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Jennifer Shermer

Jennifer Shermer

Capital City Public Relations Senior Writer + Publicist Jennifer Shermer creates and manages marketing programs for businesses to raise their brand awareness.
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Build Your Business’s Email List

There is nothing like a solid, well-built email list – one that actually has people and businesses you want to reach.

Though some consider email “old-school” in the face of social media and text messaging, beautifully built content within your enewsletters and even within simple emails, can reach your audiences in ways social media platforms might not.

To that end, you need email addresses. You also need to not engage in spam (using email addresses you’re not entitled to). Here’s a great bit on how businesses can legitimately and effectively gain new email addresses, thereby continually growing their audience reach.

15 Proven Ways to Grow Your Email List

Real Estate Corner:

As technology continues to affect nearly every corner of our lives, real estate transactions are getting done with more technological influence than ever: How Technology Is Changing The Real Estate Market.

Road to the own house

5 Tips for Easier Real Estate Closings

The homebuying process is filled with excitement, joy, anxiety, stress and relief. There are so many moving parts between deciding to purchase a home and actually closing on a home. Here are excellent tips to help buyers navigate the closing process and ensure a smooth closing for all parties.

Don’t make big life changes or purchases during the home buying process. Don’t change jobs or make purchases that could change your credit score. Examples include financing new furniture or a new car, moving your money around in your accounts or paying for a vacation using your open credit. Don’t do anything that will send red flags when lenders check on your credit.

Assure the title is cleared. Your real estate attorney or title company is responsible for ordering a title report to assure everything is good before the closing. Stay in close contact with them to make sure there are no liens on the property. Liens may delay or cancel your closing.

Create and maintain a repair timeline.Assuming the seller is expected to make certain repairs on the property, make sure you document those repairs (and a deadline for their completion) and share a copy with the seller. Maintain the list and verify, at least several days before your scheduled closing, that the repairs are completed. Schedule a final walk-through the day before closing and verify again that all repairs are completed as agreed upon.

Secure proper homeowner’s insurance. Buyers should shop for and secure homeowners insurance well in advance of the closing. Be cognizant of the home’s location and know if you need to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is costly, yet necessary, if you live in a flood zone. If you cannot afford flood insurance, do not purchase a home located in a flood zone.

Maintain close communication with your lender.Do not assume that “no news is good news” if you don’t hear from your lender or closing agent. Because lenders often ask for information at the last minute (i.e., insurance documents, current bank statements or pay stubs), contact your lender the day before and the day of closing to assure you bring all needed documents to the closing. You should also verify with your closing agent that he or she received all loan documents. Oftentimes, it is a case of one missing document, one verification or an email that has not been returned (or lost in a spam folder).

And, “it goes without saying,” yet we will say it: Buyers need to have all paperwork in order and present at closing, including a valid ID and most likely a cashier’s check for the down payment.

Alliant National People

PropLogix’s Title Industry Insights for 2019 Features Alliant National’s Jeff Stein

Alliant National’s Regional Counsel Jeff Stein was a featured contributor in PropLogix’s Title Industry Insights for 2019.

For the article, title insurance leaders share perspectives on topics that should be top of mind for settlement agents in 2019.

The story explores strategies and practices for title agents, including wire fraud prevention, marketing, e-closings and blockchain.

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Checking in with Your Business Development Plan

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you probably created a few New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 a couple months ago. In addition to the standard exercise more, eat healthier and get organized, did your resolutions include new business development?

Whether you identified a few business-oriented resolutions or you’re just considering ways to improve your business in 2019, we offer ideas to incorporate into your daily professional practices.

Developing the Mindset. If you don’t have it already, you need to develop a “business development” mindset.

Develop a thorough understanding of how new business factors into your business’s revenue and operations goals over the short-term and long-term.

Once you have that understanding, it’s much easier to develop a plan of where to prospect for that new business.

Business Development Activities to do Now. Refer to our recent blog about business development activities you can incorporate right now as a quick and effective way to get started. 10 Business Development Activities.

Think Outside the Box. Brainstorm, create diagrams, pictographs, charts or doodles—whatever it takes to get your creativity flowing.

Come up with as many ideas as you can for where you can source new business. Then, do deep dive research into each idea and prioritize them.

Make a solid plan to follow-through on your Top 3 ideas. Keep the additional ideas in a safe place and refer to them after you’ve implemented the Top 3.

Stay Positive and Focused. Face it – you’re going to run into some negativity while prospecting for new business. For your plans to be successful, it’s imperative to keep a positive mindset in the face of negativity.

Not every business development idea you have will be successful, and that’s okay. Use the unsuccessful attempts as a learning activity to improve your efforts. Don’t give up and keep developing creative new ways to locate news business for your business.

One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on prospecting for new business.

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10 Business Development Activities to Do Today

The art of business development is identifying and creating relationships that lead to increased revenue for your business.

Relationships may include business organization memberships, partnerships between one or more entities or simply one-on-one referral relationships. For most successful businesses, business development is a combination of all the above. Here are 10 business development activities you should be doing today.
  1. Ask for referrals, from your clients (current and former), non-competing peers, friends, neighbors and other influencers in your network. Acknowledge your appreciation by thanking all of those who refer business to you.
  2. Join an organization (i.e., Rotary Club, industry/trade association, local chamber of commerce, etc.) where your target clients are likely to be members.Get involved with the organization, beyond just attending meetings. Join a committee, become a leader in the organization and network often with members.Once members get to know you and build a relationship with you, they are likely to contact you when they’re ready to do business.
  3. Become a good networker. Networking is about getting to know others and their needs so you can connect them to potential clients and influencers that will help their business grow. They will return the favor!
  4. Become a good social networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Publish great content that is helpful, informative, insightful and relevant to readers. Engage with your followers.
  5. Always carry current, clean and organized business cards in ample supply.
  6. Use easy-to-review infographics as part of your sales arsenal. Infographics are memorable and easy for prospective clients to refer to when calling you for more details.
  7. Remember important dates, including client business anniversaries, vacation trips, births and other important happenings in your network’s business and life. Keep a calendar to help you remember to send them a short note or bring it up in conversation when you see them.
  8. Host an open house at your business. Invite an eclectic group of people who will benefit by meeting and conversing with each other.Think of helping others to connect with prospective clients and influencers, as well. Develop a brief welcome to “break the ice” and get the conversations started.
  9. Have a clear understanding of your business offerings and be able to confidently and concisely share at a moment’s notice.
  10. Be curious. Get to know your prospective and current clients, their goals, their fears and their reason for existing in business. When you know them, you are in a great position to help them.
One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on business development best practices.

This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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