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

5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Approach

Social Media

1. Focus on People

Real estate is about promoting properties, but social media is for connecting with people. Use these platforms as a way to build & nourish your relationships with clients. This type of prospecting is the key to finding success with social media, therefore it should take up about 80% of your social media time.

2. Produce Content on a Regular Basis

One of the first things clients do when they hear your name is search it on Google, which then leads them to your social media accounts. By having fresh content available on these pages, you show them that you’re both informed and engaged. You don’t need to post every day, just enough to show you’re current. Think of producing content as about 20% of your social media activity.

3. Treat Each Outlet as its Own Platform

From Facebook to newspapers and everywhere in between, each social media platform is beneficial in its own way. Spending X amount of dollars on Facebook will translate very differently when spent on ads in your local newspaper. Invest your finances based on the results they will produce.

4. Implement a Strategy for Time Management

Posting frequently is important, but it doesn’t mean you can’t cheat a little. By utilizing the scheduling function on Facebook & using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can schedule posts in advance. Try and schedule weekly so that you save time, but still share current information.

5. Make a Plan & Stick to it

Your social media approach should be rooted in strategy. Develop goals you’d like to accomplish and make it happen. Try creating a schedule to ensure you don’t duplicate posts, remember the best hashtags to use, and keep up with events that mean a lot to you and your clients.

How to Succeed in Real Estate

How to Succeed in Real Estate

Want to become a real estate agent? Coaching and training are essential aspects of building a successful real estate career.

No matter if you are new to real estate or launching a fresh leg of your journey, one thing will become clear quickly: A winning mindset is essential to success. That means confidence, clarity, and focus.

Still, it’s important to understand “mindset” isn’t just telling yourself nice things in the mirror. In fact, this feeling of certainty – of knowing you can handle whatever this career throws at you – comes from many aspects of your personality and training.

Here’s how to become a real estate agent with a winning mindset:

Remember, You Are Helping People
Why a career in real estate? Simply, lots of professionals don’t really have a chance to help others make positive changes in life. Real estate experts are different: You play a key role in helping your clients achieve an important life milestone. For many of them, home ownership is the “American dream.” That alone should give you a boost when the going gets tough.

Confidence Comes from Preparation
Everyone is going to have days when they run into problems. The key is that you have “done the homework” and don’t get stumped when these situations pop up. The more you learn about real estate–and your local market in particular–the more you will be able to come through when it counts. Read up, network, and see what’s working for your colleagues.

Everything is a Learning Opportunity
Worst case scenario: You make a mistake that has a tangible effect on a client’s house-hunt. Of course, you should do everything you can to set things right and navigate those troubled waters. But, here’s the key: You learn more by diving in and letting yourself own those situations than you do by shrinking back. “Lessons learned” can give you unique real estate insights.

It Is Never Too Soon to Teach
Mentoring is a huge part of success in real estate. Those who are just joining the profession will get on their feet the fastest when they can learn from those who’ve been where they are. Real estate agents who are hitting their stride should start sharing information about their specialties. Learning how to explain topics to others will make you more effective in the long run.

Set Goals, Reach for Them, and Build Momentum
Whether you’re working as part of an agency or on your own, there will always be more for you to do. The key is to set goals that are plausible, but still call for you to stretch. An attainable, yet meaningful goal will keep you moving forward. Be flexible and try not to get too bogged down in process: Instead, ask yourself: What will reaching this goal really mean for me?

Give Every Client Your A-Game
Once you have been through a few dozen clients, you will start to see situations that seem routine. Always bear in mind that every client has a story and specific goals. Your ability to build rapport and trust with your client is what sows the seeds for success in the long run: After all, they will be the ones referring friends and family to you in the future.

Join BHHS Homesale Realty and you’ll have abundant opportunities to put these ideas into practice. We focus on providing education, technology, and tools that will help you become a real estate agent with confidence and a winning edge. Contact us to learn more.

Time management is vital for successful agents

There are only so many work hours in the day, and real estate professionals often need to get a better handle on how they manage their time to gcalendaret the most out of their business.

There are only so many work hours in the day, and real estate professionals often need to get a better handle on how they manage their time to get the most out of their business. As agents often know full well that time is money, finding the best way to strategize in this regard can pay off.

Perhaps the biggest key to effective time management is being proactive about planning, according to Max Real Estate Exposure. After all, if agents aren’t spending time during their work days trying to figure out what to do next, they’re going to be making more efficient use of every hour of the day. In these cases it may be helpful to think about what kinds of goals agents want to accomplish over the course of a day, week or month, and use their experience to determine how long they think that should take them.

What comes next?
Once goals have been established and the time various tasks should take has been figured out, it’s wise to set the schedule for a given period of time. Agents have to determine whether they want to devote a large chunk of a given day to lead generation, for example, or if they want to break up that day with other activities such as online marketing work or following up with clients. Here, too, it might be wise to leave at least a little wiggle room, since it’s not always easy to predict how every effort is likely to proceed, or if things might crop up unexpectedly that deserve agents’ immediate attentions.

The fact is, though, that the more agents know what they “should be” doing at any given time, the more likely they will be to do so, and meet whatever goals they set for themselves in as timely a manner as possible.

Knowing the value
It’s also worth noting that there’s a
difference between being busy and being effective in whatever tasks are being undertaken, according to Inman. There’s plenty of work agents can do in a given day, but they need to think about how much closer that work gets them to achieving their goals, and exactly what an hour may be worth to them in terms of dollars and cents. That way, they can figure out whether they’re getting a maximum return on investment for every hour they spend on any task.

However, it’s also important to get a big-picture look at these tasks and see how they intersect. Moreover, it may be about keeping things simple. Agents who block off their time in advance may find that they’re juggling too many things at once to be truly effective at any one task, and that can erode the effectiveness of time spent on all tasks.

Having a clarity of vision when it comes to what needs to be done, and charting the right course for getting there, will often go a long way toward ensuring that agents are getting the most out of the time they spend on the job. That can translate into a happier lifestyle as an agent.