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:

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

Put it on autopilot: 5 ideas for automating your day

As a CRE broker, you’ve got enough to do in your day without having to do it over and over and over again. You know what we mean: from re-typing the same exact thing a zillion times to sending twenty emails to schedule one simple meeting.

Today, we’re simplifying your life with these five must-try tips for automating your day. Here’s how to free up more time for better things, starting right now:

Topics: Best Practices

How to survive the next CRE downturn

Downturn? Wait—what downturn?

If that’s what you were thinking just now, you’re right: we aren’t in one. Which makes this an excellent time to plan for the next one.

And of course, there will be a next one—there always is. After all, the good times can’t last forever, and deep inside we all know that. Just ask the brokers who were doing business back in the glory days of 2007, right before the Great Recession.

In fact, if you know brokers who survived the last recession and have the battle scars to prove it, do this: ask them how they did it, and how they’re preparing for the next rough patch. A few CRE pros are already getting a head start on that question over at Wall Street Oasis—here’s what they’re talking about, plus our take on what else you can do to stay on top in a downturn.

How to start valuing your time

“…do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” - Benjamin Franklin

They say time is money, but we think that equation could use an update: time is far more valuable than money. Think about it: if you squander the money you have, you can always earn more of it. But you can never get your wasted time back. And yet some people just give their time away as if it were nothing: they fritter it away or worse, believe they’re using it wisely when really they’re just being “busy.”

Let’s acknowledge that there’s a huge difference between merely filling your time and valuing your time. Today, we’re sharing two powerful strategies to help you make the most of the finite amount of time you have each day.

Topics: Best Practices

The YouTube videos every CRE broker should see

Time for a little break? Grab a coffee and spend a few minutes with these YouTube videos: they’re a great way to get energized, inspired, and ready to tackle whatever else your day has in store.

Here are our must-watch picks for when...

Scandals and sports bars: This month in CRE

This month, there was a lot in the world of CRE that caught our eye, including a federal-level controversy, a possible opening for Amazon HQ, and the triumph of Dave & Buster's.

Here’s what’s on our radar for February:

Topics: Industry News

Don’t write another email until you read this

emails-marketing-320x180.jpegEmails. Gotta write them. Gotta send them. But the person who gets them doesn’t have to do a single thing. They can ignore, delete, or just let them linger in inbox purgatory.

Which isn’t that encouraging, because after you spend all that time writing just the right message to a prospect, the last place you want it to go is in the trash.

So how do you write emails that get read—and even better, get a response? Today we’re sharing our top tips for writing must-read emails.