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RE/MAX Launches the booj Platform, a Custom-Built Technology Solution for RE/MAX Agents
Less than two years after acquiring the award-winning web development and software firm booj, RE/MAX, LLC today announced the launch of the booj Platform, an integrated suite of digital products that will empower high-producing agents, teams and brokers to proactively establish, manage and grow client relationships. Developed by booj engineers in collaboration with thousands of RE/MAX affiliates, the booj Platform is focused on delivering a better customer experience by streamlining the work of agents, from lead generation to post-close nurturing and beyond. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is at the core of the booj Platform, deeply integrating additional features, including:
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Industry Acquisitions Drive Luxury Brokerage to Launch New Tech Stack
Willis Allen Real Estate, a leading luxury brokerage in the greater San Diego area, announced that they are launching a new tech stack for agents, "WAREhouse." The new platform will be launched in phases, with the first phase released to agents on June 17.
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Amazon Echo Show 5 Coming Soon
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Where Is the Real Estate App Store?
For mobile apps, it's the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. But where is the app store for everything else? Where is Amazon for real estate tech? There are many oars in the water, but there is no clear leader in the race.
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Who Is the End User of Real Estate Tech?
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How Brokerages Currently Structure Their Tech Is Limited
Technology inside the real estate space is finally catching up to address the complete needs of how the modern brokerage operates, allowing solutions and tools from broker-specific, team-specific and agent-specific perspectives all under one umbrella inside of a single solution. An insurgence of companies are laying claim to be an "all in one solution" or "complete broker platform" but what does it take to actually be one?
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Why zavvie’s Offer Optimizer Is an iBuyer Game Changer
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Yes, There is Such a Thing as Too Much Real Estate Tech
Brokerages that pile on the tech might be hurting their business Today, it seems as though there is a tech tool or solution for every stage of the real estate transaction, from marketing and advertising to listing and closing. Sometimes it can feel like we are kids in a candy store, overwhelmed by so many choices that promise they will miraculously improve our business. But is there such a thing as too much tech for real estate? And what is the perfect balance of tech tools that produce the highest agent adoption and profitability for the brokerage?
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Your Smart Device May Be Listening, But You Still Have the Power to Delete
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Technology Needs to Be Easy-to-Use
Agents are busy all the time. When I started as an agent, I tried to do it all from being the photographer, the social media manager, the stager. You name it, I took it on. So when I launched a new real estate brand in a highly competitive market like Orange County (Calif.), I wanted to only invest in technology for our agents that freed up their time and made their lives easier. To make their lives easier, I sought out tools that are easy to use.
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Magnificent 7 Tech Trends to Watch in 2019 and Beyond
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Green Home vs. Smart Home (and the Top 9 Features)
Smart homes and green homes are growing in demand in many parts of the country. Yet, when people think of a smart home, some may think it is the same as a green home. Yes, they work beautifully together, but they are actually different. This article will highlight each and show you the key features that buyers are looking for now.
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To Adopt or Not To Adopt
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MoveEasy Masters Brokerage Integration
The number one business challenge brokerages struggle with when it comes to technology is "getting our systems to work together." That's what the more than half – 54 percent of real estate leaders said when asked about their major tech challenges. The study was conducted by Imprev, which last year polled nearly 240 real estate leaders who represent brokerages responsible for more than half of all U.S. residential real estate transactions. Integration isn't just crucial to brokerages – it's vital. A brokerage will never implement any new technology today if it can't work together well with their existing tech-stack. At MoveEasy, we offer brokerages a moving and post-move concierge platform combined with a human concierge service fully integrated with the brokerage's technology to streamline the last mile of the transaction and to help agents stay connected to customers for life in a seamless manner. Tech integration: But there's the rub! The challenge brokerages often face integrating technologies is that it comes with a cost. Even when a technology firm doesn't charge an integration fee – and some actually do – there are planning, development and training costs that the brokerage will bear. Brokerages also are often hamstrung by having legacy technology. These older software systems are so embedded into their daily routines, it makes it difficult or seemingly impossible (or cost prohibitive) for a brokerage to update its systems. That means a lot of new technologies just won't play well with this outdated software. Integration won't be possible with many tech firms without a lot of pain and torture. Moreover, brokerages face another major dilemma: their agents are inundated with technology. Many times, their agents are actually suffering from technology fatigue. That's because every time a brokerage adopts a new technology, agents have to learn the new technology – sign up for new training, then remember new logins and most importantly, change what they have been doing. Many studies reveal that even at the best brokerages, a high adoption rate is still well under 50 percent. No wonder brokerages struggle with getting their agents to adopt the technology they provide. A 360-degree integration solution MoveEasy has an answer that helps solve these broker challenges. We call it our 360-degree integration solution. Our integration is holistic – from agent account creation to client usage. As a result, it just doesn't make MoveEasy adoption better but helps increase the adoption of a brokerages other connected technology products, like their CRM. Our 360-degree integration makes everything connected seamless for the brokerage, agents and their clients. MoveEasy has become the "Masters of Brokerage Integration" because our roots are in technology and unlike our peers, we just don't focus on a single integration. We look at how we can help a brokerage automate as much as possible by doing multiple integrations. Let me give you an example of how we do this and the value this brings to agents and their buyer and seller clients. How Realty ONE Group benefits Realty ONE Group is the fastest growing real estate brand in the nation and ranked #5 nationwide by REAL Trends. With more than 11,000 professionals and over 150 offices, they deploy industry leading technology including MoxiWorks (CRM and agent websites), Skyslope (transaction management), and ONE Login (Dashboard Single Sign-On or SSO). Realty ONE Group exploits the full power of MoveEasy's 360-degree integration, including: With our MoxiWorks cloud integration, MoveEasy automatically pulled their entire agent roster, creating individual agent accounts (fully personalized with their headshots, contact details and brokerage branding) for the entire brokerage in less than two seconds per agent. As a result, Realty ONE Group's admins don't have to email roster information back and forth, or keep updating this information when agents leave, or new agents join. MoveEasy's Transaction Management integration with Skyslope ensures that the moment a transaction goes to pending, agents are automatically notified, and pending their permission, clients are automatically invited. MoveEasy's integration with Skyslope means agents don't have to worry about remembering to log into another system or entering clients' details every time. Automation does it for them: they are simply notified. When a client clicks on an agent invitation to use MoveEasy, the client's details also are pre-populated: clients don't have to enter any information their agent already knew. Once clients log in, they will never have to enter their details even once to confirm a service. MoveEasy calls this "one-click service." That means clients won't have to enter their zip codes to find movers, or property details to order home services. Even when clients contact our human concierge, all of their information is at hand. They can simply text, call or email and our system will automatically recognize them. Realty ONE Group receives a wide range of other benefits from our 360-degree integration. As clients use the service on MoveEasy, Realty One receives activity updates inside MoxiWorks Engage so its agents know what their clients are doing, allowing them to touch base with their clients just at the right time. Our integration can allow agents to automatically embed their MoveEasy platform into their individual agent websites. With our MoxiWebsites integration, agents can activate MoveEasy on their site in one click. There's absolutely no need for any training, or instructions, etc. Agents benefit because if a prospect signs up with MoveEasy from their website, a lead automatically gets created into the MoxiEngage CRM. The agents don't have to worry about entering it manually. Finally, if Realty ONE Group agents want to log into their MoveEasy admin dashboard to check analytics or update their profile, it's again just one click. MoveEasy is fully integrated with both ONE Login and MoxiWorks SSO connection. That means agents don't need to remember another login or password. Mastering integration matters It's safe to say that no one cares about integration in the moving and post-move services field more than MoveEasy. Talk to our brokerage customers for validation, but our approach has been to create each integration we do based on the brokerage's needs. That has allowed us to master the ability to integrate with some of the most popular real estate systems available. Already, MoveEasy has integrated with electronic signature giant DocuSign and some of the industry's leading transaction management solutions, including dotloop, Skyslope, and Brokermint. We've also integrated with CRM leaders MoxiWorks and LionDesk, as well as back-office solutions Profit Power and AccountTECH. Other integrations include SSO platforms such as Konverse and OneLogin. Most importantly, MoveEasy will work with each brokerage to integrate with any of their current CRM, back-office system, transaction management software, agent websites, or SSO –including proprietary software – so their agents can get the benefits of MoveEasy without typing an extra key. At MoveEasy, we're working hard, so it becomes easy for brokerages tech systems to talk to our systems. As the masters of brokerage integration, we want this experience to be as seamless as possible. Venkatesh "Ven" Ganapathy, Founder & CEO of MoveEasy, moving made simple by people+tech, at moveeasy.com.    
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Demystifying the Real Estate Tech Stack
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A Real Estate Brokerage with a Technology Vision
The Keller Williams pivot is beginning to make sense to me. At a time when many franchise companies are focused on systems integration, KW is trying to become a systems developer of bespoke software. Forever and today, Keller Williams has been tirelessly focused on the agent – recruiting, training, coaching, supporting. Gary Keller is almost like the Tony Robbins of real estate. He knows that if you can help an agent to find the right headspace, their authentic headspace where the agent knows what to do and loves doing it, it's a win. Recruiting agents and building them up. Keller wants them to be successful and rich. KW's role is just to keep the heart pounding.
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Homebot Wins Realogy FWD Innovation Award
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Offering Tech for Your Agents? Here's How to Boost Adoption
When you're running a brokerage, there are a few things that go hand-in-hand with introducing new technology. All you want is for your agents to pick it up easily—but what do you really get? Well, that might be more along the lines of protest, disinterest, and a bad case of the grumblies. Agent adoption can be a big issue, especially if your agents already have a different tool they like using on their own. So if you're looking to bring a new tool into the mix, here are some tips to make the transition as easy and successful as possible!
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5 Technology Expenses to Review for Budget Season, Part Two
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How to Switch Your Focus from Software to Success
In the world of real estate, we all hear the seemingly constant buzz about the ever-evolving technology that is shaking up our industry. The traditional ways in which real estate has been conducted are slipping away, and brokerages and agents alike are being left scrambling to define what they do, and exactly how they ought to do it. The movement to incorporate technology into real estate practices is tempting and, in many aspects, necessary to keep up and maintain a competitive edge. The pressure to stay current with the movement can be daunting; in fact, 48 percent of all real estate firms consider keeping up with the tech advancements to be one of the most significant challenges they are facing today. The question that arises here is: what technology does one actually need in order to achieve success?
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The Smarter Your Home Gets, the More Useful It Becomes
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Top 3 Smart Home Tech Features Millennials Crave
There's no doubt about it — today is the age of the Internet of Things. Tons of devices across a huge range of industries are now connected to the internet — from clothing to medical devices to vehicles — and so much more. Items that have an internet connection make life easier for the people who use them, and they also can track, record, and analyze data, which can help improve technology in years to come. One of the most popular places that people enjoy smart devices is in their home. Today, tons of companies are making smart home tech features, which make living in a house convenient and easy — and do things like help homeowners save money, minimize energy usage, and have less of an impact on the environment. For companies that build homes and want to target millennials, it's important to incorporate smart devices into a home. Millennials are tech-friendly and like convenience and personalization, so smart tech may just be the thing that convinces them to buy (and lack of it might the thing that turns them away). Here are three examples of very popular smart home tech features, which may bring in millennial buyers.
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Bitcoin or Bust: Buying homes and paying rent with digital currency
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Keller Williams Betting $1 Billion on Voice
Keller Williams had another great Family Reunion. Their annual convention in Anaheim drew more than 17,000 people. Perhaps the most remarkable information conveyed is that they have hit a lot of their ambitious targets for growth, and are now re-targeting to leverage data and technology as their next conquest. According to Teresa Metcalf, their big bet is on the underlying framework and platform – and the AI component is on top of that. Today, the franchise has 948 market centers. You could sense that they really wanted to hit the 1000 number by Family Reunion, but smart growth is more important than hitting a number (they are adding about two per month). They reported that 98 percent of their market centers are profitable. KW now operates in 29 countries. Their sales volume eclipsed $300 billion in America, with over 1 million units (the total market is about 6 million homes, 12 million sides). For the longest time, they measured growth on the number of agents. Now they seem to measure growth more on traditional values of profit and production. They have huddled masses of agents and provided rigorous training on how to sell more real estate. It has worked. At the heart of Keller Williams technology investments is business automation for agents. They are leveraging business intelligence tools to provide support and assistance to agents around activities that boost productivity. Agents do not need to look up homes; they will be able to ask the assistant to "Find properties around 123 Main Street that have sold in the last 12 months," "Build me a quick CMA," "Build listing agreements for 123 Main Street and set the price at $2.5 million," "Set an open house for 123 Main Street for Saturday at noon," "Show me today's expired listings," "Mail a just-listed postcard to 1000 houses around this house that are similar in size," "Show me today's leads for follow-up," and the list goes on. Note: this is not specific functionality that they have launched, but a sample of things that a virtual assistant can be programmed to do. "The goal is to enable agents to focus on relationships, not doing mundane tasks across multiple systems," says Metcalf. There are plenty of critics who look at things like Alexa, Siri, Google Voice and other virtual assistants with disdain. Although they have been around for a long time, they have a lot of misunderstandings. But the really interesting thing is that they are getting much, much better at an insanely rapid pace. I heard the CEO of Ojo talking about their chat bots. What they do is allow the bot to try to answer the question or perform the activity. When it fails, they have humans backing up the machines to do the job. Situations that cause a lot of failures are prioritized for programming and user training to perfect the most commonly encountered failures. Over time, these systems get better and better. Many of the activities that agents perform are routine. For the most part, our industry has done a good job of integrating tools like Single Sign-On to allow agents to access programs with a click. Keller Williams is taking a different tactic – just tell me what you want done, and we will have the machines do it. Machines cannot do everything, but they can do a lot of routine activities that agents spoil selling time to accomplish. Today, Keller Williams has a basic foundation that they are putting into the hands of their sales associates. It's a humble beginning with an audacious end goal in mind. It's worthy to note that they took their referral program out of the Lab in October, had it developed by January and launched at Family Reuntion – that's pretty agile. Keller Williams knows that systems integrations of software solutions will be a keynote to pulling off this effort. I would suppose that Keller Williams will publish some type of integration tool that will allow technology vendors to integrate with their virtual assistant bots. For example, with a quick CMA, the activity will be started by the agent. The bot will collect the vital information. The information will be sent to a partner like Cloud CMA who will return the quick CMA to the bot. The bot will relay the CMA to the agent. The turn time on this activity would be under one minute and the agent can do it by speaking to their phone in their car. By the way – this is functionality that already exists today. You can send an email to Cloud CMA right now and get this type of service. What KW is doing differently is not only supporting activities like CMA, but many, many more activities or skills that support agents. Metcalf reported that KW has over 110,000 agents using KellerCloud to access Kelle (AI/voice) and referrals in 30 days of the release. We are excited to watch and learn from Keller William's development in these efforts. If successful, it will be amazing. It will probably take longer than expected, because the industry does not have thousands of developers working on it. But rest assured, when Keller Williams offers partners the opportunity to introduce products to 1000 offices and 175,000 agents doing $300 billion in trades, smart vendors will heed the call. This was evidenced by their partnership/data alliance with companies like NextDoor. Market scale has a strange way of inspiring partner companies to accommodate the unique needs of large real estate firms. We see this happening with Leading RE, NRT, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and even large indy brokers like Pacific Union and Howard Hanna. Many doors open when you have scale. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Better technology fuels consumer interest in new real estate brands. Here's how local real estate brokers can compete
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A Quick Review of Smart Home Technology
Today, the smart home has become (almost) plug-and-play. That's a revolutionary development that real estate agents and brokers need to understand. Before Amazon's Echo and Google's Home, a smart home was almost always hard-wired. Features were built into the home during new construction. A single standard never emerged. It was arguably a fad that had all but faded into a very small market niche. All of that has changed. Both the Amazon and Google devices, which are powered by the Internet and controlled by voice commands, have given birth to some bona fide affordable smart home systems. It is now possible for essentially all of America's homes to become "smart." Let's take a quick look of the two dominant devices at the center of this home tech revolution.
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Future Tech: Tools that will change our work and our homes
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The Holy Grail: Agent Adoption
If you've ever worked in the real estate industry, then you know that agents have an aversion to using new technology (which is funny because they're the ones calling out for new technology in the first place!). Every year brokerages, boards, associations, and franchises across North America throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into their tech in a fruitless effort to make their agents happy. Meanwhile, the tools collect dust because agents do things their way. Regardless, agent adoption is a battle worth fighting. The potential ROI for your business is huge. But how do you actually get your team on board with the technology you've chosen? The key to successful adoption is to thoughtfully plan and execute your rollout. This quick guide will take you through the steps of a successful rollout in four stages: Inform, Train, Launch, and Reinforce.
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5 Startups Shaking Up the Real Estate Industry
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Top 5 Tech Tools for Savvy Brokers
The new iPhone X is building quite a buzz in real estate circles, in particular because of its Augmented Reality Kit. Some reviews have been so bold to call it "the future of the smartphone." It's not surprising because future technology always draws strong interest from brokers and agents. We saw this at the technology sessions at our recent Florida Realtors® Convention, which were packed. There was a plethora of new tech and future tech talked about at the convention. Let's take a look at some of the hottest tech tools today for savvy brokers. They're designed to help them better organize their lives, increase productivity, and improve their work/life balance:
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Real Estate Leaders See Bright Future for Predictive Analytics, Big Data, and Marketing Automation
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3 Do's and Don'ts in Choosing a Technology Partner for Your Brokerage
It's not easy choosing the right technology partner for your brokerage. Your brokerage's website, communication, accounting and ability to generate leads all depend on your technology. So how do you choose a technology partner? Here are three do's and don'ts for choosing who to partner as your technology provider: Do's 1. Demo! One of the best ways to see for yourself what a technology partner can offer you is by booking a demo. Demos give you a chance to ask questions and test specific capabilities of a technology to see if that technology is right for you.
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What Smart Home Technology is Trending in Real Estate?
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The Best in Real Estate Technology: 2017 Edition
The technology that drives the real estate industry is constantly evolving, and the first half of 2017 has certainly been no exception. We all like leveraging tech that makes our jobs a little bit easier, and this year's real estate technology trends have also been great new for homebuyers so far. The virtual reality craze is already making its presence felt in the real estate world, and real estate agents and brokers are finding creative, engaging new ways to deliver content to their clients. Let's take a closer look at the trends that have defined this year in real estate technology, along with a look ahead at what to expect from the rest of 2017. This Year in Tech: Real Estate Technology Trends to Watch in 2017 Virtual Reality – We're still in the early days of the virtual reality boom, but savvy real estate professionals are already finding creative ways to employ the technology. The big promise with VR is the way that it allows homebuyers to take a first-hand tour of a home, even if they currently live halfway across the country. We've still got some time before every consumer has a VR headset in their homes, but this is an important trend to watch if you want to stay on the cutting edge. Affordable Video – While a traditional video isn't quite as immersive as a VR experience, video content is absolutely one of the best ways to connect with your real estate audience. Affordable mobile devices make it easy for any home buyer to consume video content. If you haven't jumped on the video content bandwagon just yet, now is a great time to join the crowd.
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Smart Home Hackers: What Real Estate Pros Should Know
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The Top Tech that Changed Real Estate in 2016
Real estate industry insiders are finally cozying up to real estate trends and technology following a mind numbingly long, pothole laden journey. Now embracing technological advancements that break the mold rather than remaining stuck in it, the industry has seen a blinding array of game changers this year. What tech driven real estate trends knocked real estate professionals onto a different course in 2016? Smart homes The home itself is changing: 82 percent of buyers are interested in increasingly affordable, convenient smart tech, from locks to thermostats and lights. Drones In June, the FAA finally made it easier for agents to legally fly drones without certifiable "air time," putting a whole new arsenal of weaponry in the hands of agents, sellers, and buyers. Video Video has gone viral, literally, offering a new way for buyers to get a feel for a property – sans-travel. Are you cashing in on this proven and effective real estate trend?
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Why a Smart Home is also a Danger Zone
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Technology, Agent Adoption, and ROI
I have been involved in real estate technology for a long time. For several years now, I have been meaning to write about the overwhelming number of options that exist for both brokerages and agents alike. There are hundreds of vendors who not only have competing products, but overlapping products that duplicate one or more functions of something you might already have. Throw in the fact that agents need a simple platform to use since their adoption of technology is pretty low, and you can see brokerages pulling out their hair in frustration. What's the point of spending money on technology platforms when they are not getting adoption and expected ROI on what they already have? It with this in mind that I have written this series of two blogs on this topic. The purpose is to analyze the many different platform types that are out there, which ones actually lead to sales, and which ones might be left off your shopping list next year. One of my large clients told me recently that he could not justify adding any additional technology expense on new platforms until he could really understand the adoption and ROI on what he already has. I think that logic makes a lot of sense and why I present you the following information. First, let's take a look at the multiple categories (in no particular order): MLS (often multiple) - An MLS is essential to doing business, but extending out of your market adds real value. Corporate Intranet - Most brokerages have some sort of company intranet and this is probably an important item to have in your technology program. Corporate Website - Again, this is hard to do without, but you could add new developments and new homes to your mix to extend your income. Agent Website - Hard to imagine your agents not having their own websites, but some turnkey solutions can get new agents up and running with their own website on day one.
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Up Close with Clareity's Broker Dashboard
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Schmooze vs. Substance: What Are YOU Using to Make Technology Decisions?
Let's face it. We operate in a very social industry. We're all a bunch of salespeople. We love to go to parties, catch that final drink at the bar after dinner and attend swanky events sponsored by technology companies. In general, we just love to schmooze! It's part of our real estate DNA. I definitely count myself on the list of schmoozers. We host at least three parties a year and countless dinners and events beyond that. They are a great way to get to know people and start new relationships. All of this networking is great, but we all need to be cognizant of something. When it's time to make an important decision about what transaction management solution will work best for a brokerage or what MLS system to purchase, we have to try to separate the schmooze from the substance. Just because a company has bought you a drink or a dinner doesn't mean they offer the best technology solution for your company. When we facilitate RFPs for MLSs and brokerages, we sometimes hear a lack of interest in a very viable candidate. What is the reason? We don't "know" them. That's code for we haven't partied with them at Mid-Year or Inman or any other conference. We haven't been wined and dined by them. While, of course, trust relationships enter into any decision when choosing a new technology partner, I sometimes feel like our industry is biased more toward the schmooze than the substance. If you are making decisions for your members or your agents, it is incumbent upon you to separate your personal connection so that you can truly try to examine the company and the quality of its technology offerings.
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Looking at Virtual Reality for Real Estate? Augmented Reality Will Be Even Bigger
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11 Real Estate Tech Tools that Will Simplify Your Life
The world of real estate tech is booming, and for a good reason. Imagine how much easier your life would be if you could do the following: During a listing presentation, you pull up a 360-degree tour of each property to show your clients As soon as someone expresses interest in your listing, you get a notification on your phone to connect with them After a day out in the field, you come back to see your social media updated with fresh content for your followers Once your buyer decides to purchase, you send over a document, have it signed and back to you within the hour Now imagine if your entire team of real estate agents could do that. You'd be running some kind of all-star brokerage. Imagine how much easier (and faster) you'd be able to rake up profits, cultivate leads and build your business. That's what real estate tech can do for you, and that's why you need to take advantage of the newest tools. In fact, according to a recent report, 45% of agents want their broker to increase the amount of technology they have. So brokers, take note of these tools. They're the ones you'll want to arm your team with. (And agents, these are the tools you'll want to forward to your brokers!) 1. Property Shark I have to say, I'm super impressed with what Property Shark offers. This tech tool gives real estate agents instant (and in-depth) info on any property. That's stuff like ownership records, past pricing, permits, etc. Imagine being able to show a report like this to a client? Even just having this library of property information at your fingertips is going to empower your team. If you believe knowledge is power, you need this in your arsenal.
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Top Tools and Apps to Get You through the Day
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6 Tips to Increase Agent Adoption of Your Brokerage Technology
Adopting a new technology can be a challenge for anyone. If you're used to doing tasks a certain way, it's difficult to change that. But, as we all know, the only thing constant is in this world is CHANGE!  Small things can go a long way when it comes to improving agent adoption! Here are six easy ways to help your agents adopt your brokerage's technology: 1. Begin with the Hiring Hire agents who can manage to learn and master simple tools. Let them know the importance of using these tools to maintain transparency between agents and your brokerage. It is important they come prepared. 2. Start Early When training new hires, make technology part of the training. If people start using it right off the bat, they're more likely to continue. Provide resources they can go back to and refer. Invest time and effort in your agents for a successful partnership.
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Smart Home Certification for Residential Properties
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Digital Dawn: Amazon Is Creating the Smart House for the Rest of Us
Late Christmas morning, after the presents were opened, the wrapping discarded and breakfast consumed, my wife sent a text to her real best friend Paige that read, "I have a new best friend!" Paige promptly responded with "Huh?" "Her name is Alexa, as in the new Amazon Echo," my wife texted back. How lucky am I, as a guy, to have a wife who put at the top of her gift list a technology item? But more important was her reaction. She genuinely fell in love with Alexa within minutes after turning it on. It was wickedly cool and ridiculously smart responding to our verbal commands without any voice training. Dragon dictation be damned! That signature moment was ingrained in my brain as I walked among 125,000 others at the National Association of Home Builder's International Builders Show earlier this year, gawking at the half-million square feet occupied by 1,400 exhibitors. What I came to realize in the short time I spent in Vegas was that the smart home we've all been reading about and talking about literally for decades, the one enjoyed by gazillionaires and hobbyists, is about to be delivered, for real this time – and for the rest of us – by no less than Amazon.
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What’s the Real Estate Tech Arms Race?
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4 Pieces of Wearable Tech for Real Estate
Welcome to the future! Remember when Walter Cronkite predicted that "in the 21st century, it may be that no home will be complete without a computerized communications console"? And now, of course, we all carry smartphones in our pockets and tablets everywhere we go. Well, it's time to go even one step farther. Today we're showing the latest in wearable tech for real estate. Because why should you have to dig in your purse or pocket for what you need? Nobody has time for that. It's time to embrace computers as part of your daily wardrobe. 1. Watches Watches are the easiest way to embrace this trend. They aren't overly expensive, they sync up with your other devices, and you might even already be used to wearing one. Better still, almost all smartwatches have the ability to call 911 and geotrack your location, providing an extra level of safety for agents in the field. These are our top 3 picks: Pebble: A simple, inexpensive smartwatch that works with both iOS and Android devices and apps. Plus, it has a battery that lasts for days! Android Wear: Android's stylish watch can receive text messages, tell you the weather, Google anything and so much more. iWatch: This is the perfect companion to the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air set-up so many Apple enthusiasts already have going.
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16 Ways to Be Productive in 2016
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Real Estate Tech Up Close: Our Top Broker Product Reviews from 2015
We publish plenty of tips, tricks, and general advice on how to leverage real estate technology, but what about learning more about individual technology product in more detail? Enter our product reviews column. Each review offers an in-depth look at an individual product, complete with screenshots and an overview of all major features. In 2015, we published a handful of broker product reviews, and we've rounded them up here for your convenience. Take a moment to learn more about a new technology that could help your brokerage (and stay tuned for our round-up of product reviews for agents!). Quantum Leads We first reviewed this upstart Virtual Office Website (VOW) provider back in 2013. When we went back and revisited the VOW platform this year, we were pleasantly surprised to find the promising solution had matured into a more user-friendly and intuitive program. Read this product review for a tour of Quantum Leads' new look and new features. Form Simplicity's New Broker Review Feature Realtor-owned transaction management platform overhauled their broker review feature late in 2015. This cleaner review process gives brokers visibility into a transaction's entire history, including related emails and text messages. Read our review to learn more about the new feature and how it better assists brokers in staying compliant.
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How Concierge-level Service Helps Brokers Impress and Retain Clients
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NAR REach™ Slings 8 New Products at REALTORS®
The NAR REach™ program is interesting. It establishes a gateway where companies who wish to express their products and services to the REALTOR® family pay fees and often equity to the National Association of REALTORS®. The program plays host to annual "classes" of companies that are interested in entering the real estate vertical. Each class debuts at NAR Midyear and "graduates" at NAR Annual. Here are the soon-to-be graduates of the NAR REach class of 2015: 1. Asset Avenue - A loan finder product that is primarily aimed at helping Realtors introduce loan products to the investor community. As I went through the presentation, the first place I got stuck was the statement, "Competitive rates as low as 7.99%." The product shops property loans to institutional investors rather than traditional mortgage banks. I think that the product would be superior if it included traditional and investor backed funding sources. 2. August SmartLock – My initial instincts are that a company offering a lockbox solution will need to combat a lot of headwind against some excellent lockbox providers like Sentrilock and Supra. Those companies offer great products already deployed in every market across the USA. However, when I watched the presentation, I learned that the August SmartLock is part of a smart home solution. When you are near the lock, it works with Bluetooth to open the door. When you are away from the home, you can manage entry and access via an app on your phone. Installation on a deadbolt takes about 10 minutes. Each unit costs $250. As a backup for the inevitable "technology failure" problem, as a backup, your existing keys still work. I am a gadget guy, so I may consider this for personal use, but not as a replacement for our current lockbox system.
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The Surface Pro 3: The Tablet that Replaces the Desktop?
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Should REALTORS® Upgrade to Windows 10?
Have you been wondering if you should upgrade to Windows 10? I've spent the last 30 days or so using Windows 10. Microsoft has touted the benefits of upgrading and published many articles about the enhancements and usability of their latest generation operating system. I'll be the first person to tell you that when Windows 8 was released, the change was significant. It was so different from Windows 7 that even some tech savvy folks took some time to get their head around how it functioned. The interface was totally different—and don't get me started on the metro view and charms bar. Well, with Windows 10, I would say they got it right. Below is a summary of my experience with Windows 10 over the last month. Although different than Windows 7, the interface is clean and easy to understand. The start button has returned (albeit, it was available in Windows 8.1). In addition to the expected applications on the menu, there are also some dynamic applications and feeds to the right. Items can easily be pinned to the menu. I'm using a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 notebook/tablet. Jumping between tablet mode and desktop mode is very simple. I can quickly enable the onscreen keyboard and the system is intuitive enough to know that I've switched between the two options. The search capabilities have greatly improved. You're given a search option on the task bar that allows you to search your local machine and the web simultaneously. At first I didn't think this would be a functionality I would want, much less use. However, in the last month, I have definitely grown to like it.
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Discover More Information Automatically about People Online with Connect6
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Onboard Informatics and AddressReport Offer Turnkey Property Reports for Businesses
Consumers of all types are used to getting a lot of information before making a purchase. Before heading to a restaurant for the first time, many people check out Yelp, Trip Advisor, or will simply Google the restaurant to get a sense of the atmosphere, menu, and prices. Before heading to the movies, many people go to Fandango to watch interviews with the actors or read peer reviews on Rotten Tomatoes – all before purchasing the ticket. A simple movie trailer isn't enough anymore – people are hungry for more information. The same is true in real estate. Home buyers and renters don't want to move into a property without really understanding the ins and outs of the building, neighborhood, and history of the unit. Some companies have emerged in the property reporting space to quench this thirst for property information through detailed reports. Companies like Revaluate, Homefacts, RealtyTrac and Housefax offer information on specific properties in exchange of contact information. Consumers get the detailed information they crave and agents get qualified leads – a win / win. As consumers grow more sophisticated, reporting tools are following suite. The latest is AddressReport. AddressReport scans and interprets hundreds of millions of data points from Onboard Informatics to generate easy-to-read, detailed reports that reveal the positives and red flags for any address — eliminating the information gap and giving busy consumers the insights they need to make a better-informed moving decision.
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Productivity Hack: Drown out Distracting Noise… with Noise
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7 Tech Tools to Make Brokers’ Lives Easier
Technology is becoming more efficient, more affordable, and more useful for real estate professionals and their clients every day. But figuring out what's worth the time and money can be overwhelming. To help make those decisions a little easier, a panel of brokers shared their go-to apps and tech tools for managing their business and connecting with clients and agents during the Emerging Business Issues & Technology Forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., last week. Here are seven of their recommendations: Periscope: This is Twitter's web streaming app, which gives users the ability to share live video. When your broadcast is over, you can make it available to viewers for later replay. If you want to broadcast to specific people, you can make it invite-only. Free. Broadcasting ideas for brokers: Panel or keynote presentations: Do you do a lot of public speaking engagements? Share your presentations live with your agents and followers. Company updates/major announcements: Introduce new hires or new agents, celebrate accomplishments, and announce expansions and other newsy events at your brokerage. Q&As and interviews: Get one of your top producers to sit down and do an education interview that potential clients would find useful, or talk to community leaders about local issues and events. Speakers and training sessions: Be a resource for agents on the go by live streaming speaking events or in-house coaching sessions. Invite just your agents to view the live stream or make it public. Sure, agents from other brokerages might see it, but what better way to recruit?
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Top Real Estate Technologies Straight from Science Fiction (Part 2)
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Tech Tools Boost Home Sales
Are you looking for the fastest way to sell your listings for top dollar? U.S. News has identified a host of high-tech real estate tools perfectly suited to help you stand out from the crowd. Get the attention you need with these 6 cutting edge real estate tools: High-end, high-tech images Professional, high resolution photos get potential customers up close and personal with every room in a home, far surpassing the broad strokes snapshots of yesteryear. 3-D floor plans and video tours help buyers better understand layout without the need for a walk through, and aerial photos taken via drone are a boon to large, expansive properties with views. Beefed-up video tours Videos boasting narration, music, and scenes of people enjoying the property help create an emotional connection versus silent video tours of empty rooms used in the past. Virtual staging Virtual staging easily adds furniture and decor to photos of empty rooms and avoids the high costs and time necessary with the real-life equivalent.
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Real Estate Innovations from NY TechDay 2015
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How Online Collaboration is Changing the Face of Real Estate
For real estate professionals tired of the glut of emails, printouts, and post-its amassing on their desks from multitudinous clients regarding this home or that property, real estate tools allowing for online collaboration offer hope of cutting the clutter, both real and digital. A group effort Enabling easier and instant communication between buyers and sellers in addition to friends and family members, online collaboration is changing the face of real estate as we know it. All individuals involved in shopping for a home can now contemplate various choices far more quickly and easily, coming together to get right to the heart of the matter: selecting the perfect property. Joining forces Like social media, online collaboration involving real estate utilizes apps in conjunction with traditional websites, which link to feature photos and home information. Buyers can invite or share with friends, family members, and their fellow agents, allowing chosen members access to favorites lists, posting and sharing of comments on photos, videos, and features, and more. Ally yourself with the benefits: Easier face time - Video conferencing easily combats the ever-present issues of timing and distance, allowing all parties to quickly get in touch and build relationships from every stage: introductions to contract negotiations. Interactive presentations - Walk clients through listings and highlights, answering questions on-the-fly. Virtual home tours - Save time and travel virtually viewing prospective properties. Better teambuilding - For real estate professionals working together, time to meet can be difficult to find due to client demands. Online collaboration makes this obstacle far easier to get around.
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New Kids on the Block: 8 Tech Solutions for Brokers to Explore
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Forward Looking Technology
2015 and 2016 will be years of incredible change in real estate technology. For too long, the real estate industry evolved in an eggshell whereby data, applications, and presentation layers were composite to one another behind most fragile and isolated shell walls. Today, we see systems that separate these three components of the technology to maximize the usefulness of this information to the industry and the consumers it serves. We Got You "We got you" is a statement that can have two meanings when a technology provider speaks it. It can take on the meaning of "we screwed you" or it can take on the meaning of "we have your back." As the needs of MLSs or real estate brokers or agents evolve, it is important that the vendors of services are evolving with or ahead of their clients. If you vendor is not evolving at the pace of the industry, you are screwed. If the vendor is staying ahead of you, they have your back. WAV Group is seeing the division of "We Got You" play out across our client group in pretty significant ways. We saw quite a bit of it between 2010 and 2014 as the industry struggled to adapt to the mobile revolution. Many technology providers ducked their chins and excused themselves with contract babble or "we are working on that." Others were out ahead of their customers with ready-to-go applications that met or exceeded the need for mobile, well before the adoption curve grew exponentially.
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Successfully Integrate New Technology
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Edit PDFs Right from Your Browser with PDFescape
PDFescape is an excellent tool for those that work with PDF files and frequently encounter issues around software requirements for using the de facto document file format. This online PDF reader, editor, form designer and form filler is completely free and requires no more than an internet browser and an internet connection. In the PDF Reader, you can open PDF documents in your web browser, rotate and zoom pages to preferred viewing dimensions, select and copy content to your clipboard, search PDF text for keywords and terms with ease, as well as save, download and print PDF documents. The PDF Editor allows the user to add shapes, texts, whiteouts and much more to PDF files. You can also deskew, crop, delete, move and insert pages, create links to other PDF pages or web content, encrypt PDF contents using a password and sign PDF documents using your scanned signature. It's the perfect tool for busy real estate professionals.
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"Must Have" Tools for Real Estate Professionals
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3 Tech Tools for Fostering Business
Real estate price points in many markets throughout the country have climbed back to levels last seen prior to the crash — a strong signal that the recovery of our industry is in full swing. I'm sure you've noticed the positive news, and maybe your brokerage sales figures have increased over the past year. So now that the worst is behind us, what can you do to maximize efficiency and profits this year? I have three simple suggestions that could make an immediate impact on your bottom line. Cloud Systems The easiest thing brokers can do to free up time for more important tasks — and to get back some sanity – is to get a cloud-based storage solution. Cloud storage is the simple idea of making a folder for all your digital stuff — documents, photos, spreadsheets, and so on — that you can access on your mobile, laptop, and desktop devices from anywhere on the globe with an Internet connection. How many times have you realized you need a preapproval letter to submit an offer, but it's on your computer at work and you have to drive 30 minutes there and back to get it? You — or your agents — risk looking disorganized in front of the client by having to bug the lender to resend it. Think of the possibilities for your brokerage. Files and client information can be shared instantly and across multiple platforms so everyone on your team can access it. It will save hours of work and provide a better, more seamless experience for your clients. New cloud products and apps seem to come out daily with limitless advancements in functionality. This is absolutely something you should be integrating into your business plan if you haven't already.
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5 Ways to Integrate New Services Into Your Routine (or Your Agents')
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Real Estate Tech In-Depth: Our Top Broker Product Reviews from 2014
Throughout 2014, we've been publishing a series of articles that guides brokers through the technology selection process (see the full list of articles here). While those provide a helpful overview of broad technology categories, the next step is for brokers to learn more about a single product in more detail. That's what our product reviews column does. Each review offers an in-depth look at an individual product, complete with screenshots and an overview of all major features. In 2014, we published a handful of broker product reviews, and we've rounded them up here for your convenience. Take a moment to learn more about a new technology that could help your brokerage (and stay tuned for our round-up of over a dozen agent reviews!). Market Videos for Brokers MarketVideos.com is a collaboration between Terradatum and VScreen. The basic concept is to offer market data for a specific region in an appealing video format. The data shared in the videos includes median listing price in the region, days on market, and other key metrics. Data comes directly from the local MLS. The videos are aesthetically appealing, include a pleasant voiceover as well as music, and fit a great deal of useful information into a short format. They are updated automatically every month, meaning that you won't need to remove an embedded video on your website and embed a new video each month. Rather, you can set it and forget it.
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Three Ways to Improve Marketing Tools and Technology for 2015
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Broker's Guide to Technology Selection for 2015
Over the past several months, we've been publishing weekly guides that focus on a single type of real estate technology. Each article offers an overview of that category, helpful articles, and questions to ask before considering a new purchase. With a new year on the horizon, now's the time when brokers are setting goals for 2015. For many, achieving these goals may require new tech tools or services. If your brokerage is looking to add or upgrade technology products, the first step is to thoroughly research your options. Kick off your research by choosing the type of product you're interested in learning more about from the list below: Back Office Virtual Office Websites Lifestyle Search Market Analytics E-signatures Online Reputation Management Document and Transaction Management Online Marketing Websites Lead Generation Mobile Apps Website Analytics
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3 Ways to Help Listing Agents Be Proactive
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4 Ways to Automate Your Real Estate
Automation is the cornerstone of working smart, not hard, and this is something that Realtors definitely want to do. The problem is you don't want to let anyone fall through the cracks, so a single simple task multiplied by your growing pipeline can become carpal tunnel syndrome central for you in no time. For the sake of you and your wrists, try these automation tips. 1. Use Drip Campaigns If you're not using drip campaigns, then you are either wasting your valuable time on leads who are not yet ready to buy, or you are letting future buyers fall through the cracks. There is no better way to cultivate your future prospects by sending occasional emails and staying in front of them. Let the drips handle the leads who are months away from purchasing, so that you can spend more of your time on the clients who are buying now! 2. Email Templates So the drips are great, but maybe they are a little too "auto" for you. What if you have a particular message that is unique to certain situations, such as a referral to a lender? Email templates are great for these types of situations. They can sound much more personal to your clients and you don't have to spend 10-15 minutes drafting each one.
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So Many Apps! How Much You Pay for Software Might Surprise You
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30 Top Tools for Agents in 30 Minutes (8/19)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:00 - 10:30 AM In order to take your business to the next level and win the best buyers and sellers in the market, you need the right tools for the job! But who has the time to filter through all the productivity tools and sites and apps and find out what's worth your time? We do! Join Trulia Trainer Jovan Hackley for a rundown of the latest must-know tools, apps, and services used by agents like you to generate business and impress clients! Attend this session for: tools you can use now to improve your marketing ideas to help you wow potential clients at your first meeting real advice on how to decide which tools you really need Register now!
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What’s the Future of Real Estate?
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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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Who’s the Boss?
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Unboxing the New iPad App 'Slide Bureau'
As a newbie to the real estate technology industry, my journey has been nothing short of a learning experience. With a solid background in social media, I had a foundation to build from but what I didn't know was how the real estate industry used the various social media platforms or other technological tools available for agents, brokers and multiple listing services. To quote Aladdin, it was a "Whole new world!" At first, it was a bit overwhelming. Not only did I have to learn the different real estate terms, but I was also playing catch-up on the different technological tools. I've been in this industry for five weeks now and every week I learn about a new and exciting technology available to the real estate industry. This past week I sat in on a demo for Slide Bureau, a presentation creation and sharing service. After the demo ended, I promptly downloaded The Slide Bureau app on to my iPad. The layout of the app was simple and color wise, it was easy on the eyes. It allows users to open a free account either through their Facebook, Twitter or email account. With just one touch of the Twitter button, I was connected!
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Your Digital Assistant: Easily Do
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What the #*[email protected] is Geospatial Data Anyway?
If you are like me and don't spend your days tinkering in Alteryx, you may be wondering what geospatial data is and where it fits into the bigger picture of what your business goals are. Today I will share how what seems like 'data' on the surface is actually a cohesive set of decision support criteria, linked through a data network that enables our clients to create amazing experiences on their sites and mobile apps. Let's pretend for a second you have been traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the Atlanta Falcons. You are a father of three and your wife is a professor who will be teaching at Georgia State. There are so many questions you have to answer to make this exciting opportunity work for you and your family.  An example of a few questions you may have: Where area can I relocate to that offers a short commute to the stadium (my office) and the university so that my wife can get to her classes in a timely fashion? For the areas I do identify, what schools will my kids attend and how do they rate compared to where they go now and do they have the programs that they need to continue their educations at a high level? What's in my area as far as eating, shopping, safety, and parks? If I don't make the playoffs, then I'll just have to play some extra golf, my second love, so I'd like to be rather close to a nice club or course. The list can go on!
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Optimize Yourself and Your Client for This Crazy Market
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The Technology Shiny Penny
At least once or twice every year, someone comes out with a newer, cooler, easier, prettier technology to purportedly give offices and agents a leg up on the competition. We have seen this over and over again. Most of the time, the sales pitch for the new shiny penny is so good that you have no idea what you are buying or what advantage it will give you, just that it is really cool! And often overlooked are the questions such as "How will it fit in with our operations?", "How will my staff be trained?", "Will there be more work for staff?" and "Is this shiny penny company going to be around for the long haul?" If you want a really good example think back to the craze over QR Codes. "You've got to have these" was heard at every conference and meeting. Put them on your signs, your ads, your benches, even your kids' lunch boxes. If you don't have QR codes in your office, you are a dinosaur. A year later, you never heard a whimper. In the meantime, software companies were scrambling around to keep up with the latest shiny penny. Your staff were scrambling to be trained and your agents spent a lot of money getting all their printing changed. The biggest challenge is that brokers, agents and staff feel that they have to jump into the first thing that looks good, regardless of the consequences to time and money spent. It can be hard to stay competitive if the competing office down the street has a coffeemaker that brews your coffee by sensing that your car has pulled into the parking lot. (Hey, not a bad idea!) The challenge is the new shiny coffeemaker doesn't use the same coffee, filters, and requires special cleaning separately from other coffeemakers in the office. In the end though, the expensive coffeemaker costs too much money and brews coffee every time any car drives by the office. Then, agents become upset because they can't just make a simple cup of coffee without viewing a 30 minute online tutorial. Sound familiar?
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Agent Adoption: Celebrating Small Victories
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On Positioning. On Conversion. On Email. On Being Smart.
I've just returned from a week spent with some of the brightest minds in real estate. At Real Estate Connect New York, two thousand of real estate's innovators and most curious folks gathered at Manhattan's Grand Hyatt to seek, to learn, to discuss, to forge, and to propel their businesses forward. This is a conference to which I've gone several times and I always come away from it with new perspective. This time was no different. The thing that struck me this time 'round wasn't the abundance of shiny tech goodness. Nope. It was the LACK of it. For an event that brands itself on being the incubator for the latest in technology to help real estate professionals, the focus this year seemed to be on taking a thoughtful step back and taking a new look at the tools we already have. There was a return to simplicity. There was a return to the things that work. There was a return to SMART. Sometimes, innovation is simply looking at the tools we already have and using them in new, smarter ways. To propel your business further, you already have all the tools you need at your disposal. Propulsion is simply a matter of taking those tools and putting them to best use.
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What's a Public Service App?
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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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Centralize Agent Databases
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How to Make Technology a Business Differentiator in Real Estate
In the last decade, almost everything in the consumer and business worlds has gone digital, with all kinds of information now accessible on your smartphone and tablet at anytime. Real estate is no different. From reaching a purchase agreement with all parties on an iPhone and booking home showing appointments with the click of a button, to using social media to increase inbound leads, successful agents and brokerages are making technology a part of their larger business strategy. Adapting to this new 'digital-first' world can be a massive business differentiator if you do it right. Of course, there are hundreds of technology choices nowadays. How do you decide which are right for you? How do you ensure your organization actually makes use of them so you see the return on investment (ROI)? Here are my strategies for success: 1. Don't Fall Victim to Shiny Object Syndrome: Choose Technology That's Right for Your Business With so much technology available today, it can be absolutely overwhelming. It's the matter of sorting through the noise and finding the tools that are most effective for your business that can be the trickiest part. I've seen it all too often—fellow real estate professionals throw out their credit cards at trade shows because everyone else is and the excitement of being able to say, "Yes, I have that!" is overpowering. Of course, the problem with being swayed by a group mentality and spending hundreds, or even thousands, is not actually evaluating the product for its purpose and how it will work with your business model.
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How to Choose the Right Tech Products in 2014
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Business Strategy: Understanding Tech for Agent Adoption
Over the past 12 years, I've looked behind the curtain of many brokerages and spearheaded countless tech innovations and developments. One thing remains constant: If your agents don't see value in the technology and adopt it, your efforts and money are essentially wasted. Training and effective roll-out strategies are crucial for adoption, but there's a critical early step that is often overlooked. This step will determine whether your idea translates into a brilliant and useful tool or serves as just another bell and whistle that sounds great at conferences. You must ask: "Do your agents know they want or need this technology?" The most successful technology ideas I've seen implemented haven't come from industry blogs or innovative conference speakers. These ideas have come from within the organization, directly from the agents, and focus on helping them do MORE transactions in LESS time. Unfortunately, in many cases, the brokerage doesn't consult its sales force. You must engage your agents to evaluate their current needs, then use these findings to understand exactly what technology can help overcome these challenges. Doing so will allow your brokerage to present itself as the leader and ally in your agents' success.
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Lead Consolidation: Two Forgotten Words in Online Real Estate Marketing
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Are you struggling with agent adoption across one or more of your systems?
A common concern we see with many brokerages is getting agents to adopt new technologies. We've got a tip for you: Create digestible strategies for agents by building a scorecard or report card. Here's how: Break down your technology systems into each category. For example: CRM, Video Platform, Listing Presentation, CMA tool, etc. Take each one and ask yourself: What does it look like with basic usage? Intermediate usage? Advanced? Create a scorecard. Here's an example: Technology Resource: Customer Relationship Management Basic Adoption: Are contacts loaded in the system? Is the agent assigning contacts to campaigns or using automation for this? Is the agent assigning tasks and reminders? Does the agent have social media integrated?
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Rules When Choosing a Technology Partner
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Laptop vs. Tablet: Which Should You Use?
We asked Matthew Rathbun of The Agent Trainer to give us some guidance on the laptop vs. tablet dillemma. Here's what he had to say: A few years ago, I stopped putting off a desire I had possessed since I was young, and I took a weekend off and went to class to get my motorcycle license. Now, I ride my BMW 1150 Rockster as often as I can. Why do you care? Because, this is how I begin to answer the question, "When I need a new laptop, should I just get a tablet device instead?" I use the analogy because it puts into perspective my answer--which is both. Just like my motorcycle, the tablet is fun to use, gets good gas mileage and can quickly get me where I need to go. However, if there is bad weather, the need to transport more than two people, pack a lot of stuff or long distance traveling, then my car is the vehicle I choose. The tablet device is not quite ready to completely replace the laptop; rather they work together to meet my needs. I can check email on both and access most, but not all, websites. There is a much broader range of computing programs available to the Mac or Windows operating system than the App Store currently holds. Most tablets allow me to create presentations, documents and other multimedia presentations. It just isn't as easy to do on the tablet as it is on the laptop. And, there are often fewer options or features on the tablet.
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iPad vs. Microsoft Surface Pro for Real Estate
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Evernote for Content – Content for IDX
Guest contributor Diverse Solutions says: Remember Everything with Evernote Evernote is one really useful tool for the busy real estate professional. In short, Evernote is a memory tool for the Internet, your email, and your business. Using the many ways in which this service allows you to save information, web pages and emails for future reference, the real estate professional can organize their life and business easier than ever before. Now that's fancy! There are far too many features to elaborate on here, but let's look at some of them as an overview: Send web pages or highlighted portions of web pages to a notebook in Evernote with a simple click or two. Use tag words and phrases to make retrieval of information even easier. Share photos directly to your Evernote account from your smart phone. Using add-ons, you can send emails directly to Evernote folders for transactions or clients. Use and sync Evernote on all of your devices, whether PC, Mac, notebook, tablet, Android or iOS. Retrieve information when you need it with a powerful search function. Save searches you want to do over and over for one-click information retrieval.
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Did You Forget About the Data?
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4 really wonderful words that are music to the ears of every broker I know, “I am so busy!”
This post comes to us from the PCMS Consulting blog: Maximizing profits when the market heats up. It's true, the market is coming back and after years of struggling and being in the doldrums, brokerage companies are seeing signs of real life, opportunity, and profits again. Although that is certainly great news, for many brokers there is a small catch with all this new business—their operations are out of date and inefficient. Meaning there are investments to be made in infrastructure, technology, and systems—but are now taking a back seat because things are heating up. Ironically, a year ago, those same investments were taking a back seat because brokerages did not have the money to pay for them! These structural issues caused many companies to lose profits—or worse, go out of business. While your business may be improving, the reality is these problems have not changed—and you are still losing profits! I'll tell you why: Consumers still have huge expectations regarding their experience that are not being met. This includes prompt and knowledgeable call backs, interaction through multiple communication channels such as email, phone, text, Facebook, etc.
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