How Virtual Assistants Can Help Real Estate Agents Who Perform Broker Price Opinions

Banks and other Lending Institutions are overwhelmed with a record number of properties needing Broker Price Opinions (BPOs). This is an opportunity for Real Estate Agents to increase their earnings. Executing a BPO is an additional stream of income for agents because agents get paid after the BPO is finished, which is much better than waiting for a property to get sold. If an agent accepts a large number of BPO assignments, it won’t take long before he/she gets overwhelmed with just the thought of having to handle the entire process alone. There is a way to increase the number of BPO orders while making sure that the quality of work exceeds the expectations of the BPO companies. Let us first find out what a BPO is.

What is a Broker Price Opinion?

A BPO is essentially a tool used by banks and lenders to determine the value of a property without having to pay for a full blown property appraisal. An agent is usually assigned the task of carrying out the BPO which can be an exterior BPO – requiring only the pictures of; the street, the street name, the address numerals, the front of the property, the side(s), the back and so on; typically pictures that can be taken without entering the property itself OR an interior BPO – requiring pictures of the interior, pictures of every room, repairs needed, mechanical parts like the water heater, HVAC, sump pump and so on.

These pictures are usually accompanied by additional information of three sold and three actively listed properties that are comparable to the subject properties. Agents are paid more for the interior BPOs than the exteriors. Depending on the market area, agents can get paid between $30 on the low end to as high as $75 (and sometimes even more).

How to increase the number of BPO assignment by using a Virtual Assistant (VA)

  • Registering with new BPO companies: The VA can help get additional BPO assignments by taking over the time consuming task of signing up with new BPO companies. The VA gives the required information and fill out the application forms on behalf of the real estate agent. The competition between agents for BPOs is fierce; it can easily become a question of how badly an agent wants it and how quickly can the agent accept it. In order to get a sizeable and predictable number of BPO orders daily, the agent needs to sign up with a lot of BPO companies.
  • Following up with BPO company contacts: The VA can help the real estate agent follow up with key contacts at the BPO companies in order to get assigned BPOs. Most times these contacts will say they are no longer looking for agents or might just tell the VA to be patient and wait to be assigned a BPO. The solution is really to attempt to get them to assign BPOs that are needed in a hurry – rushed BPOs or those that were previously assigned to other agents who for one reason or the other did not do a good job on it. The VA can call these contacts quite frequently using a standard script to ask for “BPO Re-Assignments” and “rushed ordered BPOs”. After helping with these kinds of BPOs the agent can become a much needed resource to BPO Companies because they need agents to correctly turn in BPO that other agents dropped the ball on or BPOs that they need to get back immediately.
  • Entering in time consuming BPO data: The VA can help enter the BPO data into the system used by the BPO companies so the agent can spend time doing more important things. All that needs to be done is to supply the VA with the comparable sold and actively listed properties in form of a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA), as well as the pictures of the subject property. Once the VA has completely entered in the data, the real estate agent can then go back and quickly review the data and enter in the final comments to establish the value of the property. One of the reasons why using a VA to enter in the data is a great option is – this allows the agent to keep track of what type of information each BPO company requires and essentially create a system for the VA to actually pull the data on their own.
  • Taking pictures of the property: This point has two sides to it because it depends on where the VA is located. If the VA is located in the state as the subject property, then the agent can actually train the VA on how to take the required pictures for the interior and exterior BPOs so that the VA can go out and take the pictures. In situations where the VA is not located in the same state, the VA can help find people to take the pictures by posting ads on online classifieds such as Craigslist, Kijiji and so on. In this economy folks are eager for a paying job, I suggest paying them $10 per property and also paying for their gas. The VA will then be responsible in coordinating the picture taking activities of these folks by letting them know the addresses for each property, the types of pictures required and when they are due back.

These are the various reasons why it makes sense for Real Estate Agents to hire Virtual Assistants help with BPOs. It really boils down to the systems put in place. If a good system for doing BPOs is already established, a VA can easily take on some of the tasks or all of it so as to free up time for the agent to work on more BPO orders while ensuring the quality of work so that their relationship with the BPO companies is well maintained.

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How to Measure Your Bra Size – Bra Fitting Tips For Every Size

If you’re unable to get to a bra shop for a bra fitting, don’t let that stop you from figuring out your bra size. You won’t believe it till you’re wearing the proper size but a good fitting bra will make you look thinner, feel more confident and will improve your breast heath. Here are the steps to a better you!

  • Have a seamstress’ measuring tape handy. This will allow you to measure the circumference around your breast and rib cage with ease.
  • Start with your rib cage measurement. Place the measuring tape directly below your bust where the underwire would normally rest. Make sure the tape is parallel to the floor and is completely level. When measuring, make sure the tape is nice and snug, similar to how a bra should fit. Record your measurement in inches. 
  • Once you have the measurement, add three inches. This is your band size. Bra manufacturers design bras with these measurements so don’t worry about seeming bigger than you really are.  An exception to this rule is if you measure over 40 inches. In this case, stay within an inch of your measurement. The larger your breasts, the snugger your band should be to support you.
  • Once you have you rib cage measurement you’ll need your cup size measurement. To find this, measure the fullest part of your bust.  You should be wearing a non-padded bra for this part of the measuring. Padded bras will add volume to your bust and will subsequently confuse the measurement.

  • Once you have both measurements, you’ll be ready to learn your bra size!

  • To find your bra size, you must subtract your rib cage measurement from your bust size measurement. (Note that your rib cage measurement is the number before you add the three inches.) For every inch difference there is a letter and that letter is your cup size.

1 inch = A cup
2 inches = B cup
3 inches = C cup
4 inches = D cup
5 inches = E cup (DD)
6 inches = F cup (DDD)
7 inches = G cup  

  • Take your band size and add it to your cup size. Viola! There is your bra size.

Example: Your rib cage measures 31 inches and your bust size measures 36 inches.

Your band size: 31 + 3 = 34. Your band size is 34.

Your cup size: 36 – 31 = 5 inches. 5 inches is an E cup (DD).

Your bra size = 34DD.

Things get a little more complicated if you’re between sizes.

Example: Your rib cage measures 32 inches and your bust measures 36.5 inches.

Your band size: 32 + 3 = 35. Your band size is 35, which doesn’t exist.

Your cup size: 36.5 – 32 = 4.5. 4.5 inches is between a D & E cup.

In this case, your bra size is between a 34E and a 36D.

Even then, sizes differ by not only manufacturer but even by product line. Some bras run big, some run small. This measurement guide is only the beginning and you will likely have to try on several bras before you’ll find the one that fits you best. Bra fitting is a trial and error process at the best of times. Help the process by keeping notes about the fit of the bras you try on so you can tell your fitter. The more information you have about the fit of the band, cup, etc, the better advice the fitter can give you.

It is important to note that the shape of your bust will affect the measurement. Therefore, women with larger busts will have less accurate measurements. If you are plus size, there is less projection from your rib cage. In layman’s terms, your breasts don’t go as out and you’ll likely have to try on the bras to find your exact size.  

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Small Business Marketing Tips – 5 Free Top Secret Gmail Marketing Strategies

Different Ways Of Advertising

Businesses often make use of hundreds of distinct advertising methods today, but only a few have garnered the kind of success or praises from marketers or number among small business marketing tips. It is challenging to promote products and services via advertising. The internet has opened up many new channels for advertising to develop. One of the better known options out there today is Gmail advertising. This method stands out from AdWords and banner posting in one crucial way; the distinctive PPC advertising style has been adapted for the email inbox.

Advertising In The Inbox

Everyone uses email. You write all types of messages to everyone from your coworkers and family to bill collectors and doctors. All the information you share can helps to create the raw data that can be used by Gmail’s integrated advertising. This lets marketers create very targeted and optimized ads. You need to learn a few things about creating appropriate advertisements though. Take a look at the following tips.

Gmail Marketing Tips

1. Start adapting your AdWords campaign – Basically, you’ll create a campaign that focuses on certain content and is compatible with Gmail specifically. You can adjust search settings so that your ads will only appear for mail clients. There a whole list of network options that allows you to customize exclusively for Gmail.

2. Use thought stringing techniques – Rather than focusing on keywords as you would with typical SEO methods, in Gmail you to start thinking about how people “think” about different things. When people use email they aren’t using keywords but are typing in thoughts or ideas. This means using thoughts and phrases that flow naturally. Strings can take the form of hidden desires not consciously realized, painful thoughts or frustration, and common terminology that may relate to products or niches.

3. Fight your competition – If you write about certain products in emails, you can promote competing products in ads as a subtle response tactic. If your business targets specific phrases that way you can influence purchases. This can be a tricky method since you need to do lots of competitor research to become familiar with products and other important information within the context of email.

4. Consider the context carefully – In advertising, the context is one of the most important aspects. Any ads you place need to speak the readers where they are. What are they discussing via email that would prompt them to express a need for your product or service? It makes no difference if you’re selling small business marketing tips or an auto-responder membership. You need to know the context of the conversations in order to provide material that relates directly so it resonates with the reader.

5. You can chain together needs – Think about it this way: Let’s say someone has purchased a new house and they haven’t taken further steps to get it ready. You should consider the other things they will need to purchase like furniture, paint, etc. If your business is furniture then you can determine perceived interest in that subject based on email conversations then you can insert contextual ad links they might click on.

Making Decisions

One of the tricks to benefiting from small business marketing tips like those involving Gmail is to simply make the decision to experiment. You can always try something else if this method fails to give you the results you expected. Gmail advertising is just one way to approach marketing in recession, but is definitely one that had a positive reputation.

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