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How to Be Successful Posting on Pinterest: The Infographic
Want to have your pins re-pinned like crazy on Pinterest? Create an infographic. A few years ago I created this infographic about How to Ensure Your Success as a Real Estate Blogger. After publishing it on my website, I pinned it to Pinterest. I had at times noticed that it was repinned quite a bit, but never paid much mind to it. Then yesterday I looked at the stats and saw that it has been re-pinned over 3,100 times. Holy cow! I looked at the stats on all my other pins and saw that of nearly 300 pins, my second highest pinned image is 66 times (and the third highest is just 33 pins). That's almost 50 times the amount of pinning! The thing is, creating that infographic took me 50 times longer than any of the images I posted on Pinterest. So you could say I got out of it what I put in. I haven't created another infographic since then because of the time it took to do that first one (a few hours). That is, until today! Turns out making infographics is no longer the massive chore it was just a few years ago. Using a tool Canva.com, you can create a great looking, super-shareable infographic in about 30 mins. If the results are anything like my first infographic, I plan on doing a lot more of these. How to Make a Successful Infographic The above infographic was designed to be easily noticed and digested. On the next page is a little more insight on the included eight points.
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So Many Apps! How Much You Pay for Software Might Surprise You
Everything is an app One of the more common "let's make fun of the millennials" tropes is the idea that today, people want everything personalized, and on-demand. And like a lot of tropes, there's at least some truth to this — everything from television channels to burrito options are under increasing pressure to be offered a-la-carte, so you can get what you want without paying for what you don't. The bad old days. Hope you enjoyed paying hundreds of dollars per user. The web has been a big cause (and proponent) of this, and in a lot of ways, it's been a huge advantage to small business and entrepreneurs. A-la-carte software systems allow you to quickly spin up a functional, customizable information structure in a few hours, which is pretty amazing if you ever have the opportunity to do it, as I did at my last startup. Need a toll-free number? Accounting system? Time tracking? Done, done, and done. Plus, since all of this stuff is independently purchased, if it any of it becomes obsolete, you can simply dump it without breaking the rest of your system. We've successfully commoditized functionality! In general, this was a sorely needed direction for software. The pre-web era gave us increasingly broad, ill-fitting suites of tools — here's a weird database to go with that word processor you wanted — and charged us for everything. In theory, the different applications would be conveniently "integrated", but anyone who's fought with an old version of something like Microsoft Office can speak to the unexpected challenges that came with this sort of thing. Today, integrations come in the form of at least semi-open APIs, and today, two products from different companies often work together more seamlessly than two 1990s-era applications from the same suite. It's amazing, and best of all, it gives customers options.
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Windows 8: Learn the New Windows
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Tech Talk: iOS 6 Disappointing, but Worth Downloading
The iPhone 5 isn't the only product Apple is updating this week. On Wednesday, the company released a new version of iOS, the software that underlies its handheld devices. On the whole, iOS 6, as Apple has dubbed the update, is worth downloading. It's faster and offers some compelling new features. But be prepared to be frustrated. Some of the new features are incomplete and one — the overhauled Maps application — is buggy and disappointing. Older iOS devices won't be able to use some of the new features in iOS 6. And two devices that could run iOS 5 can't run iOS 6 at all: the original iPad and the third-generation iPod Touch. I tried it out on my wife's iPad 2, which came out a year after the original iPad and was eligible for the iOS 6 update. But despite being just a year-and-a-half old, the iPad 2 gets only a portion of the new features available in the operating system. Its version of iOS 6 doesn't allow users to make Facetime calls over the wireless companies' data networks, while the new iPad's version does. Nor does it include Siri, Apple's compelling voice command feature, which just got some cool new tricks, including the ability to launch apps and to find sports scores. It also lacks features that Apple decided were appropriate for the iPhone or the iPod Touch but not for any iPad. Among those are Passport, Apple's new application that organizes digital loyalty cards and event tickets, and the camera app's new ability to take panoramic photographs. Those shortcomings aside, there still are plenty of new features in iOS 6 for older devices.
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Product Review: Immobel’s Multi-Language Website IDX and REAL-Buzz
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Home Closings Made Easy
DotLoop CEO and co-founder, Austin Allison appeared on FOX Business Network's "America's Nightly Scoreboard" on the Small Business Spotlight segment. This video details a new software solution for real estate agents to use to speed up the closing process, and join the digital movement. DotLoop is  a company that offers a transaction and closing management solution; they "connect the dots and bring people into the loop," hense, the name of the company, DotLoop. In this video, Austin Alison expains how the company began, what it does for agents, how much it costs and the overall benefit of using it. To see the video, click to continue....
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Meet QR Codes
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A Web Services Lesson from Quickbooks
When it comes to web services, Quickbooks gets it. They understand that the work begins after the sale, not leading up to it. I recently had the opportunity to attend the RIS Media conference. There was a room full of vendors barking about the promised land that would be achieved magically through the adoption of thier products - generate more leads, track this, engage consumers this way, reduce costs here. In preparation for my panel address to the audience, I asked each booth to talk to me about thier support and training services. What happens after the sale? The responses were dim - in some cases, dark. Clearly they were not prepared to answer such questions. Today, as a Quickbooks user, I received my monthly “how to” newsletter. You see Intuit, like most world class web service companies takes a careful look at their call center. They group calls into categories and create a feedback loop to the product managers, developers and other product stakeholders. They use the customer newsletter as a training tool.
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Track My File
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Settlement Room by Emphasys
Settlement Room is a user-friendly transaction management system that has been designed for direct use by brokers, agents and teams without the need for transaction coordinators. Most recently Emphasys has made a number of enhancements to the product to improve the user interface making it one of the most user friendly transaction management products on the market today. Settlement room provides transaction workflow management, communication with all parties in the transaction and the ability to schedule tasks for all participants as needed. Tasks can be scheduled using fixed dates or dates based on other events, such as making one task due so many days after another event. The document manager is included with Settlement Room and is not offered currently as a stand-alone. Easily email documents into your transaction websites. Settlement Room provides: The ability to fax documents into your transaction websites Ability to distribute transaction documents from your website Ability to attach transaction documents to orders and emails by just checking a box Ability to set permissions as to who can view any document Ability to store common documents for use in multiple transactions In terms of communication, Settlement Room does a good job of sharing transaction data with everyone involved in the transaction. Communication features include: Ability of all participants to post and read messages Ability to restrict message access to selected participants Ability to schedule messages to be automatically sent by email Inclusion of special tools to automatically request and manage Showing Feedback Ability to Import and manage contact lists, and synchronize with MS Outlook Ability to automatically invite common participants into each new transaction
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Property Info's SureClose
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Property Info's SureClose Archive
SureClose Archive is a Web-based document storage solution designed to store digital documents post-closing. It can be used by any office that desires to digitally convert their paper files and store them online. SureClose Archive is a very sophisticated, full-featured document management system. Documents can be loaded directly, by fax, scan or through the use of the SureClose print driver. The Print Driver allows users to act as if they are printing a document and actually upload the document into the SureClose system without have to even be logged into the system. Documents can be distributed a number of ways including email and fax. Faxing out, however, requires that users subscribe to eFax on their own and pay those fees separately. SureClose Archive also gives users the ability to search their archive for rapid retrieval of document images.
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CoreLogic MarketLinx Document Manager
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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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eNeighborhoods WyldFyre7 CMA
Over the years, WyldFyre has produced some of the most user friendly agent products in the real estate industry. The eNeighborhoods WyldFyre7 CMA is no different. The interface is simple and intuitive and like all of the WyldFyre products it provides the user with a considerable amount of design flexibility. Unlike many of the CMAs you find embedded in MLS systems, the WyldFyre CMA allows higher degree of customization. It even allows users to enter comparables into the CMA that may not be in the MLS system, such as FSBOs and even new home sales. Displays and reports now include full mapping options, including aerial mapping, and allow for total broker and agent branding. Adjustments are simple to make and include and the report is complimented by attractive graphics and supporting documents. eNeighborhoods WyldFyre7 CMA should definitely be on your list if you are review CMA programs.
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Eventus CRM
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Develop Online Applications with dataFloat
IDC Global is a software development company that focuses on database and data processing specialized to improve the performance of Internet and other networked applications. Their new product, dataFloat, offers significant improvements in performance and scalability for Internet and mobile applications and also allows clients to develop e-business and multilingual applications easier and more efficiently.
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Try Homefeedback - 6 Months Free!
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Previsite Launches a New Product for Brokers!
Previsite has been delivering products and services to real estate agents for over 10 years. As a result of the strong business relationship they have with the residential real estate community, they have recently launched a 2010 Broker Service Offering – the Previsite Ultimate Marketing Solution with integrated Virtual Tours and syndication to Social Media portals. Previsite introduced substantial enhancements designed to help Brokers shape and complement their 2010 marketing strategy, especially as it relates to having a Social Media presence. Previsite’s Broker Service Offering is a cost effective and effortless marketing solution for Brokers and their agents. A. Bradley Nelson, director of marketing at New Broad Street Realty in Orlando, is quoted as saying: "Time devoted to social networking is worth the effort. Our social networking generates 40 unique visitors to our website each day. It's quantifiable."
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How To Make Your Website Howl!
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Google Maps for Real Estate
Another day, another improvement to Google Maps that increases time spent on the site. A few days after sending shock waves throughout the portable navigation industry, Google's back adding features to Google Maps that will once again draw the attention of the real estate industry. Google Maps has been showing real estate listings since this summer, but the company added a few tweaks Thursday designed to make it easier to search for a new home with Google. If you're looking at a particular slice of the world through Google Maps, you now have the option to select "Real Estate" from a dropdown box in the "More" section on the top of the map. And for those unable to afford real estate in San Francisco—or unwilling to pay the shockingly high prices offered in this town—Google Maps also now offers rental listings.
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What’s the Deal With Windows 7?
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Using Technology
The history of the Internet is a story of inverse proportion; as technology accelerates, the barriers to it—both monetary and technological—shrink. During one of my CRT presentations, I lead off by asking, “Who has been using email since 1971?” Only once has someone raised their hand. And while you may be wondering who would be naive enough to think that they could have been emailing since then, the lore of the Internet traces the first use of email back to the summer of 1971. So now, I ask you, "Why weren’t you using email back then, or even in 1991?" I lead off with that example because it clearly demonstrates what I’m discussing: technically, there was nothing to prevent people from sending email back in 1971. If you look at a timeline of the Internet, you can see that many of the services that we take for granted today and which we often perceive as only a couple of years old have actually been around for quite some time. Many times, a “new” technology merely refers to an old technology with a new label, a sign that it has reached the mainstream. But because technology takes some time to enter the mainstream, most people either aren’t aware of what’s possible or consider the cost too unreasonable.
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iHomeFinder IDX
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The Virtual Office Website
A Powerful New Marketing Tool. As a result of a settlement between the US Department of Justice and the National Association of REALTORS®, brokers now have a powerful new marketing tool at their fingertips. Brokers who are members of a MLS can now provide more comprehensive information to their customers than any non-REALTOR® website can feature. They can now offer a data feed of all MLS listing information to their clients via a Virtual Office Website (VOW). Consumers are hungry for more and more real estate information. They are not only looking for active data, but any information that will help them get a better gauge on the local real estate market and neighborhoods they are interested in. They are looking for as much accurate, comprehensive and current information available. Who better to serve their information needs than REALTORS®? The MLS has the greatest depth of real estate information available anywhere. VOWs can help the industry capitalize on the strength of MLS and property databases. They can help keep REALTORS® at the center of the real estate transaction instead of encouraging consumers to go to third-party non-REALTOR® websites for their real estate search needs.
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Birdview IDX
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Top Producer IDX
Top Producer IDX is a full-featured property search solution that allows agent to offer consumers access to the listings available from their MLS. Important features like Listing Notification, Save Listing to Favorites, and Save Search are all bundled with the service. Top Producer is a subsidiary of MOVE, INC and offers IDX in more than 235 markets. If they do not already have listings from your market, they will go get them for you. Top Producer IDX automatically updates your website with the latest property information from your MLS, and offers visitors a password-protected section to save their favorite listings and searches. Top Producer' IDX’s prospecting tools, including PROPERTY ALERT LEAD and CAPTURE FORMS encourage visitors to enter their contact information and home criteria to receive automated updates and Listings Lead Capture Forms that encourage visitors to request property information and schedule appointments. The system’s lead tracking tools are designed to help the site owner to prioritize and strategically respond to their prospects.
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