What steps can a listing agent take to verify that the person contacting them is really the owner of the property? 

There have been an increasing number of reports in Massachusetts relating to fraudulent sellers. Often, these scams are attempted on vacation properties or vacant properties because the legitimate owners may not be routinely physically present at the property. Some indicators of a potentially fraudulent seller are:

• They say are out of state/country and cannot meet in person;
• Refusal to engage in a video conference;
• Insistence on selling the property fast;
• Willingness to sell below market value.

If faced with a situation where perhaps the lead seems too good to be true, or there are some red flags, a diligent listing agent should:

• Seek advice from their broker;
• Request identification from the seller(s);
• Do a records search – do the names match?
• Insist on a video call;
• Do an internet/social media search for the seller(s).

If the seller is legitimate, they will likely be agreeable to the efforts to verify their identity and ownership status of the property. In those situations where the person is attempting to perpetrate a fraud, taking these additional steps will likely act as a sufficient deterrent to the scammer. 

Failure to engage in proper due diligence by the listing agent could result in significant damages to the listing agent, the brokerage, the owners of the property, and the buyers.
Courtesy of the MAR Legal Team.
Red Flags & Tips for Dealing With Property Scammers


Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Andi Blackwell

You can create a safer, more positive culture in your office, even if you're not the one who's actually in charge

It’s an unfortunate fact of modern life that many people no longer feel safe, even in their own neighborhoods and workplaces. The events and discussions of the past few months reflect a growing anxiety and an ongoing lack of trust in the people and institutions we used to feel were on our side. Bad behavior can happen anywhere — at a conference, in the office and at the highest levels of the industry.

For almost 100 years, it’s been established that safety is a basic human need, second only to food, water and shelter. In a world with increasingly stressful headlines and market changes, here are three ways you can create a culture of safety in your office, even if you’re not in charge.

1. Explore and practice self-regulation

 Self-regulation is an important component of emotional intelligence. It allows you to be more aware of yourself and others, and can help you to optimize your behavior in reaching your long-term goals. Most importantly, self-regulation allows you to manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions, even when faced with a difficult situation, or traumatic event. 

Two common strategies for self-regulation are mindfulness and reframing. In this context, mindfulness is not a meditation, but rather an awareness of being present in the moment without judgment.

Imagine hearing an agent on the phone with frustration in their voice. When you’re being present without judgment, you don’t jump to an assumption that they are frustrated with you or the deal. You understand that people are complex beings with much going on. It may have nothing to do with you.

Reframing is a strategy that allows you to reinterpret the situation you’re in to change your emotional response. In every situation we walk into, we bring the sum of all of our experiences. As real estate agents we brag about our experience as a good thing, but it can also carry with it assumptions, frustrations and emotional history.

While real estate remains a field of heightened stress, using self-regulation strategies means your emotional state won’t be at the whim of every phone call. You can also learn how to use these new strategies to assist others when they are in a dysregulated state. By being a more regulated and present individual, you can contribute to the general peace of an office.  

2. Advocate for clear safety policies both inside and outside of the office

Is it safe for an agent to meet someone alone at a vacant house? In what circumstances may it be? If your office does not have established best practices for safety, advocate for that to change. Safety policies are not a guarantee, but having these policies in place shows that the agents’ lives are as important as their livelihoods. It also provides an opportunity for an ongoing conversation that will continue to be needed.

Best practices for safety aren’t just needed outside the office. Eighty-one percent of women and 43 percent of men report experiencing some sort of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime. Seventy-one percent of Black Americans have experienced racial discrimination or mistreatment. Nearly half of LGBT workers will have experienced workplace harassment in their life.

So what do you do to maintain safety within the office? All Realtors are subject to Code of Ethics 10-5 regarding hate speech, but many agents say enforcement is still needed. Most agents are independent contractors that don’t benefit from Title VII federal protections, but no one would argue that a real estate office should be a place where discrimination is accepted.

That said, each office or agency should seek legal advice to craft an office policy regarding discrimination and how to enforce it with integrity to secure the trust of their agents. Independent contractors should also remember they are always able to seek an office whose policies conform to their values.

3. Encourage different business perspectives in the office

Real estate is an industry where there is no one way to be successful. Inman’s articles are filled with agents who have created successful businesses via a wide variety of marketing techniques. Yet there are agents who believe you have to do a specific activity “to be successful.”

We now know that consistency is the key to a successful business. It is not the activity you pick, it’s doing it consistently, often enough and long enough, to reap the rewards. That is why it is extremely beneficial to bring different business perspectives into your office and embrace the many paths to success.

One agent may not feel safe door knocking but can flourish on social media. Another agent may not be comfortable with the lack of privacy on social media but is very successful with open houses. Allowing and encouraging a variety of different methods provides different avenues for agents to build their businesses while also meeting their needs of safety.

Agents in offices can request information and speakers on different marketing practices. If that’s not something their office provides, another way would be to create a mastermind with like-minded agents. 

These three points are just a few ways you can contribute to a culture of safety. Of course, we are all aware that there are no guarantees when it comes to safety. Each agent still deserves to build a life and a business where they can feel safe. As a basic need, it is frankly essential for the individual, and therefore the office, to thrive.

Andi Blackwell partners with her husband as real estate agents at eXp Realty (and they still love each other). She’s a third-generation agent and Certified Trauma-Informed Coach who focuses on teaching classes and finding ways to improve agent and client outcomes. 

3 Ways to Create a Culture of Safety in Your Office

Do you have the cutest pet?

Now is your chance to submit your pet in GBAR’s RPAC Pet Contest because REALTOR® Pets Are Cool and RPAC helps promote and protect homeownership.

Send in your pet’s photo, name and a brief description of them to [email protected].

Then, Register Your Pet Here!

GBAR Pet Contest!
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Nick Schlekeway

The best real estate agents and the people who operate at the highest levels of the industry are not tactical, they are strategic

Last week I wrote about the first pillar to success, personal development. Today, I’m going to talk to you about the second pillar to success, strategic planning. I use the word “strategic” for a very specific and important reason.

Real estate tends to be a very tactical and very short-term industry. People in our industry, unfortunately, seem to have a hard time looking out into the future.

The best agents and the people who run this industry are not tactical, they are strategic. They make decisions based on what they want to happen in the next five years, not the next five months. They look far beyond the next closing or the next sales cycle. They look to the future they want to create for their lives, the vision they see for their family, and the multi-generational wealth they are going to build. 

You’re a business owner, not a salesperson

Salespeople work on transactions, business owners work on their business, and they have a strategic plan for doing just that. While there is certainly nothing wrong with being in sales, most of us got into this industry and went 1099 so that we could build a business. OK, so what is your plan? A dream without a plan is just a damn wish.

The best strategic plan is the one that you understand and that you can follow. It is also the one built on proven models that have been tested in real life. Let’s pause right there because this is critical. Not only do you not have to come up with your own plan from scratch, you shouldn’t. Do not reinvent the wheel, and do not think that you are so special you cannot learn from the mistakes of those who have come before.

The starting point for your plan is to go find people who are doing what you want to do and talk to them about how they got there. The same information is found in books and podcasts covering the habits, systems and stories of successful agents. 

Here are some (not all) of the most important items to include in your planning:

It’s absolutely critical that you understand some kind of budget, some kind of forecasting. You don’t have to have a spreadsheet with 20 tabs on it, but you have to have some idea of the following:

• How much money you’re going to spend on marketing
• How much money you have available to pay your bills
• How much you want to have available to invest in income-producing assets each year

Most importantly, for real estate agents (especially new ones), how much money do you need to set aside for taxes? The tax man cometh, and one way or another, you always have to settle up with The Man.  

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
What are your KPIs and how are you going to use them to drive progress? The most obvious KPI for anyone in sales is prospecting phone calls, but some others include:
• content pieces delivered (newsletter, social media, podcast, etc.)
• buyer/seller consultations
• open houses
• one-on-one meetings with high-net-worth individuals
• CMAs or equity updates for people in your farming area

The most important KPI to understand and to track is for every agent to understand how many leads they need to generate each month in order to hit their sales goal for the year, with an understanding that those leads are a result of the activities listed above.  

Speaking of goals, what are your goals for the month, the quarter, the year, and the next two to three years? Yes, sales goals, but also goals for how many listings you want to take vs. buyers, average sale price, specific markets to break into, specific people or groups to start working with, etc.

Your goals should be the benchmarks you need to hit in order to continue progressing in your strategic plan. All of it should be driving you to the future you want to create. Your vision.  

What sales systems do you need to create or rip off and implement in your business to increase efficiencies or customer service? I highly recommend ripping them off since we work in an extremely simple industry, and you likely won’t be able to think of anything that has not already been thought of and implemented by someone else. 

When it comes to systems like preparing a listing for market or moving a buyer through the sales funnel, someone is already doing it at a high level. Just copy them. 

Strategic assets
What strategic assets do you need to acquire in order to execute the long-term plan? This could be your own office space, it could be a specific tool or technology asset, it could be a strategic lead generation asset like building the organic SEO on your website so that it generates five leads a month or building the reach of your social media to the same purpose.

It could be the purchase of all of your own staging furniture (and a designer to place it), or it could be hiring a marketing director to take your marketing to the next level. What are the strategic assets you need to acquire that will help catapult you? 

A quote to ponder
“Strategic planning is worthless – unless there is first a strategic vision.” — John Naisbitt

A good plan should be simple and easy to follow. For me, this means it needs to fit on one or two pages. Maybe you need, or like, a bit more detail, but I would be cautious about getting into the weeds. While we should know where we are going, we never know exactly how we are going to get there, and the route always takes unexpected twists and turns.

One of the biggest tragedies of this industry is the number of agents who failed simply because they were either too ignorant or arrogant to follow the map that successful agents have already drawn. Create your own map and enjoy the rewards.

Nick Schlekeway is the founder of Amherst Madison, a Boise, Idaho-based real estate brokerage.

Why Having a Strategic Plan is the Secret to Peak Performance
Tucked into this year’s Massachusetts state budget was a new statute, codified as Chapter 239, Section 15 of the General Laws, protecting tenants facing an eviction for non-payment of rent while an application for emergency rental assistance is pending. In essence, the law makes permanent a temporary measure which expired earlier this year. 

“Emergency rental assistance” is defined to mean financial assistance provided to a residential tenant under the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program or any other program administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, a municipality or a nonprofit entity using public funds to cure a rent arrearage or subsidize moving costs, including the payment of a security deposit.  

A judge presiding over a residential summary process eviction action must grant a delay for such period as the judge may deem just and reasonable if, either at the time the answer is filed by the tenant or on the date the trial is scheduled to commence: (1) the tenancy is being terminated solely for non-payment of rent; (2) the non-payment of rent resulted from a financial hardship; and (3) the tenant demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the judge, that an application for emergency rental assistance is pending. The judge may, however, elect to consider any meritorious counterclaim brought by the tenant.

No eviction may be ordered until the tenant’s application for emergency rental assistance has been approved or denied. 

Court administrators will be required to file monthly reports with legislative leaders, including data on how many delays have been granted, the average duration of the delays and how many landlords and tenants have been represented by legal aid services. 

As always, members are advised to consult their own attorneys for more information.

Philip S. Lapatin
Holland & Knight LLP
August 9, 2023

New Law Delays Residential Evictions

GBREB, Massachusetts Housing Coalition and the Massachusetts Homebuilders and Remodeler’s Association Take Action to Oppose 2024 Rent Control Ballot Question

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Massachusetts Housing Coalition (MHC) and the Massachusetts Homebuilders (HBRAMA) and Remodeler’s Association recently took the first step in opposing a 2024 ballot initiative to bring back rent control. 

Before a question can be put before the voters, it must take clear several procedural steps. One of the first steps is a review by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to determine if complies with Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution. As part of that review, GBREB, MHA and HMRAMA recently submitted a legal memorandum outlining concerns that the question did not meet the constitutional muster to move forward. 

Attorney General Andrea Campbell then has about a month to decide which of the over 40 questions on a wide variety of topics should advance.  

The ballot question process is independent of legislation currently pending at the State House to bring back rent control including the recent home rule petition in Boston filed by Mayor Michelle Wu.

Click here to see an explanation of how a voter referendum is added to the ballot in Massachusetts.

Please visit gbreb.com/advocacy for more information.

GBREB, Others Take Action to Oppose 2024 Rent Control Ballot Question
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By:  Ben Verde

With sales down and inventory low, agents are combing social media, calling expireds and seeking out people with major life milestones. In other words, they're meeting the moment with creativity

One of Mike Opyd’s agents had a problem.

Opyd is the owner of RE/MAX Next in Chicago, and recently told Inman that one of his agent was working with a client who owned multiple properties on a single block in Chicago. The client wanted more property in that location, but thanks to an exceedingly tight inventory landscape, nothing was for sale.

But that didn’t stop the agent. Instead, Opyd said, he called every single homeowner on the block until he ultimately found a family who had inherited a property from their father and were interested in offloading it. 

“Most people told him no,” Opyd said,”but he did find a property.”

The episode highlights how agents are having to go the extra mile now thanks to a limited supply of homes. And the supply truly is limited: According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest report, national unsold housing inventory fell to 1.08 million at the end of June, or the equivalent of 3.1 months supply at the current sales rate. For context, six months of supply is typically considered “normal,” or at least it was in the years before the pandemic.

That of course makes life harder for agents. But Opyd and other brokers who spoke with Inman for this story said they’re seeing real estate pros find success by trying new or different strategies. They’re combing social media, calling expired listings, and searching for people who have just hit major life milestones. In other words, brokers said that surviving or thriving in this moment requires creativity — and good old-fashioned hard work.

“In this market you’ve got to get creative,” Opyd said. “If you’re not getting proactive and you’re just relying on the MLS, you are putting your business in the hands of other Realtors.”

The range of activities agents are trying today runs the gamut.

Opyd, for example, said agents in his office have found new clients by exclusively calling the numbers listed with expired or canceled listings, then asking the owners if they were still interested in selling. 

“One of my agents found three or four different properties for clients just by simply calling expired or canceled listings, or even just people in a certain area,” Opyd said. 

For Compass agent Alex Platt in Boca Raton, Florida, the drop-off in inventory has completely changed day-to-day operations for his team. Whereas working with a buyer used to involve taking the client out to see multiple properties in a day, it now involves a significant amount of searching for properties that may not be publicly listed. 

“Right now, you might take a buyer client out to see five houses,” Platt said. “If they don’t like them, for the average agent your day might be just waiting for a new listing to come up — but we’re a little more proactive so we’ll be reaching out to off-market homes or sellers in a neighborhood trying to find something. Instead of the days being showing, showing, showing, it’s a little bit more searching and backend stuff.”  

Platt says his team has actually increased their transactions and dollar volume over the past year, which he attributes to their more proactive approach. 

“I think we’re excelling in a down market,” he said. “We’re getting a little more creative now and it’s really worked for us.” 

That down market is largely the result of high mortgage rates, which climbed rapidly last year as regulators worked to battle inflation. Homeowners largely responded by refusing to list their homes lest they lose their lower rates. Now, the rate-induced lack of inventory is expected to persist if the Federal Reserve continues its “higher for longer” rate strategy that will keep rates elevated and suppress home sales, according to Fannie Mae economists.

The National Association of Realtors’ existing-home sales report, released Thursday, puts the situation further into context, showing that not only is inventory down, but also that sales of existing properties fell 18.9 percent annually and 3.3 percent monthly in June. Prices climbed to a median sales price of $410,000. 

A report released Thursday by Redfin additionally found that home prices were up 2 percent from a year ago in mid July due to demand greatly outpacing supply in most markets. 

This low inventory environment has naturally resulted in increased competition as buyers scramble for the few available properties. And it’s taking a toll on agents working with buyers. Opyd told Inman an agent in his office wrote 170 offers throughout the Chicago suburbs in 2022. Only 30 of those offers were accepted.

“Agents are burned out at this point,” he said.

Against a backdrop of low inventory and reluctant sellers, Alexander Fromm Lurie — who leads The Lurie Team in San Francisco — suggested “mining for motivation” to track down people who are looking to sell because of a major milestone in their life such as a marriage, divorce, or new job. 

“Mining LinkedIn, mining Facebook, mining Instagram, mining the news, those are four areas to just be keeping your eye on,” Lurie said. “You can’t just sit behind your computer and expect people to call you. We have to be proactive as agents to understand who is really interested, ready and able to make a move.” 

The upside is that agents who hit the ground running during the down market should expect to be rewarded with more business than ever once the housing market rebounds, according to Lurie. 

“We are in a cycle and things will change, by putting in the work now — sure it will enable us to get through this time, but by putting in the work now I suspect that those who really do it in a comprehensive way, they will hockey stick out of this cycle — whatever that is, whether it’s a year from now, two years, three years,” he said. “They will hockey stick out of this with more business than they ever had before.”

Get Creative: As Inventory Drops, Agents Dust Off Trusted Techniques
No, a seller is not obligated to formally reject an offer. When a buyer submits an offer, such as the MAR Contract to Purchase or other board’s offer contracts, there is a provision that states the duration of the buyer’s offer. If the seller fails to accept the offer by the date and time noted, this is treated as a de facto rejection and no further action is required by either party. Once the offer window set by the buyer lapses, the offer is no longer open for acceptance. While many times a buyer wants the seller to formally reject the offer in writing, there is no legal requirement to do so.

Standard of Practice 1-7 in the Code of Ethics does allow for a cooperating broker to submit a written request to the listing agent, if that agent is a REALTOR®, seeking confirmation that their client’s offer was submitted to the seller or that the seller waived the obligation to have the offer presented. While this does not place an obligation on the seller, or provide a formal rejection, it does aid in providing the buyer with some piece of mind.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Legal Team

Does a Seller Have To Formally Reject an Offer?
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Laura Vinalet 

Even though there are different opinions on how to use hashtags, one thing is certain: When used properly, hashtags can greatly increase your social media engagement and visibility

Social media marketing is constantly changing and advancing — the intelligent use of hashtags and location tags has emerged as an indispensable strategy for enhancing engagement and amplifying online presence. Nevertheless, the art and science of deploying these tools effectively necessitate a certain level of mastery.

According to an in-depth analysis by Building Better Agents, posts on Instagram employing location tags experience an uplift of 12.6 percent in engagement compared to their untagged counterparts. Effectively using hashtags drives this statistic further, skyrocketing the engagement rate by an impressive 79 percent. Hashtags and location tags are potent, but only when employed correctly.

Strategic Hashtag Categorization

To optimize hashtag usage, industry veterans recommend categorizing them into what’s known as “hashtag buckets.” These buckets segregate hashtags into specific categories, such as location, professional terms, transactional identifiers, property style, luxury markers, and hybrid labels that blend multiple categories.

This method ensures the relevancy of your hashtags, making them more targeted and enhancing engagement effectiveness.

  • Location: #county #city #neighborhood
  • Professional: #realtor #realestate #realestateagent #yourbrokeragename
  • Transactional: #forsale #justlisted #newlisting #homeforsale #openhouse
  • Property Style: #beachfront #bungalow #dreamhome
  • Luxury: #luxuryrealestate #luxuryliving #luxurylife #luxuryhome
  • Hybrid: #cityrealestate #cityrealtor #cityforsale #cityopenhouse

Balancing quantity and quality

When considering the optimal number of hashtags, less proves to be more, especially on Instagram. While the platform permits up to 30 hashtags per post, restraint often yields better results. Social media experts suggest an optimal range of 11 hashtags. However, maintaining a range between three and 11 hashtags strikes a balance between boosting engagement and avoiding the appearance of spam.

On Facebook, a different rule applies. Hashtags are considered redundant and can even distract from the core message. Should you choose to use them, limit yourself to a single, exceptional hashtag.

Twitter’s dynamics differ slightly. Although hashtags can enhance engagement, overuse can have the opposite effect. Research by Sprout Social indicates that tweets with one or two hashtags can increase engagement by 21 percent, but employing more than two can reduce engagement by 17 percent.

Prioritizing relevance over popularity

Using popular hashtags may seem like a good idea, but it can harm your brand’s reputation if you use them without considering whether they are relevant to your content. Users can tell when hashtags are used solely to attract attention, which can lead to negative feedback. Therefore, it’s vital to choose hashtags that accurately reflect your content.

To find relevant hashtags in the vast world of social media, start by brainstorming keywords that align with your content, brand, or campaign. Then, explore these keywords using resources, including Instagram’s search function or dedicated hashtag analytics platforms, such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite.

These tools will provide you with a list of related hashtags and their popularity data. It’s important to remember that while trending hashtags can increase visibility, relevance is key to engaging your target audience. So, choose hashtags that accurately reflect your content and resonate with your followers. This strategic approach will not only help you find relevant hashtags but also increase your engagement with your audience.

It’s important to remember that using hashtags isn’t the same across all social media platforms. Each platform requires a different approach, and it’s crucial to use relevant hashtags. You need to customize your hashtags based on the content you’re sharing, the platform you’re using, and your target audience.

Even though there are different opinions on how to use hashtags, one thing is certain: When used properly, hashtags can greatly increase your social media engagement and visibility. Be sure to use this tool wisely by adjusting your approach to meet the best practices of each platform in your social media strategy.

Want to learn more about social media marketing? Check out our new, monthly social media webinar series here.

Laura Viñalet is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer.
How to Master Hashtags, Amplify Your Social Media Engagement
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

ChatGPT has opened a window of opportunity that typically only comes a few times during a career. Take advantage of this amazing tool and your business can’t help but grow

Sometimes the word “game-changer” is an exaggeration. That is not the case with ChatGPT. The way agents are leveraging this tool continues to expand. The key to effective usage is to utilize the best promptings that will produce the desired results.

This article shares 40 ChatGPT prompts every agent should be using. These prompts are broken into areas of usage utilizing ChatGPT as an acronym.

You will notice many of the prompts request a number associated with the request (Example: 5 reasons people love living in…). These numbers can be modified to suit your preferred type of content. They are simply put in place to give you a reference point to prompt your personal creativity.

C: Client attraction

Lead generation is a way ChatGPT can be utilized to provide content that attracts your ideal, targeted client. The following are 14 promptings to create client attraction content.

1. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with 5 reasons people love moving from [feeder market for your area] to [your city]. This prompt is designed to attract buyers moving into your area from a feeder market.

2. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with 7 reasons buying a home is smarter than renting in [your city]. This content is designed to attract first-time homebuyers.

3. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with 5 things renters wish they would have known before buying a home in [your city].

4. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you chose] [post or video script] with 7 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Before Listing Their Home For Sale in [your city]. This one is focused on capturing the attention of homeowners early in the process of listing their home for sale.

5. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners in [your city] make before listing their home for sale including #5 being not calling [your name] earlier. This is another prompting focused on people preparing to sell their home soon.

6. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with the 7 biggest regrets homeowners in [your city] have after listing their home for sale including the 7th one not calling [you]. This one is focused on attracting potential listing clients.

7. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 things divorcees should do before listing their home for sale in [your city] with number seven being calling [you] sooner. This is focused on a specific demographic that often needs to sell due to the life event of divorce.

8. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 Ways Executors of Estates Can Leverage Real Estate Agents to Make Their Job Easier in [your city] with number seven being to call [you]. Another prompting focused on executors of estates going through probate with the need to sell a home due to the life event of the owner’s death.

9. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 things empty nesters should consider before downsizing and listing their home for sale in [your city] with number seven being to call [you]. This prompting is focused on attracting clients considering downsizing.

10. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 things engaged couples should consider before buying a home in [your city]. This prompting is focused on attracting clients with the life event of engagement that often leads to the purchase of a home.

11. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with how a growing family in [your city] can buy a home without breaking the bank. Couples that are expecting are often faced with the need to either buy a home or buy a bigger home than the one they currently own.

12. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 reasons buying a home while stationed at [military base] makes more sense than renting. This is focused on attracting military personnel with permanent change of station [PCS] orders.

13. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] post or video script with 7 reasons selling your home in [your city] during the [season of the year] can be opportunistic. This one is specifically designed to attract listings in a specific season of the year.

14. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you chose] post or video script with 7 reasons buying a home in [your city] during the [season of the year] season could be advantageous. Specifically targeted messaging to attract buyers in a specific season of the year.

H: Help with social media optimization

Social media is one of the most effective ways to attract new clients in today’s market environment. The following are ways to make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities social media presents.

15. Give me an SEO-optimized Instagram Profile for [your name], a Realtor in [your city] with the following accolades and designations.

16. Give me an SEO-optimized LinkedIn profile for [your name], a Realtor in [your city] with the following accolades and designations.

17. Give me an SEO-optimized Facebook profile for [your name], a Realtor in [your city] with the following accolades and designations.

18. Give me an SEO-optimized YouTube page description for a YouTube Channel for [your name], a Realtor in [your city] with videos and content focused on helping [whoever your ideal client is].

19. Give me an SEO-optimized Facebook post for the home located at [address] with the following MLS description [drop in the MLS description]. This is a prompt we utilized that has increased our Facebook engagement by an average of more than 20 percent since beginning to use it less than a month ago.

20. Right after it gives you the SEO-optimized Facebook post, say convert this to an SEO-optimized Instagram post including hashtags.

21. Right after it gives you the SEO-optimized Instagram post, say convert this to an SEO-optimized Instagram Reel video script.

22. Give me an SEO-optimized 1,000-word LinkedIn article for the home located at [address] with the following MLS description [drop in the MLS description].

A: Answering the tough questions

If you have questions that you’re not sure how to answer or if buyers or sellers are saying they are waiting to make a move based on an event, then ChatGPT has the answers. Here are a few promptings to turn obstacles into opportunities.

23. Give me an SEO-optimized Facebook post with 5 reasons a potential homebuyer should consider buying a home in [your city] despite an increase in interest rates.

24. Give me an SEO-optimized Facebook post with 3 reasons buying a home in [your city] right now is smart even though home prices have gone up over the last few years.

The following steps are a way to compound the content once we are answering the tough questions.

25. The next thing to do once it provides the above Facebook posts is to ask it to convert the Facebook posts into 1,000-word SEO-optimized LinkedIn articles.

26. Then ask it to convert the above LinkedIn articles into SEO-optimized Instagram post including hashtags.

27. Then ask it to convert the above Instagram post into an SEO-optimized video script for an Instagram Reel. This script could be used for a video for TikTok or a YouTube Short as well.

T: Taking your listing presentation to the next level

Imagine walking into a listing presentation with multiple, well-written MLS descriptions, SEO-optimized social media posts, and SEO-optimized video scripts. It is possible and only takes a few minutes with ChatGPT. Request the following prompts and share them at your listing appointment to separate yourself from your competition.

28. Give me an MLS description for the home located at [address] highlighting [amenities and selling points of the home]. Then ask it to write the description provided in another tone such as: convert this to a more luxury-style description.

29. Convert this MLS description into an SEO-optimized Facebook post.

30. Convert this Facebook post to an SEO-optimized Instagram post.

31. Convert the MLS description above into an SEO-optimized 1,000-word LinkedIn article.

32. Convert this article to an SEO-optimized YouTube video script.

33. Convert this script to an SEO-optimized Instagram Reel script.

G: Generating ideas on how to grow your business

ChatGPT also provides you with everything you need to generate ideas on growing your business or enhancing your marketing.

34. Give me 20 unique ways to market a home for sale with a targeted buyer group of [your targeted buyer profile like first-time homebuyer or investor].

35. Give me 20 ways a real estate agent can grow her social media connections and followers.

36. Give me 20 SEO-optimized YouTube video titles that a real estate agent should record to attract business through YouTube.

37. Give me 20 ways a real estate agent can uniquely promote his business.

P: Past client and referral partner appreciation

38. Give me 20 ideas on how a real estate agent can show her appreciation for past clients or referral partners.

T: Telling your community’s story

Telling your community’s story is a great way to provide valuable information and set yourself up as the resource for community information.

39. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with 5 things people don’t know about [your city].

40. Give me an SEO-optimized [whatever platform you choose] [post or video script] with 7 interesting facts about [your city].

ChatGPT has opened a window of opportunity that typically only comes a few times during a career. Take advantage of this amazing tool and your business can’t help but grow.
Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.

40 Game-Changing ChatGPT Prompts Every Agent Should Use
Article Courtesy of: State House News
By: Sam Doran

As renters and would-be homebuyers face an affordability crisis, a leading trade group for the people who facilitate home sales is eyeing new building projects as the solution.

"Rent control tries to attack a symptom of our lack of building. And that's not the way to fix the issue. We need to build more housing," Justin Davidson told Mass. Association of Realtors members as they prepared to visit House and Senate offices Monday.

Elected officials in Boston are among those trying to tackle the affordability issue by capping rent increases, which Davidson, the association's government affairs director, called a "harmful" policy.

"If we build enough housing, if people have the options of where to live and what type of home to live in, we don't need rent control," Davidson said.
 he problem without invoking rent control, and supports a tax-deductible savings program (H 2727 / S 1787) to help people bank away up to $5,000 per year to put toward their first property.
A Rep. Angelo Puppolo bill pertaining to zoning reforms was touted by the realtors as a top priority, featuring increased by-right zoning for multifamily housing and so-called inlaw apartments, and a lower local threshold to win approval for variances and special permits.

"So much housing in Massachusetts is reliant on a special permit or a variance, and a supermajority threshold is so incredibly difficult to meet," Davidson said of the proposed move to a simple majority for those votes.

Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll, a former Salem mayor, recalled that realtors "were with us" on housing goals in the Witch City, and were "standing up in zoning meetings, supporting the conversations in the local watering holes to promote projects."

"There's 351 cities and towns in this state. The state doesn't build housing, it happens in the ground, in the places you live, where you work, where we need it, where it's also hard to get done," the lieutenant governor said.

The Realtors Association opposes transfer tax and rent control bills that many housing advocates are promoting as possible solutions, and Davidson also lumped the transfer tax into a category of "harmful policies."

"You've worked with buyers that know that they can't just come up with a few thousand extra dollars to close the deal," Davidson said, adding that transfer fees are "exclusionary."

Legislation to create a local-option transfer fee has been pushed by proponents who hope to apply the fee to transactions greater than $1 million, although an enabling bill has provisions in it to allow it to apply in any community.

Other association priorities include a real estate licensure bill dealing with required coursework on diversity and fair housing law (H 265 / S 166), and proposed tax-exempt grants for owners of houses with flawed pyrrhotite concrete foundations (S 495 / S 2242).



If you missed the REALTOR® Day on the Hill event, visit MAR's website here to learn more about our Legislative Priorities, What REALTORS® Support & Oppose, as well as background information on the event.
REALTORS® Take Build-More Approach To Housing Woes Driscoll Notes Local Rules
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Christy Murdock

Seeing a slowdown in your revenue streams? Need cash to keep going between commissions? Incorporate these 12 side gigs into your business

Even the most experienced agents might find it difficult to create a steady stream of income, especially with the ups and downs of the current market. For newer agents, it might take a while to develop a strong and reliable cash flow.

Rather than taking a side job in retail or waiting tables at your local bistro, creating a real estate-adjacent side gig will help you maintain your professional focus. What’s more, it may just help introduce new, lucrative directions into your business while you expand your professional network.

1. Staging services

If you have an eye for design, you may want to start a staging consultancy. While you probably won’t want to go all in on a warehouse full of furniture, you can invest in some decorative elements to perk up spaces, help with decluttering or simply rearrange things that the owner has lying around the home.

This is also a great way for you to get to know other local agents who may be happy to have you improve their latest listing. That could lead to referral, co-listing and other collaborative opportunities.

2. Marketing materials

If you are good at graphic design, copywriting or other content creation, you may be able to find steady work creating marketing collateral for agents in your brokerage and beyond.

You can design flyers and mailers or offer your services creating and managing social media for some of the busier agents and brokers in your market (after you’ve posted your own, of course).

3. Photography or videography

Similarly, if you have expertise in photography, video creation and editing, or drone videography, you may be able to develop a well-paying side gig preparing marketing material for local listings.

If you’ve previously worked in this field as a wedding or event photographer, seek out additional education to transition your existing skills to the unique requirements of residential or commercial real estate.

4. Showing agent

Some of the larger brokers in your area may be looking for licensed agents to conduct open houses for their sellers or private showings for their buyer clients.

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door at a big team or brokerage in your area, this may be a solid first step, allowing you to showcase your expertise and people skills.

5. Remote notary service

Due to all of the online and remote showings and closings that have been conducted over the last couple of years, a robust infrastructure of virtual and onsite notary services has grown up to assist.

If you are a notary public, consider going to work for one of these services so that you can help to facilitate more convenient closings. Talk to your favorite title agent or real estate attorney to find out how to get started.

6. Administrative assistant

Are you hyper-organized, a computer whiz and an expert at document 

A busy real estate agent or broker may be looking for someone just like you to help with administrative duties in their office. Bonus points if you can keep their business accounting software updated and create graphic elements with an online design platform.

7. Exam tutoring

If you have a host of winning strategies left over from your licensure test, consider exam tutoring for hopeful would-be agents in your area. Talk to local real estate schools or start with your own previous instructor to find students who need a little extra help preparing for their state examination.

8. Cleaning and organization

If you have a gift for getting a home under control and a willingness to get your hands dirty, you may want to consider starting a cleaning and organizing business.

This could be a valuable service for senior sellers who need to clean out their attics or for assisting bereaved families before an estate sale. Couple it with an SRES designation, and you may find that you’ve created a new niche for yourself.

9. Landscaping

If you love working in the garden, consider landscape design and installation in your market. Your clients may come from other agents or brokers who are looking to perk up their latest listing’s curb appeal or to enhance its outdoor living spaces.

10. Property management assistance

While property management is its own area of expertise, you may find that a property manager in your area could use an extra set of hands to keep up with the management of their property portfolio.

Maybe they need someone to respond to tenant complaints or to make small repairs. Put your fix-it skills to work, and learn more about this sector of the real estate industry.

11. Real estate investment

One of the best things you can do for your long-term financial health is to put your expertise to work as a real estate investor.

Start out as a wholesaler or buy a partial stake in a flip or long-term investment property. Build your portfolio over time, first managing it yourself then, later, bringing on a property manager to assist you.

12. Agent recruitment

Some brokerages offer significant incentives for agents who bring in new agents. Go out and connect with your professional network to bring new recruits into your company. Over time, you may find that this forms the basis for forming your own team or brokerage.
Only a side gig? How to be a stellar real estate agent — while juggling other responsibilities

Even if your side gig is meant to plug the holes and keep your financial boat afloat, you want to do a good job and maintain a stellar reputation. Here are some ways to ensure solid performance while still keeping your real estate business center stage.

• Make sure that your side gig doesn’t violate rules at your brokerage or at your local or state association. Avoid conflicts of interest, especially when working for or with other agents in your market.
• Get organized and keep good records, especially when it comes to your finances. Consider a color-coded calendar and frequent reminders of due dates, meetings and deliverables.
• Take care of yourself. If your side gig starts to take up too much of your time, you can feel overwhelmed and run down. Make sure you are taking the time for regular meals, workouts and days off so that you can keep up with the pace.
• Determine whether your side gig is becoming your main gig. If you find that you have a knack for your side gig, consider whether you can incorporate it into your primary work as a real estate agent. For example, property management, investment or staging can all be a solid part of your overall real estate service offering.
• Know when to call it quits. You may have some great clients for your side gig, but if your real estate business is picking up — and taking priority — find a trusted colleague to refer your clients to, then throw yourself full-time into the real estate side of things.

There’s no harm in taking a side gig to make ends meet. Just make sure you keep your eye on the prize and focus on your long-term goals so that your side gig stays in check.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate.

12 Smartest Side Hustles for Real Estate Agents Right Now


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