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:

Why CRE needs more women—and what we can do about it

How many female brokers do you know?

While you may be able to name a few who’ve done remarkably well—women like Heidi Burkhart, for example—they’re getting harder and harder to find. In the past decade, there’s been a 10% decline in the number of female CRE brokers, according to a study by the CREW Network (PDF).

That loss is troubling, especially given how few women are in the industry to start with. According to NAIOP’s 2013  Commercial Real Estate Diversity Report (PDF), there are:

  • 14.1% women at the executive level*
  • 21.5% women at the mid level
  • 29.5% women at the professional level
  • 79.2% women at the clerical level

That’s a shame: these numbers don’t just reflect a loss of female talent at the higher levels, they reflect a massive loss of potential.

Topics: Industry News

Is your marketing falling short? Ask yourself these 12 questions to troubleshoot.

The following is an excerpt from our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Listings . Read the below and then download the rest for a simple but powerful marketing blueprint designed to help you get deals done quickly.

Let’s say you’ve won an exclusive rep agreement and you’ve started marketing the listing. Everything is in motion, but for some reason, you’re not getting a great response. If that’s the case, there may be some glitches in your marketing. For example:

Topics: Best Practices

Trend alert: Why WeWork and others are betting on co-living

When WeWork first entered the co-working space in 2010, established real estate giants had little to worry about from their scrappy, young competitor.

That was seven years ago. Today, WeWork is valued at $20 billion and winning over major corporate clients like IBM, Spotify, and Salesforce. They're disrupting the office sector and giving titans like JLL and CBRE a good reason to be nervous.

Could their next big venture, co-living, disrupt the multifamily sector?

Topics: Industry News

7 ways to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to prospect better

Have you tried LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool yet? It can shortcut the process of finding qualified leads and lets you play with a treasure trove of user data so that you can unearth prospects based on everything from zip code to common interests—which is far more than you can do with the regular search function.

Here are a few ways the Sales Navigator can help you prospect:

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

7 ways to master the ‘invisible agenda’ at your next conference

How will you prepare for the upcoming fall conference season? Even if you love the spontaneity of chatting up a new contact in the lunch line or comparing notes with the person next to you at the panel discussion, planning ahead can pay off in far more high-quality opportunities.

Here’s the secret: at every conference, there’s always the official agenda and the “invisible agenda,” the one you won’t find on the website. It encompasses all the informal handshakes and conversations between sessions, as well as pre-arranged meetings and even a few “spontaneous” get-togethers. You could go through an entire conference and never notice this invisible agenda unfolding all around you. Or you could be the one who sets it.

Topics: Best Practices

Do you spend enough time following up?

You may already know that most brokers don’t spend nearly enough time prospecting—and we’re willing to bet that fewer spend time actively monitoring and following up on those leads.

But not following up or keeping in touch is like ordering a mouthwatering burger and then walking away from the table when it arrives. You can smell how good it’s going to taste, but you never actually take that first bite. The same goes for prospecting: you can almost smell how good that deal’s going to be if it materializes. But if you don’t follow up, you are literally leaving an opportunity on the table!

By now, you should have a consistent prospecting strategy. Next, make sure you’re finishing the job by following up strategically. Here’s how to do it:

Topics: Best Practices

Are you prospecting enough?

Prospecting is to a broker what free throws are to an NBA star, or what the gas pedal is to a race car driver. Simply put: it’s the foundation of your success.

And yet, the Massimo Blog revealed that over 80% of respondents in a national survey prospected only sporadically or when they could. What’s more, 7% of these respondents suggested that they do not prospect at all.

What brokers can learn from James Bond

Ever fantasize about being James Bond? Maybe Jason Bourne? Spies and brokers have more in common than you think. After all, spies spend their time navigating high-stakes environments, uncovering hidden opportunities, and building valuable relationships. Just like the brokers we know.

Today, we’re having a bit of fun and channeling our favorite Hollywood spies to reveal how you, a broker, can cultivate — ehem—“a very particular set of skills.” Whether you’re digging up intel on other people’s deals or going stealth for some undercover sleuthing, the following information is for your eyes only.

Topics: Best Practices

In the future, everything’s possible: Here’s what that means for CRE

Before digital spreadsheets, it would take a bookkeeper an entire day to calculate the impact of changing a single business variable. When VisiCalc appeared on the market in 1979, suddenly people could get those calculations instantly.

That was a huge leap, and it ushered in the spreadsheet era. You might remember using spreadsheets to keep track of clients, deals, and prospects. Fast forward to today: modern CRM systems are making it even easier to use that data, slashing time wasted and giving you a big bump in productivity.

Topics: CRE Tech

Want to make success automatic? Tweak your habits.

Back in 2006, a Duke University researcher discovered that 40% of the things we do every day are pure habit. Whether it's brushing your teeth each morning or driving to work without really thinking about it, habits require very little mental energy and keep your days humming along smoothly.

But they’re also a powerful force at work, and how successful you are as a broker can come down to the invisible routines you follow. So are your habits working for or against you?

Topics: Best Practices