Best blogging practices for Realtors by Sharon Tully

It seems that Blogs are here to stay; I can’t go a day without reading one or finding out someone I know is starting one.   When did they become so ingrained in daily life?  By doing just a little bit of research, I found out that the term “blog” was coined in the late 1990s.  It evolved from the online diary and came from the expression “web log”.

Since blogs are now acceptable forms of social media, it’s time to weed out the good from the bad so they can become useful business tools.  It’s easy to know when you like a blog.  It grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go.  But knowing how to structure a blog to make it effective is the key to success.

While a good business person wears many hats, it’s the wise one who knows when something is out of his/her area of expertise.  When it’s time to call in a partner for a particular need, there’s some homework to be done first.  A small business may be in need of administrative services but is not ready to hire a full-time staffer.  Virtual assistants and other business support services are available to meet the needs of that particular business.  McClure Virtual Business Solutions is one such company that can provide support and help you grow your business.

Continuing on the topic of blogs, professionals in this particular area know that the tone of a blog needs to be casual and conversational.  They know how to open up a discussion to garner comments.  In addition, they can create a content strategy so the blog fits into the bigger marketing picture of a company.  Real estate clients of McClure Virtual Business Solutions, for example, benefit from the business expertise and specific industry knowledge offered.  MVBS can help realtors find their ‘voice’ for their blogs so that there’s a personality that comes through to make a connection.  Their dedicated professionals help the good business person wear a few less hats so he/she can become a great business person.

SOURCES

http://www.echoditto.com/

http://activerain.com/

http://www.brokerageu.com/real-estate/business/marketing/content/blogging-best-practices/

http://realestate.about.com/od/whyblog/

https://mccluresolution.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Clear Clutter and Streamline Your Thinking by Toni Earls

When running your own small business from an office or from your home, organization, both physical and mental, is always an important factor in your success. Not surprisingly, clutter has been found to be a significant factor contributing to stress and anxiety in your work environment.

According to Mikael Cho’s article, clutter can affect your productivity adversely. He mentions a study undertaken at Princeton University which gave participants the same task in an organized and a disorganized environment: “The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”

Psychology Today echoes these findings with Sherrie Bourg Carter’s piece. She points out that although clutter poses a considerable threat to efficiency at home and productivity in a business environment, this fact often goes unacknowledged. “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”

 Carter suggests a day-to-day approach to cut down on clutter at your desk and increase productivity. She says that giving yourself a fresh start each day will be beneficial: “De-clutter your primary work space before you leave it… make a habit of cleaning off your work space before you go. Not only will this give you a sense of closure when you leave, it will also make you feel good when you return to a nice, clean space.”

One more point to consider is mentioned by Cho. He stresses that in our virtually connected business culture, clutter is not simply a pile of manila folders and un-filed papers on your desk. Electronic clutter can be just as debilitating: “Files on your computer, notifications from your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and anything that goes “ping” in the night competes for your attention. This creates a digital form of clutter that erodes your ability to focus and perform creative tasks.”

Scheduling time into your work day to devote to clearing out your digital clutter can help with this. By designating a particular time or multiple times every day to devote to dealing with business related emails and social media, you can train yourself not to jump every time a new message beeps, distracting you from the task at hand.

 SOURCES:

http://lifehacker.com/how-clutter-affects-your-brain-and-what-you-can-do-abo-662647035

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

Are LinkedIn Endorsements Taken Seriously? By: Britney Balg

LinkedIn introduced the endorsement feature last year as a way to appeal to people who use their site on a mobile device and have limited time. It offers a recommendation feature, but this can take 10-15 minutes to complete and requires real knowledge of the skills you are validating for your connection. On the other hand, the endorsement of a skill takes one click of a mouse and you can even add skills that your connection doesn’t list on their own profile. So what does this say about the value of this feature? Opinions vary as to the value of endorsements. Those who don’t like this feature object to how mindless it is to endorse someone. It doesn’t require any thought or real knowledge of a person’s skills. Another reason people don’t like this feature is because they may get bombarded with notifications about being endorsed by someone. When you go to see what they endorsed you for you are then prompted to endorse them back. On the other hand, some people think this feature is wonderful and a great solution to making the site more on-the –go friendly.

Everyone is busy these days, and more and more people are using their smartphones to do their social media. These are the people who think the endorsements are a great idea and really convenient. And they are right, they are very convenient because it only takes two seconds. LinkedIn users just need to realize that there is a right and wrong way to use endorsements, so follow these guidelines when using the endorsement feature.
• Hide endorsements from people who have no real knowledge of your skills.
• Only endorse people for skills that you have witnessed first hand
• Don’t have too many endorsements for skills that don’t pertain to your current goals.
• Remember that just because someone endorses you for something, doesn’t mean you have to endorse them back, it makes it less meaningful.

IMAGE: LinkedIn Logo ( Published on 01-07-2010 0:00 a.m. )

Virtual Assistant: The Busy Realtor’s New Best Friend

Realtors are one of the groups of professionals that are starting to really take advantage of the virtual assistant market. As a Realtor you have a lot of things to do all day long, every day. You are obviously already good at time management, but imagine if you could just take a couple of tasks off your plate, all the time that you would free up to work on other things, or maybe even relax a little bit. There are monotonous tasks that you have to get done to keep your business running smoothly, like database maintenance, telemarketing, mailing thank you cards, gathering information via internet research and much more. These things all sound easy, but when think about how much time you actually spend doing these things it adds up.

 Let your VA take over things like social media, blogging, and posting listings on various sites. Those are simple tasks that can take up a lot of your valuable time. When you look for your VA find a company or person who has people who specialize in real estate VA work. Then you can use them to be your listing coordinator, open house coordinator, or direct marketer. Imagine if you never had to make an uncomfortable cold call again. Wouldn’t that be nice? If you do speaking events, conferences or other hosted events your VA can help you with speech writing and even planning the event. There are just so many things that you could get help with without having to have an office.

 How do you find your virtual assistant?  Ask around your community of realtor contacts. There is a boom right now of Realtors using virtual assistants, so ask someone you know if they have used one, if they haven’t chances are they know someone who has. Don’t jump right in either. Once you find a VA you think you would like to use, give them a small task. See how well you like the results, how fast the turn around time is, and whether you had good communication. If it works out then you can use that person to do other things for you. If it doesn’t work out, you just find another one and try again. That is the beauty of a VA if you don’t like the result you don’t have to fire anyone you just don’t use them again. Check out your VA’s website, read their blog, and check out their social media accounts, it will be helpful in finding a legitimate VA with a record of good work.

pic for blog

8 Easy Steps to Uploading an Excel Sheet to Facebook

Follow the following steps to upload your Excel Spreadsheet to Facebook:

 

Step 1

Open your spreadsheet within the Excel program.

Step 2

Right-click on the border of the spreadsheet — not directly on any of the cells — and select “Copy.”

Step 3

Open the MS Paint program and start a new file.

Step 4

Paste the image you copied from Excel into the Paint program.

Step 5

Select “File,” “Save As,” then “Save as Type” and select “JPG” as the file type extension. Give the file a name, then click “Save.” Your spreadsheet will now be saved as an image file.

Step 6

Log in to your Facebook account with your username and password.

Step 7

Click “Photo” from the top of the News Feed page, then select “Upload a Photo.”

Step 8

Click “Browse,” then select the image file you just saved from the files and folders on your computer. After the image is loaded to the uploader, click “Share” to share it on your Wall and among the Photos on your Page or Profile.

Do you have any other helpful hints on the subject? Please Comment Below. Don’t forget to check out our Archives for more useful tips and tricks!

NETWORKING: WHICH TYPE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? by Britney Balg

Networking is one concept of business management that can really make or break your business objectives. There are two types of networking; person to person or through the internet and media. Which one you choose will depend on your own style of running things. If you are very good at small talk and like meeting new people constantly, then you would benefit from person to person networking. There is some truth to the statement, “It’s all about who you know”. It’s not literally all about who you know but once you start putting yourself out there and making new connections, you will be surprised at how much business you can stir up.

On the other hand, maybe your time is better spent networking through social media. Perhaps your target audience is more involved with social media than going to business fairs or conventions. A really appealing aspect of social media networking is that it can be done at any time of day or night and allows you to reach a much further audience. On the flip side though, you may find it a bit time consuming to keep up with all the posting and following and tweeting. A lot of business professionals employ some sort of assistant to help them keep track of all their social media outlets. A bigger business is more likely to hire someone to do this out of an office. A cheaper and just as efficient alternative to this, especially for smaller business owners, is to hire a virtual assistant. A VA is able to communicate with you through email or phone call and then from their own home they can update, repost and blog for you. Which option you choose will depend on your current business situation and neither is necessarily better than the other, it’s just up to you to decide what works. 

Integrating Business With Change

                   The Era of the Virtual Assistant

                            by: Guy Peck

The one undeniable truth, we all must face, is that we are all susceptible to change. There’s no escaping it. Everyday so many people try desperately to prevent change but always to no avail. You know those “stick to the routine or die” type people? Despite mother nature’s relentlessness, showing us everyday that with time brings change and with change brings inevitability. What these people don’t see, and what many others refuse to see, is that change is good. Though change can be intimidating, it must first be confronted and then revolutionized. I have found that incorporating change into my everyday “routine” has cleared my head and made my goals much more visible. At McClure Virtual Business Solutions LLC we know about change. Our goal is to revolutionize the “office assistant” world by integrating it with the virtual world. On-site admin employees cost more than our home-based office assistants and they do not come with software. You have to account for their breaks and vacations. You have to consider unexpected sick days. Virtual Assistants, at least at MVBS LLC, work as a team to service our clients individually from multiple angles of expertise. The best part? We do this from home. We are the business world changing. We are change, and change is good.

Example of good change: Communication. 200,000 years ago came speech, 30,000 years after that symbols became the new “smartphone”. Eventually came postage and worldwide communication was born, revolutionizing itself in every form of society. Now business could be conducted around the world and those who capitalized on those concepts are the ones whom brought the naysayers out of the caves and into the office.Think about the “old timers” at the beginning of the “smartphone era” and just remember their reluctance. Or, even further back, the cellphone era came and conquered the telephone with sophistication and intelligence, and yet.. people still refused to evolve. I know people to-date who refuse to get cellphones and dub it a “scam”. Opening your mind and erasing this reluctance is the key to success. Do you think Karl Benz, inventor of the first modernized car, ever said:

“You know what?- I think horseback is as good as travel is ever gonna get.”

Of course not. He built a mechanical horse on 4 wheels that moved, and he did it with style. This is why the acceptance of change must become so embedded in the fiber of our being that we are able to not only embrace change, but anticipate it. The ones out there waiting for the new software and technology to be released are the ones who know how to use it. It’s these people who are always “with the times,” that are usually the ones who realize change can become a lucrative service that presents itself indefinitely to all those willing to acknowledge it. Fortune 500 companies don’t still communicate only via paper and messenger, they get a smartphone hire an assistant or two, and focus on the important things, like profits. The business world is fast turning virtual. Social media this, Tweet that. “Send me a text”, “Shoot me an email”, “I’ll see you on Skype later”. Change. It’s everywhere you look. The proper integration of change with business, has revolutionized our world and because of this, has become the foundation of success. As such, why hire administrative employee(s) for your business, go through the trouble of preparing an office and offering health insurance?  Why pay more for one on-site employee when you can get a team of virtual admin assistants, equipped with an arsenal of software and expertise, for a fraction of the cost? Why not just call McClure Virtual Business Solutions LLC, and save yourself the time and effort without sacrificing the quality of work? Change. Why not?


“Lets meet and make a change!!”

VISIT US @ www.mymccluresolutions.com or email us @ catie@mymccluresolutions.com

//