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Houston 2020: A Historic Dive into America's Biggest Boom Town
If you don't know the name, Ralph Bivins, then you've likely been insulated from Houston's real estate scene. Bivins is Houston's most enduring and prolific real estate observer, reporter, champion, and now, author. Houston 2020: America's Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up is the rookie author's new book in which he does a deep dive into one of the nation's fastest-growing and most remarkable cities. Bivins explores not just the projects and the people that mastermind this massive city but its global impact. He doesn't hold back and explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of Houston. Houston 2020 is a must read—even for those who have never been to Houston or have no connection to its the area whatsoever. I will tell you why.
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10 Blogs Every Business Owner Should Be Reading
With all the responsibilities that come with running a business, reading blogs may not be high on your list of priorities. However, it should be. The best business blogs provide insights, advice, and knowledge for running a successful business that can't be found elsewhere. Moreover, they provide motivation, as most of the authors are business owners who have overcome challenges similar to ones you may be experiencing. That said, bearing your time limitations in mind, we've compiled this list of the 10 best business blogs to follow TODAY.
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NAR Midyear Trade Show: Top Tech to Check Out
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Boise Insider Tips for RESO Tech Summit Attendees
Perhaps the greatest unsung feature of a RESO conference are the cool cities the RESO board selects. Places most real estate conference don't (or can't because of size) schedule. RESO conferences have made me a fan of Kansas City and Milwaukee – who knew? The Boise RESO Tech Summit starts next week, and St. Louis is in the fall. This year, I know both cities pretty well.
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Replay: The Top 4 Broker Webinars of 2018
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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Real Estate Agent in Your Life
The holidays are a great time for sharing gifts with family and friends. But of course it is a great time to get the gifts you want too! So what should you get for your favorite real estate agent or broker in your life, even if that agent or broker is you? We have some ideas that are perfect to buy for yourself or your closest colleague.
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What Not to Miss and Put on Your List for Boston NAR
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7 Communication Apps for Your Business
Is your business communicating or miscommunicating? Mishandling the exchange of information with clients or even staff and business partners can have major repercussions on your bottom line. Fortunately, help is on the way through a number of mobile apps you can download to streamline your business communications. Keep reading for a list of the best communication apps.
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Top 7 Things to Do and See at National REALTORS Conference 2018 in Boston
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9 of the Best Marketing Apps for Your Business
A solid marketing strategy is what sets apart a thriving business from a struggling one. But when your manual marketing efforts come up short, there are many marketing apps you can rely on to streamline the promotion of your business. Keep reading for ten of the best marketing apps for business owners.
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Three Stories for You to Read: Amazon, Cybersecurity, App Dev
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Social Media Influencers in Real Estate
While you may already follow the top sites for real estate news, other resources are available to learn effective tactics and insider tips from industry experts. Social media became a game changer for almost every industry, and especially for real estate. The fusion of technology and sales has put networking and lead generation on a whole new level. Now, you can reach thousands of potential clients by posting a listing on Instagram or show your industry expertise by retweeting a real estate article your followers may find valuable. Whether you're looking for an example of how to gain clients through social media or if you want tips from industry leaders, hop onto your platform of choice and follow these top social media influencers:
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Reading About CRM? Here Are the Top CRM Books and Blogs
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Top Podcasts for Real Estate Professionals
Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most popular and easiest way to access information, get caught up on news and updates from around the world—and even have a laugh or two. Whether interested in sports, comedy, television, news, fashion, medicine or (most importantly for us) real estate, there are podcasts out there for you. The major benefit of subscribing and listening to podcasts is that you can listen to them just about anywhere: at home, at the gym, in the car, and in between client meetings, open houses and showings. Here are our picks of the best real estate podcasts. These are sure to help you stay current with the ever-changing real estate industry, and perhaps even educate you on things you didn't know—especially if you are new to the industry. Check them out and let us know what you think!
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10 Books for an Awesome 2018
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Apps Are Cool Again: Here are 4 cool free apps that work for real estate
Apps are cool again. And they're not just for teenagers or bored adults anymore. Practically every business has an app now, from your favorite billion-dollar corporation to the newest startups vying for your attention. I thought I'd take some time out of my workday to download and 'research' some free apps you may not have heard of, and think out loud about how they may help/interest/stimulate the average real estate professional.
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Top 5 Tech Tools for Savvy Brokers
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The Top 10 Marketing Blogs to Start Reading Today
Although it has been an internet trend for quite some time, recently businesses have started to utilize blogs to increase their brand recognition and become more engaged in the digital age. Blogs, used by companies both large and small, have several benefits, such as driving traffic to your website, complementing social media goals, and establishing you or your company as a field expert. So it should come as no surprise that 36 percent of Fortune 500 companies currently have an active blog. Additionally, because blogs are easy to find, easy to read, and extremely informative, they are considered to be a reliable resource for consumers. In fact, 81 percent of US online consumers believe that blogs are a trusted source of information, which is oftentimes why they will consult blogs and online communities prior to purchasing a product.
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Should REALTORS® Upgrade to Windows 10?
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Static Data Can Be Boring and Stale. This Tool Can Make It Fresh!
Do you want to make the information you share with your sphere of influence DANCE? Consider utilizing Infogr.am to create dynamic infographics. With Infogram's interactive visualizations, you are literally adding a new dimension of engagement with your communications. Top producing real estate professionals are already leveraging this data visualization product to improve engagement with their clients and potential clients. A very productive Realtor in Southern California uses infogr.am's free option to distribute information to his customer database on how the real estate market is performing locally (thank you Tristan for sharing). Here is an example (click to view the full interactive version):
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Canva: A Simple, Beautiful Way to Create Great Marketing Content
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6 New Inventions to Boost Your Business
Guest contributor Stefanie Hahn says: What is Realogy FWD? This was the second year for the invitation-only Innovation Summit held in June, where technology firms showcase their latest developments to the real estate industry. The concept for the summit was created by Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy, which is a franchisor of six real estate brands. It makes perfect sense when you think about it: Perriello has a lot of companies to answer to, and they need to know the latest and greatest real estate technologies — and want to know them first. (Full disclosure: I work for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS®, part of a franchise under the Realogy umbrella.) This year, more than 100 startups entered to compete for $25,000 and exposure to lots of real estate brokers. The event itself features 15 companies, with 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for questions from the panel of judges. The judges try to determine how these companies will work in our industry by asking tough questions about how brokers and agents can use these tools. This was my first time in attendance at the event, but my company is already working with one of the finalists from last year: Lumentus Social. So I knew a little of what to expect. Like the total nerd I am, I sat in the front row and took notes. At times, it truly felt like we were on "Shark Tank," hearing pitches of the latest and greatest in real estate technology with a panel of judges asking hard questions to see how these tools would really fit into our business. Here are a few of my personal favorites from the event.
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Why You Should Consider Exclusive Licensing
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Top Real Estate Magazines For 2014
While some may say print is a dying in big part because of the internet, there are still many real estate magazines that are doing a great job of bridging the digital divide. Keeping on top of the latest trends in the real estate is crucial for today's real estate agents and brokers. Adding a few magazine subscriptions to your reading schedule may be just the trick to keep you ahead of the crowd when it comes to your real estate business. Many of these publications also offer digital subscriptions on iOS and Android devices, so if you're the type that has gone totally paperless, there's still lots of options for great magazine style content on your iPad and tablet devices. Real Estate Magazines For Investors REI Voice Magazine REIT Magazine Realty411 Guide PREA Quarterly National Real Estate Investor Magazine Real Estate Industry Magazines RealEstate Magazine The LEADER Magazine RealtorMag The Real Estate Professional Magazine
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App Spotlight: Scoop.It
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Top Broker Product Reviews from 2013
Last week, we shared a list of our top product reviews for agents in 2013. As promised, this week we're bringing you a run-down of last year's top reviews for brokers, sorted by category. We intend for these reviews to be a starting point in helping you decide which products to choose for your company in 2014. If you'd like more advice on how to evaluate products, see our series of articles on questions to ask before choosing a solution. Listing Syndication 1. ListHub Global ListHub Global is an extremely low maintenance solution that, once activated, acts like any other affiliate ListHub publisher. The only difference is that instead of syndicating listings domestically, ListHub Global distributes your listings to potential buyers in 19 countries. See more Listing Syndication / Global Marketing solutions in our Product Directory. Virtual Office Websites (VOWs) 2. Quantum Leads"It puts your client in the driver's seat," is how Quantum Leads explains their Virtual Office Website (VOW) solution. Fortunately, the company has provided a vehicle that both clients and your agents will want to drive, thanks to intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces that are beautifully designed. See more VOW solutions in our Product Directory. Recruiting 3. HG-RecruitsAs a real estate broker, you are only as strong and successful as the members of your team. Finding, recruiting, and hiring rock star agents is imperative; it's also one of the most challenging parts of your job. Happy Grasshopper built HG-Recruits expressly for this need, to help ease the stress of growing your roster. See more Recruiting solutions in our Product Directory.
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Lead Consolidation: Two Forgotten Words in Online Real Estate Marketing
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5 Best Productivity Tools & Mobile Apps For Tech-Savvy Real Estate Teams
This post comes to us from the BoomTown blog: We know that real estate agents are extremely busy people who are constantly on the go. Things can get hectic, especially if you are working with several others on a team. Sometimes you wish there was an "easy button" you can press that magically puts everything in your life in order. Although we haven't yet figured out how to create magical objects (our developers are working on it), we DO have a compiled list of the best productivity tools and apps that can make things easier for tech-savvy real estate teams. 1. SortMyBox: Automatically sorts Dropbox files based on your specifications SortMyBox is like applying email filters to your cloud storage files. SortMyBox is an added folder in your DropBox or Box account, and any files saved in that folder will be moved according to your specifications. For example, you can set a rule that all files that contain the word "contract" in the name will automatically be sorted into the "Contracts" folder, or anything with "agreement" to go to the "Listing Agreements" folder. You can also set up rules by extension name, so that any file with .jpg or .png will go into a "Photos" folder, or any file with .ppt will go into a "Presentations" folder. Once you set your parameters, just sit back and let SortMyBox do all the work. It checks and sorts the folder every 15 minutes. Are you worried that you might lose track of a file and not know where to find it? There is never any threat of that, because SortMyBox tracks and records all moved files so you can see where everything was directed. This feature is especially useful if you share folders with several team members.
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Face to Face Networking With Meetup!
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6 Top Real Estate Podcasts to Check Out
Podcasts are a great way of keeping up with what's going on in the real estate industry. Being able to sync them with your smartphone or media player and listening while on the go is a great way to stay sharp with the latest trends happening in the real estate markets. While they are by no means a new thing, they still remain a great way consume new information. I find the podcasts I listen to, I sync them to my phone, then I'll take my dog for a walk. Makes for stimulating listening while doing a really passive activity. Here are a few of the top real estate you should check out to get you started with podcasts. Top 6 Real Estate Podcasts The Real Estate Guys Radio Show Fun and informative, this real estate investment talk show has been broadcasting on conventional radio since 1997. Hosted by professional investor Robert Helms and financial strategist Russell Gray, the show delivers no-hype education and expert perspectives in a fast-paced, entertaining style. Real Estate Uncut Each weekday Real Estate Uncut provides professionals in the real estate industry a free short, sharp audio program they can listen to on their computers or their smart phones.
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Real Estate Tool of the Month: Feedly
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Card Game: Business Cards Go Digital
We're sure you've made improvements to your real estate business over the last ten years. But what about your business card? Business card technology has advanced rapidly over the past few years, allowing professionals to transmit contact information digitally and instantaneously. Take a look at what the digital business cards of the future can do for you and how today's newest apps will help you retire that clunky ol' rolodex. Cards of the Future Moo Moo's NFC business cards look just like a regular business card. They feel just like a regular business card. And you can hand them out just like a regular business card. So what makes them digital? The secret is the near-field communication (NFC) chip hidden inside. Embedded within the card is a super tiny microchip that contains a super big surprise: just tap the card against any smartphone to get it to do your bidding. Yes, your NFC business card just has to touch a phone to tell it to save your contact details, view your listings, download your resume... almost anything you can think of, it can be programmed to do.
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Real Estate App of the Week: Quora
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5 Mobile Apps for Running Your Business On-the-Go
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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SL Director’s Viewfinder Android App Review
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Top Seven Tech Tools You Need As a Real Estate Agent
If you miss the days of back to school supply shopping, we have put together a supply list of tech tools every agent should have as they prepare to enter fall real estate season. While there are no colored markers or shiny folders on this list, we can assure you these tools are just as fun! Use these seven tools to help you seamlessly transition between showings and appointments. 1. Wireless keyboard – When you're on the go, eliminate baggage and leave your laptop at home. Rely on the portability of a tablet and invest in a wireless keyboard that lets you type on your tablet, just as you would your laptop or desktop computer. (Apple Wireless Keyboard, $69.99)  2. Roll-up keyboard cover – Back to school shopping just isn't as fun without throwing in something bright and colorful, so purchase a Spi Roll-up Keyboard cover to protect your new keyboard from spills, dust and water. Its lightweight, bendable and roll-able design is convenient for travel. (Spi Roll-Up Keyboard, $19.99) 3. Wireless printer – This tiny printer produces clear prints for an equally tiny price. Its easy set-up lets you print wirelessly from any device, anywhere. Take this printer in the car and connect to your tablet or laptop, no matter where you are. (Epson NX430 Wireless all-in-one color inkjet printer, $100)
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Our Favorite Business iPad Apps
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5 Evernote Uses For REALTORS®
This post comes to us from the RealtyGlue blog: Recently, I made the switch from Microsoft OneNote to Evernote. Three reasons for the switch are the instant syncing ability of Evernote ensure my information is accessible anywhere at anytime, OneNote is not available on my Mac, and it's FREE! Who doesn't like FREE? If you are new to Evernote, Cameron Plommer from Extraordinary Vids provides a series of Evernote Tutorials that are very helpful to jumpstart your journey into Evernote. 1. Digitize Handwritten Notes Handwritten notes can be scanned and stored in Evernote for easy access with full search function powered by handwriting recognition technology. You can also snap a photo of a note and tag it.
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Top 10 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (Part Two)
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Fun and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Guest contributor Rick Bengson says: In the past, I've suggested a few creative and fun real estate agent marketing ideas that you can use to draw in more clients and promote your brand offline. I'm sure you've noticed after awhile it can get a bit stale using the same traditional methods of sending flyers and emails; although, these methods can be very effective, so I thought perhaps now would be a good time to mention a couple more fun and unique REALTOR® marketing ideas:
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Use A Badge To Increase Website Leads
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What are You Building? Relationships or Barriers?
When it comes to technology and the real estate agent, I believe agent want to use technology to its fullest extent to serve customers better and in the most cost-efficient way. But they have been overrun by technology. Some real estate agents are are searching for a technique, tool, software or system that will eliminate the task of prospecting, when in fact it will only eliminate prospects. It’s time to get back in touch with some real, fundamental principles about the reality of prospecting. Tip #2: Build realtionships not barriers! This is still a people business, so the ultimate goal of prospecting is to secure a face-to-face meeting. Too many agents use the wrong contact methods at the wrong time and the misuse of technology has hurt the business as much as the proper use of it has helped. Technologycan build a barrier between the agent and the client. Are you properly handling your technology?
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Want to Secure Your Website for Under $500?
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Wait on These 4 New Years Resolutions and Prepare for Failure in 2011
Just after welcoming in a new year, there are a couple of Digital Life Clean Up items that you need to consider. We are all in the process of going through 2010 and looking as objectively as possible at what worked and what did not. Here are three digital strategies that will bolster not only your image but expand your reach online! Don't let the beginning of 2011 pass by without taking inventory about your business and creating new goals.  Take ground this year!  
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Real Estate Agent Review Sites- Stop Whining!
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The Three Barreled Marketing Gun
I will never forget my father teaching me to shoot a gun. He started me out on a 4-10 shotgun. It was light and easy to carry – the shot did not travel far and the spray was enough to insure that I did not miss. Once I progressed, he moved me up to a 12 gage – double barrel.  Asking why they built a gun with two barrels, my daddy explained that the second shot was in case you missed with the first. The same is true of marketing in real estate today, but in these difficult and competitive times, I think a three barreled gun is what agents need. The three barrels in real estate marketing are: In-person marketing Direct marketing Follow-up
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Top 15 Best Android Apps for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
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Be Careful With Your Domain Name
People tend to obsess over domain names (also called URLs — Uniform Resource Locator). While it’s nice to have key words in your URL, it is clearly not a requirement in order to get good search engine rankings. For those non-believers in that statement (and I know you are out there) I point you to the following URLs: Amazon.com (what does “amazon” have to do with books?) Zillow.com (What exactly is a “zillow”??) Trulia.com (Can’t find “trulia” in the dictionary either…) Those are just three examples of URLs that contain a grand total of zero keywords. There are ten’s of thousands more out there.
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How To Launch a New Broker Website
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Concerned about Lower Real Estate Commission Rates?
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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Which Wordpress Should You Use?
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Pump Up Your Business with Online Marketing
Have you noticed that business today is facing a bit of a challenge?   With costs of doing business changing every day, today’s businesses are overwhelmed, overloaded and stressed to find new ways to save money, time and streamline efficiencies. If you are struggling to figure out what to do and are looking to pump up your  sales, here are a few key activities that can help you begin to take action: Start with an attitude shift! Studies prove that whatever you focus on becomes your reality and positive thinkers usually get positive results. Abrupt change opens the door to seek more creative solutions, so focus on how to enthusiastically embrace new innovative approaches to what appears to be obstacles.  Begin with identifying the possible positive outcomes which will spur creativity.  Every change reveals new opportunities that would ordinarily be lost in the mundane and routine! Investigate your Options:  More millionaires are born in a challenged economy than in a robust one.  When markets get tough, the tough go back to basics, get creative and become intensely focused in every aspect of how their business functions to discover new ways to deliver their products and services.  When sales stall, we’ve got a window of opportunity to re-design, re-work and re-ignite new processes in our service, delivery and fulfillment that would not have ordinarily been discovered.  When things are down like they are today, it is a great time to turn up the heat and initiate new relationships and seek new solutions.
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Want to Build a Blog Following? Distribution is Your Key
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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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Closing.com Interview with Victor Lund
While at Inman Connect 2010, Julie Han with Closing.com interviewed Victor Lund, CEO of RE Technology, Inc. and founding partner of WAV Group. She asked Victor about Inman Connect and what the highlights of the show are, to explain RETechnology.com, and she asked his opinion on the following topics: 1.) What new tools are emerging for agents? 2.) How does social media help agents? 3.) What technology trends do you foresee in the future? Click play below to see a recording of the interview.
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Give Buzz Another Look
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A Customer Service Confluence
There has been this weird confluence of customer service experiences for me over the last few days. It’s like a disturbance in the nexus of the customer service universe. I’m a big fan of great customer service. I love being on the receiving end of it, and I try to make premium customer service the primary focus of our real estate brokerage. There are several stories of customer service experiences strewn about this blog, from the great — the Broadmoor Hotel and a mattress store — to the not so swift horrific at Nationwide Vision. And then there was this…
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SCVNGR: Innovative Marketing
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Top 5 Ways to Build a Mobile Web Presence
It seems that the old adage – time fly’s when you’re having fun – holds true! While most of us have been texting for years all things mobile changed when apple released the iPhone almost three years ago.  Since then the competition to be best in breed, creator of sexiest and most advanced device on the market, between phone manufacturers and the carriers who supply their devices has combined to fuel the mobile fire.  As we all know that fire is burning out of control! According to Neilson U.S. Mobile Web increased 4% in January 2010 from 67 million users to 69.6 million users.  However, more importantly than how many people are using the mobile is how long they use it for.  The average user session increased in from 4 minutes 57 seconds to 5 minutes 14 seconds in January as well.  It seems that the old adage – time fly’s when you’re having fun – holds true! The increase in Mobile Web usage for longer periods of time is a direct result of content providers tailoring their sites specifically for the mobile device.  For example, sites like Google and Facebook, two of the most popular Mobile Websites, have done a great job when it comes to streamlining and formatting their content and user experience for the mobile device.  As the Mobile Web continues to evolve as the preeminent destination for internet usage, making sure your brand is positioned properly for that medium is becoming increasingly important.
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Top Producer - Excellent CRM But Not For Everyone
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Privacy 101- The Information Exposure Explosion
"Despite the continuing expansion or even explosion of information, there will forever be limits beyond which the devices of science cannot lead a man." -Dr. June Singer   No matter what business you are in right now, there is no avoiding the fact that timely and accurate information is a prime commodity. As social networking is now a business imperative in the branding, sales and marketing aspects of your company, that information includes both facts and contacts that are interested in what you have to offer. Here are a couple of varieties of data and their stated values by those who deal in information. A Multiple Listing Service-provided real estate listing, according to Ben Graboske of First American Core Logic as stated at the Houston Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Information Symposium in March 2010, can range in value from $1 for a brief one to $10 for an in-depth one. If your business is working the social networking side of marketing and branding, it was recently calculated that the value of someone who 'likes' you on Facebook could be around $3.60.
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Rethink Your Web Presence
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Who is Your Company's CSO?
In real estate, we love our letters. CSO is Chief Social Officer. Hence the question begins; who is your company’s designee that owns your social media strategy? As we look back over the past few years, social media evolved slowly. Most corporations started with the tactic of outlawing Social media by employees. After all, like personal cell phone usage, it was viewed as a distraction from the work at hand. Now things have evolved, and progressive organizations have learned that social networking by employees (if done correctly) enhances the company’s brand and strengthens relationships with customers. The challenge is to have a plan for coordinating social media strategy across multiple components of your organization - sales, marketing, IT, research, public relations, HR, etc. There seem to be a variety of schools of thought on this. Some organizations require each department to create their own social media strategy. Others build one strategy and try to engage every person in the organization to participate. Some outsource. Here are some examples in our industry: Lead Strategist, Group Social, Oursource
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Real Estate Website Basics
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Streamline Communication & Increase Productivity
Do you ever look at your inbox and feel overwhelmed by the volume of emails, only to find that once you dig in and read them all only 10 percent are actually relevant and require significant action? In the age of social networks and collaboration tools, we are finding new and greater ways to communicate. But all this over-communication tends to hamper our productivity and make us feel besieged. Worse yet, the lost productivity sorting communications can affect our relationships with clients. If you want to increase your productivity and put some of that time back into client relationships, a surefire place to start is to streamline your communications. Since so much communication takes place over email, start by taking a good look at your inbox. How much of the following do you see? Group email threads where you are copied as an “FYI” Endless email strings where you are not relevant to the conversation Emails with revised document attachments Meeting requests, updates, and cancellations Email threads trying to find the best time for a client meeting eNewsletters Google alerts Spam If greater than 10 percent of your inbox are of this time-sucking, productivity-draining nature, it is time to tame the inbox by implementing a few simple tools and processes:  
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SureClose Wins Wright Kingdom's Vote
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Is Your Team Working Hard or Just Burning Out?
Ellie Mirman from www.EllieMirman.com posted a great article about the rules for maximizing productivity of work teams. I think there are some great lessons to be learned from a presentation from a blog called The Chief Happiness Officer. Working more than 40 hours leads to decreased productivity. You can get a short-term boost by working more hours, but the team will require a recovery period that counteracts the seeming short-term productivity boost. Working on Sundays and evenings can be helpful in the short-term to provide support to a potential client, but the team will required to recover from long hours can actually be longer than the short-term increases in productivity. For agents that consistently work long hours, burnout can be faster and potentially more severe.
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Palm May Face Obsolescence
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How to Engage with Negative Feedback in Social Media
Social Media is increasing in importance as the real estate industry moves online. With Social Media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn real estate agents, brokers and MLS associations can create relationships, and build an online presense to market their services. However undisputed the value of Social Media is, it is nonetheless intimidating. One of the main reasons why some MLS associations and real estate professionals scare away from utilizing Social Media is the fear that negative comments will undermine any marketing value. But Social Media is more informal than traditional marketing environments. Think of it as a conversation. Some may not always be pleasant, but the more conversations you have, the stronger your relationship becomes. Josh Catone of Mashable recently published a blog discussing this exact issue. He provides helpful ways to deal with negative feedback in a productive and benefitting way.  Whether or not you are online using Social Media to promote your services, those who already use Social Media will talk about you whether or not you're involved. So why not join the conversation? Josh Catone, Feature Editor at Mashable, outlines a two-step process. First you identify the type of feedback, then you decide on the best reaction. His advice to step back from your initial emotions, and then assess it rationally before reacting, is vital to navigating through Social Media, and most relationships for that matter. Continue on to read Josh Catone's blog post...
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What are Your Plans for Recruiting in 2010?
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10 Things Not to Buy in 2010
Ten years ago, most homes relied on dial-up connections to access the Internet and iPods, flat-screen TVs and the Nintendo Wii didn't exist. In 2010, consumer should expect to see more revolutionary products supplanting old mainstays. In media, DVDs, books, newspapers and magazines will continue to lose ground to services like in-home movie rentals and gadgets like the Amazon Kindle. In big-ticket items, the push for energy efficiency will continue to influence consumer decisions on cars and home upgrades.  
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Digital SLR Cameras on a Shoestring
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dsSearchAgent IDX
dsSearchAgent is designed around Web 2.0 features that make connections and engagement between the consumer and the agent seamless. This product is built from the ground up to be a map-based search solution. Sliders and features that allow the consumer to narrow their search criteria are dressed along the left side of the map for ease of use. This design is not only very functional, but it allows the consumer to view more property information without scrolling down the page. Like most IDX solutions, dsSearchAgent has many features that encourage consumers to register to the website to access helpful property search tools. For example, customers can save a search and get listing alerts. dsSearchAgent goes even further by allowing the consumer to get the information in the form of an RSS Feed as well as email. Customers can also register to add their own notes to property. The agent back office control panel allows for easy access to customer searches, favorites, and viewing patterns. There are also some nice features that allow agents to organize leads.
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Listing Syndication: The Fine Print!
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