Real Estate


The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Accounting

Complex transactions and state regulations can make real estate accounting seem overwhelming. If not done properly, accounting can lead to significant complications that can cost you time and money. However, by establishing a robust accounting system and process, understanding the regulations, and keeping your books up-to-date you can become a master of RE Accounting.

Top Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018

With the recent boom in real estate tech, there are now innumerable real estate platforms and apps available. But, you need to be sure the tech you're investing in actually helps your operation and doesn't end up complicating things instead. Here are the real estate apps used by top agents in 2018.

Real Estate Accounting: 3 Mistakes That Have Brought Agents Down

The complex regulations and transactions of the real estate industry can make real estate accounting quite complicated. However, by gaining an understanding of the common mistakes to avoid, you can alter your accounting practices to eliminate potential roadblocks and keep your business growing smoothly. In this article we outline 3 common mistakes to be aware of.

What Is the Difference Between CRM and ERP?

Customers are the backbone of your business, and for that reason you've got to be able to reach them and nurture your relationship with them to keep your business growing. Being able to manage these relationships requires organized, well-established business processes. Two of these processes are CRM and ERP, which we breakdown here.

How to Become a Part-Time Real Estate Agent

If you have a passion for real estate, becoming a part-time real estate agent is not only a great way to live your dream, it is also a great way supplement your current income! Furthermore, it is a common practice for people who are currently making the switch to real ...

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

So you want to become a real estate agent? That’s great! If you’re a people person who loves looking at houses, becoming a real estate agent could be a very rewarding career for you. It has the benefits of being your own boss, working flexible hours, and making a solid ...

How to Become a Real Estate Broker

Have you been thinking of stepping into a real estate career? If you want to break into the industry and grow your career from Wannabe to Sales Agent to Broker - don’t fret, this article has got you covered.

Real Estate Agent Fees: A Quick Guide

The fees generated by a real estate transaction are paid by the seller and typically split in several directions, depending on which professionals were involved in the sale. Here's a quick overview of how real estate fees work, who pays them and who receives them.

[RECAP] #REAL2018 Virtual Conference

On Tuesday, December 12th, we introduced #REAL2018: a full free virtual conference with 11 sessions, 22 speakers, and hours worth of free real estate marketing education. Please enjoy content from a “who’s who” of real estate innovators, leaders, experts, coaches, technologists, and trainers.

Effective Delegation

Often our to-do lists become a big messy pile because we struggle with effectively delegating. The truth is that unless we can master delegation, the growth of our business will stall. Many of us have had negative experiences with delegation due to the fact that we weren't actually delegating, we were dumping. Valerie Garcia outlines her top strategies for ensuring effective delegation.

5 Ways To Increase Agent Engagement With Your Real Estate CRM

If you implement a suitable CRM and your workforce uses it, you could be looking at an ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent on the project.

The 12 Top Real Estate Podcasts

If we've learned anything, it's that podcasts are here...and they're here to stay. They've simultaneously brought back the art of the classic radio show in episodic form, ala Serial, as well as given voice to a lot of experts in fields that may not have necessarily had an outlet or voice before podcasts entered the scene. Now, what good is this for you, a real estate agent? The rise of podcasts' popularity has been large in part due to the fact that the information is easily digestible while on-the-go and whether you're listening on your daily commute to and from work or listening to your favorite podcast while cooking dinner, podcast have become the perfect multi-tasking information source. Perfect, if you ask us, for real estate agents who live largely on their mobile devices or in their car, and who might just need a diversion or an information boost from fellow agents and real estate professionals. That's why we pulled together the top real estate podcasts

Top real estate podcasts to start listening to today:


7 SEO Tips to Drive Traffic and Leads to your Real Estate Website

It's one of the most stressful purchases anyone can ever make. Home ownership can be a confusing, overwhelming and exacerbating experience for so many. Having a real estate agent next to them can help ease some of these pressures throughout the entire process. At some point in the hunt for a home, almost every single buyer will turn to the internet for some guidance. In fact, the very first step nearly half of home buyers take when starting their search for a new home is searching online - that's before they even contact a real estate agent for help. They want to see what's available and possibly even get an idea of what their current home may be worth. Don't miss the opportunity to be their guide on the pathway towards their next home. Use these 7 SEO boosting tips to help drive more traffic and leads to your real estate website, so you can build your business and help ease the stresses of this gigantic purchase.

7 SEO Tips to implement today:


5 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand Through Networking

In an industry driven by relationships, having a strong personal brand is at the forefront of any agent's marketing, especially as social media continues to give the world a closer look at our lives. Through developing and growing a strong personal brand, agents can grow their network, increase their conversion rate, and gain more referrals. We outline 5 tips to help get agents started.

Real Estate Blog Do's and Don'ts

Writing a blog that people will want to read takes more than just typing up a few paragraphs and posting them online. As a real estate agent, you want to pull in an audience and make them see you as a valuable resource. Your blog is an important component of your online marketing, so you want to make sure it is high quality. Remember - no one creates a great blog overnight. It will take some trial and error. But the following information can help you understand what you should be doing with your blog, and what you shouldn't be doing. Keep in mind the landscape has changed. With more and more people writing content daily, things have gotten far more competitive. In order to be really successful, you need to create exceptional content and also be somewhat versed in content marketing/SEO. You can't just think you'll hit publish and expect to have business come flooding in. If only things were that easy! They say that content is king but I would tell you understanding SEO is queen. Without having both you are bound to get lost in a sea of content not getting noticed. Frankly, it can take a while until you hit your peak. There are no quick avenues with real estate blogging. My real estate blog, Maximum Real Estate Exposure, has taken years to get to be so recognized both in search engines and socially.

Do's and Don'ts for your Real Estate Blog:


Decoding 'The Conversion Code' for Real Estate Agents

The sales funnel, the sales pipeline, whatever else the kids may be calling it these days, we all recognize the importance of having a strong process for converting leads into clients. But have you mastered it that process? Turns out there's a bit more to it than placing an ad and letting your phone ring off the hook with all those prospective leads. That's why we're breaking down The Conversion Code for real estate professionals looking to perfect their sales process and improve the experience of each and every lead that comes into their system. From their first glimpse at your website, to their final decision as they choose YOU as their real estate agent, we'll walk you through using the Conversion Code for yourself.

The Real Estate Recruiting Questions Checklist

Interviews are intimidating no matter how many you've gone through or how confident you are, but they all have the same end goal. The goal of interviews with prospective agents, specifically, is to understand their qualifications, personality, and general way of doing things in relation to your firm. In order to accomplish this, you often need to ask a comprehensive list of questions that will cover the basics - and then some! There is such a wide range of things to ask that we encourage brokers to be creative and ask unique questions that will get agents talking about who they are and what they're passionate about. While there's nothing wrong with the routine questions, (for example, "Why did you become a real estate agent?") these sometimes generate rehearsed responses, which are of little value. Rehearsed responses make it challenging to determine if an agent's a good fit! Previously, we created the The Brokerage Recruiting Playbook, in which we spoke with over 150 brokerages to learn their most effective recruiting practices. Now we're expanding upon the chapter called "How to sign the agents you want" with The Real Estate Recruiting Questions Checklist; a list of questions and tips on what to ask prospective agents. The checklist covers categories such as agents' relationships with their clients, time management, lead generation, and management of difficult scenarios - all crucial factors in determining if an agent's a worthwhile addition to your brokerage. Ready to start conducting the most productive recruiting interviews? Read on to get the best questions and tips!

Washington DC's Top Real Estate Agents Using Contactually

Washingtonian Magazine released the District of Columbian, Maryland, and Virginia [DMV] region's Top Agents for 2017! We would like to personally congratulate some of these awesome agents this year who use Contactually!

Real Estate Statistics to Help You Determine Where You Stand

Question: What percent of real estate agents have a Facebook for professional use? Answer: 80%. What's the big deal that 80% of agents have Facebook for professional use? It seems like a relatively trivial number to pay attention to, but we can guarantee that it isn't. Stats like this are important to note because they help agents understand what their colleagues are doing to stay successful and top of mind. We've compiled a comprehensive list of real estate statistics and facts that can serve as a benchmark to help you determine where you stand and the progress that you've made compared to other real estate agents. Whether you're new or have been in the business for a while, fast-changing technology, emerging social media platforms, and new real estate tools make it nearly impossible to keep up. This post highlights popular technology, strategies, software, and more that agents are taking advantage of to stay ahead.

Read on for more real estate statistics and facts to help determine where you stand!


The Best Real Estate Agent Tools

Being a real estate agent is challenging, and it's especially hard when you aren't aware of the tools that can help you. Trust us - there's a ton out there that can help if you know where to look. As time goes on, more apps are created, websites are updated, and other tools are developed, so it's important to keep up with the latest and greatest. We've compiled a list of the best real estate tools from mobile apps to CRM services to help you do your job even better. Read ahead to start adding to your real estate tech toolbox and become the best equipped agent you can be.

Arm yourself with the best real estate agent tools:


3 Must-Have Features for a Real Estate Agent CRM

Real estate agents who use a CRM are 26.2% more productive than agents who don't use one. You'll need a CRM with features designed with real estate agents in mind, and that your employees will actually use.

70 Top Real Estate Agents Using Contactually

These successful agents use our real estate CRM to grow their businesses.

Contactually evaluated the most recent rankings of 2016 ("The Thousand")* and highlighted over 60 top-ranked real estate agents using Contactually. According to REAL Trends, those on the list are "recognized as the top one half of one percent of more than 1.1 million licensed Realtors(r) nationwide." The agents below believe in the importance of building and maintaining strong and lasting relationships with their clients, and they are using technologies like ours to help them grow their businesses. *In partnership with The Wall Street Journal, real estate industry resource REAL Trends has released rankings of top individuals and teams every year in a list called The Thousand. For the past 11 years, firms submit applications to represent the most qualified candidates, and REAL Trends ranks sales professionals in categories of average price, sales volume and transaction sides.

70 Top Real Estate Agents Using Contactually:


Contactually's Real Estate Dictionary

Blockbusting? Lien? It sounds like I'm speaking another language, doesn't it? Well, I sort of am. I'm speaking real estate. Confusing right? Hopefully not anymore. We recognize that real estate lingo isn't easy to figure out, especially if you're new to the job. So, whether you're looking to become a ...

The Top 19 Real Estate Listing and Agency Sites

Finding the right website for your real estate needs can be overwhelming. Whether you're looking for your next home or selling a property, there are dozens of real estate websites that can get the job done. Instead of having to filter through the results, we break it down for you -- we've compiled a list of the most popular real estate sites based on the total number of page listings on Google, with every website having more than 1 million indexed pages. We split the list in two categories: search engines and agency-specific sites. Real estate search engines display properties put up for sale and rental by owners and brokers, often also including various tools and resources to help potential buyers make informed decisions. Agency-specific websites host a database of real estate listings and connect users with the company's own realtors or partner agents.

Most Popular Real Estate Listing Sites:


When Your Real Estate Leads Become a Network of People

Full disclaimer - leads are great for business. A healthy funnel of leads typically means that your business is gaining some recognition, and the public is generally interested in your services, and the solutions you're offering. Converting leads to closed transactions is a healthy sign of business growth as well. Yes - leads are good, and everyone in real estate would love to get more. Here's the thing - when our business is about catering to an experience - in this case, it is home ownership - we can't speak about lead generation and conversion in the same manner as other industries. Real Estate is about caring for arguably one of the most emotional transactions a person will ever make. If we were to trade places with our clients, we would want to have an agent on our side looking out for our interest - both from a financial and a personal perspective. The moment we sense that our agent only cares for his commission, and sees us as the conduit to that commission, we will lose faith in the transaction, in the agent, or worse in the industry all together. No one wants to be treated like they don't matter...or worse, like something to be used and disposed of afterwards.

Start treating your real estate leads like the people they are...


How To Make A Social Relationship A Real Relationship, with Amy Chorew

Social media is supposed to facilitate truly social interactions between real people - in other words, it's supposed to build real relationships. Amy Chorew, my guest on this episode, says that if your use of social media is not facilitating a real social relationship with people, then you don't understand the purpose of social media. Amy is a former real estate agent now working with Better Home and Gardens Real Estate. Her role there is specifically aimed at helping real estate agents better use social media to foster social relationships, with the hope that those relationships lead to sales. You'll enjoy hearing Amy's enthusiasm and perspective, so be sure you listen to this episode. [bctt tweet="How To Make A Social #Relationship A Real Relationship, w @AmyChorew" username=""]

The Real Estate Agent's Guide to Dating Your Clients

Hey girl. That's a niiiiiiice house. Who's your Realtor? Hang on. No, this isn't an how-to on dating your client crush, so real estate courtiers: beware! Take your romantic interests elsewhere! But wait! Although you are not romantically dating your clients, the same investment of effort should be put into this professional, fiduciary relationship. Home-buying and selling tends to be a personal transaction - someone is choosing where they want to return to at the end of a long day, pour themselves a glass of whiskey (or wine!), relax, and unwind. Agents should constantly remind themselves of this as they engage in this business partnership.

How to treat your real estate client like the special someone they are...


The 3 Deadly Mistakes that Real Estate Agents Make

Are you making one of these 3 deadly mistakes that cost you time, money, and clients? There's a good chance you are, although don't worry because making one (or more) of these mistakes may become the best thing you ever do (so long as you approach them properly). You see, you become a success story, not in spite of your mistakes, but because of them. Mistakes teach you, help you grow, and ensure you stand out in a crowded marketplace. But they also have the power to cripple you (especially the three dangerous mistakes I'm about to share). So, what's the solution? That's what I'm going to share with you, but first let me say:

Your Mistakes Help You Find Your "Right" Client...


Generating More Email Leads for Your Real Estate Business

Email leads are arguably the most valuable tool you can use to foster client relationships. Obviously, an initial signup indicates that the lead is potentially interested in your services. In addition, the email address provided can also be used to foster long-term relationships through consistent marketing. With that in mind, it's extremely important for all entrepreneurs to continue growing and fostering their subscriber lists. We've outlined a few of the most effective ways to generate more email leads below. Check them out to learn how to start growing your list today.

5 Tips to more real estate leads:


Introducing: The Contactually Referral Accelerator for RE/MAX

Think about how many marketing emails sitting in your inbox that you ignore or delete each day. Too many, right? So doesn't it feel backward that many real estate agents and CRMs continue to rely on drip campaigns? Engaging leads and your sphere takes personalized messages, not just pretty pictures and flashy subject lines. That's why Contactually's excited to announce the release of our Referral Accelerator plan for RE/MAX.

Learn more about the exclusive Referral Accelerator...


Introducing: The Contactually Sphere Accelerator for KW

Think about how many marketing emails you ignore each day. Tons, right? So doesn't it seem backward that many real estate agents and CRMs continue to rely on drip campaigns? Engaging leads and your sphere takes personalized messages, not just pretty pictures. That's why Contactually's excited to announce the release of our Sphere Accelerator plan for Keller Williams.

Read on to learn more about this exclusive plan for KW....


10 Technologies and Tools for Real Estate Blogs

Advances in technology has been revolutionary for real estate agents! By arming themselves with the right tech, agents have the ability to optimize and significantly grow their marketing operations. We present the Top 10 tech tools to growing a real estate blog.

[User Interview] Creating Long-Term Connections with Real Estate Clients

In our latest customer spotlight, we chatted with Lee Goldstein, a local DC real estate agent, and avid Contactually user. Lee is currently a managing partner and associate broker at RLAH Real Estate. Lee has over 18 years of experience in the real estate industry and has been ranked consistently in the top 5% of real estate agents nationally. Lee builds his real estate business around being a local, neighborhood based, and customer service oriented agent. Market expertise, the highest level of integrity, and unparalleled customer relationships have led him to become one of the most respected agents in the Washington, D.C. region. Prior to becoming a Partner at Real Living At Home, Lee founded and managed his own successful brokerage firm, Northgate Realty. Lee is also extremely active in the real estate community. He earned the GRI (Graduate of the Realtor Institute) designation in 2004, an accolade reserved for those agents most dedicated to the real estate industry. He has also served on numerous committees at the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors, including his appointment as Chairman of the Professional Standards Committee in 2016.

Read on for our latest Contactually user interview:


Real Estate Statistics for 2017

Here we are yet again, at the end of the year and very ready for the new one! In following our annual tradition, we've put together the list of the some of the most important statistics to keep in mind for the Real Estate industry and things we think that real estate professionals should be aware of as they move into a brand new year. After what felt like a very turbulent 2016, we're facing a new year with a new President here in the US and plenty of questions as to how the election may or may not affect the housing industry. But, we'll let the numbers speak for themselves! Take the time to look over the stats and give them some thought. How can you use them to your advantage this year and how can you implement their implications into your strategy for the new year. As our CEO, Zvi, recently advised in his latest EPIC webinar, this year you ought to be focusing on setting better goals and strategies, rather than lofty resolutions that often get forgotten by March. How will you make the numbers work for you, this year?

And the winning numbers are....


The Guide to Real Estate Holiday Cards

Caroling, shimmering lights, and sweater weather, the holiday season has officially arrived. This time of year is a time to give thanks to all the people that make our lives bright. With the first holiday card sent in the winter of 1843 by the famous educator and art donator Henry Cole, holiday cards have become an American tradition, and one that also causes lot of stress. Holiday cards are a great way to show your appreciation to the folks in your network, however, the more customers a business has, the harder it is to be personal and heartfelt in each individual card. Doesn't it always seem that each year we seem to get more cringe-worthy cards than the last? These cards end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons, and that's something important you'll want to avoid entirely when you're sending out your holiday cards...especially in a professional network.

5 Tips to Sending the Best Real Estate Holiday Cards:

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Selling The Dream: Helping People Get Where They Want To Go, with Melissa Kwan

melissa-kwan-podcast-splash-3 Real estate is about selling the dream of home ownership. At least that's how Melissa Kwan sees it. And she's all about helping people accomplish their dreams - so when her background in real estate combined with her entrepreneurial bent, she was off in a flash to create something to help agents and customers connect and make that dream happen. The outcome is Spacio, Melissa's startup company that aims to make the way real estate open houses are done a better experience for prospective buyers and a better sales opportunity for agents. She believes that if she can help the people on both sides of that equation, everyone wins. You'll enjoy hearing Melissa's energy and passion expressed, on this episode. [bctt tweet="#SellingTheDream Through #HelpingPeople Get Where They Want To Go, with Melissa Kwan" username="GoSpacioPro"]

9 Time-Saving Tools for Real Estate Agents

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the PieSync blog, you can find it here.

We all know there are loads of apps out there claiming to help you get the most out of your time. But who has the time to test out all of those time-saving tools to see if they live up to their claims about saving you time? If you're a Real Estate Agent, you're pressed for time more than anyone. When deals can be made or broken in mere minutes, you don't have time to be dilly-dallying with things or tools that may waste your time. Full Disclosure: I'm not a Real Estate Agent. So I thought I'd ask a whole bunch of working Real Estate Agents what time-saving tools they recommend, and this list is the result.

The Real Estate Accelerator: A Contactually Exclusive

Here at Contactually, our mission is to help grow the businesses of our customers. Whether we're on the sales team, marketing team, product and engineering team, the customer success team or anything in between, we come to work every day with one goal: Figure out what our customers need to be successful, and then deliver it directly to them. In the last few months, we've talked to hundreds of real estate professionals in an effort to understand exactly what they need. We've had conversations with brand new agents, agents with thirty years of experience under their belts, buyer's agents, seller's agents, team leads, brokers, assistants...we've covered them all! It quickly became clear to us that real estate agents needed more than what we were already providing in our professional plan at Contactually, so we turned around and spent months coming up with a solution.

We are so excited to announce our newest plan: The Real Estate Accelerator.


Inspirational Women in Real Estate Tech

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the PieSync blog and can be found here.

Women are dominating Real Estate Technology like never before. Check out our picks of the most inspirational women in RETech:

Barbara Corcoran

Founder of The Corcoran Group in NYC, she's the pioneer of internet marketing for the real estate industry. Corcoran is truly inspirational - she's overcome "failure" to become one of the most successful people in the real estate industry. She's the pioneer of internet marketing for the real estate industry. Twitter: @BarbaraCorcoran Facebook: Barbara Corcoran

Dianna Kokoszka

dianna-kokoszka Dianna Kokoszka draws on her extensive experience in real estate in order to build a 100-strong MAPS coach army, who deliver coaching programs tailor-made to help their clients build on the Keller Williams business models. In 2009, Dianna created the BOLD (Business Objective: Life by Design) program, which transformed the career trajectories for thousands of real estate professionals. Twitter: @dianna_kokoszka Facebook: Dianna Kokoszka

Read on for 6 more inspirational women!

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Building a Real Estate Business Through Love and Service, with Alyssa Hellman

Alyssa HellmanAlyssa Hellman is building a successful real estate business in ways that are contrary to the tried and true tactics of most real estate professionals. She says she's not in sales, she's in the service business. She majors on caring for people before closing transactions. And she's truly helpful rather than sales-y. On this episode, I'm chatting with Alyssa about the things that are working for her as she builds a successful real estate and training business in Raleigh, NC. You'll love her contagious attitude of caring and by the end of the conversation, I know you'll really believe what she's saying: Relationships matter more. NOTE: Since we recorded, Alyssa has joined the team at Bamboo Realty. [bctt tweet="Building a #RealEstate Business Through #Love and #Service, with Alyssa Hellman " username="AVHellman"]

5 Professionals for the Best Real Estate Partner Referrals

If you don't have specific referral partnerships with other professionals in your community, then you're missing out on some piping hot leads. As a realtor you're expected to be the person that is well connected and can make introductions for just about anything someone new to the neighborhood might need or is looking for. Getting strategic and thinking about all the needs your clients might have - ahead of time - and knowing who the right person to introduce them to, will be valuable to your clients and those professionals you end up recommending screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-4-17-46-pm If you set up partnerships, those introductions will turn into leads as well. If you need more proof before moving forward check out this study from Community 2 Business. 80% of people look for others referrals before making a purchasing decision. That's good news for you and your partners. You can both grow your businesses for each other. Here is my list of professions to have referral partners in for real estate.

5 Picks of Professionals to make a Referral Partner


10 Real Estate Influencers to Have on Your Radar

How do you keep up with the latest happenings in the real estate industry? In an ever-changing landscape, keeping up with the most up-to-date trends can make all the difference in closing more home sales and gaining more clients. Real estate has so many players and firms that you may find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of options on who to follow professionally and socially. That's why we put together a list of some of the top real estate influencers out there in the USA, based on their careers, accomplishments, and social presence. This is by no means the be-all and end-all of lists, and we know there are plenty of real estate pros and influencers out there. But, if you're new in the industry (or a seasoned pro) and you're looking for some of the experts and influencers out there to keep an eye on for advice and the like, this list is a great jumping off point.

Real Estate Influencers to keep your eye on:


Real Estate Marketing in The Digital Age: Interview with Josh Cobb

Juggling a real estate tech company and a successful real estate podcast is no mean feat, but Josh Cobb manages to do both...all while recognizing the importance of maintaining his wide network of business and personal relationships. Cobb founded Stepps, a real estate digital marketing firm, in October of 2014 in Australia. A former real estate agent himself, Cobb recognized the need for real estate agents to get help with some of the more technical aspects of their marketing strategies. Beyond helping agents get their websites set up, Josh and his team at Stepps offer everything from social media training to marketing analytics, and even helping establish the nitty gritty marketing strategies. Josh shared some of his wisdom with us in this exclusive interview, so go ahead and check it might just be surprised at what this digital marketer says is the most important thing to focus on for your networking!

Contactually Influencer Interview:


The 6 Best Chrome Extensions for Real Estate Pros

We all love a good time saver, right? And Chrome extensions are often the be-all end-all when it comes to finding a quick hack during your daily internet browsing or time spent online for work. For those who may not quite be in the know, don't worry, it's nothing you can't remedy in a quick three minutes! Are you using Chrome as your browser? If so, then great, you're on the right track. If not, go ahead and download it. It's Google's excellent Internet browser and probably one of your better options out there. As for the Chrome extensions, think of them as a free little widget that sits at the top of your browser and completely enhances your Internet browsing activities. Currently, my favorite extension is Honey, which finds discount codes for you and automatically tries them out when you go to check out from your online shopping spree. I've saved quite a bit of money through it...and that's just one of the many, many extensions out there. Now, as a real estate agent, your business may not quite benefit from the usage of Honey, but we're sure that there are a few extensions that could in fact help your productivity and more throughout your day. Before you head to the Chrome Web Store and go wild with downloading every great extension, take a look through our list and use it to create your personalized, curated web-browsing experience!

Check out the 6 best chrome extensions for real estate professionals:


[EBOOK] The Brokerage Recruiting Playbook

Over the course of several months, Contactually interviewed over 150 top-tier brokerages across the United States. The biggest takeaway from these interviews? Recruiting top agents and then retaining them in the brokerage is one of the top evergreen priorities at nearly every brokerage we spoke with. As we found, there's no easy or one-stop solution to solving this problem, rather it's all about creating a more informed strategy based on yours and your brokerage's needs. Exactly figuring out that strategy for recruiting can be the hardest part, and what may in fact be setting you back the most when it comes to actually finding and retaining the best agents. As we interviewed all of those brokers, a few themes began to emerge and our Recruiting Playbook was born. graphs-01Our goal here wasn't to provide that one-stop simple solution for each and every brokerage looking to recruit and retain better agents, instead we wanted to provide the strategies that allow you and your brokerage to discover the best way for achieving that ultimate goal of retaining the best agents for as long as possible. With an easy to follow progression, from identifying the strategy that's best for you based on your priorities, to a worksheet you can fill out yourself to understand the metrics you need to measure your recruiting goals by, the playbook is sure to start you in the right direction of achieving that 2016 goal at the top of all brokers' minds.

How to Recruit Real Estate Agents:


A Real Estate Professional's Guide to E-Signatures

Property sales might be the end goal of real estate, but it takes a lot of paperwork to get there - starting with the bids and contracts facilitated by real estate professionals. Today, most of that paperwork is started in electronic form. Wouldn't life be simpler and transactions happen quicker if those documents could just stay electronic throughout the signing process? That's why e-signatures are becoming increasingly popular in the real estate industry: They allow buyers, sellers and all other parties involved to sign a document digitally and securely, saving time, money and resources.

Avoid the real estate paperwork with e-signatures...


Going Beyond Real Estate Listings with Pinterest

Pinterest can be a great tool for real estate agents, but like with most social media marketing, there is a learning curve. Many Realtors make the mistake of thinking they can create an account, pin their listings and rake in the business. But making Pinterest work for you and your real estate business requires far more than pinning house listings - in fact, the best results from Pinterest come when listings are your last priority. Don't worry, getting business is obviously a major concern. But the hard sell will get you nowhere on Pinterest. Social media is about recognition, about building your brand and relationships with others. Far too many real estate agents see social media as a place to dump their listings and nothing more. The best social media marketers found out long ago, you don't sell on social media. You build relationships with people. You show off your expertise in your field. This is what builds your business NOT dumping your listings!

6 Tips for Using Pinterest for Real Estate:


Top 10 Real Estate Influencers to Follow on Instagram Now

For those real estate agents looking to expand their following on Instagram, your best first step may be to go check out the pros and see what they post and how they run their account. There are 300 million daily active Instagram users and if you search #RealEstate on Instagram, you'll find over 4 million posts tagged with it, meaning there are plenty of folks out there utilizing Instagram for their real estate needs. It's a great outlet to share both your business and your life with your network of real estate agents, as well as with your clients and potential clients. So what's the next step? If you're not already on Instagram, then check out our quick start guide here to getting signed in and setting up your profile. Once you've got that all done, you've got to build up both your followers and your following. Start by amping up who you're following and the rest will come from there. Give our list a try and watch as your Instagram feed is immediately enhanced...

Follow these influencers on Instagram for real estate:


[INFOGRAPHIC] 4 Steps to Using Snapchat For Your Real Estate Business

As a real estate agent, Millennials may not be quite on your radar when it comes to selling a home. But they're emerging from their parents' homes and looking to buy their own. If you're a social media guru already and you're looking to target those elusive Millennials, we've found your new medium; Snapchat. On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States. Imagine advertising an open house event you're hosting directly to your target audience's phone as they snap pictures of their brunch in the neighborhood of the home you're showing. Now you can try it out with Snapchat's On-Demand filters. Snapchat is a photo messaging app that's known for the 'disappearing' qualities of the pictures you send to your friends. Meaning, receivers of the photos or videos can only see them for up to 10 seconds before they're gone. Growing tremendously, the messaging app has an estimated 150 million users, surpassing Twitter by 10 million.

Start snapping for sales today...


5 Tips to Earning More Real Estate Agent Reviews

Most consumers read reviews online. The internet is a crowded place, and clients want to be sure they know as much as they can about you before setting out to make one of the largest purchases of their lives. That said, in actuality reviews are an aspect of marketing that agents often overlook. According to BrightLocal's 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, 88 percent of customers review online ratings to determine the quality of local businesses. What's more is that, interestingly, 88 percent of consumers say they trust those reviews as much as personal recommendations!  While you might not have poor reviews, having no reviews can almost be as off-putting to potential clients. To help establish and strengthen your online reputation, we've outlined five steps to help you bulk up your recognition.

Contactually Customer Interview with Kaytlin Hughes

Real Estate Agent Kaytlin Hughes has found one of her secrets to success has been keeping in consistent touch with her clients and prospective clients.

Contactually for Real Estate Agents

Part of what makes Contactually so unique is that anyone in the professional service industry can see results from it. Nurturing your leads, managing existing relationships, and generating more referrals are shared commonalities for all our customers. Our user base consists of pastors, luxury realtors, cosmetic salespeople, and venture capital firms. However, we know that you have a unique need for your specific goals, so the way that a real estate agent gets repeat business includes different language and follow-up cadences than a small business owner.

Your relationships are not "one size fits all," so why should your Contactually account be?

Now, for the first time ever, you can get a Contactually account that's specific to you. That means we give you the answer to "What is the best way to use Contactually for my needs?" before you have to ask. We are giving them to you, directly in your account! We have curated the best contact segments, email templates, drip campaigns, and pipelines relevant to you (real estate agents) and your business, which means almost no setup time -- just connect your email, bucket your most important contacts, and go! We're going to be introducing these customized accounts over a few months, and we're starting this month with Real Estate. Read on to get a preview of what content can be automatically put into your account:

Find out what we'll automatically put into your Contactually Real Estate Account...


Converting Hot Leads: An Email Campaign for Real Estate Agents

You've got several clients on the verge of making a big purchase, their new home, but you're worried they need that extra push or help along the way. Most real estate agents or those in sales will know the value of a good drip campaign or nurturing their clients through the sales process. Your end game is for your clients to convert and buy that house or to use your services to sell their home, but you also want to provide value throughout that entire process. This allows you to build up some much needed trust between you and your clients and it certainly makes you memorable, the best way to gain those crucial referrals down the road. Some of the most important things consumers and clients are looking for when it comes to trust are expertise, awareness, and relevance. All three of these are items you can provide your clients by getting your hot leads on a nurture campaign that will convert them to loyal clients.

Start sending this drip campaign for Realtors and agents:


Real Estate Smarts: 51 Resources to Pass Along to Clients

You have the opportunity to educate your potential clients so that they can make an informed decision in the process of warming them up, and yes that even includes educating them to understand whether you're the right solution for their need. In the case of real estate, there's a good chance that you, as an agent, have missed out on key opportunities to educate your clients around what they needed to do or prepare in order to buy their first home or were unsure of what the home-buying process looks like. You have the best opportunity to add value into their experience with you and this is one of the easiest ways. We know you're an expert in this field, but having a list of resources to add as supplements to your knowledge to pass along to your clients will go a long way.

Library of Real Estate Agent Resources:


Why You Need to Keep Networking During Busy Season

Busy Season for real estate is between the the months of March to July. In these months, home searching and buying is at it's peak. Trulia published a report studying home online searches that mirrored just that showing that in many states people are searching to buy new or more properties during this time. Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 10.27.41 AM As a real estate agent, you probably have your hands full. Your calendar is booked, you have ongoing emails going out to your buyers and sellers, and you're going from open house to open house. There isn't a lot of time. for networking or building new relationships. But, we're here to tell you to get out of that mindset. Did you know that people who are looking to buy a house are beginning their search 6 to 12 months before? Imagine if your potential leads were searching for a home during the previous busy season. Did you reach out? Or were you too busy? There are many variables to this; however, the average real estate agent sells about 3 houses a year. You're not average, right? (Or at least you don't want to be) If most real estate agents are focused on things outside of relationship building and networking, this is your chance to stand out and to stack your odds that you come out on top.

Keep networking during real estate busy season...


5 of the Best Networking Tips from Top Real Estate Agents

Although you may be inclined to view other real estate agents as the competition, sometimes it's to your benefit to form positive relationships with your peers and the network of real estate agents you're a part of. More often than not, when you connect with other agents, you exchange stories (good and bad,) share what you're working on, and hopefully trade off some tips and tricks that you've learned along the way. With that in mind, we turned to the real estate agents in our own network here at Contactually and asked if they would share some of their top tips. With decades worth of combined real estate experience, one theme seemed to emerge from all the tips we got; being a real estate agent is tough, there's no easy way to go about it. But taking the time for your clients, your potential clients, and even those cold leads can make a huge difference for your business. And yes, that means going above and beyond the typical 9 to 5 work day.

Find the best real estate tips here...


Real Estate Trends: Tiny Houses

Downsizing. It's not only a common trend you find with many of your clients in the real estate world, but it's also become a milestone within people's lives. We've come to associate those doing the downsizing with empty nesters or recent retirees looking to simplify their lives. But in more recent years, it's not only that demographic looking to get a smaller home now that the kids are moved out doing the downsizing, it's become a trend even among Millennials and the children of those retirees. Instead of buying that starter home, they're starting with tiny houses. Welcome to the tiny house trend. These perfectly planned homes that take advantage of nearly every inch of space for functionality's sake are the latest and greatest in real estate trends that piggy back on both the idea of green living, and a more simplified way of life in the 'downsized' fashion. Still unsure as to why anyone would choose to buy a home with 200 square feet or less? Don't worry, we'll walk you through it, why your clients may want to buy one, plus where in the world you can find these tiny homes.

The Tiny House Trend


The Realtor's Guide to Instagram

If you're already a social media user , it may not come as a surprise to you that Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms right now. But have you taken that next step and started utilizing Instagram for your real estate business? While you may have already ...

The Three-Pronged Plan for Successful Real Estate Recruiting

It's spring, houses are flying off the market, and as a broker, you're slammed for time. Between answering agent questions, overseeing the operations of the brokerage, and putting out unforeseen fires, you can barely breathe. And yet you still need to recruit agents. How are you going to reach that recruiting goal? What's your plan? I don't have time to create a plan, you may think. Or, even if I did, I don't have time to carry it out in all its different pieces. But what is the cost of being reactive versus proactive? You may gain time in the immediate term, but will you gain time in the long term? And more importantly, will you sign agents? I've worked with countless brokers to help them recruit and win agents without having it be at the cost of their sanity. And the number one thing I tell them is you have to have a strategic outreach process. Not a haphazard, loose list of agents and goals, but an intentional, relationship-building strategy. But where do I start? You're probably thinking. Or what does this mean? Don't panic.

Here's a three-pronged plan for successful real estate recruiting...


Top Training Topics for Realtors

In late 2015, we conducted about 120 interviews with Brokers from all over the country on their priorities and goals for the coming year. One of the major things we discussed and asked these Brokers about was what they were planning on training and educating their agents in this year. Not only does this indicate what skills they're looking for in agents they're recruiting, but it gives you a good idea of what Brokerages' priorities are when it comes to what they want their agents working on. Some of these top priorities included Contracts, Sales/Leads/Referral generating strategies, and New Media. While training in something like how to handle Contracts may seem like a no brainer, the other two may come as a bit more of a surprise...because, what's New Media considered to be anyway? We'll break it all down for you.

2016 Top Training Topics for Realtors


5 Email Templates to Recruit Top Real Estate Agents

Brokers, we've got something for you.

Back in late winter, Contactually spoke with 120 top-tier brokers to learn what their priorities were for 2016. No surprise, 96% of them told us that recruiting was one of their top two priorities. graphs-01 Of that 96%, an overwhelming majority identified recruiting as an evergreen focus - in other words, a topic they were constantly dedicating time to, regardless of the age of the brokerage or time of year. Why is this the case? Apart from the annual agent turnover rate, which necessitates near-constant recruiting in order to have a full roster, recruiting serves as a focal point because it's one of two principal levers for growing the business. (The other, in case you're curious, is to improve the productivity of existing agents.)

How can you send the right messages to keep recruiting real estate agents that you want to attract?