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Are You a REALTOR? Time to Step Up!
Like most of you, I have spent this week social distancing by staying home, only going to stores when I needed important things, and a bunch of Zooms, webinar and video conferencing. Folks, this is week one for most of us and we don't know for sure how many more weeks like this we have coming. It's time to step up in your local community and become a leader and start thinking outside the box.
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The Night Before Christmas: A Real Estate Tale
'Twas the night before Christmas working the open houseNot one visitor, not even a mouseThe signs were all out, and invites sent with careIn the hopes that a buyer would soon be there.
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What If We Replaced NAR Directors with Randomly Selected REALTORS?
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Rebuttal: Why Background Checks on Real Estate Prospects Don't Work
On June 21, RE Technology published an article by Lee Goldstein of Real Safe Agent that called into question the efficacy of background checks, with a specific focus on the application of such by real estate agents seeking to use information as an additional safety tool. This rebuttal, by James Reilly of red violet and FOREWARN, explores the weaknesses of the original author's evaluation of background checks: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of a fatal injury by 45 percent. If seat belts are not 100 percent effective at saving lives, then they are rendered unusable and ineffective, and give a false sense of security, right? We should all immediately stop wearing them, right? Of course not. Debate around real estate agent safety is a good thing. The fact that there is ongoing conversation about safety protocol, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of varying tools and techniques, means that this important topic stays fresh in the minds of the men and women who, unfortunately by the nature of their business, have inherent risk due to the need for personal engagement with individuals about whom they have little to no knowledge. Unfortunately, the dispersal of information that is rife with inaccuracies, false and misleading conclusions, and reckless recommendations is, in my opinion, not only careless but grossly negligent. Anyone involved in real estate owes it to their fellow industry professionals to shoot straight. The referenced article strayed well from the mark. As the only instant identity verification and criminal record indicator specifically designed for the real estate market, we (FOREWARN) take issue with the author's claims and associated conclusions and thank RE Technology for allowing us the opportunity to respond. AUTHOR'S CLAIM: Through creative wording and misleading isolation of data and comparison, the author represents that the Department of Justice feels that commercial background checks are ineffective. FACT: Virtually every government agency utilizes commercial databases as part of any investigative endeavor. Additionally, companies across America use commercial databases to power various forms of background checks in their daily workflow. AUTHOR'S CLAIM: Of the 10.7 million arrests in 2016, only 1.4 million had a final disposition, which is required for a record to show up in a commercially available criminal background check. FACT: The statement that commercial criminal databases only have records with a final disposition is FALSE. This claim demonstrates perhaps the single greatest piece of evidence that the author has no background in the investigative data industry or that he intentionally presents manipulated numbers and statistics as facts, tying them together to create a false narrative around criminal coverage. A quality investigative resource will show arrests soon after they occur, regardless of whether there has been a final disposition. AUTHOR'S CLAIM: There is a 30 percent error rate of instant background checks due to spelling of names, and errors in DOBs and data entry (implying that they are useless). FACT:  Variances and human errors in data entry do NOT render industry-leading information solutions ineffective or unusable. Anytime humans are involved in the collection and input of data, certainly there are chances for errors. A quality data provider accounts for these errors through highly technical data fusion processes and algorithms that result in not perfect, but highly accurate matching. High quality criminal record repositories, coupled with advanced data science practices, provide highly effective insight for a multitude of use cases, including screening individuals before face-to-face engagement. Further, the author limits evaluation to criminal records. Background screening of prospects also allows the verification of identity to ensure the person an agent is engaging with is who they say they are. AUTHOR'S CLAIM:  The use of criminal background checks poses a legal issue. The author cites the Supreme Court for the proposition that "the use of background checks may be a violation of the Fair Housing Act." FACT: By making these blanket statements with no further color, the author is extremely disingenuous. Organizations around the country use background checks every day without violating the FHA. It takes more than just a background check to violate the FHA. It takes a subsequent action that results in discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability (of which persons with criminal records are not a protected class under the FHA). To be clear, it is never okay to engage in discriminatory practices of any kind. Verifying a person's identity and understanding risk factors such as a criminal history to ensure one's safety is not the same as taking discriminatory action against a person because of their race, national origin or other protected characteristic. I think it's fair to say that the author would not have used this red herring had he known that FOREWARN is actually used by Housing Authorities. AUTHOR'S CLAIM: Only 37 percent of people charged with rape had a previous felony conviction at the time they were arrested for rape the first time. FACT: 37 percent of people charged with rape had a previous felony conviction at the time they were arrested for rape the first time. Even if the author's isolated statistic was the whole story, I'm confused as to how this supports his false narrative. In fact, the statement alone demonstrates that 37 percent of those charged had criminal records that could have found through a background check prior to their next assault. But consistent with the author's theme of disingenuous presentation of information, the same cited source (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) goes on to report that MORE THAN HALF of all alleged rapists have at least one prior conviction of rape, robbery, and/or assault and battery. Conclusion Not properly and comprehensively addressing agent safety can be catastrophic. In September of 2014, Beverly Carter, an Arkansas-based real estate agent and mother of three was murdered by individuals posing as prospective home buyers. "If Mom had been alerted on inconsistencies in the callers' story, she would not have handled that appointment the same way," says Beverly Carter's son and Founder and Executive Director of the Beverly Carter Foundation, Carl Carter, Jr. "With an application like FOREWARN, she would have immediately known that the spoofed phone number didn't match who they claimed to be. With more information at her fingertips, she would still be alive today." As executive management of a public company that provides information solutions to many industries, including real estate, I make no claim that I'm an unbiased voice. But through almost a decade of work with investigative data, dealing personally with law enforcement, other government agencies, and corporate and private investigators, I've been immersed in the world of, and the use of, commercial databases for risk mitigation and fraud prevention. As such, I emphatically believe that real estate agents should be armed with as much knowledge as possible. There is no single solution to the issue of agent safety. A comprehensive protocol of both tools and processes are needed at the agent, agency, and association level, to make a substantial impact on the safety of the professionals that are at the heart of making this industry thrive. Whether it be through FOREWARN or another information provider, the use of data to "know your customer" should be an essential part of that safety protocol for every agent across the country. The author seems to believe that unless a risk mitigation tool is 100 percent effective, agents are better off walking into engagements blind. I don't agree. Use your seatbelt. James Reilly is President of red violet (NASDAQ: RDVT) and FOREWARN.    
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The Truth about Technology and the Role of a Real Estate Agent
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[Best of 2017] True Confessions of a FSBO
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #5 in our countdown. See #6 here. I work closely with real estate agents every day. Dozens of my closest friends are real estate agents. And I put my home on the market to sell it myself. I was a FSBO. Before you panic, there are a couple things I want you to know. First, I didn't end up selling it because I didn't get the new house I wanted. Second, I had done this before. And third, from my unique position here at Adwerx, I was actually doing this more so as an experiment in going behind the scenes than trying to save money. I love and value real estate agents, after all. It was quite the experience. I learned so much that I want to share some intel with you, my real estate professional friends. My name isn't Fizz Bo. Being part of Facebook groups and conferences, I know the real estate vernacular. And I know the homeowners who sell their own home are simply called FSBOs. That's a cute little bit of shorthand and is great for talking amongst yourselves. But I wonder if this nickname hasn't served to remove a bit of the empathy from working with these folks. As soon as my house listing went live, I started receiving calls from agents. A LOT of calls. And I'll honestly say I wasn't impressed.
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Relying on the Image of Being a Realtor Is Doing You a Disservice
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Ben Did It Again: A Look at America's #1 REALTOR®
America's number one real estate agent isn't from Manhattan or Beverly Hills. You won't find him when you're filing through the programming guide for HGTV, and he's never graced the cover of Real Estate magazine. He doesn't cater to the rich and famous. Ben Caballero is the broker-owner of HomesUSA.com®, based in Addison, Texas, and he sells new homes to Texans for more than 60 top builders in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Ben is not only, arguably, real estate's most successful agent, he may well be its most unconventional one. The World's Most Successful Agent
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The Dance between Patience and Mindful Real Estate Sales
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True Confessions of a FSBO
I work closely with real estate agents every day. Dozens of my closest friends are real estate agents. And I put my home on the market to sell it myself. I was a FSBO. Before you panic, there are a couple things I want you to know. First, I didn't end up selling it because I didn't get the new house I wanted. Second, I had done this before. And third, from my unique position here at Adwerx, I was actually doing this more so as an experiment in going behind the scenes than trying to save money. I love and value real estate agents, after all. It was quite the experience. I learned so much that I want to share some intel with you, my real estate professional friends. My name isn't Fizz Bo. Being part of Facebook groups and conferences, I know the real estate vernacular. And I know the homeowners who sell their own home are simply called FSBOs. That's a cute little bit of shorthand and is great for talking amongst yourselves. But I wonder if this nickname hasn't served to remove a bit of the empathy from working with these folks. As soon as my house listing went live, I started receiving calls from agents. A LOT of calls. And I'll honestly say I wasn't impressed.
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Best of 2016: I Didn't Hire FOUR Listing Agents!
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What House Hunters Gets Right about Working in Real Estate (and What It Gets Wrong)
One of the things I love about REALTORS® is how passionate they are about the real estate industry. I know lots of Realtors who come home to watch some beloved HGTV after working a long day of home-related tasks. If you're anything like me, one of your must-see TV picks is House Hunters. The engaging episodes offer us a glimpse into the real estate market across the country (and the world, if you're a fan of House Hunters International). Many of us are addicted to House Hunters and while the show is a hit, there are a few things that irk Realtors about the program. Here's what House Hunters gets right about working in the real estate industry, and what it gets wrong. RIGHT: The vast differences among real estate buyers. From busy families to single people to empty nesters, House Hunters showcases just how different your buyers can be. The show really gets it right in presenting a variety of different types of families, budgets, needs, and attitudes. Just like your real estate buyers in real life, each guest on House Hunters has their own unique set of needs. Watching the show really helps us feel empathy for the Realtor who is tasked with keeping all these details straight! Real life takeaway: When you're working with a wide variety of clients, it can be difficult to keep all the details straight! Unless you're being featured on a TV episode, you likely don't have the help of a producer to help you remember everything. Augment your memory by using helpful tools to keep track of the details that may slip your mind. Your real estate CRM can store important particulars about your buyers including their budget, needs, past homes, contact information and family details.
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6 Signs You Belong in the Real Estate Industry
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Millennials, Shmillennials: Why aren’t we marketing to the over 50 crowd?
Advertising contrarian Bob Hoffman gave a talk at Matt Beall's Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers' Worthshop 5 conference last week, which is a wake up call to real estate agents and brokers everywhere. Why are we spending so much time, energy and money marketing to 18-34 year olds when the greatest, wealthiest, most powerful spending group in the world in nearly every major product category is 50+ years old? Remarkably, Bob helps us answer that question and a more important one: How should we be marketing to the over 50 crowd? Full disclosure up front: The majority of the marketing world hates Bob Hoffman and thinks he's dead wrong. The only problem with this is that all the facts and research say he's right. Why do we market to Millennials? Bob has researched this extensively and his findings are jarring. His overall conclusion is that most marketers have a herd instinct; they are marketing to Millennials because everyone else is and somewhere there must be someone who has the facts and knows "why the hell we are doing this?" Bob's been looking for that someone and looking for the facts to support this movement, but has come up with contrary research at every step.
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Homes Are Getting Smarter: Can Real Estate Agents Keep Up?
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Why Today’s Agent Is MORE Important Than Ever – A Millennial’s Perspective
I am a millennial. I turned 30 last year and, yes, everything does begin to hurt more. I read blogs, posts, articles, etc. daily about how important my generation is to the housing market. Too many of us live at home with our parents, too many of us don't work at all and, most importantly, many of us are nowhere near buying a home. I come from an especially tough market – just outside of Seattle, Washington. $400,000 here doesn't get you much aside from a home twice as old as me and, unfortunately for my generation, most of us aren't very handy, so if something goes wrong and YouTube can't tell us how to fix it, we're in deep trouble. So let's get to my story and why today's real estate agent is more important than ever. With so much technology out there, I often hear from real estate professionals that companies are trying to make them obsolete. Those who have been doing this long enough know how ridiculous this is, but it's a very real fear for agents. If agent aren't busy worrying about their client getting in touch with another agent on some portal, they worry about whether their tech expertise will impress clients – especially these young, know-it-all millennials. I am here to tell you just how important you are – and why embracing technology is essential. I had the pleasure of working with Barb Sullivan, a long time John L. Scott agent. She is a family friend and of my 30 years here on Earth, she has been a part of 25 of them. Here is what I didn't need Barb for: technology. Here is what I did need her for: everything else! As a millennial, I know where to get information. I didn't need Barb to help me find homes... I think we can all name five different portals to help me do this, and Barb didn't care one bit that I used them. My home buying journey has taken me over two years. My story began with a $425,000 three bedroom home that I was in love with but was ultimately outbid on. My story ended with an accepted offer on a $390,000 three bedroom town home. What I want to highlight are the things I learned in between from my Realtor that I NEVER would have thought about before, and some of the reasons why today's agent is so essential – especially for my generation. As it turns out, looking at beautiful homes on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin etc. isn't the only piece to buying a home.
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Have Home Sellers Lost Their Status to Real Estate Portals?
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Do Realtors Engage in the Entire Homeowner Lifecycle?
People buy, own, and then ultimately sell a home. This cycle starts over again when the homeowner decides it is time to do it again, usually triggered by some life events. This homeowner lifecycle of buying, owning, and selling a home repeats itself, on average, every six to nine years for most people, depending on individual consumer lifestyles. Why do Realtors tend to ignore the ownership phase of a home? There are approximately 120 million homes in the US, and about 5 million homes are bought and sold every year. It is natural for the real estate industry to focus on the people actually in the market to either sell or buy a home, but in the competitive landscape of real estate, there is an opportunity to engage clients sooner when they are selling, and after they bought and moved in. Realtors are perceived by many consumers as "just chasing the deal." After a sale, consumers tend to forget who their real estate agent was, and those same real estate agents lose a valuable opportunity to build a long term, loyal client base. The real estate profession has a large opportunity to evolve from an agent chasing a transaction to a "home consultant" that is elevated to a trusted advisor on the entire homeowner lifecycle. Owning and managing a home is filled with a myriad of important details. Keeping track of all the monthly, seasonal maintenance tasks are a challenge. Planning, managing, and tracking budgets, costs, photos, and documents for home improvement projects can be overwhelming. Having a digital home inventory of both the home's fixed assets and personal contents is important for risk management.
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Fridge Magnets for Life’s Biggest Asset?
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What is the Value of a Digital Home?
In 2014, over five million homes were bought and sold. And according to the Census, there are about 120 million homes in the US, of which approximately 70 million are full-time owner occupied. A "physical home" has been well understood for probably a few centuries. People intuitively know that a physical home is made up of various structural materials, building materials, equipment, fixtures, and finishes. The real estate process and well defined property laws transfer ownership of these physical homes from one person to another, and the insurance industry insures not only the physical home, but the physical possessions in it. But the last 40 years has introduced us to a "digital" world that is interconnected via the internet. So we should ask ourselves the questions of what a "digital home" is, and what the value of a digital home is during the three phases of the homeowner lifecycle--owning, selling and buying a home. A digital home is a collection of all the digital data about a home. This digital data is photos, documents, videos, and other information about the home and all the equipment, materials, fixtures, finishes and appliances. There are many parts and pieces of a physical home that have a corresponding digital representation of those assets. Once a digital home is aggregated into a computer system, then it can become very valuable to a homeowner. The digital home could then proactively remind homeowners of various home maintenance tasks required to keep the home and its fixed assets operating efficiently, safely and providing a healthy living environment. The digital home could also help ensure that the proper amount of insurance is covering those assets.
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Will Self-Driving Cars Be a Realtor’s Best Friend?
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10 Insights into Real Estate Technology for 2015
2015 is shaping up to be a big leap forward for real estate technology. Venture funding is flooding into the space, and M&A activity is at all time high--not to mention the closing of the Trulia and Zillow merger! With mobile technology permeating every aspect of an agent's business, mobile real estate technology will begin to become more widely adopted. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphone adoption among real estate agents, 2015 is guaranteed to transform the technology landscape in the industry. 1. Prepare for mobile to take become the indisputable focal point of everything real estate tech 2. iBeacon technology will begin to be used in listing signs 3. Drone photography and video will be regulated for the real estate industry as FAA issues first set of guidelines in September 2015
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I Broke Up with Facebook
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The Case for Shooting Your Own Real Estate Videos
Digital media success is largely determined by the quality of your content and video is no exception. As a real estate agent, video is your face—your representation to the world (wide web)—and a major component of the digital media strategy you use, or should be using, to increase your exposure, SEO and lead generation. If you were thinking of using your cell phone camera and free Google Play editing software to make a video, just stop right now. You'll end up with a vastly inferior and unprofessional video that no one will ever see. Or if they do, they'll never watch again. They'll probably stop following you on Twitter and Facebook, as well. If your intention is to use video to get results, then you need to use quality video. But how do you get quality video? You could pay the professionals. Most production companies have the equipment, employees and ability to make a good video. But they're also expensive. Which means you'll probably only pay for one video. What's the point in having just one video? Pretty sure you're selling more than one house. On top of that, if you don't know how to distribute that one video, then you'll waste all that time and money and be back at square one.
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Is Too Much Agent-centricity at the Heart of Industry Dysfunction?
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Agents DO NOT Need Vendors – They Need Partners
All right. Time for some cardio as you are sitting at your desk: Raise your hand if you have ever paid a vendor for something, or signed up for something that ended up being: Not what you thought it was Less than what you expected Too confusing, and/or time consuming to figure out Just plain old didn't work I'll bet dollars to donuts that every single person reading this article raised their hand. If not, you may want to read over that list again, and seriously, thoughtfully consider each of those scenarios. The fact of the matter is that every agent at one time or another has had this experience with a vendor, be it a marketing vendor, technology vendor, etc. While many of the problems often do and many times should rest solely on the shoulders of the vendor, I do not blame the vendor for this phenomenon. I blame the agent. Real estate agents are very busy people. To add more pressure to the cooker, they also are only as good as their last transaction, and how they have performed for their last client. The stakes are high, and if one single vendor lets them down, and the stars align just so, the ensuing fallout could be catastrophic.
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There is no Vacation in the words 'Real Estate'
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Consumer Alert: Avoid MyBizCard
Every now and then, a product comes along that seems to provide a great resource for real estate. Then everything goes horribly wrong. You push the wrong button and a series of events is set in place that you cannot control. This happens a lot with apps and social networking. There is a service called MyBizCard. It promises to help you with "ratings and reviews from your peers that shows how awesome you are." Every agent wants that. Moreover, it is free! BE VERY CAREFUL, IT IS A VIRUS. Free is the first flag. "Ready for you in under 5 seconds. Try it now." That is the second flag. The service asks you to sign in with your LinkedIn profile. When you do, it provides the app with the following: Your full profile, including experience, education, skills, and recommendations Your email address Your connections – your first and second degree connections. That is everyone you are connected with on LinkedIn, along with everyone they are connected to. Your contact information – address, phone number and bound accounts. Invitations and messages – allows MyBizCard to send messages and invitations to connect with you.
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Online Marketing Is a Public Service
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Top 10 Articles from December
While December is typically mellow, this year two content series encouraged a lot more activity. The first, our Holiday Deals series, highlighted discounts and giveaways on real estate tech tools, one of which appears on this list. The second series, a countdown of the best articles of 2012, was overwhelmingly popular. While we've excluded those from this list (they would have dominated it!), you can view a summary of the countdown here. But before you check out those must-reads, have a look at December's most popular original articles: 1. Real Estate Websites Do Not Generate Leads - by BrokerageU Is your website helping your business the way you expected it to? The reason might be that the person who sold you your website left out one little, but valuable, piece of information: Your website will not generate leads for your real estate business. 2. How To Create Marketing Emails From Scratch - by Point2Email is a powerful tool when used correctly. Having the right message land in your customer's inbox at the right time can have a dramatic, positive impact on your business, while a half-baked or broken message can banish your future mailings to the spam folder forever. While it is easy enough to whip up a quick n' dirty message in Outlook or Gmail and hit send, there is a world of little things you can do to elevate a good message to a holy-cow-I-have-to-have-it kind of message. 3. Crush Your Next Open House with Social Events - by Zack Hanebrink of BoomTownDo you still do open houses? I've heard mixed reviews lately on their effectiveness. However, if promoted the right way, they are a great source for buyer leads, along with establishing your brand in the neighborhood. It takes more than directional signs and a balloon in the yard to promote an open house.
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Pinterest Inspires Ebay; Why Not Real Estate?
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Top 10 Articles from October
October saw the debut of a new iPhone, as well as plenty of talk about websites and SEO. With a chill in the air and shorter days upon us, there's no better time to hunker down and catch up on the latest real estate technology issues. Our list of last month's top articles is a great educational guide to get you started. 1) Weekend Homework: Improve Your Real Estate Business - by Kelly Phelan What are you doing to improve your real estate business this weekend? Between the open houses, showings, relaxation, and errands, we know your schedule is packed. So we've come up with three easy tasks you can complete this weekend that will make your real estate practice better. 2) iPhone 5 Hails and Fails for Real Estate Professionals - by Homes.com The countdown is over and the iPhone 5 has surfaced. Have you made the purchase? Or are you thinking about it? With all the hype, there are some negatives that real estate agents should be aware of. Homes.com asked around and did some research, and compiled a list of "iPhone 5 Hails and Fails." 3) How Single Property Websites Benefit the Seller and YOU - by Kelly Phelan Sellers want to know one thing--that you, their agent, are dedicated to promoting and selling their home. By being all about the listing, a single property website does just that.
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Why REALTORS® Fail at Their Marketing Campaigns
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Top 10 Articles from September
True to its back-to-school spirit, September was chock-full of educational topics. We saw a lot of trends in the articles we published this month--plenty of discussions about the importance of Google+, and tips for improving your blog and website. We also strove to keep you up-to-date with technology related events that occurred during the month. When GoDaddy crashed, we took the opportunity to teach our agent and broker audience more about the ins and outs of website hosting. Take time to peruse our Top 10 articles from last month and learn more about how technology can help you grow your real estate business. 1) 5 Mobile Apps That Streamline Your Real Estate Business - by RE Technology Staff Everyone's got a favorite--so we've compiled a list of ours! These fabulous apps let you to keep your business moving on-the-go and help you stay organized. 2) Closing Gifts That Give Back - by Karli Larson A wonderful way to make a lasting impression with your clients is by giving them a unique closing gift. Long gone are the days that a bottle of wine or a calendar with your logo on it will impress your clients. Your closing gift may be the last contact you have with them for quite some time, so it's important to let your clients know you care.
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Case Study: Is Technology a Scapegoat for Poor Customer Service?
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Forced Registration: the Problem and the Solution
And the debate over "forced registration" rages on . . . weighing in today is MarketingCharts.com. Their article, Consumers Frustrated by Site Registrations, Passwords, confirms what many of us already suspected: consumers don't like being asked to register on a website. In fact, one survey the site quotes found that 90% of consumers will leave a website if they forget their required login information. (For the record, I'm among that 90%.) The Conflict Most consumers have password fatigue. You can sympathize with this, I'm sure. However, you have made the significant investment in your website because you are hoping it will generate leads for you. In order to generate a lead, your website needs to somehow capture the contact information of the people visiting it. But the last thing you want to do is annoy them in the process, potentially losing their business. One way to do this is with a simple lead capture form – you know, the good old "For more information" box in the side navigation where people enter their name and email address. The other way is what we're talking about today: forced registration. Forced registration requires a consumer to create an account on your website in order to gain access to some sort of benefit. In creating the account, they provide their contact information and (herein lies the rub) choose a username/password. Oh, and did I mention that they apparently HATE it? According to MarketingCharts, more than half of respondents in a recent study will leave a website and never return if presented with registration requirements. That's a pretty disheartening statistic. So what is a poor agent or broker to do?
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Is Technology a Scapegoat for Poor Customer Service?
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Top 10 Articles from August
Putting together this "top 10" list was truly a pleasure. We've had some exceptional content this month. Enjoy these stellar posts from August – and please comment on the articles to share your thoughts! 1) How to Clear Your Browser Cache – by Lone Wolf How often has this happened to you: you make an update on your website, yet when you go to see the live changes they are not visible? Where did all my edits go? That is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive in the Lone Wolf Support Department, and is easily remedied by completing a quick process known as "clearing the browser cache." 2) 4 Steps to Holding an Open House for Another Agent's Listing – by Karli Larson of ePropertySites For many new agents (or seasoned agents who are in between listings) hosting an open house for a colleague can be a great way to meet new clients and get your name out there. Practices on holding an open house for someone else's listing vary. Some offices offer a flat fee to the agent holding the open house, and others allow the agent to claim the leads or client contacts made that day. If you're a motivated agent looking to expand your client network, follow these steps to "borrow" a listing for your next open house. 3) How to Stay on a Client's Radar For the Long-Term – by Suresh Srinivasan of ReachFactor Real estate agents are always thinking ahead. They have to, especially when it comes to generating new business and maintaining their real estate agent marketing. And often when a deal is wrapping up, if not sooner, you're already on to the next potential client. It's a survival business, for sure, but it's also a great rule of thumb to keep in touch with past clients as a way to stay on everyone's mind, get follow-up business and keep your name out there.
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My Klout Score is Baloney
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We Found the Perfect Agent(s)
When I last posted about My Tech House Hunt, my husband and I had decided to temporarily put it on hold. However, with the stork circling above us and our new arrival due in less than two months, we're realizing that getting some extra space might just be a priority once again. Thankfully, we've finally found the right partners (yes, that's plural) for our journey. So, without further ado, I'm picking up this column with an ode to our perfect agents! My last article about choosing an agent was more about questions than answers. This article is going to be the opposite. We have found the answer to the "How do I pick an agent?" question. And that answer actually comes in the form of two people: our wonderful husband-and-wife team, Eric and Carrie Kimmell. Meeting Eric and Carrie was strictly a matter of luck and coincidence. (Eric was the listing agent for an open house we stumbled into.) We'd met several agents and had several agents referred to us earlier in our hunt – but had never really "connected" with any of them and none of them had tried very effectively to build a relationship with us. Then, we met Eric and his wife. When we did, choosing them to help us in our house hunt was easy. Why? Let me count the ways: 1) They understand our priorities. We're a young, married couple with a baby on the way. They are a young, married couple with a 2-year-old. They've leveraged this understanding to help us in our real estate journey. For instance, I wasn't sure about how kid-friendly a certain property was going to be; so, when we went to look at it, Carrie and Eric brought their adorable little boy along with them and let him cruise around to see how he interacted with the property. My intuition was right – the house had too many stairs and too small a backyard (covered mostly in concrete) to be great for kids. Would I have realized this without watching their child explore the property? I'm not sure. As a first-time parent, I feel completely clueless 90% of the time. (I'm told this is normal.)
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Top 10 Posts from July
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QR Codes: Countering 5 Objections
Eric Holtzclaw of Inc. Magazine (Inc.com) thinks you shouldn't bother with QR codes. In his article, he provides five points to support this position. Is he right? Well, it took us only seconds to come up with counter-arguments to his objections. We'll provide both perspectives here, but the only person who can truly determine whether or not QR codes are "worth it" is YOU. Please comment below and share your perspective with other agents and brokers. Objection 1: People don't know what they are. According to Holtzclaw, "97% of consumers don't know what a QR code is." Whether or not this is true, it's certainly changing. Awareness of QR codes is steadily growing. According to an article on MarketingCharts.com, QR Code scans were up 157% in Q1 2012 from Q1 2011. Objection 2: They're too much work for consumers. Holtzclaw argues that, in order to use a QR code, consumers must find an app, download the app, take a picture of the code, and then (once they've made it to the destination of the QR code) dig around the site to find what they're looking for. What he fails to mention is that: The selection of a QR-reader app and downloading the app only needs to happen once – not every time someone wants to scan a QR code – and only takes a few moments. Most QR-reader apps (including the one I use) do not require the user to take a picture of the QR code; instead, you simply open the app and hold your phone's camera over the QR code and the app automatically scans it. A smart mobile marketer knows how to choose a strategic destination for their QR codes – whether it's creating a designated landing page or wisely choosing an existing page from their website. Although the burden is on you to give the consumer what they want without them having to dig, this is far from impossible to do. At the root of being a consumer is being a shopper. When consumers recognize that they can get more detailed information about a product or service by using a QR code, many will try it if only to satisfy their curiosity.
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Top 10 Posts from June
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Last Week's Top 5 Articles
Each week, we take a look at our analytics to see which articles were most popular. This helps us provide the content you want to read. In going over last week's content, we noted that there was some particularly interesting stuff. So, we're going to share the top 5 articles (and some news highlights) with you here. Top 5 Articles 1) 4 Tools to Spice Up Your Real Estate Website 2) 3 Ways to Prospect Like a Pro 3) Using Facebook Timeline For Your Real Estate Business 4) A 3-Step Real Estate Mobile Marketing Strategy, Inspired by My Dentist 5) How to Stand Out From the Crowd? A Content Strategy Up next: News and Webinars!
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Great Service… Going Beyond the Talk!
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7 Things I’ve Learned in a Year of Real Estate Technology
Today I realized that I have been writing about real estate technology for one year. As cliché as it sounds, time truly has flown by; it seems like only yesterday that I was sitting down with Victor Lund and trying desperately to understand this mysterious thing called "IDX." Being the sentimental fool that I am, anniversaries like this always cause me to reflect back on the things I've learned. Considering I came into this job with literally ZERO real estate experience, I've learned a lot. Here are some of the things that stand out to me the most. Please keep in mind that these are my own, personal perceptions and do not necessarily reflect the views of RE Technology. 1) Digital signatures are the future, baby. Everybody needs to get on board, because this trend isn't going anywhere. They make life easier for agents, provide a better experience for consumers, and are kinder to the environment. 2) Listing syndication is broken. I don't know how to fix it, although I think that there are some people with great ideas. But it seems enough momentum is building that I'm optimistic things will get better.
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Why More is Not the Same as Better
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All REALTORS® Could Learn Something from Joanne Knapp
Newton's third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In some ways, this couldn't be more applicable to the past week I have had. The week started off with a bang. Technically it was the prior week, but who's counting? You see, on Saturday, April 14th, 2011, at 10:58PM, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. We finally got to meet our son, Michael for the first time, and the entire experience was amazing, exciting, and at the same time the most humbling experience I've ever had. It was the most wonderful experience that I truly can't describe. I suddenly understand all those people that for years have told me, "You'll understand once you go through this amazing experience." What an amazing week this was. I got to take time off work, spend time getting to know my little guy, and the topper was that my birthday was this Sunday, the 22nd. Life was great and I was enjoying every minute of the week and the weekend. As we were getting ready to cut the birthday cake though, I got a text from a friend that was going to change things in a most terrible way. The text said that Joanne Knapp had passed away. Joanne Knapp was a REALTOR® at Sereno Group, in Los Gatos, California. Joanne, and her son Roger were a very successful Real Estate team that truly cared about their clients, putting their needs first and foremost, doing it "the right way", even if it meant that they may not necessarily get that next commission, or make that huge pay day. Joanne Knapp started out as a client of mine. Over the years we knew each other, though, she became so much more. She became our friend, and she also became our REALTOR®. I never told her this, but many times, over the years that I've known her, I would think about how her way of doing Real Estate is how "it should be," and how she could be an inspiration to REALTORS® everywhere. Sadly I never got to tell her how I felt about her. I can, though, share with you my experiences with her, as a vendor, a client, and a friend. It is my hopes that you will read this post and embrace even one piece of how Joanne approached life and business.
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Who’s Training Who? What My Dog Is Teaching Me About Engagement
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Does the Conflicted and Cynical Consumer Even Need an Agent Anymore?
Warning, readers, this is a pen name--so hold off on the cyber-stalking. I don’t know a lot about real estate, per se, and my only experience with it all was when my husband and I bought a house with a partner at the very glossy apex of the housing bubble in 2006. The WAV Group asked me to share my perspectives on my homeownership experience, so here goes.A broker we knew coerced us into buying a house by convincing us that our subprime loan would easily be refinanced two years later, maybe even at a profit. Being young and dumb with no real sense of how the housing market worked and drunk on the hope of actually living a life that resembled our parents (step one get married, step two buy house, step three have babies), we went into the deal with our eyes wide shut.  We told the broker we could only pay $4,000 per month in mortgage between the three of us, and he assured us that he had made that happen. When we got to the title company to sign our escrow papers, we noticed the mortgage on the paperwork was $4,450 per month. We should have walked away then, but we didn’t, and the surprises didn’t stop there. Two years later we tried to refinance, as our broker and agent had told us to do (“no problem, housing prices are only going up!”). We went to bank after bank, and the answer was the same: the home we bought at $556,000 in 2006 now had the estimated value of $476,000. This drop happened over a period of nine months, and as each moment ticked away, that number grew smaller and smaller.
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Beware Of Brokerage 'Freebies'
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3 Keys for Following-Up on Leads
There’s been a lull in our tech house hunt. We’ve decided to take a short break for reasons too complicated to go into here. However, just as we’ve decided to slow down the search, we’re getting referrals for real estate agents at an ever-increasing rate. Everyone who knows a REALTOR® has given said REALTOR® a lead – US. And whether it’s with a business card or an email, the agents have acted. Here are two examples, one effective and one ineffective. INEFFECTIVE: A friend of my father’s has a wife who is a REALTOR®. She heard from her husband that we were considering a move, and even managed to find out which specific listing we were looking at. She had her husband give my father an envelope containing her business card and a print-out about the house taken directly from the MLS. We were unimpressed by this, as we had already seen the house in person and had already viewed the property details on the MLS. She wasn’t giving us anything we couldn’t have gotten ourselves. EFFECTIVE: My husband went to an open house. The property wasn’t right for us, but he had a brief conversation with the listing agent and gave the agent his contact information. Several days later, the agent sent us a link to a single property website with a virtual tour. He said, “I know this house isn’t the one for you, but I wanted to get in touch and offer my assistance when the time comes to sell your current home. This is a link to a virtual tour I created for the property you looked at; I create one of these for every property that I list. If I can be of any assistance to you in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.” The website/virtual tour was slick and the tone was persuasive without being pushy. This is an agent we’ll contact in the future.
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I Found My Agent – Or Did I?
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The Good (Agents), The Bad (Inaccuracies), and The Ugly (Photos)
For this new column, I’ll be sharing the details of my own house hunt and the ways I use technology to make it easier (or more difficult, as the case may be). In the first article, I shared that we had found a house of interest to us and looked it up on our local MLS consumer-facing website. I encouraged you all to take another look at your yard signs and see what you could improve. Read my last post for the tips. Ugly PhotosThere were only a few photos of this house on our MLS consumer-facing website, far less than most of the others we saw. And they were crappy – really crappy. I’m completely baffled by why an agent wouldn’t include the most pictures possible. I’m equally shocked that they wouldn’t take the time to create high-quality, attractive photos. Agents should always put forth a strong effort with photography. We’ve published a lot of great info about real estate photography, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. If you want to learn about improving your photos, this list may be a good place to start. You can also check out photography services in our product directory. There are also some virtual tour companies that have local photographers to help you out. Inaccuracies Because I found the search function on our MLS consumer-facing website (which is CCRlistings.com, by the way) so annoying, I decided to give Zillow a try. I was in for an unpleasant surprise, however. The house, which had been listed at $525,000 on CCRlistings.com, was listed on Zillow for $625,000.
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My Tech House Hunt
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Oooh Look – Shiny!
The trend in real estate – strike that, in every industry – is to advocate the “latest and greatest” in gadgets, social media, and technology. Social media and tech experts will hop on a stage at a convention and rattle off a dozen new apps or social websites that you should “look into.” What they’re not saying is “I have ZERO evidence on the efficacy of this; it could be a monumental waste of your time.” Quite simply, I think it’s silly. Don’t get me wrong – I think that keeping up-to-date with technology is essential for any smart businessperson. It’s when people jump on something only because it is new that I have a problem. Why? Well, there are many good reasons:
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Sneak Peek: Follow the Leader - Ian Morris
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Video: How Has the Real Estate Landscape Changed?
MRISTV.com is a site that provides insight for consumers and real estate professionals, not just MRIS members, but for the industry as a whole. In this video, panelists address an important question: new technology provides consumers with access to information 24/7, but what do buyers really want when they are in the market to purchase a home? To watch the video, click on to the next page. After watching the video, please share your thoughts. What role does technology play in your business and what role do you think it's playing for the entire real estate industry?
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The Immutable Laws of Buying and Selling Real Estate
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Customers Don't Jump Out of Computers
Technology has a place in the life of an agent. It supports the agent by providing access to research information, offers some marketing automation, and is a great communication vehicle. But technology does not sell real estate – agents do. There is much ado about the role of technology in real estate. We live in a world full of technology and we are connected to it every day. It is a primary resource. You can even think of your car and your phone as technology. All of these things represent the toolset of the modern day REALTOR®. I can guarantee you that customers will not jump out of your computer screen and buy a home. Social networking, online marketing, and lead generation engines serve you like advertising. They work just like the newspaper, the yard sign, and your mailers. They generate selling opportunities; they do not do the selling for you.
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The Value of a Swift Response
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Tip for Success
"Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan." Thanks, Margaret Thatcher! That's our point exactly. One of the most important ways to ensure success is to plan for it. As a real estate agent in today's competitive market, creating a plan for growing your business is absolutely essential.  
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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (Part One)
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Listing SIN-dication
Guest Contributor Bill Rovillo says: I believe the REALTOR'S® biggest blunder was welcoming listing syndication with open arms. This sad situation started shortly after the advent of the Internet. Big brokers watched this new medium with amazement and wondered how it would fit into their marketing and sales plans for the future. They imagined being able to have all their listings on the Web, with stats and tax data and all kinds of graphs and sales predictions; things that make you go "ooohhh."
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Part 1: The Perfect Storm
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The Truth about QR Codes
Guest contributor John Lim says: Unless you have been on a hiatus since the NAR Conference in New Orleans last November, spending all the money you made selling real estate on Facebook, you've probably noticed small, square codes popping up in places like print ads, magazines, billboards and trade-show booths. These useful, efficient little marvels are QR codes, also known as Quick Response Codes. They are all the rage in the real estate industry right now. Although virtually ubiquitous in Europe and Japan, they're just starting to gain popularity in the States. QR codes are readable by almost all smartphones and, with a simple scan, can drive a mobile phone user to any type of content—a website, someone's contact information, or even a simple message.
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Time to Reinvent the QR Code?
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Sell More, with Less Words
It's true. The best advice I ever got as a salesperson was to shut up. Too often we tend to think a moment of silence is only for funerals or church, but one of the keys to making more sales is to quickly make your point, ask for the sale, and then be quiet. Nine times out of ten, the first person to speak owns what you are selling. If it's you, then you are still stuck with what you wanted to sell, and that's not who you wanted to buy what you are selling, is it?
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Intro to Website Writings
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Mobile Technology: No Signs of Slowing
In the early days of the Internet, every webpage had in its footer, "Copyright 1996 - Do not redistribute," according to economist Hal Varian. Now, a decade and a half later, those same pages have changed and at their core, a social aspect, listed as "Copyright 2011. Click here to share with friends." As a result, we find that sharing and storing all the information online, as opposed to a walled garden policy of guarding information, has become the golden standard for information access online. This shift speaks volumes to not only the amount of data created globally, but also to the way our lives are changed. It is estimated that 10 blog posts are created every second. If you post once a month, realize that by the time of your next post, some 27 million posts will have been made. If you post weekly, that number is approximately 6 million.
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Part 3: Avoid the Quicksand of the Trivial
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What Sells Homes - Agents or the Internet?
Technology Warrants a Return to Basics for Modern Realtors by Alan Shafran, President of The Alan Shafran Group What sells homes - agents or the Internet?  With the use of technology becoming increasingly more important to the real estate business, do consumers really need a Realtor?    We have all heard the statistics, which indicate that 90% of buyers have been researching homes online for a minimum of six months prior to contacting an agent.  A wide variety of information can easily be obtained with the click of a mouse: virtual tours, homeowner’s association fees and assessed values to square footage, neighborhood and community amenities and the reputation of local schools. Technology Warrants a Return to Basics for Modern Realtors Guest contributor Alan Shafran says: What sells homes - agents or the Internet? With the use of technology becoming increasingly more important to the real estate business, do consumers really need a Realtor? We have all heard the statistics, which indicate that 90% of buyers have been researching homes online for a minimum of six months prior to contacting an agent. A wide variety of information can easily be obtained with the click of a mouse: virtual tours, homeowner's association fees and assessed values to square footage, neighborhood and community amenities and the reputation of local schools.
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Google Eliminates Real Estate
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Blast from Technology Past
The Internet has changed and enhanced the way we communicate with one another in less than 20 years. This is such a dull and obvious statement that I almost feel bad for wasting your time with it. We're so in it and take so much of it for granted at this point, but please indulge me. I sort of have a meandering point. Or rather a set of points to plot in four-year increments: 1992: sent my first email 1996: managed my first website 2000: wrote my first blog post (before blogs were called blogs) 2004: stopped buying CDs and books 2008: embraced Web 2.0
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Part 1: Looking to Improve Your Prospecting Skills? Be There!
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Mobile Ads Make a Splash! Don't Be Left Behind!
Earlier this year a lot of attention was drawn to the world of mobile technology and mobile advertising in particular when both Google and Apple decided to ramp up their mobile advertising businesses.  In January, Apple bought mobile advertising company Quattro for $275 million.  A couple months later, Google completed a highly scrutinized purchase of Quattro rival and industry leading mobile advertising company AdMob for $750 million. While numerous reports from industry analysts show that mobile advertising dollars pale in comparison to dollars spent on traditional online advertisement an equal if not greater number of reports speculate that mobile Ad spending will increase exponentially over the coming years to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.  Regardless of the dollar amount, one thing is certain; mobile advertising within the mobile technology being used in real estate can provide tremendous benefits to both buyers and sellers.
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When It Comes to QR Codes, What About Clikbrix?
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You Can't Network Online Without Generating Conversation
If you are not talking to prospective buyers you will not be selling any homes. It is something we all understand. Getting in conversation with prospective buyers is the key and the ultimate goal of your marketing if you want to sell more homes. The process is actually quite simple in principle: engage prospective buyers to take action and connect with you, get in conversation and move them into your sales process based on their qualifications. This is why we market, advertise and network. This is why we strive to pick up the phone when it rings and respond to inquiries quickly. There is no point to driving prospective home buyers to connet if you are available to greet and engage these visitors into a conversation about their needs.
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How to Select a Good Point and Shoot Camera
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To Check In or Not to Check In
I have been using FourSquare for longer than I can remember, but I do remember listening intently to Dennis Crowley at Inman Real Estate Connect last January in New York and really getting it. It is amazing the kind of data that FourSquare is aggregating, the value that the information alone could offer marketing and advertising agencies is mind blowing. The question has often been; what is the practical application for the real estate industry, if there is one? There are pros and cons to every technology we use, new innovations and movements are always happening. FourSquare seems to be picking up momentum, and still defining its place in our culture. I believe it is here to stay, especially as we see all the new “location” based applications and additions to existing social services.
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5 Common Email Blunders to Side Step
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Money Doesn't Buy Happiness
“The value of a man resides in what he gives not in what he is capable of receiving”-  Albert Einstein “For it is in giving that we receive” – St. Francis of Assisi Happy  Monday!  It is hard to believe it is less than a week until Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas I hope your shopping is done and you are looking forward to short week. Last week my office took a little time out and volunteered to ring the Salvation Army bell at our local mall for a couple hours.  I have to say it was probably a little out of my comfort zone and I had pre-judged what to expect. I stepped further out of my comfort zone by agreeing to take ballroom dancing lessons with my wife but that is a different story. I think I was less concerned about skydiving then I am about ballroom dancing! Despite the weak economy, I was really surprised how many people stopped at our kettle and at the amounts they donated. If you stopped by thank you! It quite frankly restored my faith in people. However, there were still a ton of people that walked by without donating.  It made me start thinking about what makes someone want to give and someone just walk by.  As a general observation, the people donating were smiling and friendly. There wasn’t one person that walked by that couldn’t spare a buck so economic reasons don’t come into play. I think the bottom line is it has to do with attitudes towards money on whether you donate or not. Image: Chris Sharp / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Fear and Loathing in Social Media
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When It Comes to QR Codes, What About Clikbrix?
QR codes are addictive, especially for those of us who like to walk around entertaining ourselves with our high tech phones. Each time you scan there is a sense of excitement and anticipation – especially with those QR marketing campaigns that purposely hold back information that is ultimately translated to your phone. It’s like getting the white mystery flavored Skittle in your bag of colorful candy and finding out a whole new flavor like root beer! If you are curious, go to m.clickbrix.com on your mobile browser. It will magically pick the right reader for your phone. Once you have loaded the QR reader to your phone (as mentioned in the first part of this series), scan the QR code to the left for a special offer. A great site to find the QR Reader of choice is http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/ QR codes are popping up everywhere now: billboards, price tags, websites, newspapers, blogs, and other marketing mediums. Now they’re also popping up in the real estate space! And tech savvy vendors to the real estate industry are embracing this technology in a variety of ways – linking to profile pages, linking to property pages, linking to virtual tours, linking to neighborhood tours, etc. This week we were able to preview the Clikbrix QR code solution for real estate professionals. We spoke with Erik Goldhar, co-founder of QR marketing agency, ‘QRe8 Mobile Experience’, the parent company of Clikbrix.com. Goldhar has a background in Canada’s digital marketing and ad world. Clikbrix and QRe8.com have been working on QR codes for the past 2.5 years and saw a gaping opportunity for this technology in the American real estate space. During this call we were able to understand several of Clikbrix’s points of view regarding the following: 1.) What are the benefits of using QR codes to promote real estate business?2.) What are some industry challenges you see with QR codes for marketing?3.) What solution is Clikbrix offering to the industry?
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Ever Considered Agent Ratings?
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Want to Promote Conversation on Your Blog?
Read enough about blogging, and you’ll see posts, comments and questions that typically sound like this: “How can I get more comments on my blog?” “My blog must suck, no one ever leaves comments.” “So-and-so must be a better blogger than I am. He/she always get a ton of comments.” And so on and so forth. A while ago on Active Rain (a large real estate network) there was a “featured post” titled, 10 ways to get more comments on your blog post. It’s a good article, and I can’t really disagree with anything the author wrote. But here’s the deal….
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Are You Remarkable? If You Choose to Be
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Top 10 Reasons to Go Paperless
What sets an agent apart from all other agents? It isn’t always that easy to break from the mold and stand out in the crowd. In our market today, clients are looking for something more, something different, something to give them a reason to pick that perfect agent and refer them to friends and family. Real estate agents can bring value to their clients by using the technology that we all have at our fingertips. Some people may find today’s technology a bit overwhelming and shy away from it and those are the people that may be missing out on potential clients, commissions and a much smoother transaction. Imagine you are sitting in front of a potential client, trying to get that listing. Your potential clients have also interviewed two other agents right before you. You pull out your Tablet PC or iPad and fire up your Real Estate Dashboard™ electronic signature software, allowing them view and securely sign all the required documents right on the screen with the digital pen…no paper, no fax machines, no worries. Then you just email or e-fax it off right from the software. They are so impressed that it was so easy. After you have developed a relationship with your client, you can use eSignOnline™ to send them documents for digital signature without them having to print, scan or fax and without you having to wait for them to get documents back to you. It all happens automatically and within minutes, everyone gets a signed copy. Clients love it and appreciate your use of technology to their benefit.
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Proactive Propspecting in Real Estate
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Fire Up Your Social Network on Zillow
If you're a real estate professional, you know all the rage is about social media: How to use social media to promote yourself as an agent, how to promote your listings, and how sellers can leverage their networks to get exposure for their homes. And guess what? Social media works! We have many testimonials and comments from agents who say they connect with buyers and sellers via social media marketing. With just a few clicks on Zillow, you can help your property and your brand get social, too. There are three main ways to get social on Zillow:
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Live Your Life by Design!
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Happy Techsgiving!
  Today is a great day for our family! Back in 2002 we were blessed with our first child, Alexandra! It will forever be a special day for us! Each of us have great things to be thankful for this year..... It hasn't been an easy year for the real estate industry, but at the end of the day the industry is growing stronger – we're getting more nimble, we're doing more with less and we're learning how to let go of some of our outdated traditions. While to some technology is not something to be celebrated, on this day I thought it might make sense to take a minute to thank the geniuses in Silicon Valley for the ways they have made our lives easier and making the world a more connected place.
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Social Media Increases In-Person Contact and Referral Filtering of Information
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What Are You Thankful For?
“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”  ~H.U. Westermayer “Develop an attitude of gratitude, at giving thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy Happy Monday! I hope you look forward to Thanksgiving and making this short week count! It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the inevitable Black Friday are already upon us. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and it generally signifies the start of the holiday season no matter what your beliefs are.  Maybe it is just me, but people really seem friendlier around the holidays.   I like Thanksgiving because it is a holiday centered on family and friends and appreciating what we have.  It is one reason I send Thanksgiving cards not “Happy Holiday” cards.
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Quick Tips to Get the Most out of Zillow
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He Said, She Said - Manage Your Online Reputation with Naymz
Congratulations, you have now activated your personality in a lot of great places where people can easily find you and interact with you through the popular social networks. You have a Plaxo profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, MySpace profile, Twitter profile, profile on your broker website, profile on your personal website, virtual tours, and probably a number of other places people can find you on the Web. Now, how do you keep it all straight? With Naymz. Naymz is an excellent way to pull it all together and manage your online reputation, and, of course it is also free! With Naymz, you can have a webpage built around your name and link to all of the information about you. The really cool thing that we have noticed about Naymz is that they drive traffic to your profile on their network by investing in Pay Per Click keywords at Google using your name, so you don’t have to. They do not promise to do this, but I noticed that they do. The great news about Naymz is that you can tell anyone to “Google” you and click on your Naymz profile to find you everywhere online!
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Secrets to Making Market Analytics Work For You
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Want to Be an Online Marketing Sharpshooter?
Too much of today’s’ online marketing strategies are random and outcome is too often based on “hope the consumer takes action on their own”.  We talk about driving traffic to our web spaces through SEO, social media, blogging or pay per click… That’s all great but what then? A recent blog post on RETechnology about using a 3 barrel shotgun for marketing peeked my interest.  The three barrels being; In-person marketing, Direct marketing and Follow-up. It makes perfect sense. What got me thinking is the gun… It seems that too many out there are working with an automatic shotgun and firing randomly in the open space. Sometimes they get a hit and don’t even know it because they are too focused on holding on to that machine gun they can barely handle. When it doesn’t work they go get a  bigger gun… social media is being used to fire away and traffic is being driven to your sites but because so much time is spent on all these traffic driving strategies many are taking their eye of the ball when it comes to converting that effort into actual business.
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MySpace - Stake Out Your Space
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Who to See and Where They’ll Be
For any of our subscribers who are making the annual pilgrimage to pay homage to real estate and toast the National Association of REALTORS® in New Orleans, we are here to help you meet the right people and still make it to the networking and entertainment events planned.  NAR has once again whipped up a jam-packed schedule including guest appearances of David Hasselhof, Bill Walton and Earth, Wind and Fire. Beyond the social events, one of the highlights of the show is the Expo Floor.  This is where you can ask your questions, demo products and meet face-to-face with the makers of the technologies that make your life smoother.  NAR’s annual conference is the single best place to go to meet the most technology vendors and test their products out. This year NAR’s Expo Floor has 387 technology vendors. Real estate technology just got even more overwhelming. 387?  Who has time to walk through 387 vendors at NARdiGras 2010, the largest real estate conference in America? That is where we come in.  We have created a much shorter list of our premium technology vendors and some extras.
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