Time to Snap!

Attention all real estate professionals: It’s time to snap! Snapchat may have started as a trendy consumer photo-sharing app aimed at teens, but it has evolved into a powerful selling tool that is “five times more effective than Twitter and 10 times more effective than LinkedIn at getting users to spend time on the platform on a per-user basis,” according to BusinessInsider.com.

Spring 2017 is poised to be big for first-time homeowners. About 61 percent of new buyers will fall squarely in the millennial category: under the age of 35, according to Realtor.com®. More than 25 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 25 and 34, and that user base is growing.

Snapchat has the ability to connect one of the biggest home-buying groups with real estate agents on a daily basis.

Here are a few tips to start leveraging Snapchat as a marketing tool:

  1. Change your other social media profile pictures to feature your Snapchat picture and encourage people to follow you.
  2. Utilize your Snapchat “story” and update it consistently. Pictures and videos added to your story stay there for 24 hours.
  3. Do not be afraid of video. Use video to highlight features of a home that customers will get excited about. Show details up-close and personal so it feels like they are walking through without having to be there.
  4. Use the chat function. Clients can provide instant feedback to snaps. If text messages aren’t dynamic enough, tap the phone or video icon to host a voice or video call.

This year is set to be the year of the millennial home buyer, which could also shape up to be the year real estate marketing takes off on Snapchat. Don’t be afraid of the Snap, embrace it.

Dress to impress, for less

Navigating fashion in the workplace can be stressful. It’s difficult to find professional clothes that are affordable, age appropriate and in style.

However, what you wear can make a big difference in how you are perceived by your clients. Most real estate agents tend to dress in business casual, but what’s considered business casual varies dramatically from one coast to the other. So, how are you supposed to achieve the business look that you want without spending big bucks on a new wardrobe? Below are a few budget-friendly tips about shopping for clothes to impress your clients without going overboard.

  1. Think it through. You already know your style — what you like, what you don’t like. Visit stores online (yes, even the really pricey ones) to get an idea of styles, colors and prints that are both trendy and in your comfort zone. Without an idea of what you are looking for, shopping becomes an ever-frustrating battle of questioning and second-guessing.
  2. Know your neutrals. For women, it’s often a black dress. For men, a tan blazer and a navy vest. Neutrals are amazing staples to have in your wardrobe and they can be recycled over and over. The best part? Often, these are the pieces of clothing that are on sale or cheaper than their patterned counterparts. You won’t ever have to worry about neutrals going out of style, and they can be worn for multiple occasions depending on how they are spruced up. Mixing neutrals is totally acceptable (and encouraged) now – so stop worrying about pairing brown and black together!
  3. Bling, baby! One of the easiest, and most cost-effective ways, to make something plain or neutral really stand out is with accessories. That black dress? Add some fancy-looking jewelry with it (especially necklaces) and you have an easy business outfit. Or pair that tan blazer and navy vest with a bold tie — even add a gold tie clip to give it a little shine. Also, accessories are much less expensive than clothing can be!
  4. Compare, compare, compare. People often become discouraged because they cannot quickly find something they want or need at a reasonable price. This is where perseverance comes in. Looking at multiple stores, taking note of what they have to offer, finding coupons or other sales, and comparing prices online are only just the beginning.
  5. Online shopping. As mentioned, online shopping can be a blessing. Amazon.com has a sales and deals department where clothing is marked down. Etsy.com is a great place for jewelry and other accessories (not to mention you can support home-based artisans and craftsmen.) Places like StitchFix.com allow you to try on clothing for a subscription fee and decide if you want to keep pieces or not. Websites like Overstock.com have amazing sales and discounts on clothing. In addition, most of your favorite clothing retailers have sales online.
  6. Buy piece by piece. You don’t need to have an entire wardrobe overhaul to be business appropriate. Buy pieces one at a time and when you can afford them. Keep a wish list of items you want to add to your wardrobe so you can plan for future purchases.

Power up at breakfast with these foods

Ever hear the phrase “you are what you eat?” Studies have shown that certain foods affect the human body, including cognitive functions, in exceptional ways. Try starting out breakfast with one or a combination of the foods listed below to optimize energy, brain function and memory.

Foods rich in omega-3 can provide the brain with the essentials to help with cognitive abilities. Studies have suggested that a deficiency of omega-3 can impair learning and memory, and have other adverse effects linked to depression and attention-deficit disorder. Omega-3 can also come in a simpler form called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is commonly used to fortify other foods that do not naturally produce omega-3. Below are some of the omega-3 rich foods that should accompany any grocery list:

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Fish (tuna, trout, oysters, salmon, halibut)
  3. Edamame (also a great source of fiber!)
  4. Flaxseed oil
  5. Walnuts
  6. Eggs (ALA fortified)
  7. Soy milk/dairy milk (ALA fortified)
  8. Yogurt (ALA fortified)

Other studies have shown that flavonols (molecules that are found in skin and leaves of plants, fruits and vegetables) also affect learning and memory, and could aid in the start to a better day. Flavonols, which are associated with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, are contained in foods and drinks such as onions, leeks, broccoli, kale, berries, grapes, cocoa, green and black tea, and even red wine!

Why not jump-start your day with an antioxidant food that is part of the flavonoid family and has incredible health benefits: apples. Studies have shown that apples can help improve lung functions and provide enough energy to get the body through an hour-long workout. Apples are also linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Oats in the form of oatmeal and oat bran have been long-known as a healthy snack. Studies have shown that eating oats reduces cholesterol levels, improves endothelial functions, and reduces blood pressure. They’re also are a great source of fiber, protein and fat, and are not as starchy as other grains.

Of course, a morning isn’t complete without a cup of coffee. While there is an understanding that caffeine intake in great quantities can potentially be harmful, coffee has some health benefits that are worth noting. In a study done of Dutch men and women, those who drank at least 7 cups of coffee daily had a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Other studies done have suggested that long-term coffee intake could help maintain normal glucose tolerance.

Making a healthy breakfast a habit can help you approach every day feeling sharp, rejuvenated and motivated. What do you have to lose?