Articles http://realtormag.realtor.org/articles en Demystifying Long-Distance Landlording http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2015/09/demystifying-long-distance-landlording <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When you’re a ten-minute drive from your rental, it’s no trouble to stop in to fix a leaky faucet. But what happens when your property’s out of town — or even out of state? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, September 8, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/brenton-hayden">Brenton Hayden</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Long-distance landlording seems easy enough &mdash; in theory. The tenants mail you checks every month, and you can stop in and check on the property when you&rsquo;re in the area.</p> <p>But the reality, of course, is far less rosy. Things go wrong. Tenants left unattended and unaccountable may be more likely to push the boundaries, paying rent late or causing damage to the unit. And when renters move out, you&rsquo;ll be stuck with the process of advertising the property and trying to find another tenant from afar.</p> <p>Of course, this isn&rsquo;t to say that long-distance landlording can&rsquo;t be done &mdash; it most certainly can. You shouldn&rsquo;t let these difficulties stop you from owning investment property in another area. But it&rsquo;s important to take the right steps and set up your properties to run profitably without your physical presence.</p> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re already an out-of-town landlord or you&rsquo;re considering purchasing a rental in another town, here&rsquo;s what you can do to make sure your investment is set to run efficiently and profitably in your absence.</p> <h4>Find Local Assistance</h4> <p>One of the best options for the long-distance landlord is to find a capable and responsible property manager &mdash; they will be your eyes and ears. A good property manager will be able to help with tenant sourcing and screening and should be able to vet prospective tenants more thoroughly than you could online or over the phone. Once a tenant has been found, the property manager will essentially serve as the go-between for tenant and landlord, act in the landlord&rsquo;s place to collect rent, and perform inspections and maintenance. They will also be able to handle problems that arise, such as emergency repairs, lockouts, or issues concerning the lease. In short, they can save the landlord a tremendous amount of time and hassle.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re unsure about hiring a property manager and thinking about managing your properties yourself, it&rsquo;s important to note that location and proximity to the rental are important. The closer you are to the property, the easier it is to stop in for inspections and minor repairs. Much of how you decide to operate depends on whether you wish to have a hands-on or hands-off approach to being a landlord and how much trust you wish to place in those who act on your behalf.</p> <h4>Get a Schedule for Your Rental Property</h4> <p>As a long-distance landlord, you&rsquo;ll want to set up a schedule to keep everyone on the same page. Make sure you&rsquo;ve planned out trips to the rental <a href="https://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/1502/blog_posts/19951-7-tips-for-long-distance-landlording-success" target="_blank">at least twice per year</a>. It&rsquo;s easy to lose track of time between visits, and penciling in dates can help you to plan and budget for travel expenses.</p> <p><strong>Monthly</strong></p> <p>On a monthly basis, make sure you&rsquo;re on top of rent payments. Don&rsquo;t fall into the trap of letting rent slide. It&rsquo;s easy for a tenant, especially a long-distance one, to take advantage of your generosity and assume that because you let them pay late once, they can pay late again.</p> <p>This varies from building to building, of course, but some common monthly maintenance duties include replacing air conditioning filters and lawn maintenance and landscaping tasks.</p> <p>Make a note in your calendar to touch base with the tenant occasionally, every month or two, and be sure to schedule regular calls or e-mails just to see how things are going with the rental. Tenants are often reluctant to call the landlord out of the blue to notify them of small issues, so checking in is a good way to prevent minor problems from becoming worse.</p> <p><strong>Seasonally</strong></p> <p>Keep a running list of maintenance duties. Some long-distance landlords allow the tenants to perform basic maintenance such as mowing the lawn, and in return will deduct an agreed-upon amount from the tenant&rsquo;s rent. However, other landlords find that having contractors come in for routine maintenance is the best option and keeps tenants from being tempted to find more work that &ldquo;needs&rdquo; to be done in order to obtain a credit on the rent. Regardless of whom you choose to perform maintenance, it&rsquo;s important to have a schedule that will keep everyone accountable and ensure that nothing falls behind.</p> <p>A typical seasonal maintenance schedule will look something like this:</p> <p><strong>Spring</strong></p> <ul> <li>perform walk-around inspection</li> <li>inspect and service air-conditioning units</li> <li>clear all gutters and drains</li> <li>remove insulation from external pipes</li> <li>touch up paint</li> <li>inspect and repair the roof</li> <li>assess tree growth and prune as needed</li> </ul> <p><strong>Winter</strong></p> <ul> <li>drain external pipes and wrap with heat tape</li> <li>turn off water supply to outside spigots</li> <li>clear all gutters and drains</li> <li>store all outdoor equipment for the winter</li> <li>service the heating system</li> <li>inspect the electrical system</li> <li>remove snow and de-ice as needed</li> </ul> <p><strong>Yearly</strong></p> <p>Annually, or at the end of the rental period, be sure to review the terms and conditions of your leases and make sure there&rsquo;s nothing that should be amended or added. Also, review the rent. Many landlords find that raising the rent even 1 to 3 percent each year helps to keep up with inflation and rising expenses such as taxes, insurance, repairs, and upgrades. Just make sure the increase and your method of notification are in compliance with the state laws where the property is located.</p> <h4>What About When Things Go Wrong?</h4> <p>Unfortunately, with rental properties, it&rsquo;s not a matter of <em>if</em> things go wrong; it&rsquo;s a matter of when! Have contingency plans for common scenarios such as boilers quitting in the middle of winter and tenants locking themselves out of the unit. This can save you a tremendous amount of time and trouble.</p> <p>Having a property manager will be invaluable during a crisis, as they will be onsite to deal with contractors and tenants, find the best person for the job, and make sure the work is completed to your standards.</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have a property manager, you&rsquo;ll want to know whom to call if there&rsquo;s an emergency. If you&rsquo;re a considerable distance from the property, it&rsquo;s extremely helpful to have some contacts in the local area in case something goes wrong. If you don&rsquo;t have friends and family nearby, take the time to connect with local real estate agents, inspectors, and contractors. In an emergency, you&rsquo;ll want to have someone who can be at the rental within a relatively short time frame.</p> <p>Finally, if you are managing your properties on your own from out of town, make sure you are absolutely certain of the character of your tenants. Don&rsquo;t rent to anyone who seems less than trustworthy. The wrong tenant can fall behind on the rent or cause a tremendous amount of destruction to the property. In extreme cases, you may even have to deal with an eviction long-distance, which, depending on how cooperative the tenants are, may involve traveling back and forth for court hearings. In the end, it&rsquo;s just not worth taking a gamble.</p> <p>Managing property long-distance can be a challenge, but it&rsquo;s definitely doable. The best approach is to analyze the way you prefer to operate and design your approach to long-distance property management to fit that model. For landlords who prefer to take a hands-on approach, this means making connections with local contractors and establishing maintenance and emergency plans. For others, finding a reputable property manager is the way to go. Just don&rsquo;t let distance come between you and the perfect investment opportunity.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>When you&rsquo;re a ten-minute drive from your rental, it&rsquo;s no trouble to stop in to fix a leaky faucet. But what happens when your property&rsquo;s out of town &mdash; or even out of state?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_C_renting.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=69407">sep15_C_renting.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_C_renting_0.jpg?1441395408" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_LP_C_renting.jpg?1441395415" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2015/02/what-look-for-in-property-manager">What to Look for in a Property Manager</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/law-and-ethics/feature/article/2011/04/5-risks-for-property-management-newbies">5 Risks for Property Management Newbies</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2014/05/dont-rule-out-multifamily-investments">Don&#039;t Rule Out Multifamily Investments</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Fri, 04 Sep 2015 18:22:56 +0000 mwhite 19542 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Arranging the Perfect At-Home Workspace http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2015/09/arranging-perfect-home-workspace <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> As Americans wrap up summer vacation season, many seek more effective work areas for returning students and adults alike. Help buyers weigh whether a listing offers suitable space for everyone to get down to business. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, September 2, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/barbara-ballinger">Barbara Ballinger</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The telecommuting population is growing: Some 30 million people work from home at least once a week, and that number is expected to increase by 63 percent in the next five years, according to a study by the <a href="http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/" target="_blank">Telework Research Network</a>. At least 3 million Americans never step foot in an office outside their home.</p> <p>But as our tools shrink in size, the &ldquo;home office&rdquo; concept is changing. Laptops can be as small as 10 inches and weigh just 2 1/2 pounds. Monitors have become shallower. And some traditional office equipment &mdash; such as copy and fax machines and large file cabinets &mdash; has receded into the background.</p> <blockquote> <p>Once they&rsquo;ve found the right space, help clients personalize it with this checklist of essentials for working productively. You may also want to suggest a professional organizer or designer or an online resource such as <a href="http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/" target="_blank">The True Cost Guide</a>:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Work surface. </strong>How clients prefer to work will help determine the size of a work surface. If they like to spread out papers, a longer, wider area may be best. Many furnishings now have specialized designs to accommodate and organize wires and accessories, as well as designated spots for charging stations, says Dave Jacobs with <a href="https://www.bdiusa.com/" target="_blank">BDI</a>, a high-end entertainment and office manufacturer. Within the work area, Norris suggests setting up activity centers according to how often equipment is used. &ldquo;If you use your printer every day, place it within easy reach. If it&rsquo;s once a week or less, get it out of the way to make room for things used daily,&rdquo; she says. It may help to think of the desk surface as a runway where papers take off and land, some sooner than others. Most of all, prioritize usefulness over aesthetics, she says.</li> <li><strong>Seating.</strong> Consider height, back support, armrests, and mobility for comfort and productivity. Some may want a second chair to stretch out in, read, or unwind, maybe with a footrest.</li> <li><strong>Lighting.</strong> Natural light is best but not always available, which is why adequate artificial light is so important. The activity (working on a computer versus reading a book), time of day, and user&rsquo;s eyesight will dictate how much is needed, says Joe Rey-Barreau, director of education for the American Lighting Association. He favors efficient, long-lasting LEDs, a dimmer switch to control levels, and careful placement to cut glare.</li> <li><strong>Outlets.</strong> The more power the better, but it&rsquo;s also important to consider the varied height<s>s</s> at which they&rsquo;re needed. Also have extra power strips that can accommodate multiprong plugs. And advise buyers to be sure the home&rsquo;s wiring is up to code and all outlets are grounded, especially for computers and external hard drives.</li> <li><strong>Storage.</strong> The paperless office is still an idealized state for many who rely on hard copies. &ldquo;Most people don&rsquo;t have adequate filing drawers for work and personal needs,&rdquo; Norris says. But even the biggest fans of paper should have backup storage for computer files. While the cloud is popular, clients might consider an extra backup via external hard drive.</li> <li><strong>Odds and ends. </strong>All the little extras that companies stock in a supply room should be kept on hand to avoid mad dashes to the store. Tell clients to be sure they store supplies neatly, too, or they&rsquo;ll waste time trying to locate essentials. Retailers like <a href="http://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm" target="_blank">The Container Store</a> have carved out a niche with an array of options to make organizing work-from-home space more fun.</li> </ul> </blockquote> <p>A challenge for potential buyers is visualizing where they&rsquo;ll set up shop when walking through a listing, since many homes don&rsquo;t have dedicated office space. And even when an area looks promising, it may not prove ideal once parents or kids start their work, so flexibility is paramount.</p> <p>Debbie Bolduc, owner of BizzBuzz Marketing Partners in Laconia, N.H., thought she had found the perfect private office &mdash; part of her detached garage. But she discovered it was inconvenient not having a bathroom or running water at hand. &ldquo;I carried my computer back and forth at the end of the day, power supply cable and all,&rdquo; she says. In winter, she gingerly negotiated icy steps with a coffee cup in hand. She eventually moved her office into her college-bound son&rsquo;s vacated bedroom, which had a treasured feature beyond indoor plumbing proximity &mdash; a door. &ldquo;Family members still pop in to chat, but I close the door to indicate when I&rsquo;m not to be interrupted,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>You can help buyers who work from home decide if a layout offers adequate possibilities based on the size of the work surface they envision, the seating needs, and storage systems, says former real estate sales associate Vicki Norris, founder of the professional organizing firm <a href="http://restoringorder.com/" target="_blank">Restoring Order</a>, based in Portland, Ore. But also advise them that finding the right space is less about square footage and more about how they like to hunker down, she says. &ldquo;Even if the home has a basement that might work, not everyone wants to &mdash; or will &mdash; head down and use it,&rdquo; she says. And where they situate an office may not be where they end up doing most of their work, says designer Marianne Cusato, author of <em>The Just Right Home</em> (Workman, 2015). &ldquo;It often turns out to be two different places &mdash; one for keeping equipment and supplies and another where you do most of your actual work, spread out papers, or read and write in my case,&rdquo; says Cusato.</p> <p>Ask potential buyers these questions when they have a home-based work area on their wish list:</p> <p><strong>1. Do you need a private, dedicated space? </strong>If work requires quiet or confidentiality, they may want a door and location away from the main activity hub of the home. See if there&rsquo;s an extra bedroom, which is what Corrie Shanahan did when she started her organizational effectiveness and leadership consulting practice, The Beara Group LLC, from her Washington, D.C. home. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m most productive when I can focus on the task at hand. I also wanted to keep confidential, sensitive files in locked file cabinets,&rdquo; she says. Other possibilities include converting an attic or basement, depending on condition and costs. Either space may require better ventilation, lighting, insulation, flooring, and walls. A basement may also require significant waterproofing.</p> <p><strong>2. Can you share?</strong> With more couples working from home, finding available space for two can be challenging. Ebony Grimsley-Vaz, owner of a digital marketing and public relations company, and husband Ron Vaz, a photographer, decided to convert one of their Tampa, Fla., home&rsquo;s three bedrooms into a shared office so they could keep the other extra bedroom for frequent guests. They set up small desks in opposite corners, found space for printers, and placed a futon in the center for sitting or taking a break. They also installed an outlet in their screened porch as a secondary workspace.</p> <p><strong>3. Do you prefer having others around?</strong> Working from home can feel isolating, and some get their adrenalin going by being smack in the center of activity. They can block out noise and remain focused without jumping into every conversation. In such a case, a corner of a family room, kitchen, dining room, or large hallway may work, as long as there&rsquo;s enough space for all the necessary paraphernalia.</p> <p><strong>4. Is your bedroom a possibility? </strong>Modern bedrooms often are large enough to locate a desk, bookshelves, and other essentials. For children, this location may be more effective than for parents, who want to get away from work at night. To help kids, watch how they work rather than interviewing them, Norris says. &ldquo;If they prefer being nomadic, offer them multiple places in the house,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>But the right student workstation depends a great deal on age. For young children, it may mean a big table for crafts, projects, and experiments. Also, make sure there&rsquo;s enough room for a child and parent to work together, as well as a place to keep supplies, says Norris. &ldquo;Children should learn from an early age about keeping order and putting things away,&rdquo; she says. When they get older, their work area will function more like an adult&rsquo;s, with the need for document storage and a computer station. At any age, experts recommend turning off screens at least an hour before going to bed to give the <a href="http://ikeepsafe.org/be-a-pro/balance/no-screen-time-before-bed/" target="_blank">brain a chance to unwind</a>.</p> <p><strong>5. Do you need multiple options?</strong> While it&rsquo;s best to have a designated headquarters as central command, some prefer more choices. Social worker and therapist Melissa McCool moved her office into her Encinitas, Calif., home after 14 years because it was more convenient for family life. Her husband designed a small office between the living and dining room, but she&rsquo;s found she prefers to start work at the kitchen table before anyone else rises. Then, after the children are off to school, she and the family dog shift to her bedroom. &ldquo;I know you&rsquo;re not supposed to do that, but I find that I&rsquo;ve been productive this way,&rdquo; she says. Cusato recently moved into a new apartment in Indianapolis with an extra bedroom that became her official office. But she&rsquo;s found she works mostly at the dining room table. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a more comfortable, nicer room. If I&rsquo;m writing, all I need is my computer and immediate stack of papers,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>6. <strong>Do you have a back-up choice in case the first one doesn&rsquo;t work?</strong> Buyers who aren&rsquo;t ready to commit to a space may need a home that offers a few usable areas, so they can figure out what works best in practice. And a perk of working from home is workers don&rsquo;t have to consult the boss to make that change. Author Jill Vanderwood, in Salt Lake City, moved her workspace from the family basement to the kitchen at her husband&rsquo;s urging. But she became frustrated. &ldquo;The TV was in the same room, the family was in and out, and I was so distracted that I wasn&rsquo;t getting my work done. The kitchen chair also was uncomfortable, and having my papers all around didn&rsquo;t allow room for the family to eat,&rdquo; she says. She moved her office back to the quiet, roomier basement.</p> <p><strong>7. Do you want to be able to write this space off your taxes? </strong>You can help work-from-home clients mitigate the cost of upgrading their space by reminding them of the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&amp;-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction" target="_blank">IRS&rsquo;s rules for a home-office deduction</a>, which applies if their main place of business is used exclusively for work, says Cynthia Turoski, a certified financial planner and public accountant with Bonadio Wealth Advisors in Albany, N.Y. &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t play video games at the desk and deduct it,&rdquo; she says. This might also take the kitchen island off the table, so to speak. If this is an interest for them, suggest that they consult a tax professional.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>As Americans wrap up summer vacation season, many seek more effective work areas for returning students and adults alike. Help buyers weigh whether a listing offers suitable space for everyone to get down to business.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_HD_office.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=61180">sep15_HD_office.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_HD_office_0.jpg?1441119546" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_LP_HD_office.jpg?1441119569" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sarah Barnard design for home office. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:01:50 +0000 mwhite 19515 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Can You Recover From Failure? http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/my-first-year/article/2015/09/can-you-recover-from-failure <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Beth Lam lost three transactions in 36 hours — the only deals she had lined up in her first year in real estate. Somehow, she found the will to keep going. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, September 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/mary-beth-klatt">Mary Beth Klatt</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Anyone coming into a new industry such as real estate knows there are going to be bumps in the road as you learn how to build your business from the ground up. But when it rains, it pours, and sometimes it may feel like you&rsquo;re failing at everything you try to do. When you&rsquo;ve reached a low point in the learning curve, will you be able to recover?</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/2015_sep/Beth_Lam.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 144px; float: right; margin: 3px;" />Beth Lam was able to pull through the worst moment of her first year in real estate in 2010, a series of devastating blows that every practitioner hopes never to happen to them. She lost three deals &mdash; three commission checks down the drain &mdash; in 36 hours. Those would have been her first deals after nearly a year in the business, so to watch them disappear made Lam want to quit. She had to dig deep for the confidence to move forward.</p> <p>Lam, a sales associate with Long &amp; Foster Real Estate in Ashburn, Va., switched to real estate from a career in special education. She figured that &ldquo;my children were both in middle school, and I felt they were old enough to be on their own in the afternoons, evenings, and on the weekends, when I expected to be busy showing houses and writing contracts,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>It seemed she had the right idea when in the fall of 2010, a couple called to inquire about a 2,400-square-foot log cabin 40 miles outside of Ashburn. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t know much about log cabins, let alone well and septic systems,&rdquo; Lam says. But not to be deterred from getting her first &ldquo;real clients,&rdquo; she immediately set off to help them. In the process, she learned the couple needed to sell their current home as well &mdash; two potential sales she could make money from.</p> <p>The couple eventually made an offer on the log cabin, and Lam was ecstatic. &ldquo;After many hours of negotiations, we came to terms with the sellers of the log cabin, and I had my first client under contract,&rdquo; she recalls. &ldquo;Next up was to list and market their home for sale, and before too long, we had an offer on their property, too. I was on my way!&rdquo;</p> <p>At the same time, Lam&rsquo;s broker sent her a rental lead that turned out to be a prospective buyer looking to relocate his family to Lam&rsquo;s area. She spent entire days touring homes with the buyer and his family, missing her own children&rsquo;s basketball and soccer games. But it seemed worth it once she found a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom tract home in a new-construction development that the buyer fell in love with. The buyer and his wife happily signed a sale contract, wrote a check for a $10,000 down payment, and began choosing custom interior finishes and appliances.</p> <p>Now three deals were on track for Lam, and her hard work seemed to finally be paying off. So she thought.</p> <p>Days before the relocating client&rsquo;s closing, Lam received a brief e-mail from him saying he was backing out of the purchase. &ldquo;He was afraid he would lose his job,&rdquo; Lam says. &ldquo;I wrote back and called and explained that he was going to lose his $10,000. He said that was OK; he couldn&rsquo;t sleep worrying about having that mortgage hanging over his head. While I could sympathize with that, all I could think about was all the Saturdays and Sundays I had given up with my own children and how I&rsquo;d never get that time back &mdash; and now didn&rsquo;t even have a paycheck to make it worthwhile.&rdquo;</p> <p>Things got worse the next day. Lam learned that her clients eyeing the log cabin would no longer be able to buy it because the sale of their own home fell through. The buyers of their home decided to void the sale contract on the home inspection contingency. Suddenly, the two other sales Lam was holding onto slipped away.</p> <p>Dumbfounded, Lam couldn&rsquo;t cope with this series of losses. &ldquo;I went home, and I went to bed,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I pulled up the covers and made some tea and did &hellip; nothing. I was broken. I couldn&rsquo;t imagine how anyone survives this business. It&rsquo;s just too damn hard. All I could see was the debt I had gotten into and that I had nothing to show for it. I had lost time &mdash; my time, time with my family.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, something pulled her out of bed the following Monday morning, and though she still felt defeated, it was also a new day to try and bounce back from disaster. &ldquo;I went to my broker and cried, &lsquo;This is too hard. It takes too much of a toll,&rsquo;&rdquo; Lam recalls. It had been almost a year since she was licensed and she had virtually nothing to show for it except $20,000 in credit card debt and a sinking feeling that she didn&rsquo;t have the skills for a real estate career. The broker and several colleagues tried to talk her out of quitting, telling her about their own failures and encouraging her not to give up.</p> <p>Lam wanted her career to work, so she pressed on. She reconvened with the clients who wanted to sell their house and buy the log cabin. They put their home back on the market, and Lam hit the marketing hard with open houses and showings. The couple got another offer fairly quickly &mdash; this time without contingencies. In June 2011, after having a deal on their own home in place, her clients closed on the log cabin &mdash; and by the end of that year, Lam had closed nine transactions. She paid off her debts, and she and her husband bought a vacation home.</p> <p>Sheer stubbornness kept Lam going through the difficulties. She had invested so much time in selling the log cabin that &ldquo;I was determined to see it through, even if it was the one and only deal I closed,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I also really believed that I could be successful and I really wanted to be a successful agent.&rdquo;</p> <p>What would she tell other new agents for managing emotions during failure? Take a step back and regroup. A real estate career is a journey, she says, and &ldquo;if you hit a part of the path that&rsquo;s blocked, it doesn&#39;t mean the trail ends. You just back up, learn from your mistakes,&nbsp;and find another way to reach your goal.&rdquo;</p> <p>When a deal falls apart now, Lam gives herself permission to feel disappointed and discouraged but quickly moves forward and puts the past behind her. &ldquo;Failure is not learning from mistakes,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you can take something away from an experience that helps you learn and grow, then I don&rsquo;t see it as a failure. It&rsquo;s a leaning opportunity.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Beth Lam lost three transactions in 36 hours &mdash; the only deals she had lined up in her first year in real estate. Somehow, she found the will to keep going.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_SM_firstyear.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30562">sep15_SM_firstyear.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_SM_firstyear_0.jpg?1441118595" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/sep15_LP_SM_firstyear.jpg?1441118613" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2011/02/bouncing-back">Bouncing Back</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2012/03/19/how-avoid-2-possible-deal-killers">How to Avoid 2 Possible Deal Killers </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2011/10/managing-expectations-teaching-change">Managing Expectations, Teaching Change</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> My First Year Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:55:53 +0000 gwood 19514 at http://realtormag.realtor.org YPN Charity Date Auction http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/fundraiser/article/ypn-charity-date-auction <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Beautiful Young Bachelors &amp; Bachelorettes donated their Friday Night to this Cause. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;Frederick County Association of REALTORS&reg;&nbsp; YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2011<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 886</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: YPN Charity Date Auction<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Fundraiser<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: $1,000+<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $2,000+<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 50-100<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: None, completely member driven&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: One Time Only<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>Fantastic Fundraising Event for Habitat &amp; SHIP at Delaplaine - Spectacular food by Minda Metz: THE BUZZ; Incredible Date Packages provided by our 2015 YPN Sponsors, our Frederick Community, FCAR Affiliates &amp; the YPN Advisory Committee; Beautiful Young Bachelors &amp; Bachelorettes donated their Friday Night to this Cause.&nbsp; It makes all us proud to live and work in such GENEROUS Community; at this event we raised over $7,400!</p> <p>*Not pictured: the main event program, event tickets, and the newspaper blurb.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;We did a lot of marketing for this event.&nbsp; We distributed flyers to local Real Estate Offices, distributed flyers to local businesses, advertised through our community partners, advertised through our sponsors, advertised through our charities, and used a very heavy dose of Social Media.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong>The two main items we did not think about were finding Bachelors/Bachelorettes to be auctioned off and that the majority of our network was already married/in a relationship.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>To work around this, because failure was not an option, we found local celebrities (fitness instructors at local gyms, law firm reps, etc) to auction off packages.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>This was a great event that generated a lot of buzz for our YPN and local REALTOR Association.&nbsp; It also generated a lot of buzz and money for the charities we chose to support.&nbsp; Three tips:</p> <p>1.&nbsp; Appoint one person in charge of the event.</p> <p>2.&nbsp; Find a high visibility location to host the event in the middle of town.</p> <p>3.&nbsp; Sell your own beer/wine/alcohol to maximize profit potential.</p> <p>Oh, and don&#39;t forget to have fun!!!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Beautiful Young Bachelors &amp; Bachelorettes donated their Friday Night to this Cause.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Fundraiser Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:52:50 +0000 rreuter 19516 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Good Neighbors By the Numbers http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2015/08/good-neighbors-numbers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This infographic explains the process and demonstrates the scale of REALTOR® Magazine&#039;s Good Neighbor Awards. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wednesday, August 26, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <!--paging_filter--><p><img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/infographics/GNA_by_the_numbers_2015.jpeg" style="width: 660px; height: 2279px;" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>This infographic explains the process and demonstrates the scale of REALTOR&reg; Magazine&#39;s Good Neighbor Awards.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Good Neighbor Awards Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:02:20 +0000 mwhite 19501 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/education/article/biggest-tuesday-sales-meeting-ever-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We hold a free 2-hour CE course every June and call it the Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;St. Paul Area YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2010<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 6,332</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Educational<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Free/Sponsored<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $250-1000<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 250+<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: Yes, several hours were devoted by staff&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>We hold a free 2-hour CE course every June and call it the Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER. Its purpose is to replace the typical Tuesday sales meeting for our association&#39;s brokerages and get our members some free credits before the license renewal at the end of June. We have a breakfast and many sponsor tables set up prior to the event.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>We created an email campaign, had our national speaker make a short video promo, we personally invited sponsors to participate, we included info in our weekly association e-news and posted to social media outlets.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>We learned that free CE goes a long way, but a good speaker is key. Our sponsors had high-top tables and it created a better, more intimate interpersonal experience. Since it&#39;s a YPN event, we aim to make sure the information presented has a young, fresh vibe.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have switched the venue each year until we reach the best mixture possible of ample seating for 500 people, ample parking and ample room for around 25 sponsors.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>The event got us some REALTOR&reg; Mag cred - we were featured in a YPN Lounge blog post by Rob Mehta. Make sure you&#39;re giving a nod to NAR - they&#39;ll support your events!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>We hold a free 2-hour CE course every June and call it the Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Education Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:00:42 +0000 rreuter 19494 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Family Skate Night http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/family/article/family-skate-night <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Association reserved the local ice rink (free - donated by ice rink) and invited families to come out and ice skate. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;REALTORS&reg; Association of Lincoln YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2010<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 818</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: Family Skate Night<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Family-Friendly<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: $0-500<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $0-250<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 250+<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: Yes, several hours were devoted by staff.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>The Association reserved the local ice rink (free - donated by ice rink) and invited families to come out and ice skate. We charged $5 to attend. All proceeds benefited the Food Bank of Lincoln. The $5 included: Balloon hats/animals made by a clown ($150), Face Painting (supplies purchased by association, painting was done by volunteers), pizza (donated by a member), cookies (donated by local grocery store), beverages (donated by a member), skates and 3 hours of skate time.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Promoted event in our monthly printed newsletter, weekly emails, social media (ours and the Food Banks), committee members distributed flyers to the public, used our regular local newspaper column space to tell the public and reached out to radio stations to have them mention the event.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>This is a fun and easy family friendly event. People love the low price for the opportunity to ice skate and appreciate the other perks (face painting, balloons and food). It is a great value. We also have a maximum price of $20 per family. We raised over $3,000 for the Food Bank and collected a sizeable donation of food. Members were happy to contribute pizza, cookies and drinks to the event. The Food Bank appreciated our efforts and donations.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>Our committee usually puts together a task force for the event so the communication is easier.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The Association reserved the local ice rink (free - donated by ice rink) and invited families to come out and ice skate.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Family Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:06:26 +0000 rreuter 19490 at http://realtormag.realtor.org No Pain, No Gain http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2015/09/no-pain-no-gain <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NFL Hall of Famer-turned-real estate entrepreneur Emmitt Smith says you have to be a responsible risk-taker to get what you want. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, September 1, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Emmitt Smith, CCIM, is well-acquainted with risk &mdash; and its potential payoffs. The NFL Hall of Famer chanced failure in front of millions when he joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1990, at a time when the top-ranked team was suffering from a string of embarrassing losses. And he knew he could be publicly humiliated when he took a spin on ABC&rsquo;s &ldquo;Dancing with the Stars&rdquo; in 2006 without any prior ballroom training. But Smith conquered both experiences, which gave him greater confidence to go out on another limb and try his hand at another risky business: real estate.</p> <p>As co-founder and CEO of Emmitt Smith Enterprises &mdash; which includes a commercial real estate brokerage, a property investment and development firm, a capital-strategy solutions business, and a construction company &mdash; the pro running back&ndash;turned&ndash;real estate businessman says success in any activity involves an element of risk. Smith&rsquo;s huge successes, leading the Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships in 13 years and waltzing to the winning spot on the third season of &ldquo;Dancing with the Stars,&rdquo; would never have happened without his ability to embrace the multitude of risks associated with those endeavors. As most practitioners know, the real estate business is also teeming with uncertainty, and you have to risk losing every day in order to position yourself to win.</p> <p>Ahead of his keynote address at the 2015 REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in San Diego this November, we caught up with Smith in an interview to learn how risk has been a driving motivator in his career and what role it should play in a successful real estate business.</p> <h4>You take a lot of chances when you step onto a football field. You risk injury as well as letting down fans if your team loses a game. How have the risks you took in your NFL career informed the way you operate your real estate businesses?</h4> <p>The way it&rsquo;s helped me is by knowing that preparation plus performance should equal success. What we try to do in the real estate business is mitigate risk by ensuring that we&rsquo;re pretty accurate in terms of our site selection, understanding of the demographic, the trade area, and then putting together the right tenant mix for the commercial properties that my company is involved in, whether it&rsquo;s office, retail, or even industrial.</p> <h4>Why did you get into real estate, and what&rsquo;s been the biggest triumph for you so far?</h4> <p>I got into the business because I had people like [fellow athletes] Roger Staubach and Ervin &ldquo;Magic&rdquo; Johnson who showed me how to transition from the game and leverage the brand I had established through sports. I&rsquo;m a CCIM designee, and I studied, went to real estate school, invested in real estate, and learned how to put together projects. What has worked in my favor is that I have a brand that other brands want to be associated with. I can leverage that brand into developing other opportunities.</p> <h4>&ldquo;Go big or go home&rdquo; is a phrase we often apply to sports. Is that the best attitude to have in real estate?</h4> <p>No, you have to take one step at a time. The way I see it, real estate is about service just like football was about service. As an athlete, you&rsquo;ve got coaches, fans, and teammates, and you&rsquo;re serving a purpose in their lives in some form. Fans are happy when you win and sad when you lose. If I could bring joy to them through my performance, I gain their respect. It&rsquo;s the same way in real estate. We service our clients, and they give us an opportunity to work with them. We provide them with great service, and they come back.</p> <h4>How do you determine when something may not be worth the risk? Has there been a time in your real estate career when you&rsquo;ve decided a deal isn&rsquo;t worth it?</h4> <p>There&rsquo;s always a &ldquo;go/no go&rdquo; decision that must be made. You go through your development criteria, risk profiles, and determine the best answer. The numbers don&rsquo;t lie &mdash; I trust the numbers. In some cases, you have to peel beneath the numbers to get the full story, especially in certain trade areas. But when it comes down to finances, the numbers are what they are. Construction prices, land prices, tenant improvement allowances, legal costs &mdash; all are what they are. Either the project supports [proceeding] or it doesn&rsquo;t.</p> <h4>You also put a lot on the line when you became a contestant on &ldquo;Dancing with the Stars,&rdquo; being crowned the season three winner in 2006 and returning to the dance floor in 2012 for an All-Stars edition. How was that experience a risk for you? Did it influence how you set goals for yourself or how you approach other aspects of your life?</h4> <p>That experience helped me gain confidence that I can do more outside of sports. It&rsquo;s about executing a game plan in unfamiliar territory and having the confidence to put together the right structure and processes to excel in that next arena. Whether it&rsquo;s related to preparation, discipline, or communication, what I learned is that the processes that I utilized in sports are some of the same processes that I used in &ldquo;Dancing with the Stars&rdquo; and now apply to my real estate businesses.</p> <p><em>Emmitt Smith will be the General Session keynote speaker at the 2015 REALTORS&reg; Conference &amp; Expo in San Diego on Sat., Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>NFL Hall of Famer-turned-real estate entrepreneur Emmitt Smith says you have to be a risk-taker to get what you want.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_NC_smith.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=24922">aug15_NC_smith.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_NC_smith_0.jpg?1440612429" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_NC_smith.jpg?1440612448" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news-and-commentary/feature/article/2010/10/inspiring-excellence-take-risks-win">Inspiring Excellence: Take Risks to Win</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/commercial/feature/article/2011/11/know-risk-factors">Know the Risk Factors</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/feature/article/2007/08/risk-management-right-road">Risk Management: The Right Road</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Feature Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:47:33 +0000 gwood 19487 at http://realtormag.realtor.org REALTOR 5K http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/fundraiser/article/realtor-5k <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> An annual 5k event in conjunction with the REALTOR Foundation which is our charitable/community outreach arm of the association. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS YoPros&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2009<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 7431</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: REALTOR 5K<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Fundraising<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Ticketed Event<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $250-1000<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 50-100<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: Yes, several hours were devoted by staff&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>We do an annual 5k event in conjunction with the REALTOR Foundation which is our charitable/community outreach arm of the association. The event is held at a public park, we rent the equipment including signage, clock, runner numbers, horn etc. from a local company. Typically we have some sponsors that cover the cost of the event and registration fees are then donated to the foundation. We do a prize for 1st place (male and female) and best shoes. Sponsors are able to provide something of value to runners whether its swag, or water bottles. The environment is very positive and family friendly.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Email blast to association, social media promotion, word of mouth, and flyers at prior events.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Renting the equipment and use of public park made the event run smoothly, this event was attended by both your typical YPNer as well as more of general population from association. It is great to be able to offer something that doesn&#39;t involve a happy hour.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>An annual 5k event in conjunction with the REALTOR Foundation which is our charitable/community outreach arm of the association.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Fundraiser Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:13:50 +0000 rreuter 19486 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Teams Up to the Rescue http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2013/08/teams-up-rescue <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meet Good Neighbor Award finalist Brenda Breit, who is giving hope to pets left behind after evictions and foreclosures. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, August 2, 2013</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/wilma-gonzalez">Wilma Gonzalez</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Who are the faces of the housing crash? Most would think of the countless home owners who struggled through financial hardship, trying desperately to hold onto their homes only to walk away in shame as foreclosure and eviction forced them from their one place of solace in the world. But there are others: cute, furry faces with sad eyes who never left but remained behind long after the home owners fled. They were abandoned and made to fend for themselves.</p> <p>Pets being found alone and malnourished inside abandoned homes became a heartbreakingly familiar tale during the economic downturn. And in Arizona, which bore some of the worst of the foreclosure crisis, Brenda Breit began responding to emergency phone calls to pick up abandoned pets and find a place for them to go.</p> <p>&ldquo;REALTORS&reg; and neighbors were the frontline heroes in finding these pets&mdash;cats and dogs&mdash;starving, crying, and exhausted in their empty homes with little or no chance of survival,&rdquo; says Breit, an agent with The Empowered Team in Scottsdale, Ariz.</p> <p>Recognizing the need for help, Breit and her daughter, Jodi Polanski, formed Lost Our Home Pet Foundation in 2008, a nonprofit dedicated to abandoned pets and the families who could no longer care for them.</p> <p>&ldquo;Phoenix was the hardest-hit in the United States, with foreclosures and almost no market at all. Property values dropped more than half,&rdquo; says Ronda Emmrich, a real estate salesperson at Keller Williams Check Realty in Prescott, Ariz. Emmrich is board secretary for the Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. &ldquo;Home owners ran out of options, seeking shelter in apartments, living with family and friends where pets were not allowed.&rdquo;</p> <p>At first, Breit and Polanski built a network of friends and family who could take temporary guardianship of abandoned pets. Breit eventually recruited more than 100 REALTORS&reg; who opened their doors as foster parents to the animals or donated money to support the organization. As the only rescue in Maricopa County for cats and dogs abandoned as a result of the housing crisis,Lost Our Home soon had more pets than it did foster homes.</p> <p>In 2012, Breit found a solution: She secured a lease for an 1,800-square-foot space in a shopping center. It served as a shelter housing 52 animals as they awaited adoption.</p> <p>Through her efforts, more than 2,200 pets have been saved, and 250 have been reunited with their owners. Last year alone, she helped raise more than $265,000 to fund lifesaving medical procedures for animals and feed more than 10,000 pets through the local food bank.</p> <p>Polanski, executive director of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, says she is inspired by Breit&rsquo;s dedication. &ldquo;She is someone I can depend on, whatever the need may be,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;She always finds a way to keep the foundation growing. Her phone is always on 24/7.&rdquo;</p> <p>Being a REALTOR&reg; also helps Breit in her mission to keep pets in a loving home. She uses her community knowledge to help families find pet-friendly housing, and she even has persuaded landlords to accept pets so that animals can stay with their families.</p> <p>For Breit, saving lives is the heart of her work &mdash; and something she tears up talking about. She remembers rescuing an older dog, a terrier mix, found with matted hair and unable to have a bowel movement. &ldquo;I nurtured him for two weeks, cutting his hair and feeding him pumpkin baby food,&rdquo; says Breit. &ldquo;He didn&rsquo;t make it. I held him until the end, as his tail wagged goodbye.&rdquo;</p> <p>This summer, the shelter faced a difficult challenge. The shopping center was sold, and the new owners asked Breit and Polanski to leave to make room for high-end restaurants and stores. The mother-daughter team had to find a new location with only a month&rsquo;s notice.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The thought of a cat or dog back on the streets and not having any shelter, food, or water is just too sad,&rdquo; says Breit, who has two rescues of her own, an applehead Chihuahua named Buster and a Maltese poodle named Sugar.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite the challenge of finding the right property with the right zoning, they were able to find a new building that will serve their needs. In October, the 8,400-square-foot shelter will open, providing four rooms for cats, two big areas for dogs, and a space for low-cost boarding. The new facility will house up to 90 pets.</p> <p>Breit&rsquo;s foundation has become a sort of second home for many pets &mdash; and a godsend for struggling home owners who can&rsquo;t bear to lose their pets. When Robin LaGrand began suffering from health problems and her husband lost his job, the couple moved in with their daughter. LaGrand made a desperate call to save her Yorkshire terrier, named Deegan.</p> <p>&ldquo;The apartment didn&rsquo;t allow pets, but I remembered the news coverage about Lost Our Home Pet Foundation,&rdquo; says LaGrand. &ldquo;They took him for 90 days, provided him with rabies shots and vet care. I didn&rsquo;t want to give him up. When I&rsquo;m back on my feet, I&rsquo;m going to support the shelter 100 percent.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another man, who lost his job and his apartment, was living out of his car with his cat. &ldquo;Luckily, the family at Lost Our Home Pet Foundation was able to help us. The dedicated staff truly cares about the animals,&rdquo; says the man, who asked to remain anonymous. &ldquo;They welcomed my cat into the shelter and provided a place for her to stay while I look for work. The best part is that I&rsquo;m allowed to visit her every day.&rdquo;</p> <p>For Breit, the goal is to ensure that pet owners in crisis always have somewhere to turn. &ldquo;No matter what they&rsquo;ve been through, I will give the light of hope to the pets left behind,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;These are real lives we&rsquo;re saving. They&rsquo;ve got hearts and feelings like we do.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>Contact Brenda Breit at <a href="http://www.empoweredrealtyteam.com" target="_blank">www.empoweredrealtyteam.com</a> or via e-mail at <a href="mailto:brokerbrenda@empoweredrealtyteam.com">brokerbrenda@empoweredrealtyteam.com</a>. Learn more about Lost Our Home Pet Foundation at <a href="http://www.lostourhome.org" target="_blank">www.lostourhome.org</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Meet <a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/finalist/2013/08/brenda-m-breit" target="_blank">Good Neighbor Award finalist Brenda Breit,</a> who is giving hope to pets left behind after evictions and foreclosures.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Good Neighbor Awards Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:17:21 +0000 mbrozanic 19491 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Tech Tools of the Trade http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/education/article/tech-tools-trade <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sign up for industry specific technology assistance -- work one on one with someone who can show you the tricks! </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;REALTOR&reg; Association of the Fox Valley YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2014<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 1398</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: Tech Tools of the Trade<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Educational<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Free/Sponsored<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $0-250<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 25-50<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: About 50% member driven, 50% staff driven&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>Studies show it is &#39;normal&#39; to feel overwhelmed by technology.</p> <p>LET THE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS HELP</p> <p>Sign up for industry specific technology assistance --&nbsp; work one on one with someone who can show you the tricks!</p> <p>Each session is 20 minutes long and focused on your personal needs</p> <p>Topics: MRED, eSignatures, Video, Social Media, Websites,Online Lead Management</p> <p>9:00 am - 11:00 am @ RAFV</p> <p>Email Heather Kellogg</p> <p>A representative from RPR&reg; will be presenting from 11-12:15</p> <p>*donuts and coffee provided*</p> <p>No Charge</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Email Campaign - Constant Contact</p> <p>Social Media - YPN Closed FB Group, Assn FB page, Instagram YouTube - Promotional Event Video &quot;Eventfomercial&quot;</p> <p>Flyers</p> <p>Managing Broker Word of Mouth</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>RPR&reg; draws a crowd! A lot of our attendees registered because they wanted to learn about RPR&reg;, which helped us to get our numbers up! We quickly learned that training takes more than a</p> <p>20 minute time slot. Book longer slots! This was a great &quot;give back&quot; from our YPN&#39;ers to our entire membership. It really helped the general membership to see who the YPN&#39;ers are and what they can (and do) contribute to the industry!</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Sign up for industry specific technology assistance --&nbsp; work one on one with someone who can show you the tricks!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Education Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:30:58 +0000 rreuter 19493 at http://realtormag.realtor.org YPN Bus Trip to Kansas City http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/social/article/ypn-bus-trip-kansas-city <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Association chartered a bus and purchased tickets to a Chiefs vs. Bears NFL football game. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;REALTORS&reg; Association of Lincoln&nbsp;YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2010<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 818</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: YPN Bus Trip to Kansas City</p> <p><strong>Event type</strong>: Social/Networking<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: $1,000+<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $0-250<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 50-100<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: The event was mostly staff driven.<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: Full Day</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>The Association chartered a bus and purchased tickets to a Chiefs vs. Bears NFL football game. Members were invited to buy their tickets online and then meet at the Association Office at 8:00 am the day of the game. The bus drove all of the participants to and from the game. Volunteers assembled gift bags for all bus riders.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>We promoted the event in our newsletter, weekly emails and on our website. The members of the committee also reached out to members directly to increase excitement about the event and encouraged participation.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>It was a fun event the members were excited to participate in. The cost was an affordable way for people to get to a great football event. People were enthusiastic about contributing to the gift bags which made the experience more engaging.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>Verify any liability with your association lawyer.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>The Association chartered a bus and purchased tickets to a Chiefs vs. Bears NFL football game.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Social Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:13:26 +0000 rreuter 19489 at http://realtormag.realtor.org YPN Cruise on Lake Geneva http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/social/article/ypn-cruise-lake-geneva <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> VIP boat cruise for YPN members. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;Lakes Area YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2014<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 373</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: YPN Cruise on Lake Geneva<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Social/Networking<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Free/Sponsored<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $1000-2000<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 25-50<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: About 50% member driven, 50% staff driven.<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>VIP boat cruise for YPN members on a Thursday night to come get a tour of the beautiful Geneva Lake aboard a large paddle boat that had capacity for around 60 people.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.7em; margin: 0px 0px 1.1em; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Personal invitation for the members which we called VIP (paid for by the sponsorships) up to 30 people.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.7em; margin: 0px 0px 1.1em; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Once we had 25 committed, we allowed it to open up for registration on eventbrite.com. Anyone that was over and above the 30 free VIP invited guests paid $40 to join us.</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Personal invitation is always the best way to get committed attendance; socializing is easy for our members to do and we as the hosts need to challenge the event for something more and another specific objective if you want it to be more than that.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>Invite and confirm some sort of carrot type of guest. Someone who you can dangle out in front of your members as a carrot, a reason they don&#39;t want to miss the event. Someone they want to see and talk to.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>VIP boat cruise for YPN members.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Social Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:34:13 +0000 rreuter 19488 at http://realtormag.realtor.org All-Star Panel http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/education/article/all-star-panel <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We bring in top agents from the area (and have looked at doing agents outside the area) to discuss a specific topic such as marketing, lead generation, new construction, business planning etc. as a part of a panel. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS YoPro&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2009<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 7,427</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: All-Star Panel<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Educational<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Free/Sponsored<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $250-1000<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 50-100<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: About 50% member driven, 50% staff driven<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Bi-Annually<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>We bring in top agents from the area (and have looked at doing agents outside the area) to discuss a specific topic such as marketing, lead generation, new construction, business planning etc. as a part of a panel. There is open networking before and after the panel discussion, which is mostly lead by the MC to keep things on track.&nbsp;Attendees are also welcome to ask their own questions</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Email blast to previous participants and association members, social media, flyers at previous events, and word of mouth</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Take help if it&#39;s offered and plan ahead. I am spearheading the YPN Chapter and although my platform is small, it&#39;s successful because I understand my audience. The people here want to see you face to face and know they are getting involved in something that is HYPER local and that is will benefit the community we work and love to live in.</p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>We bring in top agents from the area (and have looked at doing agents outside the area) to discuss a specific topic such as marketing, lead generation, new construction, business planning etc. as a part of a panel.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Education Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:43:46 +0000 rreuter 19476 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Engaging With Key Consumer Groups http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/engaging-key-consumer-groups <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn how your agents can better engage with the clients who have the most purchasing power. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Chances are your agents are working with one or more of the following client groups: baby boomers, millennials, or Chinese buyers. These three demographics wield significant buying power in today&rsquo;s market, but your agents might be underserving one of these buyer segments.</p> <p>During the National Association of REALTORS&reg; Broker Summit, RISmedia hosted a Power Broker Roundtable on Aug. 18 to discuss techniques for engaging with these key consumer groups. Brokers from four very different markets &mdash; northern New Jersey; Seattle; Tacoma, Wash.; and San Francisco &mdash; shared observations and insights on how they&rsquo;re helping agents develop a better understanding of the needs within these demographics.</p> <p><strong>Millennials:</strong> Born between 1980 and 2004, the millennial generation&rsquo;s eldest members turned 35 this year (the youngest are now 11). This group represents one-third of the U.S. population, with 44 percent identifying as nonwhite. They recently surpassed Generation X as the largest portion of the U.S. workforce. One-third of millennials aged 26 and older have a four-year college degree, which makes this generation the most educated in American history, according to the Pew Center Research.</p> <p><iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/56HevjQCcyU" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Ed Krafchow, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, oversees 36 offices with 1,200 agents in the San Francisco Bay area. He characterizes his area as a high-tech, high-growth marketplace with a strong resurgence in urban dwelling. His agents are constantly engaging with millennial buyers.</p> <p>Krafchow describes millennials as data-driven consumers. &ldquo;They have a belief in research,&rdquo; he says. So he hired a 24-year-old data scientist named Tommy Wolf to conduct original research for his brokerage.</p> <p>The first study, published this year, examines the correlation between coffee shops and real estate values. What Wolf found was that residential real estate within a walkable half-mile distance of a coffee shop can fetch, on average, $159 more per square foot than properties outside the half-mile radius &mdash; so a $971 per square-foot average price versus $812.</p> <p>The main purpose of the study was to help agents engage with more millennials &mdash; and it worked. Agents shared the study with their clients and on their social media pages, and the study received more than 200,000 impressions. That&rsquo;s a lot of eyeballs on their website and agent business pages from potential clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Millennials] want insight. They want you to be insightful in a way they cannot be,&rdquo; Krafchow says. &ldquo;If we can&rsquo;t be insightful, then we are losing relevance.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to hyperlocal data, Krafchow says engagement is critically important to working with millennials. Dick Beeson, principal managing broker with RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma, Wash., says his company has started using text messaging to communicate with both millennial clients and agents. They also put a mentorship program in place to support and retain younger agents.</p> <p>When recruiting millennials, Krafchow has come to realize that they have no interest in plaques, could care less about a private office, and are turned off by mass marketing. Instead, Krafchow has invested in wine refrigerators for his offices so agents can gather for weekly wine and cheese nights where they talk shop.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Millennial agents] want something special &mdash; they expect it,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p><strong>Chinese buyers:</strong> In the past year, China surpassed Canada as the top country of origin for foreign buyers of U.S. homes, according to NAR&rsquo;s 2015 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. Chinese buyers spent $28.6 billion on U.S. real estate between March 2014 and March 2015, an increase from $22 billion the previous year. They are buying single-family homes (62 percent) in urban areas (86 percent). Nearly 70 percent are paying cash.</p> <p>Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., calls Seattle a &ldquo;new suburb of China.&rdquo; His company, which has seen an influx of Chinese clients purchasing in the $800,000 to $900,000 range, now translates its materials and brochures into Chinese.</p> <p>Charlie Oppler, CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby&rsquo;s International in Jersey City, N.J., says that 35 languages are represented at his company, including Chinese. In his market, Chinese buyers have been attracted to new developments, with 62 percent of new construction being scooped up by this group of clientele. Many are purchasing properties for their children who are attending college in the area, he says. Sales prices range from $300,000 to $500,000, but his company&rsquo;s highest sale was $5.5 million.</p> <p><strong>Baby boomers: </strong>This generation was born between 1946 and 1964 but is often divided into older boomers (1946&ndash;1954) and younger boomers (1955&ndash;1964). Boomers are the second largest group of home buyers (31 percent) after millennials (32 percent), according to NAR&rsquo;s 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. Younger boomers most frequently cite job relocation as their reason for moving, while most older boomers say it&rsquo;s to retire.</p> <p>Oppler says he has noticed baby boomers staying in their homes longer. &ldquo;What used to take five to seven years now takes 10 to 11 years [for boomers to make a move],&rdquo; he says. So agents are trying to find ways to foster longer-term relationships with clients, which generally includes more touch points during the year and for longer periods of time.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our recovery didn&rsquo;t start until 2013. The East Coast has lagged behind in job growth; it&rsquo;s not as strong as it is in on the West Coast or in Texas,&rdquo; Oppler says. &ldquo;I believe the main reason baby boomers are staying [in their homes] is because they&rsquo;re afraid their kids won&rsquo;t be able to find a job after they graduate college.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report states that 21 percent of younger boomers nationwide who purchased in the past year bought a multigenerational home &mdash; a point that&rsquo;s on par with Oppler&rsquo;s regional findings. Many boomers are seeking homes with the flexibility to accommodate multiple generations, if necessary.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn how your agents can better engage with the clients who have the most purchasing power.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_groups.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=47971">aug15_BB_groups.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_groups_0.jpg?1440606594" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_BB_groups.jpg?1440606612" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/generate-more-business-online-leads">Generate More Business With Online Leads</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/evolving-industry">An Evolving Industry</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Tue, 25 Aug 2015 22:01:33 +0000 echristoffer 19479 at http://realtormag.realtor.org YPN-Palooza http://realtormag.realtor.org/ypn/idea-bank/social/article/ypn-palooza <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> YPN enjoyed a exciting night of networking with some of Atlanta&#039;s up and coming real estate professionals as well as learning more about some of the legislative issues on the table that affect our business. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 300px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" src="http://placekitten.com/300/300" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="rtecenter">Credit: <a href="http://placekitten.com/300/300">Placekitten.com</a>, 2013</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Network</strong>:&nbsp;Atlanta Board of REALTORS&reg;&nbsp; YPN&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Established</strong>: 2010<br /> <strong>Number of members</strong>: 6,263</p> <p><strong>Event name</strong>: YPN-Palooza<br /> <strong>Event type</strong>: Social/Networking<br /> <strong>Event cost</strong>: Free/Sponsored<br /> <strong>Event sponsorships</strong>: $250-1000<br /> <strong>Number of attendees</strong>: 50-100<br /> <strong>A</strong><strong>ssociation a</strong><strong>ssistance</strong>: About 50% member driven, 50% staff driven&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Event frequency</strong>: Quarterly<br /> <strong>Event length</strong>: 1-3 Hours</p> <p><strong>About the event</strong>:</p> <p>YPN enjoyed a exciting night of networking with some of Atlanta&#39;s up and coming real estate professionals as well as learning more about some of the legislative issues on the table that affect our business.</p> <p>The event offered free food, cocktails, games, networking with like-minded professionals, an onsite photo shoot and the opportunity to hear a few words of wisdom from Bobbi Howe, the 2015 NAR YPN chair.</p> <p><strong>Describe the marketing you did for the event:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us what you learned from this experience and what others considering hosting this event should be aware of:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>Any other pertinent information you would like to share:</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>YPN enjoyed a exciting night of networking with some of Atlanta&#39;s up and coming real estate professionals as well as learning more about some of the legislative issues on the table that affect our business.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Social Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:47:21 +0000 rreuter 19477 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 2015 CRM Solutions: Is Simpler Better? http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-simpler-better <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Some relationship management tools can do anything you want them to, but the time it’ll take to learn the ropes may not be worth it. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/michael-antoniak">Michael Antoniak</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Customer relationship management systems today have such varying features and user interfaces, it&rsquo;s nearly impossible to decide which one is right for you and your business without a little trial and error first. Whether you&rsquo;re shopping for a new solution altogether or considering upgrading your current one, it&rsquo;s important to get hands-on experience with different products before committing to purchasing.</p> <p>Most buyers will probably want a CRM as a cloud service so you don&rsquo;t have to be tethered to a desktop to use it. Beyond that, though, you may not know what best fits your needs and work style until you&rsquo;ve had hands-on experience with a few options.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Why a CRM Is Essential</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the foundation of the sales software stack for many businesses,&rdquo; notes Ben Legman, director of content and research for business software review site <a href="http://www.g2crowd.com">G2Crowd.com</a>. &ldquo;Tracking relationships with clients and prospects is a necessity, and CRMs allow users to do just that.&rdquo;</p> <p>At the core of every CRM solution is a contact manager with calendar functions. For the average user, these provide a structure for storing details about leads, buyers, and sellers, and scheduling related activities. But most will want a true real estate&ndash;specific CRM system, which can do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Adds automated task and activity planning</li> <li>Integrated marketing components</li> <li>Alerts and tracking features to know when you&rsquo;re hitting or missing your sales goals</li> </ul> <p>&ldquo;A real estate&ndash;specific CRM may be the easiest to set up and use,&rdquo; Legman says. &ldquo;Generic CRM tools can be tailored to offer the same functionality, though they may require custom development work or a longer implementation time.&rdquo;</p> <p>Unless you have the skills and time to tailor a generic CRM solution to your needs, stick to real estate&ndash;specific systems. Usually developed with input from real estate professionals, they are designed to capture the information you need and nurture relationships with buyers and sellers from initial contact to follow-up after a successful transaction.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;There are CRM systems that can do almost anything you imagine,&rdquo; says Mary Pope-Handy, CIPS, CRS, a sales associate at Sereno Group in Los Gatos, Calif. &ldquo;What you really have to figure out is which features you will actually use. &hellip; What are the most important tools you need to improve business and make your life easier?&rdquo;</p> <p>Pope-Handy is considering migrating to her third CRM system in as many years. When the company behind the system she&rsquo;d been using stopped supporting it, she felt she had no choice but to switch. &ldquo;Rather than sift through 30 different products, I sought help from Gary David Hall,&rdquo; she says. A former REALTOR&reg;, Hall is now a <a href="http://www.garydavidhall.com">consultant on CRM solutions</a> for real estate professionals.</p> <p>Hall told Pope-Handy that some CRM features offer a lot of power &mdash; but at a price. &ldquo;He told me if I wanted something real leading-edge that it could be set up to do anything, but it also involved a long learning curve,&rdquo; Pope-Handy recalls. &ldquo;And he was right. I&rsquo;ve been using my CRM six months, and I love the customization possibilities. But it&rsquo;s just not as intuitive as I&rsquo;d like. It&rsquo;s taken more of my time than I expected.&rdquo; She&rsquo;s planning a trial run of <a href="http://www.realvolve.com">Realvolve</a> to see if it&rsquo;s easier and better fits her needs.</p> <p>Most real estate professionals will rank an intuitive interface as well as easy setup and operation of key features as their top concerns when shopping for a CRM. &ldquo;But the factor that sets the different CRMs apart the most is the number of features it has, which is what increases the learning curve,&rdquo; Hall says. &ldquo;Most agents don&rsquo;t want a lot of features because they aren&rsquo;t comfortable with software and, hence, won&rsquo;t use them. The most powerful CRMs have the longest learning curves, and they&rsquo;re definitely not right for everyone.&rdquo;</p> <p>Mike Holbrook, associate broker at Atlantic Avenue Realty in Lake Worth, Fla., found the right combo of functionality and intuitiveness in <a href="http://www.realtyjuggler.com">RealtyJuggler</a>. He had been using Microsoft Outlook to manage contacts when he heard about the real estate CRM system. &ldquo;I was originally attracted to RealtyJuggler by how easy it made it to keep track of my income and expenses,&rdquo; Holbrook says.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>In This Guide</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-trending">CRM Trends</a><br /> While new product versions aim to improve the user experience, you&#39;ll want to test your selection before committing to it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-shopping-tips">CRM Shopping Tips</a><br /> Keep these things in mind as you try different products.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-available">Products on the Market</a><br /> From basic products to full real estate suites, take a look at these options and see what you get for your money.</p> </blockquote> <p>He contends that attaching and retrieving notes with contact records, launching drip marketing campaigns, and managing every detail about clients and listings has become much easier with his CRM. &ldquo;It becomes your life, with everything you need to know as a real estate agent,&rdquo; Holbrook says. &ldquo;You learn to depend on that.&rdquo;</p> <p>That kind of all-encompassing business solution is what practitioners should look for and expect in a CRM system today, Hall says. &ldquo;We have finally gotten to the point where blast e-mail with internal reporting, print campaigns, drip campaigns, transaction management, marketing, social media, MLS integration, and so much more are possible&mdash;all from within the CRM,&rdquo; he notes. &ldquo;You should look to do as much as possible from within one program.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Some relationship management tools can do anything you want them to, but the time it&rsquo;ll take to learn the ropes may not be worth it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38844">aug15_PG_CRM.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_6.jpg?1440439821" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_PG_CRM_2.jpg?1440439822" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/05/what-expect-from-crm-solution">What to Expect From a CRM Solution</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/05/commercial-catching-up-technology">Commercial: Catching Up With Technology</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/3-tech-tools-for-fostering-business">3 Tech Tools for Fostering Business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Applications Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:12:43 +0000 gwood 19463 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 2015 CRM Solutions: Shopping Tips http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-shopping-tips <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Keep these things in mind as you try different products. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/michael-antoniak">Michael Antoniak</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Start with what you have:</strong> Look for an easy upgrade path from whatever CRM you&rsquo;re using now. You&rsquo;ll save considerable time because you&rsquo;ll be able to import as many of your current records as possible to the upgraded system.</p> <p><strong>Look for productive gains:</strong> CRMs offer an ambitious mix of features and functions, but the ones that matter most are the ones you will actually use. Prioritize the essential features: those that improve organization, use of time, communications with clients, and marketing for your listings and services.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>In This Guide</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-simpler-better">Is a Simpler CRM Better?</a><br /> Some relationship management tools can do anything you want them to, but the time it&rsquo;ll take to learn the ropes may not be worth it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-trending">CRM Trends</a><br /> While new product versions aim to improve the user experience, you&#39;ll want to test your selection before committing to it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-available">Products on the Market</a><br /> From basic products to full real estate suites, take a look at these options and see what you get for your money.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>CRM or a suite of services:</strong> If you already rely on particular services for marketing and management, you may only need a core CRM solution compatible with those systems. If you&rsquo;re looking for a total management solution, CRM is just one of many components to consider in a suite of services.</p> <p><strong>Trial run:</strong> Take advantage of vendors&rsquo; offers to test the service before subscribing. Explore the full range of features: user interface, database, calendar and scheduling, report functions, marketing capabilities, integration, customization, and mobile access. Test customer support, too. Any product is only as good and reliable as the company behind it.</p> <p><strong>A long-term commitment:</strong> CRM is a system for nurturing and maintaining the relationships critical to success in real estate. You&rsquo;re entrusting the future of your career to that system. Don&rsquo;t skimp on price or features. Take the time to find a system that will help you grow your business and adapt to your changing needs.</p> <p><strong>Beware of free solutions:</strong> Carefully evaluate any &ldquo;free&rdquo; CRM system provided by a team leader or broker. You want to ask these key questions: Who owns the data you enter into that system? Can you take your records with you if you leave your company?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Keep these things in mind as you try different products.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38844">aug15_PG_CRM.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_2.jpg?1440439692" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_PG_CRM_0.jpg?1440439687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/05/what-expect-from-crm-solution">What to Expect From a CRM Solution</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/05/commercial-catching-up-technology">Commercial: Catching Up With Technology</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/3-tech-tools-for-fostering-business">3 Tech Tools for Fostering Business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Applications Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:26:55 +0000 gwood 19465 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 2015 CRM Solutions: What's Available http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-available <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From basic products to full real estate suites, take a look at these options and see what you get for your money. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/michael-antoniak">Michael Antoniak</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Any computer operating system can give you an idea of what the most basic CRM systems do. Apple Address Book in OS X, iCloud Contacts on iPhones, Google Contacts, and Microsoft Windows all are basic record-keeping systems for organizing client names and contact</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>In This Guide</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-simpler-better">Is a Simpler CRM Better?</a><br /> Some relationship management tools can do anything you want them to, but the time it&rsquo;ll take to learn the ropes may not be worth it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-trending">CRM Trends</a><br /> While new product versions aim to improve the user experience, you&#39;ll want to test your selection before committing to it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-shopping-tips">CRM Shopping Tips</a><br /> Keep these things in mind as you try different products.</p> </blockquote> <p>information, and you can export or share such info with calendar applications and other programs.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s pretty likely you&rsquo;ll want a CRM solution with a bit more capability that can be tailored to your business needs. There are plenty of options that won&rsquo;t break the bank. Check out these cloud-based CRM solutions that all cost under $100 a month. <strong>(Prices are based on entry-level versions of each product.)</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="3" style="width: 550px;"> <thead> <tr> <th scope="col">Product</th> <th scope="col">Price</th> <th scope="col">Description</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.realtyjuggler.com/" target="_blank">RealtyJuggler</a></td> <td>$99 per year</td> <td>RealtyJuggler provides tools for organizing and managing day-to-day responsibilities. Imports records from popular contact managers, Web forms, MLS, and lead services. Users can create and assign tasks based on type of client with automatic reminders. Supports bulk e-mailing and drip marketing campaigns.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.wiseagent.com/" target="_blank">Wise Agent CRM</a></td> <td>$24.95 per month</td> <td>CRM is the core component of this suite of real estate business management tools. Contact information available throughout system for use in marketing campaigns, planning activities, and transaction management. Also supports unlimited storage of documents linked to contact records and transactions.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.salesforce.com/" target="_blank">SalesForce.com</a></td> <td>$25 per month</td> <td>This popular CRM solution includes tools for account and contact records, lead management, task and event planning and tracking, and standard and customizable reports. Professional and enterprise upgrades offer additional functionality.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.contactually.com/" target="_blank">Contactually</a></td> <td>$29 per month</td> <td>Generic solution for building and maintaining relationships with clients. Integrates with calendar and contact manager systems. Includes templates for correspondence and tools for targeting specific groups of clients in your contact database. Advanced services add social network integration, bulk messaging and e-mail, and workflow scheduling.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.ixactcontact.com/" target="_blank">IXact Contact</a></td> <td>$34.95 per month</td> <td>CRM solution targeting the special requirements of real estate. Includes tools for organizing clients and listings, along with integrated calendar for scheduling and monitoring activities related to each. Plus, marketing templates, standard reports, drip marketing campaigns, and customizable e-newsletter for distribution to clients and prospects.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.realvolve.com/" target="_blank">Realvolve CRM Professional</a></td> <td>$37 per month</td> <td>A real estate solution for managing leads, clients, and listings, with integrated calendar and task planning and tracking system. Records include notes, correspondence history, planned activities, and documents. Supports photo albums and document portfolio for listings. Also includes tools for posting to social media, e-mail and text messaging, and calculating net commission for a transaction. Team version also available.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.topproducer.com/" target="_blank">Top Producer CRM</a></td> <td>$39.95 per month</td> <td>Provides tools for capturing lead information, organizing records, then running activity plans based on relationship. Alerts users on incoming leads and provides contact info. Includes more than 100 automated action plans and branded monthly newsletter. Optional upgrades with special bundle pricing available.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.rethinkcrm.com/residential/" target="_blank">REThink Residential</a></td> <td>$59 per month plus setup fee</td> <td>A CRM solution for organizing client information, assigning and implementing workflows based on interests, and activity analysis. Creates records of client information and history of relationships, including transactions. Once buyer requirements are defined, this CRM will automatically search, match, and map listings based on their preferences. Broker/team and commercial versions available.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="https://www.propertybase.com/" target="_blank">PropertyBase Real Estate CRM</a></td> <td>$69 per month per user</td> <td>A suite of tools for managing real estate leads and maintaining relationships with clients, powered by the SalesForce.com platform. Organize client records by type, then launch preset or customized activity plans. Agent version captures leads from Zillow, integrates with local MLS, and provides templates for promoting listings. Commercial and enterprise editions also available.</td> </tr> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.marketleader.com/" target="_blank">Market Leader Professional</a></td> <td>Inquire online for pricing</td> <td>This real estate marketing platform with CRM functions includes website building tools with search widgets and lead capture forms, contact management database with CRM functions. customizable templates of marketing materials, MLS integration, and mobile access.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>From basic products to full real estate suites, take a look at these options and see what you get for your money.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38844">aug15_PG_CRM.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_4.jpg?1440439773" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_PG_CRM_1.jpg?1440439780" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/05/what-expect-from-crm-solution">What to Expect From a CRM Solution</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/05/commercial-catching-up-technology">Commercial: Catching Up With Technology</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/3-tech-tools-for-fostering-business">3 Tech Tools for Fostering Business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Applications Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:44:53 +0000 gwood 19466 at http://realtormag.realtor.org 2015 CRM Solutions: What's Trending http://realtormag.realtor.org/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-trending <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> While new product versions aim to improve the user experience, you&#039;ll want to test your selection before committing to it. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/michael-antoniak">Michael Antoniak</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>CRM cloud services are an evolution of the desktop software of the past. They&rsquo;ve come to offer more robust options and features, but that means you have to be more aware of what you&rsquo;re getting. Here are some of the latest CRM trends you should know.</p> <p><strong>Software as a service:</strong> With CRM services in the cloud, you&rsquo;ll have distinct advantages over programs that were installed on a single PC, including anywhere/anytime access to data on multiple devices. Plus, you&rsquo;ll get updates for the latest features and functions without the need to purchase upgrades in the future.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>In This Guide</strong></p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-simpler-better">Is a Simpler CRM Better?</a><br /> Some relationship management tools can do anything you want them to, but the time it&rsquo;ll take to learn the ropes may not be worth it.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-shopping-tips">CRM Shopping Tips</a><br /> Keep these things in mind as you try different products.</p> <p><a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/08/2015-crm-solutions-whats-available">Products on the Market</a><br /> From basic products to full real estate suites, take a look at these options and see what you get for your money.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Choices:</strong> Many CRM suppliers have come and gone because they weren&rsquo;t able to establish enough of a user base to sustain a place in the market. That hasn&rsquo;t changed, so carefully consider the product and vendor history when evaluating solutions. The longer the company has been in business, the larger the user base, the more stable the provider. If you&rsquo;re attracted to a CRM system from a new player, think about an exit strategy. Should it not survive, make sure you can export your data to a new system.</p> <p><strong>Versatility:</strong> Real estate CRM systems offer a diverse mix of features. Some concentrate solely on managing information and interaction with clients; others provide additional tools for marketing, finances, listings, and documents. Before you evaluate solutions, decide if all you need is a CRM system or if you would be better served with a full business management system that includes CRM as a component.</p> <p><strong>An ongoing expense:</strong> Cloud services are sold on a subscription basis with a monthly or annual fee for as long as you use the program. A few carry an additional one-time setup fee. The number of users and upgrade options can also increase the cost.</p> <p><strong>Mobile support:</strong> Expect to use your smartphone or tablet to access the data and full functionality of your CRM in the field. Vendors tout this capability, but their idea of fully functional mobile access may differ from yours. Don&rsquo;t take them at their word. Take advantage of free trial offers and thoroughly test any CRM you&rsquo;re considering.</p> <p><strong>Greater integration:</strong> Many CRMs have become more efficient by adding the ability to meld their functions with other tools and services. For example, real estate coach Gary David Hall cites integration with the MLS as a noteworthy advance in some real estate CRMs. &ldquo;The buyer&rsquo;s automated searches can be initiated and maintained from within the CRM,&rdquo; he notes. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re also able to track what properties are being viewed and how often, enabling the agent to better see the hotter&nbsp;prospects more readily.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>While new product versions aim to improve the user experience, you&#39;ll want to test your selection before committing to it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=38844">aug15_PG_CRM.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_PG_CRM.jpg?1440439653" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_PG_CRM.jpg?1440439652" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/technology/feature/article/2014/05/what-expect-from-crm-solution">What to Expect From a CRM Solution</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/product-guide/applications/article/2015/05/commercial-catching-up-technology">Commercial: Catching Up With Technology</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/01/3-tech-tools-for-fostering-business">3 Tech Tools for Fostering Business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Applications Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:18:34 +0000 gwood 19464 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Generate More Business With Online Leads http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/generate-more-business-online-leads <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn three methods that brokers are using to attract online leads to their websites and convert them into real clients. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Monday, August 24, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Sure, every agent wants a hot lead: buyers or sellers who have made the decision to move forward in the real estate process. But warm leads can be just as valuable as hot leads &mdash; as long as your agents take the proper approach, according to Suzanne Zinn Mueller, chief marketing officer at Coldwell Banker Bain Seal in Seattle.</p> <p>Mueller spoke at the National Association of REALTORS&reg; Broker Summit this month about what constitutes a warm lead. They are buyers or sellers who have visited your site multiple times, she says, and they keep coming back to look at certain listings or neighborhoods. This is the type of lead that requires incubation, Mueller says.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t just call them and say, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve seen you on my site eight times,&rsquo;&rdquo; She says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a little shocking.&rdquo;</p> <p>Agents should take the persistent &ldquo;handle with care&rdquo; approach, she says, which can last weeks, even months, until the leads get to a point where they&rsquo;re comfortable enough to move forward.</p> <p>Mueller discussed strategies for nurturing warm leads during a panel discussion with Mark Hughes, chief operating officer of First Team Real Estate in Southern California; Ron Mintz, executive vice president of Bay Sotheby&rsquo;s International Realty in San Francisco; and moderated by Russ Cofano, senior vice president of industry relations at Move Inc.</p> <p>Here are three ways to attract and convert leads at the company level.</p> <p><strong>1. Use data to learn a lead&rsquo;s story.</strong> An agent should find out everything they can about a lead, and panelists say it&rsquo;s up to the broker to equip agents with the right technology to understand what the online behavior of a lead reveals about their intentions.</p> <p>Mintz prefers <a href="https://www.fivestreet.com/" target="_blank">FiveStreet</a>, which automatically collects information about a lead from social networking sites and property data and integrates the information into other programs, such as Top Producer. However, agents should use that data wisely, he says. If an agent finds out that his or her lead is a Republican who likes to eat fish, Mintz says it&rsquo;s not going to go over well if the agents calls the lead and says, &ldquo;Hey, I see you like eating fish.&rdquo; Look at data that&rsquo;s relevant to the needs of that particular buyer or seller, he says, such as how long that person has lived in their current home, the price of the home when he or she purchased it, and the lead&rsquo;s current employment situation.</p> <p>Mueller says it&rsquo;s also imperative that brokers provide agents with mobile-friendly tools. &ldquo;Look at your website from your phone. Try out the tools you&rsquo;ve given your agents [from your mobile device],&rdquo; Mueller says. &ldquo;[Agents] are using these tools while they&rsquo;re in a car with their clients or in a house.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>2. Set up systems to nudge leads. </strong>Mintz says that instead of focusing on continually generating more leads, his company concentrates on how they handle current leads. That means holding agents accountable and applying lead follow-up shortfalls to future training sessions.</p> <p>&ldquo;A lead lasts until it generates business,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We look at a lead like a kid going to a new school. We make friends with them and show them the ropes.&rdquo;</p> <p>For Hughes, it all starts with agents being conscientious of timeliness. At First Team Real Estate, Hughes says they had an internal networking system developed for agents to share information about upcoming listings, open houses, and other opportunities in order to leverage premarket knowledge for their leads and clients.</p> <p>&ldquo;Leads are an opportunity to consult, serve, and nurture,&rdquo; Hughes says. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s predicated on how fast you make that first response.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>3. Content is king. </strong>&nbsp;Don&rsquo;t rely solely on online listings and squeeze pages &mdash; pages designed to capture opt-in e-mail addresses &mdash; to generate leads, Mueller says. To truly be an attractive and relevant real estate source for potential clients, brokers still need to offer hyperlocal knowledge and information on their websites. Think community statistics, construction updates, dog park information, school enrollment boundaries, and, of course, localized housing data. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re the only ones with the hyperlocal knowledge that clients are looking for,&rdquo; Mueller says.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn three methods that brokers are using to attract online leads to their websites and convert them into real clients.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_Leads.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=46325">aug15_BB_Leads.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_Leads_0.jpg?1440521337" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_BB_Leads.jpg?1440521363" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> At the NAR Broker Summit Aug. 18, Russ Cofano and Ron Mintz discuss using data to cultivate and convert more online leads. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/evolving-industry">An Evolving Industry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2015/02/4-easy-steps-convert-online-leads">4 Easy Steps to Convert Online Leads</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2015/05/3-questions-convert-seller-leads">3 Questions to Convert Seller Leads</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/03/don-t-let-your-real-estate-website-become-ghost-town">Don’t Let Your Real Estate Website Become a Ghost Town</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Mon, 24 Aug 2015 21:16:35 +0000 echristoffer 19470 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A Cycle of Peace http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2015/08/cycle-peace <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> To honor her son who lost his life doing what he loved, Dona Reynolds provides new bikes to children in need. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/wilma-gonzalez">Wilma Gonzalez</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The asthma Mark Reynolds faced as a small child in St. Joseph, Mo., was so severe that doctors told his mother more than once that he may not live through the night. But over time, his symptoms subsided and he started doing things that healthy, active children do.</p> <p>&ldquo;Mark&rsquo;s passion for bike riding began at an early age. He would ride a four-wheel toddler bike for hours,&rdquo; recalled his mother, Dona Reynolds. &ldquo;Once he learned to ride a bike, he never wanted to stop.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Dona Reynolds, CRS, GRI, SFR</strong><br /> Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Stein &amp; Summers Real Estate<br /> St. Joseph, Mo.</p> </blockquote> <p>As an adult, he became a competitive cyclist and eventually moved to California so he could bike year round. Mark wanted to share his love for biking with children who might not otherwise have the opportunity, so by the time he was 21, he had begun donating bikes anonymously to disadvantaged children at Christmas.</p> <p>But life can change in an instant. On Jan. 8, 2004, Mark, then 35, was killed by a 112-pound mountain lion as he was fixing the broken chain on his bike in Whiting Ranch &amp; Wilderness Park in Orange County, Calif. Mark&rsquo;s fatal mauling was the first ever confirmed human death from a mountain lion attack in Orange County. The shocking news made headlines around the world.</p> <p>&ldquo;Losing a child it is one of the most devastating things to ever happen to any parent,&rdquo; says Reynolds, who says she realized even during her anguish that she faced a choice. &ldquo;We can bury our heads in the sand and cry forever, or we can reach up to God and ask him, &lsquo;What can I do to make something great from this terrible tragedy?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Reynolds turned her unthinkable misfortune into a mission, honoring her son&rsquo;s memory by setting up the Mark Reynolds Memorial Bike Fund Inc., a not-for-profit that continues his efforts to give bikes and helmets to children who couldn&rsquo;t afford them. &ldquo;It seemed to be a unanimous decision by family and friends to carry on [Mark&rsquo;s work],&rdquo; says Reynolds.</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Every child should have a bike. If I had it my way I would give every child on Earth their first bike.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash;<em>Dona Reynolds</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Since its inception in 2004, the group has given shiny new bicycles to more than 1,500 children in seven states&mdash;California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas. She partners with the local schools, churches, and Boys &amp; Girls Clubs to identify children aged 5 to 12 who are longing for a bike. Kids with disabilities are recipients of specialized bikes.</p> <p>&ldquo;Parents are thrilled to know that their children have been awarded a bike,&rdquo; says Reynolds. &ldquo;For many families, the luxury of a new bike is just not in their budget,&rdquo;</p> <p>To support her efforts, she arranges a host of fundraisers&mdash;including a 5K run, shirt and candle sales, benefit rides, and raffles&mdash;which have raised a total of $200,000&mdash;$40,000 this year alone.</p> <p>Reynolds personally chooses bikes and helmets to suit each child&rsquo;s age, size, gender, and specific needs, searching for the best prices she can find. All the bikes are professionally assembled by area bike shop volunteers.</p> <p>&ldquo;Kids faces are lit up like Christmas trees when they receive their bikes at the giveaways,&rdquo; says Kirby Strong, also of St. Joseph, who has assembled bikes for the group since 2010. &ldquo;If more people were like Dona, the world would be a better place.&rdquo;</p> <p>For the giveaways in Reynolds&rsquo; hometown of St. Joseph, the children and parents gather at three local schools. &ldquo;I love to interact with the children, help them to learn to ride, and educate them about bike safety,&rdquo; says Reynolds.</p> <p>At the giveaway event, a poster of Mark sits on an easel as she proudly tells the story about her son&rsquo;s love of donating bikes and turns to the photo and says, &ldquo;Mark, I hope we&rsquo;ve made you proud.&rdquo;</p> <p>Reynolds is sometimes asked to provide bikes for children with special needs; the custom bicycles can cost up to $2,500. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing how Dona takes care of every single detail to help the children;&rdquo; says parent Karen Del Muro, whose son Nathan has Down syndrome. &ldquo;Dona researches [equipment] and talks to teachers and therapists to make sure that each bike fits the needs of the child.&rdquo;</p> <p>Nathan lacked the balance and coordination to learn to ride a bike and rarely speaks, but he made it clear he desperately wanted to bike like his brothers do. &ldquo;He would sit in the driveway and belly cry when his brothers would ride bikes,&rdquo; recalls Del Muro.</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;We cannot predict the size of the mountain, but we can reap the benefits at the top.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash;<em>Dona Reynolds</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Nathan was 13 years old when Reynolds gave him a large custom tricycle that allowed him to ride a bike for the first time. &ldquo;Dona is the reason that our son can ride a tricycle,&rdquo; says Del Muro. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s so much fun to see him glow, clapping and throwing his fists in the air as he honks his horn. He rides his bike to show people that he&rsquo;s like everyone else.&rdquo;</p> <p>Reynolds not only provides bicycles but also spreads the joy of cycling to many more children through biking events. For the past seven years, Reynolds has hosted an event that teaches children the rules of the road and fosters a love for biking. The Kids Tour of St. Joseph is a series of free summer bike rides held in local parks for children aged 3 to 14.</p> <p>&ldquo;There are no winners and no losers&mdash;everyone is a winner,&rdquo; says Reynolds, who plans the courses, gets permits from the city to close the streets on the route, and recruits 40 volunteers. The 400 participants receive lunch and a medal of honor and qualify for prizes.</p> <p>In the 11 years since Mark died, Reynolds reflects on the growth of her organization. The rapid expansion and far-reaching impact sometimes surprise her. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe that you can go wrong in helping others, just by doing small things first and building up from there. It only takes one person to get things started.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>You can reach Dona Reynolds at <a href="mailto:dona@donareynolds.com">dona@donareynolds.com</a>. Learn more about the Mark J. Reynolds Memorial Bike Fund at <a href="http://markreynoldsfund.org/" target="_blank">markreynoldsfund.org</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>To honor her son who lost his life doing what he loved, Dona Reynolds provides new bikes to children in need.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_Dona_Reynolds.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=19534">2015_GN_Finalist_Dona_Reynolds.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_Dona_Reynolds_0.jpg?1440186200" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Good Neighbor Awards Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:02:38 +0000 mwhite 19452 at http://realtormag.realtor.org A League Where Everybody Wins http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2015/08/league-where-everybody-wins <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Steve Seidl’s connections and dedication paved the way for a flourishing baseball league for children with disabilities. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/sam-silverstein">Sam Silverstein</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>In a popular park in Green Bay, Wis., teams of children routinely experience the excitement of hitting a baseball, circling the bases, and crossing home plate in front of a cheering crowd. It may sound unremarkable&mdash;just a routine part of life in America&mdash;but there is nothing ordinary about this effort.</p> <p>The Miracle League of Green Bay was founded in 2006 to enable kids with physical disabilities to experience the thrill of playing baseball despite the challenges they face. The organization is a volunteer-driven endeavor that over the past 10 years has transformed the lives of hundreds of children and their families.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Stephen Seidl</strong><br /> Seidl &amp; Associates, a division of ShoreWest REALTORS&reg;&nbsp;Green Bay<br /> Green Bay, Wis.</p> </blockquote> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great opportunity for my daughter to disconnect from me and trust others,&rdquo; says Deanna Weyenberg, the mother of a 13-year-old girl born with cerebral palsy who plays on a Miracle League team. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s such a joy to see that. Yes, she&rsquo;s physically challenged, but she is having so much fun.&rdquo;</p> <p>The establishment and continuing success of the Miracle League of Green Bay is attributable largely to Steve Seidl, who led an intensive behind-the-scenes effort to raise the more than $750,000 needed to build and care for the specially equipped field and related facilities that the league relies on.</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great opportunity for my daughter to disconnect from me and trust others. It&rsquo;s such a joy to see that. Yes, she&rsquo;s physically challenged, but she is having so much fun.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash;<em>Deanna Weyenberg</em></p> </blockquote> <p>When Seidl&rsquo;s friend, Paul Liegeois, asked a decade ago if he thought the Green Bay community, with its population of 105,000, could come up with the funds to establish a baseball league for kids with disabilities, Seidl didn&rsquo;t hesitate to jump on board. Liegeois had discovered Miracle League, which has baseball teams in nearly 300 communities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia, during a trip to Atlanta, where the nonprofit originated, and wanted to launch one where he lived. &ldquo;Playing baseball is something a child with a walker or in a wheelchair can&rsquo;t experience [someplace else], but here they can. Until you see it, you can&rsquo;t imagine it,&rdquo; says Liegeois, who now serves as MLGB executive director.</p> <p>That was all Seidl&mdash;the father of an adult son with Down syndrome&mdash;needed to hear. &ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t know if we could do it, but we knew we could try to do it,&rdquo; says Seidl, who has served as president for 10 years. &ldquo;So I put together a quick little advisory committee, and things went well.&rdquo;</p> <p>So well, in fact, that the fledgling organization exceeded their expectations. The Miracle League of Green Bay held its first games on an existing playground in 2006, and under Seidl&rsquo;s leadership raised more than $250,000 within a year to build a rubberized field to ensure the players&rsquo; safety; a support building with rest rooms and a concession stand; and a specially designed playground for children with physical disabilities. The field was dedicated in 2007.</p> <p>Volunteers work one-on-one with each child in the league, helping them swing at the ball and travel around the bases&mdash;even if they are unable to walk. Every child wears a major league&ndash;style uniform, and has the chance to bat, get a hit, and score a run. There are no outs, all games end in a tie, and an announcer provides play-by-play coverage of the action over a state-of-the-art sound system.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is a huge opportunity for these kids to do something they otherwise would not get to do. A lot of these kids never get to move fast, and when you&rsquo;re coaching first base and see the smiles on their faces, it&rsquo;s unbelievable,&rdquo; says Rick Allcox, whose 17-year-old daughter has Down syndrome and plays in the league.</p> <h4>Drawing on Deep Roots</h4> <p>Seidl&rsquo;s deep connections in the Green Bay business community, where he has been a commercial real estate professional since the mid-1990s and a REALTOR&reg; for 44 years, were key to his ability to spearhead the fundraising effort that got the Miracle League of Green Bay off the ground and supports its operations. Founding supporters of the league included a prominent local businessman, Dick Resch, and retired Green Bay Packers star Brett Favre, who each donated $100,000.</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;Steve is very passionate about service. He rubs elbows with the big guys in town and gets big donations.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash;<em>Rick Allcox</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Now that the field surface is aging and will need to be replaced&mdash;which Siedl estimates will cost more than $100,000&mdash;the relationships he has built with potential donors and other community leaders will help them come up with the funds needed to continue to thrive, Liegeois says. &ldquo;I think we have the best possible lineup of contacts for getting money that it is possible to have. Steve started it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Seidl says he was drawn to the challenge of launching the Miracle League of Green Bay in part because he could use the same mindset that drives his desire to run his own business to meet his goal. &ldquo;In real estate, if you don&rsquo;t perform your tasks, you don&rsquo;t do any business,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>A lifelong resident of the Green Bay area, Seidl looks forward to the days when he can spend more time on other volunteer activities, which include involvement in the Allouez Optimist Club of Green Bay, Junior Achievement, and the Boy Scouts of America in addition to the Miracle League. &ldquo;Very few people are disappointed when you do something for them,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p>Seidl is inspired by the satisfaction he derives from bringing joy to peoples&rsquo; lives&mdash;and helping them experience things they never thought possible. &ldquo;The payback has been phenomenal. It&rsquo;s very hard to go to a game and not understand the emotional part,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p><em>You can reach Stephen Seidl at <a href="mailto:steve@seidlandassociates.com">steve@seidlandassociates.com</a>. Learn more about the Miracle League of Green Bay at <a href="http://greenbaymiracleleague.com" target="_blank">greenbaymiracleleague.com</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>Steve Seidl&rsquo;s connections and dedication paved the way for a flourishing baseball league for children with disabilities.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_Stephan_Seidl.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18818">2015_GN_Finalist_Stephan_Seidl.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_Stephan_Seidl_0.jpg?1440186397" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Good Neighbor Awards Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:38:16 +0000 mwhite 19455 at http://realtormag.realtor.org An Evolving Industry http://realtormag.realtor.org/for-brokers/network/article/2015/08/evolving-industry <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From millennial agents to offices of the future, brokers discussed major changes taking place in the real estate industry during the Broker Summit in Seattle. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Friday, August 21, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/erica-christoffer">Erica Christoffer</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>In life, change is constant, and that couldn&rsquo;t be truer for the real estate industry.</p> <p>During a panel presentation at the National Association of REALTORS&reg;&rsquo; Broker Summit in Seattle on Aug. 17, four brokers hailing from Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, and Washington touched on what it will take for broker-owners to stay relevant to consumers and in front of prevailing trends.</p> <p>Moderated by 2015 NAR Vice President Charlie Oppler, CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby&rsquo;s International in the Jersey City, N.J., area, the panel included Dan Wagner, senior vice president of The Inland Real Estate Group based in Oak Brook, Ill.; Jason Waugh, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate in Seattle; and Leslie Rouda Smith, broker at Dave Perry-Miller &amp; Associates in Dallas.</p> <p>Covering topics in a speed dating&ndash;style format, here are a few insights that panelists had to offer:</p> <h4>Millennials</h4> <p><strong>Waugh:</strong> We&rsquo;re looking to grow in our market, so we&rsquo;ve been looking at brick and mortar offices. What we&rsquo;ve found is that millennials really enjoy collaboration in this business, and they actually like being in the office. And our veteran agents like mentoring them.</p> <p><strong>Smith:</strong> I find that they don&rsquo;t come into the office. They also don&rsquo;t talk on the phone. My daughter, for instance, rarely sleeps. She stays up at night stalking the MLS. Millennials are new-age hippies and are minimalists. I&rsquo;ve also found that this goes for millennial buyers, too, who want small spaces.</p> <p><strong>Wagner:</strong> Millennials are turning commercial real estate on its head. The headquarters of McDonald&rsquo;s is in my market. They have a gorgeous facility with an Olympic size pool, but McDonald&rsquo;s leased building space in downtown Chicago to attract millennial workers. Suburban offices are suffering.</p> <h4>Patent Trolls</h4> <p><strong>Smith</strong>: Texas was the first state to <a href="http://narnewsline.blogs.realtor.org/2015/03/10/a-patent-troll-foolishly-sued-a-realtor-and-the-realtor-won/" target="_blank">address patent trolls</a>. These patent trolls are suing real estate companies for alleged patent violations &mdash; for things like a dropdown menu on your website. It turns into a very expensive endeavor, and often, real estate companies just end up settling. We&rsquo;re all culpable and we need patent reform. NAR is part of United for Patent Reform, a coalition fighting for changes in patent law. When you receive a call for action from NAR on this issue, please participate. We need more involvement.</p> <h4>Role of Renters</h4> <p><strong>Waugh:</strong> We&rsquo;re working with Home Partners of America and focusing on a demographic of people who can&rsquo;t purchase today but will be in a position to buy in a few years. Home Partners purchases the home, and renters work with us to find a Home Partners home, which they rent for a certain time frame and then have first right to purchase.</p> <p><strong>Smith</strong>: Millennials who are currently renting are going to be coming into the homebuying side more in the next few years. They might not be in high price ranges or need a lot of space, but in Dallas, the transition of renters to home ownership is in a good position.</p> <p><strong>Oppler: </strong>In northern New Jersey, the rental buildings being built have conference rooms and movie theatres. It&rsquo;s a much different type of environment in apartments than what was built just 10 or 15 years ago. As long as developers make apartments comfortable and upscale, I expect renters to stay there for a while.</p> <h4>Change in Your Company</h4> <p><strong>Waugh: </strong>We want to equip folks with the ability to retire and sell their book of business. It&rsquo;s sad to see an agent retire and lose their income. We are working to partner veteran agents with younger folks, who they can coach and mentor and with whom they can form a mutually beneficial agreement.</p> <p><strong>Smith</strong>: We need to teach agents how to invest their own money. Sometimes it&rsquo;s not good to have all your eggs in one basket.</p> <p><strong>Wagner:</strong> Commercial practitioners need to engage more with RPAC and with REALTOR&reg; associations at the local, state, and national level.</p> <h4>REALTOR&reg; of the Future</h4> <p><strong>Waugh:</strong> Brokers should be more selective about whom you add to your company. It&rsquo;s also our responsibility to teach agents, help them accomplish goals, help them communicate value, and show them how to be engaged in the business.</p> <p><strong>Smith</strong>: We work in a litigious industry, and REALTORS&reg; need to know what to do with personal data. Education will continue to grow in importance in the future. It&rsquo;s a good thing we have REALTOR&reg; University, which has great opportunities for agents.</p> <p><strong>Wagner:</strong> If you&rsquo;re not involved in charitable works, make a charitable cause part of your brokerage culture and community outreach. It&rsquo;s especially important to millennials and the next generation of agents. They want to be part of a company that makes a difference.</p> <hr /> <p><br /> <img alt="" src="/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/rmo_files/images/logos/BtoB_logo_footer_080114.jpg" style="float:left; height:117px; width:150px" /><em>Broker-to-Broker is an information network that provides insights and tools with business value through timely articles, videos, Q&amp;As, and sales meeting tips for brokerage owners and managers. Get more <a href="/for-brokers/network" target="_blank">Broker-to-Broker content here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>From millennial agents to offices of the future, brokers discussed major changes taking place in the real estate industry during the Broker Summit in Seattle.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_summit.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=47635">aug15_BB_summit.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_BB_summit_0.jpg?1440520701" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lp-mainstage-image"> <div class="field-label">Landing Page Mainstage Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lp_mainstage_image" width="830" height="230" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/aug15_LP_BB_summit.jpg?1440520737" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-main-image-credit"> <div class="field-label">Main Image Credit:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Dan Wagner, Leslie Rouda Smith, and Jason Waugh discuss real estate’s emerging trends during the NAR Broker Summit Aug. 17. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-content"> <div class="field-label">Related Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-brokers/network/article/2015/02/help-wanted-looking-for-generation-y">Help Wanted: Looking for Generation Y </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/07/16/realtors-handed-win-in-patent-troll-suit">REALTORS® Handed Win in Patent Troll Suit</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/daily-news/2015/07/31/rising-rental-costs-strike-more-households">Rising Rental Costs Strike More Households</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-links"> <div class="field-label">External Links:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2014/08/08/whats-the-future-of-real-estate/" rel="nofollow">What’s the Future of Real Estate?</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Network Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:27:46 +0000 echristoffer 19456 at http://realtormag.realtor.org Their Full Promise http://realtormag.realtor.org/good-neighbor-awards/article/2015/08/their-full-promise <div class="field field-type-text field-field-deck"> <div class="field-label">Deck:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> John Kersten became a power fundraiser for Easter Seals by helping people with disabilities realize their potential. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-archive-item"> <div class="field-label">Archive:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-features-checkbox"> <div class="field-label">Add to Features Package for the Month:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> off </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-mag-pub-date"><div class="field field-type-date field-field-pub-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-op-author"> <div class="field-label">Author(s):&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/author/graham-wood">Graham Wood</a> </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>Practically every day, John Kersten&nbsp;does something to bolster his connections. It may mean phoning a local business leader, placing an ad in a newspaper, or sending an e-mail blast to his database of more than 18,000 people. These efforts are much less about winning clients or promoting his real estate business than about helping kids and adults with disabilities have a better life. He views these new contacts as opportunities to deepen his community&rsquo;s understanding and support of people with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs in his home state of Michigan.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>John Kersten, CRB</strong><br /> Century 21 Town &amp; Country<br /> Rochester Hills, Mich.</p> </blockquote> <p>As an Easter Seals fundraiser for more than 24 years, Kersten has raised more than $15 million for the national organization&rsquo;s Michigan chapter. The nearly 100-year-old charity annually helps 1 million U.S. children and adults lead more independent lives. For the last 15 years, Kersten&rsquo;s brokerage, Century 21 Town &amp; Country in Rochester Hills, Mich., has led the country in fundraising for Century 21, an official sponsor of Easter Seals. Lately, donations garnered by his office have reached nearly $1 million annually. Put another way, Century 21 nationally raised $2.9 million for Easter Seals in 2014, and about a third of that sum came from Kersten and his agents.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s become like my business,&rdquo; says Kersten, who has worked in real estate for 48 years. &ldquo;You do what you have to do when you have to do it&mdash;when you care about something as much as I care about this.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Secret to Success</h4> <p>Kersten&rsquo;s secret is that he&rsquo;s devised and perfected an interesting and lucrative way of attracting donors: raffling off cars. He&rsquo;s networked with owners of local car dealerships, convincing them to offer new luxury automobiles as prizes while they lend their branding to the cause. A Corvette plus $50,000, a Cadillac plus $50,000 and a $100,000 cash prize are among the grand prizes offered in the five annual raffles. All 5,500 tickets typically sell out for each raffle&mdash;at $50 a piece&mdash;with each event grossing $275,000.</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s about being part of a wider community &mdash; people who are going through a struggle as part of a community, not by themselves.&rdquo;<br /> &mdash;<em>John Kersten</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Kersten has also worked with the owner of a newspaper group to place ads for the raffles in more than two dozen publications throughout Michigan several times a year. The exposure the raffles receive, on top of mailings Kersten sends out to his database of ticket buyers, bring in an additional 300 to 400 donors per year, he says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an absolutely wonderful charity,&rdquo; Kersten adds, explaining his motivation to keep fundraising for Easter Seals. &ldquo;They have a tremendous impact on people. All the money that we raise goes directly into our community.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Lasting Impact</h4> <p>Without Kersten&rsquo;s contributions, Easter Seals wouldn&rsquo;t have the resources to help people like Heather Reifler and her son, Silas, 5, who has Down syndrome. Among the challenges Silas faces, his fine motor skills have been slow to develop. At an age when he should have been potty-trained, he didn&rsquo;t have the coordination to lift or lower his pants. Such difficulties affected the way he interacted with his preschool peers at his public school. &ldquo;He didn&rsquo;t have a lot of self-confidence,&rdquo; Reifler explains. &ldquo;He would remove himself from certain activities, and that can be seen as inappropriate behavior at school.&rdquo;</p> <p>A year ago, the Easter Seals branch in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the Reiflers live, began providing Silas with weekly occupational therapy. His feelings of accomplishment and pride are now developing as rapidly as his motor skills.</p> <p>&ldquo;He now has confidence in himself and the ability to push through some of his frustrations,&rdquo; Reifler says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a godsend. I&rsquo;m pretty excited about where he&rsquo;s headed, and I know Easter Seals will be a part of that for a long time to come.&rdquo;</p> <p>Easter Seals has also provided one of Kersten&rsquo;s grandsons, who has Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, with cognitive therapy for 10 years. &ldquo;It has helped him to adjust and cope with real life and relate to people in his own age bracket,&rdquo; Kersten says. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s in middle school now and is very high-functioning.&rdquo;</p> <p>Norb Promo, chief development officer for Easter Seals Michigan, recalls how Kersten brought a business sensibility to his office&rsquo;s charitable efforts and motivated agents to get involved. Promo was one of Kersten&rsquo;s agents for 21 years before joining Easter Seals in 2008. &ldquo;[For John], charity efforts can be as much about having fun as raising money, but at the same time, John put a focus on the bottom line,&rdquo; Promo says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never seen any company or individual that&rsquo;s had a longer commitment and more intense devotion to a charity.&rdquo;</p> <p>He recalls Kersten&rsquo;s first contact with his office in 1991 seeking to get involved in Easter Seals fundraising. Kersten set a goal of $50,000. The brokerage brought in $47,000, so Kersten wrote a personal check for $3,000 to honor his pledge. &ldquo;I just think he&rsquo;s very loyal and very giving,&rdquo; Promo says.</p> <p>&ldquo;John&rsquo;s impressive fundraising formula places his efforts into a bracket of its own,&rdquo; adds Randy Rutta, president and CEO of the national Easter Seals operation. Not only have Kersten&rsquo;s efforts helped thousands of families in Michigan, Rutta says, but he has also mentored people around the country to help them replicate his fundraising success. Kersten has inspired countless new donors to give to Easter Seals, an accomplishment &ldquo;which can never be measured,&rdquo; Rutta says.</p> <p>Kersten says the time and work he has put into Easter Seals is worth every second. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a very exciting program, and the community has been very supportive of it,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important to keep it fun. We get better every year, and we have no desire to stop doing what we&rsquo;re doing.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>You can reach John Kersten at <a href="mailto:c21info@tcagents.com">c21info@tcagents.com</a>. Learn more about Easter Seals Michigan at <a href="http://easterseals.com/michigan" target="_blank">easterseals.com/michigan</a>.</em></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-show-author-info"> <div class="field-label">Show Author Info?:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show Author Info? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-label">Teaser:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>John Kersten became a power fundraiser for Easter Seals by helping people with disabilities realize their potential.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-label">Main Image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_John_Kersten.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=20344">2015_GN_Finalist_John_Kersten.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-top3-lp-image"> <div class="field-label">Top 3 Article on Landing Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_top3_lp_image" width="149" height="70" alt="" src="http://realtormag.realtor.org/sites/realtormag.realtor.org/files/2015_GN_Finalist_John_Kersten_0.jpg?1440185838" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-mainstage-image-display2"> <div class="field-label">Mainstage Image Display on Content:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No, don't disable the "Main" image on this article </div> </div> </div> Good Neighbor Awards Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:30:38 +0000 mwhite 19454 at http://realtormag.realtor.org