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3 Forms of Tech That Are Changing the Real Estate Market
The future is right around the corner. Agents and brokers need to prepare for digital technology that could (maybe) change how or why people buy and sell homes. Here is our top three emerging real estate technologies that could (again, maybe) affect the real estate industry in a big, bad way. Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be spent globally, and are not affected by taxes or regulatory laws. Finite in nature, new "internet money" can never be created or reprinted. A wide range of businesses are starting to accept these as a legitimate form of payment, including the real estate industry. Real estate can be bought with these virtual currencies, and not talking about dinky lots in the middle of nowhere. Need an apartment building in Romania? An industrial lot in El Paso, Texas? What about a 2-bedroom apartment in London? All of these properties, and more, can be purchased with Bitcoin or other forms of virtual currency. So, how does this affect industry buyers and sellers? Well, not much if your brokerage or business does not accept virtual currency. Although most businesses don't accept these as actual payment, some large brokerages (like this one in New York) around the world have started. This is not unique to the real estate industry, a survey given to U.S. retailers showed that 8 percent plan on accepting Bitcoin by 2016. Not bad for a form of currency that's been around for less than a decade. Much to the U.S. government's dismay, virtual currencies are here to stay. If they start growing in popularity with in the coming years, it may be in your best interest to accept "internet bucks."
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Why You Should Use QR Codes as a Real Estate Agent
QR Codes or Quick Response Codes are a quick and easy way for real estate professionals to drive mobile traffic to their website. It allows a person to scan what is effectively a barcode with their mobile phone, accessing online information instantly. How would this work for real estate, you ask? In seconds, with the use of a smart phone, a user can scan the code and be redirected to a designated website, where they can find additional details and photos of a property listed for sale. Services like Listings Unlimited provide a built-in tracker that will tell you how many people used the QR Code to visit your property site. In real estate, there are three popular uses for QR Codes: 1. QR Codes in print media. This enables homebuyers who pick a flyer to quickly get to a website filled with rich information and color photos of the house. The idea is that instead of typing a long web address into their phone, the prospect can quickly and easily get to the same place and get all the information they need. QR codes beautifully connect offline with online, making the most of what modern technology has to offer, and – most importantly – engaging leads.
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Best of 2013: Real Estate Yard Signs: Breathing New Life Into an Old Friend
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QR Codes: Why and Why Not
Do QR codes kill kittens? I just read Scott's new book about these controversial codes. I pretty much love everything Scott Stratten does. The man is a genius. However, I was a little underwhelmed with his latest book that took me 39 minutes to read. It was the first book I ever read that was written in the language of "Twitter" -- a picture, then two sentences, another picture, then three sentences. When I read a book, I want to be immersed and dive deep into the topic at hand. This book never took me there. I will still hang on to every word Scott says on his site, UnMarketing.com, but was honestly let down by his book. So to ride his coattails, since QR codes are a hot topic right now, I have a guest contributor that has a different perspective! It is always good to keep an open mind and listen to different opinions. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. We always enjoy a healthy debate here! QR codes are a marketing subject that has been the attention of ebbs and flows of negative and positive criticisms. Many people feel that these codes are just too much of a hassle, and ask way too much of potential viewers. First, the viewer must have a smartphone, they also must have an application enabling the scanning of these codes, and then there is the task of the viewer actually performing the capture and scan actions. This extensive list of factors necessary for a QR marketing technique to work eliminates a great deal of the target population from ever accessing the function of this code -- whether due to their technology limitations or their unwillingness to perform the tasks of scanning.
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6 Marketing Tools to Build Your Business
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Friday Freebie: Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System
There are a lot of things you can do to market your listings online. The problem? Sometimes there's too much. Too many marketing tools to choose from, and none that work together in a way that simplifies your life. If you're overwhelmed by all the choices available to you, consider a single integrated marketing solution, like this week's Friday Freebie! Free 30-day trial of the Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System The Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System is an all-in-one marketing solution that lets you consolidate all your online marketing efforts in one place. The platform is fully mobile compatible and is available to agents, teams and offices. Here's a look at some of the features that work together to create cohesive marketing campaigns for your listings: Narrated tours and property videos Listing and mobile agent websites Text/QR code lead generation and capture Statistics and seller reports Social networking National syndication Print materials Social networking and more! To sign-up for a free 30-day trial, call Home Zone at (888) 882-1259.
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Friday Freebie: Mobile Listing Marketing Platform from realtor.com®
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Real Estate Yard Signs: Breathing New Life Into an Old Friend
When one considers how much business we get from that thing sticking in the front lawn of our listings, it's amazing how we take them for granted. One phone call and the sign is installed to our specifications. Another one and it's taken down and stored. Most agents never touch their signs unless it's to re-attach a wind-blown rider. Like most aspects of the real estate industry, real estate yard signage is changing. History of Real Estate Signage Historically, real estate signs served two purposes: They advertised a piece of property for sale and provided contact information to interested buyers. With the formation of real estate brokerages, real estate signs added another dimension: the opportunity to distinguish one company from another. It worked, too. Brokerages such as Century 21, Re/Max and Coldwell Banker created signs that remained the same for decades, firmly branding their logo into the minds of consumers. This all started to shift about a decade ago, according to Monte Pratt of Jack Pratt Signs. "Agents no longer wanted to wrap their identity into the broker's identity," he recalls.
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5 Ways to Market with Video
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3 Tricks for Wooing Window Shoppers
Does your brokerage post your active listings on the window of your office to catch the attention of passers-by? Are they just printouts directly from the MLS? If so, you're missing an opportunity. Here's how to maximize your brokerage window "real estate." 1) Post flyers with marketing edge, not MLS printouts. Your MLS system is an invaluable source of data, resources, and much more. However, when you print out the property details of an active listing directly from the MLS, you won't be getting a slick marketing tool. True, your data will be accurate, but the presentation will probably leave much to be desired. Greg Robertson of Cloud CMA suggests an alternative: print out flyers instead of property details from the MLS. "Many tools used to create flyers are pulling MLS data directly, so you're still maintaining the accuracy without sacrificing visual appeal," Mr. Robertson explains. "If someone is passing by your window quickly, you have only a moment to capture their attention. You're much more likely to do this if you're using a sales-oriented flyer rather than an information-oriented document from the MLS." A robust CMA isn't the only tool to explore for flyers. You may also find that your single property website provider (i.e. ePropertySites), CRM, or online marketing solution (i.e. REALTOR.com, Market Leader, Homes Connect) also gives you the ability to create flyers for your listings.
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QR Codes: Countering 5 Objections
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Product Review: Cloud CMA
If you're in the market for a CMA product, you've likely heard of Cloud CMA. It's gaining buzz as a fast, easy, and aesthetically pleasing tool for sharing reports with buyers and sellers. In today's product review, we'll look at the report sets available within Cloud CMA, some key features of the product, and guide you through your next steps. The Basics Unlike many CMA products that require a manual transfer of information from your MLS to your CMA tool, Cloud CMA is already connected to your MLS. Cloud CMA leverages MLS data, as well as data from other sources, to create informative reports that agents can use to educate and better serve their clients. Cloud CMA currently works with more than 50 MLSs nationwide (including Rappatoni, flexmls from FBS, and Paragon by LPS) and continues to expand into new markets. Curious to see whether or not Cloud CMA is available in your area? Click here to see the drop-down menu of available MLSs. Report Sets 1. CMA When creating a CMA report in Cloud CMA, you have two methods for obtaining comparable properties. You can either enter specific properties by their MLS number or perform a "quick and dirty" proximity search. As with any CMA, you have the ability to customize the recommended listing price. Once the report is generated, it will include supplemental pages such as, "What is a CMA?" and an Online Valuation Analysis page. These additional pages contain information from top rated sites all over the web.
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A 3-Step Real Estate Mobile Marketing Strategy, Inspired by My Dentist
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You’re Doing it Wrong: 6 Real Estate Technology Mistakes
Guest contributor Michelle Costa of Showing Suite says: Many agents consider themselves "real estate technology gurus," but just because you have a website and a Facebook page does not necessarily mean you are utilizing them correctly. Nowadays, agents must learn how to take advantage of technology – everything from Internet marketing and savvy use of the MLS system, to making a home's details and photos attractive and accessible to potential buyers through mobile technologies. What ways can you avoid making real estate technology mistakes? Take a look at the most commonplace mistakes: 1. QR Codes: This is one of the most widely misused real estate technology methods. One of the most common mistakes is when a QR code does not lead to a mobile friendly web page. This completely defeats the purpose, since QR codes are meant to be scanned with a mobile device. Also, we've witnessed agents sticking QR codes in places that aren't exactly the most well thought out--like on a car, for example (accident, anyone?!). 2. Blogging: Having a blog is a great start, but you need to be sure you are actually using it. If you don't frequently post on your blog, it is actually hurting you more than not having a blog at all. Be sure your blog is properly optimized as well by targeting the right keywords in the body and title of each post, and include images in each post.
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Maximize Your Signage with Short Codes and QR Codes
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Friday Freebie: Clikbrix
Let's face it – mobile is BIG right now. In fact, experts predict that by 2013 more people will use their mobile devices to get online than PC's. If you haven't already, it's time for you to "get your feet wet." We've got a great way to do it – Clikbrix is offering a free mobile website and QR code platform for real estate agents and brokers that engages homebuyers with much more than basic MLS data. Free Agent Account from ClikbrixThe Free Agent account from Clikbrix equips agents with features such as: Your custom-branded, device-optimized mobile website that includes your professional profile page, plus 3 property listing pages Innovative tools that speak to the 'lifestyle' needs of your homebuyers including, Neighborhood Insider, What's Nearby, Seller's Story and Google+ Virtual Open House, plus Mobile Video integration Open house scheduling One-touch lead generation contact page One-touch social network sharing OnlyCode™ Individual property listing codes Full screen photo gallery Map/"Get Directions" Real-time reporting Tech support Opportunity to purchase designer QR codes If you fall in love with what Clikbrix has to offer, you can upgrade to a paid account and gain access to unlimited property listing pages, MLS/IDX integration (in select locations), and property search functionality. To register for the free account, click here.
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The Five Rules of QR Codes
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The Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Integrating QR Codes Into Your Marketing Tactics
This article was written by our wonderful new contributor, Erik Goldhar of Clikbrix. We are at about the 18 month mark where QR Codes have, and continue to be rapidly adopted as a bonafide marketing technology for REALTORS®. Still, despite the explosive uptake in the technology we are noticing that many are still not using it the best ways possible to optimize results. Here are the most common pitfalls and what not to do when implementing QR Codes: 1. Do Not Link Your QR Code To Your Desktop WebsitePeople scan QR Codes with their Smartphones. If you link them to a Desktop website the experience will not be great and opportunity will be lost. The most important thing to remember in QR Code marketing is not the QR Code...it is the site your QR Code resolves to.This site needs to be built for MOBILE devices. Building a mobile version of your site does not mean creating a mobile version of your entire Desktop site. It's critical to put yourself in the mindset of the mobile user, who is typically short on time and short on attention. Concentrate on providing them with the information they want...property details including rich property imagery, your contact information and ideally a concise yet compelling description of you. The "Top 10 tips on how to stage your home" and "Mortgage Calculators" are valuable but best left for your Desktop website.
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QR Technology Approaching Ubiquity in U.S.
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So Happy Together: Google+ and QR Codes
The beautiful thing about Google+ is that it is web based using HTML5. Because of this Circles, Hangouts, Profiles, etc all have dedicated URLs. So how could you use Google+ and QR Codes to make the mobile experience better and easier to access for individuals and brands alike?...here are some ideas and please add you own:
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A perfect example of effective,consumer-oriented marketing
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Make it there – you’ll make it anywhere
Having attended the NAR Midyear meetings in DC recently and keeping my ear close to the street on the mobile buzz, it seems to me that there are still those that doubt the viability of QR Codes.  Are they a phase/craze?  Will they be obsolete by next year?  While these are all viable questions to ask when discussing new technology the fact remains, QR Codes are NOT new technology. The awareness of QR Codes has simply exploded over the past 6 months.  In addition, I have recently seen evidence that QR Codes are in fact here to stay.  In fact, if you believe in the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s classic tune, New York New York and the line “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere” then you shall now believe that QR Codes are here to stay also.
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Making Room in Your Ecosystem for QR Codes
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4 Great Things QR Codes Say about You
We're all probably familiar with QR codes. The small squares that look almost like fingerprints, actually are a bit like fingerprints, digital fingerprints. You stick your QR code on a flyer, business card, property sign, advertisement, or website. When scanned by a Smartphone, the QR codes will send users wherever you'd like them to go on the Internet (i.e. your website).
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Guide to Video Marketing
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3 Practical Takeaways To Boost Productivity
In this week's episode of The Queue I get back to basics and provide 3 practical takeaways to help your productivity. This week in the Queue: Rescue Time Mophie Kayawa Save the Zebra  
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5 Good Reasons to Use QR Codes
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The Truth about QR Codes
Guest contributor John Lim says: Unless you have been on a hiatus since the NAR Conference in New Orleans last November, spending all the money you made selling real estate on Facebook, you've probably noticed small, square codes popping up in places like print ads, magazines, billboards and trade-show booths. These useful, efficient little marvels are QR codes, also known as Quick Response Codes. They are all the rage in the real estate industry right now. Although virtually ubiquitous in Europe and Japan, they're just starting to gain popularity in the States. QR codes are readable by almost all smartphones and, with a simple scan, can drive a mobile phone user to any type of content—a website, someone's contact information, or even a simple message.
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Time to Reinvent the QR Code?
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Custom QR Codes: Be Strategic!
As QR Code technology continues to expand and diversify in the real estate space and beyond, flexibility with this technology becomes more interesting. Some agents may just want a sticker to stick on their For Sales sign to point home buyers to their website, property details or to give their contact information. Other may have researched all the available QR Code technology solutions tailored for real estate needs, and not found what they are looking for. QR Codes are versatile; they can be used, as we have seen, for mobile marketing, pointing to websites, they can point to mobile applications, and the can lead home buyers to an agent’s contact information.  They can be showcased in a variety of marketing materials like For Sale signs, property flyers, added to websites and property detail pages. 
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Use QR Codes to Avoid Facebook's Pay-per-Click Charge!
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When It Comes to QR Codes, What About Clikbrix?
QR codes are addictive, especially for those of us who like to walk around entertaining ourselves with our high tech phones.  Each time you scan there is a sense of excitement and anticipation – especially with those QR marketing campaigns that purposely hold back information that is ultimately translated to your phone. It’s like getting the white mystery flavored Skittle in your bag of colorful candy and finding out a whole new flavor like root beer! If you are curious, go to m.clickbrix.com on your mobile browser. It will magically pick the right reader for your phone. Once you have loaded the QR reader to your phone (as mentioned in the first part of this series), scan the QR code to the left for a special offer.  A great site to find the QR Reader of choice is http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/ QR codes are popping up everywhere now: billboards, price tags, websites, newspapers, blogs, and other marketing mediums. Now they’re also popping up in the real estate space! And tech savvy vendors to the real estate industry are embracing this technology in a variety of ways – linking to profile pages, linking to property pages, linking to virtual tours, linking to neighborhood tours, etc. This week we were able to preview the Clikbrix QR code solution for real estate professionals. We spoke with Erik Goldhar, co-founder of QR marketing agency, ‘QRe8 Mobile Experience’, the parent company of Clikbrix.com. Goldhar has a background in Canada’s digital marketing and ad world. Clikbrix and QRe8.com have been working on QR codes for the past 2.5 years and saw a gaping opportunity for this technology in the American real estate space. During this call we were able to understand several of Clikbrix’s points of view regarding the following: 1.) What are the benefits of using QR codes to promote real estate business?2.) What are some industry challenges you see with QR codes for marketing?3.) What solution is Clikbrix offering to the industry?
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Want to Track the Effectiveness of Your QR Codes?
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Using QR Codes to Market Each Property Listings
Where else could QR codes be flaunted to attract the eye of homebuyers trolling neighborhoods, looking for their dream home?  For Sale signs!  Homebuyers cruising around on a Sunday afternoon pursuing attractive neighborhoods can scan a QR code from a For Sale sign from their car and view photos, property details, pricing, open house schedule and the listing agent’s contact information.  In an era of convenience and catering to the consumer, QR codes start to look for attractive in promoting real estate listings. This week we were able to preview a marketing solution by Homefinder.com that provides a QR code component for real estate professionals. We spoke with Mark Tepper, VP of Business Development and Sales, specifically with regards to QR codes.
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When It Comes to QR Codes, What About Clikbrix?
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What are QR Codes?
Want to stay on the cutting edge of technology?  Here is a cool new technology that has just entered the real estate scene. Imagine the small black and white box to your left could be used to translate your new listing properties details, photos and take homebuyers directly to your website? Meet QR codes. Small and powerful, mobile devices can scan the small code in seconds and get access the information they seek, right from their phones. It is quick and convenient. Techies and Smartphone users are embracing this new technology in droves. In response to this new technology and the benefits it holds for the real estate industry, here are some interesting things about QR codes. What is a QR code?
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