How Real Estate Influencers are Fuelling The Housing Crisis

Illustration by Anson Chan

Social media is flooded with real estate promotions, and no one is sure what laws apply. But when things go wrong, investors and tenants have a lot to lose

Last summer, Hamilton realtor Sean St Cyr promoted a lucrative real estate investing opportunity across a number of Facebook groups. Investors could receive an average annual return of 20.2 per cent, the post stated, if they gave him a minimum of $100,000 to purchase a derelict three-storey building in the city’s east end, an area that has been in decline since a steel plant there started running into trouble decades ago.

“Have you ever wanted to learn how to make serious money in real estate like the pros?” Mr. St Cyr said in one of his many promotions for the deal. On Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, Mr. St Cyr regularly shares tips with his thousands of followers about how to make money through real estate investing. They are posted alongside photos of his travels and meals from the 35 countries he says he has visited.

Mr. St Cyr, a self-described international real estate investor and foodie, is one of the many investors looking for other people’s money, or OPM, on social media to fund real estate deals. He and legions of other promoters have helped fuel the real estate investing craze in Canada that revved up when home prices soared and COVID-19 restrictions led people to spend more time online.

Every day, across the country, there’s a steady stream of requests in Facebook groups and personal pages for money to buy rental properties. Many of the promoters are everyday Canadians who have learned investing techniques online themselves. Some of them promise mind-blowing profits and often dispense real estate investment advice.

No one knows how many investors have got involved in real estate because of this explosion of online promotion. But over the first year of the pandemic, investor buying of residential properties doubled in Canada. By the middle of last year, investors accounted for more than a fifth of the country’s home purchases.

However, with interest rates rising and real estate markets cooling, promoters may not be able to deliver the profits they have promised their investors. That has upped the pressure on them to further raise rents, worsening the country’s affordable housing problem at a time when inflation has eaten away at Canadians’ pocketbooks.

When things go wrong with real estate, they can really go wrong. Tenants, including society’s most vulnerable, can be harshly evicted in the name of investment returns. Investors, many of whom call themselves risk-averse, lose their life savings. And no one has a full grasp of the impact these investors have on the real estate market.

Regulators do not appear to be paying attention, either. Many promotions appear to be skirting securities rules. Promoters are either unaware of the rules or know they can get away with not complying with them. Without enforcement, promoters are raising capital with little to no legal scrutiny…Continue reading

Source: Other people’s money, everyone’s problem: How real estate influencers are fuelling the housing crisis – The Globe and Mail

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10 Persuasive Writing Techniques To 10X Your Marketing Copy

Persuasion is a powerful word for anyone in the marketing space. The ultimate goal of your marketing, after all, is to persuade people to buy from you. But how do you persuade people when everyone seems to sell them something? What tools do you have at your disposal to make your writing more persuasive?

Today, I want to answer all these questions for you by first showing you the persuasion strategy a Nobel-winning laureate developed that will transform the way you write your copy.

Then, I want to share my favorite ten persuasive techniques that will 10x your copy fast.

Let’s get started.

What Is Persuasive Writing?

Persuasive writing is a method that leverages human biases to make a message more attractive in the eye of the recipient.

How to Be Persuasive: A Psychological Explanation

If I asked you whether you are a rational or an irrational person, what would you say? Most likely, you’d pick the former. Sure, you can get emotional every so often, but most likely, you are in charge of your emotions, thoughts, and actions.

Other people are dumb and irrational, but you’re not. You’re different. In reality, all humans fall for the same irrational behaviors and thinking patterns. We consistently make cognitive mistakes that go against our self-interest, despite our deepest efforts not to make them.

Consider smoking: every smoker knows he should stop doing it, but they can’t stop. Most smokers want to quit, but their addictions are simply too strong. It’s not that they can’t stop; it’s that they won’t. We can say the same of highly indebted people; these are people who have maxed out their cards, yet they keep buying shit they don’t need.

Before the 1970s, economists used to think people were rational. Every decision people took was in favor of maximizing their utility—whether that was comfort, health, money, or anything else. Leave people be people, and they’ll do fine. If only it were so easy.

From the 70s onwards, some fringe economists started to question the normative view of human behavior in favor of a more descriptive one; a theory that could explain, for example, why people who win three bets in a row at the casino think they have a higher likelihood of keeping their winning streak, despite having no probabilistic (i.e., rational) reason to believe so. “They’re idiots,” you’d say, but it’s more than that. It’s that they’re humans; they can be irrational when given a chance.

I won’t dwell on the details of their “prospect theory,” as explained in their seminal paper of the same name, but on another part of their extensive theoretical bibliography, one that focuses on the way humans think. According to Kahneman, who wrote the best-selling book Thinking, Fast and Slow based on his extensive research with Tversky, humans think through a pair systems:

  1. The “Automatic System.”
  2. The “Reflective System.”

In Kahneman’s words:

System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.

System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.

While both systems work in tandem, more often than not, system 1 takes over the system 2, without us realizing it, making us do things we often can’t explain.

When we think of ourselves, we identify with System 2, the conscious, reasoning self that has beliefs, makes choices, and decides what to think about and what to do. Although System 2 believes itself to be where the action is, the automatic System 1 is the hero of the book.

I describe System 1 as effortlessly originating impressions and feelings that are the main sources of the explicit beliefs and deliberate choices of System 2. The automatic operations of System 1 generate surprisingly complex patterns of ideas, but only the slower System 2 can construct thoughts in an orderly series of steps.

The main takeaway from Kahneman’s theory is that as a marketer, your goal is to work with your prospect’s system 1. This system is what influences the rationale of your prospects, whether they’re aware of it or not.

If you ever made a purchase where everything “felt” right—a situation in which you didn’t need to be sold anything, you just wanted to buy that product—then your system 1 was influencing your system 2, thus overriding any second thought you may have had against that purchase.

System 1 continuously generates suggestions for System 2: impressions, intuitions, intentions, and feelings. If endorsed by System 2, impressions and intuitions turn into beliefs, and impulses turn into voluntary actions.

When all goes smoothly, which is most of the time, System 2 adopts the suggestions of System 1 with little or no modification. You generally believe your impressions and act on your desires, and that is fine—usually.

What I’m covering is just a tiny piece of Kahneman and Tversky’s theories; there’s a whole lot more to write about how both systems work and how biases influence people’s thinking.

For now, I want you to remember this:

The entire list of persuasive techniques featured in this article focus on leveraging your prospect’s system 1. If you use these persuasive techniques in your writing or advertising, you’ll be persuasive.

Let’s now take a quick look at a simple persuasion strategy you can use and adapt within your marketing campaigns.

A Simple Persuasion Strategy

To use the persuasion strategies laid below, you want to have a strategy that helps you tie all of them together in a logical fashion.

To this extent, I’ll use Roger Dooley’s Persuasion Slide, which he structured in the following way: Here’s how this slide works:

  1. You start by giving a “nudge” to your visitors by having them pay attention to an ad, an offer, or something of value.
  2. Then, you leverage the target’s internal motivation—the gravity; and,
  3. You add additional motivation—your angle.
  4. Both things allow you to overcome resistance—friction—and get to your ultimate goal, which can be a purchase, a subscription, or anything else.

The ten persuasion writing techniques you’ll see below will touch in any of the four elements of the persuasion slide. Whenever you pick one of the techniques, you’ll be affecting of these four elements.

Whatever technique you pick, make sure to remember the ultimate goal: having your visitor continue down the slide. And yes, the following list of persuasive writing techniques will work with your prospect’s system 1. I didn’t forget about that.

Without further ado, let’s dive deep into the ten techniques that will show you how to write persuasively…...Continue reading..

Ivan Kreimer profile photo

 

By: Ivan Kreimer

Source: 10 Persuasive Writing Techniques to 10X Your Marketing Copy

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Related contents:

Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen. ISBN 9780415027960.Haas, Christina. (1996). Writing technology: Studies on the materiality of literacy. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Institutional Ethnography: A Sociology for People. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 105–108. ISBN 978-0-7591-0502-7.Anderson, Jack. (2008). “The Collection and Organization of Written Knowledge.” In Handbook of Research on Writing, ed. Charles Bazerman, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 177-190.

A Short History of the World. p. 41.Bazerman, Charles (2013). “Literacy and the Organization of Society”. A Theory of Literate Action, Vol. 2 (PDF). Anderson, SC: Parlor Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-60235-477-7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.

“Endangered Literacies? Affordances of Paper-Based Literacy in Medical Practice and Its Persistence in the Transition to Digital Technology”. Written Communication. 34 (4): 359–386. doi:10.1177/0741088317723304. ISSN 0741-0883. S2CID 149050969.

The World’s Writing Systems. Peter T. Daniels, William Bright. New York: Oxford University Press. 1996. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-19-507993-0. OCLC 31969720. Archived from the original on 30 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.

“The Khipu Database Project”. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2008.Chandler, Daniel (1990). “Do the write thing?”. Electric Word. 17: 27–30.Chandler, Daniel (1992). “The phenomenology of writing by hand”. Intelligent Tutoring Media. 3 (2/3): 65–74. doi:10.1080/14626269209408310.

Wilford, John Noble (15 September 2006). “Writing May Be Oldest in Western Hemisphere”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2008. A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz,

Oldest’ New World writing found”. BBC. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. Ancient civilisations in Mexico developed a writing system as early as 900 BC, new evidence suggests.Rodríguez Martínez, Maria del Carmen; et al. (2006).

“Oldest Writing in the New World”. Science. 313 (5793): 1610–1614. Bibcode:2006Sci…313.1610R. doi:10.1126/science.1131492. PMID 16973873. S2CID 35140904. Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. A block with a hitherto unknown system of writing has been found in the Olmec heartland of Veracruz, Mexico.Saturno, William A.; David Stuart; Boris Beltrán (3 March 2006).

“Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala”. Science. 311 (5765): 1281–1283. Bibcode:2006Sci…311.1281S. doi:10.1126/science.1121745. PMID 16400112. S2CID 46351994. Archived from the original on 30 July 2022. Retrieved 29 November 2019.

“Ancient writing found in Turkmenistan”. BBC. 15 May 2001. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. A previously unknown civilisation was using writing in Central Asia 4,000 years ago, hundreds of years before Chinese writing developed, archaeologists have discovered.  

The Cambridge History of Ancient China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 74–123. ISBN 978-0-521-47030-8.“Archaeologists Rewrite History”. China Daily. 12 June 2003. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2012.Rincon, Paul (17 April 2003).

“‘Earliest writing’ found in China”. BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. Signs carved into 8,600-year-old tortoise shells found in China may be the earliest written words, say archaeologistsGoldwasser, Orly. “How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs”, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2010

“Cretan writing in the second millennium B.C.” World Archaeology. 17 (3): 377–389. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979977. S2CID 163509308. Archived from the original on 30 July 2022. Retrieved 29 November 2019.Whitehouse, David (1999). “

‘Earliest writing’ found Archived 2 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine” BBCFarrell, William J. (1992). “The Power of Writing”. The WAC Journal. 3 (2): 1–3. doi:10.37514/WAC-J.1992.3.2.02. ISSN 1544-4929.

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Millions of Electric Cars are Coming What Happens To All The Dead Batteries

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/118173837_gettyimages-1231680055.jpg?resize=840%2C472&ssl=1

The battery pack of a Tesla Model S is a feat of intricate engineering. Thousands of cylindrical cells with components sourced from around the world transform lithium and electrons into enough energy to propel the car hundreds of kilometers, again and again, without tailpipe emissions. But when the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade.

If it ends up in a landfill, its cells can release problematic toxins, including heavy metals. And recycling the battery can be a hazardous business, warns materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester. Cut too deep into a Tesla cell, or in the wrong place, and it can short-circuit, combust, and release toxic fume.

That’s just one of the many problems confronting researchers, including Thompson, who are trying to tackle an emerging problem: how to recycle the millions of electric vehicle (EV) batteries that manufacturers expect to produce over the next few decades. Current EV batteries “are really not designed to be recycled,” says Thompson, a research fellow at the Faraday Institution, a research center focused on battery issues in the United Kingdom.

That wasn’t much of a problem when EVs were rare. But now the technology is taking off. Several carmakers have said they plan to phase out combustion engines within a few decades, and industry analysts predict at least 145 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, up from just 11 million last year. “People are starting to realize this is an issue,” Thompson says.

Governments are inching toward requiring some level of recycling. In 2018, China imposed new rules aimed at promoting the reuse of EV battery components. The European Union is expected to finalize its first requirements this year. In the United States, the federal government has yet to advance recycling mandates, but several states, including California—the nation’s largest car market—are exploring setting their own rules.

Complying won’t be easy. Batteries differ widely in chemistry and construction, which makes it difficult to create efficient recycling systems. And the cells are often held together with tough glues that make them difficult to take apart. That has contributed to an economic obstacle: It’s often cheaper for batterymakers to buy freshly mined metals than to use recycled materials.

Better recycling methods would not only prevent pollution, researchers note, but also help governments boost their economic and national security by increasing supplies of key battery metals that are controlled by one or a few nations. “On the one side, [disposing of EV batteries] is a waste management problem. And on the other side, it’s an opportunity for producing a sustainable secondary stream of critical materials,” says Gavin Harper, a University of Birmingham researcher who studies EV policy issues.

To jump-start recycling, governments and industry are putting money into an array of research initiatives. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has pumped some $15 million into a ReCell Center to coordinate studies by scientists in academia, industry, and at government laboratories. The United Kingdom has backed the ReLiB project, a multi-institution effort. As the EV industry ramps up, the need for progress is becoming urgent, says Linda Gaines, who works on battery recycling at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory. “The sooner we can get everything moving,” she says, “the better.

Now, recyclers primarily target metals in the cathode, such as cobalt and nickel, that fetch high prices. (Lithium and graphite are too cheap for recycling to be economical.) But because of the small quantities, the metals are like needles in a haystack: hard to find and recover.

To extract those needles, recyclers rely on two techniques, known as pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. The more common is pyrometallurgy, in which recyclers first mechanically shred the cell and then burn it, leaving a charred mass of plastic, metals, and glues. At that point, they can use several methods to extract the metals, including further burning. “Pyromet is essentially treating the battery as if it were an ore” straight from a mine, Gaines says. Hydrometallurgy, in contrast, involves dunking battery materials in pools of acid, producing a metal-laden soup. Sometimes the two methods are combined.

Each has advantages and downsides. Pyrometallurgy, for example, doesn’t require the recycler to know the battery’s design or composition, or even whether it is completely discharged, in order to move ahead safely. But it is energy intensive. Hydrometallurgy can extract materials not easily obtained through burning, but it can involve chemicals that pose health risks.

And recovering the desired elements from the chemical soup can be difficult, although researchers are experimenting with compounds that promise to dissolve certain battery metals but leave others in a solid form, making them easier to recover. For example, Thompson has identified one candidate, a mixture of acids and bases called a deep eutectic solvent, that dissolves everything but nickel.

Both processes produce extensive waste and emit greenhouse gases, studies have found. And the business model can be shaky: Most operations depend on selling recovered cobalt to stay in business, but batterymakers are trying to shift away from that relatively expensive metal. If that happens, recyclers could be left trying to sell piles of “dirt,” says materials scientist Rebecca Ciez of Purdue University.

The ideal is direct recycling, which would keep the cathode mixture intact. That’s attractive to batterymakers because recycled cathodes wouldn’t require heavy processing, Gaines notes (although manufacturers might still have to revitalize cathodes by adding small amounts of lithium). “So if you’re thinking circular economy, [direct recycling] is a smaller circle than pyromet or hydromet.”

In direct recycling, workers would first vacuum away the electrolyte and shred battery cells. Then, they would remove binders with heat or solvents, and use a flotation technique to separate anode and cathode materials. At this point, the cathode material resembles baby powder.

So far, direct recycling experiments have only focused on single cells and yielded just tens of grams of cathode powders. But researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have built economic models showing the technique could, if scaled up under the right conditions, be viable in the future.

To realize direct recycling, however, batterymakers, recyclers, and researchers need to sort out a host of issues. One is making sure manufacturers label their batteries, so recyclers know what kind of cell they are dealing with—and whether the cathode metals have any value. Given the rapidly changing battery market, Gaines notes, cathodes manufactured today might not be able to find a future buyer. Recyclers would be “recovering a dinosaur. No one will want the product.”

Another challenge is efficiently cracking open EV batteries. Nissan’s rectangular Leaf battery module can take 2 hours to dismantle. Tesla’s cells are unique not only for their cylindrical shape, but also for the almost indestructible polyurethane cement that holds them together.

Engineers might be able to build robots that could speed battery disassembly, but sticky issues remain even after you get inside the cell, researchers note. That’s because more glues are used to hold the anodes, cathodes, and other components in place. One solvent that recyclers use to dissolve cathode binders is so toxic that the European Union has introduced restrictions on its use, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined last year that it poses an “unreasonable risk” to workers.“In terms of economics, you’ve got to disassemble … [and] if you want to disassemble, then you’ve got to get rid of glues,” says Andrew Abbott, a chemist at the University of Leicester and Thompson’s adviser.

To ease the process, Thompson and other researchers are urging EV- and batterymakers to start designing their products with recycling in mind. The ideal battery, Abbott says, would be like a Christmas cracker, a U.K. holiday gift that pops open when the recipient pulls at each end, revealing candy or a message. As an example, he points to the Blade Battery, a lithium ferrophosphate battery released last year by BYD, a Chinese EV-maker. Its pack does away with the module component, instead storing flat cells directly inside. The cells can be removed easily by hand, without fighting with wires and glues.

The Blade Battery emerged after China in 2018 began to make EV manufacturers responsible for ensuring batteries are recycled. The country now recycles more lithium-ion batteries than the rest of the world combined, using mostly pyro- and hydrometallurgical methods.

Nations moving to adopt similar policies face some thorny questions. One, Thompson says, is who should bear primary responsibility for making recycling happen. “Is it my responsibility because I bought [an EV] or is it the manufacturer’s responsibility because they made it and they’re selling it?” In the European Union, one answer could come later this year, when officials release the continent’s first rule. And next year a panel of experts created by the state of California is expected to weigh in with recommendations that could have a big influence over any U.S. policy.

Recycling researchers, meanwhile, say effective battery recycling will require more than just technological advances. The high cost of transporting combustible items long distances or across borders can discourage recycling. As a result, placing recycling centers in the right places could have a “massive impact,” Harper says. “But there’s going to be a real challenge in systems integration and bringing all these different bits of research together.”

There’s little time to waste, Abbott says. “What you don’t want is 10 years’ worth of production of a cell that is absolutely impossible to pull apart,” he says. “It’s not happening yet—but people are shouting and worried it will happen.

By Ian Morse

Source: Millions of electric cars are coming. What happens to all the dead batteries? | Science | AAAS

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References

Best, Paul (19 November 2020). “GM doubles down on commitment to electric vehicles, increases spending to $27B”. FOXBusiness. Retrieved 20 November 2020.

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Important For An Increased Conversion Rate

Marketing is the basic necessity of business owners in the present age. They have to use different marketing tools and techniques to ensure that they rank higher in comparison to their competitors. However, when it comes to increasing conversion rates, most people fail. The reason is that they are not using the right marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing is very important to increase conversion rates and here are some of the reasons why.

More visitors

First, online business owners require visitors. Many find it hard to attract visitors to their website. Affiliate marketing provides a better way of attracting customers. When the readers of your affiliate marketer read an interesting review or article about your products, they will find it hard to resist clicking on the links provided. This way, your page views will increase, which will increase the chances of most of the visitors converting into customers. However, you have to make sure that your website is interactive.

Increased credibility

Gaining the trust of customers is the hardest thing that business owners have to deal with. When you use affiliate marketing, you will get the following benefits:

  • Customers trust the blogger, which means that they will automatically trust your services
  • When they will read a positive or unbiased review, your chances of generating more leads will increase
  • Customers will be encouraged to try products that have been mentioned several times
  • If your affiliate marketer adds a call to action at the end of his blog, it will create a sense of urgency and your visitors will surely trust your products.

More visibility

With the help of affiliate marketing, your online visibility will increase. Your products will not only be shared on the blog of the affiliate marketer, but there are chances that his readers will share the post on a different platform. It means that the number of individuals reading about your products will increase. You can also share the blog on your social media profile as a sales pitch to showcase how your products have been mentioned in a famous blog. In this way, when customers enter the keywords associated with your website, they will have you in the first few search results, which will increase your conversion rate.

Higher search engine ranking

One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is a higher search engine ranking. All the blogs that are written by the affiliate marketer will be optimized according to the latest SEO rules. Apart from that, most of the written content will be positive. We all know that search engines prefer websites with positive reviews. When your customer searches for your products or website, they will always find positive search results. Remember that many customers trust the results shown by Google and only affiliate marketing can help you achieve that positive ranking.

Customers will spend more time

We all know the rule of business, that when a customer spends more time on your website, there is a chance that he will not leave without buying a product. With the help of affiliate marketing, you can make your customers spend more time on your website. Due to the highly engaging and interactive content, there are chances that your customers would love to know about every product that is available at your store. In this way, most of your leads will be converted into potential customers.

Stay ahead of your competitors

With the help of affiliate marketing, you can stay ahead of your competitors. You can select different famous affiliate marketers to display your products. In this way, your overall visibility will increase. When your competitors do not have the same level of marketing, there is no chance that they will have more customers than you. it will help you to maintain your higher ranking and it will help you to gain more customers. Remember that you will have to pay attention to your ranking all the time because your competitors are working hard as well and you cannot let them take your place.

Improved social media rating

Generating a better rating on social media is not an easy task, but with the help of affiliate marketing, you can make it possible. When you share the famous blogs on your social media profiles along with the positive comments that you already have, your rating will be improved. You will notice that more customers will be drawn to your website because of the positive comments. Again, if they also share their positive reviews about your website or products on their social sites, your overall ranking will automatically increase. Most customers often check the rating on the social media sites before they buy a product and it will prove very beneficial for you.

Provides long-term results

There are many benefits of affiliate marketing, but none of them measure up to the benefit of long-term results. We all know that affiliate marketers hardly take down their blog posts and they stay online for as long as they like. This means that you will get positive feedbacks for a long time. New readers will keep reading about your products and in this way, your sales will increase. It is the most affordable marketing technique you can use.

Bottom line

When you are planning to select an affiliate marketer for your business, you have to be extra careful. You have to ensure that he has the same customers that you need because that is the only way you will be able to engage more clients. Do not forget to check the traffic of the person’s website you are planning to use. The more traffic he has, the better your conversion rate. Make the right choice and enjoy increased sales and better revenue.

By: Mariia Lvovych

Source: https://www.relevance.com/

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