Friday, October 25, 2013

Public Relations for Your Brokerage (Part 2 of 2)

Hopefully you joined us for our first installment of two Public Relations posts. We taught you what public relations is and why to use it. And now we'll show you HOW to develop a complete public relations campaign from start to finish.

Develop Your Media List 
  • Research all of the newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs in your area. 
  • Then find the name of the beat reporter for real estate in that publication (or the main editor if they don't have a real estate specific reporter).
  • Now it's your turn to become the journalist! Call the publication/news outlet or use Google to find the phone and email address of each contact.
Write Your Press Release
  • Using Associated Press Style, write a press release about your newsworthy event.
  • Be sure to use a lead sentence which provides top-down information (all the important who, what, when, where, why in one sentence).
  • Keep it brief and succinct.
  • Use a bold and captivating headline.
Do Your Research
  • Go to your selected news outlets' websites and determine if they have editorial calendars. If they do, see if they have a real estate issue or small business issue and record all subjects that relate to your news.
  • Find out how the news outlet prefers to be contacted - phone/email/fax.
  • Find similar stories in their publication and reference them in the next step, "Send Your Pitches".
Send Your Pitches
  • Send an email to the contact you found, using their preference of communication and in a few short sentences explain to them why your news would be a good fit for their publication.
  • Reference the section that your story would be a good fit for or list a similar story you found in the last step and mention how your news is similar and therefor appropriate.
  • Attach the press release, provide your contact information and offer to send high resolution photography.
Follow Up Calls
  • The last step is to make follow up calls to your contacts you send pitches to the day after or a few days after.
  • Simply make sure they received your press release and see what you can do to help them with the story.
The last step will be to check in with those publications to see if they run your story. Best of luck in your public relations efforts and we hope to see you in the news soon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Might the United States Federal Shutdown Impact Your Business?

Executives within the United States; we want to hear from you. Since Congress has not agreed upon a Continuing Resolution, several programs, including some that include federal housing and mortgage programs, have been suspended or slowed down due to the delay in government funding. Tell us, how is this change impacting your business?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Public Relations for Your Brokerage or Business (Part 1 of 2)

Today we're starting a miniseries about what public relations is, why to use it for your business and how to make it work for you. Let's not waste anytime and get right to it...

You probably hear the term "public relations" getting thrown around the office, but what is it really? Is it marketing? Is it advertising? The answer is neither! Public relations is...
  • Reputation management
  • Not marketing or advertising
  • Communicating your business's news to the media 
  • Managing media relationships to accurately reflect a positive image of your brand in print (and now online)
  • And the good news? With Realty Executives, your public relations efforts as a Broker/Owner can be absolutely FREE! We offer GrassRoots PR, a wonderful public relations tool which makes developing public relations campaigns as simple and user-friendly as possible
Now you know what public relations is but the next question is why do it?
  • It communicates your expertise to a mass audience
  • You will reap internal benefits as well as external benefits when you share press releases both in your office and with the media
  • You can develop extensive public relations campaigns for very little (to no) money
  • It creates credibility en masse
  • Positions your company as experts in a series of fields
We hope you'll stay tuned for our next post on HOW to conduct your very own public relations campaign!

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Important is Privacy in the Home?

USA Today featured a story this morning about a New York City photographer whose latest work features the objects of his eavesdropping. The artist used a telephoto lense to zoom in on unsuspecting apartment dwellers who live in an upscale Manhattan apartment with a lot of windows.

The subjects are outraged at the lack of privacy, some are even suing (even though none of their faces are shown in the images).

This brought up a question for us from the real estate perspective. How important is privacy to your buyers? Living room layouts, number of bedrooms, square feet and which neighborhood, these are all a given in a real estate agent's conversation with a client, but what about privacy?

This may be a good factor to add to the initial conversation with a buyer. What role does privacy play in your home search? Would you like windows to only face areas not seen by any passerby, is it worth it if the view is spectacular? Be sure to have this discussion to determine the most ideal (and safe) setup for your client.

Click here to read the entire article.

*Photo via

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Housing Increases Equal More Jobs

There's good news out there for some of the Western real estate markets. Three cities that are posting the strongest housing price growth are Phoenix, San Francisco and Las Vegas which have increased 20 percent or more, year-over-year, according to

At the same time, those three markets are also experiencing more job growth than the national average. Now the question remains, are these real estate markets improving BECAUSE of more job growth? Or is the job growth coming as the result of improved housing prices. Either way, this is positive news for the three major cities.

Here's the breakdown of job growth according to
Phoenix - 2.4 percent
Las Vegas - 2 percent
San Francisco - 3.6 percent

Go to to check out the inventory of houses in these markets.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Homes Selling Fast in the Wild Wild West

The west is making incredible progress in the real estate industry. As it turns out, it's the fastest real estate market there is right now.

According to, below are the five fastest selling markets...

Orange County, California
  • Average days on the market: 15
  • Homes that sell in seven or less days: 29 percent
  • Average home price increase: 27 percent to $495,000
San Diego, California
  • Average days on the market: 20
  • Homes that sell in seven or less days: 25 percent
  • Average home price increase: 22 percent to $390,000
Sacramento, California
  • Average days on the market: 12
  • Homes that sell in seven or less days: 30 percent
  • Average home price increase: 31 percent to $210,000
Los Angeles, California
  • Average days on the market: 15
  • Homes that sell in seven or less days: 29 percent
  • Average home price increase: 26 percent to $307,564
Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Average days on the market: 12
  • Homes that sell in seven or less days: 30 percent
  • Average home price increase: 35 percent to $148,500
We can't help but note that all but one of these cities exist in California. And we're also proud to mention that we have a Realty Executives office in each of these major areas. We hope to see continued improvement in California and around the United States.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unique Ways to Market Your Real Estate Business

Are you getting tired of marketing your business with typical door hangers and mail flyers? A hip young real estate agent in San Francisco took to the bar scene to reach out to potential consumers, according to Inman News.

The inspired entrepreneur had beer coasters designed with his information and distributed them to the most popular bars in the area. The establishments were happy to accept the free supplies, and for just the cost of the coasters and printing, the young agent was excited to have the additional exposure.

It makes us think, there are so many untapped places that real estate agents in today's market can reach out to. The real estate agent in the article recommended branded urinal cakes... Now that may be to far but we encourage you, next time you step out of your home, to look at the world from a different perspective. From your travels to the office, to lunch or to the grocery, what interactions with day-to-day life offer you the opportunity for branded exposure in your community?

Accept the challenge, and let us know where you make your mark!

Click here to read the rest of the article.

*Photo via

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wacky Real Estate News

The story we're featuring today is almost too crazy to believe. A real estate company in Manhattan has in place a 15 percent raise policy for employees that get the company logo tattooed somewhere (anywhere) on their bodies! In addition, the company's owner, Anthony Lolli even pays for the $300 tattoo for his agents and staff should they decide to go through with the committment, according to

We're not sure if it's absolutely genius or completely insane. On one hand, employees that are permanently branded with the company logo would probably feel pretty silly if they switched to another company which must improve retention. On the other hand, a 15 percent increase for an agent that isn't top notch, may not be the wisest financial decision.

What do you think - ridiculous or genius?

Click here to read the full story.

*Photo via

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Most Popular Places to Live

Did your hometown make U-Hauls cut for Top Places to Move in 2012? The moving company did a study on the most popular places to live in the United States. Here's how some of the top cities stacked up against the competition...

  1. Houston
  2. Orlando
  3. Chicago
  4. Las Vegas
  5. San Antonio
  6. Austin
  7. Brooklyn
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Kansas City
  10. Sacramento
Texas was the only state to make the list not just once but THREE times. The list was compiled based on one-way truck rentals. We're pleased to see that Realty Executives International has an office in almost every one of these markets. To view all of our offices, go to

*photo via

Friday, April 26, 2013

Closing Gift Ideas for Executives

As an Executive, you always go above and beyond for your clients. What better way to show you care than to go the extra mile with a personalized gift on closing day?

Here are a few ideas for your next closing gift...
  • Homemade taco night in a box (an easy fix for dinner on moving night!)
  • Homemade pasta sauce with a personalized tag
  • Herb garden in a pot
  • Personalized candle holders
  • Sweet little plant with a note
  • Personalized wine bottle cooler
  • Heirloom seeds for the garden
You can find these and so many more ideas on our Pinterest Board dedicated specifically to this topic at

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

International SEO - Why It's Different

If you're looking to reach an international audience for your home sales, then you need to think internationally when performing search engine optimization (SEO) on your website.

Inman News featured a great article about how you can modify your SEO practices so they're tailored towards an international audience. Here are a few tips:
  •  Choose the right search engines
    • China uses Baidu
    • Russia uses Yandex
    • South Korea uses Naver
    • Czech Republic uses Seznam
  • Start with search engine marketing 
  • Reconsider your keywords
  • Have international professionals handle your international SEO
  • Integrate your international marketing into your everyday business
Click here to learn more.

*Photo via

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shake Up and Wake Up

Wow! Did any of you attend Shake Up and Wake Up at movie theaters across the United States yesterday? Talk about inspiring. About 25,000 real estate professionals gathered in front of movie screens as famous football coach Lou Holtz and top real estate coach Brian Buffini provided invaluable insight and wisdom about the real estate industry and life itself.

The event kicked off with Lou Holtz. This man is pure wisdom. He entertained audiences with delightful stories and more importantly engaged us all in how to tune into the most important factors in life; trust, commitment and love. He taught us that if we create dreams for ourselves and then focus on the present to accomplish daily tasks that benefit that ultimate goal, we can accomplish our visions. Holtz shared that if we exit bad situations with grace and dignity, far better opportunities will present themselves on the horizon, much like his career winning move to lead Notre Dame to victory. Let's just say the event could have ended there and all 25,000 of us could have walked away feeling refreshed and invigorated, but it wasn't done yet...

Then, Brian Buffini stepped in and leveraged what his mentor Lou Holtz taught us by catering the message specifically to the real estate industry. He focused on these five key principles of why real estate agents struggle:
  1. Peaks and valleys in income - Buffini taught that the only workaround for this is lead generation year-round, not just after a closing.
  2. Not knowing where the next lead is coming from - The answer to this is developing systems. If you do this you will...
    • S. ave
    • Y. our
    • S. elf
    • T. ime
    • E. nergy
    • M. oney
  3. Not being able to stand out against the competition - Provide value and benefit to your clients by sending out resources (systematically of course) such as how to raise your credit score, how to stage your home and statistics about your current market.
  4. Not having a skillset for the market - Go to educational events, such as Shake Up and Wake Up to keep yourself at the forefront of your industry so you're prepared for everything.
  5. Being disorganized - In order to stay organized, Buffini suggests you:
    • Prioritize
    • Remove and Replace
    • Start Today!
If you attended this incredible event, we'd love to hear what your takeaways were. We hope you're buzzing with energy and ideas just as we are after that one-of-a-kind presentation!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Calling All Real Estate "Tweeters"

Do you fancy yourself a Twitter king or queen in your community? Then, Inman News has a new challenge for you!

Introducing #MadRESkillz from Inman News. Each time you make a quirky, insightful and/or out-of-this world real estate marketing Tweet, tag #MadRESkillz and Inman will determine if your post is worthy of its new weekly Twitter conversation taking place every Thursday.

Inman News will pick their favorite and most unusual top two posts and post them to their Facebook page each Friday. The winner will even get an interview featured on

Calling all tech-savvy and social media crazed real estate agents, this mission is geared for you!

To learn more about how you can participate click here.

*Image via Inman News

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Housing is Back!

Great news for the real estate market! The cards are in your favor if you're selling your home, according to CNN Money.

Six years after the pricing collapse, housing is on its way up. CNN Money has offered some insight and strategies for selling your home in this new market.
  • Lower your sights to make more money.
  • Trading up? Move fast. Downsizing? Go slow.
  • Smooth out your home's rough patches. Renovate before you sell.
  • Stage your home to bolster appearance.
  • Take professional photographs to increase your sale.
  • Guard against low appraisals.
  • Find a real estate agent that can help you market your home to investors.
Click here to read the details about these tips. The takeaway here is that housing is back and it's an exciting time for home sellers, home buyers and real estate agents!

*Photo via CNN Money

Monday, April 8, 2013

More Americans Moving Further Away

Thanks to a recovering economy, USA Today recently reported that more Americans are moving longer distances. Another key factor includes rising home prices which is making Americans rethink their next big move. Here are a few of the main elements impacting this change as provided by USA Today.

Moving is up
An estimated 36.5 million people moved in 2012, that number is up from 35.1 million in 2011. 

What was preventing them?
The average American moves six times but most Americans have been cited as saying that number is not as frequent because of the challenging real estate market the past several years. 37 percent of those putting it off cited lack of economic stability as the reason for not moving, while 31 percent said it was due to the real estate market

The good news
Statistics show that recent movers are traveling out-of-state and that is attributed to job availability in different markets. A sign that jobs are beginning to open up.

Click here to learn more.

*Photo via USA Today

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Millennials Seek Homeownership

Now is the time to start marketing to millennials. According to a survey performed by the PulteGroup, 65 percent of millennial renters (age 18-34) with an income of more than $50,000 expressed that their intent to purchase a home has increased over the past year.

According to the study, the following elements served to be the most important to young potential homeowners:

  • 84 percent said ample storage for daily items
  • 76 percent said space for TV, movie, sports watching
  • 73 percent said the entry to the home
  • 63 percent said outdoor living/deck
  • 36 percent said the ability to conduct business from home
The internet seems to be the most prominent source for where this age group is seeking information as they start to consider purchasing a home.

"Millennials really do their homework and use several resources to make this important decision." said Fred Ehle, vice president for PulteGroup.

Click here to learn more about the study.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Home Staging Tips featured 12 home staging tips to help prepare houses to sell. These basic suggestions can really trick the eye when potential buyers are walking from room-to-room. Read on to see what the pros say about staging homes to perfection!

  1. Create a balanced space
  2. Don't overcrowd rooms
  3. Upgrade with eco-friendly materials
  4. Repurpose your resources
  5. Create serene bedrooms
  6. Make awkward spaces functional
  7. Update with paint
  8. Build a memorable first impression
  9. Invest in contemporary appliances
  10. Revamp the kitchen
  11. Update outdated bathrooms
Also a myth buster for you - floor-to-ceiling mirrors do not make a room look bigger!

Click here to view a slideshow with photos and more information.

*Photo via HGTV

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Home Buyers Want

During the housing boom, the caliber of additional features in homes could often be seen as extravagant. No longer are the days of excessive extras as we acknowledge the days of back to the basics. The National Association of Home Builders did a study on the realities of what home buyers want in this economy. The results were simple. They want features that make day-to-day organization easier and that decrease the cost of their everyday bills. We've developed this graphic which represents the top "most wanted" list of basics for a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders study.

Let's break down the logistics of how some of these features can be cost and time-saving for your clients...
  • Table space for eating eliminates the need to purchase an additional table for the kitchen.
  • Energy star appliances save on electric costs.
  • A laundry room saves on time (and gas money) by eliminating the need to travel to a laundry mat.
  • Ceiling fans can lessen the need for air conditioning.
  • A linen closet in the bathroom allows for optimum organization which results in time saving measures.
  • Now more than ever, people are storing canned goods and products for emergency preparedness. A walk-in pantry allows more space for just that.
  • Energy star rated windows can save on air conditioning and heating, as they lock in the room temperature.
  • Garage storage can also aid in providing room for rainy day storage or coupon freebies for families on a budget.
  • Exterior lighting eliminates the need for purchasing additional lighting for the home.
Keep this list on hand because some of these features may seem basic enough to your buyer that they assume most homes will have these assets. It's important to determine if your buyer wants to cut down on monthly costs and efficiency once they're in their new home. Going over the list with them can help establish their position.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Customer Service and Your Business

USA Today reported on nine retailers with the worst customer service in the United States. Some companies that made the list include Walmart, Sears and Netflix. You can read the full article here.

So what can you do to prevent yourself from making a similar "worst customer service" list in your city? With all the paperwork and day-to-day logistics involved in managing your real estate business, customer service may not always be at the forefront. However, in the business of buying and selling homes, it's all about the people. Here are a few ideas to amp up your people skills and help you to shine against the competition.
  • Position yourself as an expert in your community. If your client is moving to a new area, give them some insight on the best places to shop, dine, workout and have fun. This will not only help your rapport with them, but it will keep you in mind the next time they're looking to purchase as well.
  • The process of buying or selling a home can be a deeply personal experience. Your clients may vary from newlyweds looking to find a starter home to begin their life together or to someone who is moving because of a passing or divorce. This means the search for a new home or selling of an old one can mean so much more than just MLS searches and signed papers. Be mindful of this, celebrate with the young family or be considerate and gentle with the client who is saddened by the move.
  • End the sale with a memento. Maybe it's a nice plant for their home or even just a simple card thanking them for their business. In a world full of electronic everything- emails, text messages, snapchats, instagrams, you name it, it's nice to show you care and give something that you don't have to receive in your inbox.
At the end of the day, real estate is all about relationship building so be sure to make customer service a priority in your business. And let us know if you have a great customer service tip that keeps your clients wanting more.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Inman News Features Realty Executives International Web Launch

We're very pleased to announce that Inman News covered a story about our brand new website and intranet system.

The real estate news publication quoted our Vice President of Marketing, Todd Sumney, when he spoke about the multitude of benefits that our new platforms provide to our agents and consumers.

A clip of the quote read, "It takes the responsibility off an agent," said Todd Sumney, vice president of marketing at Realty Executives International. With contacts automatically uploaded into the firm's CRM system, agents can then decide whether to set them up for listing alerts or other marketing messages, Sumney said."

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

We're excited about the buzz surrounding Realty Executives International and our new amazing technology systems. We hope you'll check out our new website over at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Social Media "Dating Site" (Minus the Dating)

Just when we thought we were maxed out on social media platform options, the team at, brings us a new one.

Inman News joked that it's, "the dating site for real estate" due to it's unusual methods for pairing brokers and clients. Brokur itself refers to their idea as " meets LinkedIn." Either way you look at it, it's just another way for real estate agents to get their name and message out there.

The idea is simple, it's a website that allows buyers or sellers to find their ideal "match" in a broker or agent. Instead of starting with a home search and then contacting a real estate agent attached to a listing they like, they can instead, find the real estate agent first, the property second.

The system operates very similarly to Twitter once you've signed up. You can post messages and photos to stay in front of your audience.

The good news is, whether this platform is something you'd like to tackle or not, it's absolutely free so there's little risk (for now anyways, there's talk of adding cost if you'd like to be featured down the road).

So far according to Inman News, only a few hundred brokers have signed up, so if you're going to hop on this train, you'll be one of the first.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Plan for Your Dream Retirement Home

USA Today ran a story recently about what to consider when planning for your dream home, the place where you will retire and finally (hopefully) settle down.

This is an important decision that requires many factors including proximity to friends and family, nearby social clubs or religious organizations and financial factors as well.

Here are three important takeaway items from to keep in mind when planning to invest in a retirement home for your future:
  1. Consider the layout of the home. Does it have stairs? Are the rooms easily accessible?
  2. Does the surrounding location provide a variety of activities and entertainment appropriate for your ideal lifestyle?
  3. If you're looking to relocate, do it while you're still young so you can enjoy it and make sure it's the place for you to settle down.
As a homeowner planning for your future, make a list of what's important to you in your retirement in order to help you determine what your needs are for the property of your dreams.

Real estate agents, if you're helping one of your clients find their ideal fit, schedule an introductory session where you can help them to outline their needs 

Click here to read the article at

*Photo credit: via Thinkstock

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Latest on Foreclosures

Yahoo! published a story on former SuperSonics center Robert Swift's foreclosed home which he recently moved out of. The state of the home... well let's just say it was a far cry from being open house ready.

The former basketball player left a whirlwind of debris in his mansion including beer cans, guns, knives, dog feces, bullet holes, damaged walls and enough piles of trash to make the home smell to the high heavens, according to The new owners have said that it will take them months to turn the house into their dream home.

You can read more about the decline of Swift's foreclosed home by clicking here. This situation prompted us to inquire about the frequency of foreclosures around the United States (for less notable homeowners).

CoreLogic released their latest foreclosure report which gives us an idea of the future of foreclosures in the U.S. and the stats are leaning towards the positive. Corelogic subtitles their report with this positive messaging, "The Foreclosure Inventory Has Fallen Year Over Year for 15 Consecutive Months."

There were 61,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. at the beginning of this year which is down from 75,000 the beginning of last year. That makes a year-over-year decrease of 17.8 percent.

Let's be clear, the situation isn't perfect, with just over a million homes in some stage of foreclosure this year, according to CoreLogic. But the decline in the backlog of distressed assets has many believing that the future of real estate is on the up-and-up.

In the meantime, we hope that homeowners across the country will allow some "spring cleaning" to take effect before they make the big move!

*Photo credit, courtesy of KOMO

To learn more about the U.S. state of foreclosures click here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The New Realty Executives Website and Cutting-Edge Management System is Live

It's a very exciting time for Realty Executives International! We have officially launched our new Realty Executives International Website at In addition to our innovative new and improved web presence, we’ve also launched an extremely comprehensive intranet for our Broker/Owners and Executives which serves as a dashboard that will better implement business productivity on a daily basis.

The new Realty Executives International Website allows for property search functionality in the United States and Canada and is optimized for our consumers. The new design and features were developed with our ideal client in mind, while still providing our Broker/Owners and Executives with a state-of-the-art website that meets their needs.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also launched our new back-end management system which is unlike any product or tool we’ve ever developed for Realty Executives International. Not only is it a robust intranet system but, it also provides a comprehensive platform which supplies our Realty Executives Broker/Owners and Executives with a dashboard that allows them to interact with the system for a wide-variety of uses on a daily basis. We call this system Executive Access and it provides the following amazing benefits:
  • A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to manage contacts and leads
  • Listing management and access to the MLS
  • An interactive experience as opposed to a static website that provides a lot of information
  • Calendar management and alerts for business
  • Management of business activities
We are so pleased to announce the news of this incredible launch and we're looking forward to seeing how these innovative technological tools impact the day-to-day lives of both our Executives and their clients.

2013 Brings Enlightenment About Our Future

CoreLogic released their monthly installment of MarketPulse which provides calculated insight into the state of our ever-evolving real estate market. While CoreLogic highlighted that the impending theme for last year’s industry was definitely “uncertainty”, they noted that the beginning of 2013 brings with it a slight amount of clarification, which in turn is slated to produce more positive fiscal results.

CoreLogic stated that, however it is a bit early to announce, the data implies that the fiscal cliff deal done on January 1 has created little change in our market across the United States. The good news however, is that recent research shows that the wealth effect of rising home values will help to increase sales.

According to MarketPulse (which is reporting on statistics from December 2012), home prices nationwide increased by 8.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. This is the biggest increase since May 2006 and also the 10th consecutive year-over-year home price increase. All but FOUR states are experiencing price gains compared to last year.

After more than several years of so much uncertainty, we’re starting to see the waters part and data is leaning towards the positive. CoreLogic said this about the market expectations for 2013, “While it is important to recognize the improvements to the mortgage market during 2012, we should continue to be vigilant in 2013. This year we will begin to transition to a more normal balance in the mortgage market. It’s a year that will also create more regulatory certainty.”

So what does this mean for your business? It means continue to build your sales pipelines, leverage the incredible technology out there for increased productivity and keep an eye out for more permanent infrastructure which will equal positive results for our businesses.

To read the full report, go to and sign in to download.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Welcome to the Realty Executives Official Blog

Since we've developed (and just launched) a brand new website for our consumers and an incredible intranet system for our Executives, we felt it was only right to create a fresh new blog to coincide with our amazing new web presence! Check in here to learn the latest in real estate news, trends and of course all things Realty Executives.