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The Real Estate Industry Revolution

Selling a house is a very complicated process, with a variety of areas in which something could wrong and negatively impact someone’s experience. Technology is revolutionizing the way people buy and sell homes. The following are some of the newest trends in the industry that will continue to transform the process. The following are all trends that make up the current real estate industry revolution.

More Customer Access

Although having an agent will always be of key importance, especially when it comes to negotiations, consumers now have greater access to the process involved in purchasing a home. Much is the process is now automated, and customers can be directly involved by searching for properties online, setting online alerts, and receiving documents virtually.

Remote Settlements

More and more clients will begin signing documents online from remote locations. While selling and purchasing a house used to require all involved parties to be present at a single table, the process has completely changed. Now everything can be signed on a computer or phone. The ability to work remotely will transform the way that agents interact and build trust with their clients.

Virtual Reality

Not only will clients be able to determine settlements from a remote location, but they may actually begin to buy properties without ever visiting them in person thanks to virtual reality. Virtual reality software will do everything from allow clients to see their potential property in all hours of daylight to let them virtually add furniture to a room. Soon prospective buyers will be able to virtually view countless houses without ever having to leave their realtor’s office.

Blockchain

The future will see blockchain playing a stronger role in the real estate industry. The technology will create a lightning-speed transactional experience. Even very high amounts of money will be able to be moved within seconds. Blockchain could also transform records, including lease histories, record transactions, and title histories. Whether or not the platform becomes highly widespread will depend on if blockchain can become more user-friendly.

Transparency

Thanks to expansions in technology, data is more accessible than ever before. As a result, clients expect complete and accurate information as soon as possible. It’s in real estate agents’ best interest to provide their clients with data in good time. This information will help customers take action. Information such as performance data, historical property data, and other analytics will help make the process more relatable, and encourage clients to feel equipped to make a faster decision.

New technology is revolutionizing the real estate industry. Real estate agents need to adapt to these changing times and stay ahead of the new trends.

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.org

Top 4 Resume Hacks

Writing a resume is one of the first and most important steps in the job application process. The task is daunting, and most applicants don’t even receive an offer for an interview. The following hacks will help ensure that your resume has the best chance at making it to the top of the stack.

Tailor Your Resume to Each Application

Don’t be one of the many people who send the same resume to every open position. Remember that recruiters can tell when a resume hasn’t been tailored to a position. Instead, take time to customize your resume. A good way to do this is to read the job description and required skills very carefully. Make sure you that emphasize those skills in your resume and highlight any key words mentioned in the job description.

Many organizations now use robots to sort through all the applicants’ resumes, and only the ones who directly match the keywords receive interviews.

Use Numbers to Measure Success

Back up your statements with quantifiable evidence. Don’t just include that you led a team or wrote reports. Be specific! Include how many people you were responsible for and how many reports you wrote each quarter. Did you cut costs? Great! Include the percentage of money you saved. These numbers give recruiters a much better picture of your skills and what you’ve accomplished. Always choose to be specific instead of generic. This extra effort will make a big difference.

Format Your Resume Correctly

Recruiters prefer resumes that are easy to read. Don’t use fancy or complicated fonts. Stick to classics, like Times New Roman and Cambria. Colors simply aren’t necessary, and there is no need to clutter your resume with pictures or charts. Save your resume as a PDF. That way the format won’t change if a recruiter downloads or prints the file. The grammar and punctuation in your resume should be flawless. Triple check it if you have to. After all, this is the first impression that a recruiter will have of you, so even small mistakes will hurt your case and make you appear ill-prepared.

Have Someone Else Edit

Seek out help. Writing a resume is not a task you have to perform alone. Have fellow professionals look over your resume and suggest edits. Even if you’re an accomplished writer, it can be easy to accidentally overlook small mistakes. It can also be difficult to determine your best qualities yourself.

Spend extra time tailoring your resume to match important keywords, quantifying your accomplishments, formatting your document correctly, and having an extra person help you edit. The extra steps will help your resume and application get noticed!

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.com

Mentorship: the Best Method to Accelerate Small Business Growth

Over the years, many studies have been conducted to help entrepreneurs find the best methods in which to build their businesses and accelerate growth. One of the most consistently successful methods is mentorship. This method is not only powerful but is an extremely effective strategy to employ within a company to avoid failure, increase workplace happiness, optimize recruitment, boost revenue, and attract investors to name only a few. 

Mentorship is a two-way street. Being fully present and committing to the lessons learned are essential in a mentor-mentee relationship. Studies have shown that 30% of businesses without mentorship fail in one year and 50% will fail in five years. But how exactly can something as simple as mentorship help a business thrive? 70% of mentored businessesnot only succeed but thrive after over five years. Here are a few ways in which incorporating mentoring into a company can help it succeed. 

Identifying Weaknesses

When starting your business from the ground up, it can become easy to have tunnel vision and overlook critical opportunities that could take your business to the next level. A mentor can give an objective opinion based entirely in fact. Mentors should challenge the established norm and seek better ways for you to conduct your business. Remaining stagnant in an ever-changing work environment can be detrimental to your business and strategy. 

Expanding Your Network

To grow a business, investors need to know your company exists and has merits that are deemed safe to invest their money in. A mentor brings in a new network of connections, such as contractors, clients, industry leaders, and investors, with them and can introduce you and other co-workers to highly useful professionals. The more business professionals you have in your circle, the more you can learn about a wide variety of aspects that may affect your business in the present or future. 

Boosts Recruitment and Promotion Prospects

Companies that implement mentorship into their culture become much more desirable for potential employees. By giving employees the opportunity to increase their skills and potentially obtain a promotion to a position that will boost their careers, the company can increase workplace happiness and employee retention. A recent study showed mentoring increase pay raise prospects by 20% and promotions by five times the standard rate. Mentors are also more likely to receive promotions as well. 

Increased Employee Confidence and Skillset

Mentoring can happen with any group or pair regardless of age or position within a company. Mentorship is often a learning experience and an opportunity to grow personally and professionally for all parties involved. Managers/leaderscan learn new skills and how to become a more effective communicator. Employees learn how to communicate their needs and ambitions and ultimately acquire new skills that are essential to their goals. Ongoing education and mentorship increase confidence, skills, and performance levels which can only have a positive impact on a company’s growth, especially in its formative years. 

Increased Revenue

Due to the increased performance levels, workplace happiness, and newly enhanced skillsets of employees, companies often experience increased revenue as a direct result of incorporating mentorship into their culture. Analyses have shown that, on average, businesses increased their annual revenue by 83% when using mentorship hand-in-hand with their business strategy as opposed to 16% for those who did not. 

Almost every startup and small business can massively benefit from mentorship in some shape or form throughout their growth process. Few companies succeed without this key tool, and as a result, more companies are incorporating this method to increase their competitiveness within their markets. Whether your company chooses to utilize this method frequently or on a yearly basis, the results and data clearly show your business will positively benefit from mentorship.

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.net

Changing Your Perspective Can Make All the Difference

At one point or another, anxiety is an affliction everyone experiences in varying degrees. Regardless of the cause, anxiety can be disruptive and sometimes life-altering in its severity. As easy as it is to become anxious, it is never as simple to rid yourself of it. The good news is that there are many different methods that everyone can try to ease the stress without resorting to taking medication.

Changing your perspective sounds easier than it really is. This method requires rewiring your brain, separating yourself from the stress and stressors, and altering your behaviors and thoughts. Shifting perspectives takes time, patience, and focus but can ultimately lead to a happier and healthier life that is free from major anxiety. Below are a few tried and true methods to help anyone along on their journey of easing stress.

Limit Your Mind From Wandering

Letting your mind wander to wherever it pleases usually leads to more stress as the brain tends to focus on the anxiety itself. Give yourself and your brain something concrete to focus on that has nothing to do with the stressful situation. Listen to instrumental music or your favorite audiobook. Mind puzzles have also been shown to focus your brain and increase cognitive ability, thereby giving you greater focus. Getting enough sleep can have a major impact on every aspect of your brain and bodily functions. Studies have shown adequate sleep can ease stress.

Therapy

Many people struggle to find the cause of their anxiety and may need professional help to assist them in discovering the causes and the best solutions to their specific needs. Cognitive behavioral therapy operates on the premise that psychological distress is a result of faulty ways of thinking. A licensed therapist can decode those unhealthy thoughts and set you on a path to rewiring the way you think in order to lead a healthy life.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important step when it comes to resolving anxiety. This process includes breathing work, relaxation techniques, and body awareness. When you feel overcome with stress, focus on controlling your breathing instead of your thoughts. By transferring your mental energy into taking steady and even breaths, you regain control instead of letting your thoughts run away with you.

Diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to reduce stress hormones. To try it yourself, lie flat on your back. Place one hand on your chest and the other just under your ribs on your stomach. You should be able to feel your diaphragm. Breath in through your nose and feel the air push your lower hand. Exhale through your mouth as you contract your abdominal muscles.

Anxiety can be crippling, and most people struggle with it at last to some degree at at least one point in their lives. Changing your perspective is a difficult yet pivotal step in overcoming anxiety. This can be accomplished by focusing your thoughts, using therapy, and practicing mindfulness.

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.net

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentor

With the holiday season in full swing, the pressure to find the perfect present for everyone your list is on, including your mentor. Exchanging gifts in the professional world is a little different than the traditional exchange with family and friends, so you want to be sure you’re maintaining that important balance of thoughtful and appropriate. Depending on how well you know your mentor, this might be easier said than done.

Here are a few suggestions, however, that you can get your mentor to show you appreciate them, no matter who they are:

Travel Mug

Everyone needs a good travel mug, regardless of whether or not there’s coffee in it. Good Housekeeping put together a list of the top performing mugs they could find, and any one of them would make a good gift for your mentor. This list is especially helpful in that all of the suggested items are reasonably priced, and won’t break the bank. A Hydro Flask is especially a good option, as they’re stainless steel and vacuum-insulated, so your drink will stay as hot or as cold as when you first poured it.

Unique Bookends

If your mentor is the type that likes to keep books on display, consider getting them some new bookends! Bookends are a great way to show personality or add some color into a room. The Joss and Main website has some great, affordable choices to fit anyone’s interests. The Gordon Corbel bookends would be sure to instantly add a little style.

Rocketbook Notebook

A nice notebook is always a great choice, but consider a twist on an old classic: a Rocketbook. These notebooks come with the ability to wipe clean all with a damp cloth. Definitely include a Pilot FiXion pen to make sure your mentor can reuse it. The nice thing about these notebooks is that you can easily send its contents to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, or wherever you keep your files, all through the app on a smartphone.

Of course, a leatherbound notebook is never a bad choice, either, if your mentor is a little more old school!

A Bento Box

For the mentor who likes to pack everyday, a beautiful new bento box is a perfect idea. These monbento MB Original bento boxes are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and BPA free. They’ll make bringing lunch to work fun, and your mentor will think of you everytime they use them.

AR in Real Estate

So many industries across the board have experienced an impact from new technology, and real estate is one of them. Already, the way people purchase homes has changed from even twenty years ago, with the internet being one of home buyers’ primary tools.

 

Another tool that’s becoming increasingly in high demand is virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Virtual reality, of course, is shows a completely digital world, of course, whereas “augmented reality superimposes digital elements on an image of the real world.” Augmented reality has changed the game forever when it comes to staging rooms and allowing people to tour potential homes without ever leaving their current location.

 

Below you can find just a few specific examples of how augmented reality is already starting to impact the real estate industry, and what you can expect to see as a result.

 

Time Saving

It takes time to show a house! It takes time to stage the rooms, to travel to and from the property, and between augmented and virtual reality, the issue is mitigated. Instead of having to set aside an entire afternoon, potential buyers can browse the home on their smartphones or computers, saving both the buyer and agent plenty of time.

 

Virtual and Augmented Reality Tours

Pictures of a house have never felt so real. By utilizing augmented or virtual reality, you could look for a home halfway across the world without so much as stepping foot in an airport. Of course, you can already see properties for sale, but until now, to experience them, you’ve had to physically be present. Soon enough? This won’t be a necessity.

Virtual Stagings

Staging a house takes time, and once a home is staged, you really can’t change it without spending hours to order new furniture, transport it, and arrange it. In the future, that could change. Already, Sotheby’s has come up with an augmented reality app called Curate, and what it does is allow users to to stage a room the way they want to see it. Both buyers and brokers are able to use it. All you need is an empty apartment or home, and the app user can customize the place’s appearance all while getting a physical reference point in terms of the layout. This is only one application of what will sure to be many to come, but already, Bloomberg is describing Curate as Pokemon Go but to catch couches instead of Pokemon.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.org

Popular Neighborhoods in Austin

Austin, Texas is scattered all across lists featuring the best places to live. Its music scene, fantastic restaurants, and overall unique atmosphere is extremely attractive to residents and visitors alike. If you’re planning to move there, though, it’s a good idea to learn about the neighborhoods before making that jump.

 

Every Austin neighborhood has its own personality and there’s a fit for households in every stage of life. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods throughout the city and why:

 

Barton Hills

Historic and well-established, Barton Hills rests only minutes from Downtown Austin and Zilker Park, giving the best of both worlds whether you’re in the mood to commune with nature at LadyBird Lake or go on a city adventure on Dirty Sixth. The homes in Barton Hills an eclectic mix of historical and modern, with some having been around since the 1930s, and others a more recent addition to the neighborhood. Although Barton Hills is practically in the middle of Downtown Austin, it still feels like a welcome respite from everything else around you.

 

Allandale

Allandale is a favorite of new residents and old, and it’s no surprise, given its lively, involved community, big open spaces, and spacious homes. It’s especially attractive to families thanks to its traditional feel, as well as all of the things to do around the area. Of course, there’s the nightlife scene for anyone interested, but there are also stunning parks of Old Austin to explore, and plenty of nearby small businesses that give Austin’s its charmingly quirky character.

 

Old West Austin

This neighborhood is in high demand as one of the ten Great American Neighborhoods as decided by the American Planning Association. Old West Austin has also been on the National Historic Register of Historic Places as of 2003; the community was originally developed between 1886 and 1953. You can see the history in the houses, which are like a timeline in and of themselves. Old West Austin is also home to the Clarksville community, which was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War.

 

Lakeway

If you’re a golfer, Lakeway is a perfect option with great homes, quality schools, and nearby natural parks. Currently in the works is the Lakeway Resort and Spa, which promises a relaxing break from the bustle of everyday life. Although Lakeway doesn’t have much in terms of history, it’s a vibrant place to call home complete with stunning views of Lake Travis.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.org!

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentee

Find the right present for anyone can be a challenge, but it can be even harder in a professional setting when your relationship isn’t entirely established, yet. Finding the right present for your mentee, for example, can be tricky, if you are still getting to know them and want to strike the right balance of personal without being too forward.

Luckily, there are plenty of options that will offer a meaningful impact and without placing a huge financial burden on you. Here a few suggestions to consider:

Homemade Goodies

You can never go wrong with homemade baked goods. After all, everyone needs to eat! A homemade treat means that you put time and effort into your present. If your mentee doesn’t get to go home very often, a homemade meal or dessert will be especially well-received. Of course, it might be easier to order something and have it delivered, but making something yourself just conveys that extra sense that you care.

A Shared Experience

Sure, you could give your mentee something wrapped up in a bow, but it’s also not a bad idea to give a present in the form of an experience. By spending time with your mentee, you’re showing you’re taking an active interest in their life and the things they enjoy. Something like attending a holiday concert or even just grabbing a cup of coffee is meaningful because you set aside time especially for them.

Volunteering

The holidays are the perfect time to give back to the community and instill those values in your mentee, and there will always be people who need help. Serve at a soup kitchen together, or maybe bake some cookies together and deliver them to someone who deserves to feel appreciated. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the seniors who live there and might not get to see their families very often. The holidays can be a lonely time if you’re on your own, and reminding your mentee to show kindness and compassion is a gift that will stay with them for years to come.

Send Them a Card

Lots of people send cards around the holidays, and if you do, why not send one to your mentee? It’s a kind way to show you were thinking of them, and could keep the door open for further communication even after you go your separate ways. It’s a great way to keep in touch and up-to-date on the happenings in their life.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.net!

Popular Neighborhoods in Dallas, Part 2

Dallas is a big city, and with that size and extensive history comes a rich and diverse range of cultures. No one neighborhood in Dallas is alike, and chances are that you can find a spot that suits your personality and preferences. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to settle down in Dallas.

 

Casa Linda

 

One of Casa Linda’s biggest selling points is the sense of generational community the neighborhood offers. First established in 1939, many of the residents have been here for decades, and that multi-generational feeling extends to the design and architecture of the neighborhood as well. Vintage homes dominate the neighborhood, and their large lawns and towering trees evoke a time before developers began trying to pack as many houses together as possible. Casa Linda is also near White Rock Lake, making it an ideal choice for those with a passion for the great outdoors.

 

Hollywood Heights and Santa Monica

 

While Hollywood Heights and the adjoining region of Santa Monica may not be the most famous neighborhoods to bear those names, they’re well regarded as some of the best places to live in Dallas. The Tudor-style architecture that first found footing during its development in the 1920s has been preserved well, and there’s a real sense of community that’s reflected in the frequent festivals and events – both formal and informal. Lakewood Elementary services students in the district, and its high rating makes it an appealing prospect for young families looking to settle down.

 

The Park Cities

 

Despite consisting of two separate suburbs, Highland Park and University Park, these self-governed suburbs have become some of the most venerated areas to settle in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That self-governance combined with the high wealth of its residents means that community projects are well and generously funded. Combine this with an impressive school system and upscale dining and shopping experiences, and you have a neighborhood appealing to singles and families alike. A highlight is Highland Park Village, a town square that’s been designated a National Historic Landmark.

 

Glen Abbey

 

Chances are you won’t find a neighborhood more exclusive than Glen Abbey. First developed in the early 2000s, this gated community is home to roughly two dozen residents. Sequestered away among bright green hills, most would never imagine that it’s located conveniently in the heart of Dallas. The close proximity of Bent Tree Country Club provides opportunities to socialize without even having to get in your car, and White Rock Creek is right around the corner as well.

 

Kiestwood

 

The biggest and most obvious draw of Kiestwood is the presence of Kiest Park. Sprawling out over 248 acres, it’s one of the most striking and scenic stretches of greenery inside the Dallas city limits. The neighborhood consists of over 400 homes tucked away from the hustle and bustle of big city life, but that doesn’t mean that the greater Dallas area isn’t accessible. The Bishops Art District is right around the corner, and downtown Dallas is just a short commute away.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.org

Mutual Mentoring: Everyone Can Teach and Learn

The sharing of business knowledge and skills is shifting away from the master-disciple paradigm toward mutual mentorship that transcends position, gender and age. Mutual mentoring provides each colleague space to share ideas and learn from others. Mutual mentors support and invest in each other, even if they are from different generations or industries.

 

Most business leaders and professionals aspire to grow and better themselves. This is evident by the proliferation of books, videos, and conferences dedicated to personal development. The increasing popularity of these educational resources demonstrates that more individuals are committing to career and personal growth. However, more meaningful learning occurs when people come together and share with each other instead of merely listening to a teacher.

 

What does mutual mentoring look like? It can happen with seemingly unlikely allies, and it can happen quite successfully. These examples show the powerful synergy of sharing.

 

Cross-Generation

With five generations in our current workforce, we have vast stores of wisdom within our networks and spheres of influence. A treasure trove of insights on career experiences waits to be mined. Unfortunately, the more mature professionals have not always had a clear opportunity to impart their knowledge to the younger generations, nor have the newer workers been given an opening to share technologically efficient advancements with their elders. That is changing, though, and proactive leaders are fostering cross-generational mentorships that benefit everyone.

 

Cross-Function

Experienced employees can give historical insight and context while new employees can offer fresh perspectives on an organization. When these two groups forge mutual mentorships, enhanced understanding and unity of purpose result. Mentors may work in completely different levels of responsibility or function yet be able to provide counsel on projects and company politics. These relationships can be safe havens to discuss challenges and failures as well.

 

Cross-Industry

Professionals from different fields can offer different perspectives on situations peculiar to an industry. They can also share insights on universal issues such as human resource challenges, communicating with difficult clients, vendors, or bosses, and negotiating contracts. Gathering counsel and feedback helps empower fellow mentors to stretch themselves into new arenas.

 

Cross-Friendships

Some mutual mentorships are more organic than official, based simply on friendship. Friends who are successful or advancing in their careers can glean much from each other to grow personally and professionally. Close friendships help create an ideal environment in which to learn, love, and enjoy the journey of personal and professional development.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.net