array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98721" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98721" ["subject"]=> string(28) "Agents: Lead With Perception" ["authors"]=> string(15) "By Chance Brown" ["data"]=> string(3676) "Let's get one thing straight right out of the gate here: The real estate industry doesn't have a lead generation problem. The industry has a lead conversion problem. You can generate leads all day, delivering hundreds of paid and unpaid leads to your inbox, but we know from statistical studies that the effort required to convert those leads into sales is just not happening.
 
So, instead of posting in Facebook groups about how much we dislike specific portals, let's raise the professionalism of the conversation and talk about how we, the agents, can not only make a difference, but also make some more money.
 
1. Speed to Lead – We live in a world of Uber, Amazon Now and instant gratification. Your lead expects to click a button on a website and speak to an agent. If you want to be that agent, you have less than two minutes to respond. So, first and foremost, answer your phone. If you can't talk, set up a text autoresponder, either on your phone or through your CRM, if it has that functionality.
 
2. Stick-to-it-ive-ness – Statistics show that most sales are made somewhere between the eighth and 12th contact, but most salespeople don't try to make contact more than three times. And, for the record, the number of agents following up three times might as well not even exist. The result is a lot of frustrated agents saying their leads are worthless—and a lot of frustrated leads wondering why they can't get a call from an agent. The solution to this problem comes from your CRM. Set up a very simple follow-up action plan using multiple platforms. Starting with email, send one message every day for 10 days offering something of value. Mix in some calls and texts, and your chances of getting a prospect on the phone go up exponentially.
 
3. The Fallacy of the Immediate – One of the common misbeliefs of lead generation is that just because someone clicks on a button requesting more information about a property, it means that they're looking to make a buying decision right that second. After your initial contact action plan, put that lead on a regular follow-up plan for the next 18-24 months.
 
None of this is rocket science. Once you've got it set up and running, it simply takes discipline to follow through on the plan. Do that and you'll become a leader amongst leads, and by virtue of that, a leader in your market.
 
Chance Brown is a broker/owner in Houston, Texas, and a coach with Workman Success Systems. He was recently named REALTOR® of the Year by the Houston Association of REALTORS®. He is a graduate of the Texas Realtors® Leadership Program, a recipient of the NRG 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate award, Fort Bend County Business Journal's 20 Under 40 Executives, and has earned the At Home With Diversity, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager, Certified Residential Specialist, e-Pro, Green, Seller Representative Specialist, and Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource designations. His brokerage has been named the No. 1 Best Place to Work in Houston for two straight years by the Houston Business Journal and has landed in the top five in the Houston Chronicle's Top Workplace awards. Contact him at Chance@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com" ["preview"]=> string(374) "Let's get one thing straight right out of the gate here: The real estate industry doesn't have a lead generation problem. The industry has a lead conversion problem. You can generate leads all day" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98732" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98732" ["subject"]=> string(30) "How to Start Seeing More Solar" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(5530) "The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development and has been adapted with permission from its original publication on Elevate Energy's blog on March 8, 2018. 
 
The inventory of homes with solar energy is growing. The number of households with solar energy systems in the U.S. is expected to surpass 1 million this year. By 2020, this number is expected to reach 4 million
 
Michael Brannon is a REALTOR® in the state of Washington. He recently completed the online course Selling the Sun: Establishing Value for Solar Homes from Elevate Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. 
 
"Your eyesight focuses on what your mind's eye is focused on, like when you're shopping for a particular type of car and then all of a sudden you see that model everywhere," Brannon says. "Well, now I see so many houses that have solar panel installations, whereas before they didn't seem to register."
 
Brannon, a U.S. Navy Veteran, has been with Coldwell Banker Bain for three years. "I help real people buy and sell homes and I especially love being able to serve the military, both active and fellow veterans," he says.
 
Brannon heard of the course through the National Association of REALTORS® and was compelled to sign up because he believes we can reduce our impact on the earth. "I want to be a part of promoting alternative energy sources," he says.
 
Yet, for many real estate professionals, solar remains a new frontier. The Selling the Sun course provides an overview, including:  Get Solar-Smart for a Market Edge
The result? Agents who complete the course can communicate the value of solar installations to homeowners and lenders. They'll also know what questions to ask, how PV solar installations affect the sale of a home, and how to identify installations on a multiple listing service.
 
"I believe in continuing education, and, as a professional, it is your responsibility to increase one's knowledge level," Brannon says.
 
"Mainly, I've gained confidence that I understand the steps needed to better evaluate a home with a solar power installation—not only for helping people sell their home, but it increases my value to help someone buy a home that has a pre-existing system," Brannon says.
 
There's a clear environmental impact, too. Once PV solar installations are consistently and accurately valued and investment increases, so too will growth of clean energy nationwide.
 
Resources for More Information
This video from George Washington University Solar Institute provides even more industry trends related to solar energy, as does Elevate Energy's website. Furthermore, individuals interested in the complementary continuing education developed for appraisers should check out the information on their site, or contact Elevate Energy directly
 
Obtain the Selling the Sun: Establishing Value for Solar Homes course for 25% off its regular price throughout this entire month of April, which is also Earth Month. 
 
For additional education about green homes and sustainability, check out this month's featured designation online course bundle at the Center for REALTOR® Development, NAR's Green Designation: Day 1 & 2 Online Bundle, which is also on special for Earth Month at 25% off its regular price, and is the educational requirement for NAR's Green Designation.
 
For more information, please visit RISMedia's online learning portal from NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR's CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account. 
" ["preview"]=> string(299) "
The inventory of homes with solar energy is growing. The number of households with solar energy systems in the U.S. is expected to surpass 1 million this year. " ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98733" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98733" ["subject"]=> string(57) "REALTORS Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(4990) "The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is joining its 1.3 million members across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and further advocate for inclusion and diversity in the nation's communities. NAR is also recognizing April as Fair Housing Month, with education and events for members and state and local REALTOR® associations throughout the month. 
 
As a leading advocate for homeownership, NAR is a strong supporter of the Fair Housing Act, legislation passed in 1968 prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin. 
 
As a part of the yearlong 50th anniversary commemoration REALTORS® are looking back and acknowledging NAR's changing role in the fight for fair housing, understanding how the nation is constantly improving its commitment to fair housing and leading efforts to further advance fair housing policy issues.   
 
"As REALTORS® join our industry partners, allies and consumers today and throughout 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we believe that fair housing for all should remain a core focus of the housing industry, and we must ensure policies and programs continue to affirmatively further fair housing," says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. "Not only is fair housing an important ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the Code of Ethics, it is [also] critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients and the community. We look forward to building upon our work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agency and industry partners to voice support for and further advance inclusive sustainable communities free from discrimination." 
 
The nation and NAR did not always support fair housing rights, but greater understanding of fair housing rights changed over time, and NAR eventually became a leader in efforts to expand those rights. In 1972, NAR began providing fair housing training materials and education to its members, and, in 1988, NAR supported the expansion of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on familial status and handicap or disability.  
 
NAR continued to ramp up its support and provide education and materials to assist local and state REALTOR® associations through the 1980s and 1990s to help keep members apprised of their obligations to uphold fairness principles on a daily basis.
 
Earlier this decade, REALTORS® further demonstrated their all-inclusive support of ensuring fair housing opportunities by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their code of ethics. Since 2016, NAR has sought changes in the Fair Housing Act to also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Looking ahead, REALTORS® will continue this effort and advocate for more expansive fair housing policies that support access to housing for all.
 
Today, NAR continues to lead efforts that underscore its commitment to advancing fair housing through its advocacy efforts and extensive educational materials and information on diversity and fair housing laws, as well as programs and resources to help educate REALTORS® across the country about the importance of inclusive housing practices and diverse homeownership.
 
Throughout 2018, NAR is joining its members and industry partners to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with activities, special events and an enhanced focus on addressing community fair housing issues. NAR has developed new resources for associations and members to bring greater awareness to the anniversary, including monthly articles, videos, posters and print and banner advertising. During the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 14-19, in Washington, D.C., NAR will focus on fair housing, with events and speakers that will acknowledge the past fight for fair housing and embrace the future and further advancing fair housing policies.
 
Local and state REALTOR® associations across the country are also commemorating the yearlong 50th anniversary and Fair Housing Month through events focused on increasing access to homeownership, revitalizing their communities and expanding affordable housing opportunities.
 
For more information, please visit www.FairHousing.realtor.  " ["preview"]=> string(250) "
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is joining its 1.3 million members across the country to commemorate the" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98595" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98595" ["subject"]=> string(28) "Consumer Confidence Retracts" ["authors"]=> string(17) "By RISMedia Staff" ["data"]=> string(1234) "Consumer confidence retracted in March, posting a 127.7 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. February's reading was 130.
 
The Expectations reading of the Index, which gauges how consumers feel about their business, employment and income prospects six months out, fell to 106.2; in addition, the Present Situation reading, which gauges how consumers feel about conditions currently, fell to 159.9.
 
"Consumer confidence declined moderately in March after reaching an 18-year high in February," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions declined slightly, with business conditions the primary reason for the moderation. Consumers' short-term expectations also declined, including their outlook for the stock market, but overall expectations remain quite favorable. Despite the modest retreat in confidence, Index levels remain historically high and suggest further strong growth in the months ahead."
 
Source: The Conference Board " ["preview"]=> string(340) "
Consumer confidence retracted in March, posting a 127.7 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. February's reading was 130. The Expectations reading of" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98593" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98593" ["subject"]=> string(57) "ICYMI: Facebook Ads Violate Fair Housing, Alleges Lawsuit" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Liz Dominguez" ["data"]=> string(4055) "Facebook has made headlines this past year for multiple platform changes, such as a modification of its algorithm to prioritize local news and a new system for rental listings within its Marketplace storefront. Now, the company is under fire for possibly violating the Fair Housing Act, which does not allow bias against color, religion, handicap, familial status or national origin in relation to housing. 
 
Four housing groups, including the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), filed a lawsuit last week against the social media giant, alleging Facebook's advertising platform is discriminatory in nature for allowing the exclusion of families with children, women and other protected classes.
 
"Facebook has known for years that its advertising platform violates civil rights laws, but it has refused to change its ways on a voluntary basis," said Diane L. Houk, one of the attorneys representing the groups, in a statement. "Facebook is not above the law and must answer these civil rights claims in court."
 
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook allows advertisers to customize their audience by choosing keywords from a preset list of characteristics, many of which are protected by the Fair Housing Act. For example, advertisers could choose to target only men with rental or home-sale ads, excluding women from the promotional push.
 
To test Facebook's ad system, filers of the lawsuit created a sample real estate firm and submitted housing advertisements for review. Through this process, the housing groups found they were able to exclude specific groups from receiving the ads, such as families with children and moms with children of a certain age. Additionally, an "interests" category included exclusion keywords based on disability and national origin, such as "disabled veterans" and "English as a second language." 
 
Facebook has denied the allegations and says it will fight the lawsuit.
 
"There is absolutely no place for discrimination on Facebook. We believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously…We take prompt enforcement action when we determine that ads violate our policies," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
 
The lawsuit is being introduced at a controversial time for Facebook, which has an audience of over 2 million individuals monthly. Facebook is currently embroiled in the aftermath of its misuse of private user data, which it sold to Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump's 2016 election campaign.
 
"Amid growing public concern in the past weeks that Facebook has mishandled users' data, our investigation shows that Facebook also allows and even encourages its paid advertisers to discriminate using its vast trove of personal data," said Lisa Rice, NFHA's president and CEO, in a statement.
 
"Facebook's use and abuse of user data for discriminatory purposes needs to stop. It is already a challenge for women, families with children, people with disabilities and other under-served groups to find housing. Facebook's platform that excludes these consumers from ever seeing certain ads to rent or buy housing must be changed immediately. Facebook ought to be opening doors to housing opportunities instead of closing them," Rice added.
 
Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.
" ["preview"]=> string(292) "
Facebook has made headlines this past year for multiple platform changes, such as a modification of its algorithm to prioritize local news and a new system" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98734" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26492" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98734" ["subject"]=> string(71) "Landlords and Property Owners: It's Time for Some Spring Cleaning Tasks" ["authors"]=> string(19) "By Brentnie Daggett" ["data"]=> string(4373) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: Spring cleaning has become synonymous with getting your affairs in order. With its roots dating back centuries ago, spring cleaning began as the heavy-duty scrub-down of a home at a certain time of year, likely coinciding with a religious tradition.
 
This act of annual cleaning has continued through modern times for good reason: it's necessary! If you start thinking about the crumbs at the bottom of your kitchen drawers and the mess that builds up in your closet over the course of the year, then you’ll feel the compulsion to break out the cleaning supplies.
 
For tenants, spring cleaning tasks may include things like scrubbing down walls, washing windows and screens, as well as deep-cleaning carpets. For property managers, this is an important time to check out any build-up that has accumulated over the previous year, especially on the property's exterior. Here are five tasks to tackle this spring:
 
Safety: Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. All states have legal requirements when it comes to these kinds of safety devices, so now is a good time make sure everything is up to code and working properly. Another safety device that is important is the fire extinguisher. Make sure that this equipment is accessible and has been serviced if needed.
 
Yard Debris: Spring is a great time to remove excess vegetation from your property's exterior. This will eliminate rotting, rubbing and other deleterious effects to the siding and paint of the home. Once the fire season has begun, you should not use a mow, weed eater or a chainsaw on dry vegetation.
 
Heating and Cooling: Inspect heating and A/C units, and remind tenants to change filters regularly. Some property managers provide filters for tenants, although that isn't always enough incentive for them to actually change the filter, so it's always a good idea to remind them.
 
Indoor Basics: If applicable, check hoses and seals on dishwashers and washing machines, as well as sinks and toilets for leaks and worn-out parts to ensure that nothing needs to be replaced. Also, be sure that electrical outlets are being used properly and aren't overloaded or have faulty wiring.
 
Outdoor Spring Basics: Check that all windows and doors are functioning properly and are lockable. Be sure that decks and outdoor living areas are free of potential hazards, such as rotten boards. Lastly, be sure your roof and gutters are in good condition, and "un-winterize” any outdoor spigots—don't forget to turn the irrigation system back on, if you have one!
 
Spring cleaning on an investment property may look a bit different than spring cleaning in your home, but it's just as, if not more, important. With work and diligence, this seasonal check-up can help you catch an issue before damage occurs to your property, keep tenants happy and even avoid potential lawsuits. It's worth the time to gain knowledge about the condition and maintenance needs of your property.
 
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com
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" ["link"]=> string(0) "" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } Today's Real Estate News - Thursday, April 12, 2018
Today's Top Stories
Agents: Lead With Perception
How to Start Seeing More Solar
REALTORS Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act
Consumer Confidence Retracts
ICYMI: Facebook Ads Violate Fair Housing, Alleges Lawsuit
Landlords and Property Owners: It's Time for Some Spring Cleaning Tasks
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