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It's Time to Modernize the Clickwrap Experience
We've all done it at some point. We've checked the box on a signup form that says we agree to a company's privacy policy, or we've scrolled to the end of a terms-and-conditions page and clicked the "I accept" button. Companies have been using--and people have been accepting--these standard "clickwrap" agreements for years now. The process seems simple enough. One click, and you're done, right? Maybe that's the case for customers. But for companies, clickwraps are more complex, incurring needless risks and costs.
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When Hackers Attack: The Broker's Guide to DDoS
Any company that operates online can run into cybersecurity issues--and a particularly nasty tactic that hackers sometimes use is DDoS. These attacks are a lot like hurricanes; we can predict that they'll happen, but we never actually know when they'll happen or how powerful they'll be when they do. A DDoS attack can quickly take out websites and servers of any size, even if they're properly equipped to handle it. So today, let's take a quick look at what a DDoS attack is, why they're hard to defend against, and what you can do to safeguard against them.
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GDPR and Its Effect on the US Real Estate Industry
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This Website Is Not Secure!
Over the last few weeks, we have been researching web traffic for 177 of the most productive brokerages in sales volume and sides. While we are still diving deep into the study, there was one stat that gave me grave concern--the number of broker websites that are not secure for a customer to login or to complete a form. Securing information between a person who completes a registration or property inquiry form and then sends it to a website's server is achieved when you see the HTTPS before the web address. Example: https://www.WAVGroup.com – Communication between person browsing and the website server is secure http://www.WAVGroup.com – Communication between person browsing and the website server is NOT secure. Today, we do not even consider launching a website—with or without forms—without applying HTTPS website security. For years, Google has been pushing webmasters to apply HTTPS to secure websites. While this method has been a longtime practice, most companies were not adhering to it if their site did not have an e-commerce payment feature. That is, until Google started to highlight non-secure websites as "Not Secure" in Chrome back in July of 2018. Nowadays, the majority of web browsers display non-secure websites to people. During our research, we exposed that almost 25 percent of the 177 websites in the study were non-secured websites. These are websites from brokerages who are productivity leaders in sales volume, or sides, or both. Websites that included features like subscribing to a newsletter, submitting a property inquiry with a showing request, or a site registration and login form. Scary! Non-secure websites are open A simple scenario of creating a new username and password on a non-secure website makes it easy for others to see it. When the submit button is pushed, the browser sends the information to the website's hosting server in a form that is as readable as this article. There are plenty of tools to capture the communication into a file and query it to find the information. Unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots like in airports, restaurants, and public places make it easier for the bad guys to capture non-secured communication with these tools. Open hot spots make it imperative to secure websites to protect the consumer's privacy and security, leverage search engine optimization, and preserve the company's brand image. Consumers Privacy and Security The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), and the discussions in the U.S. Congress on new federal regulation policy state that any compromise of a person's personal or private information must be disclosed. It will be difficult to remediate any violations of these laws when a company maintains non-secured websites. An item to note: While CCPA's accountability to the law is limited to only big companies, the U.S. House and Senate hearing was inclusive for every company and preemptive to state law. The federal government is reviewing how to align data security with a privacy policy. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search engines have been saying since 2014 that one signal they use for ranking websites is if they are using HTTPS. Google previously stated usage of HTTPS as a ranking signal is part of their algorithm. For these reasons, over the past few months, we've been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Should we be concerned about this since Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia are winning this war? I absolutely think it makes a difference for longtail searches. These sometimes include typing in a property address or performing a search for "home for sale in X neighborhood for $250k." Company's brand image This one upsets me. Brand is extremely important to a company, and having a web browser say "Not Secure" is making a negative brand impression on the consumer. Let's take a look. Chrome: Here is an example when accessing a non-secure website in Chrome. When the consumer clicks on the information circle next to Not Secure, the following message is delivered. Brand message: We want your business, but we don't care enough to protect you from the bad guys! The next example shows how a secured website is treated by Chrome. The consumer is presented with a lock icon next to the URL address. All is okay with this company! Firefox: When accessing a non-secure website, Firefox only displays the information circle. But, look at what is displayed when the consumer clicks on the site. I like how Firefox displays a secured website. They present a bold green lock next to the web address. This aligns and signals the dedication of a brand that is concerned about my security and privacy. Safari: Apple's treatment of a secured website only displays a little lock next to the web address. It is okay, but nothing really bold. Apple's lack of treat treatment on non-secure websites is a little disheartening. As a consumer, you only know when the website is secured. I guess Apple thinks people are more aware of their browsing habits. Brave Browser: If you like a browser to test for SEO and easily select ad and tracking blockers, try Brave Browser. It has become a go-to for surfing the web. Brave treats non-secured websites similar to Firefox. A big red "Not Secure." Click on the Not Secure and the message is loud and clear: Summary All your website assets need to be set up with HTTPS. The cost to implement is minimal compared with not having the proper security in place to protect people, losing out on longtail SEO, and jeopardizing the company's brand with consumers. It all matters in today's business world. There really isn't any excuse for having a non-secure website. If your team is too busy, call us. We'll handle this for you and make the necessary phones calls to get the job done. One more item to check off your "to-do" list. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
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CCPA for the U.S. Real Estate Industry: An Introduction
In the last few years, there has been a renewed focus on consumer digital privacy rights around the world. Most notably, the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been the most prominent and far-reaching attempt to regulate how businesses use private personal data. Driven by this movement, California has passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Much like its predecessor, the GDPR, CCPA will significantly increase the rights of consumers to access and manage their personal data.
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Why Your Internet Browser Choice Matters
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The 'NOT INVENTED HERE' Philosophy Can Get You in Trouble with Technology!
I love it when CTOs and technology leaders take pride in their work. They believe they can do anything and many times they are absolutely right! A tech leader with a unique understanding of a company's customer base, coupled with the unique strengths of the organization, are in a great position to create innovation that cannot be built by anybody else. There are times, though, when technology teams take this philosophy too far. They believe they can build EVERYTHING their company needs. They don't trust or respect third party companies that possess a deep understanding of a particular type of technology solution because it "was not invented here." Because of their ignorance, arrogance, insecurity or budget constraints, some internal technology teams try to build every type of technology, regardless of the skillset of the internal team.
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Using Domain Names for Real Estate Website Navigation
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How to Connect to a Computer Remotely
If you ever find yourself needing to access a computer remotely--either attempting to connect to a desktop computer at work or need to assist someone with their computer from afar--this primer is for you. Whether you have a Microsoft Windows PC or an Apple Mac, let's take a look at the basics you'll need to know.
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Potential End to Net Neutrality and the Impact on Small Real Estate Businesses
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5 Lead Generating Pages that Will Enhance Your Real Estate Marketing
Your website is the hub of all your online real estate marketing, and one of the most powerful tools you have for generating qualified leads. But success is not automatic. Picking the right pages for your website is crucial because the prospects that land on your website have most likely arrived in search of specific information. By anticipating the needs of your prospects, creating the right pages, and filling them with high quality content, you can turn your website into a powerful, sustainable lead generation machine. Include These Five Pages for Real Estate Website Lead-Generation: 1. About Us Page Buying or selling a house is a major decision, so real estate prospects really like to get an idea of who they will be working with before they make a choice. Your About Us page is your one-stop shop to introduce yourself, your team, and your business. Online audiences value authenticity, so feel free to tell them a little bit about yourself beyond your real estate experience. Why do you love working in real estate, and what are the special things you enjoy about the communities where you do business? Let them know who you are and they're more likely to return the favor. 2. IDX (Internet Data Exchange) If you're not familiar with the acronym, don't worry. IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange, which is a fancy way of saying that your prospects have access to your MLS listings. The most important things for an IDX solution are that it's easy to use, prominently featured, and includes filter options for prospects to narrow down their search. This is an absolute must-have for any real estate website, and a good IDX solution is certain to be one of your best lead generation tools.
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Real Estate Website Outs Agent-to-Agent Commission Deals
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Are You Getting the Internet Speed You Paid For?
Many Internet Services Providers (ISP) promote lightning-fast internet speeds, but are you really getting the speed you paid for? Here are four components that may be preventing you from getting that promised connection speed. Modem If you use a modem, check with your ISP to see if you have a modem that can handle the fast speed you purchased. Whether you own the modem or are leasing it, if the modem can't handle the speed, it may be time to upgrade it. WATCH: This fun, albeit old, video explains the basics of what a modem does. What is a Modem? "A modem is a network hardware device that modulates one or more carrier wave signals to encode digital information for transmission and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information." Routers Your router should also be fast enough for your usage and have enough range to cover your office or home. The router connects your devices to the internet. Computers, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, gaming devices, and even home Internet capable appliances such as dryers, lights, or security cameras all connect to the same router. Now, keep in mind that the router distributes your Internet speed capability among the various devices. So, if one device is using a large portion of the bandwidth—for example, Sally is streaming movies on the tablet, and your Internet browsing speed on the computer is affected—that may just mean you need more speed from your ISP to cover all your devices, not that the router is faulty.
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Leveraging Google Drive for Real Estate
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Best Practices for Shopping Online Safely
Ecommerce is great! It offers choices and convenience. And this holiday season, many of us will purchase gifts online for our loved ones. But there is no substitute to being a well-informed consumer. So, we put together a list of best practices to help you shop safely and confidently this holiday season. 1. Patch security vulnerabilities in your devices. Install operating system updates to patch security vulnerabilities and enhance the performance of your computers and devices. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in your devices to obtain your personal and financial information. Don't allow it. If you need help performing these updates, please give us a call. We'll walk you through the necessary steps. 2.  Ensure your anti-virus, malware and ransomware protection is operating optimally. Before transmitting personal and financial information online, be sure your protection software is performing well. All these security measures running in the background are important to safeguard your well-earned money and identity. 3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when shopping or banking. Don't transmit any personal or financial information, such as passwords, credit card info, etc., when using a public Wi-Fi. Unsecure connections are just too risky. 4. Shop trusted merchants. Carefully read the merchant's shipping fees, delivery and return policies and other terms and conditions prior to purchasing goods or services. Read the item's description and, if possible, also research merchant and product reviews as well.
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A web page not loading correctly? Try deleting the cache.
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Mail2Cloud Chrome: 5 Ways to Leverage this Gmail Extension
Much like Boomerang, the Mail2Cloud Chrome Extension (previously called myHero Toolbox) can help real estate professionals stay organized (and hyper vigilant) about their inbox, and who is viewing or responding to their emails. Below are five quick hacks that will allow you to use this extension to better manage your emails. 1. Track opens and clicks Whether you're sending a time-sensitive attachment or an email checking in on a hot lead, it can be stressful to wait on a response. Mail2Cloud tracks your opens and clicks, including if the recipient has opened an attachment, so you can either rest easy knowing they are reviewing it — or call at exactly the right time. You can also set up the extension to ping you back if you don't receive a timely response on an important email. 2. Send self-destructing emails Need to send something important, but worried it could be forwarded to the wrong people? Mail2Cloud allows you to send "self-destructing emails" so you can pass on sensitive information without worrying about who will see it. Note: We recommend you use this feature sparingly for professional communications.
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Mobile Real Estate Websites Trending for September 2016
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How to Use Google Analytics to Understand Mobile Traffic
One of the biggest benefits of online real estate marketing is that you'll always have the data you need to understand how your website is performing – if you know where to look. Google Analytics provides a ton of valuable data about your website, but navigating the graphs, numbers, and jargon can be intimidating when you're not familiar with the details. While there's a learning curve involved, the insights that you get from your analytics will far outweigh the time you spent learning how to use them. Your mobile site is one of your most important online properties, and today we're going to help you get familiar with how Google Analytics works for your mobile real estate website. Bring on the Data: Making the Most of Google's Mobile Analytics Mobile browsing is already absolutely huge, and it only seems to grow more popular year after year. The simple fact is that if your real estate website isn't optimized for mobile users, you're going to miss out on a major segment of your potential audience. Google Analytics will help you understand exactly how mobile users experience your website, and what you need to do to optimize your site for mobile devices. The first step is to take a look at what percentage of your visits come from mobile devices. This can be found under the advanced segments section of your dashboard. Check the boxes for mobile and tablets to view your percentages. Ideally, you want your mobile and tablet views to comfortably top the 25 percent mark, at the least. If your percentages are hovering below that mark, it's a good indication that your website could use some mobile optimization. You can get even more granular with your analysis by checking the size of the screens that people are using to browse your website. This information can be found from your dashboard by visiting In-Page Analytics under the Content tab, and selecting the Browser Window option.
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Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends: 3 Takeaways for Real Estate
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Is It Time to Switch Your Default Web Browser?
Are you aware of the downfalls of using an outdated web browser? Tricia Stamper, Director of Technology products for Florida Realtors®, recently published a blog post about the downfalls of not using a modern web browser. The article lists seven reasons why REALTORS® who use Internet Explorer should consider moving to Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge sooner rather than later. In truth, this issue affects all web users – not only those in the real estate industry – and others are also talking about this issue here, here and here, for instance. Nevertheless, we bring up Stamper's article for two reasons: 'Browser issues' is among the top three reasons that members call Tech Helpline about, and Internet Explorer is the web browser at the root of the most calls – overwhelmingly so. It asks real estate professionals a very important and timely question: Given the importance of the Internet in our industry, and given the improved technology, if you are using an old version of Internet Explorer, is it time for you to switch? With that in mind, this month we offer some tips to help you understand which browser you are using, learn more about other browsers, and know what to do when you are ready to make the switch.
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Spam Emails vs. Email Marketing: Know the Difference
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[CHEAT SHEET] Finding Inner Peace in Your Inbox
Do you find yourself consumed all day with the struggle of keeping up with the emails in your inbox? If your inbox is the cluttered place where you store all your notes, events, to-dos, on top of all your emails, then it may be time to reevaluate the way you utilize your emails. Here's where Inbox Zero steps in. Created by Merlin Mann in the early 2000s, his theory has been adopted by people all over the globe who have found peace of mind in their inbox. It allows you to clear out your inbox, move past the stress of all those cluttered emails and on to the more important tasks in your life. We chatted with Jack Sinclair, CFO of Stack Overflow, an early adopter of Inbox Zero and our go-to guru on the subject and got his top tips and insights for those of you ready to get organized and embrace Inbox Zero. Approaching Zero in 3, 2, 1... Why Should You Adopt Inbox Zero? Your email should be utilized for communication. But as we all know, your inbox often becomes a catch-all for everything else in your life. From your to-do list, to notes to yourself, to a way to keep track of your events and dates, your inbox can very quickly become a crowded place. And once it becomes that crowded place, it can become a source of stress and who needs more stress in their life?
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Hire a Curator
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Effective Out of the Office Email Responses
We've all been on the receiving end of two types of bad emails over the holiday season: boring out of office auto email responses, and those massive large-scale newsletters trying to sell you something. Neither one is exactly inspiring when it comes to responding or remembering to continue the conversation after the holidays. If anything, you're running far, far away from your inbox for those very reasons. Here's the thing, though, the holidays are exactly the time that you should be reaching out to your network and staying in touch (despite those disconcerting OOO email responses.) While it may seem counterintuitive to be upping your communication efforts with your network over the holiday season, we can assure you that some well-placed, genuine communication over the holidays can be enough to keep you top of mind when the New Year rolls around. Read on for our reasoning and some of our favorite and very effective OOO auto-email responses.
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Is Email Volume Killing Your Company?
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The Mobilegeddon Effect
The dust has settled and the panic is over. It's been six months since Google's Mobilegeddon, and many are starting to think the mobile-hype was exaggerated. While this may be partially true, now that the rubble has been cleared, it's a good time to check in on the aftermath. In a recent Hubspot blog, the company analyzed 15,000 of their customers' websites to determine how each was affected by Google's Mobilegeddon. They found that websites that hadn't been optimized for mobile use had an average organic traffic decline of 5 percent, while mobile-optimized sites lost only 0.5 percent (likely due to seasonal traffic changes). While that may not seem like catastrophic decline, businesses who work to bolster their site's search ranking and conversion rates will find that this translates to a large number of leads lost each month. This is especially true when considering that, if your organic search traffic has declined, so has your Google search rank. So, what can you do? Here are four tips to help you keep the traffic you've been working for. Test Your Webpage The first thing you'll need to do is find out whether your webpage is mobile-friendly. To help with this, Google created a test to let you know. It's a simple process. Just paste your website's URL in the bar provided and it will generate a checklist to show the areas Google analyzes to determine mobile-friendliness. If your site needs some work, Google will also tell you where your site could use some help and provide ways for you to fix any problems.
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Top 5 Apps for Real Estate Pros
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Discover More Information Automatically about People Online with Connect6
Have you ever received an online lead in which the only information included was the email address? How about an email from a potential client who didn't provide much information, such as a phone number, their name, or other personal information? If you answered "YES" to either of these questions, Connect6 could be your solution for these types of predicaments. Connect6 is a Chrome browser extension that also works with Gmail. Check out this short 45 second video on how Connect6 works:
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3 Ways to Use Video Chat in Real Estate
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Have You Been Crawled Lately?
Have you ever searched for a website on a search engine like Google only to find outdated data as one of the top results? For example, you have recently changed or removed one of the pages on your website, but when you conduct a Google search, the edited content appears unchanged in the results. What gets more confusing is when you search for the same content directly from your website and it's all current. What's up with that? You're not alone with this query. This is a common challenge experienced by users that have recently made changes to their website content. It is not an error, it simply means that your website has not recently been crawled. In basic terms, search engines like Google periodically use cyber robots to crawl through the pages of your website and store content for search engine optimization. Google, for example, equates their "Googlebots" to spiders that cypher through content and index bits and pieces of information that will enhance searches. The information that is indexed by these crawl intervals becomes the most up to date information to appear in the list of search results. There is no exact timeline for these crawls to adhere to; rather, they occur at varying intervals. The frequency of crawling is based on a variety of factors such as the speed of your site, the amount of up to date content you have, and the website traffic or popularity, just to name a few. Any verified website owner has access to review the frequency of crawling and these statistics are readily available for you at any time. Found in your Google Webmaster Tools, Crawl Statistics will provide you with the information you need to identify what area of your website needs improvement to be more frequently indexed.
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Stay Ahead of Hackers
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5 Ways to Achieve Inbox Zero without Negatively Impacting Your Relationships
There is nothing as panic-inducing as seeing 1057 unread emails in your inbox. The idea of having that much to go through is enough to make you want to never open your email again. With today's influx of messages and constant contact, it is easy to have an inbox overburdened with unread and unwanted mail. Much like your body and the latest juice cleanse, you can also benefit from an email cleanse. And no, I am not implying you should pour juice on your computer, but rather bring your email to inbox zero. It's easy to start using email as a way to keep track of daily tasks like a checklist or a calendar, but this leads to inbox clutter. Instead of accumulating a mess of email, inbox zero keeps your inbox current and relevant. Simply put, the method recommends deleting nonessential emails in your inbox, leaving only the bare minimum of emails to be saved. Merlin Mann originally created the idea of "inbox zero" to remind people that email is a communication medium. He compared email to a tube: emails come in and go back out. To combat the high volume of email these days... Here are five tips on how to get down to inbox zero: 1. Prioritize Don't let old extraneous emails clutter your communication. Prioritize emails by what is relevant to your present focus. According to Mann, when you receive an email you have five options: delete, delegate, respond, defer, and do. If the message is not important, get rid of it! For instance, delete promotional emails you are not interested in. Don't have time to respond right now? Archive the email for later and try to respond that day, or delegate the responsibilities in the email to another person. You can set up reminders for emails to which you need to reply. If it is crucial to reply to an email, reply as soon as you see it. If there is an action or task to be done, do it now or put it in your calendar.
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Tips for Producing Viral Content
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3 Quick Tips for a More Effective Email Signature
We talk a lot about email. We know the importance of email and if you're following us there's a good chance you understand the importance of email too. We're no longer in the early stages of the Internet; we've moved into the technology age and your customers have expectations about your online communications with them. There's email rules, etiquette, and even laws that guide communication. When you're interacting with a potential client you want to put your best foot forward. You want to show your personality while still appearing professional and you need to do that to the very last line of text. Your signature is just as important as the body of your email. It's your last chance for a first impression and considering only 52% of professionals actually have an email signature, you should make yours great. Here are 3 quick tips for a more effective email signature: 1. Cut back on the inline images I cannot emphasize this enough. I understand that putting social media icons is much more fun and using your company logo is something you might be personally attached to but whenever and wherever you can, remove the images. The more images you have the slower your email loads, and plenty of email servers won't open your images without consent from the recipient which means your signature ends up showing up as a bunch of image attachments that might never get opened. On that note, cut back on the crazy fonts and colors, too. Both of these will also slow down an email load time and if there's one thing people reading email don't have, it's patience. If you just have to have images, use a hyperlink or make sure to put alt text in place of the image. Sometimes those images won't load in different email clients, devices, or browsers.
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Online, Safety Is Your 'Social Responsibility'
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Millennials and the Curated Web (and Why I Chose Pinterest over Google)
When looking for a squash recipe for this Thanksgiving, I turned to Pinterest instead of Google. "Why?" you might ask. I turned to Pinterest because it is part of the curated web. When I search for squash recipes on Pinterest, I know there is a real person behind each "pin"; a real person who decided the idea, image, and content worth calling out and saving for later. That person selected an image that best represents an "idea worth saving" and often will annotate the pin with some useful information. I chose Pinterest instead of Google because I find it is more trustworthy. Google gives me viable and untrustworthy results alike, gnarled and intertwined. I have to dig through the results to find the gold. Google's search results are generated based off a search algorithm—a fancy equation used to determine which of the billions of websites and web pages on the Internet match your search terms. This equation then orders the results based off the factors Google determines to be "relevant" to your search terms. Pinterest, conversely, uses the power of its users, real human beings who have done the heavy lifting by hand, serving you "the best of the web." Google's display of search results is also much less... provocative. There are no images to entice me to click. If I switch to a Google image search, the results won't reliably give images that link to a recipe. Often, I find Google image search results link to nowhere, and it is difficult to discern which images are safe and trustworthy versus phishy. Pinterest curates the web and brings order to the chaos. The content in Pinterest goes through an additional level of filtering, by human hand.
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What You Need More Than an Assistant
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Top 3 Digital Outlets for Your Real Estate Expertise
More and more real estate professionals are utilizing social media to establish themselves and their brand as a source of industry expertise. So, you're also chalked full of information, but how do you get it to the masses? Here are some great outlets to showcase your expertise that will increase your businesses social media reputation. Read on for the full story. LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn Groups are great for connecting with like minded individuals and potential clients in your area. There are thousands of these groups, so no matter what your real estate specialty, there is a place for you. To utilize LinkedIn groups, share things like real estate tips, informative links, memes or any other information that people in that specific group could find useful. Because LinkedIn is tied so closely to your business, people can easily connect the expert information with the expert, you!
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Website Analytics: a Primer for Brokers
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Pro-Tip: The Best Email Signatures are Simple
We know what's running through your mind. As you craft the perfect email signature, labor over your picture placement, and choose the most attractive color combination — you want to make sure it convinces everyone to work with you. You may include your long list of accomplishments and certifications. Your tagline will most definitely appear by your photograph, and you're thinking about showing how high you rank among area REALTORS®. It's a lot of information to cram into a small space! We understand the agony a signature can cause as you try find the perfect placement for each item, and we want to clarify something: The best email signatures are simple. Here's an example of a simple, easy-to-read email signature.
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Google's Brand New Email Program: Inbox
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The NAR and Top Level Domains
WAV Group has been participating in the MLS Domains Association as an advocate for the strategy for organized real estate to gain control of top level domains. These domains that represent organized real estate like .MLS, .REALTOR, and .realestate were available on the open market for anyone to grab. You can read our articles on the topic here. There is a group called ICANN that organizes the top level domains on the internet. The most used top level domains are .com, .gov, .biz, .org. The top level domains have meaning like commerce, government, business, non-profit organization. Countries have top level domains, too – like .ca for Canada. In altruistic fashion, ICANN carefully expands the authorization of top-level domains to meet the real issues like, "We are running out of domain names!" For example, there is a possible combination of 456,976 four letter domain names. They are all gone. Not a single one is unregistered. Three letter domain names were snapped up years ago. The large conglomerate 3M had to petition ICANN to get the inclusion of numbers in domain names. Because of ICANN's efforts to expand top level domains, we will never run out of domain names. It is possible that we will run out of IP addresses. IP addresses are assigned to everything that connects to the internet – phones, servers, tablets, computers, cameras, alarm systems, televisions, and even refrigerators! There are only 4 billion internet addresses possible under the current system, but let's leave this story for another day. Trust me, that day is coming and IPv6 will make Y2K sound like a whisper.
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10 Gmail Tweaks You Need to Make Right Now
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Who Owns Your Consumer After the Close?
...And why isn't it you? It's no secret that most agents do a pretty horrendous job of keeping in touch with the consumer post-close. Knowing this and talking to clients about this issue for the past several years got me thinking about the typical homeownership lifecycle and who owns the consumer during the eight or so years between moves. Let's break it down: Not looking to make a move (approximately six years) During this time, unless someone from the brokerage has kept themselves front and center when it comes to the consumer's investment in, most likely, their largest asset, who are they talking to? Home improvement retailers and contractors, their HOA, interior designers, utilities, etc. Probably no agents or real estate companies in site. Thinking about making a move (12-18 months) My latest move was last August (from Atlanta to Miami). However, my wife and I started researching neighborhoods, etc. in December 2011--over 18 months before we actually closed. Our initial research was on Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. We tried to talk to a couple of agents, but since we were not "hot" prospects, we were dropped pretty much right away. I don't recall looking at any local sites. Another year plus went by without a brokerage or one of their agents involved with us. I don't think our behavior is that uncommon, do you?
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NAR's .Realtor Domains: Should You Buy In? [Video]
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Could You Be Stealing Stock Photos?
I'm part of a couple of different business groups. In the last two months, a serious but surprising topic has come up among the group members three times. My professional peers were contacted by lawyers telling them that they'd used an image on their blog without paying for it or citing its source. If this is something you've ever done, say, scrolled through Google images to find what looks like a great pic to include with your latest blog article, you could be the next facing legal action. So, I have to ask, who took the photo in your blog post? And did you pay for it? Could you be stealing stock photos? "Come on," I can practically hear you saying, "I don't want to/can't afford to buy a new image every single time I post a new article to my blog." Well, I have two responses to that: 1) It's a lot more affordable than you might think (and a LOT more affordable than legal fines). Plus, you can rest easy knowing you're covered if you do purchase all your images. 2) There actually are many free resources for images that you can use safely. Designmodo recently published a Carrie Cousins article on great places to source free stock photography. Titled 16 Places to Find the Best Free Stock Photos, it's just that – a comprehensive and fabulous list of 16 separate sources of free stock imagery. Cousins' selections include: 1. Raumrot2. Unsplash3. Little Visuals
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You Better Read This Before You Email That Link of Yours
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Public Wi-Fi Tips
We live in a world where everything is connected. From fully functional desktop computers to watches that can tell you who's calling without pulling out your cell phone. This is the time where everything and anything can connect to the World Wide Web. This ever-growing connectivity to the Internet also brings the growth of portable devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks, etc. are growing while desktop computers are shrinking in numbers. This rise in portable devices also brings the growth of wireless networks. Almost every Internet Service Provider (ISP) now offers you a router with built-in wireless functionality, which comes standard with wireless encryptions. This is normally located on the side of the router to keep you safe and to keep unwanted people off of your network. Now let's say you are at the airport waiting for your plane when you need to jump online. Commonly used in places such as Starbucks and McDonald's, most airports have public wireless networks you may use as well. You just don't know whether or not the wireless networks you're connecting to have any sort of protection for you. Anyone can connect to a public wireless network. If a public wireless network is setup correctly, you shouldn't be able to see anyone else's computer showing in the network list. These are called Isolated Access Points. This, however, is not always the case and you'll need to take matters into your own hands. Here are some tips you may want to consider and follow. Always use "Encrypted Traffic" Encrypted Traffic is available when a website is secured. When you go to a site such as Gmail, the address starts with "HTTPS." If it does not have the "S" at the end, you're not on a secured site. Encrypted traffic means that the content will be encrypted between you and the website you're visiting to help keep prying eyes out of the connection. While this is not always possible, a good majority of sites will have a secure connection such as banks and online retailers.
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Is VoIP The Right Choice For Your Real Estate Team or Office?
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Troubleshooting iCloud Syncing Issues
Whenever you are having syncing issues with iCloud from any device you are using, you can narrow down the cause of the issue with very simple steps. Determine Which Device Is Not Syncing 1. Login at www.icloud.com using your iCloud username and password. Once you are logged-in, you will be able to see the mail, contacts, calendar events, or anything else being synched through iCloud. 2. Compare your data. Option 1: If the current online data does not match the data in one of the devices, this usually means that the device is the cause of why your data is not being synced on the cloud. Option 2: Add a test contact or calendar event to make sure it appears on each device. If the test contact or calendar event you created appears on the iCloud website but not on one of the devices, then the device that does not display the test has the problem. If your test does not even appear on the website, then the device that created the test has the problem
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Can You Handle Drinking from the Internet Firehose?
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RIP Net Neutrality: What This Means for Real Estate
Internet critics are in an uproar due to a recent decision by a federal appeals court that appears to have struck down the FCC's previous Open Internet Order. The argument was over free and open communication on the web and trying to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from playing favorites among websites. For instance, awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee. Or, as consumer groups fear, slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates. I sat down with Tyler Olmsted, our frontend production manager, to discuss what it all means and how this decision will impact the real estate industry. AZ: Can you please explain the concept of "net neutrality" in more detail? TO: The concept of net neutrality is that all services on the net are treated equally. For example, a mom and pop shop that's been selling wood in the local community for 20 years would be treated the same as larger companies like Lowes that sell the same products. This gives healthy competition for small businesses to compete with large scale businesses on the internet. Another great example of this is Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated site started by a couple of guys out of their basements. It now gets more traffic than CNN or any of the major news outlets. These types of websites (meaning user generated sites) would be less possible when net neutrality is dead. Net neutrality is important because it creates competition, prevents unfair pricing, promotes innovative ideas and helps drive business. Without it, control of messaging on the internet will be in the hands of larger corporations.
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Why You Should Close the Window on Internet Explorer
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Track Referrals and Conversions With Google Analytics
Guest contributor Meg White of REALTOR®Mag says: No matter how new and shiny your company's website is, it can't be considered a success unless you have concrete evidence of how it contributes to lead conversion and completed transactions. Here's how using Google Analytics can help you transfer your knowledge of a successful sales campaign to that of your site's performance. Who's sending traffic your way? You can't know where your customers are going until you know where they've been. Google calls the sites that your web visitors came from "referrals." The sites that send you visitors are in essence sending you potential clients. Google can also tell you if the leads those sites are sending are qualified in a way, by showing you the "bounce rate." Low bounce rates mean higher levels of engagement. Where possible, reach out to referring sites by offering quality content or the possibility for increased partnership. [Find it in Google Analytics: Reporting > Acquisition > All Referrals.]
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Internet Explorer Vulnerability Affects ALL Versions
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Browser or app — what’s the best way to read your email?
Have you ever run into one of those debates that you never even really knew was a debate? Then, you find out that all your new neighbors call soda "pop," and all of a sudden you don't know who you can really trust anymore? How you interact with your email is definitely one of these arguments. When people who use nothing but webmail find out that I use a dedicated email application like Outlook or Mail.app, they don't usually get upset, or make jokes at my expense. They're just generally flabbergasted, as if I had just told them I preferred walking backwards on the treadmill or something. To webmail-only workers, dealing with an email client is just an additional layer of work that provides no real benefits. But to those of us who are used to our dedicated client apps, webmail often feels like "mail-lite" with restrictions we can't accept. So is one method REALLY better than the other? Or is it just a Coke/Pepsi matter of personal preference? Let's break down the issues for each. Simplicity Using webmail is like walking into a deli and ordering a sandwich. There's a limited amount of things that can go wrong, because you're right there. If they're out of ham, they'll say "sorry, we're out of ham. Using a client application is like ordering that sandwich over the phone — all kinds of stuff can get between you and your order. Maybe they are out of ham. Maybe they hung up on you. Maybe you hung up on them. Maybe you called the wrong deli. Maybe they went out of business and now it's a bait shop. You don't know.
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Cybersquatting: New potential problems, and possible solutions
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App Spotlight: Scoop.It
Using Scoop.It is such a great way to curate content from various posts and pages all over the web and present it in an organized format. Scoop.it is an easy to use web tool that allows a user to quickly create a newspaper-looking webpage with links to resources that go together. Each link is displayed as if it is an article in a newspaper with a title, image, and snippet of text. Scoop.It works much like Pinterest where you use a bookmarklet to scoop up a post that you may find on Twitter, Google, Facebook or anywhere on the web. Rather than boards, you have topics where all of your scoops are housed. I have a variety of topics targeted to my various audiences. One of my topics is Video Marketing for Real Pros. When ever I come across a post or page that pertains to creating better videos, I scoop.it up under that topic and then share to my various networks. I recently scooped How To Get More Views On YouTube – Top 9 Techniques. You'll see you are guided to the post--however, you're then exposed to all the other scoops I have on video marketing.
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3 Keys to Better SEO for Your Brokerage's Website
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Browse Better: The Best Browser Extensions for Real Estate
Do you use browser extensions to do more while you're on the web? If not, you should be! Browser extensions enhance the abilities of your everyday web browser by adding functionality that might normally require a separate program. This allows you to streamline your workflow and eliminate a lot of the task-switching that normally accompanies online work. We've collected ten of our favorite browser extensions for real estate for Google Chrome (our browser of choice) to help you explode your productivity. 1. Momentum - Replaces your default 'new tab' window with a powerful assortment of tools to increase your productivity such as to-do list, weather, goals for the day and aspirational quotes. It also features a stunning rotating background of images that look so good you will want them as your desktop. 2. Any.do - Many of us have to-do lists so long that just thinking about them is a daunting task. Any.do helps you manage your to-do's by providing you with a simple interface to manage your list of tasks and help you get stuff done. This includes keeping all your to-dos in sync , the ability to drag and drop tasks to plan your agenda, attach notes to tasks or use them as sub-tasks. Any.do has embedded Gmail features that let you quickly turn emails into action items. 3. StayFocused - We've all been there. "I'll just check Facebook quickly and then get back to work." Suddenly two hours have passed. StayFocused increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. Set time limits for each website that might hamper your productivity, and once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you specify will be blocked and inaccessible for the rest of the day. It might sound tough, but it works!
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Planning Your Online Audit
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Authorship and Canonical Links on Real Estate Listings
We're continuing a holiday tradition of sharing our best articles of the year. This article from BrokerageU was originally posted to our MLS channel, but the issue is so important that we thought we'd share with our agent and broker readers, too. There have been multiple conversations about how REALTORS® / brokerages should force Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com to use both authorship and canonical linking tags on listings. I want to take a minute and explain first what these are, and why this is a really big deal that should be carefully considered before acting. Please consider passing this post on via social media channels or using the email link below to other REALTORS®, MLS execs, etc. What is Google Authorship? A few years back, some very smart people at Google recognized something: they had all of these great posts but now way of knowing really who wrote them and if you liked the writer or not. Heavily optimized content was more valuable than good clean writing and sites like eHow starting gaining millions of page views for mundane topics. Google realized that when you're looking for good content, you want to know who the person is that wrote it and build an affinity with that individual. So they created something that was originally called AgentRank (now called Google Authorship). The idea was simple, figure out a way to tie an individual post to the person that wrote it. Soon after Google+ was launched, they then had a way to tie in the content with the person that wrote it. Have a special tag on each post you write link back to your Google+ page with a special tag rel="author" The correct way to display that is some HTML on your pages that look like this: Just to make sure people weren't saying you wrote the post when you really didn't, Google also implemented an authentication that required you to provide a link to the site you write on via your Google+ profile page. The benefit is that your posts then appear differently in Google and Google builds an affinity between the content you read and the writer that writes it. Have you ever seen a Google result that looked like this? That's Google Authorship in action.
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Google’s New Search Algorithm - How Hummingbird Can Help Your Real Estate Business
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Inbox Tips and Tools for Real Estate Pros
How many emails do you get every day? Five? Ten? Fifty? If you're a real estate professional in today's online world, chances are you're getting stacks of electronic mail every hour. You're inbox is probably packed to the brim with buyers emailing you about homes, sellers asking inquiring about their listing, lenders sharing client information and so much more. Being the owner of an overcrowded inbox isn't just unproductive, it can actually be bad for your health. A recent study by the University of California, Irvine found that workers with constant email access had quicker, "high alert" heart rates than workers without access to email. The test subjects who didn't have email access reported feeling less stressed and better to able focus on tasks. Of course, you can't get rid of your email outright, but you can keep it at bay by organizing your inbox. When you access your email, you should only see messages that require immediate action on your part – sort of like a digital to-do list. So how can you shrink both your inbox and your stress levels? We've got two easy inbox tips and two free tools that will help you manage the constant influx of emails generated by the 24/7 real estate industry.
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Writing For Your Real Estate Website
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How To Use Google's New Keyword Planner [Part 2]
Google just introduced their new Keyword Planner, which is a powerful tool for SEO and PPC. In Part One, I covered the basics for getting started with this tool and offered some useful tips on how you can get your keyword research started. In Part Two, I will cover how you can use the Keyword Planner to create a solid list of keywords you will be bidding for, as well as determine the budget you need to go after this list. I am also going to show you how to multiply two lists of keywords to generate a ton of new ideas for keywords. If you haven't read Part One, make sure you give it read before getting into Part Two, since I will be picking up where I left off. Make sure you are logged in to your Google AdWords account before getting started. If you followed the steps in Part One, you should now have a complete list of keywords and be ready to start working on your budget. 1) Visit https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner and select the third option. 2) After selecting the third option, you will need to enter your Keyword List or upload a CSV that contains your keywords and maintain your targeting options.
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Bid for More Business
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How To Use Google's New Keyword Planner [Part 1]
Google recently launched their new Keyword Planner, a powerful tool to help you with keyword research for your SEO and PPC campaigns. The Keyword Planner replaces the Keyword Tool, which used to be one of the best tools for keyword research. It is much different than its predecessor because Google has combined the keyword tool and traffic estimator to make it easier to create a search campaign strategy. You can get a solid estimate of how much you will have to spend on your campaign and ideas for keywords that you might want to include in it. You will need an AdWords account to use the tool. That doesn't mean you have to advertise on AdWords to use it, but you will need to sign up for an account. Since this is such a comprehensive tool, I have decided to do a two part series on it. Part 1 will be an introduction to the tool and focus on how you can use this tool to get ideas for keywords and find out how many people are looking for these keywords. In Part 2, I will cover how you can determine your AdWords budget based on this tool and multiply lists to generate powerful keyword ideas. 1) To get started, visit https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. You will need to be logged in to your AdWords account. 2) You will have one of four options to choose from.
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How Client Feedback Can Keep Your Business Booming
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Online Oversight
Guest contributor G.M. Filisko of REALTOR®Mag says: Odds are that some of your sales associates are online at this very moment. Maybe they're updating their Facebook status. Or uploading a blog post. Or retooling their Web site. But what if they're doing something that creates liability for your brokerage? Brokers are right to be concerned about the online presence of their agents. It's up to you to develop a policy for your office that details online activities that are acceptable and unacceptable from a business standpoint­—and to make sure associates know they're accountable. Policy? What Policy? If you haven't already created guidelines for your associates' online behavior, you're in good company. "I'd say that 5 percent of brokers, at most, have policies," estimates Nobu Hata, Chicago-based director of digital engagement at the National Association of REALTORS®. "Most policies I've seen have been at larger brokerages. They have counsel who've recommended they enact a policy, or they have a big enough cadre of sales associates that someone's already gotten them in trouble." It's not that brokers aren't paying attention to the risks, Hata says. Many are. But they don't want to tighten the reins so much that sales associates balk—and end up leaving. But, as any defense attorney will tell you, a written policy is wise. "Every broker should have one, whether the broker has two or 200 salespeople," Hata says. "Sales associates do a lot of things online on behalf of their brokers, whether it's marketing listings or performing client care, and there's so much gray area." A written policy reduces the chance for misunderstandings.
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Google Analytics 102: Understanding the Data
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Google Analytics 101 for Real Estate
This post comes to us from the WebsiteBox blog: Google Analytics is a great tool for you to understand who is visiting your site and how they are using it. It can also help you figure out what changes you can make on your site to boost business. In order to turn all that great data Google Analytics provides you with into actionable insights which can help you improve your business, you must learn the basic terms and functions so that you can use the tool effectively. Unlike billboard or flyer advertising, any marketing efforts you make on the web can be completely monitored. Sure you can use a coupon code to track the success of your flyer, or ask people if they heard about you from your billboard ad, but you cannot tell how long someone looked at the ad for--or what steps they took after they saw the ad that lead to them calling you. It is also very tedious to track every inquiry you get from a print ad manually. Sometimes you are on the phone and it is hard to get to an Excel sheet to input the data. You may be so involved in the conversation you are having with your lead that you forget to ask them how they found out about you. The solution is to invest in web advertising which can all be tracked using the Google Analytics tool. In order to get started with Google Analytics, you have to install the tracking code they provide you with. If you are using WebsiteBox for your website, you can copy and paste the code using the Analytics App. Once you have installed the code in your site, it will take about 24 to 48 hours for Analytics to start monitoring the traffic from your site.
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Integrating Infographics into Your Content Strategy and Other Useful Tips
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How to Make Sure Your Real Estate Marketing Emails Get Read with the New Gmail Inbox
We hope that you're using your real estate CRM to send out informative marketing emails to your clients and prospects. And if you are, it's likely that a lot of these people use Gmail. Many professionals, including those in real estate sales, aren't yet aware that Gmail has made some changes to the way they've structured their inbox. When you log-in to Gmail, you'll see a number of tabs at the top of your screen, such as Primary, Social, and Promotions. The Primary tab is the inbox you see when you first log-in. Gmail automatically decides which emails you receive go in which tab. Here are some tips to ensure that your email marketing is actually seen by your clients and real estate leads: Ask your recipients to drag a message they've received from you over to their Primary tab (if it wasn't there already) and click "yes" when asked if they want to do that for all of your future messages.
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Responsive vs. adaptive: optimizing your mobile website
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Real Estate Tool of the Month: Feedly
It was heartbreaking – the news that Google Reader was being retired. Done away with. Exiled. I honestly considered it to be tragic, and I miss my old friend Google Reader. We were close friends for many years, visiting each other almost every single day. I honestly couldn't imagine life with out my dear friend. But I've started seeing someone else, and I have to say, this new friend is awesome! My new friend's name is Feedly, and I'd like to introduce you. We have chosen Feedly to be July's real estate tool of the month because the two of you need to meet. Feedly organizes your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts, YouTube channels and more in one place. Feedly features multiple layout options, very fast connection speeds for both desktops, tablets and phones. Feedly is also created with sharing content and mobile integration. Now that we know what this product is capable of, how does this help with my needs as a real estate professional?
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Protect Your Online Identity For Eternity
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How to Clear Autofill in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox
You know how your internet browser always seems to conveniently remember the information you enter into form fields? Well, sometimes this feature can be a little too convenient, especially when you accidentally entered something when submitting a form. It'll remember that stuff, too! This is called "autofill." Fortunately, it's easy to delete all or just some of the autofill information that your browser remembers. This collection of three video tutorials will show you exactly how to do that. We'll start off by learning how to clear autofill from Internet Explorer: Click through to the next page to learn how to clear autofill in Google Chrome and Firefox.
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Real Estate Tech Trends
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Why the new Google Maps will be important
The New Google Maps are good, really good... It's different in many respects, most visibly in that the map fills the entire screen. The map seems to have more a bit detail, noticeable too when zoomed out, plus the colors have changed. You used to be offered local business choices on the left sidebar, now they are embedded in the search bar and the map itself, along with photos and street views. This is an important point for real estate agents as the source of the listings featured are Google Places for Business. If you have not created your page yet, you had better get started!
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Yes, Your Broker Website CAN Dominate Local Search Results
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The Minimalistic Gmail Cheat Sheet
There's a lot of great things about Gmail--it's free, it offers tons of storage, it integrates with Google Chat and other Google services. You can even call someone's phone number without leaving the Gmail interface. But did also you know that you can navigate Gmail almost entirely without a mouse or trackpad? It's true. Those crafty folks at Google have built in a ton of shortcuts that empower emailer users to work as efficiently as possible. We recently found a wonderful infographic that provides an overview of Gmail shortcuts, complete with a description of what each shortcut does and an illustration of where these results appear on your screen. Of course, you can always type Shift + ? within Gmail to bring up a list of shortcuts there, but Looking for more tips and shortcuts to make your online life run more smoothly? Check out the following articles: 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Simplify Your Life 7 Internet Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Online Productivity Facebook Tips and Tricks
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Community Involvement Revolutionized For Real Estate
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Hackers Use Social Media to Avoid Detection
The continued rise of social media has given hackers new platforms to exploit. Hackers are making malware that, instead of connecting to traditional C&C servers, which would be easier to detect, connects with social networks or search engines to receive updates. This is a technique researchers have already seen in recent cyberattacks. A recent piece of malware dubbed Miniduke used fake Twitter accounts to connect to C&C servers. With this rise in malware and means of spreading malicious software it is further stressed that you make sure that your computer is secure with the use of anti-virus/anti-malware software and that you are being vigilant about what you click on while using the internet. Another means of protecting yourself while on Facebook is to make sure you have a secure connection. For more on this, watch the video, "Secure Your Facebook," on the next page.
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Small Business Digital Checklist
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Do Tech Companies Protect Your (And Your Clients') Privacy?
At one point or another, when meeting with a REALTOR® about marketing, the conversation about technology comes up. It comes up for two reasons. First off, technology and marketing go hand-in-hand in today's very technical marketplace. Secondly though, people always have feelings about what companies are great and what ones should be avoided. For instance, our cloud-based real estate CRM solution syncs your calendar, tasks and contacts. The two most common ways to do that are through Outlook (installed on your computer), or with Gmail (a cloud service that hosts your data for you). While many agents are more than happy to have Gmail take care of this for them, a good number of you express to me your concerns that "big brother" shouldn't have access to everything about you, your interactions with your clients, and your other personal data. So how do you know who is protecting you and who isn't? Luckily, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has your interests in mind, with their annual Who Has Your Back? Reporting. The idea behind this report is to give the companies incentive for transparency regarding how your data is disseminated to government agencies. It also is meant to encourage them to ratchet up protection for their users, ensuring that data is safe from potential privacy gaps. According to Gizmodo, the data on each company was based on six criteria: Require a warrant for content of communications Tell users about government data requests Publish transparency reports Publish law enforcement guidelines Fight for users' privacy rights in courts Fight for users' privacy in Congress
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Real Estate Analysis: When Informational trumps Transactional
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Home Shoppers in the Digital House Hunt Age
Guest contributor Properties Online says: The National Association of REALTORS® recently collaborated with Google to research digital habits of home buyers, to "better understand the evolving role of digital media in the consumer home search process." The result? A realization that today's home shopper is über-connected, to say the least. The report, called the Digital House Hunt, takes a careful look at home shoppers in the digital age, specifically as they shop for real estate. "Consumers are going online at a rapid pace to look for information to support their buying decisions," says the report. "They watch 'how-to' videos on YouTube, they read review sites, they look up specific brands on search engines, and even research on the go with their smartphones and tablets." Google calls this the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): "The idea that shopping is no longer about showing up in a store, or in our cases, at a brokers' office or an open house, seeking advice or counsel on what to buy or how much they should spend."
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Get Started With Google+
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7 Internet Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Online Productivity
We recently published an article highlighting 10 keyboard shortcuts that make life easier. That post was so popular that today we're letting you in on some shortcuts for surfing the World Wide Web: 1. You don't need the http:// portion of a web page When typing an Internet address, you do not need to type http:// or even www. in the address. For example, if you wanted to visit My Computer Works, you could just type mycomputerworks.com and press enter. 2. Quickly move between the fields of a web page If you're filling out an online form, e-mail, or other text field, you can quickly move between each of the fields by pressing the Tab key or Shift + Tab to move back a field. For example, if you're filling out your name and the next field is your e-mail address, you can press the Tab key to switch to the e-mail field. 3. Use Internet search engines to their full potential Make sure to get the most out of every search result. If you're not finding what you want, try surrounding the text in quotes. For example, if you were searching for 'computer help' this actually searches for pages that contain both computer and help, and not necessarily pages that have computer and help next to each other.
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Calls-to-Action: Real Estate Website Theme Design Series, Part Three
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Beyond Google Analytics
Guest contributor Properties Online says: An important part of running a website – any website – is periodically checking your website statistics. After you've done everything you can to promote your listing website, including search engine optimization, Craigslist posting and social media marketing, you need to check and see if your efforts are paying off, and fine-tune your marketing efforts accordingly. Google Analytics can help you track all sorts of facts about your website. Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for analyzing your website that delivers enterprise-class web analytics for free. In fact, if you have a website and aren't using Google Analytics, you're seriously missing out on some critical and usable information. Installing Google Analytics on your website can help you to track how visitors arrive at, interact on and follow calls-to-action, giving you an insider's peek at the functionality of your website. But you may feel like it's time to supplement or verify the data you get from Google Analytics with something more. So where else might you take a look?
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12 Email Etiquette Tips to Keep in Mind
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How Are We Doing? Dare You Ask?
It happened towards the end of a business lunch at a popular lunch spot. There it sat, hidden from view between a glass of Diet Pepsi and a bowl of salsa, a small printed note on a card in a plastic stand. A simple question, "How are we doing?" Every one at the table immediately assumed that it read "How Did We Do?" but that was not the case. The card asked, "How are we doing?" and went on to provide instruction regarding texting the restaurant's manager. We immediately transmitted a text stating, "All is fine except the manager didn't stop by and say hello." Within 60 seconds the manager made an appearance and received an enthusiastic round of applause from those at the table who immediately began to consider the ramifications of this development for the real estate industry. Two days later, the local newspaper carried an interesting front page story about a major community event that included a midway with various rides and amusements. The story reported that local teenagers had created and populated a rating system that covered various midway activities. The rides had been rated on the basis of ride time, intensity, "nausea" scale and fun. The "take your chance" amusements had been rated on the basis of required skill, integrity, honesty and hustle. These two events clearly demonstrate a major dynamic that is impacting today's business world and consumer experience. Boomer generation adults, focused on their day-to-day lives, are not assimilating the vast level of transition that is occurring around them. When they do, they see it as an annoyance rather than a social adaptation.
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Does Having Multiple Domains Help My SEO?
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The new informed consumer wants valuable, not more, information
Guest contributor Workforce Resource says: Information overload. Do you feel it? At times, we sure do. And, it's likely that many homebuyers do as well. One theme that we see already in 2013 is that of embracing a more informed consumer. How do we welcome and serve today's first-time homebuyers without adding to that information overload? Consider this observation from a recent Doorstep blog post: Today's prospective buyer isn't suffering from an inability to search online home listings: their inboxes overfloweth. They are suffering, however, from an ability to know when to buy, how to find the right house for them, and more importantly, how to optimize every step in their own best financial and emotional best interest. Buyers don't need access to more information, they need access to valuable information — information that's meant for them. And, they are looking for that information online.
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Smart Linking Increases Real Estate Website Effectiveness
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What Kind of "Extras" Could Make Your Website Stand Out?
This post comes to us from BrokerageU: Most of you who are reading this post might already have a fully functional real estate website. But what can you add to it? In addition to the basics, we know you want to make sure that your site continues to keep the visitor's attention. As an agent, there are so many different options out there for you to choose from. In this article we hope to clear up some of the confusion and give you a few of our top picks. Please note that while we always try to give our agents great no cost ideas to make a bigger impression on potential leads, this particular article will take a focus on website "add-ons" or extra services that you can incorporate into your site. Some of these suggestions could come with a one time or monthly cost, although we try to suggest extremely affordable options. How do you decide what add-ons are worth your while? Let's talk about what your visitors really care about: Upgraded IDX: With your existing agent website, we feel pretty certain that you already have a home search option. A basic agent site would include a prominently placed home search for your visitors to access. Adding some kind of upgraded IDX search would allow your visitors to save their searches, receive email alerts of new properties and show you what they're searching for. Not sure what upgraded IDX is right for you based on your MLS? Send us a comment and we'll be happy to suggest some!
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