Maintaining Work-Life Balance in a 24/7 Job

WorkLife_748165192.jpgReal estate agents often feel as though they can never quite shut off from work. There are always additional listings and customers to pursue, marketing plans to develop or a community to learn information about.

Finding and keeping work-life balance can be a challenge for real estate agents vying to close deals and, in the same breath, keeping their minds and bodies sharp.

Here are a few tips for maintaining work-life balance in a 24/7 job.

 

Establish Boundaries. In order to turn off after leaving the office, you need to figuratively turn off. That means setting rules for when you’ll check your work email, return calls, and be considered “on the clock.” While there may be exceptions every once in a while, if those exceptions become the norm, you can find yourself down a rabbit’s hole, sucked back in to work when you need time away.

 

Set Daily Tasks. Sometimes we fall behind by letting go of the simpler, routine tasks. Instead, take charge of your paperwork and administrative duties. Keeping on top of document filing, answering voicemails and emails, lead cultivation and calendar management can lend more sanity and structure to the day. Some people even schedule specific times each day when each of those items is tackled.

 

Plan In Advance. Friends and family members may not understand that work can crop up when it’s least expected. That’s why it’s a good idea to explain the need for advance planning for simple things such as dinner parties and tennis matches. Good friends and family members will understand the constraints on your time and help you schedule your leisure activities well in advance.

 

Schedule Time for You. Everyone needs some “me time,” and for real estate agents, it can be hard to figure out when to squeeze it in. That’s why you should schedule it. Book it as though it’s a critical work meeting and keep this time free for you and the things you love to (or have to) do. Stick to these times and every six months assess whether the amount of time and the timing is the right amount.

 

Be Realistic. When you schedule your time, don’t leave yourself 5 minutes to get to a listing 15 minutes away. Be sure to schedule in travel time, factoring in for distance, traffic, or that cup of coffee you need to get on the way. Try to avoid scheduling meetings back to back and be sure to give yourself some flexibility each day.

How To Get Your Listings Noticed

Ipad_1153860928.jpgThere are two ways you can up your game when it comes to getting your listings noticed online. First, take optimal photos and visually attract potential buyers. Second, captivate them with entertaining and enthusiastic listing descriptions.

 

Go Au Natural

When possible, take photographs with all-natural light. Turn off the inside lights, tie back the curtains, pull up the shades and take the photos during the sunniest time of the day, around noon to one o’clock. The natural light helps everything look brighter and crisper, creating better, more appealing photos.

 

Get Low

One of the best ways to get wide, all-encompassing shots, is to take photos from a kneeling position. Doing this makes the room look bigger since you are able to capture most of the space between the floor and ceiling lines in the final photo.

 

Tripod

Using a tripod helps you plan, steady and execute your photographs with ease. You can practice your shots and adjust lighting or furniture as necessary in order to take the ideal photo without trying to remember the exact angle and position you were standing in.

 

Video/Drone

Utilizing visually engaging technology is another great way to get your listings noticed. More and more, people are looking to watch video tours of the house, the property and the neighborhood. If the technology is available, take a drone video of the property to help potential buyers assimilate to what life would be like if they lived there.

 

Go Pro

If you feel that you have tried everything you can think of and are taking the best photos possible, but you still aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, consider hiring a professional photographer. Professionals are trained to understand what makes a good photo and can work their magic on your listing.

 

Talk the Talk

Regular listing captions that simply describe the number of bedrooms and bathrooms within the home aren’t always enough to sell online viewers anymore. Get creative and talk about the interesting and unique elements in the home. Is there an abundance of natural lighting? Tell them! Does the house boast art-deco architecture? That’ll definitely appeal to people. A home is more than just square footage and potential buyers want to know that their future house is one of a kind, just like them.

New Facebook Anti-Discrimination Rules

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A few months ago, Facebook was hit with a lawsuit by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that claimed Facebook was engaging in housing discrimination. According to the suit, HUD accused Facebook of allowing landlords, home sellers and agents to set parameters on ads that limited which prospective buyers could view it based on race, religion, sex and disability, to name a few.

Some of these allowances included blocking ads to users based on their interests in certain topics such as “child care” or “mobility scooters.” Others gave the advertiser the ability to block ads by specific zip code.

In response to this accusation, Facebook has changed their rules for ads related to real estate. Now, advertisers can no longer set these kinds of parameters and discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.

 

What does this mean for you?

As a Homesale Realty agent, these new rules just mean that the more general your audience, the better. When setting the target audience for your ads, choose both men and women and select as wide of a geographical range as possible. Counties tend to work very well for the geographical parameter.

If, for some reason, Facebook thinks you have set a parameter that violates these new rules, they will flag your ad and send you a notification that it has been denied. From here, you can adjust the parameters and resubmit or send the ad for a manual review if you believe it has been flagged in error.

 

For more information about these new rules, check out Facebook’s advertising policies here.

 

Protect Yourself Against Wire Transfer Scams

The real estate industry is a huge target for wire transfer scams. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your clients, but how? What are wire transfer scams? How do you know if you are a victim? What should you do if it happens to you? Read below to find out more…

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A Little Info About These Scams

These scams normally come from groups operating out of Ghana, Nigeria and other African nations. Individuals in these groups try to connect with potential victims through email and even on social dating sites in order to foster a relationship. The groups, as a whole, send out millions of emails constantly, waiting for someone to click on it. They are smart, creating believable stories about why they need bank account information and convincing the victim in the relationship that by divulging this information and partaking in this deal, they will be helping them out greatly.

 

How to Recognize One

Some scam attempts are obvious, but others can be unsuspecting. If you have an online friend who has started nonchalantly asking personal questions about your financial status, it might be a scam. If you received an email from an address you don’t recognize, it might be a scam, but if you’re not sure, read the content of the emails. Many scam emails will have funky wording, some phrases won’t make sense or words will be misspelled.

Other scam emails can contain content about you needing to make a payment for a medical account or they want you to review your recent payment. If you haven’t made any payments recently or the email address isn’t the same as your health account portal, delete it and don’t click on any prompted links. Lastly, never download any file from an unknown address.

 

How to Protect Yourself Against Them

  • Block IP addresses from nations listed above
  • Avoid using web-based email accounts (they are easier to hack)
  • Be careful what you put on social media (job functions, salary, hierarchical information, etc.)
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
  • Don’t disclose personal information to people you don’t know
  • Be wary of any requests for secrecy or pressure to act quickly

 

What to Do If You Suspect Something

  • Immediately call your bank and talk to the person who has authority to recall a wire transfer
  • Tell your bank that you want them to fully cooperate with the police
    • You have to state this as the bank cannot help the FBI without your consent
  • Report the incident to the FBI at ic3.gov
    • Provide as many details as you can about the beneficiary; account number, contact information, names, etc.
  • Contact the closest FBI field office
    • For an international wire transfer, they can try to create a Financial Kill Chain

 

 

Reference: https://www.wavgroup.com/2018/10/08/how-the-fbi-foiled-a-wire-transfer-scam/

Tips for Increased Engagement on Social Media

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We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts how important it is to maintain social media accounts to engage with your clients, but it’s not enough to simply have the accounts, you need to create and grow relationships with your followers. Here are a few simple tips to increase your engagement on social media.

  1. Be Visual
    • They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and that statement couldn’t be truer when it comes to social media. Most people won’t take the time to read long posts, but they’ll stop and look at a picture. Be visually engaging with your followers. They don’t want to just read about you and what you are doing, they want to see it, too. Post pictures, graphics, gifs, videos or charts to get your posts in front of the eyes of more viewers.

 

  1. Be Interactive
    • In order to get comments, you need to post something that is comment inducing. Post polls, questions or mini quizzes for followers to answer. This interaction will foster dynamic relationships between you and your followers.

 

  1. Be Real
    • Like mentioned before in previous blogs, people don’t just want to see the same old business focused posts all the time. Switch it up with fun photos of you and your clients or your beloved pet. Followers want to know that there is a real person behind the profile. At the end of the day, they are hiring you, the person, so make sure they know who that is.

 

  1. Be Responsive
    • It’s not enough to just be interactive with your followers, you need to be responsive. When followers comment on something you have posted, like or comment back! Responding will encourage more and more people to comment because they won’t feel ignored. It’s not necessary to respond to every single person, but if you can hit around 50 percent, that is enough to keep the comments rolling in.

Facebook Live

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Facebook Live is a video streaming service provided by Facebook that was rolled out to the masses in April of 2016. This tool can be a great asset for increasing your social media presence. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate Facebook Live into your everyday marketing plans.

Open Houses

Before the in-person open house, whether it’s a few days or a few hours beforehand, take some time to create a virtual open house event on Facebook. During the event, do a video walk-through of the house and talk about the different features and important information. Start outside and work your way inside, just like a buyer would. Make sure you feature the entire house and point out the property’s best qualities. At the end of the video, tell the viewers the date and time of the physical open house and invite them to come talk to you or see it in person.

Sneak Peaks

Have you been contracted to sell a house that hasn’t been listed or marketed yet? This is a great chance to do a sneak peak live video. Choose one interesting detail of the house and create a live video about it, teasing viewers about the next amazing property that is about to come on the market. Consumers feel special when they believe they are the first ones to know new information so this entices them to share the insight with friends.

Q&A

As a REALTOR®, you probably get the same questions frequently in your dealings with clients. One thing you can do to address these common inquiries is to do a live Q&A session with Facebook Live. During a Facebook Live session, people can comment in real time with questions and then you can answer them. Start the video with a list of predetermined questions that you’ve been asked previously. Soon the questions should be rolling in and you can respond during the session as they are asked.

For instructions and tips on how to use Facebook Live, you can visit the following sites:

How to Use Facebook Live – HubSpot

Go Live on Facebook – live.fb

Tips for Using Facebook Live – Facebook

Here’s How to Go Live… – DigitalTrends