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Your Survival Guide to Attending a Virtual Conference
The next real estate conference you are most likely to attend won't require you to drive or fly. You won't have to book a hotel or dinner reservations. Instead, you will go online via your computer or smartphone. Virtual conferences have rapidly taken to replacing major in-person meetings and conventions in every industry. Even the largest meeting of Realtors, the annual convention of the National Association of Realtors, has announced it will be virtual this fall. The NAR Annual Convention announced it will move from an in-person event that was set for New Orleans in early November to a fully virtual event online from November 13-16. Attending a conference or convention online sounds a lot easier, right? Be forewarned that attending a virtual convention for three or four days in a row can be as exhausting as attending one in person. But you can reduce the stress and strain that can come from attending a virtual meeting by following these tips before, during, and after an all online conference. Before a virtual conference Plan early: Block your calendar as if you are attending a real conference. Select your "must attend" events. And if technology fails during a must-attend session, have a "Plan B" alternative as a backup. Make sure you build in breaks – even if the schedulers appear to overlook this need – we are all learning how to adapt! Take a test drive: If you have never attended a virtual conference, before you block your schedule for three or four days, test out a half-day online event. There are many free conferences and meetings online locally and nationally that cover many industries, including real estate. Try out how it feels to attend a virtual conference – being online for four or more hours straight – you'll discover in advance if you need better equipment. You might find you need a more comfortable office chair or a large computer monitor. It's better to learn this in advance of attending a multi-day event. Be tech ready: Explore the website of the conference you are planning to attend to see if it offers a mobile app. The earlier you can download, install, and set up the app, the better. There are often built-in tools such as an event schedule calendar featuring alters, a list of attendees, and ways to connect with others. If you know the conference is going to use video, some browsers (Google Chrome, Windows) allow you to add features that can speed up video playback. Research and install these, and they might come in handy. Finally, test your viewing technology. If you are going to have interactive sessions where you can be seen and heard along with other participants, make sure you have the essentials for two-way participation. You need to make sure you have the right set up: a good video camera, proper lighting, and a microphone. While built-in cameras and mics may work fine, investing the dollars you are saving by attending virtually to better equipment can help you make a great impression. Remember to clean your screen: Smudges can make a laptop's camera blurry. Set your brightness level. Make sure everything is plugged in well in advance of your meeting. If you know you are using technology like Zoom, Webex or GoToMeeting, make sure you have the latest software installed well before you try to connect. During the virtual conference Breaks will save your back and your eyes: You need to stand and stretch – and often – when attending a virtual conference. You will not be getting up anytime soon to walk several blocks to your next session like you would at a regular convention. So, don't be stuck at your desk either. Walk around your room, and remember to exercise your eyes as well. Eye fatigue can give you headaches if you stare at a screen too long. You can learn about different ways to exercise your eyes here. Remember, breaks are vital to virtual conference endurance. Use a video playback speed hack: Most virtual conventions won't be completely live, as it takes too much bandwidth. While live sessions may be more common for smaller breakout panels and workshops, General Sessions are most likely going to be on video. There's a hack to speed up your viewing to squeeze out extra time to get all the content still but stay on top of your regular business responsibilities. The most common commercial video platform is Vimeo and YouTube for general videos. YouTube has a built-in speed adjustment found by clicking on the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube video player. Microsoft Edge offers users a tool that adjusts YouTube playback as well. Vimeo Pro and Business accounts also have this feature built-in, but Google Chrome users can add a plugin that allows them to control Vimeo videos' speed. This can be a huge time saver when you have a presenter who speaks slow. While the average person speaks at a pace of 100-130 words per minute, our minds can fully comprehend speech at 180 words per minute. Ask questions and engage whenever possible: A virtual conference can't replace the energy one gets from being in a room with other people. Keep the Chat Box open and do your best to ask questions. Use the Chat Box to read and comment to all – or directly to others – when you have a thought to share. Being engaged online can help you get more out of a virtual conference. If you get the opportunity to participate in a live two-way session, make sure you look directly at the camera, frame your face correctly, and avoid backlighting so you can look your best. After the virtual conference Recorded sessions: If you know for sure you'll have access to all or some recorded sessions soon after the virtual conference, take advantage of it. Look at the convention schedule for potential conflicts of overlapping sessions you want to attend. If you know one session will be available for playback later, visit the one that won't be viewable. It's great when you can "attend" a virtual meeting you would have certainly missed in person. Electronic handouts: Often, a speaker will mention that they will make their PowerPoint presentation or other material available after the meeting. Send yourself a reminder to follow up to collect these items if you don't automatically receive them as promised. This often saves you a lot of time taking notes – or trying to capture a screenshot. Post-conference networking: While we can't attend a major real estate convention in person, we can try to take advantage of the fact that more people than ever are likely to participate in a virtual meeting of the Florida Realtors or the National Association of Realtors. That means a shared experience with more people whom you know. And while you may not be physically sitting next to them, think about how you might follow up with them afterward to discuss. Perhaps even hold a Zoom meeting post-conference to share what you learned and discover what others learned. The great thing about virtual conferences is that it is hard to beat the ROI — return on investment — it offers versus an in-person meet. The downside is that even the most creative attempts at hosting a virtual Happy Hour can't replace having a drink in the lobby bar with a colleague or friend. The good news is you can get a lot out of a virtual convention if you get organized, stay focused by taking breaks and creating ways to stay engaged. You still might need a vacation afterwards. And if you have any issues with your technology, remember you can always contact Tech Helpline. Your tech support team available as a member benefit at no additional cost. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
Each year, thousands of real estate agents and brokers who use Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity have the opportunity to meet some of the folks who make the magic happen for these two Florida Realtors owned products at local conventions and conferences. This year's schedule includes visits as far north and east as Nova Scotia, Canada, as far south as Hollywood, Florida, and as far west as Los Angeles, California. As real estate's number one tech support firm, Tech Helpline serves more than 600,000 real estate professionals in North America. Available through MLSs or local associations, as well as real estate brokerages, connecting with Tech Helpline is typically accomplished via a phone call, online chat or email inquiry. Our annual direct outreach gives agents and brokers, as well as MLS and association executives and staff members, an additional opportunity with face-to-face communications. Opportunities to connect This year, we kicked off our spring and summer schedule for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity with an appearance at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in mid-May. Tech Helpline was just represented at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Association Executives Seminar in early June, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up, Form Simplicity will be at "Rock the Market" at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on June 25. The next two days on June 26 and 27, both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity will be heading to the Florida Realtors Association Executives Education Workshops in Cocoa Beach, FL. August marks two major conventions for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Association leadership from all business disciplines will convene at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Columbus, OH on August 10-13, followed by our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo (August 21 and 22) and Governance Meetings (August 23-25) in Orlando, FL. Tech Helpline will head to another big convention as the Colorado Association of REALTORS® hosts its "REfresh Expo" in Denver, CO on September 5. The summer tour schedule ends with two back-to-back events. The first one is in North Carolina, the NC REALTORS® 2019 Convention & Expo "Xchange'19" at the Pinehurst Resort during the Expo dates of September 14-16. That's followed by the Arkansas REALTOR® Annual Convention & Tradeshow being held in Memphis, TN at the Guesthouse at Graceland, during the Expo dates of September 16 and 17. More to come As the fall begins, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be back at it, with appearances by Tech Helpline at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Expo "REImagine!" held in Los Angeles on September 24-26, followed by opportunities to ask your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2019 in Salt Lake City on October 16-18. The last two conventions for Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline currently are scheduled for both the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this year (booth #1234), November 6-11, and finally December 9-12 at the 2019 Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, which brings together members from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Realtor associations. If you happen to be attending one of these events, please stop by and bring your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline. We hope to meet you face-to-face! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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On the Road Again: Tech Helpline May Be Coming Your Way
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Hot New Tech from NAR Midyear
Artificial intelligence, digital automation, hyperlocal marketing, and 3D posts for Facebook. These are just a few of the hottest technologies that new companies – and established ones –showcased at NAR Midyear. Officially called the "REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo," Midyear is where NAR members go each May to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities and, of course, the trade show. Here are some of the hottest new tech offerings – both products and services – for agents and brokers that were on display: BoxBrownie It touts itself as providing "high-quality photo editing, virtual staging, floor plan redraws, and CGI renders at (an) unbelievable price." Grammar aside, BoxBrownie is all-pro when you see their before-and-after offerings. Their offer can be summarized in just two words: photo magic. If you have an empty room, but would love to show it fully staged with furniture, BoxBrownie does that. Have a dead, brown lawn in a photo because it's the middle of winter – or summer? Not a problem. BoxBrownie can give you lush, green grass and turn any season into blooming spring with bright blue, sunny skies to match. Or what about a house for which you need a nighttime shot with the rooms all lit? Other software that has tried to do this automatically have gotten the shadows and the interiors all wrong. BoxBrownie nighttime photos gets them all right. This is one tech company that stood out at NAR Midyear for several reasons. First, their technology looks fresh, practical and cool. Second, it's highly relatable as it attempts to dramatically improve what every agent does: post and use listing photos in all their marketing. Third, agents will love their price points: if you want to use their service for just one picture, you can, and it could cost you as little as $2.00. All of their pricing is far less than the alternatives. They are a NAR REach Class of 2018 member. Their website – with pricing and lots of before and after photos – is at boxbrownie.com. Streak If Google and Salesforce had a baby, they might very well have named it Streak. Streak is Gmail with a native CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software interface. If you know how to navigate Gmail, you won't have a lot of struggles finding your way around Streak. It isn't just a Gmail widget-like experience (think SalesforceIQ or Insightly). It is fully CRM entirely woven into your Gmail account. Its deep integration with Gmail eliminates a few of the biggest objections that agents who still don't use CRMs have: it's pretty intuitive, it's a program agents probably already use, and the leads that come in from Zillow or realtor.com and many other lead gen sources are automatically identified and readied for a response. The downsides? Some agents and brokers might find the price tag high. The monthly subscription isn't as expensive as most Salesforce options, but the $49 a month price tag for a single user isn't cheap. Then there's the fact that Gmail spam rules prevent any drip marketing campaign integration coming from Streak. The Streak salespeople tell you that's a good thing since email marketing barely works today anyway. Details at streak.com. zavvie This tech firm's DNA comes from a real estate brokerage. It was born out of the technology used by 8z Real Estate in Boulder, Colorado, the fastest growing brokerage firm in Colorado last year. Their focus: hyperlocal marketing. They practically wrote the book on it. Earlier this year, zavvie published the first white paper on hyperlocal marketing for real estate. They've been on a roll ever since and have expanded from Colorado to coast-to-coast. Inman News just nominated zavvie and 8z Real Estate for an Inman Innovator Award. NAR just announced zavvie is part of their NAR REach Class of 2018. zavvie creates a hyperlocal platform for an agent to dominate his or her neighborhood online. Through neighborhood websites, neighborhood Facebook Pages, and actively contributing to sites such as Next Door, zavvie helps agents digitally farm their neighborhood. While zavvie automates some of the social media content posts for agents, zavvie also makes it super easy for agents to post content from their mobile app on the go during their regular workday activities. zavvie targets brokerages, teams and even has an individual agent offering that starts at $299 a month. Learn more at zavvie.com. MoveEasy Technology is driving the rebirth of concierge moving services being adopted by brokerages. MoveEasy is one of the newest entries, and it is leveraging the use of APIs (Application Programming Interface) to reduce the stress of moving for home buyers and sellers. Let's face it: nearly everyone hates moving. Just the planning stage alone can be maddening: you have to make so many phone calls. You have to find a mover, get bids, worrying about packing and possibly storage. But that's just the beginning. You have to stand in line at the post office and pick up your moving kit. Then you have figure out which gas and electric utility providers, cable or satellite company, and Internet services firm provides services to your new home. Worst-of-all: you have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your new driver's license with your new address. The entire process takes so much time and is a significant stressor. Most agents just let their customers go it alone. MoveEasy is a service an agent can offer their customers for free. It acts as a virtual concierge and puts everything at the fingertips of the home buyer, so they can go online: click, enter and select. For agents, it's a free service that makes them look like rock stars because they don't lift a finger. For brokerages, it's a no-brainer because MoveEasy handles all the tech the setup and agent training. MoveEasy is fully integrated with MoxiWorks and say they can integrate with just about any CRM. Check them out at moveeasy.com. Chime IDX integrated with CRM Chime uses an ad management system to generate leads. Leads are directed either to your Chime IDX Website or your Facebook page. There, they are prompted to register. The inbound lead data is collected and goes into your Chime CRM. The Chime CRM then uses Artificial Intelligence to send an email to the new lead and an alert to the agent that they have a new lead. Chime's pricing model offers a starter version at $25 a month (no lead routing) and a pro version at $49. While it provides a team collaboration feature, teams have noted in online reviews that the product is not as well designed for a team as it is for individual agents. Chime has done well integrating with the major ad portals, all the primary email platforms, and many marketing offerings. It continues to integrate with other software. It is a NAR REach Class of 2018 member. The website is chime.me. Matterport From the folks that gave the world three-dimensional home tours without the need of headgear or glasses, Matterport has a cool little feature they added and were talking about at Midyear. Agents know that Facebook marketing remains one of their most powerful and cost-effective ways to maintain top-of-mind awareness and generate a new kind of lead process: inbound, where the leads reach out to the agent. That's the magic of social media marketing. Matterport has a neat feature for its users that is largely going overlooked. It will instantly generate a "mini-movie" for a Facebook post. These video teasers, just 10-15 seconds in length, showcase one's 3D Video Home Tour, and include a shorter animated GIF file for use as well. Here's the coolest part: Matterport used Deep Learning (aka Machine Learning) to create and automate this process. The agent or broker does not have to do a thing. These are generated automatically as Matterport Spaces with more information here. Check out their cover video on Facebook here at the top of the page. Find them at matterport.com. More tech ahead There were more great tech firms at NAR Midyear, and there are sure to be an exponentially higher number in Boston at NAR Annual. From Active Pipe, a hot startup that offers automated email marketing to Quigler, a high-tech compliance solution firm (both NAR REach Class of 2018 members), Midyear scratches the surface of what's out there. With innovations in areas like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, we can expect to see even more breakthroughs for agents and brokers in the months ahead. For insight on other hot tech trends from Tech Helpline, check out these articles: Drone-in-a-box for real estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing Future Tech: Tools that will change our work and our homes A Quick Review of Smart Home Technology Gifts and gadgets for under $15 Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®. Florida Realtors owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.    
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Top Headlines from NAR Annual
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Following #NARAnnual: Conference Wrap-up
Today marked the final day of NAR Annual in New Orleans. As we write this, Realtors from across the U.S. and Canada are on their way home after 4+ days of educational sessions, events, giveaways, parties, beignets and po' boys (all the food pictures were seriously mouthwatering!). As usual, we took to Twitter to follow the official conference hashtag, #NARannual, and the ongoing events. After all, the best reporters are often the attendees themselves. Although there were far too many great Tweets to include here, we've done our best to round up the best. ### Valerie Garcia - If you don't want sellers rating, ranking, and reviewing you, it's probably because you are doing a crappy job. Just saying. #NARannual JenniferArchambeault - Brokers should take control of brand consumer experience & not leave min standard up to individual agents #cryeleike #narannual #RISmedia Brandon Martens - Verbiage change! "Charge a brokerage fee not a commission" @alexmils. Even @leighbrownremax wrote that one down! #narannual Brandon Martens - Have sellers help you select comps from what's on the MLS @leighbrownremax #narannual Valerie Garcia - Ask questions in your listing appointment that you can allow them to say yes to! @leighbrownremax #NARannual
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Conferences, Conventions and Local Organizations: Are They Worth Your Time?
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How to Be a Trade Show Pro
It's our favorite time of year again – trade show season! After a brief hiatus for the winter holidays, real estate industry conventions are back in full force. With Inman's Real Estate Connect just one week away – as well as a host of other awesome shows – we thought the timing might be exactly right for a post on how to become a trade show pro. Because booking your flight and hotel is only half the battle. Our dedicated sales and marketing teams travel to dozens of trade shows in the US and Canada each year. So we aren't exaggerating when we say we have oodles of experience when it comes to finding the best eats, making sure your feet don't hurt and scoring the best swag. Read on for four industry-insider tips on how to be a real estate trade show pro! Make Friends with Twitter Today's real estate conventions and trade shows make use of identifying hashtags to enable conversations on Twitter. Hashtags are used to mark a tweet as belonging to a specific conversation. For instance, the hashtag for Real Estate Connect is #ICNY. If you click here, you will see that attendees and speakers are already using that hashtag to talk about what they're going to see and do at the conference next week. Because Twitter happens in real time, using Twitter to find conversations about the trade show you're attending is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. You can learn which booths are giving away the best swag, find out what events are happening next and even discover great places to eat. If you're new to Twitter, check out our Twitter tips for real estate agents and get started today.
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Did you miss it? Catch what you missed at Conference Live and Playback NAR.
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DO’s and DON’Ts of Networking Events for Agents
Do you ever attend regional or national real estate conferences? We do! Real estate conferences and conventions are great places to connect with other professionals and expand your sphere of influence. Whether you meet a fellow agent from a neighboring area with whom you can exchange referrals or a complimentary vendor you can partner with, networking is a great way to get more leads. Of course, meeting strangers at a professional event (or anywhere!) can be tricky. It's important to give the people you interact with the right impression and avoid social faux pas that might prevent you from doing business together in the future. How do you know what to say and what to do? To help you perfect your networking skills and maximize your opportunities, today we've compiled the eight DO's and DON'Ts of event networking for real estate agents and brokers. DO's Smile Is anything more intimidating than a stranger with a scowl? Invite conversation by smiling and making eye contact to let others know you are ready to interact. Avoid closed-off body language like tightly crossed arms or a downward gaze.
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REach™ Accelerator Class of 2013 to conclude at REALTORS® Conference & Expo
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5 Ways to Have a More Productive Conference
Heading to a conference, convention, or expo this month? With so many real estate events on the calendar, chances are you've got one coming up. Before attending your next event, try doing a little strategizing to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Your time is valuable and with jam-packed event schedules, a little preparation goes a long way! Below are five ways to ensure that your event is a productive one. 1. Plan your day. The plan doesn't have to be detailed down to the minute, but do take some time to look over the event calendar and choose what you'd like to see, attend, participate in, etc. Vet the speakers, break out sessions, and vendors before arriving at the conference. What looks interesting? Make a point to explore that at the event. Doing this alone is ideal since you'll be less likely to shift your plan or make adjustments for other attendees. Don't compromise on why you want to attend. It's your conference, so get what you want out of it! 2. Set goals. Before your next event, set a few goals and acknowledge what your intentions are. Do you want to learn something new? Network with colleagues? Look for products or services to grow your business? Thinking about these things and setting goals ahead of time is a proactive way to make your event a productive use of time. To take it a step further, think about how you want to feel at the event and make that a goal, too. How do you want to feel at the end of the event? By setting goals, you'll be better able to stay focused and reap the maximum benefit. Your goals may be different than someone else's and that's okay. Every attendee has his or her own agenda, but ultimately you are responsible for your experience.
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Hurry! Register now for the REALTORS® Conference & Expo and receive an MVP Reward!
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The REALTORS® Conference and Expo: A Year-Long Learning Experience
Register for a Premier Access Pass to the REALTORS® Conference and Expo and you'll get complimentary access to all education session recordings for one full year. Last year's attendees had access to more than 100 recorded sessions and nearly 150 hours of learning. No other real estate conference provides this much educational content during and after the event. The Premier Access Pass lets you pick and choose which sessions to attend at the conference, and which ones to review after the event. Agents: This is a great way to catch up on sessions you might have missed, or revisit sessions you attended for that key piece of information. Brokers: Share the sessions with your agents throughout the year to help them stay on top of the latest trends and opportunities. Last year's attendees say it best: "I will use the access to the online recordings of all of the seminars all year long to further reinforce my learning and gain inspiration along the way. That is actually the best part was that with the full conference I will have access to courses I missed because they overlapped with another one." "Wow! It's like a gift that keeps on giving! Now as I look forward to the next NAR Annual Convention I can take me time and gain additional knowledge all year long!...I am proud to be a member of the NAR and happy that I invested in myself by going to the best Conference ever!"
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#ICSF Day 2: Off-MLS Listings, Tech Tools and beyond
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Inman Connect Day 1: Robots, IDX, and C.A.R. vs. dotloop
Real estate technology conference Inman Connect kicked off in San Francisco today. Conference attendees attended panels and talks on subjects ranging from robots and Google Glass to the worth of IDX. The most anticipated event of the day, however, was the on-stage debate between C.A.R's Joel Singer and Austin Allison of dotloop. The two went head-to-head in a discussion on the security and privacy issues behind C.A.R.'s recent refusal to license its forms to dotloop. We took to Twitter today to watch all the action unfold. It's our favorite way to monitor real time updates from the conference. Below, we've compiled a few of the day's best Tweets to keep our readers up to date, as well. Read on for some great 140-character nuggets of real estate wisdom. * * * KWStudioCity - Realtors benefits when C.A.R. ensures that their privacy and security is protected and respected, comments Joel on forms usage at #ICSF Laurie Weston Davis - It's not a choice if an agent wants oranges and you are force feeding apples CAR #icsf #choice Jack Miller - Separation of Content (forms) and code (software) allow user choice. Why can't we do that? #icsf Sam Scott - High drama at #ICSF as Austin Allison and Joel Singer debate access to CAR's proprietary forms. pic.twitter.com/n4fxxWJjph
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The REALTORS® Conference & Expo Can Help You Make More Money
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Is it Important to Network With Other Agents?
We've all heard that networking is an essential aspect of strong business development. What many in the real estate industry don't seem to get, however, is that networking's sole aim is to grow and promote your business. Looked at through that lens, the value of networking for real estate agents lies in hanging out with people that can help them find clients, not those that are competing for those very same leads. Networking With Other Agents in Town It appears that the real estate industry generally conflates networking with socializing, and those are distinctly different animals. Remember, other agents in your market are highly unlikely to promote your business in any way, shape or form, so networking with them, in the strict sense of the word, is useless. Socializing, on the other hand, may be of immense value, but for different reasons. Who doesn't need to blow off steam from time-to-time, and what better way to do that than with someone who does what you do for a living? Who else understands the frustration of a listing client who insists on overpricing the home, or the buyer who lowballs every list price and wonders why his offers aren't accepted? From commiserating to sharing ideas, having lunch, cocktails or coffee with another agent in your market is good for the soul. Just don't think of it as networking, and don't waste valuable time socializing with your competition under the guise of networking.
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6 Online Resources for Real Estate Education
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zipLogix to Preview Next Generation of zipForm at NAR Midyear
NAR Midyear is almost here, and REALTORS® across the nation are packing their bags and finalizing their schedules. Some of you may be planning to just hit the trade show floor and explore, while others are using tech tools like NAR's Midyear Mobile App or Online Planner to figure out what booths and events to attend. Whatever your approach, we recommend visiting zipLogix® at booth 1900. zipLogix® was the pioneer of forms management in real estate and they continue to bring cutting edge innovation to each upgrade of their system. This year, they are highlighting progress made to improve usability, store and manage documents, and improve forms automation. Nearly every real estate professional is familiar with their flagship product, zipForm®, and this year the company will be previewing the next generation of zipForm® at the trade expo. Dubbed zipForm® Plus, this updated version takes all the functionality that users are accustomed to and wraps it in a new, more attractive package. It's more than just attractive, though. zipForm® is a powerhouse of a solution--sometimes to an intimidating degree. We're excited to see zipLogix® adapting to the larger tech sphere's movement towards clean aesthetics that Apple started years ago. After all, a well-designed interface is more than just pleasing to the eye. When form meets functionality in an intentional way, the entire user experience is transformed.
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Why Real Estate Conferences and Conventions are Important for Business
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Highlights from NAR Annual in Orlando
Today marked the final day of the NAR Annual conference in Orlando. Attendees left with new connections, new ideas, and tons of inspiration to push them to new heights in 2013. We followed the conference on social media--the perfect medium for such a tech-oriented event! We saw lots of Instagram photos (like Chris Nichols' pic of NAR President Moe Veissi), iPad giveaways, educational sessions on digital marketing, and so much more. We were especially impressed by NARconferencelive.com--a fantastic site full of up-to-date conference happenings! For those of you who couldn't make the conference--and for those who did, but couldn't possibly attend every session--we've compiled a list of Twitter updates from the conference. Each one is a bite-size nugget of great information. Real Estate Trends @RETrends - ECONOMIC TRENDS: Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, on His 2013 Forecast (video) @NAR_Research #NARAnnual Rod Alderink @NAIwmRod - "You can't sow the seeds of mediocre patterns and expect extraordinary results" NAR Convention #cre #NarAnnual #naiwwm
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#ICSF: Final Day
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#ICSF: Day Two
Many of my RE Technology teammates are representing at Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco this week. Unfortunately, I am not among them. So that I don't feel like I'm missing out completely, I'm following the conference on social media and sharing it with you nice people. If you missed my coverage yesterday, you can read it here. Now let's get started with today's highlights from ICSF. Follow ICSF 2012 If you'd like to follow ICSF yourself, you can check them out here: Twitter – also check out #ICSF Facebook RealEstateConnect.com/sf12 #ICSF on Twitter Some of my favorite Tweets for Thursday, August 2nd: Alain Pinel Realtors @alainpinel : Quote: "Can we stop calling it social media? It's media! Why call them Internet consumers? They're consumers!" @MattBeall #ICSF Matthew Shadbolt @Corcoran_Group : Nice advice at #ICSF from @LisaArcher "Any time you receive a compliment, ask for a referral, and build your lifelong book of business." Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : 5 ideas to get the mobile experience right: 1. Play to your strengths. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #2 Deliver the greatest good to the greatest number of users. Search should be simplistic. Forget the weirdos. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #3 Care about the design: Think about the beauty of your application. Make the interface pleasing. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #4 Kill friction. Don't make it hard to use your mobile app, ie remove passwords, usernames and barriers @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #5 know what you want: define the goal of the mobile app. Is it to generate calls, leads, showcase brand etc. @1000wattbrian #icsf Cynthia Hoskins @Cynthia_Hoskins : "Pulling Your Listings from Aggregator Sites: Who Wins?" session at #ICSF. Now this conference is going to get good!
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#ICSF: Day One
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Get Ready for Real Estate Connect SF!
Inman News is hosting another spectacular Real Estate Connect convention in San Francisco this year! The event is scheduled for August 1st through 3rd at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. If you haven't already, take a moment to register today. Why Real Estate Connect is Awesome RE Technology will be attending the Inman Real Estate Connect convention for a variety of reasons – opportunities to network with and learn from other industry thought leaders, exciting technology announcements and education, and robust learning opportunities with cutting edge sessions. But perhaps Inman News explains it best on the convention website: At Real Estate Connect you'll experience: Unparalleled networking with industry leaders including the executives at the top real estate franchises; entrepreneurs bringing new products to market; marketing execs; top-producing real estate agents and brokers; and executives from the leading financial service and title companies...in other words, the people who are driving change in our industry. A fantastic set of exhibitors representing the players you already know and our Startup Alley participants that have new and exciting products you haven't heard of yet. Keynote presentations and fireside chats featuring leaders and innovators describing what's ahead for the industry In-depth tracks such as Broker Summit, ConnectTech, Digital Marketing and MLS Solutions If you are an industry leader, or you just want to rub elbows with them, you've got to be at Real Estate Connect. Register now to reserve your space!
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Following #Midyear (Wrapping Up)
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Following #Midyear (Wednesday)
Seems like many of our readers are interested in hearing more about the goings-on at NAR Midyear. So let's take a look at what the online chatter is today. (You can read my report from yesterday here.) On Twitter The #Midyear chatter certainly picked up on Twitter today! We can't cover all of it, but we've pulled together some of the highlights. Nick Kremydas @Kremydas: Hundreds of REALTORS® up at 7am for a briefing by NAR's Chief Lobbyist! http://twitpic.com/9ln8qr #midyear PrescottREALTORS @PAARtweet: Jerry Giovaniello, Senior VP of Government Affairs for NAR, updates a packed house at 7am on Federal Issues #midyear http://pic.twitter.com/XzwsUNlI
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Following #Midyear
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3 NAR Midyear Sessions RE Techies Shouldn’t Miss
Will you be attending the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear conference this week? If so, there are plenty of great sessions planned. You can see them all here; however, we've selected just a few sessions that seem to focus on real estate technology that we recommend you all check out. If you attend one of these sessions, please get in touch and share your comments. 1) Protecting The Value of Your Data Thursday, May 17, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Maryland Suite Join REALTOR.com® for a discussion on data, its proper usage in advertising for home sellers, home buyers, social sites and mobile - and what REALTOR.com® is doing to help safeguard data from cyber-attacks and illegitimate use. Meet the Speaker: Curt Beardsley
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RETSO Recap: “Where ideas and Doers Meet”
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Video: Trying to Learn at Events - Stop and Listen
Check out the latest video from our social media guru, Maya Paveza:
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Video: Step Inside the Expo Hall at NAR Annual!
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Matt Fagioli is a Gracious Guy
Today, finding a brand that is not too awkward, and has an available domain name, Twitter handle, and Facebook handle is pretty hard. At one point, I was thinking that there could be a business built around pulling these three online brand identities together and selling them to new companies. I spoke with a friend who does movie marketing for Sony – she laughed in my face – saying that they spend so many millions marketing their media that they can invent brands and identities  - and that is what they do. Yielding her advice, we did not worry too much when we named RE Technology. We ended up getting retechnologyinc on twitter and facebook – which was fine. But xplode founder Matt Fagioli called us today with a gift. He gave us the twitter handle @retechnology! Moreover, he showed us how to move all of our twitter followers over to that account from the RE Technology account, without disturbing anything.
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A Real Estate Conference Unlike Any Other!
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DotLoop CEO, Austin Allison, Joins Influential Panel at Inman Connect in S.F.
We pulled this news from the DotLoop blog.      The Inman Real Estate Connect is here as some of the biggest names in real estate convene in San Francisco, July 27-29, for what many consider one of the year’s must-attend, industry events.  At DotLoop, we’re proud to sponsor and participate in this year’s event to network and share innovative ideas that will move the industry forward.  During the three-day event, thousands of influential real estate leaders will connect through workshops, presentations and a trade show.
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8 Days Until Agent Reboot Denver - Next Stops Las Vegas, Portland, Houston
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