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3 Reasons Why Every Brokerage Should Schedule In-Office Trainings with Homesnap
This blog post was written by Homesnap MLS Account Manager Jordan Weiers, who attended this Homesnap event in Ohio in April 2019. There's something in the water at USA-1 Real Estate in Pataskala, Ohio. When Homesnap Trainer Jack Hanlon and I were greeted at the door with an ear-to-ear grin by broker Robert Teague, I had no idea we'd walk out an hour and a half later having trained the most enthusiastic crowd of agents I've ever encountered.
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Help Me, Don't Sell Me: The Future of IDX
One of my favorite pastimes is to read the reviews that consumers leave for Homesnap, the technology partner of the Broker Public Portal. As a consultant to the Broker Public Portal, reading the reviews informs my awareness of the best and worst features of the app. The funny part is that even the complaints are positive. The favorite feature of the app is that consumers are connected directly with the listing agent.
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Broker Public Portal with Homesnap Hits Milestone: 1 Million Agents
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WATCH: Broker Public Portal with Homesnap - Take Charge of Your Listings
Paying too much for your leads? How does a price tag of $0 sound? That's how much agents and brokers across the country are paying, thanks to the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap. Available to over 1,000,000 agents, the Broker Public Portal is an industry-lead initiative that's upending the dominance of portals like Zillow--and ending the need for agents to pay for leads generated from their own listings. In a webinar last week, we learned all about the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap and what it can do for brokerages and their agents. Watch the recording below to hear from David Howell of McEnearny Associates and see a demo of Homesnap Pro and all its best features. Then, be sure to claim your share of the 1,000,000 free leads generated by Homesnap each year!
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7 Communication Apps for Your Business
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9 of the Best Marketing Apps for Your Business
A solid marketing strategy is what sets apart a thriving business from a struggling one. But when your manual marketing efforts come up short, there are many marketing apps you can rely on to streamline the promotion of your business. Keep reading for ten of the best marketing apps for business owners.
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WATCH: Join the Broker Public Portal Movement -- Find Out What the Buzz Is All About
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You Can Beat the National Portals with This Strategy Today
Imagine a world where every real estate agent, broker and franchise in the nation promoted their real estate mobile app to consumers. The app is white-label branded to the agent, broker, and franchise, offering direct access to every MLS listing without any competitive ads. That is the way it would need to work. Guess what? We have it. You have it. Our industry has it. Today.
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Make It Happen with RPR Mobile
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"How about now?" Broker's quick thinking leads to listing
Questions about the accuracy of real estate information is every RPR user's dream. It gives REALTORS®, like Neal Oates, Jr., a chance to shine. Neal, an independent broker/owner in the competitive south Florida market, is "that guy" in real estate. Taking to data like a duck takes to water, he capitalizes on what many small brokerages do to remain competitive in the information age––using the most reliable, accurate and cost-efficient resources to propel his business in the direction he wants it to go, while positioning his brokerage, World Renowned Real Estate, against larger, and more leveraged, national franchises. "In real estate, there's always something new and shiny that we have to pay for," says Neal, "but then we forget about the foundational things and the value of accurate info."
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myPlanit Receives First Ever 5-Star Product Rating from Inman
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Do You Still Need to Track Your Mileage with the New Tax Law?
The new tax laws may have you wondering if you still need to track your mileage for taxes. Let's go over how you may be impacted by the new tax law. What Are the Major New Parts of the Tax Law? The new tax law includes a major cut in the corporate tax rate, as well as reductions in the individual tax rates. As with change in the tax law, there are many, many little things that you should talk to your tax pro about. We'll go over a few things we think are useful. Keep in mind that most of the new tax law changes will impact your 2018 tax year. When you file your taxes on April 17, 2018, you will be filing for 2017 taxes and the previous tax law. The impact of the new tax law will mostly be felt starting in 2019.
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Apps Are Cool Again: Here are 4 cool free apps that work for real estate
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4 Apps that Let Real Estate Professionals Smash Language Barriers
We live in a global world. In Toronto, for example, it's hard to go one minute without hearing another language. Today, we're constantly in contact with people of different backgrounds and different languages. This is especially true if you are a real estate professional. Between March 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers purchased $153 billion worth of properties in the U.S. A large portion of these foreign buyers came from China, as well as Mexico and India. Hiring a team of agents that speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali and a host of various other languages is not feasible for a lot of brokerages. So how can you help your team speak the language of their clients?
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Client Engagement Leads to Early Buy-in
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Discover MLS-Touch!
Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM PDT MLS-Touch is the application you've been waiting for... and we want to take a few minutes to show you what it can do! MLS-Touch is the most powerful mobile MLS solution packed with features like map search, instant sales comparables, quick access to your listing inventory, email multiple listings and the InstaView which can get you details of the property in front of you instantly. Available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, this feature-packed mobile application will allow you to research and show homes, respond to information requests, set up future showings, and much more! Register now!
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Keep Yourself Trending with the NEW zipForm® Mobile
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3 Cool Apps to Help Real Estate Professionals Reach Their Fitness Goals
Is improving your health and fitness a goal for you this year? For many real estate professionals, daily life is hectic, and finding time to focus on personal wellness is often challenging. However, by putting your health first, you will find personal satisfaction that will not only benefit your well-being, but your business success. Here are three apps that can help busy professionals get started improving their health in 2017: 1. MyFitness Pal MyFitness Pal is a great way to keep track of your calorie intake, although you can do more than that with the app. With MyFitness Pal, you can create a food journal using a database that provides nutritional facts (calories, fat, carbs) about a huge selection of common grocery store items, your favorite restaurant dishes and more. The app also has other features, such as being able to track that hard work you put in the treadmill, access to a wellness blog, and participation in their online community. Select smart watches and fitness watches can communicate with the app and add logged workouts, but it is the food journal capability that makes this app stand out.
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Discover MLS-Touch!
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Innovative Offline Marketing Event Triples Brokerage's Mobile App User Base
Recently, Coco, Early & Associates tripled their mobile app user base using a brand of particularly innovative local marketing. We want to share it with you to inspire you to host similar marketing efforts in your area and get even more out of your mobile app! The Massachusetts based brokerage hosted a movie screening of Disney's Moana at a local AMC Theater on December 3 for potential homebuyers and their children. All the adults had to do to guarantee a ticket was download the Coco, Early & Associates app on their mobile devices and donate one can of food to benefit their local Bread & Roses of Lawrence charity organization. The company ended up distributing 1840 tickets, and the number of new app users shot up to three times that of the previous month! And it's still growing! This new increased user base, in turn, will triple itself as people share the app with their family and friends who are also in the market for new homes. Not to mention, 92 percent of their total last month usage came from first-time users of the app who attended the event with their families, and left with a piece of the Coco, Early & Associates brand in their pockets. Real estate marketing is always local by nature, and this example goes to show the strength of local branding complemented by providing cutting-edge technology that consumers can use to make their home buying process easier. Coco, Early & Associates already has over 300 agents and 13 offices in the state of Massachusetts, and with this kind of personalized, targeted marketing it looks like they will keep growing! Here are some pictures of Coco, Early & Associates team and the turnout at the hugely successful event:
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Broker Public Portal Inks Deal to Become Homesnap
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RPR Launches Traffic Data, New Report Customization Feature, and More
Realtors Property Resource® is wrapping up 2016 with two significant new features for residential and commercial users: traffic count data and user-generated report pages. Traffic count data arrives in website and mobile Now, RPR offers the industry's most current traffic measurement product to its website and app users with 24-hour average daily traffic counts for highways and roads throughout the United States. Available in both the commercial and residential modes of your RPR app, the tool displays estimated current and historical data based on average daily and average weekday traffic counts. Simply go to any RPR map on your phone or tablet and click the Traffic Counts icon. Then, select a street-level pin to reveal the data. For commercial practitioners who prefer to access traffic counts through the RPR website, first, search for a property, then choose Bigger Map and click on the Traffic Counts icon from the options provided.
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Mobile Apps vs. Responsive Websites
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Simple Solutions for Gathering Commercial Property Facts
While the commercial real estate culture has traditionally leaned toward practitioners holding property details tight to the vest, clients still expect to have all the facts before making a decision on site selection. With RPR Mobile™, commercial practitioners can instantly access an expansive amount of property information from wherever they are and then easily transform that data into a sophisticated, decision-prompting report—one that is immediately delivered to the client by way of email or text. Here's how. 1. Pull up the property You are on a walk-through with your client. You have the property information that is available pulled up on RPR Mobile™. You know there are holes in the facts. Between your client's needs for the space and the information the property manager is providing outside of the listed facts, you need to capture as much information as possible and your pen cannot write fast enough...
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[Infographic] Introducing the RPR App: Commercial Mode
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It's Time to Up Your Game. Are You Ready?
William Gibson once said, "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." I can't help but think of that quote when I look at statistics on real estate marketing – particularly what buyers and sellers want and how many real estate professionals are able or willing to meet that demand. Home buyers and sellers are consumers. They, like all consumers, want accurate information immediately, in ways convenient and flexible to their ever-changing needs. Did you know that, according to NAR: 92% of homebuyers use the Internet as an information source 73% of homeowners say they're more likely to list with a realtor who offers video Only 4% of agents actually offer video as part of their marketing package to home sellers 75% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online 43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet 56% of home buyer prospects expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property According to Forrester Research it is 50 times easier to achieve a page one ranking on Google with a video. And NPD tells us that mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users.
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Discover MLS-Touch! (9/26)
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Smash Your Doubts About Mobile Apps
If you have doubts about using a mobile app for your real estate business, consider the growth of Facebook. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that their biggest mistake was underestimating mobile apps. Four years later, their profits have grown from $3.7 billion to $15 billion with 80 percent of their incoming revenue generated by their mobile app. Trust the data Now let's look to the most popular real estate app in the nation: Zillow. In 2015, they released a case study showing their website had the most traffic, but their mobile app held 95 percent of time spent on any of their platforms. This is consistent with the behaviors of all mobile users, who spend four to 18 times longer in apps than web or mobile web. Mobile apps are part of real estate These stats are indicators of a behavior – the behavior that consumers are loyal to the brand that is easily accessible when they need information. Google found that 66 percent of consumers, on their recent purchases, chose a brand that they had no loyalty to because that brand gave them the information they wanted faster and easier than the competition.
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Commercial Data Comes to the RPR App
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Discover MLS-Touch! (9/15)
Thursday, September, 2016 at 1:00 PM PDT MLS-Touch is the application you've been waiting for... and we want to take a few minutes to show you what it can do! MLS-Touch is the most powerful mobile MLS solution packed with features like map search, instant sales comparables, quick access to your listing inventory, email multiple listings and the InstaView which can get you details of the property in front of you instantly. Available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, this feature-packed mobile application will allow you to research and show homes, respond to information requests, set up future showings, and much more! Register now!
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The Best Real Estate Tech Tips at Record Speed! PART 2 (8/25)
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Discover MLS-Touch! (8/24)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 1:00 PsM PDT MLS-Touch is the application you've been waiting for... and we want to take a few minutes to show you what it can do! MLS-Touch is the most powerful mobile MLS solution packed with features like map search, instant sales comparables, quick access to your listing inventory, email multiple listings and the InstaView which can get you details of the property in front of you instantly. Available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, this feature-packed mobile application will allow you to research and show homes, respond to information requests, set up future showings, and much more! Register now!
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How to Use Snapchat to Connect with Millennial Buyers
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5 Golden Rules to Follow for Mobile Sucess
Brokers, after you sign up for your own branded app, follow the steps below to ensure maximum mobile success for your company: 1) Schedule free app training for yourself and your team within 30 days of signing up. Your assigned account manager will carry out training whenever it is convenient for you! 2) Debut the app with an email blast to your sphere of influence and then ask them to give a consumer review of your app in the App Store or Google Play, depending on the device they use. This will increase your app's ranking in the stores. The better you are ranked, the higher you will appear in the app store search. 3) Post a prominent link on the homepage of your website asking visitors to download your app. Add it to the About section on your social media pages, e.g. Facebook and Twitter.
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Discover MLS-Touch! (8/10)
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RPR Mobile for Your Tablet: Big Data, Powerful Reports - Anytime, Anywhere (8/16)
Wednesday, August 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT RPR Mobile has now been optimized for your tablet! RPR Mobile delivers RPR's vast repository of property information and tools anytime, anyplace, to any iPhone or Android tablet. Use your tablet's location to instantly view any property nearby, or search for properties to find listing, sales, valuation, assessment, deed, foreclosure, school, photos, maps, and market trend information...create, customize, view, save, and send RPR reports with your added photos, audio, and text notes. Download RPR Mobile today at the App Store or Google Play, and join us for this comprehensive review of all the powerful features of this great REALTOR-only tool! Register now!
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DocuSign now enabled with Google Docs Android Add-Ons
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Top Tools and Apps to Get You through the Day
Sometimes all those apps and tools we have taking up space on our phones and tablets can be a bit distracting. How often are you grateful for an app or a crucial tool for keeping you on task or for making you more productive during your day? We've all had one of those days where it seems the simple app we have keeping us on task is the only reason we were productive. Since we tend to get stuck using the same tools over and over again, we may be unaware of the other tools out there, or unwilling to try something different for fear of switching up our routine. Via Atlassian There is a lot of time wasted at work, and you'd be surprised to know that some of the biggest culprits are some of the unnecessary things we end up having to do while at work...and not just checking on our Facebooks. According to a study by Atlassian, at least 60% of our time at work is actually spent productively. If you're working a 40 hour work week, that's at least 24 hours spent not being productive. One of the biggest culprits? Answering and keeping your emails organized. That same study found that, on average, it takes about 16 whole minutes to get back on track after being derailed by an incoming email. Okay, ready for the good news? We've got the master list of professionals from all different industries of the tools and apps they use to get through their day productively. We went out and asked a few of our customers what they thought about it and what top tools or apps they use everyday. The results? Amazing. And we'll be honest, there are a few on this list that we hadn't even heard of! But you can be sure we'll be implementing them into our routine very soon.
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RPR Mobile for Your Smartphone: Big Data, Powerful Reports – Anytime, Anywhere (6/22)
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Discover MLS-Touch! (6/7)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT MLS-Touch is the application you've been waiting for... and we want to take a few minutes to show you what it can do! MLS-Touch is the most powerful mobile MLS solution packed with features like map search, instant sales comparables, quick access to your listing inventory, email multiple listings and the InstaView which can get you details of the property in front of you instantly. Available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, this feature-packed mobile application will allow you to research and show homes, respond to information requests, set up future showings, and much more! Register now!
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RPR Mobile for Your Tablet: Big Data, Powerful Reports - Anytime, Anywhere (5/25)
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10 Steps to Success with Your Company Mobile App
We are always trying to come up with new ways to help brokers get the most out of their mobile app. To that end, below is a list of best practices to follow once you sign up for a real estate company app! 1. Schedule app training for yourself and your team within 30 days of signing the agreement. Your assigned account manager will carry out training whenever it is convenient for you. 2. Make sure all your agents have downloaded their app and are sharing it via email, text, social media and all other forms of advertising. 3. Debut the app with an email blast to your sphere of influence and then follow up with a call to confirm they have downloaded the app to their mobile devices. Include tips on how to use the app, e.g. explain saved properties, shared properties, how to share the app with family and friends, and how to contact the company/agent through the app.
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The 5-Step Digital Listing Appointment (5/12)
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Long and Foster Combines Mobile Search with Mortgage Pricing
There is an unsightly lack of holistic information that is being made available to consumers by full service brokerages. Until now, brokerage mobile applications provided plenty of information about properties for sale, but little information about brokers' other service centers in mortgage, title, insurance, commercial properties, and property management (rentals). Long and Foster partnered with Xome's Real Estate Digital division to deliver mortgage information to consumers through their real estate mobile application in an impressive way. For those of you who know Long and Foster, they provide a full array of real estate services through their company owned providers. Under the guidance of Long and Foster Chief Marketing Officer, Barry Redler, the firm is reaching across boundaries to provide consumers with "easy access to information" that combines comprehensive property search with mortgage calculation offerings. When Xome set the strategy of working with brokers, one of their touchstones was to advance mobile technology for enterprise brokers that think more broadly about the business that can be generated for mortgage and other broker service lines. In the case of Long and Foster, this application invites mobile visitors to the Long and Foster website to access the mobile application and get the same or greater access to information on their mobile device – including cost of ownership information like mortgage payment.
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Top 10 Apps You Need for 2016
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Responsive Mobile Design is Not Enough for Real Estate Sales (and Zillow and Google Already Know)
Giants track how consumers use mobile and focus on engagement in apps At the 2015 Barton Ventures Mobile Web Summit, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Zillow, Rich Barton, noted that, recurringly across companies he invests in, "mobile web gets the majority of mobile users (as high as 70 percent), but a small fraction of engagement (as low as 5 percent)." At Inman Connect San Francisco, another event that took place earlier this year, Google revealed research showing that consumers now spend more time on their phones than on desktops. It's normal to pull out phones while standing in grocery lines, at sporting events, and in front of a house for sale. Ultimately, this means we are logging on multiple times a day, and these "mobile moments," as Google calls them, add up to big usage numbers. Two takeaways from Zillow and Google First, consumers are using mobile devices more and more because it gets them the information they want right away, from a device they always have with them. Second, while attention must be paid to the flood of searchers using the web from their devices, engagement happens more in well designed apps than in responsive websites. This is because mobile apps are fast and to the point. They are quickly opened via an icon on your phone after you download them. Instant gratification becomes a factor as apps immediately get you to the information you want.
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms and Apple Watch: It Just Makes Sense
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Brokers Must Immediately Audit Mobile
Mobile accounts for 50 percent of web traffic for most brokers today. Sadly, the mobile solution that you purchased a year or two ago is probably behind the times. Not only does your website need to be "responsive" to any mobile browser, but you'd better have a damn good app too. The first thing that you should do is try it. Make sure that you download your app and use it every time you need to look up something on a property. Moreover, be sure to use the mobile browser. This consumer experience is lost on most brokerage operating principles. The second thing to do is audit your agents and office managers. Ask them to show you the company's app on their phone. You will be astonished at the number of agents and managers that do not have the app installed. It's a good time to ask them "Why not?" There may be a very good reason. Promote Your App On Your Website Sometimes the simplest things can make enormous differences in your business. After getting everyone in your firm to download the app, market it everywhere. We audited a brokerage firm's online strategy recently and made a simple suggestion. We asked the broker to code in links to their mobile app on every page of their website. It is a simple procedure; place the icons and links to the download sites. We were astounded by the results. Their app downloads went up by more than 3,000 percent!
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Top 5 Apps for Real Estate Pros
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Health, Technology, and You
Technology has advanced in a way that affects us both positively and negatively. Luckily, for most negative things there are positive things you can do to counteract them. The first thing you want to know when it comes to health is where your health level currently stands. Diet, exposure to certain pieces of technolog, and posture all contribute to our overall well-being and health. Fit Bit, Samsung, Jawbone, Apple, and several other companies have come up with wristbands and applications that will help you track stress levels, heart rates, and even sleep patterns. With these tools, you can track enough information to realize how active and healthy your body really is. With these products come highly interactive apps designed to help you interpret the data. Samsung phones typically come with a pre-installed app called S Health. This app is a helpful tool that helps to keep track of calorie intake and physical activity, with a built-in pedometer and food tracker with a large selection. The negative effects of certain lights can ruin eyesight. Blue light's negative effects on your eyes are now minimized with monitors, glasses, software etc. Examples of these would be IPS monitors which always keep consistent colors to reduce eye strain. Gunnar is an eyewear brand that filters out bad colors and helps produce a clearer image without requiring excess focus. Flux software filters the colors via software rather than having a physically changing the colors.
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Productivity Hack: Drown out Distracting Noise… with Noise
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Mobile Use is Increasing: Why This Matters for Real Estate
The mobile landscape has shifted dramatically in recent years. In 2015 we've seen an impressive 20% increase in usage of our app, leading to more sales and clients for real estate agents. This data doesn't surprise us; in fact, it's a reflection of the rise of mobile data usage overall in the United States. Here are some stats that might surprise you about the rise of smartphones in the United States. 80% of first time homebuyers have smartphones The median age of first time homebuyers is 31, and 80% of people that age own smartphones. Repeat buyers average age 52, and 64% of those buyers have smartphones and that number is rising. Homebuyers are using mobile devices to search for homes. 80% of Internet users own a smartphone Not only do most web users own a smartphone, they often choose to use their mobile device to search even when a desktop is available. 60% of smartphone owners will grab their phones for a search even when they are sitting in front of their desktop. In 2014, mobile usage was greater than desktop usage overall for the first time.
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Turn Your Smartphone into a Thermal Camera for about $250
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7 Tech Tools to Make Brokers’ Lives Easier
Technology is becoming more efficient, more affordable, and more useful for real estate professionals and their clients every day. But figuring out what's worth the time and money can be overwhelming. To help make those decisions a little easier, a panel of brokers shared their go-to apps and tech tools for managing their business and connecting with clients and agents during the Emerging Business Issues & Technology Forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., last week. Here are seven of their recommendations: Periscope: This is Twitter's web streaming app, which gives users the ability to share live video. When your broadcast is over, you can make it available to viewers for later replay. If you want to broadcast to specific people, you can make it invite-only. Free. Broadcasting ideas for brokers: Panel or keynote presentations: Do you do a lot of public speaking engagements? Share your presentations live with your agents and followers. Company updates/major announcements: Introduce new hires or new agents, celebrate accomplishments, and announce expansions and other newsy events at your brokerage. Q&As and interviews: Get one of your top producers to sit down and do an education interview that potential clients would find useful, or talk to community leaders about local issues and events. Speakers and training sessions: Be a resource for agents on the go by live streaming speaking events or in-house coaching sessions. Invite just your agents to view the live stream or make it public. Sure, agents from other brokerages might see it, but what better way to recruit?
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How Online Collaboration is Changing the Face of Real Estate
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Introduction to Periscope for Real Estate
Periscope is the latest app to join the Twitter family of apps, following in the footsteps of video sharing app Vine. If Vine offered bitesized snippets of video, you could say Periscope offers the whole meal as a means to live stream events big and small. It's currently only available for iOS with an Android app forthcoming. In this article, I'll be going over what this app is all about and how you can use Periscope for real estate. If you're familiar with the concept of using FaceTime or Skyping with people, the idea behind Periscope is instead of 1-to-1 video, it's 1-to-many, being broadcast to the world. You're able to field questions from your followers and offer your real estate expertise live on camera. How Periscope Works Periscope is similar to live tweeting, only there's video that your followers can tune in to see and hear what's going on. When you start a broadcast a notification is pushed out to all your Periscope followers. You can also choose to share to Twitter. Give your broadcast a descriptive name so people know what you're talking about. Viewers can comment on your stream in real time, as well as heart your broadcast. Hearts are comparable to likes and faves on Facebook and Twitter. After you finish broadcasting, your stream is uploaded to the server so your followers can see it after you're done broadcasting. There is also an option to save to your phone so you could upload your broadcast to YouTube, etc.
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Staying on Top of Your Home Seller’s Needs
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Using Snapchat to Engage with Millennial Real Estate Buyers
Are you using Snapchat yet? The mobile app may have emerged as a bit of an enigma, but it has quickly transitioned into a staple of our daily mobile usage. With a current valuation of $15 billion and more financing pending, it appears that Snapchat's popularity will continue to grow. We've already discussed the value of marketing your real estate business with Instagram, so in this article we will talk about what Snapchat is and how you can use it to engage with millennial clients. What is Snapchat? Snapchat is a photo messaging app for iPhone and Android mobile devices. Users can take a picture or video and add text, drawings, and a variety of filters. They set a designated time limit, 1-10 seconds, and send to selected contacts from their list. Users can also set a "story" – a Snap that pins to their profile and is viewable for 24 hours after posting. How is Snapchat Different from Instagram? There are two fundamental differences between the photo apps Snapchat and Instagram – privacy and permanence. Unless you set your profile to private (which as a marketer, you wouldn't), your Instagram photos are publicly accessible via a variety of platforms and search methods. For example, I can search #realestate on Instagram and discover millions of users who are using this hashtag. Snapchat has no such functionality. Two Snapchat users must add each other as contacts in order to send and receive snaps, making the app more personal. Photos posted on Instagram will remain on your profile unless you choose to delete them, whereas Snapchat photos display for a maximum of 10 seconds (for 24 hours, in the case of a snap story) before becoming permanently inaccessible. The user may choose to save their snaps, but this will only save it to their local device. If the receiver uses the screenshot function on their phone, or chooses to replay a snap, the sender is notified.
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10 Apps to Improve Your Professional Relationships
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A New Perspective on Hyperlapse from Instagam
There have been a lot of articles published about Instagram's new baby Hyperlapse. You can read one of the better ones here. However, I think this article is missing a major facet of this tool! Stabilization for Hyperlapse from Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo. Now that you have a nice overview of the time-lapse piece of Hyperlapse, which don't get me wrong is super cool, let me tell you how I think real estate professionals can use this powerful application. If used sparingly, time-lapse can add another element into your marketing videos, but that is the key word--sparingly. No app will revolutionize anything if you only use it once in awhile or just use it for filler on your neighborhood tour. Look at the picture below, you see the little 1x button? This option will open up the world of quality video to the masses.
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"Must Have" Tools for Real Estate Professionals
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How REALTORS® Can Raise Their Bar with Digital Tools
Now that the days of paper trenches are (nearly) long gone and you're swimming in digital options galore, how do you know what works and what might not equal the ROI you had in mind? Your schedule probably redefines busy, so why sleuth around for the answers? Just come to me for the digital dirt and I'll set you up with the wisdom and guide you to the tools that actually ramp your business cloud-bound (i.e. skyrocketing success in all matters ROI and keeping your clients and employees delighted). For my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group, we're OCD about providing world-class experiences for our clients; it's our marching theme for Real Estate Connect NYC. We're in the business of writing our client's story. When they look at a property, they imagine and dream and wonder. When you set up your real estate business with the right tools, you're able to kick off their story with a happy prologue. Excited to get started? Wonderful! We've vetted the digital market for ideas that struck magic and tools that did wonders for our client base. Check out the top five mantras and tools that help us set the bar sky high for client experiences: 1. Always Keep It Mobile and Tablet Friendly - Give us location independence and freedom to create, share and sign on the fly. We are all traveling 100 mph in a 55 mph world so this is essential to any business. If it's not mobile it does not exist.
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4 Apps to Get Organized in 2015
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Need Some Help With Your Video Home Tour Editing? Try This Free Tool
Magisto is a web application and mobile app (available on iOS and Android) that provides an automatic video editing service for amateurs. According to their website, Magisto's goal is to solve the problem of video editing being too complicated and time-consuming by letting users edit their videos with just a click. I put together a few Magisto videos using the mobile app, and it was very easy to do. The free version of Magisto allows you to utilize many of the features. However, there is a paid version, as well. For $4.99/month, $14.99/year, or a $.99 single move download, you get these additional benefits: Unlimited cloud storage for your videos (Free version: 5GB) Unlimited SD downloads (Free version: $1.00 per movie) Upload 30 clips to create a movie (Free version: 10 per movie) Create longer videos/movies (Free version: 1/2 the length) Upload 30 photos per video/movie (Free version: 10 per movie) Magisto was also included in Google's list of Best Apps of 2013. If you are wondering how this application could apply to your real estate business, here is an example of a real estate professional using Magisto to create an open house video tour:
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Turn Your iPod, iPhone, or iPad into a Security Camera with the "Presence" App
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Mobile Apps: a Primer for Brokers
There's much more to mobile than just the iPad. Smartphones and Android tablets are everywhere and clever technology companies have built apps that work wonders on these mobile devices. These apps are as diverse as the devices they're built for. Some may be consumer-facing property search apps, branded to an agent or broker. Others are strictly for professionals, many of which are plugged-in to MLS data to ensure you have all information at your fingertips no matter where you are. And don't forget helpful apps for digital signatures, marketing, and forms! If you have a mobile need, there's probably a great app to fill it. To help you learn more about mobile solutions, we recommend reading the following articles. They're a good place to get started: What to Look for in a Mobile Solution Real Estate Apps: Have They Downloaded Yours Yet? Mobile App or Mobile Website? The Pros and Cons of Each Choosing the Right Tool If you're in the market for a mobile app, there are questions you can ask to evaluate which option is right for you, like: Do I want a consumer-facing app or do I want an app that is strictly for professionals? If this is a consumer search app that my agents will share with their clients, what kind of branding does it offer to my brokerage? What functionality is available when I am not connected to the Internet? Which devices was this app built for? Will it run on my smartphone or tablet's operating system? Does the developer of this app have permission to access my MLS data?
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Native Apps vs. Mobile Sites
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What to Look for in a Mobile Solution
Considering a mobile solution for your brokerage? First of all: smart move. Mobile use has grown exponentially, and will only become more popular. Home buyers want property information on demand; and their searches provide invaluable leads for your agents. So, here's what you should look for when you're choosing a vendor to provide mobile lead generation for your brokerage. VoicePad, one of the leaders in this area, emphasizes that your mobile solution should: Reach every mobile consumer (no matter what type of mobile device they're using) Deliver information about every home Feature valuable and unique content Generate leads. We'll talk more about all these bullet points later. For the moment, let's focus on the first – the importance of reaching every mobile consumer. Options for Dumb Phones Believe it or not, some people don't actually have smartphones. Shocking, I know. What may be less surprising is that people may sometimes have a smartphone but find themselves in an area that doesn't offer Internet access. What will your mobile strategy offer in these instances? Thus, it's important that your mobile strategy address three technologies: voice, text, and mobile Web. I wrote an article on this topic several years ago in collaboration with VoicePad, and much of it is still relevant today. One of the essential points of the article is that you shouldn't ignore mobile functionality that can happen on a "Dumb" phone (a phone without mobile Web access). In short, your mobile solution should include voice and text options, as well. Voice: Property searchers can call a number (which they'll find on a yard sign, Web site, or other collateral) and hear a recorded property description 24/7. Text: Pretty self-explanatory. Property searchers can text a number (also found on a yard sign, Web site, etc.) and receive a return text with property details and (here's where mobile Web comes in) a link to a property details page or single property website. Even if they have a smartphone, prospective buyers may prefer to take advantage of one of the options above. According to VoicePad statistics, the vast majority (an average of 86%!) of homebuyers who use their system will call, instead of text, to get information about a home.
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5 Tips to Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers
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Are You Ready to Sizzle With "Dizzle"?
Dizzle is an application that allows you to easily share your preferred list of vendors, automatically update users on recent home sales via push notification, dynamically update your app instantly, help distribute the app, and receive analytics on the downloads of your app (for both iOS and Android). Dizzle enables you (the agent or broker) to stay relevant long after the closing and can provide a NEW source of "word of mouth" leads. What is Dizzle's ideal use case? Dizzle aims to help Realtors distribute their App effectively with the goal of having end users actively share the App with their friends and family. People often ask a friend to recommend and agent when buying or selling a property. By providing an App people actively use, Dizzle helps agents stay top of mind when people are referring an agent. Over time, this can create a solid source leads.
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Google's Brand New Email Program: Inbox
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Optimizing Your Real Estate App for the iPhone 6
The latest iPhone generation is out and with homebuyers using their mobile devices 19% more than last year to look for listings. Along with Samsung being nervous about the iPhone 6 competition, perhaps it's time to focus your mobile presence specifically on the capabilities and possibilities of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Optimizing Websites Despite what you may initially think, there's not much updating to be done to real estate websites to comply with iPhone 6 capabilities. That is, if they are properly responsive. As @aardian put it:
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8 Safety Tips and Tools for Avoiding Tragedy
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So Many Apps! How Much You Pay for Software Might Surprise You
Everything is an app One of the more common "let's make fun of the millennials" tropes is the idea that today, people want everything personalized, and on-demand. And like a lot of tropes, there's at least some truth to this — everything from television channels to burrito options are under increasing pressure to be offered a-la-carte, so you can get what you want without paying for what you don't. The bad old days. Hope you enjoyed paying hundreds of dollars per user. The web has been a big cause (and proponent) of this, and in a lot of ways, it's been a huge advantage to small business and entrepreneurs. A-la-carte software systems allow you to quickly spin up a functional, customizable information structure in a few hours, which is pretty amazing if you ever have the opportunity to do it, as I did at my last startup. Need a toll-free number? Accounting system? Time tracking? Done, done, and done. Plus, since all of this stuff is independently purchased, if it any of it becomes obsolete, you can simply dump it without breaking the rest of your system. We've successfully commoditized functionality! In general, this was a sorely needed direction for software. The pre-web era gave us increasingly broad, ill-fitting suites of tools — here's a weird database to go with that word processor you wanted — and charged us for everything. In theory, the different applications would be conveniently "integrated", but anyone who's fought with an old version of something like Microsoft Office can speak to the unexpected challenges that came with this sort of thing. Today, integrations come in the form of at least semi-open APIs, and today, two products from different companies often work together more seamlessly than two 1990s-era applications from the same suite. It's amazing, and best of all, it gives customers options.
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Real Estate Apps: Have They Downloaded Yours Yet?
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Mobile App Spotlight: RoomScan
Have you heard of RoomScan? This is one of the most simple and exciting pieces of mobile technology I've seen in a while – and it great for real estate professionals. With RoomScan, you can draw up a floor plan or figure out the dimensions of a room in mere seconds. You can input your own data or make adjustments manually, as well. The app has been designed for users at all points on the technical comfort spectrum. Voice prompts walk you through what needs to be done, step-by-step. You simply hold you phone up to a wall, wait for the beep, and move on to the next wall or corner. With the pro version, you can not only include doorways, but you can move beyond a room. Scan an entire floor and RoomScan will stitch the rooms together for a complete floor plan! All you need is an iPhone to use the app, and there is a free version available (though only the paid version will include doorways). The paid version is currently available through the iTunes store.
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Four Easy Ways to Network on Social Media From Your Smartphone
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GoConnect: Not Just Another Shinny App
"Seriously? Another app? What now? It's probably just another shiny object to distract me from my job of selling homes and helping my customers." Did I get that sentiment right? Pretty much word-for-word, huh? That's because I have been there and I get it. My name is Zach and I am a real estate agent just like you. And I've been tempted – and annoyed – by over-promising shiny objects just like you have. But that's also why in the past few months I have taken on a new role as a software developer so I could design my own not-just-shiny but completely useful object that will add to, and not distract from, real estate successes. Novel idea, right? Going from agent to software developer might sound far-fetched to some, but it seemed almost natural to me. You see, I am also a founder of Go Realty, a boutique firm in Cary, NC with about 60 agents. I am 35 years old and started selling homes for a builder three days after graduating from college in 2001. This means I am experienced enough to have pre-internet and social media skills like sales, business and public speaking. But I am also young enough to be able to quickly evaluate and adapt to new technology as needed. So in 2013, when I was looking for a tech-driven organizational tool for my real estate business and simply could not find one, the GoConnect dream was born. Now, 12 months later, GoConnect a new checklist app for real estate agents, can be downloaded to your iPhone. (Before you stop reading, please know the app is free so you don't have to worry about this being a sales pitch disguised as an article!)
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Six Ways For Realtors to Start with Evernote
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Product Review: Lead Manager
I was going to write an overview of VoicePad's new Lead Manager interface. During the course of my conversation with them, however, I discovered that the most compelling subject isn't the Lead Manager itself – it's the data that populates this backend interface. After all, any lead generation and management tool is only as powerful as the leads that fill it. In the case of VoicePad's Lead Manager, these leads are better than ever. The company now has the ability to associate an individual (name, email address, and/or phone number) with a property view on a VoicePad mobile website. "This allows us to identify and track what were previously anonymous Web hits," they explain. In the course of the conversation, Lead Manager itself – in a way – becomes an afterthought, simply a place where these valuable mobile leads can be tracked and displayed. Randall Standard, CEO of VoicePad explains, "In the mobile environment, consumers can request property information without identifying themselves as on a website (by providing an email address that is sent to an agent as a web lead). We are able to identify consumers by a phone number and track all of their mobile activity, which is much more than a web lead could ever reveal. From the Lead Manager, for example, an agent can see that a customer called to get property info four times; requested info by text six times; viewed 64 properties on the agent's VoicePad mobile site; and indicated seven as favorites. The agent sees who shared the mobile site via text. How often buyers are searching for properties and where they are. This detailed insight helps agents craft their follow-up strategy and gives them an intelligent way to reach out to potential customers."
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Showings On Demand With Curb Call
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Record Phone Calls on an iPhone or Android
Well, there really isn't too much to say about this particular application. Do you need to record calls while talking on your mobile phone? Yes? Good, there is an app for that! TapeACall is a $10 application that is available for iPhones or Android devices and does as its name suggests. Once you purchase the app there are no more fees for usage, unlike some of the other applications out there. The recording functionality is pretty easy to use, and there's a plethora of sharing options once the calls are recorded. What is nice about the application is that it allows you to record calls you are already on, as well as record calls when you are dialing out. Check out this quick demo that shows you how to setup a recorded call: To view the original article, visit the Tech Savvy Agent blog.
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Your Digital Assistant: Easily Do
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Put a Price on Your Time
We've all heard the adage "time is money." It's cliché for a reason – it's true. Sometimes it is easy to ignore the real value of our time, but you are best served by knowing exactly what your time is worth and spending it wisely, particularly when it comes to your job. It's time to put a price on your time. I love how technology can help us to reduce the time we spend on certain tasks, like responding to emails or texts, freeing us up to spend more time on the things that matter – face-to-face time with home sellers and buyers, showing houses, closing deals, and family time. Dragon Mobile Assistant for Android is a great example of just such a technology. An intuitive voice-to-text system, the app makes the most of your time, by allowing you to "type" by talking, even in your car while driving via a completely hands-free Driver Mode. Even better, Driver Mode comes with Auto Detect – it actually senses when you're in a moving vehicle and automatically switches to hands-free, eyes-free access.
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Facebook’s Paper App for Real Estate Pros
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Connect Your Clients With Great Schools
It pays to know everything about your real estate market. Most real estate clients with young children expect their Realtors to know a thing or two about local schools, their ratings and districts. Because these districts change often, it can be difficult to speak with absolute authority on local schools. Luckily there's a free mobile iPhone/iPad/iTouch app makes it possible for prospects to research this information on their own. GreatSchools allows you to locate and map nearby elementary, middle, and high schools or search listings across the U.S. You can also view detailed ratings, reviews, and test scores. Key features include: Search the latest school information for more than 125,000 K-12 schools in the U.S., including public, public charter, and private schools Map and compare schools for any city, based on your current location Filter schools by public or private, grade level, distance, GreatSchools Rating, Community Rating or, enrollment size Browse parent reviews, recent test scores, and district info Save schools to your personal list of favorites for quick retrieval later Share schools with family and friends
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Five Apps to Help You Give Back on the Go
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As If Evernote Wasn't Good Enough Already
I wanted to share a quick tip for all of the Evernote users out there, and people who will be adopting Evernote for all of their note-taking needs in the future. You don't have to buy a separate app to convert business cards to contacts anymore for your iPhone (no word on an Android version), and it is super easy to use. It will even connect to your LinkedIn account and cross reference the information! Here is a quick video on how to do it: To view the original article, visit the Tech Savvy Agent blog.
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Best of the Web 2013: Apps
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App of the Month: Speaktoit Phone Assistant
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I really could use an assistant?" Well, look no further. Download Obeo's app of the month, Speaktoit on your smartphone or tablet and create the assistant you have always wanted. Your Speaktoit Assistant performs tasks, answers questions and even lets you know about important events that are coming up in your area, like Realtor® walk-throughs and open houses. Let your Assistant add a little fun to your life by learning your favorite places and services so it can find offers and opportunities that match your current location. Then surprise your clients with your proficiency and knowledge of their market area. With your personal assistant, there is no need to memorize any complex commands or learn any special tricks, just speak naturally and the Assistant will go to work for you. In need of a proactive helping hand? Let your Assistant show you that your best interest is its top priority.
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5 Best Productivity Tools & Mobile Apps For Tech-Savvy Real Estate Teams
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Want to see the future of advertising?
As technology grows, we've seen things such as text codes and 2D barcodes (QR codes) in advertising. Many real estate firms are investing in this type of technology. Be careful: This is not the future! Check out this TED video on the free, augmented reality app AURASMA.
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Mobile App or Mobile Website? The Pros and Cons of Each
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What’s Your Mobile Strategy?
If you're like most real estate brokers or agents, you either don't have an actual mobile strategy or you've pieced together some kind of plan over the past year or so. It's not too late to build a plan. You've all heard the NAR statistics (2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers) that 100 percent of consumers use the Internet to search for property and that 89 percent of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine throughout the home search. But, you may not have heard this: Google research (Google & Compete Home Shopper Mobile Survey, 2012) shows that mobile applications are being used by 68 percent of new home shoppers either in the onset or throughout their home-buying experience. Here are some key questions and considerations when developing your mobile strategy: Mobile marketing is all about getting in front of your customer at the right place, the right time with the right information. By offering a mobile website with IDX, you're giving them real-time listings from your MLS. Your mobile marketing efforts should include the ability to distribute mobile virtual tours and mobile optimized single-property websites. Decide how to offer your mobile website—through a native app or a responsive website design. Each will have key benefits. Discuss these options with various mobile suppliers such as BestFit Mobile or Aumnia.
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Real Estate App of the Month: Sitegeist
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5 Home Security Apps Your Clients Need
September is REALTOR® Safety Month, but agents and brokers aren't the only ones with concerns for their security. That's why we're sharing this post from HomeFinder.com--it's chock full of great security apps that you can share with clients to help keep their home and family safe! What if you could control your home's security, protect your loved ones and save money on energy bills from the convenience of your smartphone? Remotely monitor your family's safety while on the go, with the below five home security management apps. 1.) Pulse, by ADT (Free*, iOS, Android and Windows Phone): Pulse combines home security with home automation for fully customizable control when you are hundreds of miles away from home. Configure the touchscreen panel to fit your lifestyle and security needs; control and monitor thermostats; view live video of your home; arm/disarm your home's security system; dim or turns lights on or off; and lock or unlock doors. You can also receive custom email/text notifications when you child arrives home from school, when carbon monoxide levels change or a water sensor is activated. *ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions subscription is required 2.) Digital Life, by AT&T (Free*, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8): Remotely lock or unlock doors, check security cameras, turn lights and appliances on or off, and adjust thermostat settings. Stay connected to your home by receiving text and email notifications when specific actions take place, such as when a window breaks or the housecleaners just unlocked the back door. A unique feature of this app is the ability to gather data from sensors, which then trigger appropriate actions. Example: If the garage door sensor is tripped, a program can be designed to turn on the garage door lights, record video and notify you of the happening via text message. *Active Digital Life home security account is required.  
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My Favorite Tablet Photo Editing App is Now Available on Your Desktop
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Real Estate Tool of the Month: Postagram
This post comes to us from the Obeo blog: This is a great real estate tool for sending postcards! Now you can send thank you notes, follow ups and congratulations. Time management in this day and age has become critical and Postagram can help. What is Postagram? This application, developed for both iPhone and Android, allows you to print customized, glossy photo postcards to anywhere in the United States for only $1 and other countries for $2 per postcard (which includes postage). You can select a personalized photo and include a message up to 140 characters. People often use Postagram to send thank you cards, 'I love you' notes, greeting cards, birthday cards and invitations. Postagram has had over 11,000 reviews between the iPhone and Android market with 4.5 - 5 star ratings. Both applications allow you to send your first couple for free with a new account. Postagram – Google Play Store Link iPhone – App Store Link
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Create Your Mobile Strategy: Native Apps vs. Mobile Web
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New CO Everywhere app marries local and social worlds in your neighborhood
I'm moving tomorrow. I'm telling you partially because everyone here is sick of my stories about painting and certificate of insurance forms, but mostly because one of our clients, CO Everywhere (formerly BlockAvenue), launched an app today that is going to make life in my new neighborhood much better. In the months leading up to the move, I've jumped through the hurdles of becoming my own news aggregator for the evolving Court Square nabe: passively searching Google news feeds for news, scanning Yelp, and anxiously waiting for more opportunities to walk around and explore. The problem is, my new area is full of truly hidden gems – art galleries tucked away in unassuming industrial buildings and the like. Breaking away from Manhattan's Upper East Side grid (my idiom is "go to 2nd Ave for the food, 3rd for the bars, Lex for the groceries, and Park/Madison for the boutiques you can't afford") was going to be a challenge until I downloaded the CO Everywhere app. Now I know where I'll be playing pick-up soccer and taking a brunch break during unpacking. It also puts to rest those complaints about people "tweeting about what they had for lunch" when I am looking for food inspiration near our office and see how good those chicken kati rolls look at a place I'd never otherwise set foot into. CO Everywhere is seeing lots of repeat visitors because the app allows the user to save the areas where they live, work, and play.
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