Social Media Will Be Key Tool For Real Estate Success In 2021

A multitude of industries that rely on in-person interactions have had to make some major adjustments throughout the past nine months to maintain business during the worst global health crisis in the last century. The real estate industry is one of the biggest examples of this transition, as agents are realizing the power of the internet and social media in relation to the success of their business. 

Philip Scheinfeld is a prominent luxury real estate agent working for New York’s Compass who recently spoke with Forbes Magazine about the importance and power that social media has, and why it will be an integral part of the industry’s rise back to the top in 2021. Scheinfeld himself is one of New York City’s most successful young real estate agents, having sold over $150,000,000 worth of property throughout the city. 

“Having a social media presence is one of the most important, if not the most important presence you can have today as an agent.”

Embed from Getty Images

Agents are now using social media sites beyond just Zillow to sell homes, find clients, and grow their brands during one of the most tumultuous economic times the US has faced in the past decade. Not being able to meet with clients in person has been one of the greatest difficulties for any industry that runs on making in-person sales, however, the uncertainty that came with navigating this new digitized means of performing business has led to a lot of great successes. 

“Social media is the strongest marketing tool we have out there,” according to Schenfield, who stressed how powerful it is to have a tool that gives you access to people all around the world within seconds. He also stressed the importance of having a good team of workers to navigate these new business models with, which holds true in any industry really. 

The engagement with clients that can occur over social media can also increase how recognizable a certain agency is. The more prominent and engaging an agency is online the more likely it is that their clients will share that story and page to their profiles, thus increasing exposure even further. It’s also important that clients still feel that personal connection over the internet. Scheinfeld claims one of the biggest struggles he sees with agents navigating selling property in the middle of a pandemic is that they’re not building enough of a personal relationship with their clients. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Don’t follow trends and be cookie cutter. Make yourself different. That’s the power of social media—it’s your canvas.”

Scheinfeld claims his three biggest tips for using social media to grow your business are to engage, remember you’re representing your name/brand with every interaction, and to be authentic. Reputation is everything, and your online presence can quickly make or break that reputation. Don’t misrepresent your brand, but most importantly yourself, clients want an agent who can personally connect with them as it makes them feel safe and secure that you’re the best person to find them what they’re looking for. 

“Make sure that you are not treating your clients like transactions. Make them feel special, important and that you have their best interest at heart. Make it feel like a personal relationship rather than a transaction.” Regardless of the industry you’re in, using the internet and social media to interact with your clients, customers, or whoever else helps your business grow is the key for success in 2021. After this pandemic comes to an end the digital age will only continue to advance, and it’s likely that a lot of the digital practices we picked up throughout the past nine months will stick indefinitely, so take advantage now.

Couple Mini Golfing

5 Unique Date Ideas To Spice Up Your Relationship

Candlelit dinners, red roses, and a perfect sunset with a perfect person. When dates are right, they’re really right and can make or break the future of a relationship; depending on what stage of the relationship a couple is in. So instead of making another reservation at the same restaurant, or going to see a movie at the same theater, try to spice up your next date with your significant other and discover things about yourselves you’d never even think to ask about if you were just sitting at a table together.  

Getting some physical activity is a great way to not only gage each others interests, but steer away from the regular ways of talking to our partners. Bowling, for example, is a relaxed and pressure-free “sport” that is just as fun as it can be romantic. If you’re doing any kind of sports outing, you need to ensure that your partner and you are on the same page about being playful and just having a good time with one another. Bowling is perfect for that as you’ll likely be surrounded by other couples and teens who are there for the same reason, to have some fun with some loved ones. 

Other dates that would require just the right amount of physical activity include mini golfing, going on a hike/nature walk in a new town, going to a batting cage, or even laser tagging!

Embed from Getty Images

If you’re more so feeling a casual and intimate approach, look no further than your parents answer to a night of fun, and have a game night with your boo! That’s right, something you would think could only be fun for individuals above the age of 50, makes a great date night. Get a big bottle of your partner’s favorite wine with some other appetizers and set up at least three different board games, the more childish the better. Adding adult elements into family-friendly activities is extremely entertaining. So find a way to turn ‘Chutes and Ladders’ into a drinking game and have at it!

Have you ever considered role playing as a way of spicing up your dating life? Don’t be dirty, I mean role-playing as a tour guide, obviously. In all seriousness a fun, and definitely unique, idea for your next date should involve some sort of museum outing. By that I mean going somewhere that would already have a tour guide or expert to answer any questions you would have regarding the contents of whatever establishment you find yourselves at. 

Once at the museum, or wherever, you and your partner should both choose some specific pieces for one another to become “experts” on, but instead of actually asking a tour guide, or looking up a certain piece of art on your phone, you’re going to improvise. Pretend to be a tour guide genius who knows about the ins and outs of the work you’ve been given. Then, give your partner a “tour” of the pieces and deal out all your newly created knowledge on them, you’d be surprised at the things you’d come up with on the spot. 

Embed from Getty Images

We all love the Food Network and the many food creations we watch professional chefs and bakers alike whip up in a matter of minutes through our screens. Well, why can’t you be Bobby Flay for the evening? Host your own version of a cooking show with your partner and give amateur chef advice on a brand new dish that you just created. Better yet, you and your partner can have your own “Iron Chef” battle and make the same dish, but in your own unique way. Then at the end of the night you can both eat your specific creations and tell your “audience” who you guys believe the winner is. 

Finally, we’ve all heard of the “paint and sip” classes that have taken over the nation. These classes aren’t for couples specifically, although some are, but are still a great outing for you and any of your wine loving creative pals to do. However, to go even further than that, there’s a multitude of arts and craft dates that you and your significant other can go on, and don’t worry, you can still drink wine regardless of which craft you choose!

Go to Michaels or any other crafting supply store together and pick out something you each want to do either together, or separately but still in the same space obviously. Some additional ideas could be finger painting (remember what I said about adding adult elements, wine, to children’s activities), chalk drawing if you have a space for it, sculpting Model Magic statues, or you could even buy one of those fancy relaxing adult coloring books and some coloring pencils and call it a night!

Regardless of what you decide, there’s no reason to stay stuck in a dating routine if you don’t want to. We only have one life to live, and if we’re lucky enough to find a partner who wants to live that life, or part of it, with us, then we might as well have the most fun possible for the time being.

McDonalds Sign

McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook Fired Over Relationship With Colleague

Fast food giant McDonald’s has fired its Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook following revelations of an affair with one of his colleagues, with the successful businessman admitting that he had made a ‘mistake’ regarding his conduct.

Despite both parties consenting to the relationship, the company deemed that Mr. Easterbrook had violated their company policy. It has been disclosed that he is likely to receive around 26 weeks pay against an estimated $16m annual salary and additional bonuses could see him pocketing somewhere in the region of $35m. As part of the exit arrangement, Mr. Easterbrook is not permitted to work for a competitor for a minimum of two years.

News of his departure was circulated to McDonald’s staff via an email in which the 52 year old admitted that he had made a mistake with regards to his conduct. The personally written email also said that he agreed with the board and that it was ‘time to move on’.

British-born Mr. Easterbrook first began working for the company back in 1993, taking up the position of manager in London. After working his way through the ranks, he left in 2011 to head up the popular restaurant chain Pizza Express, before moving on to Japanese restaurant chain Wagamama. However, in 2013, he returned to McDonalds to undertake the position of Head of UK and Northern Europe before becoming Chief Executive in 2015.

Mr. Easterbrook stepped down after the board voted on the matter, also relinquishing his roles as president and member of the board. Their view is that the company has long upheld rules regarding conflict of interest which were clearly ignored by Mr. Easterbrook when he decided to embark on a relationship with a fellow colleague. He was immediately replaced by McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski.

Embed from Getty Images

Many companies have such rules in place regarding relationships or at the very least require parties to disclose any romantic relationships that are occurring within the workplace. Experts say that the main driving factor is to avoid litigation caused by disgruntled partners if the relationship ends badly.

Observing the story unfolding, successful businesswoman and relationship expert Stephanie Tumba, author of ‘100 Dates and a Wedding’ commented:

“When you think how difficult it is to find love nowadays and that 1 in 5 couples meet at work, my view is that this decision was perhaps a little harsh and old-fashioned. Bear in mind that Bill Gates met his wife in the working environment, this stuff happens all the time. People shouldn’t lose their jobs and livelihoods over it.

Today, we live in a much freer world, a far cry from William Shakespeare’s forbidden love stories. Over the years, many taboos surrounding love and relationships have been lifted in most industrialised countries, and it would be naive to think that relationships are not blossoming between colleagues on a daily basis.

Embarking on a romantic relationship within the workplace means maintaining discretion and etiquette as a given. However, I think that sanctioning against such relationships can no longer be the default position. Employers should invite the employees to discuss this situation and then decide how to best deal with it. Whether it’s making them work in different departments and/or legally framing the situation.

Embed from Getty Images

Of course, one can understand that an employer would be concerned that the behaviour of the couple could cause reputational damage to the organisation and create tensions between individuals, teams or departments. Even more so when one of the parties is in a prominent leadership position.

Whilst it is essential that a certain level of conduct is maintained in the working environment, I do not think that organisations can continue to contractually prevent people from nurturing romantic relationships with their colleagues.

Naturally, some inter-work relationships have ended badly. The relationship between President Bill Clinton and his intern Monica Lewinsky lasted for over 18 months and almost led to him losing his job. Several other politicians have found themselves in similar circumstances, all having potentially damaging implications for both the individual and the organisation, country or party they represent.

However, Stephanie’s comments appear to be mirrored in a growing number of people who appear to have no problem with an office romance. A recent survey revealed that 75% of those questioned believed that romantic relationships at work were not problematic. This view was also supported by research which reveals that over 30% of office romances lead to marriage.

In fact, Barack and Michelle Obama first met at a Chicago law firm, after Michelle was given the task of mentoring the firm’s new summer intern, Barack. Despite rejecting his advances at first, over fear that the only two African-Americans in the office dating would appear ‘tacky’, she eventually relented, getting married just four years later.

Minimalist Lifestyle

How to Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle

Most of us can sympathize with the feeling of having too many possessions, or that our environments and lives are cluttered with excessive and unnecessary things or habits that we realize we may be better off without. But few of us have the time, energy, or motivation to eliminate this excess from our lives, and the thought of living more in accordance with the principles of minimalism can be daunting. As such, when it comes to creating a less wasteful and more mindful lifestyle for ourselves, it’s a good idea to first come up with a plan for how to do so comprised of a number of small steps which, when completed, will hopefully lead to a more focused, fulfilling, and happy way of life. These steps should not require you to reinvent your life all in one fell swoop; rather, they should take into account your personal circumstances and preferences and should be iterative, with each small step building on the previous one to enable a gradual shift in lifestyle.

As with many projects in life, the first step should be to consider all of the reasons why you’re interested in a change in lifestyle and how you think this change will benefit you personally. Then you should write down your goals and motivations. You should see this writing process as an opportunity to clearly define your intentions and point of view, and treating the writing step as an artistic and creative endeavor can make the experience fun. To hold yourself accountable to your lifestyle change intentions, I recommend starting a bullet journal, which includes an organizational system that lets you define your goals and allows for a near-unlimited degree of flexibility and creativity. Because they are essentially infinitely customizable, bullet journals offer a more personalized and effective approach than traditional time management systems like pre-printed agendas and calendars, and if you’re a creative type their artistic appeal can encourage you to maintain your journal over time.

Embed from Getty Images

Once you have everything on paper, you can start by looking through your environment and determining what you can donate, sell, or get rid of. Many of us own clothing that we no longer wear; as such, it’s a good idea to start in the closet and collect a number of items to give to a church or a thrift store. As you go through your belongings, assess each item’s value on both a financial and personal level, and accumulate your things into piles depending on what you want to do with them. For objects with sentimental value, determine whether this value is strong enough to warrant allowing the object to continue to clutter your life, and be honest with yourself as it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to hang on to useless old items which are attached to a particular memory than it is to get rid of them. Remember, your purpose is to simplify and streamline your life, and succeeding in this process requires making tough decisions about what’s worth hanging on to.

People with minimalist lifestyles are very careful about what they choose to invest their time, energy, and money into, and as a result find themselves more focused, engaged, and successful in the areas they deem essential.

If your house or apartment is large or you haven’t decluttered in a while, it is a good idea to focus on one room or area at a time. Pick the area where you spend most of your time at home – whether that is your desk, your kitchen, or your living room – and start by decluttering just that area. After doing so, you will begin to notice yourself enjoying the time you spend in that space more, which hopefully will inspire you to declutter the rest of your environment to match. When decluttering, notice if you have duplicate items, as there’s often no sense in owning two of the same items, and determine whether you should sell, donate, keep, or throw out the second item.

Minimalism is not just about limiting your number of personal belongings and reorganizing your environment in a streamlined and simple way – it’s also about reducing complexity in your daily habits and lifestyle. People with minimalist lifestyles are very careful about what they choose to invest their time, energy, and money into, and as a result find themselves more focused, engaged, and successful in the areas they deem essential. Changing your lifestyle is harder than changing your environment, but there are a number of things you can do to make the process easier.

Embed from Getty Images

One good habit for minimalists to adopt is a daily meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation can help put you into a headspace which is more singularly focused on the task at hand, and can help you to understand more clearly what is important in your life and how to make changes for the better. Though you may feel you do not have enough time to maintain a meditation practice, keep in mind that the commitment requires only ten minutes a day, and that people who meditate can paradoxically find themselves feeling as though they have even more time throughout the day as they are more efficient at reaching their goals. When considering lifestyle changes, a major place to focus is your diet. If you’re someone who enjoys going out to eat or eating pre-packaged meals often, consider instead purchasing ingredients to prepare simple and healthy meals ahead of time.

There are a number of benefits to living in a minimalistic way. One benefit is that as you reduce waste, you also help the environment, as you contribute less to landfills and greenhouse gas emissions. Another benefit of minimalism is the fact that it can save you money; as you sell things you have determined you don’t need and reduce your number of expenses, you may also come to realize that you don’t need as much space as you thought you did, encouraging you to live in a smaller but cheaper home or apartment. Minimalism grants us freedom, as it helps stop us from being burdened by our possessions and time-wasting habits. Lastly, minimalism can even help with your personal relationships; as you shift your focus away from building a collection of things towards valuing experiences, you are likely to spend more time with friends and family, and others will begin to notice and appreciate your more focused and intentional disposition.