In Episode 53 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien share the 4 must-have tools for Realtors.  They welcome Houston superstar Team Leader Paul Holub to the WBNLPodcast Studio and in Wandering Zen, Matt kicks off the upcoming Lunar New Year with some facts and traditions.


Key Points & Takeaways


WBNL 52: Four Must-Have Tools for REALTORS

I firmly believe that to succeed as a real estate professional in today’s market, you must have and effectively use the following four key tools:

1. Lead Generation & Conversion Platform (IDX Website)

2. Client Relationship Management Software (CRM)

3. Personalized Mobile Home Search App

4. Automated Home Valuation Report

At Home Connect America, we selected the kvCORE brokerage platform from Inside Real Estate because it is scalable and affordable for our teams and individuals interested in a powerful lead generation platform.  The kvCORE system integrates all four of these key tools for our agents and teams. The kvCORE system integrates all four of these key tools for our agents and teams. kvCORE is only available at the Brokerage level – Kunversion is their individual agent/team solution.


Lead Generation & Conversion Platform

There are a plethora of real estate website solutions to choose from today. If online lead generation and conversion is part of your business success plan, then having an effective, true lead gen platform and solution is critical! The most popular platforms range in price from $1200 to $1800 per month plus your marketing budget. The systems listed below include fully integrated IDX website, CRM, lead follow-up and conversion and other marketing features and tools.



Client Relationship Management Software (CRM)

Just like real estate websites, there are so many options for a real estate CRM! The key to success with a CRM is to fully embrace and use it daily. This means you have to really love it and treat it like the virtual assistant a great CRM can be. All of the lead generation platforms and many real estate websites have an integrated CRM/back office.

When researching and selecting a real estate software system to use for your business, look for these features:

  • Robust contact management (to collect all the important information)
  • Manage your sales pipeline
  • Manage your follow-up (calls, emails, tasks, appointments)
  • Text and email notifications of leads
  • Ability to quickly and easily respond to contacts and leads
  • Built-in and customizable action plans and drip email campaigns
  • Integration/syncing with Google/Outlook calendars and email
  • Lead routing from various lead sources (Zillow,, etc.)
  • Manage your listings and closings
  • Ability to build and send CMA reports
  • Mobile app
  • Integrated Website
  • Lead generation landing pages
  • Automatic market data reports

Top Producer

Lion Desk 

Referral Maker from Buffini & Company 


Personalized Mobile Home Search App

You may already have access to a customized home search app – check these possible sources:

  • Your brokerage or franchise (if applicable)
  • Your Association of Realtor organization
  • Your real estate website solution may include a consumer home search app

Home Search apps available to purchase:


Automated Home Valuation Report

If you decide to use one of the lead generation platform solutions for your business, an instant, automated home valuation tool is included. It is critical to have a solid email, text, call campaign in place when using an automated home valuation tool for seller lead generation. We have found that many homeowners are interested id knowing the current value of their home, but may not be interested in selling now.

Here are two other options to consider:

Reach Your Peak: Interview with Team Leader Paul Holub, Houston, TX


As a professional real estate agent and real estate small business owner, Paul Holub is dedicated to educating his clients and the public about optimizing their real estate buying and selling experience. So much confusion and misinformation surround the real estate process, and his mission is to cut through the clutter to provide actionable advice and education on each step of the process.

Paul’s first love is to his beautiful wife and two kids. He enjoys and has been blessed with a wonderful real estate career to help support them. In his free time, you can find him spending time with his family, brewing homemade beer, and working out to burn off the calories of the homebrew. Life is short, love what you do!

Check out Paul’s Podcast:

Get Paul’s book – The Real Estate Game Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide to Sell Your Home for Max Profit

Wandering Zen: Lunar New Year 2019


Today on Wandering Zen we welcome in the year 4717 which begins on February 5th, 2019 and marks the first day of the new year on the Chinese calendar.  Celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice, lunar calendars consist of 12 months, each month corresponding roughly to one cycle of the moon. They have been used by several peoples throughout history, including many Asian cultures as well as Muslims and Jews. A number of different Lunar New Year festivals are held throughout the world.  Let’s prepare for the upcoming celebration with Lunar New Year 101 ~ Facts and Traditions 

New Year’s Eve Dinner

Forget Thanksgiving, in many cultures, this is the most important dinner of the year.   Normally, this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family members away from home. The menu typically consists of fish and dumplings, these two dishes signify prosperity. Other dishes are dependent on personal preference. Traditionally, this meal will be served at home instead of a restaurant.


Fireworks are used to drive away evil. Right after midnight on New Year’s Eve, fireworks will be launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as to drive away the evil. It is believed that the person who launched the first firework of the New Year will obtain good luck.

Red Packets

Usually, the red packet is given by adults, especially married couples, and elderly to young children in the New Year days. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep them healthy, and give them a long life.

Small Year

Small year is the 23rd or 24th of the last month of the year. It is said that this is the day the food god will leave the family in order to go to heaven and report the activity of the family to the Emperor of heaven.


A few days before the New Year, people will do a complete cleaning of the house and housewares which signifies the removal of the old and welcome of the new. Historically, when bathing did not occur often, people would normally take one to welcome the New Year.


After the cleaning, people will decorate the house to welcome the New Year. Most of the decorations are red in color. The most popular New Year decorations are lanterns, papercutting, door gods, etc.

The Lantern Festival

Lunar New Year ends with the lantern festival, celebrated at night with displays and parades of painted lanterns.  The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the Dragon Dance. Beautiful dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo are held overhead and appear to dance as they make their way along the parade routes.

Chinese legend holds that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came.  The animals in the Chinese calendar are the dog, pig/boar, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, and rooster.
Also, according to legend, people born in each animal’s year have some of that animal’s personality traits.

The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. The pig was late because he overslept.

In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth.  Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well.

People born in the year of the Pig are loved for their kind, honest, helpful and forgiving nature. Pigs believe in maintaining peace and harmony and they dislike anything which causes conflict. Those born under the Pig zodiac sign are self-indulgent and enjoy the finer things in life.

Pig is one of the most likable signs out there. Pigs are honest, forgiving, good-tempered, cheerful, generous, and compassionate. They are responsible and determined and when they set a goal in life, they will devote all their energy to achieve it. They will never refuse to give those in need a helping hand, but they rarely seek help from others. They are idealists who will do anything to keep the peace and avoid conflict. They will remain committed for life to their friends and their principles, and would never do anything dishonest. Pigs are down-to-earth individuals who don’t usually show their emotions openly and this may make other people think that they are reserved or arrogant.
Pigs are naive and gullible – they never suspect trickery and therefore they are easily fooled. Their optimism and belief in the good of people can bring about their downfall. They have a soft heart and find it difficult to say “no” to someone.

The best matches for the Pig are people born in the year of the RabbitSheep, and Tiger.

What Sign of the Zodiac Are You?

Each zodiac animal’s year comes around every 12 years, and each year is associated with a zodiac animal. Here is a list of the most recent zodiac sign years:

  • Rat: 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
  • Ox: 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
  • Tiger: 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
  • Rabbit: 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
  • Dragon: 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
  • Snake: 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
  • Horse: 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
  • Goat: 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
  • Monkey: 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
  • Rooster: 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
  • Dog: 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
  • Pig: 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)












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