Irena Ashcraft

Irena Ashcraft

Irena is a freelance writer who works with innovators, educators, explorers, and changemakers. From brave nonprofits to frontier-straddling startups, she helps clients connect with their biggest fans through writing that's fresh, relatable, and fun.

Recent Posts by Irena Ashcraft:

The busier you are, the more down time you need (here’s how to get it)

Great brokers thrive on the energy that comes with getting things done, whether it’s meeting a new prospect or shaking on a new deal. But if you’re the type that keeps getting things done, we’re betting you’re also the type who keeps that to-do list topped up.

Don’t get us wrong—we love brokers who go out there and make things happen. But the more we tune in to the science, the more we’re beginning to understand how important it is for doers to spend a little time doing, well, nothing at all.

Topics: Best Practices

[Infographic] How 5 top brokers structure their days for max productivity

When you structure your day right, everything seems to flow more easily—from the hours to the deals. But get cluttered up with pointless emails, meetings, and other time sucks, and suddenly the day has gone by and you’ve got nothing to show for it.

Being in this business means figuring out how to structure your day for the most productivity—from how you schedule meetings to how you handle emails. Here's how 5 high-performing brokers do it.

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

How to become the most valuable broker in your city

Imagine being one of the top brokers in your city. What would that look like? What would it mean for your business, your reputation, and your income? And how could you get to that level?

Marketing and business mastermind Seth Godin offers a useful place to start. He says:

“Focus on creating a reputation and a work product that others believe is worth more. The mistake we make is in not telling stories that create more value, in not doing the hard work of building something unique and worth seeking out."

Seth’s advice is geared to businesses in general, but let’s apply it to commercial real estate specifically. Here’s what you can do:

Topics: Best Practices

Broker insights: The bad advice that just won’t go away

When you’ve been in the CRE industry for a while, you encounter certain myths and pieces of bad advice that just won’t go away. This week, we reached out to brokers to find out the one thing that keeps being passed around as truth—but simply isn’t so. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

Broker insights: How do you spend your time?

There are only 24 hours in a day, but somehow the best brokers make it work.

“In CRE our golden hours are the normal business hours,” says Bob McComb, creator of Top Dogs CRE Training. “Brokers have about 1,860 golden hours to achieve their financial goals."

This week, we reached out to brokers to ask how many hours they typically put into each working day, and how exactly they spend that time. Here’s what we learned:

Broker insights: How do you start conversations with prospects?

As a broker, you spend your life striking up conversations with potential clients—whether it’s on the phone with a prospect or in line at the coffee shop. And if you’re one of the good ones, you know exactly how to keep the conversation going from that first hello to that first deal.

There’s a lot at stake from the very first words you use, which is why we asked brokers what they like to do to spark a connection and keep things flowing. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

Broker insights: What’s your top marketing strategy?

What’s the best marketing idea you’ve tried this year?

We’re always on the lookout for fresh ways to help you expand your business, so this week we asked several successful brokers for their go-to marketing strategies. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Interviews

From the skies to the stadiums: 5 fun CRE stories this month

This month, we’ve been following CRE developments across the nation, from a new kind of sports arena in Texas to a sky-high traffic solution in Boston. Here are the stories that made us stop and think this month:

Topics: Industry News

Why you lost that deal: 3 lessons from brokers

We don’t think there’s a single broker out there with a perfect track record. Along with the wins, of course, everyone has had their share of losses. But top brokers know that there’s no point letting a loss go to waste—you might as well learn from it. Sometimes things fall apart no matter what you do. But other times, you look back and think, “OK, next time I’m playing this differently."

We asked brokers across the nation to tell us about the deals they’ve lost and what they learned from them. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Interviews

Think you need a new junior broker? Here’s how to hire the right person.

If you’re ready to take on a junior broker, congratulations! Building out a team can take some weight off your shoulders while bringing in more business.

But before that happens, there’s a lot you’ll have to figure out: how to find the right person, which tasks to start them off with, and finally, how to negotiate a fair commission split. Today, we’ll delve into the details of hiring your first junior broker—form bringing them onboard to bringing in your first deal together.

Topics: Best Practices