Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧

From Bloggers to Vloggers to Tik-Tokers, the real estate industry has ridden every social media wave. But this week, we’re diving into the world of Podcasts. While it’s not the freshest face in the crowd, savvy agents are turning to this medium in growing numbers and unlocking the secrets of success in the ever-evolving real estate world.

1. Dubai Property Podcast

Dubai Property Podcast provides you valuable information about the real estate market in Dubai. Including property investment, property management, market trends, legal requirements, and comprehensive information if you are looking to buy or sell property in Dubai, as well as for real estate agents and investors.

Continue reading “Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧”

Knowing your Client’s Personality type is your Secret Weapon

Ever wished that you could read your client’s mind and be one step ahead of them?

Understanding the way your client thinks is your secret weapon to bringing home that sale. 

We reveal the 4 most common personality types and the clues that could help you sell to them, better.

Getting inside their minds

Experts believe that individuals are wired to make purchasing decisions, based on their personality type. Which type is your client?

1. The Leader

This client type has come prepared; they did their research, and know exactly what they’re looking for. Super motivated, they have no time for small talk, wanting to cut to the chase. They’ll make decisions quick and generally don’t have the time to deal with sales people. Be on your toes, this personality type will be the one to walk into the home, take one look around, and sign the very same day. They’ll equally walk away in an instant if you pussy-foot around.

How do you sell to the Leader?

Tune in to these behaviours quickly, or risk losing them to a competitor. If they’re a Leader type, remember they need freedom to do just that, so let them lead the conversation, and to a degree, stay out of their way. Do not hand-hold (we’re not talking literally during viewings, although that’s equally not advisable!) and give them space to absorb the product, until they’re ready to ask questions.

2. The People Person

Common traits of this client type include them being talkative, easily excited and often extroverted. Their number one need is to connect with the sales agent. As the name suggest, they’re “people-people”, and value a personal touch, so stay close (and then close).

How do you sell to the People Person?

Tip 1: Do not be pushy! Drop the sales pitch, turn off “sales mode” and turn on “relationship mode”. These customers are people-oriented, so create an environment free of confrontation or pressure. 

“They enjoy the journey, have time to talk, want to get value from your expertise in the sales process, and value your knowledge in helping them make a sensible investment or find their dream home. Reinforce their beliefs, be a great listener, be available, be “with them” and support them. If you master this type and serve them really well, they’re going to be a walking, talking, billboard for you. Put lots of business cards in their hands.”

Tap in to key personality types

3. The Free Spirit

The Free Spirit is fun-loving and likes to have a good time. They’re extremely independent and are risk-takers. They are open to ideas, won’t mind being thrown a curve ball, but will be turned off by slick, rehearsed sales routines. They like to be in control of how and when things get done, so you could be in for an exhilarating but rocky ride.

How do you sell to the Free Spirit?

Get excited and celebrate with them! They’re creative people so make the sales approach equally exciting and celebratory, not boring and stale. Offer something they haven’t yet considered yet; you never know with this personality type just what might trigger that decision to buy.

4. The Task Master 

The Task Master will be your most challenging personality to deal with. They are punctual, meticulous, structured, and very detail-oriented. They are the total opposite of the Free Spirit. Dependability and reliability are their biggest needs in dealing with a sales agent.

How do you sell to this Task Master?

They are cautious and need reassurance, so going in full throttle won’t work. Don’t try to pressure-sell them; they’ll just shut down. They’re going to listen to every piece of information, so make sure it’s 100% on point. 

And be prepared for them having to “think about it” even after numerous conversations. The technique here is to have great follow through, stick with the plan, and unlike the Free Spirit, do not throw them any curve balls. Be dependable, and do what you said you were going to do. Eventually, your credibility and trust will win them over before the final purchasing decision. 

Know yourself, too

Knowing as much as you can about your client, as quickly as you can, will be a game changer. This is as close as you’ll get to being inside your customer’s brain and know what they’re thinking, so you know what your next move is. 

Yet, even armed with all this knowledge, you must also know your own personality or sales style. This will enable you to adapt your natural behaviours and manage their expectations. You’ll need to shape the relationship along the way if you want to establish effective communication.

As you get more confident, you can begin to adjust yourself, and integrate your understanding of your own personality into the sales process.

But with any human interaction, no amount of self awareness or clever second-guessing of their verbal or visual cues, will be of use if the foundations aren’t set around honestly and integrity. 

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Soft Skills: The Intangible Qualities that Companies Crave

To do your job effectively, you need hard skills; the technical know-how and subject-matter knowledge to fulfil your responsibilities.

But in a forever-changed world of work, lesser-touted ‘soft skills’ may be just as important ­– if not even more crucial.

These skills are more nuanced. Low-profile. Think personal characteristics and behaviours that make a strong leader or a good team member.

Strong Words. Softly Spoken.

Employers are increasingly considering a candidate’s soft skills as closely as their experience and explicit technical specialties.

For some people, soft skills are innate. For example, there are those for whom being a good communicator or analytical thinker, comes naturally.

But for others, developing soft skills can be more challenging. Yet it’s possible for everyone to sharpen these characteristics. And that, say experts, is something we should all be doing.

What are Soft Skills?

There is no definitive list of soft skills, but the term essentially refers to abilities beyond the technical.

Confidence with certain software, for instance, is a hard skill. On the other hand, knowing how to analyse different software packages to figure out what a company should be using requires critical thinking: a soft skill. 

Another major soft-skill area is communication.

Effectively communicating with colleagues, clients and management requires dexterity and emotional intelligence. Empathy, teamwork and compassion are also skills that fall under that same umbrella.

Many soft skills are highly practical, like efficiency, prioritisation, organisation and time management – all traits that are becoming increasingly critical for remote and hybrid workers.

And soft skills aren’t merely useful at work – they’re generally invaluable. The same skills that enable workers to operate successfully within company hierarchy and rise to the top also breed successful interpersonal relationships, for instance.

A Notable Shift

As many of the highly technical parts of work are becoming increasingly automated, or replaced by technological tools, companies are instead looking for workers who can problem-solve, juggle larger responsibilities and work well with others.

Additionally, soft skills have become even more important in the post-pandemic, largely remote work landscape. For instance: communication can be much more nuanced and complex when workers don’t see colleagues face to face.

Communication can be much more nuanced and complex
when workers don’t see colleagues face to face.

Adaptability, too, is a soft skill – and the past two years have called for a lot of it.

It’s not to say that technical skills have fallen by the wayside, but companies have increasingly come to realise emphasising the interpersonal skills that hold organisations together are what drives great results.

Global job site Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook revealed soft skills such as collaboration, teamwork, dependability and flexibility are among the skills employers most prize in workers. 

Turning “Softer”

We tend to be aware of our strengths, but honing interpersonal skills starts with soliciting feedback to identify your weaknesses and blind spots. Improving them may mean forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you want to improve your imaginative thinking or problem-solving, for instance, try sitting in on brainstorming sessions with the company’s creatives.

Emotional intelligence can be increased, too, by developing social awareness and learning to regulate your own feelings and respond to others with empathy. On top of improving job prospects, research shows that people with high emotional intelligence are less likely to experience stress and anxiety.

Hiring Mindsets

As a result, employers are actively soliciting candidates who have these intangibles. Hiring manager may ask candidates to demonstrate soft skillsets, or this “moon-shot mindset”.

For example, they may be asked to show a real-life example of passion or commitment, prove their resilience in a particularly challenging situation, or provide evidence of continuous learning at work.

To best prepare for situations like these, candidates should identify their strongest soft skills in advance, and be ready to demonstrate them.

Of course, technical skills and experience on your CV will always be important, but in the changed world of work, they’re not enough: you’ll still need to convince recruiters you possess the softer skills that will help you be a leader.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

Kate Morgan writes for The BBC Worklife

This story has been published from an article on 25th July 2022.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Tune In, Turn Up: Top Real Estate Podcasts

Social media marketing has engulfed the residential real estate business, providing a 24/7 reality show reel of real estate agents and their antics.

First Bloggers, then Vloggers, and now Tik-Tokers. It seems as though every agent has their finger in one or more social media pie, promoting themselves and their listings to a worldwide, property-hungry audience. 

This week we’re talking Podcasts. They’re not the newest medium on the block. But they’re what growing numbers of savvy agents are turning to.

Continue reading “Tune In, Turn Up: Top Real Estate Podcasts”

Startup Founders Should Learn From Captain Marvel

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I didn’t at first. Mass-market Hollywood Blockbuster cheese, I thought.

I was more into the hi-brow stuff (Yes Sir…🤨).

But now I’m 43 with 2 kids. Family movie nights are a thing for us at this stage in our lives. Marvel’s hit that spot.

The wife loves #DrStrange.

My son is all in on #Spidey.

My daughter is pre-teening, so none of it is cool enough.

Me…I’ve been enjoying #Thor‘s escapades.

But there’s one moment in the entire MCU that, in my humble opinion, defines the #entrepreneur‘s journey better than any #influencer or #MBA course ever can.

Try. Fail. Rise. Unleash.

It’s that scene in #CaptainMarvel. When she realises that she’s been blocking herself from unleashing her full potential. Fighting with one hand tied behind her back.

She changes her psychology. Sets her mind free.

And in so doing, she unlocks the full awesomeness of her raw power.

At that point, even #chrishemsworth will probably agree that #CaptainMarvel is the most powerful of all the MCU characters.

#Founders and #Entrepreneurs; you are no different to #CaptainMarvel. Your power is raw and unlimited.

You are where you are, doing what you are doing, because you dared.

Many of the people in your universe, haven’t dared to go it alone. To do what you’re doing. They don’t understand what it’s like. Every…single…day.

So block out the social media noise and all the social constraints.

Don’t hold back. Don’t mute yourself. Don’t doubt or deny yourself.

Don’t seek to please or to be understood.

Just get #raw! Do it as you see it. Say it as you mean it.

Unleash the truest version of yourself. Your success will follow.

NB: No cheese 🧀 was harmed in the making of this post

Ayman Alashkar is a real estate economist and AI strategist, with +20years’ experience as real estate asset manager, investor, developer and banker.

Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial journey, Ayman was Head of Real Estate for Emirates NBD’s Private Bank, where he was responsible for $2.2 Billion in UHNWI customer Assets Under Advisory. Before this, Ayman was a MENA Director of Real Estate Advisory at Global consultancy Colliers International.

Ayman has transacted and financed over US$1.5 Billion in real estate and FX investments.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Surviving Summer in Real Estate

The summer real estate market. Long. Quiet. Boring. Often bearing little or no fruit, by way of sales.

For many real estate agents, it can be a hard slog.

And with many people already headed overseas for long-awaited revenge travel vacations, brokers could be forgiven for expecting another slow burn this summer.

But as we head further into the hottest season of 2022, things aren’t cooling down. On the contrary. There’s been an influx of buyers and sellers across many real estate markets worldwide.

Either way, how can agents remain as competitive as possible, and stay busy, whilst the heat rises?

This week we present four tips to take advantage of during the summer, and prepare you for the win:

1. Buddy-up With a Builder

Home renovations have soared since covid. The building trade boomed as people started to prioritise time spent at home. Added to this, a shift towards remote working meant extra space was needed to accommodate the “home office”. And summer is often when a lot of home refurbs take place.

Having a close connection to a contractor will therefore keep an agent up to date with new inventory. And in case of stock drying up, having an inside guy can get you an intro before anything comes to market. Use this time to make contacts while renovation work is underway.

2. Old is Gold

Never neglect old clients.

Agents shouldn’t let any influx of new prospects distract them from tending to old clients. It’s always important to contact them. Share valuable information. Remind them why they loved working with you in the first place.

Treating these past clients right is the key to drawing new business. Referrals and word-of-mouth are the secret to success for many top agents. Pick up the phone to previous clients and say hello. If they’re taking some summer down-time, they might be in just the right mood for a chat.

3. Become Early Adopters

Technology can truly help set you apart.

AI writing assistants can instantly create your property descriptions. 3D home tours transform the online viewing experience. Digital e-signing services enable rapid, secure legal transactions. All examples of efficiency-driven technology that significantly increases the efficiency of your business.

So when it’s quiet in the office, trial some new platforms. Test out a new efficiency tool. Look at ways to save time by using intuitive and user-friendly tech. You’ll soon find that adopting an open mind will only help your business evolve.

4. Know Your Worth

While many clients are taking the reins early on, agents still play an essential role. Buying a home is a huge financial undertaking that still unnerves many. Plus, it’s impossible to think that technology can ever replace a genuine, invested, human agent.

A simple phone call. An open house. A calling card. All work wonders when delivered in the right way, at the right time. And the summer months allow you to plan all this – to perfection.

Prepare for All Weather

So as the summer season gets into full swing, let these words of wisdom stick with you:

In real estate, you don’t have to build it for them to come — you just have to make it happen for those that do. And there will always be those that do. Whatever the weather.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Real Estate Startups Just Got Hotter

The MENA region’s Real Estate and Startup industries just got a massive boost from the announcement of a strategic partnership between and Houza.

In a sign of maturing Proptech industry times, world-leading AI writing assistant, has partnered with UAE real estate portal, to deliver a richer online experience for industry stakeholders.

Customers of the Agency-backed disruptive portal can now use to improve their consumer engagement and operational efficiency. allows them to instantly create unique, search optimised marketing content.

Founder and CEO of, Ayman Alashkar said: “We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Houza and its network of leading real estate agencies.”

Agents listing with Houza now get a massive 50% discount off their subscription to

“Nobody prints, then signs, scans and sends paper contracts anymore. It’s all done electronically. So why would you still write your listing descriptions manually, when you’ve got to instantly do it for you, saving you time and effort?”

Ayman Alashkar – is transforming how the estate agents create property write-ups

Across the industry, real estate agencies are becoming more professionally managed, organising around the core principles of efficiency and productivity.

Since its inception in 2020, has sought to deliver efficiency to estate agents. It’s our centre of gravity. That’s why we’re so excited to also announce the beta-release of our CRM integration API.

Ayman Alashkar –

Estate agencies can now integrate with their CRM to deliver the power of AI assisted writing right where it matters most.

*Houza customers: Contact your Houza account manager to claim your promo code.
Applies to monthly plans only. Limited time offer. No minimum contract period required. Code valid for single use only.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Remote Real Estate Agents: Tips to Stay Focused

Life as a real estate agent can be many things. Exciting. Emotional. Extremely Demanding. And with the rise of remote working, it can also give agents incredible flexibility.

Having the luxury of choosing your working hours comes with significant benefits. But working from home requires self-discipline and time-management. Especially for those with a family.

We’ve shortlisted some handy tips to stay focused and productive, while working from home.

1. Set regular office hours

It’s not uncommon for agents to work around the clock. Especially when they’re starting out and don’t want to miss a potential lead. But overworking to the point of self-neglect can quickly result in burnout, or ill-health.

Combat this by setting a regular work schedule. Stick to it as rigidly as possible. It’s the best way to set boundaries and protect your mental and physical health.

2. Create clear business goals

Set realistic and achievable goals for your real estate business. It’s an excellent way to stay motivated. You might set specific numbers for the following:

  • Open houses to attend each week.
  • New leads to find every day.
  • Listing appointments to complete each week.
  • Closings to achieve each quarter or year.
  • Follow-up emails you send to potential clients.
  • Marketing results you receive through various advertising channels.
  • Social media posts you make.
  • Time saving new tech products to trial.

3. Get dressed for work

Even if you aren’t leaving the house, dressing fresh sets your mental mood. Look sharp. Think sharp. It can help you mentally switch to “work mode” and motivate you to power through your to-do list. Plus, you’ll be ready to jump on a video call with a client or quickly meet a prospect as needed. 

4. Invest in the best tools

There are dozens of tools, apps, and software to help you stay organised and productive.

Trying out one or more of the following will not only boost your motivation but make boring tasks more fun and less time-consuming.

  • Asana is a project management tool for keeping track of tasks and goals.
  • Canva is a free resource for creating beautiful visuals for marketing and social media posts.
  • is an AI writing assistant for estate agents which creates unique and engaging property descriptions, instantly.
  • RescueTime is for tracking work with reports on your online behavior, project work, and overall productivity.

5. Manage that Diary

Time management can help you avoid distractions and stay on task. Schedule blocks of time in your calendar and only work on a specific task during that period.

For example, try blocking off a couple of hours in the morning to work on new leads. Take an hour at midday for marketing tasks. Then spend the afternoon on viewings.

By setting times to achieve critical tasks, you’ll be more likely to stay focused, as know you have limited time to complete them.

6. Take a “mental commute”

Working from home can make it challenging to “clock out”. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to “commute” home.

Walk around your neighbourhood. Turn off work notifications. Change your clothes. Hit the gym. Make a home-cooked meal. Whatever it is, some after-work activity can help you turn off “work mode” and unwind.

7. Make time for marketing

Marketing yourself and your properties is essential in real estate. Your listing clients rely on you and your firm to market their home for sale or rent.

Creating a personal brand gives you a positive reputation in your community.

Schedule time each week for various marketing tasks, such as posting on social media, improving your listing descriptions, and sending email newsletters. Content should be unique, and engaging. Never copy and paste your marketing content unless you want to sound like every other agent out there.

Turn on “Out of Office”

Staying healthy and motivated when working from home comes down to priorities. You being at the top of the list.

Your viewings might be scheduled to the hour. Open houses might be in the diary. Your marketing can be on point. But if you don’t put enough effort in “out of the office”, your work life will eventually suffer.

Eat healthy meals. Move your body. Get enough sleep. It’s all about balance. You’ll be better positioned to take care of your real estate business when you take care of yourself.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Six Summer ‘Revenge Travel’ Destinations

Summer 2022 – the ultimate season of revenge travel.

Travelling to make up for time lost, and opportunities missed, because of the pandemic. When everyone’s prepared to go a little further, or spend a touch more than normal, on a summer holiday.

That might mean going hard on a bucket-list roadtrip. Embarking on an adventurous, once-in-a-lifetime escape. Booking that indulgent island retreat. Even repeating a trip that had to be shelved.

At its heart, it reflects a newfound desire to travel like never before. 

So to help with your travel search, here are ‘Six Summer Destinations for 2022‘ shortlisted for you:

#1 Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini is one of the most idyllic, insta-worthy destinations in the world. Quintessential Cycladic white homes with blue domes overlooking the sea, and endless denizen-run restaurants that meld tradition, gastronomy, and passion. Santorini is the crown jewel of the Cyclades. And there’s Grecian magic to be found in every corner.

#2 Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh. Morocco. Multi-faceted and enchanting. From the merchants selling crafts in the Medina, to it’s high-end hospitality scene. Marrakesh is guaranteed to mesmerise.

#3 St. Moritz, Switzerland

Ski season or not, St. Moritz is a Swiss jewel. It has a charming city center, overflowing with shops and galleries, hiking trails and a picture-perfect lake. To say summer here is dreamy is an understatement.

#4 Pyramids of Giza, Egypt 

From the Pyramids of Giza to the Valley of Kings, your travel itinerary will be spilling over with a long list of enigmatic Egyptian tourist spots. And if you’ve always wanted to explore the ancient wonders of Egypt, this is the year. Not only will 2022 mark 100 years of independence from the United Kingdom, historians will also celebrate 100 years since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

#5 Cannes, France

Celebs flock here each year, posing on the red carpet in their sparkling gowns and expertly tailored suits for the Cannes Film Festival. But summer in this French hotspot is much more than that. From the designer stores lining its beachfront to the harbour side European-style cafes overlooking the multimillion dollar yachts, Cannes’ glitz and glamour are well worth witnessing.

#6 Valle De Guadalupe, Mexico 

Valle De Guadalupe is Mexico’s wine country and perhaps its most burgeoning secret. In many opinions, way cooler than Napa (and more wallet-friendly). The area spills over with design-forward boutique hotels and upscale restaurants helmed by some of Mexico’s best chefs and a wealth of wineries.

Rediscovering Your Why

2022 is a chance for us to reconnect to the best holiday destinations in a deeper, more authentic way. Wherever the destination.

We’ll be reminded often of why we travel; those sparks of curiosity and adventure. We’ll appreciate every moment that comes with it. And we’ll be grateful for all the hard work that made it possible to get us there.

And for the estate agents reading this, there are some great efficiency tools to help you work remotely. Intelligently automated writing assistants like mean you don’t have to be stuck behind a desk, to post incredible listings that’ll get you leads. You can get out there and see the world.

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

Car essentials every agent should carry 

As a real estate professional, you’ve got to be prepared for everything.

Dashing between viewings. Meetings with sellers all over town. You’re always on the go, spending hours behind the wheel. 

You need a car kit that’s going to get you through anything the job can throw at you.


The basics go without saying. Wallet. Phone. Business cards. Keys – but there’s so much more that the real estate road warrior needs. Here’s our list of 12 things we recommend you keep on hand at all times.

1. WATER 💧💧

Even in hotter climates, water is often something we take for granted. But when you’re out and about all day; you’re gonna get parched. So have plenty of water. And bring some for your thirsty clients, too. 


From sandy footprints to greasy fingers and toilet breaks, wet wipes can deal with just about anything. 

3. SNACKS 🥯🍏

Three square meals a day? Not a chance, in this profession. So be sure to keep a stash of nutritious, non-perishable snacks on the go, for those back-to-back meeting days where there’s no choice but to refuel on the fly. 


No one wants to ruin their good shoes on a dirty building site, or lose a sale looking like you’ve just stepped out of a sandpit or puddle. Slip on your backup, not-so-posh pair, while keeping your fancy ones for the Show Home.


Waiting for clients can be boring. Killing time on your phone is a sure fire battery drainer. Keep an extra charger on hand at all times. Bonus points if you keep an external battery, too.


Goes without saying, even in our Post-COVID world. Agents are touching everything. From shaking hands to turning doorknobs. There’s no end to the number of touch points on the job. Have a sanitiser on you. Offer it to clients. It won’t go unnoticed, and it keeps you safe. And while you’re at it, throw in some face masks for added protection.


These are great for everything – from dealing with rubbish to tidying up an unexpected mess just before a client turns up for a viewing. 


These bad boys can solve a multitude of problems. Who knew zip ties could be put to so many uses? Securing swinging gates, carrying multiple keys, or fixing your most recent “Sold” sign. They’re basically the real estate version of duct tape, so bring ‘em with you.


Small, thoughtful touches are the kind of thing that clients remember, after you’ve left. So when it comes to the little extra touches that set your service apart from the other agents, the devil is in the detail.

9. MINTS  🟢

When that quick snack you grabbed before a viewing happens to have been loaded with garlic. This is guaranteed to have even the keenest buyer look the other way. Keep your breath minty fresh and save yourself the embarrassment.

10. BAND AIDS 🩹💊

Whether it’s a blister from the new designer shoes or a nasty little splinter, the last thing you need is a detour to the local pharmacy to slow you down. Pack a few Band Aids and be prepared for any first aid emergencies. Headache pills are also a game changer!


Mosquitoes. Flies. Giant Grasshoppers. Whatever bugs are distracting you from your sales pitch, they need to be repelled, ASAP. Running away from a wasp isn’t the lasting impression you’re looking for.


Late night viewings aren’t ideal. Disconnected power sucks. Keep a torch in your car trunk for those occasions when the light switches don’t work. You never know which competitor agent is lurking out there in the dark…

Keep this kit in your motor and you’ll be prepared for just about anything!

For informative and light-hearted news and views on the world of real estate, follow on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog. | the AI writing assistant for estate agents | Sign up for your Free 7 Day Trial.

25 Workplace clichés to make you cringe

If I had a dollar for every smug muppet who dropped a cringe-worthy cliché on me over the years, I’d be a millionaire.

They’re cheesy.


And completely unoriginal.

Here’s a list of overused office clichés’ that have no business being used in business.

They belong in the bin.

1. To be honest

Wait, you weren’t being honest until now?

2. With all due respect

Anytime a person starts a sentence with this, they’re about to disrespect you.

3. Pick your brain

Translation: I want to know what you know, and am too lazy to look it up myself.

4. Let’s get disruptive

You’re trying to be edgy and trendy; we get it.

5. Let’s see if we have the bandwidth

This typically means the person doesn’t have the time, money, or skills to do what you’re asking, but doesn’t want to admit it. It’s a stall tactic.

6. The fact of the matter is

This basically says, “What you’ve presented until now was not fact and I’m about to correct you.”

7. Let’s ideate together

Anybody can think. But it takes a true idiot to ideate.

8. Touch base

For everyone who’s not American, this is a baseball term. Good luck figuring out who or what ‘base’ is supposed to be?

9. Push the envelope

The last time I pushed the envelope, it ended up in the mailbox.

10. In the pipeline

The point of the pipeline is that when something goes into it, it’ll come out somewhere else entirely.

11. Loop back/circle back

So, we’re going to talk about this later, then…

12. Paradigm shift

Big words don’t impress me. Just say “change.”

13. Let’s take this offline

We can take it offline, but the conversation is going to be pretty much the same.

14. To be fair

It’s not fair if you’re not fair.

15. Let’s take a deep dive

This was the “cool” thing to say five years ago. Now it’s been drowned out (pardon the pun).

16. It is what it is

Yes, that’s true. It definitely “is what it is.” But the question is, what is it?

17. Low-hanging fruit

Someone who is talking about low-hanging fruit may not have much experience “reaching for the stars” (pun intended).

18. Move the needle

Everybody wants to “move the needle,” but without actionable advice this is a waste.

19. Think outside the box

Chances are high that the person who’s telling you think outside the box, is somehow firmly entrenched in a box of their own.

20. Get granular

You mean specific? Why don’t you just say “specific”?

21. This really has legs

It may have legs, but can it run?

22. Raise the bar

Raising our standard is great. But how’re we gonna keep it there?

23. Run it up the flagpole

We take it to our boss, who takes it to their boss, who in turn takes it to their boss. Once it reaches Ultimate Boss, what happens then?

24. Ducks in a row

If you’re vegetarian, substitute for eggs. Or don’t use at all.

25. My door is open

Your door is open, except when its closed.

A bit of Blue Sky Thinking

Let’s avoid smug phrases and stick to common sense uses of language. Otherwise we’ll all end up being nothing more than a bunch of smug muppets.

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The Worst Cold Call Opening Line Ever

My phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Cold Caller: Long pause from automated dialler… “Hello. Is this Eva Colbert?”

Me: “Yes it is.”

Cold Caller: “Hello Ms. Colbert. How are you today?”


Ice Ice Baby 🎶

We’ve all been cold called.

But the worst cold calls are when the caller asks you ‘how you’re doing?’, without even introducing themselves first.

It feels like nails on a frozen chalkboard. Very uncomfortable.

Why is a complete stranger calling to ask how I’m doing?

The best response, is “I’m busy”. This icy reply usually catches them off-guard. 🥶

Follow it up with a quick “Thanks. Bye.” and you can usually be rid of the inconvenient caller in seconds. Without even giving them a chance to dive into their pitch.

ProTip: Don’t say this!

But if you’re that cold caller, the last thing you want is to be bounced into the cold.

Increase your chance of success, by never, ever, ever ever ever starting off your call with “How are you today?”

Make it personal. Do your research.

It can be a hard habit to break, but you’ll get much better results if you introduce yourself first, then just get straight to the point with something more like, “Hi. This so-and-so from XYZ Company. I’m calling because….”

Capture your prospect’s attention any way you like.

Just make sure not to dive straight into the unsanctioned “How are you today?” intro.

It’s doomed to fail.

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The Most Cringeworthy Real Estate “Dad Jokes”

Dad’s Rock! 👨‍🎤🤘.

And not just on Father’s Day.

Even their super-cringe jokes are lovable.

(Note to all – if you’re wincing but still need to hear the punchline, that’s a Dad Joke.)

So sit back, and enjoy some of our worst real estate dad jokes… 


“What room in your house are zombies most afraid of?

The living room.


My bread and butter listings are those with finished basements.
They’re my best cellars!


Did you hear about the only remaining unit in the apartment building?
It was last but not leased.


“Why does the mortgage broker always eat lunch by himself?

Because he is a loaner.


“What kind of insects do you WANT to have in your investment property?



“Hey Girl, is your name mortgage?

Because you’ve got my interest.


Why didn’t the hipster real estate agent show the oceanside mansion?

It was too current.

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HQ, Hybrid or Home: Flexible working and the new management mindset

Empowering employees to ‘own’ their work and be judged on outcomes rather than inputs could be the key to improving productivity and strengthening engagement in hybrid workforces.

Dan Price, the Seattle CEO known for cutting his own pay to fund increasing the minimum salary at his firm, Gravity Payments, to $70,000 (£56,000), revealed on Twitter last October that he’d asked his employees where they wanted to work. 

The poll he’d asked them to complete offered three options: HQ, hybrid or home. Only 7% wanted to return to the office full time, while 31% preferred hybrid. The remaining 62% wanted to work remotely. 

His response? “Sounds great. Do whatever you want… As a CEO, what do I care? If you get your work done, that’s all that matters.” 

Global Preference to WFM

The results of Price’s survey seem to be roughly in line with the preferences of the global workforce. The latest studies suggest that many employees, having had a taste of remote working, aren’t keen to return to HQ full time, even though this is what many employers would prefer. 

“Our data shows that employees expect to be offered hybrid working. They will leave, or not join an employer in the first place, if that’s not available,”

Nick Gallimore, director of innovation at business software provider Advanced. 

“This poses a major problem for organisations that want to retain key staff. They must think very carefully before, say, proposing pay cuts for remote employees. Such measures look as though they’ll prove deeply unpopular.” 

Remote working: Measuring it up

Such findings suggest that employers could be setting themselves up for a fall if they cling on to the command-and-control approach of office-based work. They also indicate that firms urgently need to find effective new ways to measure remote workers’ contributions. 

A research report published by EY after the UK’s first nationwide Covid lockdown was lifted in 2020, Physical Return and Work Reimagined Study, found that 49% of the 700-plus employers it had polled were already looking to do so.

“As businesses struggle with the great resignation and a battle for talent, shifting to focus on workforce output and satisfaction is a must,”

Nicola Downing, CEO of IT consultancy Ricoh Europe. 

“A more task-based approach empowers people to work flexibly and it shows that they’re trusted to get the job done. Organisations could then look at introducing certain ‘mutual’ hours where colleagues work at the same time in the same place to promote collaboration.” 

A more task-based approach empowers people to work flexibly

Empowering Employees

Good managers not only establish expectations and gives employees a voice in the process; they also help people to understand how their role expectations align with team and organisational objectives.

Price’s reaction to the findings of his poll also highlights the fact that many business leaders have come to accept that much of what a given employee is achieving isn’t apparent from looking at their time sheet. It’s made them realise why there was so much dissatisfaction with the way we worked before the pandemic. 

Engaging with hybrid working means that companies are becoming flatter and more dispersed, with a less visible workforce. Their focus when measuring performance therefore needs to shift to a task-based model of outcomes, such as customer satisfaction or time to market.

Understanding outputs and productivity

The best way for organisations to understand output is to apply high-quality performance management methods, according to Gallimore. He argues that one of the problems afflicting many firms in this respect is a lack of clarity on what outcomes are most important to them and then articulating how each person’s individual goals feed into achieving these. 

“If each employee has clear goals that define expectations of their output and are linked to organisational objectives, this will free the organisation to empower people in terms of where and when they work,” Gallimore says. “This way, measuring output becomes a lot easier. If your process is agile enough, you’ll find that it can really drive that sense of empowerment.”

This is key to the success of an outcome-focused hybrid working policy, he adds. Rather than dictating to people when they need to attend the office, employers can trust them to decide for themselves according to the goals they’re aiming to achieve. 

Gallimore cites the process of inducting new recruits as an example. Although firms’ experiences during the Covid lockdowns have shown that it can be done remotely, many people feel that things can be missed this way, so it’s often better to complete the process in person at HQ. Under an outcome-focused approach, this is a tangible task that can be left up to a manager and their team to choose where and when to do it, leaving other stakeholders in the organisation to judge how successful that decision was. 

Sheela Subramanian is co-founder and vice-president of the Future Forum, a research consortium backed by Slack Technologies.

She believes that:

“It’s critical that leaders move from activity to outcomes when measuring performance. The first step is being really clear with your team by defining what ‘good’ looks like. This will be a mix of quantitative and qualitative outcomes. There can be potential for ambiguity when one balances the two, so it’s important for leaders to share examples of success.” 

According to research by Gallup, almost half of all employees start their working day without a clear idea of what they’re expected to achieve. This is quite a troubling finding for an office-based workforce, but it becomes even more problematic in situations where employees are more widely distributed. 

This places even more responsibility on their managers to set clear objectives, according to Dr Adam Hickman, senior workplace strategist at Gallup. 

“Good managers not only establish expectations and gives employees a voice in the process; they also help people to understand how their role expectations align with team and organisational objectives,” he says. “When employees have this sense of purpose, their engagement soars, even when they’re working at a distance.” 

Dr Adam Hickman

Goals also need to be aligned with tangible outcomes to make it crystal-clear to everyone what progress looks like, Hickman adds. 

“Everyone likes to have something to show for their hard work, but this can be especially helpful for hybrid workers when you can’t always see the tasks they complete each day in person,” he says. 

Focusing on outcomes in this way should also help hybrid workers to organise their time better, as they’ll be able to quantify how much work a particular task is likely to require. This should then enable them to achieve a better work/life balance, which will again make for a happier workforce, according to Gallimore. 

Promoting a better work/life balance through hybrid work models

Empowering employees

“What people want from their employer has changed significantly over the past few years. In particular, there’s been a real increase in demand for a better work-life balance,” he says. “By helping employees to clearly understand the outputs that are important to the business, you can free up enough choice around those outputs – for example, where, when and how people prefer to work – to enable them to find the balance they’re looking for.” 

The opportunity to engage with hybrid working not only liberates employees; it frees organisations from the traditional office-hours metric of productivity, which was at best myopic and at worst a serious limiter to business growth and success. 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

Jon Axworthy writes for Raconteur 

This story has been published from an article on Monday 13th June 2022, without modifications to the text. Only the headline and has been changed.

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Revealed: 4 Reasons why DUBAI house prices can soften in 2022

Your cab driver’s got one. So does your mother-in-law. Your best friend too. Everyone has an opinion on Dubai house prices.

Here’s mine: I see Dubai house prices softening this year. And here are 4 signals that are flashing red.

#1: Quantitative Tightening

Over a decade of quantitative easing has finally come home to roost. Printing money ad infinitum led to excess liquidity, and plenty of free lunch. But we all know there’s no such thing.

At a recent event JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the world’s #1 banking CEO, said “Several aspects of quantitative easing programs “backfired,” including negative rates, which he called a “huge mistake.”

Central banks “don’t have a choice because there’s too much liquidity in the system,” Dimon said, referring to the tightening actions. “They have to remove some of the liquidity to stop the speculation, reduce home prices and stuff like that.”

#2: Interest Rate Increases

If by now you haven’t got the message that the Federal Reserve bank of the United States is increasing interest rates by at least another 2% this year, what rock have you been hiding under?

Anyone thinking the impact of this will simply be a few additional hundred dollars a month on a mortgage repayment, might want to reconsider; Car loans. Personal loans. And credit card debt. It all adds up.

The argument that prices are shielded by cash purchases in Dubai’s luxury residential real estate segment, isn’t good enough. The majority of middle-income homeowners have mortgage financed their property purchases.

How long can the average family contend with the increased costs of consumer goods, loans and fuel?

Expect a chunk of middle-income households to be tipped into debt burdens they can’t comfortably keep up with. To reduce their monthly obligations, they’ll sell properties.

That will introduce more supply to the market at a time when developers are in full swing, putting downward pressure on prices up and down the price spectrum.

#3: Replacement Costs

When the cost of buying a secondary market home is equal to or less than the cost of building the same home from the ground up; don’t think. Buy the home that’s ready to move into. Immediate utility. No-brainer.

China’s zero-covid tolerance policy. Inflated costs of labour and materials. Broken supply chains. All have compounded the cost of building, causing the price of new homes to increase. That’s lifted demand for ready homes. Values have risen.

What happens as those costs ease? US President Joe Biden’s plan to fix supply chain issues and reduce trade tariffs with China are designed to tackle inflation run amok. And with China finally reopening, raw material prices are going to drop.

Expect the cost of construction to ease, dragging down the value of ready homes.

#4: King Dollar and Prince Dirham

I’ve said it time and again.

As US interest rates increase, so too do the values of the US Dollar and the Dirham. Causing demand for Dubai housing to ease, and prices to soften.

The contention that many investors aren’t deterred by higher purchase costs, ignores fundamental economic rules of thumb. That investors behave rationally.

Bubbles Be Poppin’

Those who know me, know that I’ve had skin in the Dubai real estate game for the past 20 years. I believe in Dubai. Its resilience. Its leadership. The proactive nature of its residents. And it’s X-Factor. That Wild Card that continues to pull demand.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about property investment, and Dubai in particular; you make your money when you buy. It’s all in the timing.

This week I closed my Dubai property portfolio. Sold my investment properties and equities.

Volatile, speculative asset classes like Cryptos and NFTs are already collapsing. Equity markets are being challenged. Real estate isn’t immune. It’s merely a matter of time.

I expect values to soften as we exit 2022, or by early 2023. But rather than a hard crash, we can look forward to a soft landing. I’ll be ready to dive back in when buy signals flash green again. Then I’ll buy a very specific property at Serenia Living on the Palm Island Jumeirah, where demand is inelastic.

An AI Implementation Strategist accredited by the prestigious MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ayman Alashkar also has a BSc in Mathematics from the world-renowned Queen Mary College, University of London, and an MSc in Real Estate Investment and Development from the University of Reading (UK). With +20 years’ experience working in real estate, banking and artificial intelligence, Ayman is the founder and CEO of

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