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Real Estate Brokerage

It’s Realtor Safety Month, y’all! How’s about a pepper spray?

(BROKERAGE NEWS) It is Realtor Safety Month which means we have some information on some incredibly practical and useful products to help keep you safe!

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REALTOR SAFETY MONTH

September is National REALTOR® Safety Month, and the folks at SABRE (y’know, the pepper spray people) have some helpful tips to keep you protected on the job. Their press release notes, “from driving in cars with strangers to waiting alone at open houses, realtors deal with a unique set of personal safety problems while on the job

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“We’ve given their [real estate agents’] situation a lot of thought,” notes SABRE CEO David Nance. “In addition to having the right tools, we also try to give our clients the right knowledge to stay safe.” Brush up on SABRE’S suggestions to stay safe not just this month, but year round as well.

SET UP A CHECK-IN TIME

Let someone know where you’re going whenever you head to an open house or are meeting a client. Set up a check-in time with your coworkers, friends, or family so they know when to expect you back, or how long they should wait to hear from you again.

For example, when I have a friend going on a date with someone they’ve never met, we establish a check-in time. If my friend isn’t back home or I don’t hear from them during the discussed timeframe, I call or text to see if everything is okay.

ESTABLISH AN EXIT PLAN

When I call, if something is wrong or my friend just wants to leave, I pull from my list of excuses to get them out of the situation. When it comes to your safety, making excuses is okay. Even if there aren’t any red flags with a client, always plan for a way out ahead of time. If something doesn’t feel quite right, you’ll be prepared to leave instead of fumbling for a plan.

Brainstorm a list of possible, believable reasons to leave a situation ahead of time with your friends or coworkers.

My personal favorite: pretending to get locked out of the house or office. SABRE suggests getting even more spy-oriented and setting up a code word you can use in case you have to make the “save me” call in front of your problem client.

Other reasonable excuses: picking up a child from school or practice, urgent call from a coworker or family member, or some sort of office disaster. Get creative, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to provide details. Just be confident about your fake reason.

BE PREPARED

On airplanes, my dad taught me to count how many rows of seats to the exits. That way I can find my way in the dark and not panic in case of an emergency. Likewise, you should practice routes you’ll be driving with clients so you can be confident about directions, and can’t be taken advantage of by getting misrouted to an unsafe location.

Never let the client be the driver when carpooling to a location. Also make sure you have cell coverage during your trial drives. Walk around the house you’ll be showing and ensure you’ve got some bars in every part of the property.

SABRE also recommends utilizing their line of safety products, which range from keychain-sized pepper spray to personal alarms with motion detectors. Fun fact: pepper spray is legal in all 50 states.

MAINTAIN YOUR PRIVACY

Don’t mix personal and private. Only use your office address and work number on your business cards and paperwork. Don’t provide your personal home or cell phone number to clients, and if you use social media, create a separate business account.

SABRE stresses “the smartest thing to do is take your personal safety into your own hands.” Don’t get caught off guard. Regularly review how you’re maintaining your personal safety, and make plans with your coworkers to plan together. Check out their full line of tips and products at SABRE’S site and stay safe.

#BeSafe

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Lindsay is an editor for The Real Daily with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Real Estate Brokerage

Brokerages rarely write an internal communication strategy, here’s how

(BUSINESS) Almost no real estate brokerages have an internal communication strategy, but absolutely should.

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It’s still early enough in the year that you can start fresh personally and professionally. Help your organization start fresh by taking into account what’s happened in recent history and where you want to go. From there, you will determine what steps are necessary to achieve your goals.

Writing an internal communication (IC) strategy can be the first step in mapping your goals and is virtually unused in the real estate industry. According to All Things IC, an “internal communication strategy is like a map, an outline of your organization’s journey. It’s the big picture of what you want to achieve.” This can be done by a brokerage, or an independent agent alike.

Great! So, where do you start? First, know what an IC strategy needs to address. This includes the where, how, what, and why.

Write down the current state of the company, then state where you’re headingm or where you’d like to be. Create a list of objectives to support this.

Then break into your “how.” Explain how you are going to get to where you want to be, as well as how long it will take and why.

You’ll then venture over to a “what” by outlining what is involved along the way to your goal. Then, throw in a little “why” by explaining why this approach is the best for the job.

Go back to “how” and tell how you’ll know when you’ve reached your destination. This part will require tangibles, measurements to support a change in reaching your goal.

Finally, give one more “what” and address what will happen if you don’t change the way you’re currently operating. If things are working for your organization, that’s great! But, there is always room for improvement.

For an internal communication strategy, it is important to include the following: a title, an issue/purpose, structure, executive summary, audience segmentation/stakeholder mapping, a timeline, channels, measurement, communication objective, approval process and responsibilities, key messages, and an appendix.

Now, what was missing from the initial inclusions was a “who.” So, who should be the one to write this document?

Well, it needs to be someone with a strong understanding and implementation for internal communications. This can be done internally by someone on staff who is an expert; or, it can be outsourced to an expert. Regardless of who writes it, make sure it is clear and concise for the audience at hand.

What is most important to remember is that writing an internal communication strategy is just half the battle. Your work is not done once this document is agreed upon by the leadership team. And finally, you must be willing to enforce what’s written on these pages and be ready to make the changes you’ve outlined.

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Real Estate Brokerage

How JetBlue earns undying loyalty, and how you can too

(BUSINESS NEWS) Getting people to remember, let alone love a brand is near impossible, but JetBlue shows a promising path forward.

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As customers become increasingly aware of marketing techniques and underlying motives for brands, it becomes more difficult to sell to them. Luckily, there are still a few brands whose techniques you can learn from – and, perhaps surprisingly, one of them is JetBlue.

JetBlue, a major airline, sees their customers as individual people, not just numbers. This “human” aspect of JetBlue’s branding is their most important trait; especially in the airlines industry – a market oversaturated with stale experiences (and peanuts)—it’s crucial to stand out. JetBlue does so by going the extra frequent-flyer mile to make customers feel at home through genuine, human interactions.

Another interesting JetBlue method is categorizing their customer engagement.

There are two different categories of interaction – micro and macro – that refer to small, one-on-one encounters and the big picture, respectively. With an emphasis on making the individual experience as pleasant as possible without losing sight of the forest in the process, JetBlue creates an atmosphere that balances hospitality and efficiency.

One of the most oft-overlooked aspects of customer engagement is that it goes two ways. Responding to customers is objectively important, but it’s an exercise in futility if you aren’t also listening to what they’re saying in the first place. Too often, a customer service team’s first response is to address comments or concerns with damage control in mind; instead, have a dialogue with your customers.

If the interaction doesn’t feel like a conversation, you’re doing it wrong.

JetBlue also has a profoundly healthy response to crises. Where others merely apologize, condescend, and/or brutally drag people off of the airplane when faced with an overbooking or a late departure, JetBlue bends over backward to ensure that their response is both heartfelt and actually useful to those affected.

This is something with which I actually have experience – at one point, JetBlue had to delay one of my flights for several hours, a circumstance to which their response was complimentary drinks and $75 vouchers for future flights. There’s no replacing convenience, but JetBlue did their damnedest, and that’s what I remember about them.

As you approach this year’s customer encounters, remember the two-way approach and avoid falling into the trap of talking rather than listening.

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Recognize and use free time at work like the gift it is

(PRODUCTIVITY) Free time during your workday can lead to furthering your mind and productivity.

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Clocked in but clocked out

We’ve all had those slow days at work where we’re looking for ways to kill the time until the clock strikes five.

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While it can be tempting to use this time to text or mess around on the Internet, there are much better ways to use that free time that will make your future so much easier.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

First off, tidy up your workspace. Papers and items have a way of accumulating and may be distracting you even if you don’t realize it. By organizing your stuff and throwing away what you don’t need, you’re able to breathe and focus within your workspace.

It also does wonders for your work brain to clear up your email inbox.

Once that’s all done, plan out the rest of your work week. Make a list of the major goals you’d like to accomplish and then a sub-list of how you’ll knock those goals out. Update your calendar and make sure everything is on track.

Social media, networking, and research

It’s also beneficial to use this downtime to further yourself and your organization. Three ways you can do this is through: social media, networking, and research.

If you have access, take some time to look through your company’s social media and see what can be done to enhance it. Either throw up some posts yourself or pitch ideas to the social media manager.

Networking can be done in this small amount of time by sending out “catch up” emails to old colleagues, “welcome emails” to new clients or introduction emails to LinkedIn contacts.

Send them a “how’s it going?,” tell them what’s new with you, and see what they have going on. You never know where networking can lead so it’s always good to stay in touch.

With research, see what the latest trends are in your field and study up on them. This may give you new ways to look at projects and tasks at hand. And, it’s always beneficial to have continued learning.

Get Smart(er)

While on the subject of continued learning, take this time to mess around with something you may not feel completely knowledgeable of. Maybe dig around RPR data, perhaps practice using different computer programs it is never a bad a idea to nourish your brain.

Having free time during the workday is something of a gift. If you can help it, try not to waste it.

#FreeTimeNotWasteTime

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