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Are iBuyers Competition?
It's like selling a car. You have choices. You can FSBO it or you can take it to a dealer. It's common knowledge that you'll get more for the car if you sell it yourself, though. It's also a hassle to DIY a car sale. Those who want to avoid having to clean and repair the car, be available for showings and test drives, haggling over price and dealing with all the paperwork choose the dealer option. Basically, that is what iBuyers are – the dealerships of the real estate world. Just dump your current home and turn your attention to the new one. That's a bit simplistic, but you get the general idea. As with trading in a car, the big disadvantage to selling a home to an iBuyer is that the seller loses money on the deal. For many, that equity represents years, maybe decades of paying a mortgage payment faithfully, even in tough times. To trade that money for "convenience" just doesn't make sense. Which is likely why iBuyers aren't catching on with real estate consumers. Sure, home sellers are contacting them in droves. Out of those contacts, only about 1 percent of all requests end up in successful Zillow Offer. If you're feeling a bit intimidated by these "algorithm-powered home flippers," as Curbed.com's Jeff Andrews refers to them, get the facts. Arm yourselves with knowledge of how they really work, not what they promise in their marketing. "Zillow Offers buys and re-sells homes at full, fair market value" That is but one of the lofty and (so far) untrue marketing messages on Zillow.com. Yes, the homeowner won't need to make renovations or repairs or clean the home. That, however, doesn't mean that those tasks won't need to be done before resale. And, the cost of that will be deducted from the original offer. Depending on the home's condition, and the iBuyer's markup of costs, it could (and has) run thousands of dollars. "They offered around $298,000, with about $20,000 in repairs and fees, so I would have only walked away with about $276,000," one would-be Zillow Offers client reports to Jaclyn Allen of TheDenverChannel.com. Then, they'll deduct their fee, which is "around 7 percent," according to Zillow's website. But that's just Zillow. Others operating in the iBuying space may charge up to 10 percent. Are iBuyers the enemy or the inspiration? Hassan Riggs at Forbes.com claims that iBuyers are the inspiration, not the enemy. "Rather than trying to beat them at their own game," he suggests that "agents must instead focus their efforts internally, on evolving their approach, strengthening their relationships and leveraging technology to better serve today's changing buyers." It's not so much the buyers buying the iBuyer homes that seems to intimidate some agents we've spoken with, but the sellers who sell to iBuyers. Other listing agents aren't feeling at all threatened. After all, the iBuying process appeals to a very narrow segment of the seller pool. I have a friend who was tasked with selling her deceased mother's home. Her parents had lived in the home for more than 50 years and, sadly, Dad was a bit of a hoarder. When my friend flew home to clean out the house she was appalled. Even worse were the results of a home inspection. The home was basically a tear-down. It was also about three seconds away from foreclosure. After working with the bank to give her more time to sell the home, she hired an agent to sell it as-is, at a rock bottom price. It did sell, in less than a week, to another local agent who was buying it and planned to completely gut it for her daughter. That friend would be the ideal iBuyer client. She didn't want to clean the home, had no intention of staging it or making even one repair. She just wanted it sold, as soon as possible. So, relax. Not many homeowners are willing to part with huge hunks of equity in exchange for a chunk of time, regardless of what these iBuyers think. If you feel you must compete As a listing agent, you should be working overtime populating your website, newsletters and other real estate marketing vehicles with the truth about the iBuying process. Because, right now, all potential homeowners know is the hype they read on the iBuyer websites. Be honest but unflinching in your reviews. Give the pros as well as the cons. Create a static page on your site about common mistakes home sellers make when agreeing to sell to an iBuyer. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Not knowing their home's fair market value. Not being clear on who will pay for the mandated repairs/renovations. Taking the first offer. Counsel your iBuying clients to get offers from more than one company. Then, compare all aspects of each offer. Signing a contract they don't fully understand. Not understanding that the iBuyer will add a fee, and it will be higher than an agent's commission. Failing to take the time to add up all the expenses and the fees charged by the iBuyer to determine how much they will net at closing. It's time to change your approach Presenting your services in a more positive light will go a long way in combatting the lure of convenience and the "hassle-free" process that iBuyers promote. Sure, selling a home is somewhat of a hassle. Remind potential listing clients that with the right agent, it can be a smooth process and bring in top dollar, quickly, for the home. In researching iBuyers for this piece, the one thing that stands out overall is the positive sales spiel they present. They contrast, succinctly, what they offer with what you offer: "convenience, certainty and a hassle-free process," according to Zillow. Offerpad invites home sellers to "Skip the usual stress of home-selling," and Knock promises "a painless process," without "the hassle of repairs, listing, showings, and months of uncertainty." Notice how easy, breezy it sounds, especially when compared to what confronts a home seller on many agents' websites. "Selling your house can be one of the most stressful events of your life," one agent says. Reminding sellers of the nightmare that lies ahead, he warns them that they're "facing the daunting task of moving in the (hopefully near) future, and you're worried about the finances of selling your home." Then, there's the very well-known East coast agent who wrote an entire blog post about the challenges sellers face. "When selling a home, there are many different challenges that can arise throughout the transaction and even before you've listed your home for sale," he cautions. He then adds that some of these include "handling unrealistic home buyers [isn't that the agent's job?] and handling the emotions of selling a home." After reading the iBuyer sites and several agent sites, I think I'd seriously consider selling to an iBuyer. Either that or age in place. Fear is a common sales tactic, but it won't fly if you're competing against the unicorn and rainbows marketing of iBuyers. Vow to change your tune when writing content for your website, newsletters and social media posts. Become more positive about the process. After all, if you're truly offering amazing customer service, working with you to sell a home isn't quite as daunting as those other agents make it out to be.
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3 Reasons Why Every Agent Must Embrace Digital Transformation
Did you realize that a dozen states allow or are testing a digital driver's license? That's right: no more fumbling in your purse or wallet to show your vital ID. It is digital, and all you need is your smartphone. You don't even need a paper passport at many ports of entry into the U.S. today with the Mobile Passport app. This is not a fad; it's our future as experts predict that it's just a matter of time that all IDs will be digitized. The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether you like it or not, it's a reality that for your business is worth embracing. Why? Because it will increase your productivity and that can be a big bump to your earnings, personal time, or both. Embracing Transaction Management Fundamental to the digital transformation in real estate is transaction management software. If you haven't included transaction management as one of the core services you offer your clients, you are not only falling behind competitively, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to boost to your business. Florida Realtors® has been a pioneer in the digital transformation movement. Our Form Simplicity transaction management program was created by Realtors for Realtors and is the only Realtor-owned and operated, major solution today. Hundreds of thousands of Realtor members in Florida and nationwide use Form Simplicity as an essential business tool to power their ability to provide a paperless transaction process. The benefits of using transaction management software like Form Simplicity include some obvious ones and some hidden and delightful surprises. Here are three major reasons why you will immediately appreciate your transaction management solution—as will your clients: 1. All forms are digital. Digital forms mean faster everything. Digital forms make it faster to create a transaction, faster to fill in the data because the forms are 'smart,' faster to monitor the status of the transaction, faster to manage the transaction process, faster to collaborate with others, faster to close your transactions, and finally, faster to go back and find the transaction later—with all of its details needed for compliance and legal protection. Transaction management is also safer. No more missing paper pages and everything is secure and easily accessible to you in one place (and backed up for you). Form Simplicity, for example, allows you to add other documents, files, and photos related to your transaction in a transaction folder. Files are always up to date, which protects you and your clients. 2. Convenient, instant, safe, and secure collaboration with others. Transaction management software, like Form Simplicity, makes collaboration easier and more convenient than ever. Buyers and sellers and participating agents all are part of the digital process. You get to control what everyone sees. Their dashboard allows them only to view the documents they should be able to access. And because everything is stored safely in the cloud, transactions can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device with internet access. This makes the ability to collaborate more accessible than ever before. You also can let others add documents and comments in real-time, eliminating back and forth emails—and it tracks all these conversations in one place, reducing misunderstandings and mistakes that can be caused by broken email chains. Most importantly, top-of-the-line transaction management software like Form Simplicity uses bank-grade security, making digital transactions the safest kind. For compliance and legal security, going digital provides the assurance and protection your clients—and your business—need and deserve. 3. E-signing. When your business is powered by a transaction management software like Form Simplicity, digital forms give you another essential benefit. You get expedited signing with digital signatures through the most secure way to get a proper signature: e-signing. Electronic signatures are a godsend: First, you don't need to find time to schedule everyone to meet up, so it's convenient. And because you don't have to drive, you are safe from going out in areas, or bad weather, late at night. Also, clients won't miss a signing a specific page because your transaction management software makes sure your clients sign where they are supposed to before the form is finalized and submitted. That means never having to drive around getting a missing form signed by all parties or waiting for a returned fax. Plus, the final documents and signatures are easy to read—not degraded from all the scanning/faxing/copying/downloading/uploading that could take place. Digital logs track all the signers. And distribution to all parties, including admin, lenders and title company, is super easy. Research shows that you can reduce your signature time by as much as 95 percent. A study by Forrester Research showed one bank cut documentation errors by 75 percent, cut client visits from 3 to 1, and avoided $8 million in administrative costs. The bank saved more than 80,000 hours annually, the equivalent of 40 full-time employees. The best part, once a customer participated in an e-signing, 90 percent said they would do it again. Because of e-signing, an entire end-to-end paperless transaction is not only possible but a reality in some 15 states and growing. In the future, it should be commonplace as already every state today allows electronic signatures. The bottom line You are not only saving trees by embracing the digital transformation in real estate with transaction management software, but you also are proving the added value a real estate professional brings to today's real estate transaction by embracing new technology. A transaction management solution should free you from a lot of paper pushing, and that means more time to build relationships with existing and new clients. The time and cost savings are enormous, but the extra time you gain spending more time with people will make deciding to go digital with a program like Form Simplicity priceless. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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Leveraging Google Calendar for Real Estate
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New Technology for Real Estate Agents
Looking to stay ahead of the competition and the latest technology? Check out these three innovations that'll help you impress sellers, generate leads and build a name for yourself as an agent who is one step ahead of the rest.
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Doomsday Preppers: How to Get Ready for Future Tech Changes
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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know Google Could Do for You
It's not often that a company provides a service so popular that it becomes a verb, but you probably have heard the phrase "Just Google it" many times. Doing a search using Google has become part of most people's daily routine: there are 4.4 billion worldwide searches every single day. But did you know that Google is much more than just a search engine? It is also a highly complex math calculator, a real-time currency converter, a sophisticated multi-lingual translator, a digital dictation machine and more. In fact, Google has so many hidden talents built into its search bar, these five may be only scratching the surface of what Google search can do for you. Here are five things that you can do with Google search shortcuts that you may not know about, but may save you an enormous amount of time.
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11 of the Best Real Estate Agent Tools
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7 Young Tech Companies Poised to Reinvent Real Estate
REach®, NAR's tech incubator program, announced its 'Class of 2017' last week. Each year, the annual program selects seven companies whose products or services show the potential to benefit NAR's 1.2 million members. The program runs from one NAR conference to the next. Each class debuts in May at the NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. and 'graduates' at NAR Annual in November. Hundreds of companies applied this year—up significantly from 2016—and the seven chosen after an exhaustive review of their business models and execution strategies truly represent la crème de la crème. This year's class ranges from early- to mid-stage companies who, in total, have raised over $50 million in funding and whose total valuation tops $350 million. The goal of the program "is to move these organizations rapidly forward beyond their initial successes through education, mentorship and market exposure." REach® has had a successful track record so far. The tech incubator hit the half-decade mark this year, and its previous four classes have, on average, doubled their customer base and, in total, raised more than $60 million in funding during and after the program. So which hot tech products does REach (and NAR, by extension) think will benefit Realtors? Let's take a look. 1. Centriq: You keep maintenance records for your car--why not do the same for your home? This app helps homeowners digitally track property-related receipts, invoices, documents, notes, and even a home inventory. All of these records can be transferred from buyer to seller in the event of a sale. Realtors can sponsor this digitization of their 'listings' and give the new owner their home's records as a closing gift.
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Top 4 Personal Digital Assistants to Try Today
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5 Real Estate Tech Tools in 5 Minutes
When Jeff Lobb took the stage at Inman Connect in New York this past January, everyone got out their note-taking tools—five real estate tech tools in five minutes. Because in what was a whirlwind event of high-minded, conceptual talk, Jeff was ready to drop some serious knowledge and tangible takeaways. Jeff's message was clear — the tools alone won't make you a successful agent. It's how you use them. 1. Big data This phrase from the tech world has infiltrated real estate, but few really know what it means. "We are sitting on more money in our database now than ever before." But that's it — we're just sitting on it. And it's not complete. By harnessing the power of a tool like Revaluate Pro, agents can use data to "create the person behind the email," and know more about when buyers and sellers are ready to make a move. 2. Emotional marketing Agents need to connect with clients by being: memorable, mobile and visual. Be memorable, mobile and visual! Animoto has been around for a few years, but most agents aren't using it strategically. Using the personalized videos before, during and after the sale can help cement your brand in the sellers' mind and integrate you into the buyer's world.
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How to Use Google Keep for Real Estate
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The 4 Best Content Curation Tools for Real Estate Agents
Now that you know the basics of what curating content is (and how to leverage previously published content without plagiarizing), it's time to dig into the best tools for aggregating content. Below are our top four recommendations, plus information on service levels and pricing. Pocket If you're an internet junkie, you probably need Pocket, an app that allows you to save articles to read later. Whether you're scrolling Twitter and see a long read about the housing market, or get an email from your mother sharing Great Uncle Harold's big win at the county fair, you can now save every "not now, but later" URL you come across. Whether you save articles to Pocket from your computer, tablet or mobile phone, you can access them later from any connected device — even when you're offline. And if you prefer Pinterest to Reddit, you'll be delighted by the service's sleek display and design. Who it's best for: Pocket has a pretty terrific free service, but its Premium service level — which is ad-free, searchable and includes personal back-up of your content — is just $4.99/month.
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Four Time-saving Tools that You Need For YOUR Real Estate Practice
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3 Real Estate Tech Tools This YPN Chairperson Can’t Live Without
Young people are entering the real estate industry in waves, and among them is a new breed of tech-friendly enthusiasts who believe digital is today and tomorrow's path to success. Yet, with new tech tools introduced almost daily to the real estate market, identifying and adopting only the most valuable digital assets becomes a challenge—and sometimes with very little return on investment. Five years ago, Jesicca Skoloda, a degreed business major who worked about 70 hours a week managing a jewelry store, decided she had more to bring to the table. Recognizing her aptitude for generating business, her love of technological tools, and her entrepreneurial spirit, Jesicca set out to earn her real estate license. Today, Jesicca is within the top one percent of producers for the Luzerne County Association of REALTORS® and is consistently a Top Producer at Classic Properties—a company that serves more than five Pennsylvania counties with about 100 agents. Jesicca, 30, has already sold nearly 20 million dollars in real estate since entering the industry. To what does this rising star and chair of her local Young Professionals Network (YPN) attribute her good fortune? In addition to intrinsic qualities such as self-determination, energy, and confidence, Jesicca says her success stems from a willingness to embrace the tools that keep her and her clients informed and on track. Here are Jessica's top three producing apps.
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Forget Inbox Zero. Be an Inbox Hero with Boomerang for Gmail
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5 Awesome Brand Builders You Can Get for Just Five Bucks
When it comes to creating and deploying customized marketing offers, you might expect (and be turned off by) the cost it takes to execute something truly top-notch. That's where Fiverr.com and the Fiverr app on Android and iOS come into play. Fiverr.com was started on a very simple premise: What would someone do in exchange for just $5? If you're not expecting much, you're underestimating this platform. Fiverr has helped millions of business owners turn around quick, specialized projects they're either not qualified for or don't have time to execute on their own. While the possibilities on Fiverr are truly endless, below are five quick examples of how real estate agents and professionals can take advantage of Fiverr to knock off everything from logo woes, to profile pic updates, to snappy blog posts. 1. Design a logo Whether you belong to a massive franchise or a small boutique firm, it's important to create a brand identity for yourself or your team. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a custom logo from a designer, consider asking one of the designers at Fiverr to take a stab at it. Their list of designers is truly endless, and you can choose from retro design, flat modern aesthetic, or something truly wacky. Check out the logo designers on Fiverr.
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2 Must-Have Tech Tools for Real Estate Agents
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A Look at the Latest and Greatest in Smart Home Technology
Are more are of your clients asking about smart home technology these days? That's no surprise--according to a Coldwell Banker survey, 45% of Americans are expected to have some sort of smart home technology by the end of 2016. The survey found that smart home technology appeals to both potential buyers and sellers, with 54% of homeowners stating that they would install smart home products if they were selling their home and knew that the technology would make their home sell faster. Over half of buyers said that smart home technology like security and temperature controls would be most appealing in a home. The survey results were revealed just before this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where attendees got to scope out all the latest gadgets, from laptops and cameras to virtual reality headsets to automotive gear and, yes, smart home technology. Halo Smart Smoke Alarm - This sophisticated device can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide and send alerts to your phone, so you're informed of emergencies even while away from home. The alarm can also issue voice-driven weather alerts. The best part? Its battery lasts a whopping 10 years! TOTO smart toilet - We get it, a smart toilet sounds like a potentially awkward idea. But how's this for a selling point? The TOTO smart toilet only has to be cleaned once a year, thanks to high tech materials and a system that uses ultraviolet light and electrolyzed water to clean with every flush. The Toto will also lift its own lid for you, pre-heat the seat(!), and even clean you off with a bidet-like feature. How's that for taking care of all the dirty work?
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Best of 2015: Hate Writing Listing Descriptions? This App Does It For You
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Resources to Maximize Your ROI in 2016
In his appearance on a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Jimmy Mackin, co-founder of Curaytor.com, shared these great sites you can use to grow your business in 2016. Check out the best of team management, lead gathering, and branding ideas below! BestAboutPages.com has examples of some of the best "about" pages on the internet. Everyone in real estate is saying the same thing on their about page – take a look at these to get inspiration on how you can infuse your about page with personality to help it stand out. Theknot.com, a hub of wedding planning, may seem like a strange place to go for real estate, but here you can search for professional photographers. Mackin suggests that you "get professional photography of your team, get professional photography of your area. You will reuse it over, and over, and over, and over again." Slack.com is a team communication and messaging app. To help minimize the time lapse in business communication that can turn what should be a quick communication into hours of back and forth texting and calling. Mackin uses Slack because "it allows you to set up a very simple portal where you can communicate with your entire team in real time." Upwork.com and thehiredpens.com are two sites you can use to outsource your copywriting. Mackin recommends you start by getting a professional bio and 'about' page made.
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Hate Writing Listing Descriptions? This App Does It For You
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Best Online Tools and Apps for Real Estate Agents
It's a wonderful time to be an agent with all the helpful tools available to the real estate industry. Technology offers us so many ways to stay connected, safe, organized and keep learning about real estate. Are you taking advantage of the powerful apps and websites online to help you save time? We've compiled a list of 10 terrific online tools and apps for real estate agents to help you accomplish more and make your life easier: Wi-Fi Finder - For members of an industry who spend a lot of time on the go, searching for Wi-Fi can be a tedious process, but still preferable over data charges! Check out Wi-Fi Finder, a free app that will help you locate free or paid Wi-Fi wherever you are. The app uses the GPS function of your smartphone to tell you exactly where the closest Wi-Fi hotspot is, and how to get there. Bonus: it doesn't require Wi-Fi to use the app! Prezi - Looking to make a real estate listing presentation that will really wow your audience? Check out Prezi. This visually stunning presentation editor allows you to display information on or offline, collaborate with teammates, and import images and videos. Since Prezi is a cloud-based program, you can use it to present from your desktop, iPhone, or iPad, making it a terrific option for displaying information at an open house or a last minute meeting in a coffee shop. Prezi is free if you're okay with all of your presentations being public. There is a low monthly cost for making your presentations private. Google Alerts - One of many useful tools from Google, this free service allows you to receive notifications every time your name, business name, or any topic that interests you is mentioned online. You can control how often alerts will be emailed to you, keeping you in the loop each time your business is mentioned. Try setting up an alert for the geographical area you farm, or homes for sale in your city.
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How to Use Trello to Stay on Top of Your To-Do List
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How to Create the Perfect Real Estate Marketing and Lead Cultivation Platform (a Tutorial) - Part 2
Last week, I shared part one of building the perfect real estate marketing and lead cultivation platform. If you missed part one of my article, you can read it by clicking here. Let's pick right up where we left off and address the last four critical considerations related to the creation of this platform. 4) It has to be multi-channel It might be enticing to just find one great product (a mass email tool, for instance) because it does take time to research and select many different tools. But never lose sight of the fact that there is no "one size fits all" type of marketing vehicle. This is because there is no one type of homeowner in the world. Everyone responds to different things. To have a truly successful platform, you must have a little bit of everything. You want to have a comprehensive platform that includes email marketing, text messaging, print marketing, inbound marketing and social media. 5) Data integration (across all platforms) is KEY No matter where your leads are coming from (your website, your broker's website, your email system, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, open houses, etc.), ALL data must flow seamlessly into your platform in an automated fashion. If you have to manually do any data input, you do not have a good platform. This is a critical step and there is no wiggle room here.
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How to Create the Perfect Real Estate Marketing and Lead Cultivation Platform (a Tutorial) - Part 1
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How a 72-Year-Old Realtor Embraces Technology
Are your so-called selling tools behind the times? Afraid you're too old to jump on today's technological bandwagon? Even if you didn't grow up with a mouse in your hands, the technology to streamline your business is not out of reach. Just ask 72-year-old real estate agent Ed Robinson about his tips for Realtors®. Ditch the filing cabinets. Go digital. This Canadian agent has put together a simple mix of tips for Realtors, including devices and software to help you save a few trees – and a lot of time. How does he do it? An iPad - Command central. Scanner Pro - Transform paper documents into digital files for storage and editing. PDF Expert - Download, view, edit, annotate, and sign paperwork electronically. Dropbox - Cloud-based storage, accessible by any device, agent, or client. How does it work? A buyer makes an offer. You scan it into a digital version, then fire it off to the listing agent. Done. You download MLS listings for a client, easily add notes in PDF Expert Saving it for future reference... Emailing it... Share it via Dropbox You get a deposit check, scan it onto your iPad, import it into a receipt template, then send a digital receipt
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Top 10 Tech Tools to Help You Sell Your Listing
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The Technology Habits of Successful Real Estate Agents
To be successful in today's real estate market, it's necessary to use technology to its fullest potential and implement systems whenever possible. Using the right technologies can save time and money, and ultimately lead to greater earnings. If you have not already adopted various technologies as essential to your real estate business, now is the time to start. Not only will this keep you in touch with your clients – as most are just as or more technologically savvy than the average real estate agent – it will also allow you to stay competitive with the other agents out there. According to a study by Keller Williams, 68 percent of all new agents are under 35 years old, and 32 percent are under 25. This generation grew up with technology. They understand it, and they use it every single day, both in their personal life and in their business. In order to compete with this up-and-coming influx of new, tech-oriented agents, there are a few key strategies you can execute in bringing your real estate business up to the standards of the Digital Age. Going Digital If you are still are pushing papers around, filing documents by hand, and getting forms signed in-person, you are falling behind. Going digital with your real estate business, if you haven't already, is probably the best place to start. Using a real estate transaction management system gives you the ability to go paperless. You can upload all of your documents, organize all of your contacts, and allow guest access in order to share files with your clients, broker or team.
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Real Estate Technology is Not an Expense. It is an Investment
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Spotlight on Real Estate Tech: Our Top Product Reviews from 2014
Throughout 2014, we've been publishing a series of articles that guides agents 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 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 over a dozen product reviews, and we've rounded them up here for your convenience, sorted by category. Take a moment to learn more about a new technology that could help you grow your business in the year ahead. Transaction Management/Forms Form Simplicity - A solution created by a professional real estate organization, Florida Realtors®. Its ongoing development is, in part, shaped by a panel of REALTOR® members who ensure that the program stays in step with what agents and brokers need to be successful. Realty Commander - Realty Commander excels in handling multiple different file types, short sales, and HUD. DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS - A first look at DocuSign's new "Transaction Rooms" that wed transaction management capabilities to DocuSign's eSignatures. zipForm® Plus - zipLogix upgrades their forms stalwart with a clean, new interface that makes it easy for agents to use. CMA Cloud CMA - The reports you print directly from the MLS are stale, say the folks at Cloud CMA, and don't offer any opportunity for your unique branding. Their solution was built to fix this problem.
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Your Guide to Real Estate Technology in 2015
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11 Gift Ideas for the Techie You Love
Many people around the world are or will be shopping for presents for their loved ones in the coming weeks. Sure, TVs, laptops, and tablets are cool, and kudos to you if that is what you have planned to purchase! Now for those of you who are looking for something special, quirky even, and perhaps not as expensive, we prepared a list of interesting tech gadgets that are popular right now. Listed below, in no particular order, could be gifts for fellow real estate professionals or for the techie you love. Virtual keyboard – The WOW factor is pretty high with this one. Cube video action camera camcorder – While Go Pro has very cool cameras, they may be a bit much for a teenager. These might be a better option for someone who on his way to becoming a Pro. Bluetooth location tracker – There is always someone in the family who could use one of these. Swivel socket with surge protector – A practical gift to use at the home or the office. Light for real estate sign - While there are some more expensive ones out there, these might just do the trick.
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Automate Your Business with zipForm® Plus and Zapier
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4 Digital Basics Every Agent Should Master
We talk a lot about tech tools agents can use to grow their business. I won't lie--some of these solutions get pretty advanced. That's why we thought we'd turn the tables and look at the tech basics today. We're taking our cue from a new video featuring Chris Smith, the founder of Curaytor and co-author of Peoplework. Smith shared his real estate expertise with the winners of HomeFinder.com's Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. The video below is a sampling of the advice he shared with the winning agents. In it, Smith recommends that agents master the following basics: Hardware selection Your calendar Email Your online reputation Click through to the next page for details, helpful articles and app suggestions!
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How to Score the Latest Tech Tools Without Breaking the Bank
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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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2015 Technology Guide: Find Tools that Profit Your Business
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Do You Use the “Tie-Breaker” Advantage?
Digital? Paperless? Virtual? If you find the latest tools and resources overwhelming, confusing and just plain uncomfortable, you might find the next few tips an easy solution bring your presentations, communications and marketing systems in line with today's demands using technology. When you incorporate cutting edge innovations into your buyer and seller service model, you are confidently deploying a secret weapon to beat out your competition. According to a recent article in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review, this elevation of value offers you the "tie breaker" advantage. When customers or clients are faced with making a decision to hire you, these enhanced service options clearly emerge as the unfair competitive advantage. To keep pace with what consumers are expecting, simply incorporate one simple step at a time to differentiate your service model, save precious time, alleviate stress and WOW your customers and clients. All you need to do is to add one of these new steps every couple of days, and you'll be up to speed and beyond in no time! Start with a few basics: 1. With any project, having the right tools makes the process easier. Smart phones are good, but when you need to engage a client or customer, having a larger screen like an iPad makes it a more professional and engaging experience. Garry Wise, of Paperless Agent, recommends that after you demonstrate the CMA or review videos or virtual tours on the device, turning over the iPad to the customer to "move" the program along builds trust and confidence.
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7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely
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10 Ways Technology Can Save Agents Time and Money
The Web celebrated its 25th birthday last month, according to the Pew Internet Research Project. It's hard to believe, but true. And despite some early skeptics, the web has been saving people time and money ever since its debut. It's easy to think of examples. Email, something we now take for granted, saves people the time and expense of sending letters. Netflix saves its subscribers the hassle of schlepping to the nearest video store--and the monthly cost of unlimited streaming is far less pricey than the per video charge (and late fees!) that Blockbuster once charged. Over the past quarter century, the Web has affected virtually every industry and many aspects of our lives. Real estate has been far from immune. Gone are the days of printed MLS books or of being chained to an office desk and landline. Mobile technology has enabled agents to conduct business from anywhere, and websites, social media, and more have made the Web an affordable and efficient marketing channel. In what other ways can the Web make agents' lives easier? We've rounded up 10 of our favorite examples of how technology can save real estate professionals time and money. 1. Build a DIY Website - Gone are the days when coding knowledge was necessary to build your own website. Today, multiple turnkey website solutions exist. If you're looking to build a site for your business, we highly recommend exploring real estate specific website solutions. They come loaded with features agents need, like a built-in IDX search and specialized templates. Other solutions, like WebsiteBox, offer a wealth of backend tools like an integrated CRM, drip marketing capabilities, Google Analytics, and more. Most can be set up in under 15 minutes.
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How Paperless Are You?
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Agents, Teams and Technology
Sometime soon, I will be selling a rental property and buying a different one, taking advantage of the 1031 Exchange program. I am probably like most consumers. You begin shopping for something to buy before you sell. The relationship between a buyer and an agent (or team) will typically have three phases. The first phase is the time you shop before listing. The second is the time you shop while your home is being sold. The third is the time when you are ready to buy. Right now, I am in the first phase, doing casual research. I do not plan to list my home for sale until the spring in Buffalo – if that ever comes ;-). I started driving neighborhoods around Thanksgiving. Flyers are not very popular in the area where I have been cruising, so I have been using a number of mobile apps. Occasionally, I call the number on the sign and leave a message. Nobody ever answers the phone anymore. Take Away #1: Signs are important in real estate. I did not even contemplate contacting a buyer's agent who was advertised on a listing agent's listing. Friday night, an agent contacted me from a phone message from four months ago. She sent me an email and called me by some other name like John. Not sure what happened there. I replied to the email and she called me right away to apologize. We had a nice chat and I told her what was up. She told me that her clients love Listingbook and that she would set me up with an account.
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The Weather Outside is Frightful – Now What?
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2014 Technology Resolutions
Technology is changing our lives – and our industry – on a daily basis. And as they say, you're either with the times or behind them. With that in mind, I wanted to roll out three New Year's resolutions I'm asking my agents to adopt when it comes to technology in 2014 and I'd love to see you implement them into your success plan for 2014 and beyond. 1. Let's See That Beautiful Face! Every slogan and catchy phrase that can help you sell more homes in 2014 has already been plastered on a billboard somewhere at some point in the past. No matter what you say, and how well you say it, there are simply limitations to the things you can convey through pen and paper. Instead, turn to video. For $200 we purchased (and you can too from any number of online retailers) an "iPhone film pack" for use with pretty much any smart phone. The kit comes with a clip on and boom-style mic, tripod-adapter mount, and a magnetic camera lens that fits over the phone's camera to give a wider-angle view. With this kit, we can now shoot video both in the office and out in the field with a maximum 3-minute set-up time. Think of the possibilities: neighborhood reviews, client testimonials, and interviews with local business owners, etc. The sky is the limit with video, and the added benefits (increased SEO, higher click-through rates, etc.) make this a great way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
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Top Product Reviews from 2013
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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Real Estate Solution
Real estate agents always need to be learning and growing to keep their business thriving. Sometimes that involves personal development--earning new designations, learning new sales strategies, seeking advice from a real estate coach, or even just sitting down with a good book. Other times, thriving means embracing new technologies. Learning new apps and programs can be daunting, though, especially if you're unfamiliar with a certain type of product. What should you look for? What options are available? It's hard to know without a lot of research. Fortunately, we've developed a series of guides that helps you answer exactly those questions. Each guide offers helpful questions to consider before making a purchase and lists specific products that may suit your needs. Kick off your research by choosing the type of product you're interested in from the list below (see our list of broker-specific guides here): Property Search Website Online Marketing Mobile Solution Online Reputation Management Market Analytics Listing Syndication Lockbox Lead Generation iPad Apps Electronic Signatures Document and Transaction Management CRM CMA
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Will Google's New Helpouts Affect Realtors®?
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The Cloud is for Collaboration
Most people are familiar with the Cloud primarily for its storage capabilities. From music and movies, to documents and other files, the Cloud has become the place for saving the things you care about but don't want to store on your computer. In industries like real estate, however, the Cloud also serves another essential purpose--collaboration. Real estate transactions involve many parties--not just agents and their buyer or seller clients. There are appraisers, loan officers, attorneys, and home inspectors, just to name a few. You can pick up the phone and call any of these people easily, but what happens when you need to share documents or have forms signed? Do you really want to drive all over town, or wrangle everyone's schedules to have a meeting in some central location? What if one of the parties lives out of the area? The solution is simple: take your collaboration to the Cloud. Web-based products for transaction management, document management, and electronic signatures make this possible. With mobile technology and the use of permissions to grant the appropriate level of access to the appropriate parties, Cloud technology can allow you to collaborate with anyone over any distance for a more efficient transaction. The best way to clarify this concept is to use some examples.
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REach™ Accelerator Class of 2013 to conclude at REALTORS® Conference & Expo
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"It Pays for Itself with One Sale"
"It pays for itself if you get just one sale," says the technology salesperson. I would not be surprised if you hear that a few times a month when real estate technology salespeople pitch their products. The keynote is "if" you get a sale from using their product. As an agent, you should despise this sales pitch. How on earth could any technology company justify taking all of your commission on a sale? If you purchase three or four of these "technology solutions" from "technology partners," you could wind up spending a huge part of your income on technology. As they say in church, "Be leery of the snake's voice, and the tempting sweetness of the apple." As a REALTOR®, there are dozens of products and services that you get through your affiliation with NAR, your state association of REALTORS®, your MLS, (sometimes franchise) and your broker. Here at RE Technology, we do a lot to emphasize these products in our product directory. You will notice that if your MLS or association offers services like free IDX, free website, free CRM, free CMA, free forms, free digital signatures, etc., we highlight those products on RE Technology at the top of the category list for that product. We update this list on a quarterly basis. It's not perfect, but we try.
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How to Set Up Your Virtual Office on a Shoestring Budget
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Real Estate Agents finding innovative solutions from REach™ Accelerator Companies
This year the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV), launched the REach™ technology accelerator program to bring the latest cutting edge technologies to the real estate industry. The inaugural class has reached the halfway point and the results have been outstanding for virtually all who have been involved in the program, especially agents, brokers, associations and the companies themselves. Agents and Brokers are finding the products offered by the companies to be valuable tools that are helping them run their businesses more effectively and provide more value to their customers. Associations are finding that they can provide more value to their memberships and even help attract and retain members. Meet the REach™ Class of 2013 as they continue to solidify and refine their offerings: BombBomb: Get more listings and recruit more agents with the power of video email. BombBomb provides a complete e-mail and video marketing platform for developing, sending and tracking results of traditional and video e-mail campaigns from any device. Lumentus Social: Social media made easy and effective for real estate agents and brokers. Lumentus Social gives companies a measurable edge in identifying, understanding and engaging social media communities keeping social media communications on brand and on mission.
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7 New Technology Companies to Innovate the Real Estate Industry
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Friday Freebie: Free Tools from realtor.com®
Did you know that realtor.com® offers a wide selection of free tools that help real estate agents grow their business? This week, we're taking a peek into realtor.com®'s tool box and providing readers with a full list of apps and services available to them. If you already use or are planning on investing other realtor.com® products, like Top Producer® and Showcase Listing Enhancement(SM), this page will show you exactly how the tools below complement the products you already use. Free tools from realtor.com® Here's a comprehensive list of tools from available to real estate professionals for free from realtor.com®: Agent Profile - Build repeat and referral business. Use this tool to manage what people learn about you on realtor.com® and from major social media networks. Listing Presentation - Download this presentation tool for use on a laptop, iPad® or as a printable document. It demonstrates how consumers habits have changed, including the importance of marketing a home online. HyperSocial™ Tools - This tool lets you get recommendations from your satisfied clients and share them with the world.   Collaborative Search App - Invite your clients to use a version of realtor.com® mobile apps branded with your photo and contact info. All primary inquiry actions are routed to you, and you receive immediate notifications on your smartphone or tablet. 
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Real Estate Software/ Technology: What to Invest In
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Find the Right Tools for Your Business with our 2013 Technology Guide
RE Technology's third annual Technology Guide is finally here! Just released today, this free resource helps agents and brokers find the right technology solutions for their business. Trying to navigate the crowded sea of available tech tools can be a daunting task for real estate professionals. With so many options to choose from, things can get confusing fast. By providing detailed information and points of contact for 127 products in 23 categories, the 2013 Technology Guide acts a valuable reference during your research process. Use it as your starting point whenever you're considering a new tech purchase! How to Use the Guide The guide is simple to use, and this year we've made it even easier for readers to navigate. You can download the entire guide as a PDF or thumb through it right from your browser. Below are a few ways you can navigate the web-based version. Choose whatever method is most comfortable for you! Turn pages like a book: Love the feel of turning pages in a book? You can do that with the guide, too! Just click and drag the top or bottom page corners to move forward or back. Use the arrows: Click the arrows on either side of the guide to move forward or back. Click to turn: Double click the top or bottom of any page to go to the next. Jump to a specific page: Know exactly where you want to go? Just type the page number in the input field to view it instantly. Use the Table of Contents: If you're looking for a specific product or category of products, use our handy table of contents to find it. From there, just click on the page you're looking for and you'll be sent there immediately.
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9 Holiday Deals to Start 2013 Off Right
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A Day in the Life of a REALTOR® Geek
Guest contributor Nobu Hata of NAR's The Member's Edge blog says: For my first NAR blog post, I was asked to nerd out on you guys a little bit, so I decided to take the "Day in the life of..." route.  It's a glimpse into one of my final days as a practicing agent – just a couple months ago – with all the tools and practices I used in my business, plus a couple other bonus links to cool things agents across the country are implementing. I hope you enjoy it! Tuesday, 7:30 am: A new day! Meeting day. Broker open house day. Buyer and seller decision day. Large coffee day, because I'll need it. 8:00 am: It's time to prepare for the all-office meeting. It's the first Tuesday of the month, so pouring over the previous month's MLS stats – absorption rate change, sales by neighborhood and zipcode, month-over-month and year-over-year change – is the name of the game. I dump the stats into a Powerpoint presentation which is then deployed to agents via the company shared Dropbox folder. 9:00 am: (Okay, more like 9:05ish-am.) The meeting begins! Agents, already prepped, come ready for conversation. Agents unable to attend in person are looped into the morning meeting via join.me. Heading into the fall, it's time to prepare for the winter lull and prepare for the following year's marketing with the stats at hand. Best tips for new marketing techniques are shared, best buys for technology are presented (iPad, Dell laptop/tablet hybrid, wifi, writeoffs baby!), emerging trends like collaborative client technology like Relay and Ziplogix are discussed, donuts are eaten.
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Follow the Leader: Top Agent Justin Havre on the Value of Technology
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Is That Tech Investment Worth It?
Summer is winding down and, for many real estate professionals, this means preparing for budget season. Now that we're well into the third fiscal quarter, you're probably just starting to think about how to best allocate your resources in 2013. Should you set aside money for the rumored iPhone 5, or would finally investing in a CRM make more sense? When considering a new tech purchase, it's easy to be distracted by the "wow" factor of the latest gadgets without thinking about their often high price tag. In order to preserve your bottom line, think of that new phone or software as more than just a toy--it's a tool that can help your business grow! In order to decide if a potential tool is a worthy investment, ask yourself if the benefit gained is greater than the money spent. Does it save you time? Will it streamline your workflow? Is it something that you will use frequently? If it's something that you will only use once or twice, it's probably best to just hold off. If you do decide that a new gadget or software program is a worthy investment, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to maximize its value.
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Video: Making the Most of RE Technology
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Thank You to Our January Sponsors!
Access to RE Technology’s invaluable articles, product descriptions, reports, and news is provided to you as a free member benefit from your MLS. In order for us to continue to offer this for free, we are supported by a select group of site sponsors. There is no cost for companies to be listed in our product directory, but our premium sponsors buy banner ads and other services – and, in this way, they allow us to provide our content to you for free. This series, published once a month, will thank those companies that “keep the lights on.” Please join us in thanking the technology companies that joined us in January, either with a renewed sponsorship or a brand new one!  Take a moment to read their product descriptions and visit their websites to learn more about their innovative products and services. You can click on the logos to learn more. We also have additional details on the next page!
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Friday Freebie: Clikbrix
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Friday Freebie: Housing Trends eNewsletter
We took a break for the holidays, but now we’re back with our popular Friday Freebie series. Today’s Freebie comes to us from FrogPond. Free Housing Trends eNewsletter To register for the free Housing Trends eNewsletter from FrogPond, click here. Features and benefits of the Housing Trends eNewsletter include: Existing home statistics for 159 cities and metropolitan areas, including prices, percentage changes and home sales, neighborhood info by zip codes Statistics are from the National Association of REALTORS®, MLSs and other sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, theFinancials.com and Inman News Homeowners want to see tips on how to maintain and enhance their home; sellers want to know info on their local housing market and tips on selling; buyers want info on community amenities and statistics and the local housing market – HTEN provides all these in an effortless manner The newsletter is easy to personalize. Agents just click to their branded Website when they receive the new monthly HTEN issue, add a message and click "Submit"; posts are limited to 350 characters and can link to whatever online page the agent chooses, such as the agent's Website or local MLS press release on housing sales or neighborhood news and happenings It's easy to send the Housing Trends eNewsletter. Just cut and paste draft email letter into your email delivery system then hit "send" to clients, prospects, family and friends – also, post the link to your HTEN on your Facebook page, add your personalize banners to your email signature and on your Website To learn more about FrogPond, visit their website (www.FrogPond.com) or our Product Directory.
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The Top 5 Technology Stories of 2011 and the Lessons Learned
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Thank You to Our December Sponsors
Access to RE Technology’s invaluable articles, product descriptions, reports, and news is provided to you as a free member benefit from your MLS. In order for us to continue to offer this for free, we are supported by a select group of site sponsors. There is no cost for companies to be listed in our product directory, but our premium sponsors buy banner ads and other services – and, in this way, they allow us to provide our content to you for free. We’re beginning a series, published once a month, to thank those companies that “keep the lights on.” Please join us in thanking the technology companies that joined us in December, either with a renewed sponsorship or a brand new one!  Take a moment to read their product descriptions and visit their websites to learn more about their innovative products and services.
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Top 10 Articles of 2011
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Technology Leaders Make Forbes "30 Under 30" List
We believe that technology will be a guiding force in the future of the real estate industry. Apparently, Forbes agrees with us. On their list of the “30 Under 30” for real estate, they’ve named some brilliant tech minds. These technology thought leaders include David Vivero of RentJuice and Austin Allison of DotLoop. Click onto the next page to learn more about these amazing under-30's.
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The Recipe for Repeat Rental Business
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RE Technology is Making New Friends!
Did you know that RE Technology is also a product directory? In addition to the wonderful article content we provide on a daily basis, we are a rich depository of all things real estate tech. Any company is welcome to join our directory, and we’ve seen a massive onslaught of them lately. Rather than letting all our new friends tiptoe into our midst, I thought I’d take a minute to introduce you to a few of them. Masterdigm - Web-based software to capture and manage the leads that come in from your website. Digital Delivery – a digital signature solution focused on improving he closing process Build Fax– provides a “background check” on a property by collecting and organizing construction records on millions of properties Foreclosure Radar – is a smarter approach to the foreclosure market Process Peak – helps you optimize brand performance from the corporate to the franchisee level Short Sale Commander – Web-based transaction management software focused on short sales Easy Mile Log – Track your mileage, and get ready for tax season with the Easy Mile Log GPS unit Cartavi (Now Partnered with Docusign) – Web-based solution for document management and sharing Wise Agent – a CRM system designed specifically for REALTORS® with tons of bonus features! Equator – a suite of software, training, and ecommerce solutions designed specifically for real estate professionals VOBRE® – Virtual Office Builder® offers solutions for transaction management, digital fax, voice services/lead generation, virtual tours, and custom websites
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Friday Freebie: Cartavi
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Friday Freebie: ForeclosureRadar
We’ve seen a wonderful response to our Friday Freebies series. By popular demand, we’ll continue to share the free and trial versions of products so that you can find the right solutions for your business. Today, we continue with ForeclosureRadar.   Free, 3-Day Trial from ForeclosureRadarDuring your free 3-day trial of ForeclosureRadar, you can:    Gain market knowledge and position yourself as the foreclosure expert  Check the foreclosure status of every property before you list, sell, manage or close  Identify and find the short sale opportunities that are most likely to close  Use foreclosure comps to get listings priced to sell and short sales approved  Preview upcoming REO listings and find REO listing opportunities  Partner with auction investors and generate buyer interest  Add foreclosure listings and search to your website   New features of ForeclosureRadar include:   ForeclosureRadar Alerts: New foreclosure filings matching your detailed criteria. Opening bids. Auction results. Changes in foreclosure status. ForeclosureRadar can now proactively alert you. ForeclosureRadar Moblie App: Find nearby foreclosures, search foreclosures, view daily auction schedules and update saved properties anywhere and at anytime using your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Printing and Mailing: You've searched ForeclosureRadar for the new foreclosure notices and trustee sales. Take those search results and create a customized postcard or a door hanger in seconds!
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How Skype Ruined My Morning (And How You Can Avoid a Similar Fate)
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Tips to Improve Your Rental Business
Today we continue our series about the challenges facing rental professionals. You can read the first part of our series here: “Do You Want to Move More Rentals.” In the first article, we addressed the problem of deal flow. Now, we’ll take a look two more, equally problematic challenges. Challenge #2: Ineffective Ads Creating and publishing an effective ad is an art and a science. RentJuice provides an excellent whitepaper about publishing ads. We highly recommend you download their whitepaper, which will tell you the best practices for publishing your rental listings online. The report is full of useful info, but here are just a few key findings: 1) Post ads on the weekend. RentJuice’s research indicated that Friday was the worst possible day to post ads (they were viewed an average of 18 times) while Sundays were the best, with an average 27 views.
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Agents, Will You Be a Winner or Loser?
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New in RPR v1.8: Saved Properties and More
We found this article, written by Reggie Nicolay on September 12, on the RPR blog. Last night we released Realtors Property Resource version 1.8. Let's take a look at some of the highlights included in this release. Save a property. Now you can save any property by clicking on the blue "Save" button in the upper right of the Property Details page. The property can be saved using its street address or a customized name chosen by the user. The user's saved properties are accessible via the "My Searches" pull-down menu in the Search bar (grouped in the Properties section) and the "My Saved Searches" box on the homepage.
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Customers Don't Jump Out of Computers
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Prescription for Wireless Congestion
If you have sinus congestion, there's an entire aisle of the drugstore dedicated to bringing you relief. But what if the congestion is in your wireless connection? Given the exponential growth of Smartphones and tablets, wireless carriers are experiencing significant congestion in their cellular networks. The very companies that have been encouraging the use of Smartphones are staggering under the heavy use. Unfortunately for wireless carriers and Smartphone/tablet users, the fix for wireless congestion isn't as easy as treating sinus congestion.
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4 Twitter Tools Your Competition Doesn’t Want You Using
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The Queue: A Look at RETechSouth, Bob Hale, and 4 New Technologies!
I have been to a conference or 12 this year. I had a chance to attend RE Tech South in the Atlanta suburbs this past week and for lack of a better analogy I am dubbing it the Roy Jones Jr. of real estate conventions. Pound for pound this was the best event of the year.          
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Want the Inside Scoop about 5 New Products? Be the First to Know!
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Missed the Boat: Six Sad Reasons Most Agents Fail
I just read an article in an online real estate publication entitled "Six Sad Reasons Most Agents Fail" written by Laura Duggan. Here are her six reasons... They don't know their numbers. They focus on the buyers instead of the sellers. They don't prospect consistently. They fail to hire staff. They fail to implement systems. They don't write a business plan. This article triggered a whole bunch of feedback from online readers. By and large, the feedback was fast and furious about how her perspective on buyers vs. sellers is somewhat out of date. I found the whole discussion fascinating, mostly because the entire discussion missed the most significant reason that agents fail: they allow themselves to fall into a mental trap of mediocrity. Agents don't fail because they take the 'wrong course of action'. Agents fail because they take NO action with respect to getting their heads in the game, and they subsequently fall prey to all the common threats of their profession.
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Happy Techsgiving!
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MySpace - Stake Out Your Space
MySpace works similarly to Facebook, but the pages can be made fancier with themes, which can be downloaded for free, or purchased. It also appeals more to people who like to share information on music, hobbies, sports teams and TV shows. Where Facebook has more pull with college students and professionals, MySpace has more pull with teens and pre-teens. As a result, it is a goldmine for parents who have MySpace accounts used to monitor their children online. Through the process of checking on their children, they connect with other parents and find that MySpace is actually quite fun and easy—hence, the reason why they have amassed more than 100 million members.
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Want an Easy New Way to Share Your Expertise Online?
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Want to Increase Traffic to Your Home For Sale? Ask a REALTOR®
Q: "My house is listed for $339,000. We bought it three years ago for $368,000. There is a house directly across the street from me similar in amenities but 1,000 square feet smaller, listed at $249,000. (They bought it for $280,000 around the same time.) My question is, I see a lot of traffic at that house compared to ours. We listed on Sept. 24, and only have 5 brochures removed from our free info box so far. That house has already received an offer, but it was turned down by the sellers. We would like to increase the traffic to our property. Aside from our REALTOR® posting it on a multiple listing site, what else can we do? Would an open house help?"
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New Apple Friend Bar Gives Customers Someone To Talk At About Mac Products
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Want to Grow Your Real Estate Business? Go International!
Capturing business from American homebuyers has been tricky in the current housing market. But take heart. While real estate is local, foreign buyers are still buying in the US! REALTORS® focused on international homebuyers are seeing increases in that portion of their business. According to a 2009 study by NAR, “The 23% of REALTORS® with international clients seem have seen an increase in overall business. “Fully a quarter of [REALTORS® with international clientele] indicated that their international business had increased.” NAR also reported that, “A relatively small share of REALTORS® appears to account for the bulk of international sales in 2008/2009.” Statistics to this effect include: 10 percent of the over 1.1 million REALTOR® membership had 6 or more international clients Five percent of REALTORS® reported that more than 50 percent of their transactions were with international clients; of those, two percent indicated that 76 percent or more of their transactions were with a foreign client. The median number of foreign clients purchasing property was approximately 1 for those REALTORS® indicating that they had a foreign client. Many REALTORS® on the buy-side of a transaction have told us that they are familiar with the language, customs, culture, and needs of the specific nationality of buyers served, frequently having either been born in that country or having parents from the country. Given these statistics, it may be profitable for real estate professionals to look into engaging the international community of homebuyers. The study answered the following questions:
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Avoid Mixing Business with Pleasure
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How to Target Your Marketing Efforts and Master Your Business Niche
If you want to make more money in today’s competitive environment, then you need to master your business niche. Let me show you a perfect, prime example of niche marketing at its best: The AARP card appeared in the mail again. This time I actually opened the envelope and reviewed the material included with the invitation to join. Offers of insurance, magazines, on-line registrations and general information related to aging spilled out across the table. Everything in the packet maintained the specific intent of enticing a middle age person to join the group dedicated to senior citizens. A scant five years ago, I wouldn’t have acknowledged the promotional material. It would have been swept into the nearest garbage can as I briefly wondered why this organization wasted its marketing dollars on me. Now, as I scan the introductory letter, the supporting messages delivered in the envelope are beginning to make sense. I’ve discovered that the magazine is dedicated to providing me with information on medical advancements for cholesterol control, suggestions to slim the middle age bulge and tips to improve my memory. That last one caught my attention. Startled, I realized that I aged into the targeted demographic of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and didn’t feel it coming on. When, for god’s sake, did I stop being 35? AARP knew it would happen and patiently primed the pump for several years as it waited for me to emotionally recognize that my body and brain would change. My perspective would alter and this organization graciously waited until it was needed. Now, that’s niche marketing!
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Key to Blogging: Be Original and Passionate!
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5 Technologies to 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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Desire For Video Content Drives Online Searches
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Google SEO Guru Interview
If you have a website, and have been discouraged by how far down on Google searches your website gets listed...consider learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This technology separates the pile of agent websites, pulling the most SEO savvy to the top! Don't be left out! The guru of SEO is Google. If you want to learn about SEO, follow Google. More specifically, learn from Google's SEO expert software engineer Matt Cutts. Cutts is known as the face to Google's SEO and is someone you want to pay attention to. Stone Temple's Eric Enge recently interviewed Matt Cutts and made this interview available online. Continue to read the full interview transcript, and learn why SEO matters and how it works...
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Don't Make Them Wait!
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9 Favorite iPhone Social Media Apps
Technology expert Jason Yormark, found at Jason Yormark.com recently wrote My 9 Favorite iPhone Social Media Apps. This article provided great suggestions for how to use your iPhone to stay connected with Social Media channels. Real estate agents and brokers are always on the go, thoughout their busy week. These applications provide ways to market, stay connected with their clients, and expand their network 24/7. It can be overwhelming to weed through the countless iPhone applications that have already been created to aid consumers on the road. This article gives you just nine of these to consider, but these are well worth the time to read and learn about. To read Jason Yormark's recommendations, please continue...
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10 Things Not to Buy in 2010
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AgentCast Virtual Tours
 AgentCasts has been providing a full spectrum of real estate video services across the United States since March of 2007. They have national production capabilities coupled with quality production and an affordable price point. They deliver high-quality real estate video tours to fuel online property marketing efforts. They see video as an essential marketing vehicle for today’s real estate sellers, and their service is designed to make leveraging video easy and affordable. High quality full-service local video tours across the US Virtual video tours made from listing photos Distribution to the top video destinations online Hosting and video tour display links included Compatible with iPods® and portable media devices Fully managed RSS feeds for podcast support Video player widgets for website or blog Immediate SEO benefits and increased web visibility
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MLSFinder.com
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AgentOffice
AgentOffice is a mature Contact Management Software solution in the real estate industry. It was designed by real estate agents specifically to address the needs an agent has on a day-to-day basis. AgentOffice does many things for a real estate agent with the exception of MLS access and an agent website. It also supports team activities. AgentOffice provides the ability to view all team member activities, the ability to reassign mass activities from one team member to another, and the ability to view and report on business activity by team member or the entire team. If you are working with a team, AgentOffice should be considered.
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