What Are the 3 Game-Changing Benefits of Working With Moncord?

If you sign up with Moncord, there are three things you get that can benefit you greatly in your business. 

The first is our designated resources. Anybody who comes on board with us automatically gets a designated listing coordinator and a designated transaction coordinator. This means you get two new team members with zero training time or down time. It takes about two to three transactions for us to get into a groove with you, but our coordinators are already trained in the industry and know exactly what they’re doing. 

This is a huge value when you think about the normal cost of bringing on staff. These two resources would cost another business a whole lot more than what we charge our business partners. Consider the money you’d save as far as training and staffing goes—we take that burden off your plate. 

When you sign on with us, we help absorb the burdens that come with managing transactions.

Second, you get a dashboard ready to go for your business and an overview of what you’re doing from a transaction perspective. We have an online system we utilize that allows you to see this at the tip of your fingers with your mobile device. It’s basically a dashboard of your income and what you have coming in. It tracks everything you close with us in addition to what you have in status that’s active. 

At any given moment, you can look at the dashboard and know where you’re at with any given transaction, have all your contacts readily available, and have a thorough grasp of what’s happening in your business. You don’t need to have a whiteboard that you’re constantly updating—we do that for you. 

Lastly, there’s the amount of experience you get. We’ve closed thousands of transactions, so we know how to help you become better at what you’re doing. Having a team behind you with that kind of experience is invaluable. We’re here to help you get through your transaction smoothly, and as a second set of eyes, we can catch things in transactions most other brokers wouldn’t. 

If you’re not currently doing business with us, we’d love to talk more with you about how we can support you, your growth, and what you’re doing in your business. Feel free to give us a call or send us an email anytime. We look forward to hearing from you. 

How Do We Help You Grow Your Business?


Recently, we sat down to talk about how you can have a better experience working with Moncord. 

There are three things we’re going to cover today on this subject.

First is how we build a better experience for teams that have assistants. Many times when we work with agents who have built out a team, assistants are already in place. In the past, this assistant was perhaps filling a role where they were doing transaction and listing coordination. 

When we move in and take over this role, the assistant’s part must be repurposed to another area such as database management, client communication, client care, or marketing. 

The most important thing is ultimately that a team’s assistant is working as a catch-all for your business. You will need someone who is focused on growing your business. Re-assigning roles like transaction and listing coordination to us is actually going to allow a team’s assistant to fulfill other duties and, therefore, help the business grow. 

While you or your assistant may remain as the primary point of contact with a client, we are still going to be working behind the scenes and dealing with logistical details. As we handle some of these tasks, you or your assistant will then be free to make a warmer connection with the client, which will lead to referrals. 

Ultimately, we’re here to help you build on top of what you already do.

The second way we build a better experience is by having strong communication. Building clear and effective lines of communication begins with the broker letting us know how we can best reach them. Some brokers prefer phone calls while others may prefer email. Whether it is one of these two methods or something else, we work hard to customize the way we communicate to what you prefer.

We’re here to help you build on top of what you already do.

Throughout the process of working with us, though, make sure to keep us in the loop. We do send out weekly updates to all parties in the transaction, but this communication will need to be reciprocal for us to have the greatest success. If the closing date gets moved, the appraisal has come in, or anything else has changed, it is important that you let us know. 

Having a weekly phone call to touch point is a great way to help us all stay in-the-know about what is going on in the transaction. This way we will be able to keep you updated, and you will be able to do the same for us.

The third point on how we build the best experience is that we remember it’s your business. This may sound obvious, but our ultimate goal is to never overshadow the mission, goals, and growth of your business. You have reached the point you’re at today by following your own path. So, while we want to help you build on top of what you’ve achieved, it’s also important that you still feel able to do things in a way that is comfortable and natural for you. 

When it comes to negotiating, your buyers and sellers have chosen you because of the way you were able to communicate with them. We’re more than happy to help with detail work, but we also want you to know that we don’t want to take the essence of your business away from you. 

Finally, it’s important for you to know that we at Moncord love to have fun. We work extremely hard to build success and we know you do the same. When you work with us, you can trust that you are working with true professionals who know how to deliver a positive experience and have a good time. 

To illustrate this characteristic, we actually had a little bit of fun while making the video above. Throughout the video, you may notice that there were seven changes that took place. If you think you were able to catch all seven changes, you can email Alex at alex@moncord.com for the chance to win a free Starbucks gift card. The first person to contact Alex with a complete and correct list of all the changes will be the winner of this challenge.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 


What Are the 5 Components of Developing a Strategy for Your Business?

How can you develop an overarching strategy for your business? 

The full answer to this question lies in a great book titled “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works.” It was written by A.G. Lafley, Roger Martin, and other contributors, and discusses the topic of developing an overarching framework, or “strategy cascade.” It was based on their own case studies of how they solved problems within their own industry. 

There are many ways to develop a strategy framework, but within the strategy cascade detailed in this book, there are five components you need to know about.

The first is defining your winning aspiration. What does your real estate business exist to do beyond just making money? What does winning mean to you and your team? Your winning aspiration must transcend money and carry your organization beyond that 10-, 15-, or 20-year mark into the future. 

The second component is defining where you’re going to play in the marketplace. This is also important because it will define where you’re going to decide not to play. Within the real estate market, we sometimes see agents working in multiple areas and not clearly defined on where they’re going to approach and attack the market. Within this specific part of the cascade, you’re defining which specific type of buyer/seller you’ll work with and which region you’ll work in. 

What is your overarching, winning aspiration?

The third component is defining how you’re going to win. This will define your value proposition and your competitive advantage within the marketplace. There are thousands of brokers you’re competing with on a daily basis for the same business. If you can’t clearly define what your competitive advantages are in the marketplace, other brokers will win more business. It’s critical to understand how you’re going to win the marketplace, what your competitive advantage is, and knowing how to execute these principles in your day-to-day business. 

The fourth component is what capabilities are needed. This includes what activities will enable your organization to win within the marketplace. What activities will create accountability? What activities will help business and sales development? 

The fifth and final component is what management systems you’ll need to execute your strategy. Think of this as your processes, procedures, and systems you have on the back end. For example, what type of CRM are you using? What type of lead follow-up processes and procedures do you have in place? These are small components of a real estate business, but a lot of them are needed to have a highly robust management system to execute your overarching strategy. Without having this last component built out, the previous four won’t work. 

There are more components to developing an overarching strategy—all of which we cover in our strategic consulting service—so if you’d like to know more about it, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If there are any other topics you’d like us to cover, feel free to send us an email. We’d be happy to help. 

What Does Moncord Do Differently From the Rest?

I recently sat down to interview Kaley Hopwood, a licensed transaction coordinator and one of our teammates here at Moncord Real Estate Professional Services. 

So, what areas are brokers struggling with and how is Moncord able to resolve those problems? 

Kaley says that the key issue is with communication and time management. Missing deadlines can be particularly harmful to deals. As a transaction coordinator, it is her job to make sure that all of the fine details are sorted out and that everything in the deal moves forward smoothly. 

Time management is a big focus in our mission. Kaley told me that in her near decade’s worth of experience, she has never seen a transaction company as detail-oriented as ours. She noted that everything from our systems to our team members are great contributors to this fact.  

With the way our team does things, she explains, we are backing up our brokers in a way that means they don’t have to worry about certain details. 

When Kaley joined our team, we immediately valued her feedback. We knew that she had a great deal of experience herself, but we also knew that she came from a family who had all also been in the business. 

With this in mind, it obviously meant a lot for her to say that Moncord is the most proactive, detail-oriented transaction company she’s ever seen. 

Moncord is the most proactive, detail-oriented transaction company Kaley’s ever seen.

According to Kaley, our team always goes above and beyond. In her mind, going above and beyond means having everything covered for your clients and having great communication skills. 

Whether it is working on weekends, making extra phone calls, tracking down earnest money, or whatever else it takes—Moncord works hard to take care of our clients. 

If you have any other questions or want more information, feel free to get in touch by giving us a call or sending an email. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Answering our Most Common FAQs: Part 2

Welcome back to another one of our Q&A sessions. We’re glad to be joined by Kaley Hopwood, our transaction coordinator, to answer two questions in particular. 
1. Once a person is on board and the contract goes mutual, how easy is it to start working with us?
Just email us the contract and that’s it. It’s not complicated. You don’t have to open an app or fill out a bunch of paperwork. Once the deal goes mutual, you email it to us and we get to work. It’s really that simple. 

2. What does our onboarding look like? Why is it critical to get that done? 
With our onboarding process, we send a small welcome packet to our new clients. This packet covers everything that we do in reasonable detail. The first couple pages contain information about you and your business, including other information we’ll need such as passwords and login information. Since we’re working on your behalf, we need to know everything about your business that you do. Questions include where you’re currently located with your license and contact information for your preferred escrow and lender. We also have questions about your goals and how we can help you achieve them. 
The rest of the onboarding packet details information about us and our services. It’s easy to read—you can probably get through it in a couple minutes. We want to make sure everyone’s on the same page in terms of how we work and how we expect to be worked with. 

We want to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

This packet has streamlined much of our onboarding process and saved the broker time because we didn’t have to keep going back and forth asking one question after another. This packet is still evolving and it will grow into better questions we can ask so we can get to the heart of the information that’s really important. 
If you have any other questions you’d like answers to, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email. We’d be glad to help you. 

Why Jodie Feels Moncord Does Everything They Promise, Plus More

Jodie Weir

Weir Real Estate Group at Owner/REALTOR

Listen To The Audio Testimony Below:

“I started with Moncord, we had an operations manager who ended up leaving the team so we were in a place where we really needed to make sure that files that were in progress, those clients were being contacted. I put a post on Facebook and there were a few different people that had referred Moncord. So I met with Lisa along with a few other transaction coordinators and the thing that I really loved about her was, one, adorable! But she’s just a nice and caring human and we were going through a transition of our team and all the other transaction coordinators I went to gave me a list and said, that’s it! Where Lisa was like, okay you’re in a transition period, we want to be a part of your team, we’re here to help. The way that she presented the different things that they did and also with her background of experience of being a lead buyer specialist. Everything that they do, I feel like they do everything they promise to do plus more and they are always on top of it. I do refer them a ton. I would just tell them that they absolutely need to use them because they will make their life so much simpler. They can trust them and know that they are putting their clients and files in good hands. What they do takes on hundreds of hours that I would be doing. Just really being able to rely on them and trust them to know that what needs to be done is going to be done and not have to worry about that all the time. And also you know, doing the different projects that they are doing with each file and doing addendums, talking to clients, talking to other agents all of that kind of stuff. All the day-to-day tasks of what needs to be done to facilitate a transaction—they do. That frees me up to hopefully get more deals.” 

- Jodie Weir

How Moncord Allows Lloyd to Focus on Higher Return Activities


Lloyd Ball

President/Managing Broker at Anomaly Commercial

Listen To The Audio Testimony Below:

“I heard about the idea from Alex that he was going to launch a business. And I had known that his wife had already been in this space for a long time so I was excited to work with them from a commercial perspective. This was about a year ago and it’s been a great partnership ever since. It seems like their service level is above and beyond because I’ve had other commercial brokers compliment me on how fancy our system is because as soon as something goes into contract there’s this barrage of emails that goes to all the stake holders in the deal letting them know when time lines are and when XYZ is due, that escrow is set up and it just works. It all comes together very nicely. That said, it’s just constant above and beyond compared to what I’ve seen in the past. And I’ve been in real estate for 16 years so I’ve seen a lot of it. Specifically for commercial people that I work with all the time, I kinda don’t want them to have Moncord! No, I’m just kidding. I would say that it really gives you an edge, it allows you to focus on the higher return activities instead of working on transaction management, which is crucial and it’s very important because any deal can fall apart if the key people kind of take a back seat and they don’t drive the deal. I would say it makes you more productive. For people in my position most of the time they don’t like paperwork and they’d rather be in the field talking to people and looking at property and analyzing its highest and best use. So I’d say it’s going to make you a better real estate professional. I don’t have to worry that I’m going to miss a date, I don’t have to keep going back and looking at the contract and figuring out all those things that are key and crucial to keep me out of trouble but also keep the deal moving forward. First of all, it’s a stress reliever and then second of all it makes me look like I’m bringing a team to the table that’s professional. I do have a team but not on that side of the business and now if feel more complete and it gives me a sense of pride and confidence. Lastly, it’s freed up my time to not have to focus on those details and it’s allowed me to continue to prospect and focus on revenue driving activities.“

- Lloyd Ball

How Moncord Allows Christen to Focus on Business, Not Paperwork

Christen Cripe

Owner/Real Estate Broker at Thompson Carol Real Estate

Listen To The Audio Testimony Below:

“I started working with Moncord Professional Services because I was referred by another broker who is a top producing broker in our area and he told me how fantastic they were, so I wanted to give them a try. The first transaction that they coordinated for me I had Jennifer working with me and she did a fantastic job and it was such a smooth and easy transaction that I wanted to keep using them. We’ve, over time, just developed a really nice relationship where I know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from me. It’s given me lots of free time to focus on other things and know that my paperwork and my files are handled and I don’t have to necessarily be the one to handle them. I’m actually going to be out of the office for the next two and a half weeks and Jennifer has been helping me. She’s got all my files put together so that when I leave and when I come back everything will be ready. I’ve got a couple listings going on the market the day I return and the paperwork is already done. In fact she’s working on inputing the photos for me as we speak. I’ve already referred Moncord several times to lots of colleagues who work in the industry with me. What I generally tell all of them is that they’re very organized, they are very professional, and it will allow you the time that you need to go out and prospect for new business or go out and do what you need to do without worrying about the paperwork. I have a very structured calendar and I do lead generation and prospecting a certain amount of hours per week and I just don’t have to worry that something on a transaction is going to come up that I have to handle that’s going to interrupt that time. So it’s really allowed me to continue to just focus on lead generation and prospecting and know that Jennifer and Lisa have my back. My paperwork is taken care of. If I need something signed by a client they’ll handle it for me and I can just go do what I need to do to generate more clients and generate more business.”

-Christen Cripe


Answering our Most Common FAQs

Whenever we’re onboarding new clients or answering questions for prospects interested in using our services in the near future, two questions in particular get asked the most often:

  1. How do we get compensated?

  2. Can we draft addenda for the real estate agents that we serve?

To answer the first question, we get compensated when you get compensated. If the transaction closes and we’ve put in the work to help you close that transaction, we’ll get compensated for that work. If the transaction doesn’t close, however, we don’t charge you a fee and we don’t get compensated.

We believe in building a partnership with you and we know the challenges of the market. There are times when deals fall apart where we may have done a lot of work up front, but we won’t charge for that because we know that you did a lot of work up front and you’re not getting paid for it either. Most of the time when a deal falls apart, the real estate brokers we work with are very good at getting whichever client they were working with under contract somewhere else and moving the deal forward.

We believe in building a partnership with you.

To answer the second question, yes we do draft addenda for the brokers we serve. Our transaction coordinators are licensed, which gives us the ability to draft addenda and manage that process.

The one thing we don’t do while drafting addenda is write down verbiage. This is because of liability reasons. If a broker needs addenda drafted, they give us the language they want to use for it and we make sure that language gets placed onto that addenda verbatim. We then manage that process to get signatures from the respective parties, whether that’s the buyer, seller, another real estate agent, or whomever. We then send that document out to the right parties that it needs to go to within the transaction. This creates more efficiency for the broker so they can keep moving forward and growing their business.

Stay tuned for future videos where we’ll address more frequently asked questions. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to help.

Improve Your Marketing Campaigns By Adding This Tool To Your Arsenal

Today I’m here with Tim Mangold, who is a digital advisor for Moncord, to share some cool things with you on how to better market your listings. 

To really step up your marketing game, you need to use custom property websites. These websites generate more listings and market those listings more successfully. 

Yourhome.studio is the brand, and the websites can normally be purchased for $150 here.

However, today we are offering these websites for only $33! Reserve your order in the next seven days to lock in that great deal.

Better yet, if you are new to Moncord and have never done a transaction with us, but decide to give us an opportunity to provide you with Transaction or Listing Coordination Services, we will credit a one time $33 on your first transaction. So in essence it's FREE on your first order to try Yourhome.studio property websites!

Most of the time, real estate agents have their print marketing game on point. They present beautiful flyers or have special brochures about a property, but we see them struggle with digital marketing. 

Custom property websites are your digital solution.

Using Tim's custom property websites has given his team some great results, and they want to share that success with other brokers. 

Everyone knows that buyers start their home searches online, so presenting them with a website that contains all your listings will really wow them.  

If you purchase one, you’ll get to speak with Tim’s team who will show you how you can use it to generate the most business. It’s more than just a website that looks good. It really is your first step to creating a great digital marketing plan that will be the foundation for capturing leads. 

We use the website to capture those leads in two ways. 

First, Tim's team offers a free pre-inspection report and a tips and tricks document that explains how to submit the most competitive offer. Second, we put a tracking pixel on the homepage which will continue to advertise to potential leads as they surf the web. 

There is so much more about the websites that you should know, so I encourage you to email Tim at Contact@MangoldHomes.com or call 425-205-0791 with any and all questions you may have. This really is a great digital marketing solution. To order a custom property website, just click here!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Why Shari Describes Moncord as Dialed In and ON IT

Shari Jansen: Avenue Properties

Shari Jansen: Avenue Properties

Listen To The Audio Testimony Below:

"Well, since I introduced the two of them, through real estate working at Keller Williams years back as a CEO team leader, Alex and Lisa started doing transactions for their office. I had just moved to a new office called Avenue Properties and he said, can you give me shot? I said I’d love to, absolutely love to. So that’s how we began and I introduced them to our whole company and just started, every deal we have, we use Alex and Lisa, every single one. We had a very difficult transaction, it was a custom build, international buyer. He’s a principal for a new division of Microsoft, high end stuff. It took 10 months from the time we basically stole the house from the builder. We brought Lisa in upon purchase and sale, huge deposits of earnest monies, big chunks of money. I mean that girl probably should have been paid quadruple what she got! Because they were there the entire 10 months keeping this family in the loop which was really important. The things that she would view as important were on my priority they were hers, which made her a master of what she did and I was a master at what I did so that’s how we team approach. It turned to be awesome, we’re all good friends, this family we’ve made very dear friends with them. It turned out amazing actually. They are ON IT. They absolutely don’t skip a beat. They have their checklists, checklists, and checklists. Which going into a different company, having them going into ours, she was familiar with the paperless pipeline it was really our master checklist for our designated broker, and she just dialed in, knew everything. The intro letters that she sends to the clients right from the time of purchase and sale agreement are incredible. She’s does a lot of explaining of things that as a new buyer, things like that, she really handles that beautifully. I say she, but it’s Lisa and Alex. So yeah, very, very happy with them. We just hand them a file, and once that electronic file goes over I know it will get done, I don’t have to worry about it. She sends us everything that is checked off and done so we know it’s completed. I don’t have to double check her, she double checks me which I love that. They’re very, very good and always keeping you informed and CC-ing clients, CC-ing all parties and keeping everyone in the loop. She’s made it so that, we just closed two pendings this last week, we’re just selling so my time isn’t in the office it’s out in the car with my clients."  - Shari of Avenue Properties

Why Roger Trusts Moncord to Get Things Done

Roger Bitner Sr.: Synergy Properties

Roger Bitner Sr.: Synergy Properties

Listen To The Audio Testimony Below:

“Lisa was referred to me from an escrow officer that I’ve done business with for a long time. And that probably occurred, I don’t want to say the exact date but let me think about this for a second, probably she’s been my transaction coordinator for three years plus. And so it was an introduction, a referral from an escrow officer that I trusted and did business with. I’m used to being a business owner so lets just say that in the first two years with Lisa, I’m a believer in that when you hire somebody, [you] let them do their job, so I basically did not talk to Lisa for the first two years, and I met her probably two years after I hired her. So basically she gets it done, and I only ask her to call me if it’s an emergency and she can’t solve the problem, so that’s how she helps me. Well I’ve referred them to probably four or five brokers within the framework of our office at Keller Williams over the last couple of months. They’re responsive, I love their online cloud based transaction system. It gives me access over my cellphone, my iPad, over any computer that I’m accessible to. It allows my back office admin to track what’s going on. I work off of a template in agreement that I’ve worked with her on certain tasks that she performs for me and the greatest thing that I can say to the people that I refer to is that she gets it done and you don’t have to worry about it. I pay them for the services and we just negotiated all the steps that take the burdens of closing a transaction off my back. And it’s rare that she has to chase me to have me solve a problem that she can’t solve herself. Not quite sure what else I could do other than I’d give her five stars and I’ve recommended her to other agents and I don’t take a recommendation lightly.”

How We Came To Be

We are Lisa and Alex Mont-Ros and we are the founders of Moncord Real Estate Professional Services. We wanted to take this opportunity to give you a little background about our company, how it came to be, and how we’ve been able to grow.

Both of us had been successful in selling real estate for over a decade at a high level. Lisa was with a wildly successful team, but was always limited by not having high-level transaction coordinators. The entry-level admins filling the role just didn’t know the business well enough to be very effective.

Once we went from having one to three children overnight, that real estate life wasn’t feasible with our schedule anymore. That’s when Lisa decided to do transaction coordination on the side, working with about five brokers. She handled everything for them from transaction to close and in less than two years, those five brokers had turned into 50. At that point, we both decided that we had no choice but to make this a business.

Now we work with about 70 brokers across all major brands in the Pacific Northwest and will be expanding to Las Vegas and California next.

A nationwide expansion is in our future plans as well.

In addition to providing high-level transaction coordination services, we also offer strategic consulting. We wanted to add more value to the brokers we served in order to help them develop their businesses.

We offer many different types of strategic consulting, including providing transaction analysis reporting for our clients on a quarterly basis. We show them trends we see in the marketplace and in their business to see how they can become more efficient and successful as brokers.

With all of those services bundled together, we don’t see anyone else out there doing what we do in the marketplace. Our mission is to be the most customer-centric transaction coordination company in the industry. We are well on our way to accomplishing that as we move into Las Vegas, California, and eventually the rest of the country.

If you have any questions for us about what we do or how we can help you out, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Hire a Transaction Coordinator?

We believe that there are two foundational reasons why a real estate agent would choose to hire a transaction coordinator like ourselves. The first is to save time, the second is to ensure great customer care.

Not a lot of agents are aware of this, but it takes 10 to 20 hours to manage a single transaction from beginning to end. Instead of spending a lot of that time signing contracts and communicating back and forth with your client; you could be leveraging that time to grow your business. You could also be coming up with different ways to generate revenue or just spend more time with family.

A lot of agents out there are not leveraging their time effectively in order to grow and scale their businesses. When a real estate agent wants to increase their business, they have to take a closer look at their time management and determine where the inefficiencies are in their business so they can cut them out. Hiring a transaction coordinator is one of the ways you can offload some of those “time vampires” in your business.

When we succeed, it’s good for both of our businesses.

Great customer care both leaves your client happy with the service while also establishing credibility as a professional. With a transaction coordinator managing the process from A to Z, it takes a huge weight off your shoulders. It also helps with your referral business. Here at Moncord, it’s normal for us to get a thank you message from a buyer or seller after the transaction. They thank us for relieving their stress and helping them feel comfortable. That’s good for both of our businesses because we’re working together as a team.

We believe those are the two most important reasons to hire a transaction coordinator. They save you time so you can focus on higher dollar-producing activities and they maintain your reputation and credibility through great customer care.

If you have any questions for us or are interested in hiring us to help your next transaction along, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

7 LinkedIn Hacks for Growing Your Business in 2017

By Amanda Creter

By Amanda Creter

When it comes to marketing yourself and your business on social media, what are the first platforms that come to mind? Facebook tends to be the first place most young professionals and entrepreneurs turn to. Although Facebook can be a great resource to grow your presence on social media, many tend to overlook other outlets. One that a lot of individuals don’t invest much time into is LinkedIn. Many view it as a forum to look for a new career or recruit new talent for big corporations. It is not commonly associated with small business, entrepreneurs, or fields such as Real Estate. However, given the chance, LinkedIn could benefit you in more ways than you realize, and here are 7 hacks to kick starting your business presence on LinkedIn.

1)      Complete your Profile. This may seem like a pretty straightforward task, but you would be surprised by the amount of LinkedIn users who have not completed their profiles. A complete profile lays out a better story of your history, your skills, and how you may be a valuable contact to someone.

2)      Create a Business Page. LinkedIn is not just for professionals looking to change careers. You may not think you will gain much from LinkedIn outside of connecting with others in your industry, but it is a good way to keep in contact and up to date on potential clients.

3)      Link your Business and Personal Pages. This way you can promote your business on your personal page as well. You can also link your personal page to your business website. By linking these two pages you give connections a look into yourself personally (the individual behind the brand that they can relate to) and by showcasing what your company/business does.

4)      Join/Start LinkedIn Groups. See a group that interests you? Maybe it’s about Marketing, Real Estate, or the area you live in. Whatever it is, join in and share your opinions (or expertise!) If you don’t see a group that interests you, or you see enough mention of a topic that doesn’t have its own outlet, create a group for it! Maybe you are in a large group of other Real Estate Agents and you want to connect with a handful of them specifically. Create a smaller group to converse in, you never know what resources they may provide in the future.

5)      Update your Company Page Frequently. Use this to your advantage. Post frequently, but make sure your posts hold value. Don’t post something that you wouldn’t put on your website or other business pages you have. Add your blog, but make sure they have content your audience would find beneficial. Post visuals, but make sure they are eye catching. Don’t just post any image that comes your way.

6)      Interact with other Professionals (but don’t accept/invite everyone!). Be picky. Yes, you are on LinkedIn to network and make new connections. But not everyone that adds you to LinkedIn will be relevant to what your goal is, growing your business. Take the time to review the profile of every person that adds you. If you think they could be a resource or potential client, then feel free to add them. And this goes the other way around as well. Don’t start adding people to grow your connection count. Quality over Quantity is an important adage to live by in this situation. If you add and accept just anyone, eventually your 3rd party connections will be a complete mess, and you won’t be able to keep up with those who have pertinence to your business.

7)      Customize your URL. This will make it easier to search for you and share your profile with others.

LinkedIn isn’t a good fit for everyone. Those who are not looking to grow a business, change careers, or Network, will most likely stick to platforms like Facebook where they can keep up to date with friends and family. This makes LinkedIn a more niche platform for professionals to use. Take the time and learn the ins and outs of LinkedIn, stay up to date with the changes it makes, and it will pay off for you professionally!

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Is A Marketing Assistant Exactly What You Need?

By Amanda Creter

A new world of possibilities for the modern day Real Estate Agent has been unlocked when it comes to marketing. Many professionals have integrated new strategies and tactics that are setting themselves apart leveraging social media and other distribution channels. However, with these new opportunities also come new responsibilities and many Real Estate Agents simply don’t have the time to invest to make sure they are staying competitive. This is leaving quite a bit of their potential market untapped, open to other Agents who have taken steps to monopolize marketing.

How have they done this? Aren’t they just as busy? They were most likely in the exact same boat as the next agent. So when it came time to expand their team, they looked toward the role of a Marketing Assistant, knowing the advantages such a role would give them in the industry. A real estate team can benefit from many roles, each specializing in their respective duties. Why should a Marketing Assistant be at/near the top of your list? Here are a few areas of value one can bring to your team.

·         Generating/Creating Content – Most Real Estate Agents don’t have much time to post anything other than Congratulations to clients who have just sold or purchased a home. Writing is also not every Agents strong suit. A Marketing Assistant can help a Real Estate Agent or Real Estate Team bridge the gap by creating marketing content. Whether this be weekly blog posts, systematic posting on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), or adding relevant material on an Agent/Teams website, this creates a web presence they wouldn’t otherwise have. 

·         Lead Management – While they are running your social media presence, they can also be monitoring and following up on leads that come through these channels. Today’s Real Estate Agent has so many lead channels to choose from or invest in, which can become overwhelming. Often times the leads go unchecked because an Agent/Team doesn’t have the time to follow up. Adding this task into your Marketing Assistant’s duties while he/she is already managing your marketing initiatives may be a cost effective way to ensure your leads are not wasted.

·         Market Research – You are busy working with clients and growing a team. You most likely do not have the time to sit down and research what makes your competitor more successful, or what you could be doing more effectively. A Marketing Assistant will be able to do this and provide you with a comprehensive break down on what you are doing well, and what could be improved upon. This may provide you or your team a distinct advantage over the competition.

·         Advertising – The preferred way for Real Estate Agents is to operate and build their business through word of mouth. This takes time to build and Agents still need to cultivate their message to their past clients to maintain their referral business. For a newer Agent, or an Agent trying to grow a team who needs leads to distribute to their team of Agents, a referral based business may not  produce enough leads to sustain a team. When it comes to advertising, many Agents may be challenged finding where to start to build a sustainable pipeline of leads. A Marketing Assistant can spearhead lead pipeline growth initiatives while managing the projects.

A marketing assistant is not only limited to helping out in the areas mentioned above, but those with more experience can take on and understand SEO and Social Media strategies, digital transformation initiatives, and planning/overseeing promotional activities or customer appreciation events. Depending on the structure and goals of your business, a Marketing Assistant can be salaried or paid hourly. If you have your sights set on continuing to grow and are unsure of how to execute against a true marketing strategy, this hire may play a vital role to your organization.

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Executing Strategy: Different Approaches to Consider

By Amanda Creter

We have already discussed strategy and some of the popular strategic techniques. Picking a strategy that speaks to you is the first step. But where do you go from there? Having a strategy in place isn’t enough. You need to be able to effectively execute that strategy to create long term success for your business, and most business owners will admit that execution is their number one struggle.

                So what is the key to business execution? Like strategy, there is no right answer. Many forms of business execution exist and each one has its place. Here are a few noteworthy examples to help you decide which best aligns with your specific strategy.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Covey, Huling, McChesney

·         Discipline 1 – Focus on the Wildly Important: In the simplest terms, the more you try to split your focus, the less you will end up accomplishing. This is often a hard task for leaders to practice, because they want to try and do it all. But to be successful, you need to focus on that wildly important goal and pursue avenues that are in line with helping you achieve that goal.

·         Discipline 2 – Act on the Lead Measures: This discipline focuses on the notion that not every action your team performs will be equal in importance. This is why the first discipline is so important. With a clear goal in mind, you can more easily identify which measures require your attention. Instead of focusing on Lag Measures (things that have already happened), you can then focus on Lead Measures (high impact items that need to be focused on within your company to achieve your goal and fix your Lag Measures).

·         Discipline 3 – Keep a Compelling Scoreboard: To maintain motivation you need to engage with your team in a way that drives them to succeed. When they know the “score” and whether or not they are “winning or losing” the level of performance and productivity will rise. The key to keeping score however, is that you allow them to create the scoreboard so that they can instantly and easily know their place on it.

·         Discipline 4 – Create a Cadence of Accountability: The first three disciplines set you up for execution, but it isn’t until the fourth discipline that you truly begin to execute. You do this by establishing a system of accountability. Unless your team is holding each other accountable, and being consistent with that accountability, you will not be able to achieve your goals. They have to know that they are being held to a certain standard, and that they can in return ask their teammates to hold to that standard as well. With regular accountability check ins, your team with be invested in achieving the goals you have set forth.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

·         The People Process: Focuses on looking into the future, instead of in the past or present. Most companies look at employees and evaluate whether or not they can do the job they are currently doing. According to Bossidy and Charan, you should be looking at employees and evaluating whether or not they can do the job of tomorrow. The types of assessments most companies have in place look at past performance, but don’t effectively asses future capabilities.

·         The Strategy Process: Are the people you have employed capable of executing your strategy? With an effective skills matrix in place, you can address the lack of certain areas of skill within your company before they compromise strategy.

·         The Operations Process: Most strategic visions require that skill levels change and advance over time. By having a system in place where employees can easily access learning materials to increase their skills, you help them achieve skill milestones that aid in your strategic objective and timeline.

The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage by Robert Kaplan and David Norton

·         Stage 1 – Develop the Strategy: This stage is heavily focused on conventional strategy. First you need to clearly outline your mission statement, values, and vision. From there, start to do an analysis, such as a SWOT analysis, on your competitors and market trends. Completing analysis’s like these will give you the information critical to developing your strategy.

·         Stage 2 – Plan the Strategy: Once you have developed your strategy, then transform your objectives and goals into short term plans of action. Create a plan, identify gaps, and implement your strategy accordingly.

·         Stage 3 – Align the Organization with the Strategy: Once you have a clear strategic plan in place based off of your mission, values, and vision, make sure you have articulately conveyed them to your team. If they do not see your dream and understand it the way you do, they cannot effectively implement strategy to help achieve those goals.

·         Stage 4 – Plan Operations: Align your strategy with the most important aspects of your business. Do not waste your time or your resources improving aspects of your business that are not absolutely vital to your strategy. Instead focus on the core processes that will help facilitate stronger strategic and operational ties.

·         Stage 5 – Monitor and Learn: Do not just sit back and assume that everyone understood your vision and is now executing strategy the way you desire. Check in frequently to get status updates and feedback. This way you learn of a problem in the strategic operation early on, and can address it as soon as possible.

·         Stage 6 – Test and Adapt the Strategy: Be pliable. At some point along the way your strategy will need to adapt. As you grow, your goals will begin to change, which will require a change in strategy. Over time you may also see a change in your market, whether it be consumer or competition, and to remain successful you will need to be able to adapt to that change. If your strategy fails early on, try a different tactic. Strategy is not a perfect science, and will require trial and error.

These are only a handful of the examples of Strategic Execution out there. No strategy is the same, and therefore no execution will be the same. Do your research, and create a strategic execution plan based on what you are trying to achieve. Many struggle with strategic execution, so don’t be surprised if you don’t succeed immediately. The key is to keep adjusting and adapting until you do.

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Thinking Through Strategy...What Is Your Approach?

By Amanda Creter and Alex Mont-Ros

     As a business owner, you are no stranger to Business Planning. No matter the size of your company, you most likely have a business plan in place to follow. But is the plan you have laid out for your company to follow in alignment with your end result for your company? If not, how do you get it there? This is where strategy comes into play. 

     There is no right way to think about strategy. In fact, there are so many variations when it comes to strategy that finding the best fit for you and your company can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are a few of the different types of strategies and examples of when they are utilized best.

Conventional Strategy-Planning: This type of planning is often the one companies go to first. This involves creating a vision and mission statement for your company and employees, along with company values, then using those mission and vision statements to create a business plan that impacts the operational aspects of the business. This strategy is effective for both small and large companies.

Cost Strategy: Often referred to as Low Cost Strategy, this strategy is used when a company is offering a product or service, and they want to obtain the competitive edge by offering the lowest prices. This has both pros and cons. You attract the business of those who solely want the lowest price. Where you find yourself at risk is when someone else comes out with a lower priced product or service. This will most likely redirect your customers/clients to them, since they are not loyal to you, just looking for the cheapest product. Also being associated with the lowest product or service can give you a reputation of being subpar and could be difficult to rebrand and change that image down the road. In the real estate world, consider discount brokerages and agents who leverage this strategy and how you will compete.

Differentiation Strategy: This is the opposite of Cost Strategy and attracts different customers, not those looking always for just the best price. With Differentiation Strategy you want the market you are in to perceive you as the higher quality product. You want to do this at the same or similar price point (if possible), while offering a higher quality product that better meets your customer’s needs. To successfully do this you must always be innovating and changing to match the needs of your client base. Real estate agents will want to consider how they differentiate themselves in the marketplace and have a strong value proposition.

Corporate Strategy: Corporate Strategy focuses on how the company can offer value across multiple departments/business, while also defining what business the company is in within the market. It takes into consideration the scope of the corporation and how the various departments and businesses work together to achieve common goals. Think of a real estate team where there are operational, marketing, sales, IT, and finance for example, would want to make sure they have a clear corporate strategy that aligns with each individual business unit objectives, also known as the Functional Strategies.

Functional Strategy: When you develop individual goals for each person/division in the company, it helps to best utilize your resources while providing direction. This is critical as you develop your corporate strategy and business strategies so that alignment is developed setting a clear path for your organization.

Focus Strategy: Focus Strategy is often used by big companies in addition to multiple other strategies listed above. However, this strategy is even more beneficial for smaller businesses who may not be looking to compete with big ones, or are trying to break into a narrow market/niche. A company will use Focus Strategy by focusing on a few target or niche markets. This way they don’t need to compete with larger companies who have more money and resources, but can tailor their product to meet the needs of these smaller markets and still come out successful. If a real estate team

Diversification Strategy: This type of strategy is when a company transitions into a new market with either new products or services they have never offered before. This is often with a product or services that is completely unrelated to what the company has previously been offering. Think of a real estate team who decides to focus on FSBOs in which they tailor a program that takes into account special pricing and marketing efforts that are not allotted to a traditional seller, or the customers they usually serve. You can also see diversification strategies playing out when a real estate team decides to develop a mobile app or CRM for agents outside of their team to help generate revenues outside of their core business.

     Not every strategy will be right for every business or real estate team/agent out there, but finding the right approach or blends of strategies will be essential to gaining clarity for growth and sustainability. Do some research, try out a few, and see which is the best fit for you. With strategy will come a clear plan, and with a clear plan will come growth as you execute against the strategy. Building a successful business is hard enough. Give yourself a competitive edge by aligning your values with the right strategy. 

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Lead Well...5 Areas Great Leaders Master

By Amanda Creter

     Whether you are just beginning your journey into Leadership, or whether you have been leading a team for a while now, a great leader strives to set themselves apart from the rest. These leaders attract and retain the best talent. But what is it about the great leaders out there that makes them stand out from the rest? And how do you take yourself, and your business to the next level where great leaders reside? Here are 5 areas they have come to master that set them apart from the crowd.

Made to Inspire: All of the great leaders are able to inspire their people. They have a goal in mind, a vision they want to bring to fruition, and they convey that vision to those linked to them in such a way that they see it too. The ability to inspire your staff with the same fire and passion you have, will make it easier to achieve those dreams. Many working towards the same goal that believe in it as well is the foundation of success.

Great Communicators: You may know exactly what your goal is and how you need to go about achieving it. But if you can’t effectively communicate it to your team, how are they supposed to know the direction you want them to be taking? You may think you are communicating effectively, but that isn’t always the case. If tasks are being completed the way you envisioned them being done, then you may have already mastered the ability to communicate successfully. If you think they may be having a hard time understanding what you are communicating, be frank and ask them. If you can’t communicate your vision, then you can’t inspire your people.

Know When and How to Delegate: If you have mastered inspiring and communicating with your team, then it’s time to delegate the workload. Your entire operation will run more smoothly if you can hand out tasks to your team and know that you have been able to communicate how you want them done, and they see your vision clearly enough to execute those tasks without needing to be micromanaged or having their hand held. Great leaders are not afraid to take risks by allowing their team the chance to shine. “At Lucasfilm, superboss George Lucas trusted his team to define the characters, set designs, and sounds of the original Star Wars movie. He didn’t micromanage. But he did check in periodically and personally to test employees’ inventions against his vision. Because he was so clear about what really mattered — his vision — he could more easily cede control over all else” Harvard Business Review

Stay Flexible: Sometimes, aspects of your vision may not be attainable. Instead of stubbornly sticking to your plan that isn’t working, be open minded to other ideas. Tweaking parts of your business or plan that isn’t working doesn’t mean admitting failure. It’s knowing when it’s time to be flexible so that you can succeed. FUBU CEO Daymond John said “One of the biggest myths is that good business leaders are great visionaries with dogged determination to stick to their goals no matter what. It’s nonsense. The truth is, leaders need to keep an open mind while being flexible, and adjust if necessary. When in the startup phase of a company, planning is highly overrated and goals are not static. Your commitment should be to invest, develop and maintain great relationships.”

Keep it Positive: Things are going to go wrong. Show me one example of a business or team that has had smooth sailing every step of the way? Chances are you can’t, it’s not the way life works. You will have set backs, and when that happens, you will have a team looking to you to show them the way. Lead them by example. It’s how you handle the downs that will set you apart. Keeping your employees positive is essential to productivity. So if this means the occasional office treat (like bringing lunch in), or taking everyone out one Friday a month, do it. A happy team is a healthy team, and if you go out of your way to stay positive and spread that positivity, they will notice.

     Leverage the attributes you currently have that Great Leaders are known for and work on those that need attention to get you to the next level of leadership. You, your employees, and your business will be happy you did. 

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Real Estate Agent Productivity Hacks and Tools: Here are just a few, what are you using?

By Amanda Creter and Alex Mont-Ros

     We’ve used the saying “time is money” before. In a busy real estate market, truer words have never been spoken. To be as successful as possible, a Real Estate Agent must learn to maximize their time and become as productive as humanely possible. The most successful agents don’t waste a single minute of their day. They have mapped out and organized their business so it is a lean, mean, well-oiled machine. To take your business to the next level, you must do the same. Here are some hacks to help get you started.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

     The number one tool at an Agents disposal is that of a CRM System. If you are not using one, then you need to seriously take a look at how you are running your business. From our experience, the majority of business an agent receives is through word of mouth and on a referral basis. This is why top Real Estate Agents will ask often and strategically throughout a transaction if their client has any referrals, usually at set points throughout the transaction. These leads need to be tracked and managed so the business can have a line of sight on where the potential next transactions will be coming from. With regards to referrals and timing of when to ask for them, The Real Estate Trainer mentions, “always bring up the topic at the listing consultation, after successful open house, after an offer is accepted, after inspection repairs are completed, after a home appraises, at closing, and after many other steps in the typical transaction are completed.” For these new leads that will come from asking for referrals, a CRM is a must. If you already have a CRM and it’s working for you, stick with it. If you have yet to REALLY incorporate a CRM into your business here are a few you can try free.

·         Streak – If you already use Gmail and find it easy to navigate, check out their FREE CRM tool. They even have an option specifically for Real Estate Agents

·         Hubspot – Hubspot offers both a free trial and a full program upgrade. This one is more like a traditional CRM, and for anyone who may have past experience using them, you may find this one more user friendly than others. The coolest feature I enjoy about this one, the ability to track when someone opens an email. For marketing campaigns this is a great feature as it ties right into your email allowing you to get instant notifications and increasing your ability to convert leads.

·         Brivity – A CRM created by Top Real Estate Agent Ben Kinney. This CRM takes your business to the next level by increasing the effectiveness of customer service and marketing tactics and strategies. It is also a fantastic and effective Time Management Tool as well. Ben Kinney is well known in the industry and this tool was built by agents for agents. Highly recommended!!

These are just a few of the CRM options available to you. No matter which system you choose, we highly recommend FULLY implementing one if you want to grow your business!

Project Management and Collaboration Tools

     One way to stay on top of your business is by using a Project Management and Collaboration Tools. There are many out there to choose from. Here are just a some we recommend:

·         idonethis.com

·         Trello

·         Asana

·         Groupme

·         Slack

     These all have free versions and are easy to use. I really enjoy using idonethis as it allows you to keep track of tasks, reminding you and your team of what was accomplished the day before. It then keeps those tasks that were not complete on the list until further notice, updating you at a set time every day through email notification that you can control. Pretty cool, super simple, and highly recommended.

     Most of these tools allow you to input every aspect of your project(s), assign tasks to team members to be completed, input deadlines, create check lists (that can then be assigned to different team members), among many other features. And it is all in one easy to use interface. Keep track of your day and what your team members are doing so that everyone stays on track and is maximizing their productivity.

Transaction Coordination Services

     We have discussed in the past how having a Transaction Coordinator or Transaction Coordination System in place will save you valuable time you could be spending networking and growing your business! Contracting your Real Estate Transactions out to a qualified team will increase productivity, assist in bringing in new business, and improve customer service. This can also have the added effect of increasing how often clients refer you out. Remember, transaction management can take up to 10-20 hours per transaction. As an agent, if you are coordinating transactions, you are missing out on executing against revenue generating activities. Delegating is what leaders of a business do to go above and beyond, and transaction coordination should be on your list of the next set of activities that you stop doing and start delegating.

Tracking Your Time

     A key step in understanding how to increase your productivity is by being aware of how and what you are spending your time on. You may think you are using your time each day, week, or month to the fullest, and maybe you are, but using a program that will track what you are spending your time on will show you if you need to refocus your energy on other tasks. These are some great tools for teams who have admin or staff working on key projects for the business as well as keeping track of your own time as a business leader or owner as well.

·         TimeDoctor – TimeDoctor is an app that can be placed on all of your devices, such as phone and computer. It will track what you are doing during the day (example: how much time spent on social media, emails, research) and will give you a daily, weekly and monthly break down. You can review the reports and be aware of areas you are or are not spending enough time in.

·         Hubstaff – Similar to TimeDoctor and allows you to track your activity daily, weekly, and monthly as well. Another feature that couple be a bonus is that you can add your team onto the account and see how productive they are as well. This will help your entire team with Time Management.

     These are only a few hacks to help increase productivity and time management. There are many options and variations out there at your disposal, and any number of them can make all the difference. Try out a few different programs and tools to implement, get a feel for what is right for you and your team, and customize your routine from there. Once you are organized and maximizing your time to run more efficiently, you should see a growth in your business! 

If you know of any other great hacks or tools to increase productivity, please share with us by commenting below!