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January 2016

There are 6 blog entries for January 2016.

You won't be "shushed" at Dane County libraries. Programs like beer-making, coloring for adults, and poetry writing are engaging patrons and creating new conversations. And while the library continues to be a key location for books and literacy, programs are expanding to include so much more. Tana Elias, Digital Services and Marketing Director for the Madison Public Library, says the library is growing as a place for hands on learning, with programs aimed at getting the community together, starting meaningful conversations and building new bridges.

An example of this is "The Bubbler," a hands on initiative launched with the construction of the new Madison Central Library. Current events on the Bubbler's page include an art car derby, an up-cycled tee

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How's the market shaping up this year? Here are our 8 predictions for the 2016 Madison real estate market. 

Madison Real Estate Predictions 2016

Prediction #1: The Madison rental market will remain tight. 

Apartment vacancy rates will remain low, even though construction is booming with thousands of new units planned for 2016 and 2017. Dane County's apartment-hungry population continues to absorb new inventory, thanks in large part to the growth of Epic Systems and other local tech companies. The latest vacancy rate data from MG&E shows apartment availability is very tight. 

2016 Prediction for Madison Apartments

Prediction #2: Madison apartment rents will rise. 

A shortage of available rentals means rents will rise in 2016. And rising rents will force some apartment dwellers to choose home ownership over

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With temperatures dropping again early next week, finding places to warm up and enjoy delicious food just might make the winter doldrums more bearable. Whether you're craving steak, home-style meals, ethnic foods or fine dining, Madison restaurants are featuring some of their best offerings for Winter Restaurant Week, starting Sunday.

Madison Magazine is the force behind Restaurant Week. The local publication already features regular coverage of area restaurants, but wanted to do more to feature local talent. Now in its 9th year, Restaurant Week will include fifty-one local establishments. Participating venues have signed on to offer 3 course meals, starting at $25 for dinner. "We want to encourage people to get out and try something different, at

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Our most successful listings are those with a great spirit of teamwork. Our upcoming listing at Nichols Station Condominiums is a great example. Yesterday our real estate team met with Mr Seller's family and Debbie Lea from Showcase Home Stagers to prepare the condo for sale. We started at 9:00 AM and before we hit 11:00 AM the condo was 80% staged. Today, Mr Seller will purchase a few accessories, remove a few furniture pieces, and do a little touch-up cleaning before we arrange for our professional photographer to shoot the listing photos and video. 

Home Stager Debbie Lea Madison WI"Hands On Staging" by Debbie Lea

Yesterday's 2-hour session was extremely productive as we worked together to implement Debbie's recommendations. During our time together I documented all of the

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Right now there are many experts in the industry teaching agents how to capture leads and fill their prospect pipeline on demand. There are a lot of ways to go about this. Forcing registration on your website is one way to pump up the volume. “Buying leads” online is another. The basic premise is to purchase a lot of low-trust leads and put them through a systematic conversion process. The conversion process often involves placing many phone calls, emails and text messages to each lead over a period of time - until eventually a very small percentage of the leads are converted into clients. In other words, pour each prospect into a SPAM funnel until only the best ones come out. 

 

10 Days of Pain

As an example, there is one lead conversion plan in

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Our real estate team just had a web expert complete an audit of our site. There were many excellent recommendations that came out of the audit, but the recommendation to “force registration” left a bad taste in my mouth. By “forcing registration”, the auditor is recommending we require people to give up their name, phone number and email address in order to view a property listing on our site.

It was explained in the audit that forced registration is an industry best practice - because it generates “more leads”. I disagree with this practice on a number of levels, but my biggest objection is forced registration just smells and tastes spammy to me.  

 

More Leads Does Not Equal More Trust

Sure, forcing registration is an easy way to “get more

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