array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97404" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97404" ["subject"]=> string(38) "Leading With Leverage: Power Team Tips" ["authors"]=> string(15) "By Cleve Gaddis" ["data"]=> string(4304) "Leverage makes it possible to lift 500 pounds with only 200 pounds of force. Leadership leverage makes it possible to generate more revenue by duplicating yourself through others. 
 
To help you understand the fundamentals of creating leverage, let's take a look at a seesaw. With the fulcrum in the middle, the weight at one end is capable only of lifting the same weight at the other end. In order for the lever to lift more, the fulcrum must be moved toward the heavier end, as shown in the image below.
 

 
What does this example have to do with creating leadership leverage? Everything. Let's substitute the word "focus" for "fulcrum." If you, as a leader, want to lift more weight, you must move your focus toward the weight you want to lift. Leaders lift people. If you want to create leverage through people, put your focus closer to your people.
 
Quite often I meet team leaders who are easily frustrated when team members fail to produce. It's almost as if they're surprised…and they shouldn't be. Most people don't really understand what's required to be successful in real estate. They need the team leader to help them understand. It's the team leader's training and coaching that creates leverage because the team leader is effectively duplicating him or herself through their team members, especially as the team members start finding success.
 
Creating leverage by growing a successful team has a couple basic requirements. First, the team leader must actually know how to be successful, and second, the programs and systems taught must be written out for others to follow. In addressing these two basic requirements, keep the following in mind:
 
1. There are no secrets to success. It's more about mastering the basics. Do you have good presentations, listing and closing action plans, and marketing systems? Focus on putting the basics in place, then build on them over time.
 
2. Anything done more than three times requires a written system. How should your people answer the phone? What information should they collect from a buyer or seller prospect? What should they say when calling an expired listing? You will need systems for everything.
 
3. Your systems don't need to be perfect. This is hard for many team leaders to understand, but perfection isn't possible. Instead, write out what works for you and keep working with your team members until the systems are mastered. As you learn new ways to improve the systems, revise them and then train your agents on what you've learned.
 
Once you put the systems in place for your team, make sure to focus on how your team members are applying these systems. What are they saying to prospects? What objections do they need to be prepared to overcome? Where do they need to improve? What are their results, and where are they falling short? 
 
A leader's job is to create an environment in which others can be successful through their own efforts using the leader's proven systems. Increase your leverage by keeping your focus very close to the members of your team. You will notice a difference, and so will they.
 
Cleve Gaddis is a master coach with Workman Success Systems and team leader in Atlanta. He learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now puts those skills to use in helping his team close $60 million annually. He loves to share his systems and strategies to help others succeed. He hosts the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show heard weekly on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO. Contact him at Cleve@GoGaddis.com.
 
For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com
" ["preview"]=> string(470) "Leverage makes it possible to lift 500 pounds with only 200 pounds of force. Leadership leverage makes it possible to generate more revenue by duplicating yourself through others. To help you understand the fundamentals of creating leverage, let's take a look at a seesaw. With the fulcrum in the middle" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97403" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97403" ["subject"]=> string(56) "Freddie: 2018 'Looking Pretty Good' for Economy, Housing" ["authors"]=> string(18) "By Suzanne De Vita" ["data"]=> string(2093) "Bolstered by economic gains, home-building, prices and sales are all forecasted to outdo 2017 this year, according to Freddie Mac researchers.
 
In Freddie's January Outlook, "Maintaining Momentum: 2018 and Beyond," analysts believe the economy is moderating—growing 2.5 percent in 2018, versus 2.6 percent in 2017—but, expect home prices to increase 5.7 percent, sales to increase to 6.35 million and starts to increase to 1.3 million.
 
The dichotomy could exacerbate unaffordability, the researchers say. Generally, however, the market is on-track.
 
"Starting off the year, things are looking pretty good for the U.S. economy and housing markets," says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Mortgage rates are low, economic growth has accelerated in recent quarters, and housing is coming off its best year in a decade. Although housing markets have been improving year-after-year for nearly a decade, there's still room for improvement. We forecast moderating growth in U.S. housing market activity through the next two years."
 
Is a downturn looming? Current indicators, such as the Treasury yield curve and unemployment rate, could point to a recession, so researchers have yet to rule it out.
 
"There are factors worth keeping an eye on in 2018," Kiefer says. "Namely, is another recession on the horizon, how will housing markets respond to declining housing affordability, and how will young adults move the housing market? More are living at home with their parents today than in 2000."
 
Source: Freddie Mac 
 
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia's online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(278) "
Bolstered by economic gains, home-building, prices and sales are all forecasted to outdo 2017 this year, according to Freddie Mac researchers." ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97402" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97402" ["subject"]=> string(54) "Reducing Cyber Risk and Liability for Data Privacy Day" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Liz Dominguez" ["data"]=> string(4450) "Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28 is soon approaching. The National Cyber Security Alliance's (NCSA) Data Privacy Day campaign educates consumers on how to manage their online presence, and also promotes privacy as good for business. 
 
Real estate is just as vulnerable as any other industry when it comes to data and the cyber world. It's imperative that industry professionals know how to protect themselves, and also how to guide their clients toward safe internet practices, especially during a real estate transaction. NCSA's campaign revolves around its STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ slogan. Here's how real estate professionals can participate:
 
Keep Data Private in Your Business
Being vulnerable to data breaches does a disservice to your clients. Industry professionals must do their part in ensuring that consumers' trust is rightfully earned by protecting their data. Part of this is being transparent; agents should clearly communicate to their clients how their information is gathered and used throughout a real estate transaction. And, just as important as protecting the information they receive from clients, agents should ensure that all vendors they work with also implement safe and secure data privacy practices.
 
Stay Savvy This Tax Season
With tax season just around the corner, it's more important than ever that both agents and consumers know how to protect themselves from tax fraud. It all comes down to keeping data safe and knowing who to trust. The IRS, for example, will never visit a home and will most likely not email or call a taxpayer. The IRS generally sends all communications via mail, so individuals should be wary of trusting anything else. Passwords should be complex and difficult to guess, and Social Security numbers should be hidden away from view. Also, if filing online, taxpayers should ensure they are transacting on a secure network to reduce the chances of hacking. Most importantly, taxpayers should shred all documents with sensitive information to prevent the data from getting into the wrong hands.
 
Become a Social Advocate for Data Privacy
If agents want to become a trusted source for real estate information, they can begin by building that trust on social media and advocating safe online data practices. This can be as simple as sharing a few tips every week with a unique hashtag, such as #StayCyberSafe, or it can be taken a step further through the creation of a video series or shareable educational resources. A campaign can also be implemented via email if agents want to widen their reach. This is a great way for industry professionals to inform consumers of the changing cyber landscape and its security practices, but also keeps the real estate industry updated on the newest fraud trends so agents can be prepared to prevent hacking. 
 
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is a huge proponent of data privacy and provides various resources on its website. For an all-in-one starter resource on data privacy in the real estate industry, agents can access NAR's Data Security and Privacy Toolkit, which includes everything from data disposal laws and notifications for data security breaches to website privacy policy and checklists for protecting personal information. 
 
Part of NAR's code of Ethics and Standards of Practice is the "obligation to preserve the confidentiality of personal information provided by clients in the course of any agency or non-agency relationship—both during and after the termination of these business relationships."
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(296) "
Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28 is soon approaching. The National Cyber Security Alliance's (NCSA) Data Privacy Day campaign educates consumers on how" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97244" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97244" ["subject"]=> string(49) "In 2017, Multiple Offers Scored Sellers Thousands" ["authors"]=> string(18) "By Suzanne De Vita" ["data"]=> string(1798) "Did you buy a home last year? Did you make an above-asking bid?
 
Approximately 24 percent of for-sale homes in 2017 sold for higher than what they were listed for, according to an analysis recently released by Zillow. Five years ago, that figure was roughly 17 percent. 
 
The average gain for sellers? $7,000.
 
"In the face of historically tight inventory, buyers have had to be more aggressive in their offers," says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. "We don't expect this inventory crunch to ease meaningfully in 2018, meaning buyers will be facing many of the same struggles this year."
 

 
The average is close to 10 times higher in San Jose, Calif., where bids bumped the price up by $62,000—the biggest gap between list and sold price. In San Jose, the drive-up is the new normal: 68.5 percent of for-sale homes sold for higher than what they were listed for last year. Similar scenarios are playing out in San Francisco and Seattle.
 
"Low interest rates and strong labor markets with high-paying jobs have allowed homebuyers in some of the country's priciest housing markets to bid well over asking price," Terrazas says. "In the booming tech capitals of the California Bay Area and Pacific Northwest, paying above list price is now the norm."
 
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com" ["preview"]=> string(308) "
Did you buy a home last year? Did you make an above-asking bid? Approximately 24 percent of for-sale homes in 2017 sold for higher than what they were listed for" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97257" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97257" ["subject"]=> string(63) "Social Skills: Best Times for Real Estate Professionals to Post" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Jameson Doris" ["data"]=> string(6986) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: It may sound like an easy topic to address, but when you consider the growing number of platforms, real estate professionals need social strategies in place to capture their clientele. This starts with knowing your audience and knowing when they're active online.
 
As a real estate professional, it's important to be in tune with your community and your personal clientele via social media. Posting about local events and goings-on is one of the easiest ways to get social media engagement. But, there are some general social media facts to be aware of, like how 80 percent of the country's population live in the Central and Eastern time zones. Take timing into consideration when posting. Also, if your audience is older, you probably shouldn't post after 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., when most of your audience is already asleep.
 
With such a variety of social platforms now at your disposal, it can be dizzying trying to make sense of the best times to post. Here are some tips to follow for the most popular social media sites/apps:
 
Facebook: Let's begin easy. For agents and brokers, it's no secret that Facebook is your greatest social asset. Besides the fact that the vast majority of your clientele is likely active on the site, there are few times that you can go wrong posting to Facebook. According to Fast Company, though, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is the best time to post, with Wednesday at 3 p.m. being the prime hour during the week. However, this doesn't mean you can't post any other time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., as long as it's valuable content. 
 
Think of what will best speak to your audience: what are their interests and what time of year is it? If the warm season is right around the corner, maybe share a piece on summertime activities that are going on in your area or great weekend getaways. Also, as a rule, lighter content will perform better on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for obvious reasons.
 
LinkedIn: The rules for LinkedIn are very similar to the rules for posting on Facebook, with one exception: stick to the work week. By far, the most engagement you'll see on LinkedIn is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Naturally, those numbers fall off dramatically on weekends. The social aspect of the site is still career-oriented and, unless you're targeting job hunters, most people aren't going to give LinkedIn much attention from Friday to Monday. What's interesting about LinkedIn, however, is that research shows posting earlier and later in the day will garner the best engagement. People treat the site almost like they do the morning paper, so they'll check it once they've gotten to the office and likely once again right before they leave.
 
Instagram: Instagram is becoming less and less "that app that your kid uses." The real estate industry has been slow to pick up the app, but since it's highly engaging and photo-centric, that shouldn't be the case. Beautiful photography is crucial to selling homes, so having another platform to push those photos out on should be a priority. Instagram, however, is one of the social platforms that people will check the least during business hours, as they likely won't find an interesting article or anything that they can construe as "working" if their boss catches them on it. Also, the desktop version of the app is still clunky at best. With that in mind, noon is still a safe bet to post. Many people check their Instagram when they run out to lunch, but your best engagement numbers are still going to be during the week after 5 p.m.
 
Snapchat: Here's another social app that was originally marketed to and used by millennials, but is now being employed in more professional settings. As with Instagram, you can upload photos and videos to Snapchat, but (like Instagram Stories) they disappear after a certain amount of time. Also, the best posting times for Snapchat are pretty much identical to those of Instagram. But keep in mind that Snapchat should only be used to fill out a social strategy. You shouldn't focus on Snapchat if that means you won't have time to post regularly to Facebook and Twitter.
 
Twitter: Last, but certainly not least, we come to Twitter. There have been talks of the app's demise for years now, but for now, Twitter is sticking around. The good thing is, unlike with Facebook and Instagram—where you really shouldn't post much more than a few times a day—you can post as much as your heart desires on Twitter. Tweets are incredibly ephemeral because when you post one it's just plugged into an endless scroll of tweets, and five minutes later it's buried. Also, feel free to tweet any day of the week—though, Fast Company's research shows that Monday through Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. are the absolute best hours to post.
 
There are several other social platforms that real estate professionals are taking advantage of, such as Google+ and Pinterest; however, as mentioned above, you should only be considering these platforms if you already have a robust social strategy and can pool some of your resources away from Facebook and Twitter. In 2018, though, your identity on social media should be an extension of your real estate business and its goals. Make sure you're investing in the above social sites/apps and taking the time to learn about your clientele and when they're active online.
 
Find more social media strategies, tips and trends in RISMedia's Social Skills series.
 
Jameson Doris is RISMedia's blog and social media editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at jdoris@rismedia.com" ["preview"]=> string(236) "
It may sound like an easy topic to address, but when you consider the growing number of platforms, real estate" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97401" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97401" ["subject"]=> string(58) "Financial Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home in 2018" ["authors"]=> string(13) "By Megan Wild" ["data"]=> string(7542) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: If you want to buy a home this year, you may be in the midst of planning—or perhaps you're already well on your way. Purchasing a home is a process made up of many moving parts, including your finances, your overall goals, your planning ability and your current financial situation. That said, it's the season for New Year's resolutions, right? Start making some financial ones along with your other goals. 
 
To get you started, here are five financial resolutions that can help you reach your goal of buying a home in 2018:
 
Make a Budget
Just over 40 percent of Americans have a budget. Budgets are invaluable to prospective homeowners, though. Why? Well, you can see how much you spend per month—and you need to know that before deciding on what mortgage payment you can afford.
 
Many people hazard a guess at their discretionary spending. You may think you spend $200 a month on dining out with friends, for example. But if you totaled it up, you may find that it comes out closer to $300.
 
That's important, because those who spend more than they earn, or squeak by financially every month, often do it because they underestimate what they're paying. So, use a personal finance software like Mint or You Need a Budget and enter everything you purchase for at least a month.
 
As you build your budget, divide it into categories determined by your monthly expenditures. You can tweak this going forward. Tally together what you need for necessities, like rent and utilities. Add together discretionary spending, like movies and eating out.
 
How are you doing? If you're within your earnings, great! If not, review your spending for how you can save. Can you eat out less? Maybe cut down on that second or third video streaming service? Brew your coffee at home?
 
Save, Save and Save Again
Purchasing a house costs money. If you've been diligently saving for the down payment, congratulations. If not, one of the most crucial things you can do to prepare for homeownership is saving for the down payment.
 
Once you've got the down payment, continue to save, as you will need moving expenses and a cash cushion. As a rule of thumb, moving and establishing a household always costs more than you think. You may need new furniture or plumbing repairs, so be sure you have an emergency stash of cash.
 
Establish a Clear Goal
Like budgeting for your expenses, you also need to know your overall savings goal. It's like creating a fund in the event of losing your job—you want a six-month cushion, at least. You will find it easier to save if you can visualize yourself reaching your final goal. Scope out starter homes in your area. Look at neighborhoods you'd like to live in with your family. Use an online mortgage calculator to figure out how much you'd be paying for the average starter home per month. 
 
Once you have a general sense of how much your mortgage would cost, as well as utilities, figure out how much you will need for a down payment. While six months' worth of your salary is ideal, you can also aim for three months to start.
 
Get Your Credit Score
Most mortgage lenders will only approve mortgages for people with good to excellent credit scores. Good credit scores range from 690-720 and excellent credit scores range from 720-850. The average credit score in the United States is 679.
 
Factors that determine your score include: Credit scores are relatively easy to obtain, whether from banks, financial software or one of the credit reporting companies, such as TransUnion. In fact, you're entitled to a free credit score each year, or every 12 months from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. 
 
Find out your score before applying for a mortgage.
 
If you have a bad credit score, it's unlikely a bank will approve your mortgage application. But, the great thing about getting your credit report is that you will find out what categories are pulling down the score. Knowledge is power—once you know, you can fix it. If your record of paying bills on time is poor, for example, try to take care of them the minute you get the bill. Your score will go up.
 
If your score is average, see if you can increase it before you apply. Many lenders give preferential interest rates and other financial advantages to people with high credit scores, so you want the highest credit score you can get before applying.
 
Pay Down Debt
There are two main reasons you want to pay down debt as much as you can before purchasing a house.
 
First, the less debt you have, the higher your credit score is likely to be. The higher your credit score, the more likely your lender is to give you preferential treatment, like a lower interest rate or fewer points and fees.
 
Second, the less debt you have, the lower your money debt obligations are likely to be. Less debt can free up monthly cash that you can put toward your savings, home purchases or other expenses, instead of directing that money toward paying off interest fees.
 
Ready to become a homeowner this year? With these five resolutions, you can make 2018 your year by boosting your savings and credit score, as well as becoming a go-to candidate for a mortgage with low-interest and fees.
 
Megan Wild is a home improvement specialist who loves fixing up old homes and making them beautiful and functional again. When she's not writing, you can find her hiking in the great outdoors or tweeting housing information @Megan_Wild." ["preview"]=> string(477) "If you want to buy a home this year, you may be in the midst of planning—or perhaps you're already well on your way. Purchasing a home is a process made up of many moving parts, including your finances, your overall goals, your planning ability and your current financial situation. That said" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26082" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_10" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(6) "Footer" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["subject"]=> NULL ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> NULL ["preview"]=> string(327) "

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" ["link"]=> string(0) "" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } Today's Real Estate News - Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Today's Top Stories
Leading With Leverage: Power Team Tips
Freddie: 2018 'Looking Pretty Good' for Economy, Housing
Reducing Cyber Risk and Liability for Data Privacy Day
In 2017, Multiple Offers Scored Sellers Thousands
Social Skills: Best Times for Real Estate Professionals to Post
Financial Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home in 2018
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