Tried and True Trulia – consumers trust this source. Zillow – buyers and sellers will look here as well. Share your listing on social media sites. It couldn’t...

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6 Tips to Managing Your Email

Much of my work is delivered to my email inbox. It’s one of the first things that I check each day, because from there my entire day as a REVA (real estate virtual assistant) can change. Creating a solid email system that works is possible and will result in increased productivity. Use Your Subject Line Managing your email is not as difficult as it seems. I learned this tip from a Realtor® who is frequently away from his desk and gets much of his email from his iPhone. Be very specific when you create your subject line. Keep it simple, but keep it direct. Have you completed a listing coordination assignment? You title could be: 12345 Main Street :: Online Think Before You Compose Be clear and be concise, and you won’t invite 10 more emails asking for clarification. To do this, you must put yourself in the shoes of the recipient. Have you given them enough key information for them to move forward with your request? A little forethought before composing the email will keep down the requests for more information to a minimum. Think Before You Reply Again, are you being clear enough or are you inviting more questions? Are you answering all of the questions posed in the email. Ideally, they would have numbered their questions, but this isn’t always possible, and sometimes it’s just a matter of preference. Avoid Wordy Emails Okay, this is as much for the recipient as it is for you. Wordy emails will take more time to construct and will take more time to read, so put what you need down in as few words as possible. Keeping your wording to a minimum makes your email easier to follow. Of course, there are times when you will need to be more detailed because of the project involved. For the most part, though, keep it simple. Handle It Once This principle works great with snail mail, but you will achieve amazing results...

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Twenty Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Should Blog

Every Realtor wants to be seen by their clients as an industry expert. They spend time and money building stellar websites with everything on it a buyer or seller could possibly want. It has it all:  An IDX, calculators, useful links, community pages, and resources. It has articles and guides for buyers, sellers, and investors. Does it have a blog, though? I hope so, because there are good reasons why real estate agents should blog. If it had to be narrowed down to two answers, I would say that a real estate blog will increase exposure to your website and present you as the real estate professional that you are. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why Realtors® should blog. Twenty Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Blog √  Showcases your skills √  Positions you as an industry expert √  Increased SEO for your website √  Increased exposure for your website √  Studies show that blogging attracts more business than a website does √  Builds an interested audience √  Potential clients are looking online √  Draws local buyers and sellers √  It sharpens your skills √  To generate leads √  Draws targeted website visitors √  Website visitors want to be educated and not sold to √  Attracts inbound links √  Builds trust with clients and potential clients √  Provides another nugget to share with your social media connections √ Introduces you to buyers who might not have found you √  Provides content that you can pass on to your email list √  Your competitors have a blog √  Clients aren’t always loyal – Give them reasons to stay √  You can present local open houses – Builds local website visitors Hit and miss, anything, doesn’t pay off. Like any other real estate marketing, you must continue blogging on a regular basis, at least once a week. It matters with search engines; it matters with your readers. There you have it – twenty reasons why every real estate...

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4 Great Ways to Increase Productivity With Virtual Support

“I turned down a scholarship to Yale. The problem with college is that there’s a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you’ll never be successful.” Shia LaBeouf To be productive requires a change in mindset. It’s not enough to keep busy, as there are a lot of busy people who aren’t productive. You need to examine if what you’re doing is essential to accomplishing your goals. At this point, you have taken your first step to productivity. 1. Delegation Is Key. You must first let go of the notion that you need to care for every little detail of your business, or it won’t get done properly. This has led many business owners to exhaustion, and the honest truth is that they aren’t caring for every little detail of their business. A virtual assistant can care for your delegated tasks, and the longer you work with them, the easier it gets to delegate tasks to them. 2. Brainstorm. Let them know what is important to you, what needs to be done, and what your business goals are. Virtual assistants can work with you to systemize your business so that you are ensured that all of these tasks are cared for and on time. When you try to do it yourself, things fall through the cracks. 3. Remove Distractions. Another key to increasing productivity involves delegating the things that are only distractions but aren’t necessarily productive at the moment. Take email for example. There are pieces of email that must be cared for immediately, some that needs to be trashed, and some that can be cared for on a scheduled basis. Your virtual assistant can screen your emails so that you are only reading email that needs your personal attention. 4. Research Many use their virtual assistant to care for their research assignments. With that out-of-the-way, they can cut through the non-productive time of research and get...

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Systemize Your Real Estate Business to Succeed

Invest the time to create systems, and watch your business grow.  Without them in place, many hard working business owners find themselves tied to their work. With them in place, which is only limited by our imagination, businesses run smoothly and efficiently. The goal is to create systems where your business can run on “auto pilot” … systems where your business can run even when you can’t physically be there. How do you systemize your real estate business to succeed? Determine What Systems You Need in Place Most real estate offices have a system in place for Transaction Coordination. However, there are many other systems that could be created that would take your business to a new productive level. What needs to be systemized? This is where you sit down and think of what is important to you. Lead Management Listing Coordination Social Media Management Blogging Schedule Contact Management Newsletter Creation Closing Coordination Home Showings Open Houses Pretty much anything can be systemized in real estate. The idea is to create a system for each aspect of your business so that nothing falls through the cracks. Easier said than done. It’s true, however, I’ve seen it in practice and it was impressive. Create Processes You can have processes for every aspect of your business. Meeting with new clients Buyer’s checklist Seller’s checklist Escrow checklist Closing checklist Home inspection checklist Due Diligence checklist Again, the possibilities are endless Put Yourself In Your Client’s Shoes It’s easier to systemize your real estate business to succeed when you consider your clients wants and needs. Why are they contacting you? Is it to find out where you are with their listing? Put together a system to care for those needs. If you take a little time and think of what your phone calls or appointments are about, it’s easy to know what needs to be systemized. Implement The best of efforts will fail you when they haven’t been implemented. Pat yourself on the...

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