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5 Tech Tools to Elevate Your Next Real Estate Video
There are a lot of considerations to make before you film a real estate video: what to say, what to wear, where to shoot. However, one of the biggest questions real estate agents face before delving into the world of video marketing is what to buy. What technology will help you produce the best video and how much do you need to invest? If you're just starting out and have a decent smartphone, that's a great place to start. The camera and microphone should be able to record a decent video. If you are thinking about taking your quality up a step, consider pairing some of these items with your smartphone for higher quality results without having to invest a fortune in video equipment.
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Top 22 Real Estate Marketing Tools and Strategies for Agents
Real estate marketing has never been easier – or harder. You can setup an ad campaign in minutes, but so can everyone else. And you're not just competing against other agents. Now you're also competing against new real estate tech companies like Opendoor and Knock, which have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. On top of all that, you're juggling sellers, buyers, lenders, inspectors...we can keep going. So how are you staying ahead?
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Top Tools, Templates and Tech for Listing Leads
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Best Real Estate Instagram Accounts to Follow
When I decided on a career in real estate, my parents weren't surprised at all. Back in my school days, kids my age were watching MTV Road Rules while I was watching The Real Estate Channel. It's weird, but true, call my mom. (MTV did finally jump on the boat and introduced MTV Cribs.) We may have traded the listings channel for HGTV, but one fact remains: these channels exist for the millions of us who are fascinated by other people's homes. Now, to get your real estate fix on the go, let's explore the best real estate Instagram accounts to follow.
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Safe Selling: Protecting Yourself as a Real Estate Agent
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6 Tools to Help Your Social Media Thrive
Most agents know what social media platforms they should be using. What they don't know, however, is that there are many tools that can make success on social media easier. Take a look at these six recommended tools to help your social media thrive.
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Must-Follow Pages and Facebook Groups for Your Real Estate Business
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Top 10 Closing Gifts for Your Clients During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th every year, and each year many people are unprepared when a storm heads their way. If you're tired of buying the same old closing gift or still searching for a gift that really resonates with your buyers and sellers, consider some of these closing gift ideas. They're not just perfect for new homeowners; they are a great way to help your clients get a headstart on their hurricane preparedness.
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Top 10 Real Estate Podcasts (in Our Opinion)
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5 Facebook Groups Realtors Should Join Today
Whether you're a personal Facebook fanatic or prefer to keep things strictly business, there's no doubt that the platform is a valuable place to exchange ideas with like-minded people. REALTORS have much to gain from engaging through Facebook--and we're not just talking about social media marketing. Facebook Groups for real estate are excellent places to trade tips, speak with other pros, and catch up on the hottest trends in the real estate industry. Now it's simply a matter of finding the right Facebook Group for you, and there are loads of great options to choose from. Start your search with our guide to five Facebook groups that REALTORS® should join today.
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10 Real Estate Apps that Will Amplify Your Productivity
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The 5 Real Estate Apps Every Agent Should Be Using
In this day and age, it is not hard to be addicted to your phone. Real estate agents are always on the go, making their mobile devices crucial to the way they run their business. While you probably have your go-to apps that help you get through your day, there are a few real estate apps that can make your life as a busy agent a little bit easier. Try out these five real estate apps and see if they can help you accomplish more tasks in a shorter amount of time:
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Top 10 Podcasts for Real Estate Pros
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Get Ready to Knock Your 2019 Taxes Out Cold with These Apps!
Sometimes in real estate you have to learn to roll with the punches, but other times your success can be assured with a little advanced planning. For tax purposes, that means choosing a good expense-tracking strategy before the year is too far along. So, let's get ready to itemize with this list of popular, well-reviewed expense tracking apps!
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Thoughtful Closing Gifts to Give Your Clients in 2019
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Outsource These 6 Tasks to Save Time
As a real estate agent, there's plenty of work that you want to manage yourself — as Jessica Stanley, founder of HomeFile, says, "Anything that has to do with negotiations or money ... you should be aware every step of the way." There are plenty of professional and personal tasks that require your oversight, but there are others that take up time you could be spending on more important things. It makes sense to outsource some routine tasks because it'll free you up to focus on things like business development and lead generation, and that can lead to faster revenue and growth. So where can you start to get some time back each day? Here are six tasks — with accompanying apps — that you can leave to someone else:
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[Best of 2018] 10 Apps that Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Firepower
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Holiday Gifts Your Clients Are Sure to Love
The holidays are a fun time of year. Spending time with family and friends seem to be the common theme for the season. Of course, you will also spend plenty of time selecting gifts for your family and friends. But what about your clients? There is no rule that says that you MUST get your clients a gift for the holidays. But if you feel that you should, we have some ideas for you. With everything from home decor to a gift card to a local restaurant, we've got you covered. After you read this, you should be able to get that holiday shopping list finished up pretty quickly.
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10 Gorgeous Gadgets and Accessories for Road Warriors
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8 Cool, Affordable Tech Gifts
Each year, we try to find affordable, cool tech tools and gear of the season that real estate agents and brokers would either like to give (great closing gifts) or even receive! Here's our holiday gift guide to tech gifts that are cool, affordable and highly practical.
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5 Essential Apps for Real Estate Agents
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9 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Boost Their Productivity
Real estate agents pack as much into each day as possible — from client meetings to open houses to contracts — all while on the go and from their phones. Every minute made more efficient means more time to spend on lead generation and growth, so anything to help productivity makes a huge difference. Here are nine ways to help you work smarter every single day — plus the apps that'll help you get there:
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Get Organized! 6 Business Apps that Can Help
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From Books to Podcasts: Best Resources for New Real Estate Agents
New real estate agents everywhere--it's time to study up! From your lunch break to your morning commute to the office, reading real estate books, listening to awesome podcasts, and browsing some of the best online resources is the best way to advance your career (other than getting out there and working with more clients). We've compiled a group of resources for new real estate agents that includes websites, books, and podcasts to keep your brain active and entertained, and most importantly provide you with skills and knowledge to help you advance your marketing strategy, client relationships, and overall expertise.
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10 Apps that Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Firepower
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
Photos are often the first thing a potential buyer sees, and they leave a big first impression — buyers spend just seconds looking at that first photo before deciding whether they're interested. Houses are huge investments, so even if a home looks stunning in person, a bad photo can sour buyers on it instantly. Many real estate agents hire professional photographers and consider the cost to be an investment in their own marketing (and time-saving) that'll pay off in the long-run. Though we encourage agents to bring in outside expertise, we also understand that it's an investment not everyone can make. So if you're playing the part of photographer and agent, check out these tips and apps that you can use to show your listing in the best possible light (there's really an app that can help you find the best light!):
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7 Helpful Tools to Digitize Your Real Estate Business
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Good Small Business Solutions: What They Are and How Agents Can Take Advantage
Whether you're looking for something that can help you with finances or document management, there are solutions for almost every need. Here are some of the best software tools and apps that are ideal for real estate agents. They can help you be more productive, develop better client relationships, and generate more sales.
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Top Apps for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
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Top Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018
Your job as a real estate agent is complex, with lots to remember and lots to get done every single day. There are innumerable contact management, CRM tools and apps available. But you need to be sure they actually help and don't simply add more work for you. Instead, take advantage of this list of contact management software and customer relationship management tools we've gathered from top agents to help you accomplish things more quickly and efficiently.
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Top (Free) Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018
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9 Apps for Mastering Productivity
Looking for real estate productivity tools to help you make the most of your ever-shrinking calendar? No matter how or where your schedule's ailing, rest assured, there's an app for that.
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Top Phones for Real Estate Professionals in 2017
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The 12 Top Real Estate Podcasts
If we've learned anything, it's that podcasts are here... and they're here to stay. They've simultaneously brought back the art of the classic radio show in episodic form, or serial, as well as given voice to a lot of experts in fields that may not have necessarily had an outlet or voice before podcasts entered the scene. Now, what good is this for you, a real estate agent? The rise of podcasts' popularity has been large in part due to the fact that the information is easily digestible while on the go—and whether you're listening on your daily commute to and from work, or listening to your favorite podcast while cooking dinner, podcasts have become the perfect multi-tasking information source. Perfect, if you ask us, for real estate agents who live largely on their mobile devices or in their car, and who might just need a diversion or an information boost from fellow agents and real estate professionals. That's why we pulled together this list of the top real estate podcasts.
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Must-Have Apps for Real Estate Pros
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14 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2017
Chances are you're a busy REALTOR® who relies on word of mouth or happenstance to learn about the latest and greatest apps. If so, the RPR team is here for you. Here are 14 top trending real estate apps that we believe will support your core business activities. The list might even include apps for tasks or practices that you have yet to consider or procrastinated on, concerned they are too expensive or too difficult to adopt. Fear not, almost all of these apps are free or have upgrades starting at just $5 a month.
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The Road to Recognition: How Do You Market Your Real Estate Brand?
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5 Email Tools to Make Follow-Ups Easier
Do you remember the days when email was in its infancy? Do you remember the days when you spent more time checking your answering machine and fax machine than your inbox? While this may have been a simpler time in some ways, things have changed over the years. In today's world, email remains the number one form of professional communication. It's common to have a love-hate relationship with your inbox. On the plus side, you enjoy the fact that you can communicate in a fast and efficient manner, all without having to jump on the phone or meet in person. Conversely, there's no denying the fact that "inbox overload" is a real thing. Some people become so overwhelmed that it negatively impacts the way they manage their inbox and how they follow-up on important conversations. Fortunately, there are a variety of email tools that can help you get organized and stay organized. Here are several of the top tools that make email follow-up easier. 1. FollowUp.cc If Gmail is your email provider of choice, FollowUp.cc is a feature packed tool that can save you time and keep your inbox organized. Top features include: Schedule follow-up reminders (these cancel automatically if you receive a response before your scheduled reminder). Add notes and tags for any contact. View your conversation history to ensure that you take the right steps in the future. FollowUp.cc is lightweight, easy to use, and powerful.
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How to Use Google Keep for Real Estate
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Four Time-saving Tools that You Need For YOUR Real Estate Practice
Recently, I wrote an article about specific ways you can ensure consistency in your real estate marketing plans. One part of the article talks about using technology, and I am remiss in that I promised to share with you some of my favorite tools and have not. So today, to right that wrong, I am going to share some of my favorite time-saving technology tools that you can institute today to help you become more consistent in all your real estate marketing practices. 1. Boomerang If you are anything like me, you are getting hundreds and hundreds of emails per day. Some of them are simple interactions that you can handle right at that second and move on. Some, though, are things that maybe you want to temporarily ignore and come back to later. Or, even something you give an immediate response to, but also need a reply from whomever you sent that reply email to. The more emails you deal with, the more likely emails like those are going to end up buried in your inbox, or forgotten all together. Boomerang keeps this from happening. It works with both Gmail and Outlook. Using their "in browser" tool, you can take any email message and set it to reappear in your inbox, at a later date. For instance, if you just don't want to deal with a message at the moment, schedule it for a later date, and it will appear at the top of your inbox at that date/time. If you reply to someone, you can set the Boomerang reminder to appear at the top of your inbox at a specific date and time, as well. BUT, more specifically, you can specify that you only want it to do so if no reply has been received. That is a pretty handy way to instantly be reminded that you did not hear back from someone. How many times have you gotten leads, only to eventually have them fall through the cracks when communication suddenly broke down? Boomerang will eliminate that possibility.
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10 Top Apps for 2017, Recommended by Top Agents
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3 Real Estate Tech Tools This YPN Chairperson Can’t Live Without
Young people are entering the real estate industry in waves, and among them is a new breed of tech-friendly enthusiasts who believe digital is today and tomorrow's path to success. Yet, with new tech tools introduced almost daily to the real estate market, identifying and adopting only the most valuable digital assets becomes a challenge—and sometimes with very little return on investment. Five years ago, Jesicca Skoloda, a degreed business major who worked about 70 hours a week managing a jewelry store, decided she had more to bring to the table. Recognizing her aptitude for generating business, her love of technological tools, and her entrepreneurial spirit, Jesicca set out to earn her real estate license. Today, Jesicca is within the top one percent of producers for the Luzerne County Association of REALTORS® and is consistently a Top Producer at Classic Properties—a company that serves more than five Pennsylvania counties with about 100 agents. Jesicca, 30, has already sold nearly 20 million dollars in real estate since entering the industry. To what does this rising star and chair of her local Young Professionals Network (YPN) attribute her good fortune? In addition to intrinsic qualities such as self-determination, energy, and confidence, Jesicca says her success stems from a willingness to embrace the tools that keep her and her clients informed and on track. Here are Jessica's top three producing apps.
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10 Must-Read Books All Agents Need to Study
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5 Professionals for the Best Real Estate Partner Referrals
If you don't have specific referral partnerships with other professionals in your community, then you're missing out on some piping hot leads. As a Realtor, you're expected to be the person that is well connected and can make introductions for just about anything someone new to the neighborhood might need or is looking for. Getting strategic and thinking about all the needs your clients might have – ahead of time – and knowing the right person to introduce them to, will be valuable to your clients and those professionals you end up recommending. If you set up partnerships, those introductions will turn into leads as well. If you need more proof before moving forward, check out this study from Community 2 Business. Eighty percent of people look to others for referrals before making a purchasing decision. That's good news for you and your partners. You can both grow your businesses for each other. If you're looking to go down the path of garnering more partnerships with local business people and professionals, these are our top 5 recommendations. A partnership with these professionals could go a long way in creating a healthy relationship that acts as a source for trusted and qualified leads from referrals. Home Service Providers If you're trying to find more people who are selling their homes, these people are definitely going to know who they are. Having one person you have a partnership with in each will make this a lucrative category for you. Plumber Electrician Painters Lawn Care/Landscaping Full Service Construction Contractor
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10 Real Estate Influencers to Have on Your Radar
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Best Online Tools and Apps for Real Estate Agents
It's a wonderful time to be an agent with all the helpful tools available to the real estate industry. Technology offers us so many ways to stay connected, safe, organized and keep learning about real estate. Are you taking advantage of the powerful apps and websites online to help you save time? We've compiled a list of 10 terrific online tools and apps for real estate agents to help you accomplish more and make your life easier: Wi-Fi Finder - For members of an industry who spend a lot of time on the go, searching for Wi-Fi can be a tedious process, but still preferable over data charges! Check out Wi-Fi Finder, a free app that will help you locate free or paid Wi-Fi wherever you are. The app uses the GPS function of your smartphone to tell you exactly where the closest Wi-Fi hotspot is, and how to get there. Bonus: it doesn't require Wi-Fi to use the app! Prezi - Looking to make a real estate listing presentation that will really wow your audience? Check out Prezi. This visually stunning presentation editor allows you to display information on or offline, collaborate with teammates, and import images and videos. Since Prezi is a cloud-based program, you can use it to present from your desktop, iPhone, or iPad, making it a terrific option for displaying information at an open house or a last minute meeting in a coffee shop. Prezi is free if you're okay with all of your presentations being public. There is a low monthly cost for making your presentations private. Google Alerts - One of many useful tools from Google, this free service allows you to receive notifications every time your name, business name, or any topic that interests you is mentioned online. You can control how often alerts will be emailed to you, keeping you in the loop each time your business is mentioned. Try setting up an alert for the geographical area you farm, or homes for sale in your city.
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5 of the Best Apps for Real Estate Agents
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Best of 2014: 15 Apps that Will Make Your Job Easier in 2015
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in November and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. It seems that every time you turn around, there's a slew of so called top apps that people claim to be "game changers." Well, as you may know, this is not always the case. Apps are supposed to make your job easier, but it seems that most them are just another thing to keep up with. Homes.com's very own Joe Sesso knows a thing or two about the tools that can be truly valuable in the busy world of real estate. To help streamline your operations, better manage your business and help your clients enjoy their home, Sesso has created a list of the top apps that real estate professionals should be using and sharing in 2015. 1. Pro HDR (iOS, Android): Sharing high quality pictures is a key part of any successful content strategy, and Pro HDR is making this easier than ever. Whether it's the ability to capture multiple photos and combine them to form the perfect image or the sophisticated blending process that automatically adjusts your camera to apply the best exposure, Pro HDR is changing the photo editing game and it's being done right in the palm of your hand. 2. Storehouse: What is Storehouse? Simply put, it's visual storytelling at its finest. A picture might say a thousand words, but Storehouse has brought an entirely new meaning to this phrase. Clients want to know what you're all about, and with this innovative app, you can seamlessly combine photos and videos in a single location to create an eye grabbing collage that illustrates the story of your business like never before. 3. Phramed: Tired of having to switch back and forth between social networks to share the same picture? Phramed simplifies the process of posting to multiple platforms by allowing you to edit, combine and share the same picture(s) with all of your networks without ever having to leave the application. Have a new listing? Now you can snap a few photos of its unique features, add them all to a collage and instantly share them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or even send direct texts to clients who may be looking for a new home!
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Gift Guide: What to Get Real Estate Agents
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Krisstina Wise: The Birth of a Brand
If you work in real estate and have any interest in technology, you've heard of Krisstina Wise. She's the powerhouse behind GoodLife Realty, a brokerage that has redefined tech savvy and company culture. She's also a frequent keynote speaker at major industry events and conventions. But you probably haven't seen much of Krisstina in the last year . . . because she almost died. Yes, the athletic, vibrant, multi-tasking Krisstina finally hit the wall and became very ill. What could have been the end of her career (and possibly her life) actually became the start of something wonderful. She was forced into self-reflection and discovered that, despite all her success, there was something missing. She wasn't pursuing her true passion: helping other women learn to love money and use money to live a great life. Krisstina regained her health and reimagined her life, with a new goal firmly intact. Falling for Money One of the keys to success is finding your gift, the unique value you bring to others, and honoring it. Krisstina recognized that her passion extended beyond real estate; she could also use her life experience and unique perspective to help other professional women live healthy, balanced, financial free good lives. You see, Krisstina wasn't always the powerful woman we know today. She grew up poor and worked hard to create a nest egg, only to lose it all. "At the root of all my problems was an unhealthy relationship with money," Krisstina explains. "I had to embrace my financial ambition, create healthy habits, and just generally get smart about the green stuff if I wanted to create a real and lasting wealth." And so she began a course of study that involved intensive reading and training under leading financial gurus.
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How I Took My Real Estate Business Paperless
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Top Product Reviews from 2013
We encountered a lot of great tech products in 2013. Some were new to the real estate sphere, while other solutions received significant updates. In order to help you choose the best products for you in 2014, we've rounded up a list of our product reviews from the past year, arranged by category. These are all agent-centric products--stay tuned for a list of broker reviews in the coming days! If you'd like more advice on how to evaluate products, see our series of articles on questions to ask before choosing a solution. Market Analytics / Video MarketVideos.com - A video content solution that delivers localized market videos to agents every month. The videos educate viewers on local market conditions, including popular statistics like active inventory and median listing price. Agents can share the videos with their database via a branded email newsletter or embed them onto websites and blogs. See more Market Analytics / Video Services in our Product Directory. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Top Producer - It's not the destination that has changed at Top Producer, just the routes you can take to get there. The goal behind the CRM is, as it has always been, that an agent can log in and immediately know what they need to do that day. The difference is that this can now be accomplished from any Web-enabled device and done with even greater ease and efficiency. IXACT Contact - A full-featured CRM with robust marketing capabilities. The program can help agents stay organized and in control, keep in touch with prospects and clients, strengthen client relationships, convert leads into clients, and manage their active business. See more CRMs in our Product Directory.
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Forget Buyer Leads, I Need Sellers
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5 More Awesome Apps for Your Real Estate Business
This post comes to us from BrokerageU: I'm sure you already have some apps downloaded to your smartphone: social media, weather, notes, games, etc.; but why not add in some apps for your business, too? Last week we told you all about our five favorite apps for the real estate industry. Well, it turns out that our team wants to add five more to this list! We have had some requests come pouring in for a few more suggestions. So, here we go with our next five runners up. 1. Open Home Pro - We like this app and its features so much that we even wrote a whole article on a recent product review of it! This handy app can be used on your iPhone or iPad to assist you in running your open houses. This tool provides a secure sign in form for your attendees which can be customized to ask the questions you need answers to: are they currently working with an agent, when do they plan to buy, are they pre-approved for a loan, and so on. All of these prospects can be easily exported at the end of the open house, and then imported into your CRM system of choice. Not only that, but you can also use this system to store notes on each lead as you speak with them throughout the day! Enter your listing into this system to share photos and additional property details with your visitors, and let Open Home Pro take care of sending out the "Thank You" email message for you as the clients sign in.
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Make Over Your Tech Tool Collection to Sell More Homes
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New Home Inventory Search Tool - Builder's Update
REALTORS® run into a myriad of different obstacles trying to sell newly constructed homes to their clients. These hurdles can range from just finding accurate inventory data to disseminating the correct information to their buyers, usually implementing a laborious process of cutting and pasting details. Just attracting and capturing new home shoppers is a tedious process that most REALTORS® aren't prepared for. Lee Goldstein, COO of Builders Update, looks to change all of that with his new search tool! Once added, clients can peruse your site and search for new homes in a similar fashion to searching for previously owned properties. Map searches, list views, detailed property descriptions, photos and even buyer registration features are now accessible to your website visitors. Check out the video on the next page to watch the interview as well as view screen shots on how the Builders Update system works.
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Top 13 Apps to Start Your New Year Off Right
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5 Mobile Apps That Streamline Your Real Estate Business
Everyone's got a favorite...so we've compiled a list of ours! The staff at RE Technology reached out to some of our favorite companies with apps for mobile devices and asked them to tell us more. The list of fabulous apps we've compiled will allow you to keep your business moving on the go and help you stay organized. Keep calm in this world of chaos--let technology work for you! Branded Agent App by Smarter Agent Give your clients and potential clients instant information on EVERY listing in your MLS with all leads going back to you. Your Branded App by SmarterAgent will be in all the major App Stores, and available through local distribution tools branded to you. It's like an invisible sign rider on every listing in your coverage area. They'll get all the property information they need on a tool they always have with them.
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Build Your Portfolio of Online Recommendations
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Summer Product Highlights for Agents
Well, we didn't plan it this way, but summer has been the season of product reviews here at RE Technology. There were so many great companies, we didn't want any of them to slip past you, so we're going to share them again here. We'll also introduce you briefly to some of the new additions in our product directory. ePropertySites Property Marketing Tools ePropertySites describes their mission statement as "Perfecting the art of property marketing online and on site." Given the broad spectrum of their products and services, we focused our review solely on their tools for marketing individual listings. Our review looked at the "flipshows" or "flip books" for listing presentations, single property websites, virtual tours, and HD panoramic tours. The single property websites are clearly the centerpiece of this marketing suite, and have a variety of interesting features; for instance, they are: mobile-friendly, contain property-specific text and QR codes, include printable brochures, and offer a variety of different templates and color schemes. Read the review Learn more about ePropertySites
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5 Local Directories to Bolster Your Online Reputation
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5 Simple Steps to Making the Best Real Estate Videos
Real estate professionals know how important video has become to the industry. There are millions of video tours on Youtube today and video blogs have become all the rage for top real estate pros. The problem with many real estate videos is that the quality can be poor. Just because you are taking an amateur video doesn't mean it has to look like an amateur video. Here are five simple steps to making great real estate videos with your smartphone: Step 1: Record Horizontally - Recording horizontally gives you a wider view. Conversely, when recording in a vertical position, you're only recording part of the image. This looks okay if the video is viewed from a smartphone, but since most real estate videos also make it to YouTube and other websites, vertically recorded videos do not present as well as horizontal views. Step 2: Tripod and Tripod Attachments - There's nothing worse than seeing a real estate video that is shaky or that moves around a lot. This can make people dizzy and it's a huge turn-off for viewers. There's a simple fix for this: use a tripod. Tripods are built for regular cameras, but there are low-cost adaptors available. Joby sells a great all-in-one tripod for smartphones called Gorillamobile for $40. There are other options for tripods, as well. For adaptor and brackets, photo retailer Adorama has a $10 product called the Heavy Duty L-Bracket that attaches to your tripod and holds your phone in place. Studio Neat Glif is available for $20, and does the same thing as Adorama's product. These sites also have iPad options. Other websites to check out are Amazon.com and HDhat.com.
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22 Real Estate Twitter Accounts You Should Follow
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Get Ready for Real Estate Connect SF!
Inman News is hosting another spectacular Real Estate Connect convention in San Francisco this year! The event is scheduled for August 1st through 3rd at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. If you haven't already, take a moment to register today. Why Real Estate Connect is Awesome RE Technology will be attending the Inman Real Estate Connect convention for a variety of reasons – opportunities to network with and learn from other industry thought leaders, exciting technology announcements and education, and robust learning opportunities with cutting edge sessions. But perhaps Inman News explains it best on the convention website: At Real Estate Connect you'll experience: Unparalleled networking with industry leaders including the executives at the top real estate franchises; entrepreneurs bringing new products to market; marketing execs; top-producing real estate agents and brokers; and executives from the leading financial service and title companies...in other words, the people who are driving change in our industry. A fantastic set of exhibitors representing the players you already know and our Startup Alley participants that have new and exciting products you haven't heard of yet. Keynote presentations and fireside chats featuring leaders and innovators describing what's ahead for the industry In-depth tracks such as Broker Summit, ConnectTech, Digital Marketing and MLS Solutions If you are an industry leader, or you just want to rub elbows with them, you've got to be at Real Estate Connect. Register now to reserve your space!
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Two Approaches to Commute Calculation
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Top-Ranking Cameras from Consumer Reports
A good camera is an absolute must for most real estate agents. Whether you're taking listing photos, snapping pics for a blog post, or using your camera for social media – you may find that you're rarely without this tech tool. If you don't yet have a digital camera or you're in the market for a new one, you'll be as interested as we were in the top picks from the August 2012 issue of Consumer Reports. Cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of feature sets. For this reason, Consumer Reports breaks them down into a variety of categories. We'll do the same, so you can scan below and see which of these sounds like you. I'm just looking for a very basic camera at a reasonable price. If you fall into this category, you're not alone. This is where most real estate agents find themselves. They don't need a lot of bells and whistles – in fact, they don't want a bunch of confusing features. They'd rather be able to essentially point-and-click to take a picture. If this is what you're in the market for, Consumer Reports scores these models highest: Nikon Coolpix P300 ($330) or P310 ($300): scored 68 and 64 respectively Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS ($300): scored 64
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Top-Ranking Tablets from Consumer Reports
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How to Write a Press Release
Several months ago, I wrote an article that detailed the many reasons you should write press releases. However, I recently realized that I #failed in one important way – I left out how to write press releases. Today, I’m going to remedy that situation! ExampleAre you a visual learner? Here’s an example to help you picture all of this. Keep in mind that I’ll be talking about each of the components in more detail below.
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Kodak Playtouch Review
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7 Keys to Email Success
7 Keys to Email Success This is a very important topic for any professional, and vital for REALTORS® in particular – so let's cut right to the chase. Here are a few rules to follow if you're using email for your business. 1) Make it personal. Technology can offer professionals a competitive edge, but we need to be sure that it doesn't build a wall between us and our clients. In the context of email, this means you need to make an extra effort to give your communications a personal touch. Rather than writing your newsletter from the perspective of "the company," write it as you would a letter, from the perspective of an individual. Sign the letter as an individual. Include your contact information and even a headshot. This rule is particularly important for REALTORS®; for you, name and face recognition is vital.
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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (Part One)
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Severe Spring Weather Brings Possible Perils to Homeowners
This spring is producing an unprecedented amount of storms for certain regions throughout the U.S., especially in the month of April. Many states are experiencing disastrous flooding as a result of excessive rainfall; reporting one of the rainiest Aprils on record. This time of year, many people evaluate their homeowner's insurance policies to make sure they're covered under all circumstances. Homeowners need be aware of the weather conditions prevalent in their region in order to adequately protect their homes against the unforgiving forces of nature. While most basic coverage protects against property damage, the extent to which homeowners are covered varies.
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Agents Can't Afford to Lack Confidence in Today's Market
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5 Photo & Video Resources Your Competition Doesn't Want You To Know
There’s some huge advantages for real estate agents who possess the technical prowess required for photo and video production. Sellers love to know that high quality visuals are being used to attract buyers, and having the reputation of being the agent who creates notable marketing material never hurts. Graduating from beginner to pro takes a lot of time and patience, but it’s truly never been easier to get busy at getting good. The main advantage nowadays is that with a single instrument you can create both high-quality photo and video. No need to dump money into both fields as most new DSLRs are now equipped with HD video and photo resolution that handles pretty much any job. If you’ve decided to go out and purchase a new camera and are looking for ways to develop your skills, there are countless resources on the web. Online training doesn’t need to cost a thing, and the pool of informative resources continues to grow by the minute.
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Fun and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas
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The Queue Episode 3: Facebook MLS App and More
Welcome to this week's TechSavvyAgent webshow episode 3!  We have had a great response to the first two videos of this series. This week's episode number 3 of the Queue is action packed! I covered an innovative new Facebook App that brings the full MLS Search to your Business Page. I did a how to video on adding Google Street Views to your website or blog which is sure to impress both buyers and listing prospects. I highlighted an amazing site called Which Test Won which will help increase your conversions online and get the phone ringing more. Lastly I discussed Klout which is a measure of your social influence that is really taking off and can quantify the ROI of your social media efforts. As always if you have any questions or feedback please leave them in the comments below and please help share this information on Facebook, Twitter and by emailing the link to the other agents in your office.
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Want the Inside Scoop about 5 New Products? Be the First to Know!
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Looking for the Best Free Online Backup System?
A Real Estate Agent from MRIS sent a note to us yesterday asking for information about online backup. Because online back up is not a core real estate technology solution, we do not have a product category on the site for it. However, in an effort to answer the question, we did a little research. We found a company called ADrive. You can visit their website and set up a free account. With the free account you get 50GB of Free Storage – yes – not a typo – 50 GB of Free Storage.
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Mobile Ads Make a Splash! Don't Be Left Behind!
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To Check In or Not to Check In
I have been using FourSquare for longer than I can remember, but I do remember listening intently to Dennis Crowley at Inman Real Estate Connect last January in New York and really getting it. It is amazing the kind of data that FourSquare is aggregating, the value that the information alone could offer marketing and advertising agencies is mind blowing. The question has often been; what is the practical application for the real estate industry, if there is one? There are pros and cons to every technology we use, new innovations and movements are always happening. FourSquare seems to be picking up momentum, and still defining its place in our culture. I believe it is here to stay, especially as we see all the new “location” based applications and additions to existing social services.
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Open Letter to Twitter: Promote Your Engagement, Really?
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Wish You Had a Secretary to Keep Track of Your Calls?
You are always on the go, meeting clients, showing homes or networking for your next deal.  You don’t have time to sit at your desk and answer phones, thus making your mobile phone probably your most important tool.  The only problem is that even you can’t answer every call that comes through because you may be with a client or talking to another on the phone – voicemail is your friend. HomeFinder.com has found an interesting tool that can help you organize your voicemail and turn it into a more practical business solution for your busy days. Get your voicemail as email With a service called, YouMail your missed calls are captured online and sent to you as email messages, with the Caller ID, date, time and original voice recording included. You can even have messages automatically transcribed with YouMail‘s high-quality voice-to-text service (there is a fee for this), and receive them as email or text messages to your phone.  
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Want to Promote Conversation on Your Blog?
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Who to See and Where They’ll Be
For any of our subscribers who are making the annual pilgrimage to pay homage to real estate and toast the National Association of REALTORS® in New Orleans, we are here to help you meet the right people and still make it to the networking and entertainment events planned.  NAR has once again whipped up a jam-packed schedule including guest appearances of David Hasselhof, Bill Walton and Earth, Wind and Fire. Beyond the social events, one of the highlights of the show is the Expo Floor.  This is where you can ask your questions, demo products and meet face-to-face with the makers of the technologies that make your life smoother.  NAR’s annual conference is the single best place to go to meet the most technology vendors and test their products out. This year NAR’s Expo Floor has 387 technology vendors. Real estate technology just got even more overwhelming. 387?  Who has time to walk through 387 vendors at NARdiGras 2010, the largest real estate conference in America? That is where we come in.  We have created a much shorter list of our premium technology vendors and some extras.
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The Three Barreled Marketing Gun
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What Does Your Website Say About You?
If you're an agent working today, then you already know the importance of a good web presence. What you may not know, however, is what constitutes 'good'. If you have a website, take a look at this list to make sure you're not falling victim to technology. After all, having a megaphone is one thing; using it wisely is another. 1. I'm #1! I'm #1! Does your website scream #1 anything? Stop it. Sure, you may be the number one agent in your market, and you may have famous clients. But your potential clients don't care. They only want to make sure that you will help them find a home or sell their existing home. Who's the focus here anyway: your ego or the client?
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Here Comes the Blackberry Tablet!
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Want to Keep Your Gen Y Clients Satisfied?
Today’s real estate consumer communicates very differently with their agent than in past times. Unlike boomers who like to get to know their agent and work with them in person, Gen Y’s prefer to do most things electronically. They ask for you to send them an update to a contract via text. They want you to set them up on auto email from your MLS system to look for listings that match their search criteria. Bottomline, they want to just “get it done". They don’t have the time or interest to really get to know and the true skills you provide as an agent. Gone are the days of riding around in the car for weeks looking for just the right home. They’re narrowing their choices online long before they get to you. While this can be easier in some respects, it can also be dangerous. If they don’t really know what an agent does, why would they value the commission they pay for the services? How do you prove your worth without building a strong personal relationship?
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Want to Grow Your Real Estate Business? Go International!
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6 Degrees of Socialization
In the last few months I have noticed a remarkable increase in the number of real estate agents interested in stepping into the world of Social Media.  I often am asked “Where do I start?”  I teach educational seminars all the time where I teach the how’s and why’s, and often I teach hands-on labs to help agents create their social media platforms.  I start by explaining to the agents that they understand why and plan how they will use these platforms.  Each has its own nuances and techniques, many have multiple uses or purposes, but there are specific techniques for how a real estate agent should use them.  The following are the sites I suggest a real estate agent begin with.  For me it is not the first step in social media, but it is certainly one of the basic steps.  The following is a list of platforms I recommend and some of the reasons to use them, including some of the “must have” features.
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3 Simple Steps to Dominate Your Marketplace
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Homebuyers Are Not Connecting with REALTORS Online
What could happen if there was a way for an online visitor to ask a question and get someone to answer within a few seconds? Simply put, your odds of capturing more buyers would go up!  Real estate professionals need a way to connect live with online visitors. One of the way to do that is live chat! NAR reports that in 2009 online homebuyer trends have been consistent with past years.  90% of buyers said they used the internet to shop for real estate. Think about this for a second: 9 out of 10! Compare that percentage to the 27% of online homebuyers who connect with a REALTOR® online. The internet is an informational space. A web shopper comes in, gets the information you provide them and in most cases simply moves on. There is a great opportunity to connect right at that moment. Studies show that online home buyers take action from their web visits; 77% of them drove by or viewed the home they saw online.
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Don't Be Late for That Very Important Date!
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Re-Connect with Inman
Some of the most popular national real estate conferences to attend in the country are Inman Connect conferences.  Packed with engaging speakers, technology trade shows, interesting topics and networking opportunities, Inman conferences provide distinct value for real estate agents and brokers.  For those of you who are on the fence about attending future Inman Connect conferences, or were unable to make the journey to San Francisco, but would like to hear a re-cap on the most popular topics this year, stay tuned.
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Juggling Too Many Contacts? Consolidate with Plaxo!
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Foursquare, or Not to Foursquare?
What is Foursquare? Foursquare is a location service-based social networking game, desined to give users a fun and engaging platform for themselves and their clients/friends to explore their city.  Users can earn points by visiting city destinations, and unlock badges when discovering new things. The below video provides a walk through if the main features of this mobile technology. In a nutshell, Foursquare helps users learn more about their city and engage with locals in six steps: Step 1: Download application to your cell phone, and add your Facebook and Twitter friends.  If you do not have Internet, use texting. Step 2: Tell you friends/contacts where you are in the city via your cell phone's GPS system. Step 3: Read local tips and recommendations for things to do or places to avoid. Step 4: The more you use Foursquare, the more you can unlock badges and earn points. Step 5: Check in at a local more than anyone else, and you become a mayor. Step 6: Use Foursquare whereever you go to help plan a spontaneous day. Maya Paveza, a top producing agent and social media guru, recently wrote an article explaining how she uses Foursquare in her real estate business and personal life.
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Listing Photos: Truth in Advertising
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The Reality of the Open House
Whenever I take a new listing one of the first questions I am asked by a Seller client is will I do an Open House. The answer to that question is often a question, “Do you want an Open House?” Often the answer is no, as many Sellers are already aware that their neighbors are just chomping at the bit the second the For Sale sign goes up to get in their home and size it up. Some Sellers don’t care, some don’t want their neighbors potentially rifling through their dresser drawers or medicine cabinets, and desperately decline the option.  For those Sellers who do want the Open House, my follow up question is, “What do you expect the results of an open house will be?” The answer is often a pensive stare, and a speechless moment.  Client expectations of what an Open House does to sell their home, isn’t always in line with the reality of what an Open House does accomplish.  Open Houses typically get the Real Estate agent the opportunity to connect with a prospective Buyer Client. I believe the statistic I had read most recently was that less than 4% of properties sell as a result of an Open House (when I asked the question on Twitter, Rob Marchitti replied that it was 5%). So the Seller expectations that the Open House will be the miracle solution to the sale of their property is a disappointing, not usually. So as a Seller, are you really motivated to sell your home?  If so then you need to look at other factors in the Sale and seek solutions there. Here is what I tell all my Sellers at the time of listing.
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Today Techno Real Estate Agent Must Haves
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4 Steps to a Successful Sale
I was showing a house in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, yesterday. I arrived a few minutes early. My buyers were going to be about 10 minutes late. The sellers were still at the house. I knew I had scheduled the appointment, and hoped they would make themselves scarce rather quickly. When you attempt to sell a house, the hardest part for many homeowners is making the psychological transition from home to house. It is your home, but you are selling a house. That emotional disconnect is nearly impossible for many, and it is what causes the most strife and discord during a real estate transaction. There are certain things I ask all my seller clients to do and consider when preparing to sell their homes, and I want to share those with you – whether you are a prospective seller, a real estate agent, or just curious about real estate.
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