7 Prospecting Tips to Keep Your Pipeline Full

It's important to keep current clients happy, so you can get their repeat business and referrals. But that won't get you all the future business you need. You still have to bring in new customers. So you still need to prospect! Here are some tips that will keep the pipeline full:

1. Engage in prospecting every day. No matter what's happening in your business or your life, spend time each day prospecting. To succeed at prospecting, you need to be consistent.

2. Choose a prospecting approach you like to do. There are many prospecting approaches — cold calling, direct mail, emailing, blogging and social networking, and face-to-face meetings, conferences, and events. They're all good, but you can't devote equal time to them all. Pick the one approach you enjoy doing most and put the majority of your time and effort into that.

3. Keep at it. The only thing that always works with prospecting is persistence. Make cold calls to the same number of prospects at the same time each day. Keep to a regular schedule of direct mailings and emails. If blogging and social media is your thing, work on writing posts every day. All the blogs you post stay out there, working for you even when you're not.

If face-to-face is your strength, scope out the business groups you can join in your area, such as the Chamber of Commerce. Keep an eye out for industry conferences you should attend. Think about organizing or sponsoring your own event, such as a workshop, a seminar, or an open house.

4. Ask for help. If a prospect you contact isn't a good lead yet, ask them if they know someone who might need your services or products. If you've made a positive impression through your contact, most people will be glad to help you if they can.

5. Stay motivated. There is no magical approach to finding new business. Prospecting takes time and effort. So the trick is to stay motivated. Remember how vital it is to keep your pipeline full. Remind yourself that the most important time to prospect is when you're busy. You don't want to wait until business slows down.

6. Follow up. Get back to everyone who is the least bit warm. Just be sure to let some time pass, so you don't come off as an annoyance.

7. Keep a positive attitude. To acquire customers, you need to attract them. Being positive pulls people in. Negativity is always a turnoff.

As long as you have a decent pipeline, you have a healthy business. Keep prospecting, be patient, and you're sure to keep your business humming. Here's to your continued success bringing in new clients, as you keep putting together your best year ever... Enjoy a great month!

Windows can personalize a new home or add more value to an existing one–so know the styles available and the benefits each offers. Here's what the experts say.

1. Double-hung. This is the most popular style. The top and bottom sashes move up and down independently, letting in more air. They're a great option with young children or pets, since you can keep the bottom closed for safety, but open the top for ventilation. Most models have sashes that tilt in or come out for cleaning.
2. Single-hung. This very basic window opens only from the bottom. The top sash doesn't move. They're less expensive than double-hung, but can be hard to clean from the inside.
3. Casement. These are hinged on the side with a crank at the bottom that opens them. Older homeowners prefer casements to double-hung windows you push up and pull down. The crank also makes for easy opening in hard to reach locations, such as over a kitchen sink.
4. Sliders. This design uses panels that slide on a track. It sometimes includes a fixed middle panel, with two sliding side windows. It's another good option for older homeowners because there's no lifting. This style also provides great ventilation and big views.
5. Picture. This is simply a large, fixed window that gives an unobstructed picture of the view it provides. It is often combined with double-hung or casement windows on each side.
6. Bay. This style uses three windows at 35° or 45° angles. They can be fixed picture windows, casement, or double-hung. Bay windows are great in living rooms and master bedrooms, especially with a window seat. Their angled surfaces let in lots of light.
7. Bow. This is a rounded bay window. The shape is created by putting three, five, seven, or nine narrow casement, double-hung, or fixed windows at 10° angles to each other.
8. Awning. This window is hinged across the top and opens outward from the bottom. The design is good for high locations, above a door or another window.
9. Basement hopper. This is the opposite of an awning, hinged at the bottom and opening in from the top. It's usually used to let light and air into basements.
10. Geometric. These are fixed units that come in a variety of shapes. They're used alone as an accent, or above a large window or door. Geometrics add style and can bring light into large foyers and hallways.

If thinking about new windows has you thinking about a new home, we can help with the financing. When you decide to take advantage of today's opportunities to upgrade, downsize, or buy a first home, we're happy to answer any questions. We can also help with refinancing your current home or funding home improvements. Please call or email us any time. We're always here for you... Have a great day!

P.S.: Mortgage rates are still at historically attractive levels. When buying or refinancing, it's smart to start the process early. Please call or email us to explore your options!

3 tips for taking better smartphone photos                                              

The smartphone has become the everyday camera for many people, simply because it's always on hand. But smartphone photos often aren't so great, especially when you see them on a larger screen or printout. Here are three ways to fix that:

1. Hold your smartphone steady. Smartphone photos turn out blurry if you don't hold the phone steady. Today's bigger, thinner phones can be harder to hold when taking pictures and most phone cameras don't have image stabilization. Always hold the phone with two hands and, if possible, brace your elbows against your torso or knees or on a table or chair back.
2. Don't use the zoom. Smartphones don't have big, bulky "optical zoom" lenses. Their "digital zooms" crop the image, so you can wind up with a splotchy, blurry shot. Instead, zoom with your feet: for a close-up, move in; for a wide shot, step back.
3. Check out some apps. Your phone's built-in camera app is fine, but downloadable apps can give you big benefits. Instagram and Hipstamatic offer easy-to-use, one-touch filters. And you get added control from apps such as Camera+, Snapseed, and VSCO Cam. Many are free.

Whether you're speaking or writing, using the wrong word can certainly hurt the professional image you want to project. It's especially unfortunate if you make this kind of mistake during your initial contact with a person, because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are 26 words you want to be sure to get right.
Adverse vs. averse. Adverse means negative or unfavorable: "She had an adverse reaction to their proposal." Averse means opposed: "They were averse to paying the extra fee."

Compliment vs. complement. A compliment is a flattering statement: "That's a very insightful comment." A complement refers to a group, "a full complement of services." It can also mean to complete or improve: "The new testimonials complement your website."

Criteria vs. criterion. It's one criterion, but two or more criteria. Or just use another word, such as "requirement" or "standard."

Discreet vs. discrete. Discreet means sensitive or confidential, "a discreet inquiry." Discrete means distinct or separate, "a discrete group of prospects."

Elicit vs. illicit. Elicit means to bring out or evoke: "He elicited my opinion." Illicit means forbidden by law or custom, "illicit drugs."

Farther vs. further. Farther describes physical distance: "That city is farther away." Further refers to a figurative distance: "No need to explain it any further."

Imply vs. infer. A speaker or writer will imply something, meaning suggest it: "He implied that the color was available." A listener or reader will Infer something, meaning deduce it: "She inferred from his comments that she could park there."

Insure vs. ensure. Insure applies only to insurance: "Their home is insured to the max." Ensure means to make certain: "Please ensure that you'll deliver it tomorrow."

Number vs. amount. A number is countable: "She has an impressive number of clients." An amount cannot be counted: "It gave him a tremendous amount of satisfaction."

Precede vs. proceed. Precede comes before: "David's speech preceded the dinner." Proceed means to start or continue: "Danielle proceeded to tell us the benefits."

Principal vs. principle. Principal means most important, "the principal reason," or refers to ownership: "She's a principal in the business." Principle is a law or guideline: "We operate under certain principles."

It's vs. its. It's is just short for "it is": "It's true." Its means belonging to: "Its fur is beautiful."

Who's vs. whose. Same deal. Who's is just short for "who is": "Who's coming tonight?" Whose means belonging to: "Whose car is that?"

When you're communicating with customers and prospects, whether speaking or writing, you always want to sound your best. Choose your words wisely and you will! Oh, and if someone does correct a wrongly chosen word, be sure to thank them and make certain you never make that mistake again. Here's to your continued success turning your words into wealth, as you keep putting together your best year ever... Enjoy a great month!

Normalcy in the Market

Aug 11
Category | Mortgage Speak

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Normalcy is not interesting." --Lindsay Lohan, American actress, model, producer, and recording artist

... If the troubled performer were earning her living in real estate, she might think differently about normalcy. For a few years now, the housing market has been anything but normal, so any return to stability is interesting indeed. With a major real estate information provider reporting home price gains moderating in June, their chief economist observed, "This reversion to normality that we are finally experiencing is expected to continue across the country and should further alleviate concern over diminishing affordability and the risk of another asset bubble."

Recovery continues nonetheless, as June's more modest price gains still represented 28 months of consecutive year-over year increases in home prices nationally. More evidence of the return to a normal housing market came when a national online real estate site reported that their listings blasted ahead 8.65% from May to June. Their chief economist feels "All the data points support favorable sales over the next couple of months." He pointed out that talk anticipating mortgage rates will rise next year make now a relatively appealing time to buy, while an improving economy puts more money in buyers' hands.


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