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How 5G Mobile Will Benefit Your Real Estate Business
In an earlier article, I committed to a monthly update on 5G, its status and how it directly affects you--or, for most of us, doesn't affect, as of the end of January 2020. We need to outline what 5G means to us and if it changes the way we conduct business. To understand what 5G is compared to 4G, there are three major components we need to consider: speed, capacity and latency. Let me take each area and look at what 5G will do for us:
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone: Recap
This is the final article in the "Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone" series. I have enjoyed researching, exploring new apps and doing a deep dive into many of the apps and programs that come on our phones right out of the box. While doing these articles, I kept having flashbacks to almost 20 years ago doing Palm classes. Many of the things I learned to do on the Palm are still as important as the device I am using today. If you had good practices with the calendar and contacts, you should have brought that skill set with you as you moved through the new devices. If you were successful storing information where you could find it 20 years ago, you should be able to do it today.
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Cameras and Scanners
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Read This If You Use a Mac, iPad or iPhone
Until around the year 1999, I was a loyal and steadfast fan of IBM Thinkpads. The most coveted feature: a red mouse button positioned in the middle of the keyboard, nestled between the G-H-and-B. I carried two handheld devices, my Motorola flip phone and my PalmPilot. As an Associate at Resource Capitalist, a venture capital firm, I was tasked with getting a MacBook so that we would have a machine for software testing. That task abruptly ended my relationship with the Thinkpad.
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Video Conferencing
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone: Building Social Media Exposure
Before I get into social media exposure, let's take a look at usage of our phones. Starting with Android, you can find your usage stats by going to Settings > Batteries. Next, tap the three-dot menu > Battery Usage. Then, tap the three dots again and Show Full Device Usage. Android users study that for a minute until I'm done with Apple users. Apple users go to Settings > Screen Time > See All Activity.
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Run Your Real Estate Business with an Android Phone using Email, Messenger and Text
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Run Your Real Estate Business with an iPhone Using Email, Messenger and Text
Before I get into how we can use our smartphone to keep in touch with friends, family, past clients, current clients and leads, I'll ask you to do a little exercise. Take a look at your contacts and where you normally communicate with them—phone calls, text, email, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Twitter and Snapchat, to name a few. If you normally communicate with someone by, let's say, Facebook Messenger, and on their birthday you send them a canned email, how do you think that will be received? I feel this is where you separate yourself from those who might use a single platform like email to send out all the birthday, anniversary and other occasion messages and those who use the platform normally to communicate with contacts.
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone using Information Management
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Real Estate Smartphone Tricks: Using Your Phone's Calendar
Is it just me or is life more hectic now than ever before? Being self-employed, a contractor and an entrepreneur means our life is filled with appointments, phone calls and to-dos--and that doesn't even include our so-called social life. We need one place to see everything going on in our life, whether it's work or play, and be able to see it quickly. What is the one thing we have with us 99% of the time we are awake? Yes, our smartphone. I travel often and use public restrooms; I learned just because somebody is talking doesn't mean they are talking to you! Embarrassing! Let's talk calendar and how we should start using it effectively. In this series, we will be covering different parts of the smartphone, and I am doing them in order of importance. We started with contacts and now calendar. How in the world do you expect to be organized without having a calendar to keep track of events, reminders and important dates? I believe the two most used calendars are Apple and Google. Many of the tips work for both, and will do my best to explain features. Let's start with a fun one in both calendars. Go to calendar and rotate your phone to landscape. Quickly, you have week view; I use week view regularly. Great thing about both calendars—they sync to all your devices. If your Apple devices don't, go to Settings > Top of screen your name > iCloud > and confirm your calendar is on for iCloud. Love the categories by color feature on both calendars. On Apple, go to your Mac > Calenda r> File > New Calendar and name the calendar. To change color, highlight calendar, Control-Click and tap "Customer Color." On Google, go to Calendar.Google.com and sign in. On the list of current calendars, find other calendars and tap "+" and name and create new category. Once done, click on the three dots and pick a color. Let's put the first three articles to work together. Need to catch up? Take a minute and read the last two articles. First, read my article on Text Replacement. Follow the instructions on how to set up text replacement. Decide how you want to set up what works for you when it comes to contacts. For example, if you wanted to build a shortcut for me, you could either use my initials, db, or my first name, dick (notice no capitalization). Let's say you have a new buyer or listing. Set up a text replacement for each person—I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it's not really when you see how quickly this will help you and amount of time saved. I suggest you go to "Contacts" and add the text replacement shortcut for reference. Back to the calendar. Now every time you do an event, reminder or hopefully anniversary of when you sold them a home, use the text replacement. Both calendars have the search feature. Use the text replacement to see every entry in the calendar for that contact. Speaking of anniversaries, set it up for an annual reminder with maybe a five-day notification so you have time to handle how you contact past clients. Remember all the bells and whistles promised in the calendar part of CRM? I could write about ten more articles about the calendars offered free by Apple and Google, but need to move on. Next article will be all about Apple Notes and Google Keep and information management on your smartphone. Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Real Estate Smartphone Tricks: Using Your Phone's Contacts as a CRM
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone: Text Replacement
Welcome to the first technique article on running your real estate business with a smartphone! Our first topic is using Text Replacement. I believe no matter your device, this can help you work smarter rather than harder! I'll be covering both iOS and Android devices as both have Text Replacement. I will also cover a program available for Windows 10 that will also provide Text Replacement.  So, what is Text Replacement? It lets you can write a quick message or even a few paragraphs by simply typing a shortcut—and boom! your message is available with a single tap. For example, I wrote the following message just by typing nhb: "Thank you for contacting me to work together to find a new home for you and your family! I believe working together, we will achieve the goals you seek!" All of that by just typing nhb in a multitude of programs and apps! Text Replacement on iPhone Apple users, let's start with you. On your iPhone, go to: Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Your phone might have one entry already, omw, which is the shortcut for "On My Way." Hit the + sign and add your own. Make it an easy short entry like btw, which is a shortcut for "by the way." Next, be sure all your Apple products are logged in to the same iCloud account. Now open up your Mac and go to: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text tab Here, you should see what you added to your iPhone. (On your iPad, follow the same directions for the iPhone.) Text Replacement on Android Let's talk Android. Start with: Settings > System > Language and input Next, expand the Advanced tab. Under the Tools section, tap Personal Dictionary. Next, find the + Add button. Then, just create your shortcut—make it simple and remember what you added. Text Replacement on Your Computer On your Mac, as long as you're logged in, your text shortcuts from your iPhone will also work on your Mac. You may need to adjust a few settings on programs, but when I set up, mine it worked in all the places I tested. Windows 10 does not have a native text replacement feature. You can do a web search for shortcut software for Windows. Or, you can try a web browser extension like Text Blaze. How Can I Use Text Replacement? Now let's see where we can use our shortcuts on our phones: Text messages Facebook and Facebook Messenger Instagram LinkedIn Snapchat Calendar ...and the list goes on. Basically, anytime the text box opens for typing, the shortcut will work. A few ideas for you: nhb - new home buyer nhl - new home listing tg -Thanksgiving message And everybody should do these things right now to reduce time spent entering your contact information into forms: Make this your email address: @@ Pick a number to represent your phone number: I use 77, for example Set up your initials for your name: For example, I use db Set up your own system. Be sure it makes sense and is easy to remember. Don't get so carried away that it takes you longer to find the shortcut than just typing out the whole thing. Text Replacement will become a major piece in this series on running your business on your smartphone. In fact, all of future articles will be making reference to Text Replacement! Hopefully, you have already read my first introduction article in this series, "Can You Run your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone? YES!" If not, please take a moment and read how I plan on helping you get the most out of your smartphone. Stay tuned for many more articles as we help you build a complete system! Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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Can You Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone? YES!
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How to Quickly Switch Between Programs and Apps on Computers and Smartphones
Are you like me and find yourself opening new programs and windows all day until you have a gazillion things open? I'm terrible at finishing something I am working on when interrupted with alerts and notifications. Suddenly, I remember an email I started two hours ago and never finished, that Facebook Messenger or status I wanted to comment on, that word document I only wrote two paragraphs on, the excel sheet I was working on--and the list goes on and on! We all do this to some extent and we all try hard to NOT! Well I'm here to help—no, not changing your work habits, but rather how to bounce around quicker.
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What Does Your 'Workbench' Look Like?
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Let's Make Your Smartphone Smarter!
Want to set different vibrations for different contacts? Here's an easy way to do just that. Many times, we put our phone on vibrate and it's in our pocket or purse. It vibrates and, of course, we look to see who it is. We can select preprogrammed vibrations or make our own. Let's start with the iPhone. Go to a contact you want to change the vibration for—maybe your significant other. Once at the contact select Edit, scroll down to ringtone and tap.  Next, find Vibration and tap.  Now you have the screen where you can select a new vibration or even make your own. Here's the Create New Vibration screen: On some Androids, open your Contacts app and find the contact. Tap to edit it. When the contact opens, scroll to the bottom of the page. Select More then locate Vibration pattern and it will be set to default. When you tap on this option, your Android device will open to the stock vibration patterns it has. Now you can select from patterns such as Basic call, Heartbeat, Ticktock, Waltz, and Zig-zig-zig. Select the next contact you want to have a customized vibration for and repeat the steps. Disclaime, unlike Apple, Android is the operating system on different brand smartphones and not all are created equal. If your phone doesn't have this feature or you want more options, including making your own custom vibrations, you might want to consider a third-party app available on the Google Play Store. Personally, I love this mostly unknown feature. I'm a keep my phone in my pocket with the ringer off kind of guy. The different vibrations help me know whether I need to pull my phone out or ignore until later. Rather than having so many different vibrations to try to remember, I have all my family members with the same vibration, I have all my friends with their own vibration. As a REALTOR®, think about setting up a vibration for active clients, a different vibration for support contacts like home inspectors, title companies and loan officers. You can design your own system to help you be more organized. (I just had a flashback to my Palm days—do not set up so many different vibrations you can't keep track!) I hope some of you will try this technique. It's so simple, but the benefits are many! Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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RU Getting the Most Out of Txting?
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Real Estate Video Marketing Using Just Your Phone
Real estate videos for marketing don't have to be complicated and they don't have to be fancy. You can make marketing videos marketing using just your phone--and the video will still get lots of views and engagement. One of my favorite videos to use for real estate marketing is what we call a "Walk Through" video. Like the name implies, the video is simply walking and talking about the home or a specific feature in the home.
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How to Shoot a House for Under $16
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How to Pair AirPods with Any Device
Apple AirPods are the most popular wireless headphones in the world. Some 12.5 million of these Q-Tip shaped earbuds were shipped in the last quarter of 2018, commanding an astonishing 60 percent of the market. Not bad for a technology that debuted two-and-a-half years ago. The second generation of Apple AirPods are now available, and the demand is expected to continue to soar for these Bluetooth wonders that have become a Millennial status symbol priced at $160 for a set.
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No Internet? Here's How to Set Up Your Own Hotspot
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Are You Married to Your Smartphone? How to Divorce Amicably and Still Be a Top Producing Realtor
Our smartphone is our constant partner. It is always with us. Although there is no formal agreement, "til death do us part" is not an unrealistic relationship when it comes to our smartphone. We use it to connect with our clients, friends, family, leads and just about everyone. It's our GPS. It's our news outlet. It's our even our source of entertainment. When we go to sleep, it is next to us on our nightstand or not too far away.
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[Best of 2018] 6 Unorthodox Ways to Use Airplane Mode on Your Phone
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Do Real Estate Agents Need Apple's New iPhone XS?
Smartphones play bigger and bigger roles in our lives, to the point that many people manage their livelihood through their phone. With smartphones having such an impact on our day-to-day lives, it's important to keep up with the latest technology. One of the latest updates came on September 12, when Apple unveiled its latest iPhones. Among these are the iPhone XS (starting at $999) and iPhone XS Max (starting at $1,099). However, while many were expecting a revolutionary new device, Apple instead offers a better, faster version of its predecessor. They explained that the "iPhone XS is everything you love about iPhone. Taken to the extreme." In other words, it is a much better, faster version of the iPhone X. So then, the question real estate agents should be asking themselves becomes, "Do I need one?"
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Friday Freebie: Text Messaging Stickers for Real Estate
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6 Unorthodox Ways to Use Airplane Mode on Your Phone
What can you accomplish when you cut your smartphone off from the world? No wi-fi, no voice, no data--nothing but literal radio silence? A whole lot, it turns out. Last month, we showed you a neat Instagram trick using Airplane Mode (the fastest way to go "radio silent" on your phone). There are plenty more creative uses for Airplane Mode, so today we're going to show you a sampling of the best.
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8 Accessories that Give Your Smartphone Superpowers (Part 2)
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8 Accessories that Give Your Smartphone Superpowers (Part 1)
Want to soup up your mobile phone? Rather than relying on apps for that (as we so often do), let's head down the road less travelled instead. Today, we're exploring the world of physical accessories that work with--and enhance--your smartphone. Enter the World of Smartphone Accessories That's right, we're ditching the digital in favor of things that attach to or sync to your phone and boost its functionality. And we have to say, there are a LOT of different types of mobile phone accessories--so much so that we've broken up this article into two parts. Today, we're taking a look at accessories that enhance the multimedia capabilities of your phone, and make those photos and Facebook Live videos so much better.
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Geotagging: How It Can Put You at Risk, and 4 Ways to Stay Safe
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It's About Time iOS Got These 5 Updates
For the last couple years, Apple has released the newest version of their iPhone, along with their iOS update in September. This year, is no different! Apple released their iOS 11 update for all their mobile devices alongside their iPhone 8. This update gives Realtors® new features that weren't available before, which you can incorporate into your daily business activities.
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How Mobile Tech Is Changing Real Estate Forever
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Top Phones for Real Estate Professionals in 2017
There is no 'best' phone for real estate professionals as everyone's needs differ. You may prioritize the phone's operating system for better communication apps, while your colleague may put more importance on the two-way camera to take selfies at his desk. I sat down with smartphone enthusiast Jeremy de Souza to break down this year's top phones. Let's take a look at what he told me re: the best phones from world's leading smartphone brands in 2017:
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Top 10 Considerations for Real Estate Professionals in Choosing a Smartphone
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What to Do When Your Smartphone Falls into the Water
Kerplunk! That may be the most dreaded sound a smartphone user can ever hear. If your cell phone has ever dropped in the water, you know exactly what I mean. Here are some things you can do when your smartphone decides unexpectedly to take a bath.
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Photos Taking Up Too Much Space? A Few Tips to Compress
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5 Ways to Unlock the Power of a Lockbox with Mobile
The lockbox has evolved well beyond its beginnings as a simple, secure storage place for keys. Thanks to today's mobile technology, lockboxes have become the Swiss army knife of real estate tools. No doubt you've used your phone's Bluetooth® capability to release the shackle of your lockbox or open the key compartment. But did you know there's plenty more features your phone or tablet can help you unlock? Here are five ways your favorite mobile device can help you unlock the full power of the lockbox—and even help you sell more listings. 1. Pull up listing information instantly Want to start impressing buyers from the moment you walk into a home for a showing? REALTORS® who use SentriLock lockboxes can when they use the SentriSmart™ mobile app. Thanks to integrations with RPR, HomesnapPRO and HomeSpotter, agents can instantly view listing details when they unlock a property's lockbox. Here's how it works: after accessing the lockbox with the SentriSmart™ mobile app, SentriSmart™ asks if you want to view the property's information in one of SentriLock's partner apps. Select your preferred app and SentriSmart™ will automatically direct you to the property details page of the home you're showing. That way, you'll instantly have all the information you need on hand to answer your buyer's questions.
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Top Mobile Tech Tips for Real Estate Pros
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Professional Looking Photos Don't Have to Cost a Fortune: Smartphone Photography
Not long ago, you either had to have a professional grade camera (along with the knowledge of how to use it) or hire a professional photographer to take your listing photos to compete with the images you see in magazines and on the web. Thanks to the advancement of today's mobile technology, you can take and edit professional looking images on your phone. Taking great photos on your mobile device isn't just point and shoot; some skill is required. However, there's no secret to amazing photos; with just a few tips and tricks, you can capture the perfect image and add the finishing touches right from your phone. Clean Your Lens This might seem like a given, but you would be surprised at how many people post blurry images due to oil residue or dust particles that have collected on their lens. Your phone is constantly traveling between your pocket, purse, or bags; the lens is being touched; makeup and other things are falling on it, and even the oil from your hands creates a film on it. Keep a glass wipe handy and wipe the lens before using the camera. Composition (Using Gridlines) Rule of Thirds By turning on your camera's gridlines (which can be found in the settings section in almost all mobile devices), you will enable a series of lines (two vertical and two horizontal) superimposed on your screen which will separate your image into nine sections. The "rule of thirds" is a photography principle that states that by placing focal points along the intersecting lines, your photo will appear more balanced, leveled, and create a more natural flow throughout the image.
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Six Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in iOS 10
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Quick Tips for Taking Better Listing Photos with Your iPhone
Done correctly, photography can capture the essence of your listings and inspire potential buyers. Are you following the best practices? In this video the pros at Bay East Video share the secrets to taking better real estate photos and truly showcasing your listings. The insight at 0:50 is key!
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Best of 2016: 5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
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Tips for Taming Your Inbox: Managing Your Notifications
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that the average office worker is interrupted or changes tasks, on average, every three minutes and five seconds. As a result of interruptions or multitasking, it can take 23 minutes and 15 seconds just to get back to where they left off. That adds up to a lot of wasted time in the day! Email can easily be one of those distractions if not properly managed. Over the next few months, we will share some useful tips to help you tame your inbox in order to be more productive and minimize distractions that take you away from the real business of real estate. Manage Notifications Today, we have all kinds of notifications interrupting us throughout the day – email, alerts, Facebook, chats, etc. One way to minimize email distractions is to eliminate email notifications. Not every email is important and requires an immediate response. For emails that are truly urgent or require immediate attention, you can enable selective notifications to be alerted when you receive emails from VIP senders. How to Set Up VIPs on Your iOS Device iPhone users using the native mail app can denote any email sender as a VIP. When you receive an email from a VIP, you will receive a pop up notification on your phone. Launch the Mail app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad. Tap Mailboxes in the upper left corner of your screen. Tap the VIP inbox directly underneath your regular inbox. Tap Add VIP. Tap on the name of the contact you'd like to add to VIP. If a contact is grayed out, it means you're missing their email address and can't add them until you enter it. After you tap on their name, they'll be automatically added to your VIP inbox.
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Texting for the 21st Century Real Estate Agent
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Must-have Car Tech Can Make a Real Difference for Realtors
It's common knowledge that a home and a car are the two biggest purchases in a person's life. And when you think about it, Realtors are in a unique position to know a lot about both. That's because a lot of their business is done in the car, and their knowledge of homes and clients requires them to be constantly mobile. Advances in car technology can help make that business so much easier. Smartphone integration In a business where missing a call can mean missing out on a sale, it's obviously vital — and safer — to have a hands-free phone system in your car. But though a basic Bluetooth setup may be fine for most folks, Realtors should consider the more comprehensive smartphone-integration technologies like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. With these, after you connect your compatible smartphone to your car's infotainment system, your phone's home screen is projected onto the vehicle's touchscreen. You can access your contacts and calendar, but the big benefit is that you also can leverage an increasingly wide range of other phone functionalities, along with popular mobile apps, while on the go. For example, depending on your phone, you'll be able to use Apple Maps or Google Maps for navigation. Both provide a brand-specific user experience and plenty of unique ways to help you get to your next showing, and there's also a notable value involved: Since you don't need a traditional in-vehicle nav system with smartphone integration, you don't have to pay for one.
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How Can You Use 'REmojis' to Connect with Your Clients and Leads?
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5 Ways to Market Yourself While You Get Your Morning Coffee
The number one thing holding most agents back from executing an effective marketing plan is a lack of time. Easy Agent Pro breaks down the five tools at your disposal that will allow you to market yourself like a pro the next time you’re in line at a Starbucks. Tip #2 is a huge time-saver!
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How the iPhone 7 Can Improve DIY Real Estate Video and Photography
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Beacon Technology Delivers the Information Your Buyers Want Immediately
Real estate trends for 2016 are constantly boasting about technology designed to make businesses better. Typically, however, the ones that don't fall flat are those offering a smoother home buying experience for the customers and allowing agents to build more customer-centered services. What is the current customer experience? An online search, followed by an awkward walk-through or open house, fragmented by sign-in sheets, unanswered questions, doubts on who to trust or turn to, a wrinkled show sheet, and a frustrating ride home. The sale? A wildcard based on customer/agent information gathering. What if that experience could result in more? Buyers find an open house on their phone or mobile device. Walking in, the mobile device prompts them to register. On consent, their info is delivered to the agent's inbox. As buyers look around, property details and agent information are automatically delivered via smartphone. After visiting, agents can collect data on whether the information was viewed or deleted, allowing them to classify leads/data. Overall a seamless, elegant, modern experience. The best part? Everyone gets what they need.
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5 Real Estate Apps that Used Augmented Reality Way Before Pokemon Go
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RPR Mobile for Your Smartphone: Big Data, Powerful Reports – Anytime, Anywhere (7/13)
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT RPR Mobile delivers RPR's vast repository of property information and tools anytime, anyplace, to any iPhone or Android phone. Use your phone'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 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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Fast Phone Hacks: 3 Ways to Respond to Leads and Clients in 30 Seconds or Less
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Discover MLS-Touch! (6/22)
Wednesday, June 22, 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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Didn’t Download the Top 10 Apps of 2016? Maybe You Don’t Need to…
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5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
Every day we see an increase in people replacing their digital cameras with their smartphones to take pictures. This is mainly because manufacturers are adding some incredible lenses to smartphones that make it a very convenient device to capture daily moments and upload them quickly to social media apps. Smartphone cameras do not provide the quality photos that a good digital camera can provide, which are recommended for listings. Nevertheless, here at Tech Helpline, we see a trend of agents using their smartphones to take pictures for their listings. For this reason, today we will show you some quick tips on how to get the best possible image using an iPhone with iOS 9. All features listed below are available on the iPhone 5 or newer. 1. Use Auto Focus (AF) This is the most important feature to use. Without using this option, your image could appear blurry or lose detail. Here is what you do: Tap the area on your screen that you wish to focus on, remove your finger and wait a couple of seconds to allow the camera to focus on the subject before taking the photo. You can also tap and hold the area on your screen, until the yellow "AE/AF LOCK" appears (Auto-Exposure/ Auto-Focus Lock). This will allow you to take photos from different angles without losing focus on the subject.
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Go Mobile or Go Home: Texting and Mobile Strategies
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7 Actionable Mobile Trends for Real Estate Agents
The year is 2016 and it seems that everywhere we turn, there’s new technology cropping up. Throughout it all, mobile technology not only continues to improve exponentially, but it’s nearly ubiquitous. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a mobile device these days. But, what does that mean for real estate agents? According to the NAR, in 2015, 50% of home buyers used mobile technology to find their new home. Most real estate agents spend very little time in their offices and they’re nearly always on-the-go, making mobile technology ideal for their business lifestyles. But are they all utilizing it to the fullest extent? There are plenty of reasons for real estate agents to integrate mobile into their business strategy, but they may not be aware of all the resources available to them for doing so, and how these trends could potentially make a huge difference in their day-to-day.
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MightyText Brings Advanced Texting Technology to Android
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4 Tips to Get More Leads to Respond to Your Texts
The world is more mobile than ever. Consumers are engaging with real estate in new ways, thanks to their mobile phones. According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nearly half of buyers said it was important to them that their agent sends property information and communicates via text message. TigerLead's Senior Performance Product Manager, Hugo Cortes, recently analyzed over 20,000 text messages to find out which types of texts got the best response. The internal study found that TigerLead clients that start texting their leads typically see 1 out of 5 leads respond to their texts. However, the best performing text messages get responses from 1 out of every 2 leads! Here are 4 tips to get more leads to respond to your text messages: 1. Always start with the lead's name: "Hi Nancy," Consumers are rightfully suspicious whenever they receive a text message from an unknown number. Using their name as either the first or second word in your message immediately adds credibility and keeps them reading the rest of the message. 2. Identify yourself: "this is Hugo Cortes with TigerLead." Consumers are still trying to figure out who they're receiving this message from and how you know their name. Some clients prefer to give their name and company at the end of the message, but we've found that texts get more responses when you mention it up front.
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Five Ways GPS Technology Has Transformed Real Estate
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Real Estate Lead Texting: When and What to Text for Phenomenal Response Rates
In today's quick-paced, digital age, home buyers have less time – and less patience. When they see a house they are interested in, they are no longer satisfied with driving home, contacting the listing agent, and waiting for a response. In fact, 49% of buyers expect an instant response from the agent. Today's home buyer wants information now, and if the listing agent isn't available to deliver it, that potential real estate lead has likely moved on to an agent who is. There are 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions in the world, and 81% of cell phone owners use their phone to send or receive text messages, according to Pew Research Center. We use them because they're fast, convenient, and more likely than not, always within arm's reach. In fact, almost half of cell owners have slept with their phones next to their bed, not wanting to miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. Text messaging is the most popular application on smart phones, and 40% of home buyers prefer communicating with an agent by text over phone calls. Additionally, text messages have an open rate of 98%. Nearly every single text message sent is opened and read. How can real estate agents harness this opportunity and use text messaging to capture leads? Here are some best practices for when and what to text your real estate leads.
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A Quick Look at Apple Watch OS2
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Sneak Peek: The iPhone 6s Puts Your Productivity on Steroids
September is coming up roses for Apple fans. Not only did the company release iOS 9 today, but the latest iPhone is due to be released in just over a week. Pre-orders are already underway for the iPhone 6s, and users are excited for the upgraded camera (which gains 4MP over its predecessor), the Live Photo feature, aerospace-grade casing, and beyond. But it's the new 3D Touch feature that got us excited. Why? Because more than any of the other spiffy new bells and whistles, 3D touch has the potential to revolutionize your productivity. Here's how. What is 3D Touch? 3D Touch is a new technology that measures the pressure of your finger on the screen. On the iPhone 6s, a light touch performs a different action than a medium touch or a firm touch. Take email, for example. A soft touch from the inbox view will let you preview a message without opening it, as seen in the image below.
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How to Back Up Your Text Messages, Email, Calendars, and More
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High Tech Wardrobe: 5 Wearables for Real Estate Agents
If you've paid any attention to tech news, or even fashion reports, in the last six months, you've probably heard about the Apple Watch. But with all the media buzz, it's likely you didn't know that there's a world of other smart wearables available to you, from Android watches to jewelry to eye glasses. If your smartphone and tablet are enough for your real estate needs, these new accessories may seem like nothing more than high-tech hype. However, wearables are more than apps on a tiny screen. Today, we're going to take a look at how this new wave of gadgets can be used in your real estate endeavors. Smart Watches Let's start with obvious players in the wearables scene--smart watches. While Apple Watch is the best known contender here, Android's offering, Android Wear, debuted a full year before the Apple Watch. Like Android phones, Android Wear is available from a variety of manufacturers, giving users a wider array of styles, wristbands, and watchfaces to choose from. Bonus: just days ago, Google announced that Android Wear now works with iPhones! While there are differences between Android and Apple watches, they have plenty of functionality in common. Here are a few of our favorites: 1. Stay on top of listings and leads - While there aren't a lot of real estate specific apps available for smart watches just yet, there are a few, including ones from Zillow (Android, Apple) and Trulia (Android, Apple). The apps will send push notifications right to your wrist to alert you of new leads. They offer a tactful way to stay on top of incoming portal activity without having to interrupt showings or other important moments with clients. 2. Remotely trigger your phone's camera - Sometimes you need to include yourself in a photograph and, let's face it, selfies don't exactly scream "professional." Smart watches to the rescue! The Apple Watch comes with a built-in Camera Remote app that lets you use your watch as a viewscreen for your phone's camera to frame the perfect shot. Just tap your watch to snap a photo instantly or after a 3-second delay. Once the photo's taken, it will appear on your watch. If you don't like it, take another!
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Best Apps for the Apple Watch and How it Can Help Real Estate Pros Today
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Hosting an Open House? Don't Forget Your iPad
Refreshments, flyers, business cards--the list of open house necessities goes on. Does your list include an iPad or other tablet? If not, consider it incomplete. Tablets are the Swiss-army knife of digital tools, and they can help agents wow potential buyers and capture more leads. Here's how. 1. Replace the Paper Sign-in Sheet. Toss the paper and pen and let visitors sign in on your iPad. Mobile apps like Open Home Pro, BrightOpen, and AM Open House make this a snap. Even better, they simplify capturing lead information and automatically send follow-up emails to prospects. These apps can also sync with your CRM or export contact data. 2. Help Buyers Visualize Living in the Home. Ever had visitors who love the kitchen but hate the wallpaper? Virtual reality apps like Paint Tester let prospects change the paint color of any room. Just snap a picture, pick the desired paint color, and voila--your potential buyers are one step closer to picturing themselves in your listing. Paint companies like Behr and Sherwin Williams offer similar apps. Homestyler goes one step further. This app lets you show visitors how furniture, light fixtures, rugs, and items would look in the home.
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3 Ways to Use Text Messages in Your Marketing and Client Retention Strategies
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Google’s Mobile Algorithm Set to Change April 21. Is Your Website Ready?
There are some big changes, quite possibly the biggest of all time, coming to Google's mobile search algorithm. It's being called "Mobilegeddon" and is expected to be the dawn of a new era of internet that has never been seen before. If you haven't optimized your website for mobile by the cutoff date of April 21st, you're going to be left in the dust of your competitors that already have. It would be a major understatement to say that consumers rely on mobile devices during their search for a home. In fact, 40% of Homes.com's total traffic now comes from mobile and there has been a 192% increase in mobile property leads since 2014. This means that there's a huge opportunity to grow your business if you are able to provide a mobile platform that your audience can rely on. There are more benefits that come with having a mobile-friendly website than simply creating a better experience for users on their smartphones and tablets. One of the most important advantages is the role that it plays in search engine optimization (SEO), which is the area that this new algorithm is expected to affect the most. The bottom line is this—your website will have a better chance of being discovered in mobile search results if it meets Google's mobile standards. A study conducted by Advanced Web Ranking found that the first five results featured in a Google search accounted for 67% of all clicks and the results ranked from six to 10 accounts for only 3.73%. What this shows is simple. Higher search ranking equals more traffic to your website, thus more opportunities to connect with buyers and sellers.
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4 Tips and Tools for Creating Better Cell Phone Videos
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Apple Watch For Real Estate
I am not sure what the market penetration breakdown is for Apple vs. Android phones in real estate, but suffice it to say that there is a significant number of iPhone users. Many agents report that their smartphone is among their most valuable business tools, and for good reason. Your internet connected phone lets you stay connected to every component of your business to keep you on the track to great customer service and the success that comes with it. Long gone are the days of putting an "out of office" message on your desk phone and on your email responder. This was a best practice years ago when the internet was not omnipresent and internet enabled devices were clunky to use. Let's face it, the Palm 7 was a magical device but it barely worked. Today's smartphones are now complemented by a plethora of applications that allow real estate agents to stay connected to everything in their business. The problem with being connected all of the time is that you are, um...connected all of the time. While it may be fine for teenagers to walk around staring at their phone all day long, that is not the right impression for professional real estate agents. The good news is that Apple and Google understand this. The first effort was to develop earpieces that allowed users to keep the phone in the pocket. That works great for hands-free phone calls and listening to music, but serves little more. Google took a swing with Google Glass – another promising attempt – but like the earpiece, it's a bit awkward. I purchased them and was pretty disappointed, especially by the reaction that it had on people. I always feel like someone out of a Twilight Zone or Star Trek episode. Again, not the "look" of a professional real estate agent.
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What Luxury Clients Prefer: Apple Devices and Traditional Media
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Behind a REALTORS® Digital Life: Musings from my Mobile
What REALTOR® wouldn't want to do away with paper? The beauty of being a real estate professional is engaging with clients. It's personal: you're making their dreams into a reality. Part of that reality is making sure the process leading up to home ownership is as streamlined as possible. That's where digital platforms come into play. Just as caffeine unleashes energy, digital platforms, like DocuSign's Digital Transaction Management (DTM), unleashes pure simplicity. It's only natural: when you dump paper in favor of digitized contracts, you gain speed, efficiency and peace of mind. I remember when I was an active REALTOR®. Our team of twelve relied on digital platforms, like DocuSign, to help us crack smiles on our clients' faces. If anyone has gone through the traditional process of buying a home, they'll delight in knowing they can DocuSign their way to a dream home within moments, and even on their mobile device if they so choose. Tap, tap, tap...the keys to the house are yours. Sure, the thought of digitally managing the process might raise a few eyebrows with the older generations, but note to all electronic signature providers: Keep It Simple! I cannot stress this enough in order to welcome all generations to enjoying the digital advantage.
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7 Smartphone Security Tips for Real Estate
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Travel Agents and Stockbrokers Have Been Eliminated--Are Agents Next?
Over the past few years, technology has eliminated the middleman across a multitude of industries. Airlines, hotels, and stock markets were some of the first industries to be radically disrupted by the Internet. For the first time ever, the Internet enabled consumers to easily book reservations and buy securities online without a travel agent or stockbroker. This has opened the door and set a blueprint for other companies to try and eliminate the middleman across almost every industry imaginable. Real estate is no different. Companies have tried time and time again to make buying and selling real estate easy as ordering an Über. Taking a deeper look at why companies continue to fail at eliminating real estate agents stems from the fact that real estate is not a commodity. Technology companies are very good at eliminating middlemen where the product is a commodity. An airplane seat, a hotel room, and a share of stock are all commodities. They can be bought and sold easily without any emotion involved, but you can never have the experience of walking inside a home online. People become emotionally attached to real estate. It is hard to say the same thing about an airplane seat. Real estate is often the largest investment people make in their lives, and therefore invokes a very emotional experience. People want to make sure they are making the right decision to make sure they are getting the best deal. A real estate agent helps guide consumers through the transaction process, but more importantly, an agent needs to communicate their value through building relationships and communicating a deep understanding of the local area to their clients.
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Tips for Taking Better iPhone® Photos
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How to Deal with the Booming Tablet Market
A real estate professional has an increasing amount of hardware options to choose from, and selecting one that meets your needs should be easy... right? That depends on why you're buying a tablet. Are you going to play games, listen to music, do work, or all of the above? Does your real estate-specific software work on Android? iOS? You might find your choices are overwhelming, and a majority of consumers will have similar thoughts; especially if you ever tried looking for a tablet at a 'big box' store. Your choices don't have to be so overwhelming if you ask yourself a few questions, and compare the specifications of the product you are looking to buy. 1) How am I going to use the tablet? This should be one the first and most important questions to ask yourself. Are you going to play games? Is expandable storage important? Do you need a high definition front and back facing video camera? Do you have any proprietary software you plan on using exclusively? These questions will be answered for you depending on how you plan to use your tablet. 2) Do I need the latest hardware? Depending on your questions answered above, your hardware needs might vary from an Atom processor to the upcoming Tegra K1. If expandable storage is important, look for a tablet that has it. (Expandable storage on most tablets comes from SD and microSD cards.) If you plan on using the Wifi exclusively and have access to Wifi at both work and home, you should consider if the 3G package is worth the expense.
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How Agents Should Use Their iPad
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Do Luxury Clients Prefer iPhones?
I'm captivated by this map of iPhone users in New York City. It shows where Android and iOS users are concentrated geographically. And, surprise (or not?), the lines appear to be drawn along economic lines. iPhones users (in red) coat affluent Manhattan, while Android dominates the poorer outer boroughs. The trend stays true in other locales, as well--San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London all map out according to the same income pattern. Does this mean that luxury clients prefer premium-priced iPhones over lower cost Androids? The data seem to suggest that. If you serve the luxury market, consider switching to an iPhone to better reflect the values of your client base. And be sure that your website looks good and functions properly on the platform. Similarly, any apps you offer to clients (like branded search apps, eSign, etc.) need to work flawlessly on iOS.
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Your Lead Manager is Only as Great as the Leads That Fill It
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2013: The Year of Mobile
As a tech company with a popular mobile tool, we're in a unique position to observe technology trends as the years go by – and 2013 was certainly one for the books. What we saw in 2013 was double the number of people logging into our mobile applications--a trend that continues early into 2014. More specifically, we tracked over 15 million logins, over 40 million properties viewed, and over a billion photos viewed on mobile devices. Say it with me: WOW! Let's take a moment to look a bit closer at this trend. Why Mobile? This is a "chicken or the egg" sort of question. Part of the reason we're seeing such growth in mobile is that more real estate professionals are developing a purposeful mobile strategy and implementing effective mobile tools. However, the reason they're doing so is that more consumers are using mobile as part of their real estate transaction. NAR, for example, states that over 68% of homebuyers use their mobile devices to search for homes these days. Perhaps the largest use of real estate consumer mobile activity is when prospective homebuyers use a mobile device to begin their home search. This is where we come in, with our branded property search apps. Of course, if you don't provide an MLS data-driven property search app like ours to your buyer clients, they'll be getting their data from the other apps out there or from the mobile Web. Unless they're using an MLS app or the realtor.com® app, you can't be sure that the data they are looking at is accurate or up-to-date.
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Think Boomers Hate Tech? Think Again.
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Product Review: Team Phone
VoicePad has become an established leader for mobile property marketing. Always looking for new ways to serve the real estate community, they recently rolled-out a new product offering crafted specifically for real estate teams. Team Phone is a cloud-based phone system that was built with the goal of allowing teams to be more productive and more responsive to consumers' needs. The system, which is integrated with listing data, delivers automated property information, generates leads and automates many business processes. It requires no hardware or software and works with all mobile devices. Meet VoicePad If you're unfamiliar with the concept behind VoicePad, a basic introduction may help. They offer real estate professionals an integrated mobile property marketing platform that includes: call capture (with auto-recorded audio presentations), text (to receive property information via text with links to mobile Web) and mobile Web (mobile websites featuring virtual tours, photos, interactive maps, and online searches). VoicePad currently services over 1500 offices with over 65,000 agents in approximately 200 MLSs. The goal of VoicePad's mobile marketing strategies is, of course, lead generation. And VoicePad is taking their lead generation to the next level . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself; we'll talk about that next week. Now, let's talk about Team Phone.
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Selling to Gen X and Gen Y
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Update Your Real Estate Technology
There are some 2.8 million real estate agents in the United States, and arguably most of them are using outdated equipment and technology. Agents, by nature, cannot work chained to a desk. Software designed for desktop computers is passé and not effective. But most agents haven't made the switch. Is it time for you to update your real estate technology? We've explored some related statistics before. The average agent, according to NAR and other research firms, is between the ages of 54-58 – not exactly the demographic known for its early adoption of real estate technology or technology in general. But technology is making huge inroads, as portable and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones grow ever popular, helping to meet the need of buyers who are doing property searches in real time from their mobile phones, every day. Apple's influence, with the iPhone and iPad, has practically revolutionized parts of the real estate industry. Today, there is a firm niche for real estate software designed and developed specifically for mobile devices. These location aware apps and systems are available at a much lower price point than their desktop-based predecessors and cost a fraction of the money. Real estate agents now have the capability to work in real time, with all their business productivity software, no matter where they are.
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iPad Air Wins This Holiday Season
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Banish "One Size Fits All"
Prepare yourself for a shocker: your clients want you to listen to them. Perhaps you've heard this a few times before; but all too often, buyers and sellers feel unheard and unappreciated. Agents can fall into a "one size fits all" approach, losing their edge and their clients in the process. Instead, you can show your clients that you see them, hear them, and appreciate them by crafting a strategy that is unique to them. Need proof of how unique we all are? Just look at the way we decorate our homes. If you visit your buyer or seller clients in their home, you can't help but notice the art they've put on display, the type of furniture they've chosen, and the colors they've painted the walls. Is the style modern and minimal? Is it classic and traditional? You don't just need to extrapolate about a client's preferences based on their interior design choices. If you listen, they will tell you exactly what they like, what they dislike, and what they want from you. You can use what you learn to create a unique strategy for their real estate purchase or sale. How It's Done There are countless opportunities for customization in your dealings with buyers or sellers, many of which are possible through technology. Here are just three examples.
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Friday Freebie: Mobile Listing Builder from realtor.com®
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How to Gain Mobile Market Share and Minimize your Lost Customers
Dan shops for real estate from his desktop. That's how he found you. He visited your real estate website, submitted a lead, and you answered. You've worked with him for several months and he just hasn't found the right house for his family yet. Dan is also a mobile customer. He checks his email from his smartphone, searches homes while waiting in line at the local coffee shop, and occasionally relies on his smartphone to look up listings for sale in the area he drove through. Dan is your customer...but only half the time. When shopping from his desktop, he's using your website and the resources you've provided him. When shopping from his mobile phone, he found your desktop website difficult to navigate. The property search was hard to locate and use. The font was too small. He had to scroll side to side too much, even when zooming. And all those elements designed in Flash don't display, while some of those in JavaScript don't render correctly on his smaller smartphone screen. He can't even find your website when Googling it from his smartphone, because your desktop-optimized site doesn't rank well in mobile searches. He has since found a mobile-optimized website that he likes much better, but it's not yours. When trying to get quick answers on properties, he has found it much easier to submit them through that website rather than copy the MLS number and contact you about them.
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Lose the Paperwork, Build Your Business With the iPad
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Mobile Engagement
The explosion of mobile devices has changed how consumers search for real estate. More importantly, it's transformed how your website generates leads. Think that prospect who couldn't access your site on their iPhone will visit again from their laptop? Think again. The truth is, if your site isn't optimized for mobile, you're missing out on a huge number of leads. Mobile is an intimidating world, and it can be hard to know where to begin. In this week's Friday Freebie, we highlight a guide that can show you exactly where to start. Download a free whitepaper from Delta Media Group Delta Media Group started seeing dramatic changes in consumers' online search behavior starting in 2010. "Those changes in behavior are maturing now," said Delta CEO Mike Minard in a recent interview. "The method in which REALTORS® need to engage these customers is different." To get agents and brokers up to speed on these changes, Delta has released an informative white paper that's easy to read, regardless of your level of tech savvy. "The Mobile Customer Experience: Trending, Optimization, and Application" explores recent trends in online engagement, backed by traffic statistics from over 35,000 websites. In this free paper, agents and brokers will learn more about: Mobile engagement trends Measuring client expectations Mobile web vs. apps Click here to download the white paper now!
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Agents: Avoid Client Dissatisfaction
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Friday Freebie: Mobile Listing Marketing Platform from realtor.com®
Bridge the gap between your offline and online marketing efforts. Realtor.com®'s mobile microsite builder enables you to instantly connect with interested homebuyers who see your listing's yard sign, print flyers, and more. Free Mobile Listing Builder from realtor.com® Today's mobile user expects instant access to information from wherever they are. Provide potential buyers what they want with a mobile microsite from realtor.com®. The sites are a snap to create with realtor.com®'s Mobile Listing Builder. In about 30 seconds, you can make an informative microsite that tells consumers all about your listing and how to contact you! Print the automatically generated QR code on your yard signs, flyers, and other marketing materials. Buyers can instantly scan the code with their smartphone to access information on your mobile microsite. You can also use the included short URL to drive traffic to your site via text or social media. Click here to learn more about building a property-specific mobile microsite.
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The Thin Line Between Great and Not-So-Great Real Estate Marketers
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Use "SoLoMo" Marketing to Speed Up Your Exposure
How often do you use your mobile device to search for local information or to check out what's happening on a social media site? If you are like most Americans, it's probably all the time. In fact, one half of local searches are performed on the mobile web, while 91 percent of mobile access is for social activities. But did you know that this could affect your business? This is why the SoLoMo concept is making a buzz in the marketing worl. It is also why Homes.com is conducting a survey to see how real estate professionals are using the Social-Local-Mobile strategy to advertise their business. Although there are many different means of promoting a business, Homes.com is here to explain that real estate professionals should take advantage of SoLoMo and why it's not just another short lived marketing trend. What is SoLoMo? An acronym for Social-Local-Mobile, it combines social media, geo-targeting and mobile communication so that marketers can identify and connect with consumers even easier. This concept resulted from the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets that are being integrated with advance geo-location technology. Already being used by applications like FourSquare, geo-location provides search engines with a user's real-time location and incorporates the information being shared on social channels to supply the best search results.
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Changing Consumer Expectations: Three Ways to Adapt
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How Real Estate Agents are Using Mobile Technology
Guest contributor Properties Online says: 2012 was a big year for mobile technology and social media use – especially in the real estate sector. Mobile technology has been called a 'Game Changer' for the modern REALTOR®, and social media offers a promising return on investment. Let's take a closer look at just how real estate agents are using mobile technology and social media. A Look at Mobile Technology The most popular device purchased by real estate agents in 2012 was a smartphone (44 percent), followed by tablets (27 percent) and laptops (19 percent). According to Pew Research's study "Mobile is the needle; Social is the thread," internet use in the U.S. has increased from 14 percent to 82 percent since 1995. Eighty-five percent of adults in America have a cellphone, of which 45 percent use smartphones, two-thirds are wireless internet users, and slightly over 66 percent of online adults use social media. The survey also revealed that: 83% of REALTORS® believe mobile technology has enhanced their real estate business 92% of real estate agents believe mobile technology has increased their efficiency 63% of REALTORS® believe they need the latest technology for their real estate business Real estate is about relationships and locations – it is not best served by being chained to an office or a desk. Mobile technology frees the real estate agent to work and connect with clients where ever and whenever.
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DOs and DON’Ts of Texting for Real Estate Agents
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Responsive Websites for Real Estate
This post comes to us from BrokerageU: Since the addition of smartphones, the entire world of websites has had to keep up. Initially, mobile optimization was easily the least important aspect of a website; however, this school of thought has recently shifted almost 100% in the opposite direction. In the past there were two main choices for the presentation of your website: you would have your main web-ready site, and then another completely different site created for mobile. Next, there came the ability to optimize your main site for mobile, meaning that the user is able to navigate the site no matter what device they choose to use without getting a huge headache. The feature that I'm really excited right now is the world of Responsive Web Design. You can begin to see these sites pop up in more and more places, including in the real estate industry. It is absolutely crucial for you as an agent to offer your leads and clients the most simple to use system possible. The goal here is to do whatever you can to simplify the way that prospects can search for homes and view listings in the shortest amount of time. What exactly is a responsive website? It's one single platform that will tailor its performance to respond to its environment. The actual display and organization of the site content is completely dependent upon which device and browser size that the customer is using.
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The Impact of Increasingly Mobile Technology on Real Estate Pros
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Responsive Design: All platforms, all users
It's becoming increasingly apparent that the future of computing is moving from one type of screen – traditional computer monitors – to many types of screens with a plethora of different sizes and resolutions. Smartphone and tablet sales are outpacing PCs, and innovative web-browsing technologies, like Google Glass and the iWatch, appear to be on the horizon. What does this mean for websites everywhere? To stay ahead of the curve, you need a site that looks good and functions well on any and all devices. It's time to take steps towards responsive design. In fact, Mashable.com – one of the Internet's most popular news and technology blogs – has declared 2013 the "year of responsive web design." What Is It? Responsive design is the practice of creating a website that provides an optimal viewing experience across all devices. Responsive web designs resize and reformat page content in response to screen size and resolution. More Views, Higher Quality Responsive websites reach more consumers because they tend to appear higher in search engine rankings. Why? Because they have a single URL, instead of multiple URLs for different versions of a site. This makes it easier for crawlers to discover and eventually index content. Responsive sites also load faster than mobile sites because mobile sites have to be redirected to the mobile URL. Responsive sites do not have to be redirected. Faster load times can boost your search result rankings.
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